2am, Friday, December 8th, 2006 – I hear my son wake up and send DH in to him to settle back down. I roll over and snuggle up next to my daughter to go back to sleep only to be gripped by a strong contraction. Not overly painful, but enough to get my attention. As I’d been having practice contractions for quite some time, I planned on just going to sleep anyhow.
No such luck, as another contraction starts just a couple of minutes later. I get up – go to go pee and get a drink.
By 2:30, there is no ignoring these – so I go and wake my hubby up.
Between 2:30 am and 5:00 am, we time some of the contractions – they are quite strong, enough that I need to breathe through them – and find little to no pattern. From 2 to 5 minutes between, but no longer.
As 5:00 am rolls around and the kids wake up, the contractions space put – going up to 10 minutes between. I alternate between pacing the hall with my daughter shadowing me, and bouncing on my yoga ball.
Somewhere between 6 and 7, the contractions space out even more – I go run a nice warm bath, I’m already exhausted, having only gotten 3 hours sleep the night before. DH calls our doula to put her on alert though – just in case things pick up. I stay in the bath for about a ½ hour – no contractions at all, and I’m feeling very sleepy, so I head off to bed. In bed, I have a few, but am able to work through them and rest some, even if I’m not sleeping.
Get back up around 8:30 or so – contractions are still sporadic and strong, and I’m seeing some of what I can only guess is my plug, but no bloody show yet.
I ½ lay on the couch and literally sleep (snoring!) between contractions for a while, and just kept up with the sporadic contractions for a while. I lost track of time, but know that I did get back into the tub a second time at some point.
Around 11:45 I was nursing Heather down for her nap – laying in her bed with her – she was almost asleep even – when the first “real” contraction hit. By real, I mean the first that hurt a lot. After a couple of those coming close, I had to pee and finally saw some bloody show.
Called my doula and started leaning on my yoga ball while handling (sort of) the contractions – lots of low moaning from me – I am not a quiet labourer. Also got DH to get the pool and start filling it with water – I’m glad we’d already inflated it.
At 12:10, the hose for the pool flew out of the pool, spraying the wall and window with water – you know, you need comedy relief even during labour !
5 minutes later, the fire alarm went off. We live in a high-rise apartment building, and they were doing the monthly test. Thankfully, I didn’t have any contractions during the alarm, as I was trying to comfort Owen, who gets very frightened by the alarm.
It was right then that, our doula arrived. The extra set of hands was great – she really helped to keep the kids occupied, even gave them little “helper” jobs – getting cold washcloths and having them rub my back, and helping me to reassure them that I really was “ok”.
Things really start to run together at this point for me – the contractions are coming about every 2 minutes or less, and are REALLY strong too. DH and our doula were having a hard time getting the pool warm enough – but they eventually did and I got in the water.
It must have been a little after 1pm then, as the doula paged our midwife pretty much as I got in the water.
Being in the water was really helpful to me – it was familiar territory, and the water itself felt good on my skin, cooler and supportive.
The contractions started coming one on top of the other before too long – and my moaning went from low to very high. Not quite screaming, but not far from it.
Around 1:30 or so, my water broke – I asked both DH and the doula several times to confirm that it was clear. They’d both told me it was, but I kept needing the reassurance.
Commence screaming phase – this is likely transition, and the part of labour that I really and truly hate. No break between contractions, the intensity is feeling insurmountable, and I’m begging for someone to make it stop. It doesn’t feel like I can take another moment, but my doula keeps her calm, trying to reassure me that we’re close now, and that I’m doing good. I’m almost sobbing as I tell her that I’m NOT doing well.
I can feel my baby coming down, but can’t feel the head yet – a few more contractions (and screams) and I can’t help but push – SHOVE – to bring this baby down.
We realize now that the midwife hasn’t returned the page, and the doula goes to the phone and pages her a second time.
As she’s on the phone with the paging surface another contraction comes on and I shove for all I’m worth – the baby’s head is there now. One more contraction and I’m hollering across the room that the head is OUT !!
I get a momentary break, a minute maybe, to catch my breath. Then it’s time to get this baby out – I don’t like pushing, and I can’t do slow or small pushes. It’s all or nothing. One contraction, two more huge pushes, and baby is in Daddy’s hands.
Here is the only moment of worry in this birth – I want to see my baby, but DH and our doula are literally pushing my leg down (I was on my hands and knees) so I can’t turn over. I’m fighting them both. Our doula says that the cord is around his neck and I HAVE TO stay still so she can unwrap him !
Okay – staying still, those few seconds felt like forever to me. I couldn’t see my baby – I didn’t hear him either – and I was worried sick.
In just a moment, likely under a minute, I was given the okay to turn over and handed my baby for the first time. He was big, purple, and snuffy. But breathing and absolutely gorgeous.
He was really stuffy – I put him semi-reclining in my arms and rubbed his back – he sneezed and coughed out some mucous then started crying. His little voice sounded like a kitten.
I called my mom, then got out of the pool and onto the couch.
Doula put in a 3rd page to the midwife then, and we eventually did hear back from her that time.
We waited about an hour, maybe an hour and a half, for the placenta to show. Baby Wyatt nursed almost constantly during that time.
The midwife arrived about 2 hours after his birth.
Baby Wyatt made his grand entrance at 1:50pm, weighing in at 9lbs 2oz, and measuring 21 inches long.
He’s nursed like a champ since then.
Canadian mom to Boo (Aug '02), Bug (Aug '04) and Bear (Dec '06).
Jesse (July '09)