Delivered Samuel on March 31 around 7 pm at 41 weeks 2 days. I was so thankful to be able to just let him come and didn't have to do any membrane sweeps or anything to get labor started. He was a hefty 8 pounds 14 ounces and 22 inches long.
The first half of his labor was surprisingly easy--I wasn't sure whether I was really in active labor or not. But the second half was surprisingly difficult. The labor was harder and longer than my first and pushing him out hurt a hell of a lot more than I remember with my first. I was so thankful that we hired a doula. She was really supportive and encouraged me a lot.
I got up to use the bathroom around 12:30 am Thursday morning and when I got back in bed I leaked some fluid. My labor with DS1 started the same way, so I was kind of excited. I couldn't sleep, but wasn't having contractions either. After laying in bed for a while, I got up and took a bath, texted with my doula (who was still up doing her taxes!). I ended up finally getting some sleep and was having contractions when I woke up, but just every 10-15 minutes. They got closer together, but they weren't very hard and I didn't feel like they were really consistent. So I wasn't sure what was going on.
I was in contact with the birth center and my doula and both were just telling me to take it easy and keep them updated. I rested for a while and eventually contractions were five minutes apart pretty consistently, bu they weren't getting closer together. Decided to take a walk with DH. That kind of sucked, actually. I felt like I was having one giant BH contraction along with the regular contractions the whole time, so we went home. While we were gone, the birth center had called. This one midwife was certain that I was going to go fast, so she was trying to convince the on call midwife to get me in. After talking with her again, she still wasn't sure I was ready to come in, but she said to go ahead and come and they'd check me and see what was up. By this point the contractions were feeling a bit harder, but still only five minutes apart.
When we got to the birth center, it turns out that I was already six centimeters dilated. So we settled in, I sat on a birth ball, but it was just so different from my first labor. I wasn't spacey or introverted--I was talking and laughing between contractions. I hadn't started vocalizing with contractions--just breathing. It all seemed very strange to me--too easy. My doula arrived and talked to the midwife about the baby's position. He was a little OT and so she suggested some different positions to try to encourage him to turn a bit. Well, being upright and doing different things made things stronger, which I guess was good, but she suggested that we didn't want things to be too strong too quickly. So I decided to get in tub. Things got really strong while I was in the tub and I started needing to vocalize through contractions. I started getting the feeling that this labor was different--it felt like it was taking so long and the contractions were suddenly so hard.
I got hot and got out of the tub and onto a birthing chair. Somehow this actually seemed a little better, but I started needing more than just vocalizations to get through contractions. I was doing funny rhythmic things with my head and squeezing DH and my doula's hands. Eventually I just wanted to lay down and my doula started asking me if I wanted to get checked. I said I guess so. When the mw checked me, I was almost fully dilated with just a little lip and a bulging bag. I couldn't understand why I wasn't feeling really pushy yet, and they said it was because of the intact bag. I labored a little while on that side, and then rolled over the other side to try to help get rid of the lip. MW suggested pushing during contractions if possible to break the bag and hopefully feel pushy. This happened in a few contractions even though it felt a little hard to push without feeling like it (although, once I started it did feel sort of natural). After the waters broke, the pushing feeling was REALLY intense and the associated stretching pain similarly intense. I started screaming (which I never thought I would do). The midwife told me to focus--which actually really helped. After a few pushes and one long push, he was out, but it felt crazy intense. I was trying to figure out whether he was out or not (I kept thinking his head was out, but it wasn't) and what body parts I was feeling--but I think it was just people's hands supporting things down there.
But when it was over, it was blissfully over. And I finally had my sweet boy!!
Thanks, Shawna! I thought my birth story was kind of unusual, but after talking to my doula I realized it was pretty normal. Just not what I was expecting! I should post a picture! I'm so lazy when it comes to that for some reason.
How are you doing with the toddler plus newborn? My DS1 really loves the new baby, but he's so physical and unaware of his strength and the baby's smallness. Trying to set up places around the house where I can lay the baby down without worrying about DS1 killing him!
Our fourth baby was born in April, a week after Easter (in fact his birthday is Friday). I set him on the floor on a blanket and went off to the bathroom. When I got back, his just older brother had decided to share with him. In his puckered up little lips, he had a jelly bean!
It's amazing that any little siblings survive their toddler brothers and sisters!
Mom to eight!! Our twin girls arrived 3-3-2011.