As 39 weeks approached, I started feeling small changes, lots of cervical stuff. I was increasingly uncomfortable at night, when baby would wake up and squirm on my cervix. During the days was okay, just standard huge pregnant lady complaints. The interesting thing though is that my hip/crotch pain that I’d had for the last few months went away during the last week, so it was really nice to be able to roll over (relatively) easily in bed. I was afraid to go too far from home with my last labor being only 2 hours I was really nervous about being caught out. And dh kept canceling massage appointments that were “too far away” lest he get caught away from home again. I had strict instructions to call him as soon as I felt ANYTHING =)
So, as 39 weeks came and went I was READY. On Saturday, April 8, dh and I decided to try sex (it’s been a couple weeks) to see if it did anything. It was more funny than anything. Lots of “ow, quit it” (if you’re familiar with the Simpsons) But I had off and on contractions for the rest of day, and a few on Sunday. I was kind of hoping for contractions to be a little easier in the beginning and slowly ramp up, since they were so overwhelming last time.
It was the day before I hit 40 weeks and I was getting used to the fact that I was actually going to go “over” this time. Dh had a day full of appointments so he was running all over town and wasn’t going to be home until around 5, then he was going to have to turn around after dinner and head out to teach a yoga class. I waddled around the house all day half-heartedly doing this and that. I never really got much of a nesting urge this time. I was grumpy because there wasn’t anything in the kitchen that I really wanted to eat. The boys and I finally got comfy on the couch and Alder watched Ice Age while Banyan and I took a nap. It’s really sweet to me that we got that last nap in together with Banyan still being “the baby”
When I woke up about 4:15, 4:30 Alder and I went outside to play while Banyan was still napping. I was talking to my neighbor about nothing really happening yet and I started having a few contractions. These actually were a little painful! But there was plenty of time between them, so I didn’t think much about it. Then Dh came home while I was outside and I told him I had a couple contractions, and ooooooo there’s another! So I looked at the clock thinking I might get an idea how far apart they were. It was 4:45. And then, oooooo, I’ve got to poop! So I headed into my bathroom, and I’m pretty sure my water broke while I was sitting on the toilet, though I thought it was just urine at the time as I didn’t hear or feel the “pop” I’m used to.
Dh went out into the backyard to water which REALLY irritated me. I guess I didn’t get across clearly enough that this was IT. So I was pacing back and forth in the bathroom, already vocalizing with contractions and thinking about getting in the tub, and worrying that it was too soon, and that it might slow things down, and already getting nervous about the upcoming pain and thinking maybe slowing it down is a GOOD idea. =) So dh came in and ran the bath and I got in, and he disappeared again (damn that man) He was concerned about keeping the kids away from me, but I was actually more comfortable with them being close by. So they came in my bedroom and watched taped episodes of blues clues and lazy town while I labored. They’d come in periodically and ask if I was okay, especially Banyan, and it was nice to have that to focus on. Because I knew I really WAS okay and it reminded me that the whole process was very normal.
I timed some contractions and they were about 40 minutes long but definitely had more time in between them than my last labor which was NICE Between 2 minutes and 5 minutes in between.. I was able to “collect myself” between contractions instead of feeling totally out of control. Dh came in finally and stayed with me (he had been off making me tea =) and held my hands during contractions and cleaned up poop. He laughed afterwards and said he was going to starve me for a few days prior to our next baby so there wouldn’t be so much poop! I couldn’t stand the thought of getting out of the tub to make it to the toilet, I knew moving would bring on a contraction and I didn’t want to be standing or half in half out of the tub when it hit. But I finally had to get out so he could clean up the tub He put a blanket in the shower for me and I knelt on that with the hot water on my back while he refilled the tub. It was good to change positions as my right foot had been falling asleep. I was in the shower probably 15 minutes or so when I got back in the tub. It was shortly after that when the contractions changed.
I noticed two distinct kinds of contractions during this labor. The first ones hurt and were long and I guess were getting all the dilating accomplished. And then the second ones started and they were EASY. They didn’t hurt as badly, they were shorter and while I didn’t have an urge to push, there was the distinct feeling of the baby being moved DOWN. I felt inside and the head was about a second knuckle deep. And I guess THAT’S what a cervical lip feels like, LOL. There was a fleshy ridge there which I figured was where the head hadn’t cleared my cervix yet. It was interesting anyway.
I decided to get back in the shower at this point so I could stand for the contractions. I figured gravity would help and if it was anything like Banyan’s birth it wouldn’t be long now! I was so excited at this point to be done with the other contractions, I was downright cheerful. Dh was really excited and kept ducking under me looking for a head, and I kept saying “not yet, honey, almost.” I think he was really nervous about the baby “falling out” If only it were that easy, LOL. So these contractions came about every minute or so, probably a little less, and only lasted about 20 seconds. They started to radiate down from just inside my hip bones down the fronts of my legs, and I found myself involuntarily squatting during them. Then the urge to push kicked in and I got down on my hands and knees and dh must have called the boys over because suddenly they were there. He shut the shower off and I started to feel the burning inside my vagina. I didn’t really have any external “ring of fire” sensation this time. After probably 2 pushes the head was out. Darn it if that baby didn’t stick there like Banyan did! Dh was saying “push her out!” And I’m saying, “no way, I’m waiting for the next contraction.” So, it was only three pushes for her to be born. Dh said she was trying to open her eyes as soon as her head was out.
The cord was short, like always, making it difficult to maneuver. We managed to get back into the tub to keep warm while dh ran around getting the scissors and finding something to tie off the cord, get towels, diapers. So much for being prepared! My stuff which I had collected in a lovely basket right there in the bathroom when I was 28 weeks had managed to migrate throughout the house by the time the birth rolled around.
We were in the tub probably 20 minutes, when we cut the cord. It had stopped pulsing, and I handed her off to dh and climbed out of the tub to push out the placenta. It came out easily enough, but I guess the membranes got hung up because they ripped off, and the placenta was “open” if that makes sense, instead of being contained in the membrane, like it always has been before. I had some membranes hanging which irked me, but I just let it be as I wasn’t heavily bleeding and I figured they’d come out on their own. Most of it came out later that night. All in all, a little under 3 hours, it was a really simple birth.
At 4 days pp, I’m passing bits here and there, so it’s working itself out. I feel pretty good, no tears or burning when I pee (YAY) Just some swelling. Cedar is a dear, she looks just like Alder with a cloud of dark hair. She weighed 7lbs 12oz and is nursing and sleeping well. I think we’ll have a navel tomorrow sometime. The adjustment to three is happening =) The kids are taking it well. I still prefer to have dh here. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed when left alone with them =)
Kat- mama to 6 little trees