6:45am I was fast asleep and dreaming about somethng birth-related, I honestly don’t remember what. Hub was resetting his alarm for work as he does every morning (he likes to get those 5 extra minutes) and he heard me say aloud, “Something’s happening”. He leaned closer to me and said, “What?” At which point I realized, sort of coming out of my dream state, that I had said aloud that something was happening. And apparently, something WAS.
I’d had irregular contractions before but nothing that made me pay attention until these. These felt…REAL. I woke all the way up and started paying attention to the time. Hub laid next to me as we practically help our breath between each one.
7:05am Contractions were 5-6 minutes apart. Was this it? We called Val, the midwife on call. We asked her, “Is this it? She thought it was but said get yourself ready and cal back if you want me to meet you at the birth center. She would be getting ready herself.
7:10am We called Kym to give her the heads up to maybe be getting ready, and said we would call back when we decided to head for the Birth Center.
7:30am We call the midwife back because if I AM in labor I don’t want to NOT be at the birth center. It feels like IT, so we’re ready to go. She told us that she wondered if she would have had to talk us into it, because she was pretty sure it was Time.
7:35am Call Kym and tell her we’re headed there. Looks like today we’re having a baby! And out the door we go.
Oh! I forgot to mention the eather! It was PERFECT. August, which made me worry about the heat, but no heat! Because it was all overcast and like 70 degrees - so no too bright sunlight, not too hot - it was PERFECT.
Contractions continue regularly during the drive there - ones I cannot talk through. I let Hub know when I CAN talk that I do NOT enjoy laboring in the car. I am restrained! I cannot stand and rock and relieve them in any way - the 20 minute drive there feels like eternity with each ctrx. I probably have 4-5 on the way.
8:00am We arrive at the Birth Center. Val and Brandi (her assistant) are already there, setting everything up for us. Room 3 is all ready. Water in the tub, nice clean white bed complete with Chux pads, a VERY calm and quiet morning. We’re there before the clinic opens for the day, so the four of us are the only ones there.
8:25am Kym arrives at the Birth Center.
She shows me the journal she grabbed (inadvertently) to take down notes. The front of it read: “Great endurance carries me on a long and exciting journey of change. ” Synchronicity, no?
I change into my “laboring outfit” (a loose tank-type nightshirt) and continue to labor throughout the room. I alternate between the toilet (to eliminate) and the bed with a pillow between my legs (to try and rest). I’m still managing to talk between contractions. They are coming about every 5 minutes and are lasting about 45 seconds. About every 5 contractions, I get up to *ahem* eliminate in some way.
9:30am I decide to get into the tub - Val agrees she can check me in there, so it’s no big deal. The last time I was checked was by Ali on Monday, at which point I was 50% effaced and 4 cm dialiated. Contractions have been coming regularly and fairly strong, so we are expecting progress.
9:45am First Mel (the other assistant) checks and she can’t feel the cervix. Then Val checks and she thinks that the cervix is pretty closed. She even goes so far as to say that she might send me out walking around the neighborhood and that this might take awhile. I think to myself that there is no way I’m walking around the neighborhood the way I feel, but I take what she says in stride. She decides that since Ali is there now (time for clinic to start) that she will have her come in and check me, since she was the one who pronounced me efaced and diapated. There is talk about the option of breaking the waters. After the disappointment of thinking you are further away then you thought… the idea is appealing.
9:55am Ali comes in and checks. She has me get out of the tub and move to the bed for better access. I lie down and immediately have another contraction, much stronger than the previous ones. Ali checks after that and thinks I’m 5 to 6 cm. This makes everyone feel better although Val is still in disbelief.
10:00am There is a REALLY strong contraction.
10:01am Ali asks if she can break my waters. I say yes, but after this next contraction.
10:05am Contraction, lasts a full minute.
10:08am Water is broken. Nice clear water. Vernix in the water. Listen to the baby’s heartbeat and everything sounds good. Heart rate is around 120 beats per minute.
10:10am Strong contraction. Much stronger then the others. I start to cry, the pain is so intense. I want to head to the tub.
10:12am Another contraction hits me before I can get to the tub and I need to throw up. Scrambling ensues and a bowl is put before me to throw up into. The pain is so intense I cannot move without help.
10:14am At the tub, another contraction. They are fast and furious now. There isn’t more then 30 seconds of downtime between. I can’t figure out how to get into the tub, because I am fighting the urge to push and am afraid to lift my leg for fear of losing the fight - it all feels too fast. Everyone is like “just lift your leg” but of course, I am focused on weather or not I can get in the tub without pushing so I cannot. Hub helps me and I get into the tub. Kym’s words: “Immediately… she starts to say she needs to rest. She can’t do this.”
I am saying that because I know my body wants to push and I think I haven’t had enough time to be ready to push. It feels so fast, I am afraid it won’t work or something. Val tells me I’m going to meet my baby within minutes, which I know, but it feels too fast. So much faster than with Quinn. Where was Transition? Those three or four contractions? THAT was Transition???
10:15am I’m pushing. What actually happened was that I finally stopped fighting it and just gave in and pushed. The sounds are obvious. (Kym said that. What she means is that I was screaming while I pushed.) I’m on my knees and am rocking back and forth. My head is towards the midwife (front of the tub).
10:16am It burns! It burns! The baby is crowning! Apparently no one but me knows this though because I am facing everyone with my bum behind where no one can see.
10:17am More pushing… Val says I need to tell her when the head is out because she cannot see behind me. Can I turn so she can see? I tell her his head IS out. She says something about letting her know and that she needs to see to catch him and tell her when he is coming out, and at that point I feel him bloop out into the water. I’m not really aware of weather or not anyone realises this but I tell her he is out.
At 10:20am Kiernan Pheonix was born. A beautiful long baby boy weighing 8 lbs 6 oz’s and measuring 22 inches.
he tells me I need to reach down and get him (still no one can see where he is in the water because of my position. I reach down and take him in my hands and Val helps unwrap the cord from his neck so I can pick him up. I cradle him in my arms facing me and greet him. He seems to be staring at me with a look on his face that says, “What just happened there? Where am I?”
I keep telling him, “We did it! You did such a good job! Hi! Welcome to the world!” I am so elated. It was so quick! I cannot believe I am already done pushing and holding him in my arms, I am just stunned, as is, apparently, everyone else in the room.
10:30am Kier nurses and takes to it like a real pro. Seriously, the kid nurses nonstop and really loves it. He basically nurses for the next hour and half. I am ecstatic - I never got to nurse Quinn, his heart wasn’t strong enough. I pumped for him instead, but it is of course not the same. I am going to be able to nurse! It has been my dream.
(I was in the tub for all of this and missed some of it, so this is all Kym’s reporting.)
10:40am Kier’s first poop! Oh yes, tar diapers….
10:50am Dad cuts the cord.
11:00am Placenta is examined. It’s in the shape of a heart. (I do hear them say, “Your placenta is heart-shaped!”)
11:25am Mom gets out of the tub. (Finally, right?)
11:32am Baby is weighed.
12:50pm Mommy pees! Whoot! No cath for me! Of course it took a long time on the toilet with the peri bottle and then finally my getting BACK in the now new and clean water in the tub to make it happen. Bladders tend to beome gun shy after birth. The threat of a catheter was enough to make me make the biggest effort ever. And I was so happy it worked. Yay my body!
1:05pm Mommy exam. Everything looks wonderful with only a very small tear. So tiny, in fact, that it is barely noticable - they were pretty far in there with a flashlight to find that tear. It was probably comic to see, actually - Val and Mel way down looking deep into…Anyway, it seemed a bit funny to me at the time, being examined THAT closely. It was fascinating, really. No sutures necessary.
At some point in there Mel brought over the placenta on a chux pad and proceeded to explain all about it to us, showing us the bag Kier was in, how it has a double membrane (she then pulled them apart to demonstrate), where there were tiny bits of calcification from age (41 weeks!). It was SO neat!
We rested until I felt ready to go - like I could actually manage to go, that is, and around 4:30 or 5pm we finally went home. Came home?
What an amazing day. Truly amazing.
And can I say? The midwives were just spectacular. Just…I couldn’t believe how much I was able to trust them and feel like they were really supporting me and that whatever Val said, I would try and do (unless she asked me to move when there was a head sticking out of my vagina). Everything was so calm and mellow the entire time, it was just amazing. I am so so glad we used the birth center, too - it was the PERFECT environment for labor and delivery. Wow…just…wow.Photos are here