On Sunday (the 12th) I tossed and turned all night trying to get comfortable. I was having contractions a lot, but I had been for a couple weeks, so nothing new. I had lost mucus plug for the past few days, so I hoped it would be soon. By 4am Monday (June 13th) I realized I was waking up every few minutes with contractions that hurt very low. I decided to get up and try to find that contraction timer software online. Peter was still asleep, so I snuck out of the room and packed a work lunch for him and then sat at the computer. The contractions were 4 minutes apart, and very regular and long. I was sure it was “the real thing”.
About 5:30 Peter realized I wasn’t in bed and woke up. He figured out pretty quickly what must be going on. We timed contractions again for a little while, then called Molly (our midwife) and my parents to let them know it was definitely starting. I told myself I would have Jet in bed with us that night. Peter fixed me some cheesy toast and we sat down to watch crappy morning TV. At about 7 I felt suddenly sick, and “got rid of” the cheesy toast. After that the contractions were about 3 minutes apart, and very different (more intense, with more of a peak). We moved to our room again where I hung out on the birth ball while reading birth stories online and chatting with Aisling (my bestest friend). During contractions I would lean back on Peter and breathe calmly while he rubbed my face and head (very nice).
I started to get nervous about the midwives making the 1 ½ hour drive to our house, so I asked Peter to call and see if they could come on ahead, and sleep at our house if they needed to (they had been at another birth until late the previous night). I ate some yogurt and crackers. I didn’t wanna throw up again, but I was so hungry. Labor is hard work! Molly got there about noon and I wanted her to check me. I was dilated to about 3, but it was stretchy to a 4, and I was almost completely effaced. The midwife’s apprentices (Cara and Elizabeth) relaxed and napped in shifts while Molly went to a home visit kinda nearby.
Aisling arrived shortly after the midwives. I was so happy to see her! Her and Peter were both with me most of the time from then out (as far as I remember, lol).
While Molly was gone I tried getting comfortable on the recliner in our room with a heat pack on my lower back. It was working ok, but I wanted to see if the tub was any better. The tub was way better, but that was because it slowed my contractions way down. I decided I would rather have the back achiness than slow anything down (I was sooo anxious to meet my baby!). So I got out and got back in the recliner. My parents and Marianne (my 12 year old sister) arrived about 4pm. They brought some good snack foods and stuff with them. I ate a sandwich and enjoyed the company (and the attention) while I rocked on the ball to the music and tried to remember to relax during contractions. Everyone getting silent during contractions and watching me had annoyed me, so I told them they weren’t allowed to do that. Lol. So during contractions I could listen to people talking and stay distracted.
Molly returned about 6pm and my contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart. I told her I wanted her to check me again, and that I wanted to try the tub again. She asked if how dilated I was had any bearing on whether or not I would wanna get in the tub, and I said no. She said, well there ya go, hop in the tub then. I really wanted her to check me though, so she did. I was 6 cm and completely effaced. I was excited. I was gonna have my boy so soon!
I hoped in the tub and at first I thought things might be slowing down, but after “getting rid of” the sandwich I ate, the contractions seemed to get really intense. I was still able to talk ok between them, but during them I was getting really vocal. Lots of “oooooooohs” and “AHHHHHHHS”. I was trying to focus on staying relaxed – relaxing my face and my pelvis and my mouth and my legs. It was really getting to be some work. I was getting annoyed with being talked to or messed with, and I got into a totally ‘this is my thing, I’ll do what I want’ attitude. I wanted peter and Aisling there with me, and we talked quietly in between contractions. I got annoyed with everyone except Peter, Aisling, and my mom, and that’s when I started telling people to shut up and not to touch me. I started making some kinda pushy noises like an “ahhhhhhh eh eh ahhhhh”. I was hoping that meant the pushing was coming soon. I wanted the baby and wanted to be done, but I did not want to push. Molly came and asked me if I thought I was feeling pushy and I think I said no (which was a lie) and told her to shut up again.
After a couple more contractions it became obvious to everyone that I was feeling pushy. I asked molly to check and make sure everything was feeling good if I wanted to push. She said it all looked great. I was all done with the water, but I also didn’t want to move. I was so scared of tearing that I did not want to push at all. I spent every contraction trying to slow down. I could feel the bag of waters bulging when I pushed, and that was encouraging. I gave a couple little pushes at the beginning of each contraction, and then tried to vocalize for the rest of it to keep things moving slowly. I was still not sure if I wanted to birth in the water, and I think I had the midwives convinced we were moving to my room (although when peter asked me, I told him straight out I was not moving anywhere, heh). Marianne came in o watch the birth, but after a loud contraction she went back out to the other room.
My water ‘popped’ during a contraction and I could immediately feel Jet’s fuzzy little head. I wanted to get him out right then! The hardest part of the whole labor/birth was fighting just pushing with all my might to meet my little boy. I was NOT gonna tear though! I kept my hand on his head during every contraction from there on out. I pushed for a couple more contractions with his head coming way down with every little push. I made peter feel his fuzzy head and look to see what color hair he had. I said it felt blonde (it was like fine fuzzy wispy hair). Peter said it looked white. I would push until it started to burn, then I would try to do the floppy lip blowing thing, and little coughs (which turned out sounding like a coughing fit instead, and left me hoarse the next day) but I was doing good! I was stretching well and going as slowly as I needed to. I felt him crowning and coughed as I felt everything stretching. As soon as I realized everything had stretched well and I was not tearing, I kinda gave up. I didn’t push, but I guess I really was working hard to not push up until that point. Molly had just said that he was crowning, when I kinda let out my breath and laid back and he SHOT out! Everyone in the room jumped and there was a scramble to scoop the baby out of the water. He pinked up sooo quickly! He came out of the water SCREAMING with the cord around his neck once. I pulled him up to me while Molly helped with the cord real quick. It was 8:25 pm Aisling and my mom were both crying hard. Mari and my dad peeked in for a second to see the boy. I felt soooo GREAT! I couldn’t believe that was all there was! It seemed so easy. Jet was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. He looked exactly as I imagined him.
We lounged in the tub for a little while and tried to nurse some before the placenta was born. I didn’t wanna get up because it would mean handing him over to someone and I was willing to sit in the tub and wait it out. I couldn’t get comfy sitting up at all though, and finally I gave up and decided to get on the birth stool for a minute to birth the placenta. I wouldn’t hand the baby over though, and I wouldn’t let them cut the cord yet. After I stood up with the baby I handed him to Peter but made him stand right there with me while I got out of the tub and sat on the stool. The placenta plopped out immediately (which Molly promised it would, lol). I said that was it, and Carra said, “Are you sure?” I said, “Unless it was a twin”. Then Peter cut the cord and we went and got in bed.
We snuggled and cuddled and talked with everyone. Molly asked I she could check to see if I tore. I think everyone though with how fast everything had gone that I must have. I knew I hadn’t though. Not a single tear, not even a skid mark. Elizabeth came and showed all of us the placenta and did the little placenta lesson. Everyone came in to see me eat the piece of placenta. It didn’t really have any flavor that I could tell, and the texture was soft and tender like cooked mushrooms. I didn’t have to chew it at all. We put the rest in the food dehydrator to try for capsules later.
Jet and me tried a couple more times to nurse, but it wasn’t working very well. After the room cleared out some we did better, and now 3 days later we are both champions at it. Molly did the newborn exam and I ate another sandwich. Jet weighed 7 pounds 7 oz, was 19 ¾ inches long, with a 13.5-inch head. He has Light blonde/white hair and blue eyes (as far as we can tell). We named him Jet Nicholas Sutherland. Molly put on the birth certificate that I delivered him myself.
I still can’t believe how easy it all was. I feel like I could do it all over again already.
oh, and here's the pics we have up so far http://photos.yahoo.com/aja_belly