Allow me to preface Nova's birth story by stating there was no visible clock for 99% of my labor and delivery. I neglected to ask anyone to take notes beforehand, and I don't have the notes my midwife took yet, so most of the story is going to run together without much of a timeline... sorry about that lol
Draven and I woke up Monday morning after getting a pretty good night's sleep for a change. We got up around 10:30am and I made him breakfast. I sat down at the computer to check my email and message boards, and sulked to one of my due date clubs that I was still pregnant. Right after that post I had a contraction. Ten minutes later, another. I really didn't need anything beyond that to know I was in labor... but it was still too early to call anyone to come over. I posted to my diaper sewing board that I was in labor and called my husband to let him know what was going on.
By noon I called everyone, my midwife was on her way as were my husband and my mom. My mother in law and sister in law were put on standby, but were soon called and told to go ahead and come.
We all assumed this would be a very short labor based on my history, and at one point I called my midwife to make sure she was on her way.
Once people started arriving, my labor seemed to slow. Every time I stopped to talk to everyone or got distracted my contractions would stop until it was quiet again. My midwife suggested a walk to Dairy Queen. I didn't quite feel up to walking, so my mom drove... I was, afterall, still pregnant and ice cream sounded pretty darn good.
The trip to Dairy Queen seemed to help, and I was having some nice hard contractions on the way back. Unfortunately, they soon started stalling again. I walked around outside and was generally getting frustrated. The baby was moving really violently the whole labor and was just making me uncomfortable and angry.
At one point I decided to get in the shower away from everyone but DH. In the shower I had a bit of a meltdown and asked DH to tell everyone to go outside or find something to do. I felt like I had an audience and I didn't like it. I kneeled on the bathroom floor with my head on the toilet crying until DH told me everyone had gone outside. They also hung a sheet between the dining room (where the birth tub was) and the rest of the house so I didn't feel so exposed. My contractions had picked up again, so I went ahead and got into the tub.
The baby was still moving like crazy making the contractions less and less bearable. They spaced WAY out but got much more intense. Around quarter after 5 I decided to get out of the tub, and quickly got back in the second I had a contraction. I got out again... I think I ate some soup on the porch. My midwife asked if anything was bothering me or if I was worried about something that could be stalling my labor. I couldn't think of anything... and to be perfectly honest I just wanted to cancel the whole thing, get into bed and cry. My body was trying to tell me something, I just didn't know what.
There was more walking, more being upset... I layed in my bed a few times. I put in a load of laundry.
I got back into the tub at some point. DH had said previously that he didn't want to be in the tub this time, but a really nasty contraction hit and I ordered him into the tub. Smart man didn't argue, just got in.
I started feeling pushy with contractions, and then realized I was going to have to push the baby out. It sounds funny, but that is probably my least favorite part of labor and contrary to what some people say pushing is not a relief and does not feel good.
I couldn't get into a good position, I pushed a bit with contractions. I whined that I couldn't do it, that I didn't want to do it, at some point I think I requested to be knocked out with my cast iron skillet.... if I didn't request it, I sure was thinking it.
At some point my water broke. Then I flipped on to my back in the water and leaned up against my husband. I pushed a bit with a few contractions, terrified to push hard enough to actually get the head out. I knew it wasn't going to be over until I did, so finally I just pushed as hard as I could and tried to ignore (yeah, right) the pain as best I could. I got her head out pretty much in one contraction, and her body in another. My midwife tried to encourage me to catch her or feel her head as it was coming out, but I couldn't do it. I was too focused on pushing and just getting her out so the pain would stop.
At 7:13pm Monday, September 24th, Nova Marie (although she was unnamed at the time) was born. She had a head full of short dark hairs, and looked a lot like her Aunt Lisa and her big brother. I called for everyone to come into the room only to find out that my sister in law had left, and my MIL and son had gone for a walk (but were back already) apparently they came back while I was pushing and I ordered them out, but I don't really recall doing it.
We snuggled with our new baby in the tub for a few, and then got out. I took a quick shower, and we all climbed into bed. Nova latched right on like she'd been doing it forever, and even now at 2.5 days old we still haven't had any sort of issue getting her to latch unless she's screaming.
While examining the cord and placenta my midwife pinpointed what was likely causing my labor to stall, and Nova's violent activity during labor. Apparently she had quite a short umbilical cord and was likely trying to get herself into a good, safe position to come out in. My placenta was kind of strangely built and was heart shaped, but neither seemed to cause any problems, or mean anything as far as Nova and her heath goes. We decided to keep the placenta and plan to bury it under a tree in our yard.
After an hour or two, my midwife came into the room to do Nova's weight and measurements. We all went around the room and guessed. Guesses ranged from 6lbs to 7lbs, and we were all (well, except for the midwife!) shocked to see that she was 8lbs 3oz. That's almost a pound bigger than my son!
All in all, it was a great birth, and I would do it all over again in a heart beat. I can't imagine doing it any other way. It was a much more challenging labor than Draven's was, but getting her out (once I came to terms that I was going to be pushing her out, that is) was much smoother.
Now, Thursday, we are starting to get into a routine. Nova is much more demanding than her big brother was as a baby. If she wants something she wants it 15 minutes ago, and she lets you hear about it! We are running on little sleep, and I'm not quite sure how I'm going to manage waking with two kids in the middle of the night, but I'm sure everything will fall into place quickly.
Dawn, mama to D (3.06) & N (9.07) C (11.09) & Still-in-shock surprise due in Aug!