Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Gainesville, FL
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It all started earlier on November 19th, when I woke up with energy and ready to get things done! I had finished up the laundry and cleaned the LR and decided to go food shopping for Elijah’s upcoming birthday. When we got home from the store we were pretty tired so we took a long nap, which I hadn’t done in weeks! Elijah slept even longer, and I had settled him on the floor in the living room while I was chatting with my daughter Alexis online. I had no clue what was coming next. I got off the computer and went to pick up Elijah because he’d been sleeping for nearly 4 hours. I picked him up and felt a “pop” and immediately said, uh oh. It was about 6:05pm. I put him down and went for the downstairs bathroom and yes, my water had broken and run down one leg. My MIL Amy went and fetched me a towel to put between my legs while I investigated if I should call the midwife. Meanwhile, I cleaned up and called Tom, who didn’t have his cell phone!! Ack!! Luckily he was reached at work and I told him to get home! At this point, I hadn’t had a contraction yet and I really thought it was going to be a while. I called the midwife and told her what had happened and she agreed to check in with me later that night if I did not call her first. I then called my friend Tracey and let her know, and while I was talking to her I felt crampy and then a good contraction came.
From that point on, contractions were around 5-6 minutes apart and moderate. I thought, I can handle this for a while. Tom got home and we had dinner. At dinner I wasn’t terribly hungry but I made myself eat anyway. Sometime around 9 I really wanted to get into the bathtub and just hang out in the water but I was afraid I’d slow the labor. My contractions obliged by suddenly speeding up to 4 minutes apart and reasonably strong. I called the midwife again and let her know and asked if I could get a bath. She said yes and off I went! The bath was heaven, even though I was still having some pretty strong contractions. It seemed to help to be able to really relax between them and not worry when the next one was coming. Tom came and sat with me a while and so did his mom. Eventually I got out and settled on the couch to watch some TV. Our midwife called again around 11 and honestly, even though the contractions were pretty good and coming around 4 minutes apart, I thought it was going to be a long time and thought she and her assistant could probably go to bed. Debbie then said something to the effect of, this could go faster than you think so don’t hesitate to have me come if you need. I mulled that over for the next half hour and had Tom call her and tell her to come. She arrived a little after midnight and the contractions were getting stronger and longer by this time. I was using the birth ball a lot to lean on and rock through the contractions.
Having the midwife and her assistant Terri here was really nice. They weren’t invasive at all, they were just part of things. They never had to check me they just went with how I felt and sounded. Somewhere around 1:30am Nov 20 I got back into the bathtub for a while. The contractions continued to get stronger and stronger. I was having to moan pretty well to them by this time. I got out of the bath and transition hit almost immediately. It took 3 contractions to walk back to my bed!! Now we are talking intense and horrible pain with very little break between. I found myself living for those breaks, as short as they were. Sometimes the breaks lasted more than a minute, thank heavens. I expressed many times that I could NOT do this. Everyone kept saying, oh, but you are doing it and that it was close to the end, because the worst is at the end. Debbie walked over at one point and said, believe me, when you really think you can’t take it anymore, it’s that close. The words helped. It was around 2:45 when she said, oh, this baby will be here before 3:30. I really wanted to believe that. I felt like I had to go to the potty, so we went over to the toilet after the next contraction. After I peed, suddenly the contractions changed from sheer horrific pain to pressure. I pushed a little bit with the contractions. I did this through 2 or 3 when Debbie said come on back to the bed so I can check you. This is the ONLY time she checked and I was actually only 9 centimeters. She moved the last lip of cervix out of the way and then WOW did I have to push.
All I know is it did not take long after that. It was pretty bad burning and pain. I had some of the strangest sensations in my life. I felt at once the smallest speck in the world and the largest being. It was an amazing sort of contraction of power pushing through the pain and pushing the baby out. I could hardly believe it was over as fast as it was. There was my little baby in my arms, pink and perfect and fat. She was making noises and looking around. No drugs, so she was very alert. She was covered in vernix but looked utterly perfect. I had to make sure she was actually a girl. We left her cord attached for quite some time while it pulsated before I passed the placenta. That took several small pushes a little while later. I still can’t believe I pushed such a big girl out with only a superficial tear that didn’t need stitches along my old episiotomies scar. I’m still utterly amazed that I did it. I had a baby without one single intervention, and it was picture perfect. It was exactly the way it was supposed to be. Here I am, less than 36 hours later, tired, sore, but feeling really GOOD.
Within ½ hour of birth, Sophie latched right on and nursed like a champion too. No tongue tie issues like with Elijah.
What an amazing and fulfilling experience! My husband was perfect too. He supported when I needed, backed off when I needed and was never insulted or upset. He wanted to catch Sophie but I needed him by my head so he stayed and watched. Thank heavens for Birthing from Within that taught him what to really expect at a birth!