Well, our beautiful baby boy Ezra Lael was born almost two weeks ago at home with our midwife and I finally have some uninterrupted time to post his birth story.
It was a strange kind of labor in that my water broke around 1am Thursday morning, but I didn't actually go into labor untill 22 hours later for 5 1/2 hours and then everything came to a standstill. The contractions were getting progressively stronger and closer together, (10 minutes apart), and then.....further and further apart till almost nothing for ALL of Friday. This is my 3rd child so I was kind of expecting him to just slip out, ( :LOL ). I am wondering if I had some sudden fear of the contractions getting stronger and closer and psychologically stopped the labor. I am not sure about that, because I had NO fear for all the pregnancy and was looking forward to giving birth at home again. I labored all night next to my 2 sweet sleeping dds draped over a large exercise ball, (could not do without it) with a heating pad till early morning.
Anyhow, I was in contact with my midwife, (who incidentally was at another birth because all the homebirth mammas in the area were going into labor because of the full moon). Friday morning she came over to talk to try to work out what was going on. She gave me homeopathic aconite for fear and she suggested herbs. So I took a mega doses of the concoction of motherwort, blue chohosh and something else that tasted DISGUSTING every half hour for 4 hours, but NOTHING! The midwives suspected that when my hyped up dds were in bed things would kick in. By the late afternoon, we decided to call in an accupuncturist. She gave me the works at 3.30pm Friday afternoon and within an hour of her leaving labor started up again at 5.50pm. By this time, my mw and assistant were at the hospital with their other client who wanted to be transferred, but they checked in with me periodically.
At 9pm the contractions started coming every 5-8 minutes apart and I knew that labor was really kicking in at last and there would be no turning back this time and I felt ready. I was sick of gazing longily at the steaming hot tub but not being able to get in yet. My midwives checked me and I was almost 5cm dilated at 10pm. We decided that I should wait for another hour or so to really be sure that labor was progressing before I got in the tub. by this time I was laboring over the ball and the gliding footstool which really helped.
At 11pm I entered the tub and felt instantaneously relieved. Water was so soothing to me in my last labor that it was wonderful to be able to be submerged in water again, and this time with candles lit and all secluded by the bamboo shades that my dh had fixed up for me. It was my own little birthing cave. Soon after my second dd awoke crying and really needing me, but I was in the throws of labor and could not be there for her. My dh did his best with her and fed her ice-cream at midnight :LOL and lay down with her upstairs whilst my first dd woke up crying also. I was too far gone to be concerned.
My midwife and her assistant were SO great. Supportive and nurturing and all that I could have wished for. At one point around 2am after I had thrown up and emptied myself of everything, (if you get my drift), I just didn't know what to do with myself. I had wandered upstairs and seen my dds and dh sleeping soundly and felt so envious, (I had not slept in 3 nights by this time and just wanted to rest without being in a lying down position when a contraction came on). The assistant fixed me up pillows on the bed and suggested that I try to rest in between contractions. I had read about women who managed to sleep in between contractions and I could never imagine it, but lo and behold that is what I did too!!!!!!!!!! It felt great and gave me an extra kick of energy before the end.
The last hour was particulalry difficult for me. I had been coping so well, moving about in the tub, gyrating my hips, going with my body and surrendering, but that last hour I found myself looking up at my mw's and pleading with them to 'help me' for a couple of contractions, of course knowing that there was nothing they could do. They offered words of encouragement and support and I labored on. It was 4am on Saturday morning and my mw made a point of saying that I could have my baby within the hour. Soon thereafter I started pushing, (for me that is always the ardest part). My dds and dh came to join me and I was impressed that the girls didn't bat an eyelid at all my deep groans and moans, and well yells. I reached down and felt soft downy hair and the girls got to touch too, (something they had been looking forward to), and then his head was out in the water just there between my legs. I think I said something along the lines of "Get it out" just before that. Then with the next excruciating PUSH, 22 minutes after beginning pushing, our precious son slithered out into the warm water to be hugged and loved by me my dh, (who was holding me from behind in the water) and our doting dds. My eldest dd got to announce "It's a boy" it was her special job. He was tiny and so delicate weiging 6lbs 15oz and measuring 201/2 '' long.
The hardest part was yet to come. I have always had a hard time delivering the placenta. This time it didn't take SO long but the pain invovled was as bad as labor itself that I found it hard to enjoy my sweet baby on my chest, (we were on the bed by this time to assess the bleeding). My mw was surprised at the amount of pain and sensitivity I had. When the placenta was finally out, the pain went away, (in previous births I have continued with severe labor pains for HOURS after the birth). The good side of this is that my uterus shrinks rapidly and I have next to no afterpains when nursing in the following days. Of course it is ALL worth it. Ezra is now almost 2 weeks old and a champion sleeper and nurser and has consistently been gaining weight, (he never lost any weight). At 10 days old he weighed 7lbs 10 oz!! He is calm and beautiful and is absolutely adored by his 2 sisters!