We got pregnant with our daughter the first month we were married. After we had her, we started trying to have another baby when she was 1 year old. We had a few miscarriages but mainly were just infertile. We had my husband checked out and his sperm count was perfect, so I knew it was probably my problem. I am obese and have MS. My doctor said he thought it might have to do with my MS but I read up on it and MS has nothing to do with infertility or pregnancy. So it was probably my weight. We had a failed adoption as well.
I finally had myself checked out for PCOS a few years ago, and found out that I do have it. I started to take metformin to help even out my hormones. I started to lose weight once on metformin. After 10 years of trying we figured we just weren't ever going to have another baby. My dad died in December of 2007 and I lost my appetite for much of a year afterward. I lost quite a bit of weight during then. When I missed my period, I decided to take a pregnancy test just so it would be negative and I could move on. It was positive! I was so shocked. We all were!
Much happened between that and this story, including why we chose an unassisted birth, but I don't have the time now to type it out as my son likes to nurse constantly and time on the computer is a luxury.
From 37 weeks onward, I had my husband insert evening primrose oil capsules next to my cervix at night before sleep. Evening primrose oil is supposed to help soften the cervix, so I figured it couldn't hurt. I also wanted him to know the feel of my cervix in case I asked him to check me during labor. We also did a little bit of perineal massage, but I really was not frightened of tearing or of my vagina not being able to stretch as much as it needed to. I listened to the hypnobirthing CD every night and practiced the techniques. My due date of July 28 came and went.
The night of August 2nd, I started having contractions off and on. They would be in a pattern and then fizzle out. The morning of the 3rd I had my husband check me and my cervix had changed. I was about 2 cm dilated, so I knew I was in labor, just a slow labor. My first labor was induced with pitocin and breaking of the water when I was only 1 cm dilated, so this was my first experience with natural labor. All day on the 3rd I had contractions off and on and started having bloody mucous discharge that evening. I contracted through the night.
The morning of the 4th, the contractions started back up in a good pattern. I was 7 days overdue on that day, so we took a 41 week belly picture, I listened to the baby's heartbeat (which was 146 and completely normal), and then we settled in to wait for the birth. I relaxed through the contractions and ate and drank as much as I needed and wanted to. We had some fruit, whole grain crackers and cheese standing by for me to munch on during labor. I had also made a jar of labor-ade that was in the refrigerator and I sipped on that once in a while to keep up my energy.
I labored for several hours in the birthing tub we had bought but then felt the urge to be on dry land, so moved to the bed where I sat with my head against the wall and did relaxation during contractions. Once in a while I would change positions. My husband was with me stroking my arms, hugging me and reassuring me the entire time. My daughter was a large support as well. In the evening we called my friend who had promised to come over to videotape and take pictures for us. I was sure it was going to happen that night. She arrived and started working with the camera while I labored some more in the birthing tub and ate grapes and cheese.
I moaned through some contractions in the birthing tub and finally felt like I really needed to get out again. I got out of the tub and moved around as I felt like doing. Hands and knees, leaning over the birthing ball, sitting in my recliner, sitting on my birthing ball, kneeling on the bed, squatting by my husband's chair with my head in his lap. Things were getting very intense.
During the night, I had several contractions that felt like transition to me. I asked my husband to check me again. He said he couldn't feel much cervix, just the baby's head and the bag of water ballooning out ahead of the head.
I tried to push a couple of times but it hurt to do so and didn't feel "right". I had an instinct that we should try to break my water but my husband couldn't do it. The bag was very thick. I couldn't reach around my belly to do it, so we decided to just wait.
Midnight came and went. It was now August 5th. My daughter's 12th birthday. My friend took pictures of her by the clock at the time of her birth. I was sure the baby would come soon. All through the night I labored. Around 5am, my contractions got more severe and painful. I still didn't have an urge to push. Every 3 minutes I would have a long, agonizing contraction. Again I asked my husband to check me and he said he didn't feel any cervix. But still I had no urge to push and pushing didn't feel right, so we waited. I continued to try to relax through each contraction, telling myself we were right at the end.
After 10 hours of these agonizing, transition-like contractions, I was at the end of my rope. I physically just couldn't do it anymore. My daughter had gone to her bed and fallen asleep after staying up all night long. I was crying through most of the contractions and finally told my husband and friend "If this doesn't happen soon, I need to go to the hospital." They both told me that they had faith in me. I was just in so much pain. I wrote an entry in my diary about feeling ripped apart and being at the end of my rope. I was fantasizing about hospitals and doctors and epidurals. I logically knew I didn't WANT that, but I was feeling so desperate. Finally I had the wisdom to call a friend of mine who is a midwife. I told her (between contractions) what was going on. She asked if my water had broken. She said that we could try breaking my water. She also gave other ideas of things to do, which was just what I needed. Ideas so we could make a decision.
My husband checked me again.. Again he felt no cervix. I was wondering if he was feeling correctly, so I asked my friend if she could check for me. She did and also didn't feel cervix, just the water bag and the baby's head. She asked me gently if I would like to check the baby's heartbeat and I realized that would be a really good idea, so I did. Again it was in the 140s and perfectly normal. I decided at that point that I wanted my husband to try again to break my water. I said "If you can't break my water I need to go to the hospital. This is my last ditch effort" My midwife friend on the phone had told me that most of the time you can grasp the bag between your index and middle finger and break it. My husband told me that he couldn't do that. That the bag was like a thick condom. We had sterile hemostats I had bought and my midwife friend said that we could grasp the bag with the hemostats and pull it to break the water. I prepared myself. My husband was very nervous and my friend was very good emotional support for him. He slowly put his gloved fingers in and slid the hemostat next to them until he could grasp the bag and then he pulled. I felt the water gush out. My friend told me "It is clear!" which was a big relief, because I was worried about meconium since he was 8 days overdue at that point.
Again I wanted to listen to the heartbeat because I was so scared that the water wouldn't be cushioning him anymore and he might go into distress. His heartbeat was fine. I suddenly had a MASSIVE urge to push. I tried pushing while kneeling on the bed like I had envisioned during pregnancy. That didn't feel right. The bed was too soft. I needed the solid ground under me. I jumped off the bed and told them I needed the ground. My husband and friend put a blanket on the ground with some of the absorbent pads on it. My birthing ball was right there too. I started pushing on my hands and knees and knew it would happen very fast. I told them "Go get Hannah. Go get Hannah."
I pushed and pushed. My pelvis was in so much pain but I couldn't stop pushing. I only pushed for about 10 minutes. I knew my friend had started the videotaping and was glad because I wanted the birth on video. I remember saying "Kirk, catch him" several times and Kirk saying "I am right here". I felt the baby's head come out and knew he would be there soon. I heard my friend saying "He is coming!" and then I pushed again. The rest of him came out and I heard my husband start to softly cry. I heard the baby sneeze and then whimper a little, but still I asked if he was breathing. It took a minute or so before I could turn around and hold my baby. There he was! My little boy that I had waited on for 11 long years! 10 years of infertility and then a surprise pregnancy and he was finally there! Such relief. I sucked a glob of mucous out of his mouth with the bulb syringe, and we put on a hat and blanket. I was so happy and SO relieved that I didn't have to transfer to the hospital.
The placenta came out about 5 minutes after I had the baby. I put it in a bowl and then stood up. I bled probably about 2-3 cups altogether between normal bleeding and the clots. At one point I was a little nervous about my bleeding so I took some shepherds purse tincture and had my husband cut a chunk off the placenta, which I ate raw. The bleeding slowed immensely after that. I showered off quickly, put on my maternity pads and panties and sat in my recliner to nurse my new son with my husband, daughter, and friend all around me.
Angela , married for 14 1/2 years to DH, mother to DD 8-5-97, DS 8-5-09 , and SURPRISE!!! due 2-17-12
Congrats again on your long-awaited little Henry!
Mommy to Kai 2/03, Caden 1/08, Kara 10/09, 3/21/13, &
Cole 2/3/14 ♡ Happily unmarried to Papa since 2002 ♡
~We may not have it all together ♥ but together we have it all~
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
Laura, mama to Henry 01.28.07
missing Jack, born still in the car 08.23.10 at 36 weeks
Loving on Catherine, my 09.01.11, UC
Angela , married for 14 1/2 years to DH, mother to DD 8-5-97, DS 8-5-09 , and SURPRISE!!! due 2-17-12