My, I am going to have some serious catching up to do on the Birth Announcements thread! But in the mean time, we have been blessed with the birth of our little girl, Rosemary Joan
Born Friday, 2/15 at 11:55 am
6lb., 9 oz
I'd had I guess early labor signs starting Wednesday evening, the mildest of menstrual-type cramps. These abated Wednesday during the night, but started back up again on Thursday and continued on and off all day, accompanied by increased mucous tinged very faintly with blood. By the time I went to bed Thursday night around 10:30, I was pretty sure baby was coming during the weekend sometime, and did some last-minute packing.
Sure enough, I was woken at 1:58 am by my first real contraction (or at least recognizable one). I wasn't sure at first if it was a contraction, or gas, or constipation, but it definitely had a desired effect of starting to clear out my plumbing! This was followed by another one about 25 minutes later, and then another maybe 20 minutes later. I don't exactly remember, but I believe all of these were accompanied by bloody show.
They say red-heads bleed more; I'm here to tell you it is not a myth!
However - by about 3:30 the contractions were 10 minutes apart, and I put in the first call to the dr's office. She said it was definite early labor, but early labor, and to hang out at home for at least another hour. DH was up with me, helping me manage the contractions. I was on my hands & knees for most of them, knowing also that Baby had a tendency to be ROP and I wanted nothing to do with a sunny-side up delivery! Coincidentally, it was also the most comfortable position.
DH had the brilliant idea for me to kneel on the brand-new, unused memory-foam dogbed that we had just purchased. Very comfortable! By 5am, my contractions were 5 minutes apart. Call #2 to dr. She suggested that we could wait, but I felt that things were progressing fairly quickly, and was concerned that waiting too much longer would make for an uncomfortable car-ride to the hospital (40-minute drive=8 contractions, totally do-able!). We took our time loading up, I did some last attempts at house-cleaning since I knew we had dog-sitters coming over later in the day, and off we went!
I guess I was doing pretty well with the pain, and DH was being a fabulous coach, helping me focus. I was definitely tired on the way to the hospital, and starting to fall asleep between contractions. I could tell they were getting closer together on the drive. Not timing, but they were definitely starting to feel a bit relentless.
Got to the hospital by 7:30 am. We went right into what would be our birthing room, with fabulous views out over the city and the Adirondacks. The nurse who was to be our nurse for the duration was very carefully balancing her observations about where I was at, with trying not to get my hopes up that I was making great progress - because no one knows until they could check me.
Turns out I was 6cm and 90% effaced - whoo hoo! The nurse and the resident who checked me said that I would have a baby during daylight; I said, "by noon?"
It becomes a bit blurry from there. By 10 am, 2nd check, I was 7cm. They were all very encouraging and said that was great progress. I felt a little, "that's it??" I was managing the pain really well - continuing to work on all 4s most of the time. Had spent maybe 15 minutes in the tub, but it wasn't really big enough to maneuver in, plus was hard on my knees. Everyone was very concerned about my arms getting tired, but even now they seem to be fine. Kind of funny.
Anyways, the contractions continued to vary in duration, distance, and intensity, but I knew they were doing their work. The doc who was on call was amazing, and finally around 11 encouraged me to try the tub. I had been having a few contractions periodically that had trouble focusing through, and she really wanted me to keep from going into that panic/pain mode. In fact, she darn-near insisted that I get in the tub, despite my resistance and attachment to being on all fours on the bed.
Into the tub I went, asking her how I would know pushing-time when it came, etc. Water broke with my first contraction in the tub, and by the second one, I was saying, "I have to push. I really, really have to push." She checked and I was more than 9 cm but still with a little anterior lip. At which point, she laughed and said that, ironically, she would recommend back to hands and knees. One more contraction in the tub and I decided I'd rather be on the bed than in the water.
I got out of the tub by 11:30, pushed for 25 minutes, and out came baby! Pushing was, for me, the most rewarding part. What an intense sensation. I had trouble getting my head around it at first, but then remembered what a friend of mine had said - it's like taking the biggest poop of your life. Bingo - and we were off to the races!
We are absolutely in love with our little girl, and enjoying a few days at home by ourselves before the influx of family caregivers.