Well she's finally here, and in typical Crowley fashion she made it just in time for the party. Willow Rose was born on Cinco de Mayo at 12:08 am weighing in at 7 lbs 14 oz and 21 inches long. She's got lots of dirty blonde hair and chubby cheeks.
Her birth story is really kind of funny. I almost didn't make it to the birthing center because I didn't think I was in labor.
Let's rewind to Tuesday, though. Tuesday morning I woke up with what for the first time distinctly felt like contractions. They were only 15 seconds long, but they were definitely contractions and not braxton hicks. This continued very irregularly throughout the day. We picked up my mom from the bus station 5 pm that evening and got her settled in. That night I went to bed and the contractions picked up in frequency and intensity. They were ranging from 5 - 10 minutes apart and lasting about 1 min - 1 min 20 seconds each. No real pattern developed and I realized that if this was "it" I needed to try and get some sleep, so I headed to bed it was 12:30 am. At 3:30 am an "oh sh*t" contraction woke me from my sleep and they were coming 12 - 7 minutes apart and I was having to breathe through them. I took a hot bath at 8:00 am and they backed off to every 20 minutes or so.
Wednesday I was craving pancakes so we headed out to breakfast. I was still having contractions about every 20 minutes, but they were manageable. I was able to carry on my normal routine. Around lunch time I went to the bathroom and noticed I had some bloody show. I had a midwife appointment at 3:00 pm so I was excited to find out if I was progressing. When I got there I was 3 cm dilated and 85% effaced, baby's head was low and things were looking good.
Shawn had his last night of league bowling so we headed to the bowling center. I continued to have contractions every 15 minutes or so, some very intense some not so bad. Shawn is pumped, he is excited that his baby girl is going to be coming soon and just happy to be bowling. I'm contracting, but trying not to show it so he doesn't worry about me. He's bowling so well and having such a great time. He strikes in the first 9 frames and I'm getting more and more anxious. He then strikes for the first 2 balls in the 10th and I feel like I might puke - I couldn't watch. He let's go of the last ball and the entire bowling center is cheering. HE GOT IT!! He finally got his 300 game! He turned around and came back towards me and we both broke down and cried. We hugged and kissed and cried like babies. It was one of the most proud moments of my life!
So with all that adrenaline pumping through my system later that night my contractions are picking up to every 5-7 minutes, but they aren't lasting for very long, and there isn't a definite pattern to them. I was surprised that I was feeling them in my back, and the only thing that made me feel better was to be walking around. I called the midwife and she was worried about exhaustion with the lack of sleep I had for the previous two days. She wanted me to take a hot bath, drink a glass of wine and try to get some sleep. I was finally able to fall asleep and they were only coming about every 15 minutes at that point.
Thursday I woke up and the contractions had slacked off to every 30 minutes and then later that day maybe 1 an hour. I did continue to pass bloody show, but other than that not much to speak of. I started to feel constipated and that was making me uncomfortable. All I could think about was "I'd really like to be able to poop right now".
Friday morning and the "constipation" had me miserable. I just want to be able to GO, but I can't. My midwife called to check on me and I was crying (mostly out of frustration) because I started to have muscle spasms because I felt like I needed to go so badly. I couldn't get comfortable and when I would have a spasm I had to jump out of bed and head to the toilet. The midwife suggested milk of magnesia and a suppository. That worked a little, but for the rest of the day on and off I was still having spasms. I got an appointment with my chiro and saw her at 5 pm. My round ligaments were tight so she adjusted me and worked some acupressure points and I was feeling a little better.
Around dinner time the spasms were getting worse and I was spending much of my time in the bathroom. At one point the boys heard me banging on the wall and came in so see what was going on. They called down to Shawn "Mommy is hurting really bad". Shawn came up and he and my mom were trying to get me to go to the hospital. They were afraid that I had a bowl obstruction or something else serious was going on. I knew for sure this wasn't labor because I wasn't having the longer, stronger, more frequent contractions, and the "spasms" were only on one side of my belly and back. My mom insists that if it isn't labor it is something bad going on and we need to go to the hospital. I didn't want to go to the hospital to be treated like a second class citizen for deciding to use a birthing center and a midwife, so I told Shawn to call the midwife instead.
As I am talking to my midwife on the phone explaining to her how much pain this constipation and muscle spasms are causing me a spasms comes and she listens to me breathe and moan through it. She says "Are you in labor?" I say incredulously "I don't know - how am I supposed to know?" She tells me to meet her at the birthing center in 20 minutes and she will check me (this is at 9:20 pm). I have to say that the spasms I was feeling didn't feel anything like a normal contraction. There was no gradual build; there was no feeling of a beginning/middle/end. I figured we would get to the birthing center I would be 5 centimeters and we would be coming home.
The birthing center is 20 minutes away from my house. During the drive there I had 2 "spasms". When I get there I am kind of joking with the midwife about bringing the whole family along with us for this quick check. As the midwife is checking me she exclaims "Amanda! Girl, I can't spread my fingers as far as you are dilated. You are at about 9 1/2 cm." I'm like HOLY CRAP! Yeah, the spasms were hurting, but not LABOR hurting. Not 9 1/2 FREAKIN CM HURTING! I laughed really loud and really long. I couldn't believe it. I thought was this is great - little did I know what was ahead of me.
In my mind pushing was the fun part of giving birth. You have to understand that the last time I pushed I had already been in labor 30 hours – back labor no less. So once I got to the pushing part it actually felt relieving to push. Another thing to keep in mind is that Donovan was face up, so his head never triggered that pushing feeling. My body never took over to push him out; it was directed and deliberate on my part.
After relaxing in the tub for about an hour I felt my water break with a small pop. The next thing I know I am feeling "pushy" and I don't like it one bit! It wasn't what I was expecting. It really HURT! I waited a few contractions out in the tub, but with having to lie back, it was killing my back. I felt like I needed to be upright, so we got out of the tub and headed to the birthing stool. As the contractions took over, and my body started to push, I felt completely overwhelmed by the power and force of it all. It was scary for me to not be in control of what was going on. I know I was fighting it and trying to keep from pushing. At one point I said "I don't want to do this anymore", and tried to get up. Shawn asked me "Where are you going? You can't get out of it now – you HAVE to push" The only way out was going to be to get her out, so I knew that I had to let loose and just go with it. At this point I started to yell, scream and use my voice to reflect everything I was feeling on the inside. I don't think I've ever, in my life, screamed like I did then. As the intensity grew, so did my screams both in volume and in pitch! LOL 30 minutes from the time my water broke, Willow Rose was born into the world at 12:08 am, May 5, 2007.
My first thoughts were "Oh my God, that was so horrible!" but now it doesn't seem nearly as bad. I guess Shawn's dreams for another baby aren't completely dashed.