The birth story: I had been having cramping on and off for a week or more, but the pains that woke me at 4am the morning of Jonah's birthday were very obviously contractions; I remembered the feeling once they started. Different from the cramping in that they have definite beginnings and endings that grab your attention. They came steadily every six or seven minutes for three hours, but kind of stopped once I got up for the day and started to really time them. Naturally. But they kept coming and going, so I was pretty sure I'd be meeting my little one soon.
In the afternoon, I sent my mom and DS out to the store to pick up some snacks and stuff for birth attendants while I did some dishes and put together a shepherds pie. By the time that was done, near 3pm, contractions were regular and getting intense. I helped my husband fill the birth pool and made the bed up to get ready, then paged my midwife at 3:30 or so. We had been timing the contractions (my praises to contractionmaster.com -- awesome idea!) and they were now five or six minutes apart and getting closer. The midwife called me back with the bad news that she was on her way to attend another birth (first come, first served, and as it turned out there were FIVE babies born to the practice last night!) but would have someone call me. About twenty minutes later, I was contacted by a midwife I hadn't even met. She asked some questions and decided that she better come over. I agreed, as contractions were now about three minutes apart!
I got into the pool after that, at around 4pm, and it was immediately the best idea ever. It felt so good and helped me get through the first while much easier. But contractions quickly got even more intense and close together. By 5pm, they were about a minute apart and I was definitely having to vocalize through them. I tried to remember Ina May's suggestions of low moaning like a cow and blowing out my lips like a horse when exhaling to keep things loose and help open me up. It seemed to work all too well because I started to feel the urge to push quickly and the midwife hadn't arrived yet (she was stuck in rush hour traffic)!
Thankfully, she got there by 5:20pm, and immediately knew she had to rush. She had time to check baby's heartrate once and check me once before everything happened. I was terrified she was going to tell me I wasn't dilated enough yet, but thankfully there was only a tiny bit of cervix left that she pushed back over the baby's head and she gave me the greenlight. And push I did! I tried hard to do it easily and slowly, but my body was pushing with all it's might. And ten short minutes later, he was here! (So much nicer than the hour of not being able to push followed by another hour of pushing with DS#1.) She literally made it just in time.
The placenta came easily about nine minutes after that. And then we got out and moved to the bed. Jonah needed no suctioning or anything else. Apgar score of 9. And I had some tiny tears but nothing that required stitches, unlike my first birth. Yay! Jonah latched onto the breast quickly and seemed to know just what to do. He's beautiful and perfect! The midwife stayed for a couple of hours to finish her paperwork and check-ups on both of us, and make sure all was well, then we tucked into bed with DS#1 to share our first night as a family of four. The end.
Oh, and he was born "in the caul", waters still intact, which I'm told is rare and very good luck.
A couple of pictures:
#1 - Moments after birth in the pool
#2 - Close-up of his face
#3 - Bright-eyed this afternoon
Mommy to Kai 2/03, Caden 1/08, Kara 10/09, 3/21/13, &
Cole 2/3/14 ♡ Happily unmarried to Papa since 2002 ♡
~We may not have it all together ♥ but together we have it all~
Jen-loving Bill, mama to Teryn 18, Kalyn 16, Ricky 13, Natalie 5, Angel Zoe '07 and Amelia Rae 22 mos bonus kids (dss) W 14, W 13 NEW grandbaby due 10/10/11