Isabella's unassisted birth story - 75 hours after water broke! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 02:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm finally getting around to writing Isabella's unassisted birth story. Unlike with Ayla and Kayden the *amnesia* of the labor still hasn't set in. I think that's why I haven't felt much like writing about it. I still feel very overwhelmed by it all.

Okay, here goes...

Saturday March 7th at approximately 6:30 am I woke up to use the bathroom. Wobbled in, did my business, stood up and bam. Just like you'd see in the movies. Serious gushing everywhere. Nice and clear, so no meconium worries. I'm going to admit (and possibly piss off some people in the process... it's not my intention), I have no idea how anyone could ever mistake peeing themselves, or having heavy discharge, for their water breaking. It felt completely different. I could tell the fluid wasn't coming from
the same place as pee... ya know? I don't know... maybe if it was just a tiny leak someone could be confused. But not me... this was no tiny leak, and I had no doubts.

So I hobbled around gathering towels and chux pads to try and clean up a bit. Still gushing fluid with every step. Seriously eww. I was NOT a fan of the water breaking before labor.

I went to tell Richard that my water broke. He was immediately all like *GAH! So it's soon?*, and I told him not necessarily. I hadn't had any contractions yet, and I knew it could still be days before I would. I told him to go back to sleep (he didn't do it though). And I laid down to do the same. About a half hour later I had some *cramps*. Mild enough I didn't want to call them contractions, but definitely knew something was happening. Around 7:30 I decided to lay with Richard and Kayden while they watched Dinosaurs. The cramping was still getting stronger, so I decided again to try and sleep. I knew I was going to need my strength. By 8:30 I got up again. Sleeping was not coming easily, I would get really very crampy when laying down. And I was still leaking fluid with every movement. Yuck. I noticed some bloody show as well when I was in the bathroom, so the cramping was doing what it was supposed to. I started walking around the house and noticed the cramping seemed to diminish. Until I got hit with a STRONG cramp. I decided then to stop pussy footing around it and call them contractions.

The contractions weren't coming with any pattern at all. And unfortunately didn't feel like what contractions are *supposed* to feel like. Drat. I didn't want to admit it, but back labor was coming. The morning basically went by without much going on. Sporadic contractions, but getting stronger. Absolutely no pattern though. Until about 3am.

Suddenly I went from 1-2 contractions per hour right to contractions coming about 5-7 minutes apart and a LOT more painful. We called my friend who was going to come over and help Richard give me support. We also got the birth pool set up and I HAD to get in. The pain was getting unbearable. So I got in while it was still being filled. OMG. It felt like heaven. Sure, the contractions still hurt like crazy, but I felt better able to handle them. I felt lucky too... they still were coming 5-7 minutes apart. So the water hadn't slowed anything down.

I labored in the water for several hours. 5-7 minutes apart, then they even got to 2-3 minutes apart. Until about 6:30am and BAM. Nothing for a long time. Back to a few sporadic HARD contractions. I got out of the water hoping the change would bring them back. I got a few more that came closer together, but that was it. They were back to 1-2 per hour again by 8am.

By that point I was feeling so completely exhausted. Although I was horribly disappointed I also knew there was no way my body could actually *birth* a baby feeling as exhausted as I was. So I went to bed for a few hours. When I woke up I felt a little more refreshed, but very very frustrated and discouraged. Neither of my labors with Ayla and Kayden ever completely stopped. This was a brand new experience. And it wasn't something I enjoyed. My friend had to go back to her family then (they were at a hotel). I felt so badly that she came all that way (from Denver) for nothing.

All day Sunday I had very sporadic contractions. 1-2 an hour usually. Ocassionally 3-4 an hour, but that's it. Unfortunately they were too strong for my to sleep through, so I was very tired. Richard was getting more and more worried. Which sadly wasn't helping me stay positive. So I went online and did some research. Found a lot to back up that this is more common than I ever realized. Considering the back labor I figured Isabella's position wasn't optimal. Ugh. That explained the lack of pattern, the stopping of labor, the fact that I could feel downward movement, but nothing enagaged, etc. Based on where I was feeling movements I didn't think she was transverse, but I couldn't be sure if she was just posterior or if she was breech. Breech birth didn't scare me, but of course didn't thrill me either. So Sunday went by kind of quietly. Moaning and groaning through contractions all day, and feeling a bit like a failure. Checked her heartbeat some more, she was doing just fine. Just wanting things to pick up again, but trying to rest until they did. Was hard to do much more with the kids home anyway.

On Monday (March 9th) Richard was supposed to work but I begged him to stay home with me. He called the IL's and convinced them to watch Kayden so we could work on some positioning techniques. Tried using a rebozo, tried doing the incline position, etc. Didn't feel any different and the contractions didn't pick up at all. At this point time all seemed to run together. I tried hands and knees for a while too. Longer than normal, about 30 minutes. Then my knee hurt SO bad I had to move. I also bounced on the birth ball a while. Around 8:30pm I noticed I wasn't gushing fluid anymore. I didn't know if she had engaged and was plugging the hole, or if the bag resealed. I didn't think it resealed though. This got me a little hopeful that perhaps we'd been successful in fixing her position.

The rest of the night the contractions were coming a little more often than they had been. About 3-5 an hour. Until about 2am. Wow. They really hit then, about 5 minutes apart. Richard called IL's again to come get the kids at that time. And shortly after they left I got in the birth pool again. The contractions were so much stronger than before. I spent a lot of time hanging over the edge of the pool on my hands and knees. I was screaming during the contractions by this point. They hurt so bad, and I'm a wimp. Poor Richard. I don't think he knew what to do. He tried counterpressure on my lower back. Sometimes it felt good. Other times it made me want to hit him. Toward morning (around 6am) the contractions got to be around 3 minutes apart. For about 6 contractions. Then they went back to 5 minutes apart. The dropped to about 8 minutes apart. Then 15. I broke down. I just cried and cried and cried. I was so tired, and hurting. Why was I going through so much pain for nothing?

I tried going to bed again. That was a disaster. Although the contractions were few and far between they hurt just as bad. I was screaming like I was being murdered. I tried to relax. Open mouth, calming thoughts, etc. That so didn't work for me. I tried walking around, but when a contraction would hit I would nearly fall to the floor. Richard tried holding me up, but I just wanted to collapse. I tried laying in bed again, desperate for rest. It was excruciating. Nothing I did, no position, helped. I just felt pain. I dreaded the next contraction. And I had NO idea when it would come since I had NO pattern. When a contraction would come my entire world would disappear. I spent so much time begging my body to just either stop and let me rest, or get on with it.

Around 9am I started to lay down on the bed again. As I laid down a contraction hit. Oh god, moving while having a contraction was torture. I basically just fell the rest of the way to the bed. I just laid there on my right side crying and screaming. I felt like I just couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't go on. There was no way I was going to get out of it alive. I felt so discouraged. I knew if my contractions were coming closer together and in a pattern that those feelings could be due to transition. But I couldn't be in transition since they were still around 15 minutes or so apart, and in NO pattern. After the contraction was over I just laid there bawling. There was no point in moving since moving hurt, laying down hurt, sitting hurt, etc. Nothing made the contractions feel better.

Richard had a great idea though. He suggested I get back in the pool. At least it had made the contractions more bearable. And we weren't concerned with slowing labor at that point since it was already slowed. I just needed a way to cope. So I agreed and he went to start refilling the pool. Another contraction hit after a bit and I screamed through it. Around 9:30am Richard was still filling the pool when another contraction hit. I was still laying on my side on the bed. And I felt like pushing. Not like with Ayla and Kayden where the urge just overwhelmed me completely. It was more subtle. Kind of like my body was telling me, *If you want to get on with it, well, how about a little help here?*

I screamed to Richard that I felt like I needed to push, and he came running. Left the water running into the pool. The pain was still unbearable. I was screaming and shaking and pushing. Just a little though since it wasn't the overwhelming urge. After that contraction I knew I needed to move. Being on my side felt wrong. Very very wrong. Since I was facing in to the bed we decided I'd just *roll* forward onto my hands and knees. So I did. Well, that sounds easier than it was. Every single piece of me hurt like crazy and moving was terrifying. But I made it. Nearly as soon as I was on my knees I KNEW it was the wrong place for me. But another contraction hit and I was stuck. Holy &*^% it hurt like nothing else had. I pushed again, but still not as much as I could. I asked Richard if he saw anything. He said, "a little blood. And pooping. But that's okay! That happens!" (Gotta love him!)

I knew I couldn't handle another contraction on my knees. I wanted to be on my back. I had birthed both Ayla and Kayden while semi-on my back. By choice. It's just the position that feels natural and best to me. This time though since it was only Richard with me I was worried. I didn't have a way to prop myself up. Oh well... there was no time to worry about that. I basically threw myself to my left and flipped to my back. I raised myself up with my arms behind me and bent my knees up so I felt like I was semi-sitting. Another contraction hit then and I pushed, a bit stronger this time. I still didn't feel that overwhelming urge, but I did notice this contraction felt like a *real* contraction, not back labor. I think Isabella finally turned when I did the flipping from side, to knees, to back. Anyway, it felt a lot more productive and I asked Richard again if he saw anything. He said no. Blast it!!! I didn't have a contraction, but I felt a need to push anyway. So I did. Suddenly Richard said he thought he saw a head. I asked him again if he was sure it was the head and not a butt. He said he was pretty sure since he saw hair! What a relief!

I let myself fall back to rest a minute while waiting for a contraction. At least now I knew it was almost over.

I felt another contraction starting so I pushed myself back up and pushed and pushed and pushed. When I pushed I wasn't screaming anymore. Instead it was a deep guttural cry. I felt her moving down further. I felt her head start to come out, and then... it was out. I asked Richard again if he was sure it was a head. He said definitely... he could see eyes! I let myself lay back down again and I asked him what color she was. He said she was white. That made me sit back up again. I asked him again... was he SURE she was actually WHITE? He said yeah. Well crap. That made me a bit worried needless to say. There was no contraction, but if she was really white well, I wanted to get her out ASAP. So I raised myself back up on my arms and pushed with everything I had in me. Out came the shoulders and then all of her, all in one push.

10:05am Isabella was born.

I could've killed Richard. Isabella was white alright. All over white. From VERNIX! Tons of vernix. Underneath the vernix she was nice and pink. I picked her up and rubbed her and she was breathing and crying a bit. I tried to put her on my chest, but the cord was to short. So I sat there holding her on my lap, just amazed that she was finally here. It was done.

Isabella Hope Frances
10:05 am March 10th
8lbs 1oz, 19"
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#2 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 04:08 AM
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Oh good job and congratulations! Get some well deserved rest.
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#3 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 09:27 AM
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That was quite a long labor but in the end it sounds like everything went great! Congrats again!

~Lanie mom to Layne, Liam, Maren, Meridian, and Melora
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#4 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 09:39 AM
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Yay what a beautiful birth story!! :::

Partnered mama with DD (01/04) and DD (08/09) and 8 critters, including a !
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#5 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 11:17 AM
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Followed your long labor on the birth professional forum!
Well done indeed!:
I think all that rolling and turning, hand / knees, and flipping around on the bed is precisely what you needed to get that Bebe out!
She must have been malpositioned and that did it!

Love the name Isabella. Glad to see your husband did not name her!

She is a beautiful sweet looking baby! You need a photo of the whole family together, what adorable children you have.
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#6 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 11:39 AM
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great job! And I am laughing about the 'white' part

Angela lactivist.gif, married for 14 1/2 years to DHtwins.gif, mother to DD 8-5-97homeschool.gif, DS 8-5-09 uc.jpgbabyf.gif, and SURPRISE!!! pos.gif due 2-17-12

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#7 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 11:49 AM
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I commented on your other thread, but I am in awe of your strength!


Peaceful mama to three blissfully-birthed and incredible small people: dd10, dd7 and ds5. Always awed and so thankful to be a midwife.
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#8 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 01:15 PM
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Oh, good job, you! That was so inspiring! It made me cry. I'm so happy for you!

Tallulah Dare 8-01,  Marcos Gael 12-04, Cormac Mateo 9-09, Leonidas Ronan 11-11

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#9 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much! It's taken me a while to come to terms with everything. It was so different from either of my other births. Definitely wasn't what I expected at all. No pattern, nothing that told me things were actually progressing. It was very difficult to deal with in the moment. I still don't know if I made it through the whole thing without going through transition at all, or if my transition was atypical and I really was going through it. The emotions and thoughts sure were screaming transition, but nothing fit a pattern. I like patterns, let's me know what's going on. Without them I was lost.
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#10 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 06:10 PM
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Congrats Amy!

Sorry it was so painful for you, sounds even worse than the last couple hours of N's birth.

mom to all boys B: 08/01ribboncesarean.gif,  C: 07/05 uc.jpg, N: 03/09 uc.jpg, M: 01/12 uc.jpg and far too many lost onesintactlact.gifsaynovax.gif

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#11 of 17 Old 03-22-2009, 10:21 PM
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Wow, Amy! Good work, and congratulations on your baby girl! I, too, was laughing about your dh saying she was white...glad to hear it was vernix.

Marilyn, wife to DH 09/02 and mama to my boys, DS1 11/06 and DS2 02/09, and a new one on the way in 06/12!


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#12 of 17 Old 03-23-2009, 03:14 AM
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Congratulations Amy! She is gorgeous just like her mama!

Not all those who wander are lost 
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#13 of 17 Old 03-23-2009, 03:17 AM
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#14 of 17 Old 03-23-2009, 10:40 AM
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Wow! Congratulations!
Your labor seemed so very very trying. What a great job!!!

aka: wannabeamamamia
SLC vegan mom to 2 boys- &
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#15 of 17 Old 03-23-2009, 04:30 PM
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What a great birth story.......I was on the edge of my seat! Congrats mama!!! :

Angela married to the love of my life Mommy to Summer Hailey and Evan
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#16 of 17 Old 03-24-2009, 02:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much!
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#17 of 17 Old 04-01-2009, 08:06 PM
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What an experience! And what an amazingly strong mom you are!
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