Here is Leah's story...
20 ½ inches long
15 ½ inch head
My labor began at 6pm on April 19. I started having contractions. They started right off the bat at 5 min apart, lasting about 1 min. After about an hour and a half of them, I called my midwife. Considering this was #4, she said to go ahead and come in. My in laws came over to stay with our kids and we left. My contractions were so intense and right on top of each other that I thought I might not make it to the hospital. We got there a little after 9pm. My doula met us there.
About 30 min after we got there my contractions totally stopped. I walked around for hours. The midwife checked my cervix and it had changed from 3 to 4 to 4 to 5 so at 4:30, she broke my water. Things progressed pretty well. I walked and sat on the birth ball. It was so nice because I was not lying in the bed. I was eating and drinking and doing my own thing. I wasn’t continuously monitored. My doula was wonderful. She did massages and really kept me and my husband focused.
About 9:30 am I got into the birth tub. My contractions really took off. They started coming right on top of each other and pretty soon I was pushing. I was in a lot of pain and I was so hot. My midwife came in and just sat and helped me through pushing. Then the other midwife came in as well. She was actually not on call but b/c I wanted a water birth and she was more seasoned with water births and big babies, she came too. She could tell instantly that I was way too hot. So she had me get out of the tub. By that point, I was so hot I could hardly move. The pain was incredible.
I got onto the bed and cooled off and things moved quite nicely. They put up a mirror so I could see the baby. Once they did that I really connected and was able to push effectively. She had mild shoulder dystocia but she came out relatively well. I pushed slowly at the end b/c I knew I would be less likely to tear. And the midwife did perineal message.
Leah was born at 11:55am. No one announced the sex, which is what I wanted. I looked in the mirror and couldn’t believe she was a girl. They placed her on my belly and she instantly wanted to nurse. The cord stayed connected until it stopped pulsating. All of her suctioning was done right on me. The brought the scale in and weighed her and I was shocked that I was able to deliver with no pain medications. She stayed in the room with us for an hour and half. The nurses all left and just let us enjoy our baby. After that my husband went with her to the nursery.
It was a wonderful birth experience. I wanted as little intervention as possible and that is exactly what we got.