Early the next morning, I called the MW to let her know what had happened. She asked what my plans for the day were and I told her that DH happened to be off for Election Day, so we would just go about our day. She said that was perfect and that she'd call to check in that evening if she didn't hear from me first. DH & I spent the day cleaning (and voting )--it was amazing how much we got done. I had so much energy and determination, I told DH I almost felt like going for a run . I had the sense that as soon as I was finished with my work, instinct would kick in and my labor would start. I was exactly right. Contractions started to pick up in intensity, so I went into our dark bedroom and listened to a relaxation exercise on the ipod while DH put DS to bed. Then DH & I hung out on the couch for a while, ate a huge bowl of chili, and timed contrax which were coming about 3.5 minutes apart, but not terribly strong. DH set up the tub and we went to bed. I alternated between trying to get some rest and getting up to manage contrax on the birth ball. At 2 am, I knew that this was the real thing. I woke up DH and asked him if he'd fill up the tub. I also called the mw to see if it was OK to get in at this point. She said yes and that she felt it was time to come over. She and her apprentice were there within a 1/2 hour. During the initial commotion of filling up the tub and the MWs setting up their supplies, my contrax got farther apart, but still terribly intense. Then I got in the tub (aaah, amazing) and contrax got even further apart.
Something in me felt like I was avoiding the real work by hanging out in the tub, so I would get out, and would immediately be hit by contractions so strong that I'd be gaspy and nauseous.
During all this, the MWs were amazing. They set up their supplies and just "held space" for me...knitting, reading, napping on the couch...but in no way trying to manage my labor. They just gave me the space to follow my instincts. The main midwife is the absolute epitome of the "experienced, motherly, and silent midwife" Dr. Mardsen Wagner talks about in TBOBB.
By about 8am, I started to feel discouraged and defeated...I had visions of "being stuck," that I was probably only 4cm and that I was wasting everyone's time. At this point, my MW said that she thought it was about time to check me (this was the first and ONLY exam I ever received in her care). To my surprise she told me that I was just about fully dilated and would feel the urge to push my baby out soon. I burst into tears.
Feeling more confident, I took the next round of contractions with good humor, got back into the tub and started to talk to the baby. A good amount of time went by but I never felt an urge to push. My mw asked if I'd like to try the birthing stool. She found that the baby's head wasn't fully rotated and so was getting hung up on a lip of cervix. As I pushed, she manually tried to ease the lip over and rotate the baby's head. I howled and screamed and begged for it to be over. We did this for about 10 pushes until I couldn't take anymore. I got up, moved into a full squat (my mw scrambled to ease the tremendous pressure she could see was being place on my perineum), and pooped...alot . I guess the extra space allowed baby's head to rotate, because he shot forward, but not out. I got really strange and panicky and literally jumped back into the tub. I could feel the top of his head, but I could also feel my skin around him at it's breaking point. For what seemed like forever, I mentally struggled with the fact that I was going to have to go forward, that it was going to hurt like hell, and that I'd tear. I accepted it and pushed. Once the head was out, I felt calm and happy and even said something like, "holy crap, I feel my baby's ears!" A few seconds later, I reached down and scooped up my sweet River who was fittingly born into the water.
PS-I did tear pretty extensively due to a butcher job of a repair by the OB who delivered DS #1 . But all is fine and healing in due time.
Thank you for reading!
Reading your story makes me want to be in labor!
Hope that tear heals well this time for you, sending you happy healing thoughts
P.S. We also have that same nursing pillow and a sheepskin on our bed. Great minds think alike! hehe (isn't the internet fun?)
Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
We Homebirth, Full-term Breastfeeding,
Connection Parenting, Life Learning, our LDS faith.
Becky, sahm to 25/04/2000 Chloe 12/04/2002 Cameron 19/02/2004 Caitlin 28/06/2005 24/07/2006 and Caden 14/03/2008
19.05.2012 18.08.2012 24.05.2013 25.6.2013 04.09.2014
Momma to DD (12/04) and DS (11/09) .
I survived 16 mos! Ask me about breastfeeding a baby with posterior tongue tie, high palate, and weak oral motor skills- whew!