I would say that Levi's story started at 35 weeks. I was sitting on my 4 year old's bed one day (35 weeks exactly) while he was playing. He looked up and said, "Three weeks. The baby is coming in three weeks, Mama." Well, ok then! I laughed about it but kept that date, 11/18, in the back of my mind. My earliest came at 39 weeks, so I wasn't expecting a 38 weeker. At around 35 weeks is when all the pre-labor started for me. I could feel my pelvis loosening up, the BHs increased, and the pressure on my cervix and bladder increased as well.
At 36.5 weeks I came down with the flu. I was pretty sick for a week, and six of those days had a fever. I had no appetite and could barely eat the entire time. It was a bit scary! I stayed in bed and drank water as much as I could. During this week the contractions changed and started to feel less like BHs and more like labor contractions. I had them on and off every day and night. My fever finally broke on Tuesday, 11/15. The contractions were growing stronger each day.
On Thursday 11/17 I saw my chiro in the morning for a quick adjustment and I told her that tomorrow would be the big day according to my son. We laughed and said what if? I spent the rest of the day taking it easy, but mentally I was very restless and felt distant. My husband kept teasing me and saying that the baby probably wouldn't come for another week or two. Hmph, who asked you anyway, lol! My back was tender, as it normally was after an adjustment, and I began feeling some pressure in it as well. That evening the contractions started and were regular and I began feeling pelvic pressure. I checked myself, but there were no cervical changes. I was a little discouraged and told myself that I would be pregnant forever and to just accept it. Haha!
DH and I (sorry TMI) dtd and went to sleep. I slept restlessly and dreamt of strong contractions. I woke up at about 2am and the contractions were no dream. I could no longer lie down through them. I got up and labored and nested and allowed my DH to sleep. At 6:30 I showered and he woke up when I got out. He asked me what was wrong and I told him I was in labor. "Right now?" was his response. (No, tomorrow, hehe.) I called my midwife at 7 and told her I'd call her again in an hour to let her know how I was doing. Things were getting strong at this point and I was effacing nicely (I couldn't quite reach to feel dilation). I called her at 8 and told her to come.
I decided to get in the tub at around 9. We have a big whirlpool/jacuzzi tub with a built in seat and it is perfect for labor and birth.
I think my midwife arrived around 9:30-9:45 (she lives a couple hours away.) She helped me with counter-pressure on my back and would also lift my belly during contractions. It helped a lot. The contractions were coming stronger and faster and I needed to vocalize during them.
I would have a few very close together, a break, and then a monster contraction. I had had no vaginal exams yet per my wish. I had a contraction that felt 'different', like the head was moving down, and she checked me. "It won't be long at all, there's a slight rim of cervix and the head is moving down." I was so relieved. I had a fear she'd tell me I'm 3cm or something.
I began pushing with the next contraction. I pushed during a couple more and felt his head moving down. I could feel and almost hear bone against bone. I told my midwife that it was an amazing feeling. It hurt a lot to push during the next contraction so my midwife checked me and said there was a taut lip. I waited the next one out and the lip melted away. I began pushing again and started feeling that burn and reached the I-can't-do-it point. My midwife was wonderful, just reassuring me and helping me through the pain. Pushing was very intense and I yelled a lot during it. Vocalizing helps keep me grounded. He crowned, I don't remember how much I pushed during crowning, and my water broke. There was a lot of meconium, but my midwife was not concerned.
One more push and out he came. I quickly felt between his legs as my midwife untangled his cord and felt a little penis! My husband was going to be so excited, he so badly wanted another boy. I pulled him up and my husband asked the big question. It's a boy!! (Just a note, his cord and fingernails were stained yellow from the mec., my midwife said he could have passed it a week or two before birth.)
It took Levi a little bit to breath well and pink up. My midwife and I rubbed him and she suctioned him. At one point she had me blow into his mouth. After 5 minutes he was pinking up nicely and he was calm. He didn't cry much at all, but went to sleep instead. The placenta came easily 10 minutes later. His cord was very thick and strong and he had a big lovely placenta.
Overall, I must say it was my best labor and birth, and my fastest too at 8-9 hours (my others were 12). My midwife was wonderful, she was my rock. And my husband too, of course. I wouldn't do it any other way.
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