Hello fellow Mommas!!
I am just getting a quick chance now to let you know that our wee Gretel arrived on Easter Sunday, March 23rd. 7 pounds, 10 ounces. She's in the hotsling right now, so I have hands free.
Labour started with back pain and contractions 4/5 minutes apart at 5:30 AM. Midwife arrived at 11 AM. I was a nice and stretchy 5 cm, paper thin.
BUT: 14 hours of back labour at home lead to some swelling in my cervix in TWO places. We tried a million different positions to get her to turn her head to the right position, but no luck. By 7PM that evening, I had only progressed 1 cm in about three and a half hours of posterior contractionsWe transfered to hospital (still in the care of our midwife, they have access here) just in case I needed intervention.... and with a swelling cervix I was sure I would need it..... and I was dreading it. It was a horribly bumpy ride to the hospital as our city is full of potholes and is shaking off a lingering winter. We got in there, nearly RAN through the ER so nobody breathed on us or messed with us, got up to L&D, got into a gown, on the bed, got blood drawn (planning for an epidural, assuming I was too swollen).
I was SO upset that I was going to get a "hospital birth" full of interventions.... lying there in such pain, with a monitor strapped around my belly, but, really, there was nothing else we could do with this swelling cervix and I was worried about my babe, wondering WHY she couldn't turn for me. Her heart sounds were fine the whole time though.
Just before the guy with the needle showed up, I howled through another body shaking contraction, hanging on to the side of the bed, and realised that I felt... different, like I was fighting something and that I had felt that way for the last four or five contractions.
I told my midwife that I felt like I was fighting an overwhelming urge to push, and she said she'd check me one last time... she laughed at me then, and said "Trin, you're AMAZING, you are fighting an urge to push because, somehow, your cervix has dialated all of the way and your baby's head is right here." I said: "so, can I take all of this crap off of me and jump in that tub????" "You BET MOMMA!!"
We were giddy. I nearly ran into the connected (private) bathroom once DH said the tub had filled enough. I pushed and pushed in there, I got into a really good, hands and knees, legs WIDE apart, leaning over the side of the tub position with DH behind me, putting pressure on my pelvis/lowe back. The Midwife sat in front of me and cheered me on quietly while I growled and roared my way through pushes. I LOVED pushing, even though it was still back labour... I was so excited to meet our baby. I got her down to about 1 cm deep, and she had some heart decelerations... at the same time my back pain evaporated. We got out of the tub and I went to the bed, same position, all fours, leaned over the back of the raised bed (there is ONE good thing about a delivery bed! The back goes up perpendicular to the flat part) After a few good pushes, I felt her start to crown, I put my hand between my legs and felt the top of her head, and I pushed it out... I should have gone slower, I felt myself tear a little, but I was really excited and impatient. After her head, her shoulders quickly followed and her body slipped out. She was born into her Daddy's hands.
We got cleaned up and went home within two hours. I only EVER saw our midwife and her back up partner. No doctors, no needles, no IVs, all natural and the way we wanted it. I am SO THANKFUL that it worked out. I would have liked to have been home when she was delivered, and to be able to put that on our birth announcements since I've been such a strong advocate for midwifery and homebirth.... but there was just no way of knowing if my cervix would de-swell (is that a word??) and she wasn't turning at home.
In the end, I think it was the pothole filled ride to the hospital, leaned over the back seat of my sister's car, that dialated my cervix, and I think it was the wide open position in the birthtub that turned her at the last second.... I and I couldn't get that position at home in our own narrow tub. AND, I know that it was our amazing midwife, who did not leave my side from 11AM to 2:30AM that saved me from a massive amount of interventions. I am so thankful.
My DH was a KNIGHT. He held me up when I needed him to, encouraged me, advocated for me when I couldn't speak very well, and even made an entire Easter Dinner while I walked and laboured around the house! We had ham in the fridge for over a week, and now we have a big pot of pea soup to eat from.
We are very happy that our girl arrived safe and sound, and we had as home-like a hospital birth that can be asked for.
I hope all of you Moms are doing really well. I'm feeling well. She's eating a lot and we haven't had any problems.