Born 5/19/10, 4:25pm
7lbs, 10oz 19in.
I really need to start this story at my doctor’s appointment the previous day. I asked for an internal exam to see if there were any signs that labor might be imminent. With my previous pregnancies I was dilated to a three for at least a week before labor started. I almost cried when he told me I was between 1-2 cm dilated and 30% effaced. Then I did go home and cry, thinking I would be miserably pregnant forever. I was seriously pissed off, which strikes me as funny now.
The next morning I woke up when Keith was leaving for work, around 8:00am. When I went to the bathroom to pee it sure seemed like I peed a lot, which was kinda weird because when you’re nine months pregnant your bladder just doesn’t hold that much. As soon as I stood up I felt like I had to go again and it trickled down my leg a little. That was my first clue that my water might have broken. I caught Keith right as he was leaving and told him to hold on for a few minutes, that my water might be leaking. Sure enough a few seconds later it started gushing out. Finally! Today was going to be baby day!! I hadn’t had any contractions at that point so we just hung out around the house for awhile and I packed my hospital bag while Keith made the phone calls.
After a few hours I had a couple of very mild contractions and we decided to head for my mother’s house and hang out there for awhile. She lives closer to the hospital than we do; we live a half hour away from it. At my mom’s house my contractions were still way too mild and too far apart to warrant going to the hospital yet. I called labor and delivery to let them know that I was going to be coming in eventually, but not until I had a clear labor pattern. The nurse told me I had to come in right away because my membranes were ruptured. I argued with her a little bit about not being in labor yet, but finally agreed to go in and get checked after I was done visiting with my mom and sister.
Somewhere around 1:00 we went to the hospital to get assessed. The nurse checked me and said I was dilated between 3-4cm and 80% effaced, which meant I had a long ways to go yet. The contraction monitor was showing mild, irregular contractions coming around 6-10 minutes apart. After a while the intensity of the contractions started to pick up and I finally had to focus on breathing through them. Unfortunately, they were still too far apart to make me think a baby was coming soon. Sometime around 4:00 I told Keith that I was going to go relax in the tub and suggested that he leave for a while to go hang out with our daughter Leela at my mom’s. He was apprehensive about leaving, but I assured him that this baby was not being born any time soon and I still had hours to go. My last contractions before he left had been 16 minutes apart and I was getting concerned that if things didn’t pick up soon that they would want to kick start things with Pitocin.
As soon as Keith left I got in the tub and it was soooo wonderfully relaxing. As I felt my body go limp, I had my first major contraction. Being in the water made it so easy to relax and get through. I was visualizing floating in the ocean with the suns rays warming me when the next contraction came. I rolled over in the tub and let my belly float, which took away the pressure. I noticed that I started to vocalize through it, and thought briefly about getting out and having the nurse check me before I went much farther. As I was turning back over I was hit immediately with another contraction right after the last one and felt pushy with a great deal of pressure. I reached down to feel between my legs and my hand felt the hard surface of my baby’s head crowning. I looked around for the call button to get a nurse and it was on the other side of the bathroom, way out of my reach. Another contraction hit hard and my body started pushing. I applied gentle counter pressure to keep from tearing and out came the baby’s head. In amazement, I felt his head and face in my hands under the water. One more contraction and two pushes later I delivered his shoulders and the rest of his body slid out. I pulled the baby up out of the water to my chest and just stared at him, thinking “Holy shit, did that just really happen?” We got out of the tub and went and laid down in bed where I pressed the call button for the nurse. She came walking in to the room with a smile, asking what she could do for me. The look on her face when she realized I was holding a baby was priceless!
Complete but organized chaos started happening. Nurses came running into the room, doctors, the neonatologist and NICU staff were paged STAT. Apparently it’s frowned upon to birth your own baby at Marquette General, especially in the water. They cut the cord and snatched the baby from my chest while I watched helplessly from the bed, being held hostage by an undelivered placenta. He wasn’t breathing well on his own and needed quite a bit of help to get going. It seemed like an eternity, but about a half hour later he pinked up and started breathing on his own. One of the nurses called Keith for me and let him know that the baby was born. It was only about 40 minutes before hand that he had left after I assured him the baby wouldn’t be born for hours. He was a tad surprised as well, to say the least.
Never in a million years could I have imagined Levi’s birth happening this way. By my estimates, I spent maybe 15 minutes in active labor and 5 minutes in transition. Crazy!
We went home the next day. Except for a touch of jaundice from being born too fast, Levi is doing perfect and is already a champion nurser.
What a wonderful story Mama. Waterbirth is simply awesome isnt? Glad you are doing well. Enjoy your babymoon!
UC/UP/EBF/AP/CD/BW, Waterbirthing, Homeschooling, no circ, no vax.
Expecting #8 on Dec 6th, 2011
You UC'ed in a HOSPITAL!!!! Priceless!
Congratulations, mama, and way to have a special birth!
The funnier part is that my doctors office has a reputation on the OB ward as having patients that are 'trouble', you know- the kind that have doulas and such and want to be in charge of their own births. Guess I didn't do much to help that
Livin' the good life here in Connecticut with my DH and our three fabulous boys (4/3/06, 2/4/08 and 5/20/10) Hoping to try for Sweet Baby #4 in December!
Congratulations! What an awesome story! Seriously, there aren't TOO many people who UC in a hospital. I'm sorry your DH missed it (my kids missed my last birth with the same reassurance that it would be HOURS), but what a cool, calm, and peaceful way to welcome your son!
HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys: 03/02; 09/04; 09/07 - and Eliana, 11/13/10!
Founder of Houston Birth Alternatives: Be Informed, Encouraged, Supported birth support group and aspiring midwife.
P.S. I'm a former yooper, went to Tech!