Born at home 2-19 at 9:06 am. So here's the rather long story -
I had started losing my plug Friday and felt just really heavy in the pelvic region all day. Everything I ate was going right through me. So I figured things were finally starting to happen. Had a few occasional stronger BH, but no real contractions. I went ahead and gave my midwife Tara a heads up, figuring it would be sometime during the weekend, and also texted Michelle (friend and midwife) who was going to assist, to make sure she was still available. Friday night, I would have a real contraction wake me up about once an hour, and then I'd go back to sleep. Saturday, more plug, more mucus, extremely random and totally not timeable real contractions, so I cleaned, ran to the store, kept busy. Updated Tara, gave a heads up to a couple of other people and told them to expect me to be calling in the next day or so. Finally Saturday night close to midnight, they started coming every 10-12 minutes or so, lasting over a minute each...and started to get pretty intense over the next couple of hours to the point where I couldn't lie down with them, but still coming only every 10 minutes. Great...figured I was in for a long haul at that rate. Got up onto my ball where they were more bearable and tried to doze between them. They would get to about 6-8 minutes apart, still lasting 60-90 seconds and strong/painful, but no closer together. Around 4:30 am, I decided to get back in bed because I was exhausted, and figured, what the heck, if they space back out, at least I'll have more time to sleep. So, they spaced back out to 10-12 minutes, but still lasting 60-90, and getting STRONGER. Starting to wonder why I was having a home birth, LOL. I was also having to really start to vocalize through them, which I really never had to do with my other labors. Tara texted me at just before 7 am wanting to know how I was doing, and I was disappointed to tell her that while they were really really intense and lasting 60-90 seconds, they weren't very consistent in a pattern, and they were 10 minutes or so apart, although I would occasionally have one anywhere from 4-7 minutes thrown in there. Very random, and not like any of my other labors. She told me to try to rest, and maybe a walk in a bit would help get them more regular, and to let her know when I wanted her to come (I was also GBS + and we were going to wait till they were 4-5 minutes apart and then she'd come and start the antibiotics, figuring that would give us plenty of time). So then I decided I wanted to take a shower, see if that would at least take the edge off of these contractions, and wondering how much more of these I'd have to endure and wishing they'd form a real pattern so we could get this show on the road. In the shower, they started coming around every 3 minutes, and when I got out I texted her to tell her we should probably go ahead and have her come to get the antibiotics going sooner rather than later. I also texted Michelle so she could get on the road as she lives about an hour and a half away. Then once again, they spaced back out to about every 4-6 minutes, and I thought, great, I hope I didn't call in the troops too early. So Tom and I decided then to start getting the birth pool inflated (I was REALLY wanting to get in even if only to tone down the intensity, thinking I still had a while to go), and then the chaos started. My 4 boys were all waking up, the 2 year old wanting me to hold him, the 9 year old asking what we were doing, why, etc, etc., the contractions getting closer together again. Tom went to attach the hose to the faucet only to discover we didn't have the right attachment and no way to fill the pool - NOT what I wanted to hear! I could see my dreams for this birth being flushed down the toilet. So I decided my bath tub would have to do, so I went about attempting to clean between these incredibly intense contractions, and crying at the same time, feeling so overwhelmed and stressed at that moment. Tom finally told me to stop, that he would hold the hose to the faucet in the shower (getting himself drenched at the same time) and I would put the other end in the pool and we would fill it that way. Okay, plan. In the meantime, still these monster contractions coming now every 2.5-3.5 minutes, making me get down on the floor to work through them, moaning and crying and saying no no no, wishing for a break, and beginning to think I was farther into this than I thought I was, LOL. Texted SIL to get her butt over here to help with the kids, got Tom to call my mom. Went about filling the pool, and after about 45 seconds Tom said, is it getting pretty full? (And I'm looking into the pool thinking, at this rate it'll be lunch time before this thing is full!). All of a sudden, another contraction hit and I was bearing down, didn't have a choice. I yelled to Tom to turn off the water as this baby was coming NOW! He came over to me, I was on hands and knees on the floor and he said, what should I do? I said, HELP ME, LOL! He said, let's get you on the bed, and I said, I don't know that I can do that. Somehow he managed to get me on my feet, and I pulled off my skirt and undies, and got onto the bed on hands and knees. I had the presence of mind to drag a blanket underneath me (I had made the bed a bit earlier, and really didn't want anything on the comforter that we had JUST had professionally cleaned a week prior!) and was pushing again. I felt the pressure, the ring of fire started, and my water broke. I reached down and the best I could supported my skin and her crowning head, and Tom said, what should I do? I said, get ready to catch! Her head came out, and I told Tom, I need to know the time, we need to be watching the time!...Poor thing, he's then trying to find my phone and asking me where it is, like I could even tell him at that point (didn't end up finding the phone till after she was out). Then I felt her rotate, and then another contraction and push, and out she came, onto the bed beneath me (Tom apparently tried to catch her, but she was so slippery he kind of more, "guided" her to the bed...he tells people he "fumbled" LOL). So then he's asking, is she okay? Is she okay? I said, get me a blanket or towel, I need to dry her off. He's frantically looking for a towel (completely not seeing the basket I had about 3 feet away with blankets and towels) and handed me a huge blanket I had been using earlier when I was chilly. Well, that'll work. So he found the phone and called the Tara while I dried her off. She started crying while I was drying her, she was doing fine. Tara got here about 5 minutes after she was born, LOL. So she came in, and Tom went to call everyone who was on their way to let them know she had already been born (most thought he was totally kidding and didn't believe him at first). Tara and I got her cord clamped and cut after it stopped pulsing, and the placenta came about 55 minutes later, although that time went by really fast. Got settled, ate a yummy sub from publix my MIL brought me, and I got to do her newborn exam :) Needless to say, I was totally not expecting the birth to end up like that! My other labors have all lasted around 18+ hours from first timeable contraction to birth, and have all progressed at a normal rate as far as the intervals between contractions getting closer together and the contractions themselves lasting longer...so this one was very very different for me. Obviously those 60-90 second intense contractions, even though they were far apart, were totally dilating getting stuff done. At least since they were that intense from the get go, I was really lucky that they were that far apart, giving me a nice break, at least until the very last hour and a half. Anyway, we are doing really good, she is nursing well, my after pains aren't anywhere near as bad as I thought they were going to be, bleeding is at a minimum. Oh, and no stitches needed! So, while not the birth I had been planning and envisioning, it was still one heck of an experience, and ended with our sweet baby girl being here with us now :)
Married to Tom since 2001, mom to 4 boys and our first girl born Feb. 19, 2012!
Florida licensed midwife and CPM lovinghandsmidwifery.org