Sunday 1/13 was my DS1 Trevor's 5th birthday. My mom and I took him out shopping and pottery painting for the afternoon and I had a ton of very irregular contractions. Nothing new though, since I'd been having them for weeks (although they were more painful than my previous BH's and were similar to the early labor contractions I had during DS2 Riley's pitocin induction.) Apparently they had been doing something, since at my 39w appt. I was 3cm dilated and 50% effaced, with cervix and baby's head very low. We all went to Trevor's favorite spaghetti place for dinner and I kept having contractions. I even walked on the treadmill at home after dinner to try and keep them going. But they had stopped by bedtime and I told DH how discouraged I was, that I worried I'd go all the way to 42 weeks and still have to be induced, and that it felt like my body was never going to get labor going on its own.
I must have believed that, because I took the boys to the zoo after preschool Monday. I had been having the same crampy contractions all day that I'd had the day before. The boys and I got home at 3 and they napped and I had a snack. The contractions felt a bit stronger and had started to get more regular. DH got home at 4:00. By then they were roughly 10 minutes apart, but by 5:00 they were 3-4 minutes apart. By 6:00 they were coming 2-3 minutes apart and I was finally SURE this was it! DH called my friend Jen (my labor support person) at about 6:30 and we left for the hospital. Arrived in triage around 7:00ish and about fell out of my chair when the lady asked why I was there. I was like "Duh lady, can't you see I'm in LABOR?!" Had to answer the 5,000 questions and get checked, monitored etc. That was not fun, being confined to a bed while having contractions. Thankfully it didn't take very long. I was about 4-5 cm then with a bulging bag.
We went to a L&D room and I took a hot shower, then decided to try the spa tub which was down the hall. I made it slowly (!) down the loooong hall, tried the tub, but just couldn't get comfortable. Jen suggested I try my hands and knees, but it just didn't feel right. My impulse when a contraction started was to stand up immediately. Things were really intense by this time and it was about the time I started doubting myself and my ability to do this med-free. I felt like I just couldn't do it. But somehow we made it back to the L&D room (a closer one thankfully) and I decided to labor leaning over the couch. I tried swaying my hips to ease the pain. A few contractions later there was a sudden splash and the membranes ruptured w/ a slight yellowish mec tint. I was checked again and was 9 cm. I think it was close to 9:00 by this time. From there on out things seemed to take FOREVER, although I have been assured they didn't. LOL. My OB arrived and the nurses said I could try pushing when I had the urge. The contractions seemed weirdly spaced out at this point, but I tried pushing through them anyway. I tried squatting to push with DH supporting me from behind, but wound up preferring to lie on my side on the floor. I felt the baby's head still a few inches inside and asked why she was taking so long to come out. For some reason I had expected to go straight from 9cm to crowning. I pushed a few times without much apparent progress, but then suddenly I felt her head move down. Whoa, felt the ring of fire, but then 1 push later she was out! I had a slight tear that is now stitched up. I probably should have waited longer once her head was out, but I just wanted it OVER!
I am so glad it worked out that my friend Jen could make it to the birth. We had worried a bit about timing, since she has 3 young kids including a nursing baby at home. She talked me through it when I just wanted to give up. She and DH took turns rubbing my back, applying cold cloths (since I was so darned HOT) and bringing me water. It was awesome. Even though it was very intense and painful, it was the coolest birth I've ever had. The nurses were awesome and no one pushed ANYTHING on me. I am amazed and so thrilled. I didn't have an IV, monitoring was done intermittently with a doppler, and I never went anywhere near the bed! They didn't even try to get me up there when it was time to push. I was happy on the floor so on the floor they let me stay. They just set up a little "nest" and my OB sat on the couch and caught her! So amazing.
Here are some pics:
Momma to GG (dd - 14 yrs old), Active (ds - 10 yrs old), Toon (dd - 8 years old), Olive (ds - 5 years old), Princess (dd - 4 years old) and Keemo (ds - 24 days old)
Christina, loving being a Mama to three and serving as a Co-Leader of the Holistic Moms Network, Tri-City Area, CA Chapter.
and what a beautiful little girl!!!
many blessings, mama!
river and mountain mama to two amazing girls, 8.25.05 and 1.13.08, and married to my soulmate of 18 yrs