My little guy arrived February 19th, at 40w6d, at 3:56am, measuring 21.75" and weighing 9 lbs. 14oz.
Here is his birth story:
By Tuesday, February 17th, I was starting to feel ready to actually have a baby. Wednesday the 18th had been the date on my mind for months, the date I felt would be Baby Day. My husband and I had been daydreaming that I would start labor late one morning, and deliver later that day. He was hoping for late afternoon; I hoped for early evening. Nothing happened Tuesday. Wednesday, it looked like a day of the same.
By the late afternoon, early evening of the 18th, I had almost given up, but decided to go ahead and take a shower and put on a little make up. Hope springs eternal. I’m not even sure why I had fixated on this day- 40w5d- but I had, and was starting to get antsy.
That evening, just before 11, I noticed some teaser contractions. They were puny, and while I didn’t want to do anything that might stop them, I decided to head to bed. I figured, if they were just teasers, better to stop them before getting anyone excited. If they weren’t, I should get some sleep, so when they were enough to wake me, I would have some sleep under my belt.
I slept fitfully, getting up frequently to pee, and noticing the occasional contraction, but nothing that made me sit up and take notice.
Around 2:10 in the morning of February 19th, I noticed I was waking a bit, more frequently, so decided to time the contractions that I was kind of surprised to still be having. I found a cute little stop watch function on my cell phone, and, while sitting cross-legged on my bed, watching Food Network, timed a few contractions. They weren’t very strong, but were surprisingly regular… about 2.5 minutes between contraction, and the contractions lasted about 40 to 60 seconds. With my daughter, I never fell into a regular pattern. I figured this was a good sign this was definitely labor.
I debated calling anyone. I was handling the contractions really well. In between, I was moving easily. At the very peak of a contraction, I would have to stop doing what I was doing to concentrate on it, but really, it just wasn’t that “bad”. I didn’t think I was necessarily in active labor. Ultimately, at 2-something in the morning, I figured that if *I* were the midwife, I would want the uncertain mom to call me and let me know, so I could at least wake up and be available if it did progress into active labor.
The midwife called me back around 2:30am. I explained what was going on, and that I didn’t know how far into it this was, but I was pretty sure this was labor. I kind of left it up to her as to where to go from there. She said she was going to come on over, and just check and see how things were going.
I woke up my husband and told him I was in labor, not sure if it was nearing the end or still very much at the beginning, but that the midwife was on her way and the doulas would be called next, so he should get up and get dressed. He got up, got dressed, and came out to me blowing through the peak of contractions. In between, I was fine, walking around, getting things organized. He put himself at my disposal, letting me lead how I wanted things to go, moving things where I needed, and putting down a shower curtain on the living room rug and a sheet on the couch. Bbaby, who woke up in the middle of the night, was in the master bedroom, and we wanted to let her sleep for a bit.
I put in calls to three doulas- one friend who had been planning to be my doula since she found out we were trying for a third, another friend who I had asked who said she would be there if she could, and a third who I had hired because my other two have childcare situations that could prove tricky. The first friend’s kids had been very sick, so I was not surprised when I only got her voicemail. The third, I called her multiple times and left voicemail, but did not hear from her until the next day. She is not sure why she didn’t hear the phone. The second, her childcare situation was ideal. We had discussed my big Wednesday plans to have a baby and she said that worked for her, that her ex had the kids Wednesday. She answered her phone, and we talked. I originally thought I would have her come out after the midwife got here and confirmed labor, but not being able to get hold of the other doulas, I asked her if she could come out as soon as she could, so I would definitely have someone here.
I puttered around more, as the contractions became a bit harder to work through. I kept going to the bathroom to pee, and tried to explain to my husband how it felt good to be on the toilet during a contraction, but it was also harder. I finally had a little bloody show. I started to feel like I maybe had to poop. I told my husband- either I have to poop, or I am further than I thought.
Some contractions had me wanting to lean into my husband. I had never done that during labor before, and was kind of surprised at how much it helped. Wished I had tried it before.
Standing on the tile between the couch and the shower curtain-covered rug, I heard and felt a pop and a gush. Ohhhh, I said to Brian, there went my waters. Then I felt a little pushy contraction.
I moved onto the shower curtain, keeping my underwear on. A glance down confirmed the fluid on the floor looked nice and clear. At some point, I had him move one of the kitchen chairs to the shower curtain. I wanted to lean on it, and have the option of sitting on it. We put a chux pad down for me to stand on, and one on the chair. I saw headlights coming up the street, and hurt my husband's feelings a bit, when I said, “Oh, thank god.”
I knew that was the midwife. It was a few minutes on either side of this time when we woke up our videographer, Bbaby. She was psyched, came out with a blanket and sat down as if to watch a show.
The midwife came in and asked how it was going. I told her my water just broke and I had a little pushing contraction. I felt another and told her. She went into higher gear, getting gloved and ready to examine me. I took off my underwear, and tried to sit down to let her check me, but that really killed my tailbone- I couldn’t sit. I apologized, and asked if she could check while I was standing. I think that was when I started to crown, and she confirmed.
That was how I had him- standing. He crowned relatively slowly. At one point, the midwife was behind me, touching Cbaby’s head. I said, “Whatever you are doing, that hurts.” She said she wasn’t touching me, she was touching his head, and that it was completely the crowning. My husband joked, “She was talking to Cbaby.” :snicker I touched his head, too. It was so wrinkled and folded. Each push, for about four pushes, he crowned, then rescinded. My midwife supported my perineum. Once, it felt like he was almost out, then I felt him slip back up. That was WEIRD. I think the 5th push had his head out, and felt like a little tiny popping tear to my periurethral area. Ouch. Nothing that would need stitches.
In came my doula! I welcomed her, saying, “We’ve got baby head out!” She said she had heard, and she came in to start taking pictures.
The midwife asked me to push, to finish delivering him. I protested, saying I wasn’t having any pushing contractions. She again told me to push. I stopped trying to argue, and tried pushing. Having never done coached pushing, I felt kind of like an amateur, not sure what I was doing. I could tell I was doing it wrong, but quickly stumbled through a couple wrong ways and into an effective push. I could hear that he had a nuchal cord, like Gbaby did. I kind of expected that from his 3D ultrasound. It didn’t worry me. She called my husband over as I felt his shoulders, one, then the other, come out. She needed him to help catch (because he was slippery and the nuchal cord). He tried to lift him up to his chest height, and quickly realized that wouldn’t work.
We moved Cbaby around to get him to my arms, and I sat down on the chair. He cried lustily. I cried. He was here, he was so perfect. He was so FAST. And he was SO chubby! He was long, like Gbaby, but a chubby baby, like Bbaby. I was pretty sure he was at least 9 and a half, but didn’t say anything. (The assistant guessed low 9-and-change.)
So much more happened, so quickly after that, but as I type with one hand, using the other to nurse, I find so little of it relevant. Bbaby enjoyed seeing the birth. Gbaby was woken and brought down to meet his brother. Cbaby was born at 3:56, after, per my chart, an hour and 45 minutes of labor. The midwife arrived about 15 minutes before he was born- her assistant arrived a few minutes after. His birth was much easier than Gbaby’s, but near the end, before my water broke, I did get a little panicked. It was otherwise a very peaceful, easy labor. Family was eventually called. Mass email went out. Cbaby was here, all 21.75” and 9lbs 14oz of him, and he was perfect.