My lovely baby girl is 2 days old and is sleeping away. Dad and older brother went to run errands - so here is my baby's birth story...
I started early labor on Wednesday evening and felt that the baby might be born Wednesday night or Thursday morning. My husband suggested that we take our 3 1/2 year old son to his parents house and our doula agreed that that was a good idea. Our son is excited to go tell grandma and grandpa that the baby might come tonight!
When we got home I felt that I was having fairly productive contractions from 9-11pm that were strong and close together, but I tried to sleep based on the recommendation of our doula. My husband and I listened to some Hypnobirthing tapes and we were both able to sleep for several hours. I felt that my contractions were much less intense when I laid down, and stronger when I got up to use the bathroom or walked around.
About 4am I had a small gush of fluid and called the doula again. By 5am I felt the contractions much stronger and we called the doula to come to our house and called the midwife. By 6am the contractions were difficult and I had the urge to vomit - I was definately moving into active labor. We headed to the hospital with our doula immediately behind us.
We arrived at the hospital about 6:30 and went to triage where I got an antibiotic, since I had tested positive during my pregnancy for Group B Strep. No internal exam was done. The baby sounded good on the external fetal monitor.
7am - my husband, doula and I went up to the Alternative Birthing Center at the hospital
7:25am - our midwife met us at the ABC
7:50am - I threw up
8am - first internal exam - I was at 5cm, baby anterior, 90% effaced, -1 station
8:25 - I laid on my side to rest and listened to Hypnobirthing and mantra tapes. At one point I fell asleep! My husband and doula said they could hear me snoring... The contractions kept me awake and I did alot of low moaning during contractions, but I did feel that the time passed fairly quickly.
9:43am - spontaneous rupture of membranes - now the contractions came very quickly immediately on top of each other and were difficult for me
9:50am - second internal exam - 6cm, 100% effaced, 0 station
9:59am - third internal exam - 8cm, +1 station
10:05am - I got into the birthing tub, but stayed only a few minutes - the water felt too warm and I had the urge to push that was very difficult to resist - I wanted to be back in the bed
10:15 - last internal exam - complete at 10cm
10:18 - baby's head is crowning - I move from side laying to back laying to push - I hold my husband's hand and push and moan
10:23 - the baby is birthed in two big pushes - her head and left hand with one push and her shoulders and body with the second push
We have a beautiful baby girl - 7 lbs 7 ounces, 19.5 inches long - she has a mass of dark hair and she looks exactly like her older brother at his birth. There are no tears to my perineum (despite her hand at her head) and I had no pain medications.
Our baby girl nurses well within the first few hours of life and she was alert and bright with an intense curious gaze.
I could not have hoped for a better birth experience. It was difficult and intense, but I felt good about every part of the birth. I felt well supported and prepared. The logistics of getting our older child settled and ourselves to the birth center worked without a problem. I felt alot of strong positive energy surrounding the birth and I was ready when labor began. During the birth I was able to maintain an inward focus and was able to stay present to my physical and emotional experiences. The whole birth team - my husband, the doula, the midwife and the labor and delivery nurse - were all wonderful.
A friend had e-mailed me on Wednesday night to remind me that 300,000 other women would be birthing at the same time as me, and that image helped sustain me during my labor. I felt so grateful to have all of the love and support that I had, and at the same time I felt grief about the pain of childbirth and sad for the women in the world without the support that I had at that moment. All of the beauty and pain in the world seemed mixed up and connected during my labor.
The transition from 6cm to the birth of our baby girl was 40 minutes. That was definately the most intensely painful and empowering 40 minutes of my life. I'm proud of myself and my body. I'm proud of my husband and his love and support. And I'm proud of my baby girl and grateful for her spirit and her new life.
We are deeply blessed by each other.