So it was a Monday, and I was 39+2 weeks pregnant. And hating it. My back hurt, my hips hurt, I couldn't sleep, and I was just plain bitchy. I was *so* ready to be done. And wasn't afraid to say it. I had been in a meeting earlier that day with several admin people about a new procedure and had even said I was ready to be done (while my boss was saying "No, no, we need you for at least another week!"
) I was walking to my car after work and met up with a coworker I hadn't seen in a while, so we chit-chatted for a minute and she asked me when I was due. "Saturday, but I could go any time. Like now. Now would be good." And I kid you not, 10 seconds later my water broke. Wasn't sure if that was really it, because it wasn't a gigantic Coneheads-gush, it might have been pee. But as I'm walking the 2 blocks to my car it just kept coming. I could feel it dribbling down my leg. Okay… Luckily I'm a pack-rat and disorganized and still had a pad in my purse, so I was able to stuff that in my pants when I got to my car just to tide me over. Pretty sure it's not pee at this point but still heavily in denial. Swung by daycare to pick up my other 2 kids and made a beeline for home. I called my mom and told her what had happened. "I'm coming over! Someone needs to watch the kids!" Dude, I'm not even sure it's my water, and I'm certainly not contracting, just hold off until I'm actually *in* labor, m'kay? "Oh, okay, fine, but you call me as soon as something happens!" Kay, sure. I called my husband, who gave me the same spiel. Um, honey, you really don't need to leave work yet, especially since you work *2 blocks* from home… "I've got stuff I have to get done before the baby gets here." Okay, fine, whatever! I get home and hightail it up to the bathroom, and yep, it's amniotic fluid. I call my mom back. "I'm coming over!" Once again, not in labor, just stay put until you're summoned. "Oh, fine. But you call me!" Yeah, yeah, yeah. Call my midwife and tell her what happened, but let her know I'm not contracting or anything. She tells me it could be a few hours, so just keep an eye on things and call her when things start up. DH is home by this point and I'm bouncing on my birth ball trying to get things going. A whole lot of nothing is going on, and eventually I send everyone to bed and curl up on the couch. I had a couple of random contractions during the night, a couple of times enough to start timing them, but they always petered out. The next morning (Tuesday) I send the kids to daycare/school and DH to work and hope things start up. My midwife calls back to check on me, and when I tell her I'm still contraction-free she says she's going to head over my way and see if we can't get things going. We spend the day trying pressure points (I swear I'm still bruised!), massage, the breast pump, and herbs (pretty sure I depeleted her supply) to try to get things going. The breast pump would bring on contractions but they'd stop as soon as I'd stop pumping.
4:30 rolls around, 24 hours after my water had broken, and I'm still not in labor. At this point I start asking how long things can go on before we take action (not wanting to utter the words "hospital" or "transfer" in the same sentence). She suggests a dose of castor oil if I think I'm up to it. Hell, if it'll keep me out of the hospital, I'll try it! It really wasn't as bad as I had heard, it just tasted like oil, and I had no problem drinking it straight (with a Coke chaser!). We go back to our pump/pressure/herb routine, and about an hour later I have to take a bathroom break. But that's it. Still no spontaneous contractions or any signs of impending labor. DH comes home from work, and we start talking about when we'll have to transfer. It's dinnertime by now and I'm hungry, so we send DH out to get dinner (buffalo chicken sub from Subway, if you must know - I only planned to eat a few bites and save the rest for after the birth since I didn't want to puke up buffalo sauce later, but couldn't stop eating it and finished the whole thing). While he's gone we decide that if things aren't rocking and rolling by 9, we'll transfer to the hospital. At 7:30 I still wasn't having any contractions so my midwife suggests checking me to see if I'm making any progress at all, so we troop upstairs to the bedroom. By now I'm getting teary because I *do not* want to go to the hospital. I work at the local hospital and know that 2 of the OBs are hostile towards homebirth, and there are only 4, and I really didn't want to deal with that, so we decide if we do transfer we'll go to the next town over. None of us know any of the providers there, but I know they have a midwife on staff so maybe our luck would be better.
She checks me (the first check she's ever done on me through 2 pregnancies and births, TYVM), and at this point I'm a 4. She's surprised I'm that far but I'm not, I'd been having random contractions for weeks and it's my 3rd baby. She leaves to give me a minute to myself, and I proceed to sob onto DH's shoulder. And sob. And sob. Then I need to take a pee break, and I think I have a little contraction while I'm in there. I decide to move back downstairs. After I get downstairs I need another non-pee-bathroom break (IYKWIM). Business done, and on my way back downstairs I *definitely* have a contraction. Like, leaning against the wall kind of contraction. I say "Well, that sucked" and saw my midwife make a note in my chart out of the corner of my eye. Get back into the living room and have *another* contraction. I remember thinking "Man, these feel like transition contractions, but I'm only at 4." My midwife helps me out by giving me some counter-pressure as I'm leaning against the arm of the couch and swaying. Eventually they're so strong that I can't stand and kneel against the arm of the couch and the arm of the recliner. Made a nice little space to put my head. I can feel the baby coming with every contraction and even say so, but am still thinking "This can't be transition, I'm not far enough along!" I'm vocalizing quite loudly through the contractions at this point, and take everyone by surprise when I yell "I'm pushing!" I hear my midwife say "Oh. Oh!" and scramble for some gloves. She tells me that she needs to take off my pants and I tell her "I can't, I can't move!" but she's able to get them off me. I push with the contractions, which is weird to me because I never actively pushed with my last baby. I never understood the "I need to push!" feeling that everyone had talked about, but I do now! I don't remember how many pushes, but he came out pretty easy. At the time it seemed like it hurt more than it did with DS2, and now I know why - darn kid had his hand up by his face! He had it there at the ultrasound, too. He was born at 9:05 p.m. - an hour after I felt my first contraction and 29 1/2 hours after my water broke. My midwife said "I said you needed to be in *labor* by 9, not that you had to have him by then!" I ended up tearing a bit this time, my midwife never said what degree, but it must have been no more than a 1st-degree because it didn't need stitches and never caused me any pain afterwards. *AND* I didn't puke up my sub!
Besides the obvious, so much was different about this labor and birth compared to DS2 - I had no problems being pregnant with DS2, but was miserable with DS3. DS2 was a "textbook" labor pattern, DS3 didn't follow any rules. I never actively pushed with DS2 but *had* to with DS3. After an hour the placenta still hadn't detached with DS2 and she even had to pull a tiny bit to get it to come out, with DS3 it didn't take nearly as long and came out easy-peasy with just a couple of pushes. DS2 was a tiny 5 lb 15 oz, DS3 was 7 lb even. DS2 was mellow, DS3 makes his needs known. I feel like I dodged a bullet this one, and even though we're not planning on #4 at this point I'm scared that if we did I'd end up in the hospital. Like I used up all of my luck with this one. So we're good with 3 for now.
Whew! That was a novel!
ETA: S'pose y'all want stats and a name, huh?Cade Michael
(ignore the date, my camera is messed up)
8/24/10 (I now have June, July, and August babies, in that order