I apologize in advance for the length of this.
I have to start my story before my labor day, on Sunday November 15. I was scheduled to work that day and it was my due date. We had an important meeting that evening after my 8 hour shift that I wanted to attend. Throughout my entire pregnancy I told Bear that he could not be born till after that meeting.
I worked about 12 hours that day, but I wasn't bothered by this. By that time I was working the phone and had already wrapped up a big project I had been working on. I went to the meeting and was surprised by a wonderful baby shower my co-workers threw me. It made me cry (pregnant hormones and all!).
So I went home after my long day, knowing that my next scheduled day was Thursday but that I probably wouldn't be working it. I talked to Bear and told him that he could come really soon as I still needed to go shopping with all of the gift cards we got at the baby shower. I went to bed and snuggled with Shane that night.
Next day, Monday, Shane went to work and I spent the day nesting. When he got home I started having some contractions in my back so we decided to go shopping at Babies' R Us. I knew we needed some last minute things and that the walking would be great. While shopping I kept having contractions in my back so Shane would stop and rub it for me. I made a point to enjoy some of the last moments as us being just a couple for quite a long time.
We did have a great time and were able to get everything we needed. Then we went home while my contractions waxed and waned. I continued to have irregular contractions that night and into the next day. I slept fitfully, but truthfully every woman past her due date sleeps abysmally.
Tuesday morning Shane went to work and I stopped having contractions. When Shane came home from work I started contracting again, still in the back. These became more regular as the night progressed. We decided to go get checked out by the midwife, convinced that this was the night we were going to have our son.
On the drive out I sang along with Korn's Unplugged album, which may seem odd but it's calming for me. We pulled up to the birth center, which was down a beautiful tree lined road in a historic district. The birth center itself was a old house turned birth center. Shane and I fell in love with both the drive to the birth center and the center itself over the pregnancy and this time was no different.
When we pulled up a woman I had never met before was waiting in the parking lot. This threw me off my guard. She was pregnant herself and dressed in scrubs. She introduced herself as a Midwife in Training. I had one last contraction in the parking lot with her near by and then we went inside. My midwife was already waiting inside.
After talking for a few minutes my midwife told me she thought my labor had stopped or stalled. I concurred after a few more minutes of no contractions. She told me I could either go walk with Shane around the nearby lake to restart labor or I could try to sleep, waiting for labor to restart on it's own.
Shane and I decided to go home and try to sleep. Wednesday morning Shane went to work, ready to come home if needed. I continued to have very sporadic contractions that entire day. I stayed in bed for the most part, trying to sleep in bits and spurts. Shane came home from work and had to run an errand pretty quickly after coming home. He was gone from about 5pm to 7pm.
When he got back at 7 I started to having some serious back pain. It would come and go every few minutes but felt so different than it had the past few days. I didn't feel any pressure or tightening in my belly so I wasn't convinced this was labor. Shane was playing video games with his buddies online and they kept razing him when I would yell at him to rub my back every few minutes.
Despite the fact that the mysterious pain came pretty rhythmically I was sure this was not labor. I decided to shower in hopes of feeling better, which had helped for every other pregnant symptom I had so far. While in the shower I continued to harass my husband to rub my back every so often. Shane was very interested in knowing when the "contractions" (as he called them then, even though I disagreed) started and stopped so he could time them.
I, on the other hand, didn't think I was in labor. Plus when I was in pain I turned completely inward and didn't feel like talking to anyone. Shane and I bickered back and forth a bit about timing the "contractions". I informed him of them sporadically and really wasn't very good at it. Eventually I told him to go to sleep since he would need it if it was the real thing.
I started to feel constipated and like I had to poop. I got out of the shower and moved to the toilet, pleased to have figured out that I merely had to poop. During these waves of pain I felt the urge to poop so I strained and pushed. It became overwhelming on the toilet so I moved back to the shower, convinced the water would help loosen my bowels and thereby ending the pain.
In the shower I kept following my body's cue to push with every urge. I honestly thought at some point that this must be the biggest sh*t I ever needed to take. I rocked my hips in a circular motion in hopes of helping move my bowels. I continued this till the hot water ran out. Then I decided to move to our chaise lounge and try to rest.
I was unable to rest on the chaise, instead I needed to be in a sort of hands and knees position. I continued to bear down during the pain and during a particularly painful section I heard a pop. I looked down and a second later there was a gush of fluid. My water had broken. It was at that moment I admitted that I was in labor and that this was actually happening.
It was about 2 am when my water broke and by that point I had been in active labor for about 7 hours. I thought immediately that I needed to wake up Shane after my water broke but I had two contractions before I could muster enough energy to move.
I finally woke him up and told him my water broke and that my contractions were fairly close together. We timed a few to around 5 minutes apart so Shane called the birth center. Midwife M. (our favorite) was on duty that night and she told us to come in and get checked.
While Shane was on the phone I decided to hop back into the shower to help with the contractions which continued in my back. Shane ended the phone call and hurriedly collected the remaining things we needed to bring with us. I stayed in the shower despite him trying to get me out numerous times.
When we went to the birth center prior we had left our bags there so there wasn't much for us to bring, but I did not feel like leaving the shower. The contractions were getting closer together and harder to manage. I continued to rock my hips and vocalize during the contractions. I remembered in my birth class hearing that I should keep my sounds low and loose. At one point I thought I sounded like a cow, but it was helping so I continued it.
Shane really wanted to get going but I wouldn't leave the shower. After a while I acquiesced and got dressed in one of my many extra large men's Apple shirts, I think green Apple camp if I recall correctly. We finally got going around 3 am.
As soon as I got in the car I had 0 coping techniques that my brain recognized as available. I felt caged in and the most uncomfortable I had been all evening. I immediately told Shane to talk about anything as I needed his voice to ground and distract me. He asked me what to talk about and I said sports, knowing he would know a ton and I could vaguely follow it.
As I continued to contract and feel a ton of pressure pushing down, he told me all about how the NBA, NFL and other sports were doing. As he was approaching a red light he asked me if he could... And I shouted Yes! Run it! He blared the horn and we gunned it. I hadn't had my eyes open for quite a while, trying to concentrate on dealing with the contractions that were pretty back to back at this point.
I pushed him to keep talking till we eventually arrived at the birth center just before 3:30 am. Midwife M. was there waiting for us, by herself this time. Immediately upon arriving I threw off my clothes. All three of us wanted to know how far along so she checked. We were all shocked when I was 8 cms already! I immediately asked to get in the tub, which wasn't full yet.
It was a jetted birthing tub that was surrounded by beautiful candles, antiques and walls painted with uplifting sayings. Midwife M sat in a rocking chair sagely looking on while Shane kept me cool with a rag. During my contractions I would shift from sitting to hands and knees; sometimes I would moan, low and loud. I read the wall to keep me going.
At one point I felt ill and asked Midwife M if she had a bucket I could use. She went into the other room and retrieved it. When I was done she commented that she doesn't usually have such polite laboring woman. I started feeling a little pushy and hot after that so I got out. Midwife M thought I might like the birth stool so I sat on it. I sat on it unattended briefly while Shane and Midwife M were in the other room.
When she saw how I was sitting on it she laughed since I was backwards. I switched around for a few contractions. My body was telling me to push and I could feel a ton of pressure. Midwife M said that the baby was coming fast and she wanted to try to keep me from tearing. She advised me to get on the bed so she could use counter pressure.
When the contractions came I pushed down, putting my legs against the midwife's shoulders. I could tell we were close but I was sure I had a little while to go yet. I was thirsty so in between a contraction Shane went in the other room to get me a drink. The next contraction hit like a freight train and I pushed hard. Midwife M yelled for Shane to come quick since she could tell the baby was coming fast. Shane ran in and just then our son was born. It was 4:35 am on November 19th 2009.
He had a jet black full head of hair with a huge cone head. We were undecided on first name prior to birth but decided on Declan Mac Millan a few minutes after. He weighed 5lb 11oz 19 inches. (I'm under 5 ft so not surprising.) We were nursing within minutes of his birth.
From start to finish it took about 9 hours, with the true pushing stage lasting about 30 minutes. There were many things about my labor that did not fit my expectations. Given that, it was still perfect for me and I wouldn't have done it any other way! (Except for apparent malpositioning and therefore prodromal labor for 3 days with subsequent horrible back labor) Album
with pics of beautiful baby and birth center.