On Tuesday evening, I had an appointment with Laura the midwife at 7 pm. My mom, Logan and Laurie (my mother-in-law) came along. I was preparing myself for her to say that I hadn't progressed at all, and that I probably wouldn't be having the baby in the near future because I mentally have to do this preparation otherwise I go with too high of hopes. Anyway, she listened to the heartbeat (which sounded wonderful), she weighed me (and I gained so I was worried because she said that a lot of people lose the week they go into labor), and then she checked me. While she was checking me she asked me if "this" hurt, and I said no... she later told me that she was stretching my cervix all over the place, and she also stripped my membranes. I'm under the impression that a normal stipping of membranes is two sweeps, but she made it out to be a lot more than just two when she was showing us what she did. Anyway, she told me again that I'm "so tough" and that, like always, made me embarrassingly happy. Embarrassed because I don't know if she tells all patients that, but happy because I really wasn't lying when I said that I've felt a lot worse things.
Anyway, she told me that I would get a lot of cramping from the stripping of the membranes, and oh, she also said when she pulled her fingers out and there was blood that the blood was a good thing because it meant, gosh, now I don't remember what it meant. Anyway, she said the blood was good... this is important for later in the story. So, back to the lots of cramping... I asked her if I could take some of the PN6 herb thingys if I did get lots of cramping, and she said that as long as I want to be up all night, she's up for it, to go ahead and take them. I left her office thrilled. She said that I was still about 75% effaced, but that it was my whole cervix, not just the bottom half that was soft. She said that last week when she checked me my cervix was a tight 4cm, meaning, it was definitely 4cm, but it couldn't be stretched. At the appt. it was a "very stretchy" 4cm. The head was low, everything seemed great.
Before we even got to Castle Rock, only about 10-15 minutes into our drive home I started getting some back pains... which is pretty normal considering that I had just been checked and even more normal (for me at least) because I had my membranes stripped. I mentioned it to the moms and they acknowledged it and we went on with our conversation. So, this was about 7:45 or 8:00 I think. Mom, Logan and I dropped Laurie off at her house and we went to Taco Time to eat dinner. While at dinner, I mentioned to my mom that I was having a lot of cramping, in my back and in the front like menstrual cramps. She asked me if they were contractions, and I immediately said "No, just pain" and then once I took a minute, I realized that the pain was coming and leaving in waves like contractions. This excited me even more than just the pain, which, I keep calling it pain, but I want to just mention that it was completely bearable. We ate dinner, and I tried talking my mom into taking a walk with me, but she wasn't going for it, so I was a little bummed. We finished dinner and then went back to my house where my moms car was... she left and I looked at my "to do if in labor list" and marked some stuff off... I unlocked the doors, turned on the porch light, emptied the washer and dryer, that kind of stuff. I think I might have did something on my MySpace, and maybe posted some stuff on Mothering, but I don't really recall. I do remember calling Laurie (who was in the room when I was checked and Laura told me when to take the PN6) to ask her if she understood that I was to take them if I was cramping. We agreed that that was what Laura had said, so I took one at 9 o'clock. I then called Josh. I called him to tell him that I thought I just might be in labor, and could he maybe come home a little earlier than he was scheduled... he wasn't going for it until I told him about the appointment and about how I was cramping pretty good, and that they were pretty consistantly 3 minutes apart. He said to call him back at 10ish, and he'd have more news of when he'd be able to come home. I called him at like 9:40 because being alone was just really killing me and I told him that I was going to get gas and then come pick him up. (He had ridden his bike to work, and it would have been an extra 20 minutes without him if I didn't just pick him and the bike up.) On my way to his work, I called Laura to see when we should call. I knew that with first time babies, you call when you can't "walk, talk or breathe through the contraction," but I didn't know if it was the same for second timers... you know, because it's supposed to be faster the second time. She told me the same thing as she did when I was asking this question of her when I was pregnant with Logan, but added, "Just whenever you feel like you need me." Which was funny to me because when I was in labor with Logan I never did feel like I needed her... I was so unsure of being in labor that I didn't even want Josh to call her. (And for those of you who don't know... I was at 8cm when she finally did get to our house) Anyway, I picked up Josh and told him what she said, and that I thought that we should just go by how he felt because I didn't think I had an accurate meter when it came to when she should come. And I never had any contractions with Logan where I truly couldn't walk, talk or breathe so I didn't feel like we could use that either. So, we went to get Logan some "coffee" (hot chocolate) because he'd been asking for it all day long and then went to the grocery store to pick up some orange juice and some toilet paper. We came home and then I think Josh and I played a game of "Hate and Discontent" while Logie watched a movie. Josh won the game... probably the best win he's ever had, and I told him that he couldn't really be that excited since I was maybe in labor, and he pretty much just took advantage of that.
The contractions stayed steady through all of this, but really didn't seem to be progressing... especially not the way that I was hoping for them to. They still were so bearable that I could talk, and walk, and do anything I needed to without even having to concentrate that hard. It was just like menstrual cramps, or maybe diarrhea cramps. I was a little dissapointed. We went for a walk, and I squatted with each contraction, but by the end of the 8 block walk, I was even in a bad mood because they still were so mild. This was not how I wanted my labor to go... I wanted to know that I was in labor, and be thankful for the pains. But since I was dealing with them so easily, I was really afraid I was having another bout of false labor, and it was really pissing me off. We came home and decided to try and lay down. If it was false labor, I might as well go to sleep, and if it wasn't, maybe it would get moving while I was sleeping... or attempting it. I took another PN6 before I laid down. I did fall asleep, for about an hour. I woke up, went pee, and came back to the bed where I laid and timed the contractions. They were still consistantly 3 minutes apart and lasting a minute to a minute and a half. I took this as a good sign, but since I was still able to easily lay in bed, I was aggravated with the lack of pain and intensity. Around 2:10ish Laura called to check on me. She said that she was wondering what was going on since I called her at 10, and so I explained everything to her, and how I was afraid that it wasn't the real thing because they were so easy to deal with and because they weren't building in intensity as fast as I remembered them doing with Logan. She asked if there was much bleeding, and I told her that I was excited because there had been a TON of bloody mucus-looking stuff, which I took as a very good sign. She said to call her if anything changed from what was going on now and I said that I would. I was completely sure that she was at home thinking, "Wow, Melissa is so overreacting, this is nothing, and I can't believe that I woke up to waste my time on her." I was even more aggravated, but the contractions were enough to keep me awake, so I woke Josh and told him that I thought we should start preparing the house just in case. We moved some stuff around so that there would be room for the birthing tub and I made sure that the PN6 was upstairs, along with the camera, new tape for the camcorder, a bottle of water to keep drinking on, etc. I made Josh and I both a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and we decided that things were staying the same enough that we maybe could start filling the birthing tub. We sat on Logans bed while we watched it fill and ate our sandwiches. While Josh did stuff around the house that I couldn't really help with, I laid on Logans bed (he was in our room on one of the recliners sleeping) and watched the tub fill up and timed my contractions. They were getting a bit more painful, but I could still easily walk, talk and breathe through them... very easily, really. I soon realized that my hair was more than driving me crazy, so I called my mom (this was 3:15ish) and told her that I don't know what else she could do to kill time, but I really wanted her to come and braid my hair. (I know, this is completely ridiculous, but I wanted my mom here, and I had a reason for her... even if it was ridiculous and childish, I had a reason.)
At 3:28 Laura called and asked how things were going. I told her that I was pretty sure that I was really in labor, because they had changed a bit, but nothing really too exciting... but I was pretty sure. She said then, "Well good, because I'm parking outside your back door." I totally panicked! I told her that I would be right down to get her, and threw my phone at Josh and told him to hurry up and call my mom, Laura was here and I knew she was here to break my water. I was so upset because I just knew that I wasn't far enough along in labor for her to be here, and that once she was here I would feel like there was a little clock ticking... I didn't want that feeling, and I didn't want her to have to wait all day for something to happen. Too late now though, she was outside my back door. I ran down the stairs, and welcomed into our home... which by the way, was not in the shape that I was wanting it to be when she came. I was planning on coming down to tidy up after the tub was full. While taking her up the stairs I had another contraction, but didn't miss a beat... I walked up the stairs and talked her ear off about how the evening had progressed. (This is the exact reason why I didn't want her to be at the house already... the pains were still so easy to deal with!) She told me that she had come because she was worried about the blood that I talked about, and didn't want to say anything on the phone to worry me. She said that when she talked to me I seemed way too relaxed and she was afraid that we were going to wait too long to call her. (She lives 35 minutes from our house) In my head, I was like, "She's going to be so irritated when she realizes we weren't being too relaxed..." She checked me, and informed me I was at 8 cm! She told me that when I was having the next contraction, she wanted to break my water, was that okay? Josh and I both stalled, and so when I told her I was having one, she did it. Holy cow did that feel good! I don't remember there being such an intense release of pressure when she did it with Logan, but wow, it felt good this time!!! We showed her Lelahs nursery Josh took one last standing picture of me pregnant and then I got into the birthing tub. She broke my water at 3:40 am on July 9th by the way. She had told us that things would progress fast once she did that, so Josh called his mom and sister so they could get moving. I thought that the contractions would get pretty unbearable once she broke my water, which is why I didn't say anything about if I was okay with her breaking my water or not, but they surprisingly weren't bad. I mean, they were a lot more like "real" contractions, but I could still talk through them. I joked with Laurie, Joni, my mom, Josh and Laura through them, I walked to the bathroom through them, I was happy through them. It was really quite amazing. Nothing like my contractions with Logan. What also amazed me was that they spaced out. I thought that once she broke my water they would get closer together, but they actually spaced out to closer to 6 minutes apart instead of the 3 that I had been experiencing all night. Laura laid on the bed while everyone stood around visiting, it was really nice. Soon they started to get more intense, and everyone but Laura and Josh left the room. They still weren't awful, they just took more concentration to get through, and I appreciated the time between them a lot more than I had been up until now. Laurie and my mom wanted coffee, and they realized that we had no creamer, so my mom ran to the store and Laurie and Joni just hung out downstairs. Around 5 o'clock the contractions started getting really intense. I had Josh doing counterpressure on my back (which is what totally saved me with laboring with Logan) and when that didn't cut it I had him do the acupressure thing on the bottom of my foot. I don't know if the acupressure helped or if it was just how easy it was to concentrate on the pressure on my foot, but it helped a ton. I remembered reading in "Spiritual Midwifery" about keeping your eyes open and concentrating on one thing... a lot of the birthing stories in that book talked of concentrating on the same thing every contraction. I didn't do that. I concentrated on something different each one. Some of the things I concentrated on were the latch on the window, the bubbles coming from one of the fish on the pools mouth, a chip in the paint, etc. Random things... it was funny though, I never shared with Josh what I was doing, so he was constantly getting in my line of site. It wasn't a big deal though, I would just find something else. Around 5:45 Laura asked me to push with a contraction... it was awful. It was so awful! I told her I didn't want to do that again, and she told me that I had a lip of cervix that she could easily push out of the way and that the baby was so low, I would have her in no time if I just pushed. I didn't want to though. She said that was fine, and that we could just wait. After a few more contractions she checked me again and said the lip was gone and had me push at her hand... again, I didn't like it. She told us that the babies head was so close that it would be out with two or three contractions and me pushing. This is when we decided to call Laurie, Joni and my mom to come upstairs. They came upstairs and with the next contraction Laura had me push again. This is where reality and what I thought was reality really part ways. I was SURE that she was stretching me to the outer edges of the pool... and I BEGGED her to stop... "PLEASE STOP, IT HURTS SO BAD!!!" Josh just said to her, "Laura???" and Laura said to him, "She's got to push Josh, the head is right there." Apparently Josh thought she was the cause of the absolute torture I was feeling also, but after watching the video she was doing nothing but supporting my perineum and it was the babys head that was causing all the pain. For some reason neither Josh nor I believed her. Anyway, she told us again, after the contraction that it was right there, and told Josh to get into the tub if he was going to catch the baby. I was pretty sure she was lying, but didn't have the energy to question what the hell was going on and mention how utterly miserable I was feeling, and that I felt like there was a giant, 20 lb. watermelon pushing to get out. She told me that I needed to push through the pain and that the baby would come out. I didn't believe her again. (I do need to mention here that I don't understand any of these thoughts. There aren't many people in this world that I respect and admire as much as I do Laura, so it makes absolutely no sense to me...) Josh got in the tub as he was told and I sat through I think two or three contractions. My mom questioned Laura about it, something like, "Is she hiding her contractions again?" and Laura, being the ever-wonderful and patient person she is said to my mom, "No, she's not hiding them, she's just waiting for a strong enough one to push with." In my head I was thinking, "I'm glad she believes that because I'm not pushing ever again!" About then another contraction started and I had no choice... my uterus was pushing even if I had made the decision not to... and it hurt a hell of a lot more to let it push her head against the birth canal while I just sat there than it did when I had something to concentrate on... like pushing. So I pushed. Laura must have known from what I looked like down there because she started showering me with praise and telling me that the head was right there and that it was crowning (????... again, I didn't believe her... it just felt like a whole hell of a lot of pressure to me) and all the sudden, "The head is out!" Holy cow, I couldn't believe it... she told me then to take a deep breath and push again and the body would come... I remember thinking, "A deep breath!?!?... screw that, I'm pushing!" I pushed again, and out came her body. "Oh my God! That feels so good!" is what I said about that, while everyone else was oohing and awing over my beautiful baby girl. I sat there, on my knees, draped over the side of the pool for what felt like forever while I listened to her crying (which I did care about... even if it didn't seem like it after my last outloud comment) and about how she looked... everyone kept talking about her hair and how much there was, I wanted to see her so bad, but I just couldn't move. I was like on sensory overload down there or something. It felt like I sat there just listening for an eternity, but I don't think it was even a minute before they started talking about how to get her around to me. I then decided I didn't want to hold my baby for the first time on my hands and knees, so I started to move to sit on my bottom. She was beautiful! Her head was soooo full of black hair I could hardly believe it, and she was COVERED in vernix. I felt so much more with it then I did with Logan... so much more thankful that she was there, and crying, and that she was letting the world know that she wasn't happy to have joined us.
She was born at 6:10am on July 9, 2008, after I say, three pushes. I don't think the other ones really counted because the three were the only ones that I really gave my all. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing, and while waiting, Lelah didn't miss a second to fill with her loud cries... and Aunt Joni and Grandma Laurie didn't miss a second to fill with pictures. It was wonderful... really really wonderful. Once the cord stopped pulsing, Laura clamped it and Josh cut it... Laura handed her to Josh and started trying to get my placenta to come out... it came out in one push, and again, it felt like such a relief! Soon after the placenta was delivered Laura weighed her and she was 9 lbs! She measured 22 inches long... just like Logan, and she was still crying through all of this.
This is funny to me because she's so mellow now... and Logan was so quiet when he was born, and has since those first moments after birth been one really loud boy.
I have to say that the laboring was easier than I could have ever dreamed of. I really feel that I only labored hard for an hour, and the fact that I pushed her out in three pushes is absolutely amazing to me. I'm not half as sore as I was after Logan, and I didn't pass out even once... compared to the four times I did with Logan. I feel wonderful, she's beautiful, and I'm so happy with everything.http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/i...h_100_2312.jpghttp://i260.photobucket.com/albums/i...h_100_2317.jpghttp://i260.photobucket.com/albums/i...h_IMG_1549.jpghttp://i260.photobucket.com/albums/i...h_IMG_1555.jpghttp://i260.photobucket.com/albums/i...h_IMG_1561.jpg