I'll come back and post a birth story and pictures later ... right now I just want to not move for like ... 3 days. Our "little" butter bean was born last night, 10:17PM, at home after about 4 hours of very, very intense labor. He weighed in at 11 lbs. 2 oz.
Edited to add my birth story and a picture.
I went in Wednesday morning for my bi-weekly BPP and weekly mw visit. Baby was FINALLY vertex and engaged enough that, when she checked me (my request) she could feel a head full of hair. I was dilated to 2 … enough for her to strip my membranes, which I also requested. I was 41 weeks exactly and on a mission to avoid the hospital induction if I hadn’t gone into labor by the end of the week. When I had my membranes stripped with dd#1, I went into labor within a few hours, so I had high hopes that he’d be born on Wednesday. Of course, both my older kids were sick Tuesday night/Wednesday, but I didn’t have a whole lot of leeway with the timing. Anyway, I had another afternoon of mild contractions that petered out that evening. DH and I were both getting frustrated and starting to lose hope that we could avoid the induction, now on the schedule for Friday 5PM.
Thursday afternoon I decided to get down to business. I’d been taking EPO and the homeopathic cohoshes for at least a week, with no progress. I sent hubby to the grocery store for eggplant parmesan and castor oil and chocolate ice cream to make a c/o milkshake. Just before he left, I got out my breast pump and hooked myself up. I really didn’t expect much from nipple stimulation, as I’d heard it takes a LONG time to be effective, but what the heck – it couldn’t hurt, right? The kids thought it was hysterically funny!
Within a few minutes of starting the pump, I was having contractions. I stayed hooked up for about 15 minutes. The contractions were coming regular and were definitely more painful than the ones I’d been having. At this point it occurred to me that my last labor was REALLY fast once it started, and I was home alone with 2 little kids. DH wouldn’t be back from the grocery store for maybe 30-45 minutes, and I had just watched my mom and dad (1st tier kid support) drive away from their house. Oops. So I sat the kids up to watch a movie, texted my DH to call the backup kid support (6:36PM), and figured what the hell … hooked myself up to the pump again. That lasted all of about 5 minutes. Contractions got even more intense and were coming roughly every 3 minutes with little-to-no break in between. At this point I was honestly scared that the baby might come before anybody else could get there. I set up my birthing ball on a blanket and put a pillow down under me with some chux pads. Ha! I was being very optimistic. ;)
DH got home (yay!) and I hopped in the shower to see if it would help like it did with dd#2’s labor. It did, but it also spaced out the contractions some. Our kid-wrangling friend (C) and our doula friend (V) got there within a few minutes of each other, I think; that was about 7:45PM. I spent the next 2 hours pacing, in and out of the shower, on the toilet, and walking laps through the kitchen. C put the kids to bed, which later I was very grateful for. Contractions got so intense that was losing my ability to cope. At some point I went to my “nest” … DH and V had brought my blanket, birthing ball, etc. downstairs as there was no way in the world I could make it up the stairs to our bedroom where I’d set it all up. I ended up in exactly the same place in the house, exactly the same position as I birthed dd#2.
I don’t know what time the pushing contractions started, but I didn’t get the same relief pushing with them as I remembered with dd#2. (I also only had about 3 pushing contractions with her and she was out.) He was still really high, as in, I couldn’t feel his head at all when I reached in to check myself. But it still felt better to push than NOT to, so I did. After a few pushes, my water broke (9:52PM), which gave me instant relief, at least for a few minutes. DH and V noted that there was a bit of meconium in the fluid, though, which was distressing. I still couldn’t feel his head, either, and the contractions just kept on coming like a freight train. V (I love her so much) kept reminding me to wait until the urge to push, but it hurt SO BAD and I was starting to worry that he really would be too big for me to birth, and at that point I would just be screwed: 30 minutes from the hospital and literally feeling like I was going to die. So, I pushed with everything I had. I was like an animal at this point, and I’m SO glad my kids slept through it. I was screaming and crying and making noises that I didn’t know were possible. It was really horrible. Eventually DH said he could see the head. And the cord. Which just scared the crap out of me. He checked again and said that it WASN’T the cord, but good grief that was an awful feeling. It took a few contractions for me to push his head out and dear GODS that hurt. His head had NO molding at all … it was perfectly round, like a giant bowling ball. Eek! And then there’s that last part, the rest of the body. At that point, I was done. I just didn’t think I had it in me to push the rest of him out, but of course what else can you do? He was out in a few more pushes (10:17PM), COVERED in vernix and born with the cord pretty tightly wrapped around his neck, which DH very calmly unwound. He pinked up and started breathing very quickly. He did sound a little juicy at first, but a few sneezes and coughs took care of that. The placenta was out less than 10 minutes later and my niece commented that it looked like a beef roast. The thing was enormous.
I think the whole pushing phase took maybe 20-30 minutes? I’ll have to double check with V, but it wasn’t THAT much longer than it was with dd#2, but I will be 100% honest here: if I’d known how much more intense and painful it was going to be compared to my last labor, I’d have seriously reconsidered our plans. It’s been a day and a half since the birth and I still feel like I got hit by a truck. Amazingly, I didn’t have any tears, but my back, shoulders, chest muscles, arms … they all are soooo sore. I actually wondered yesterday if maybe I cracked some ribs or something, but I’m able to breathe much better today than yesterday, and it doesn’t hurt so much to stand up straight. :/ I’m really looking forward to seeing my chiro on Monday. J
Overall, I’m happy that he’s here, safe and sound, and that I did avoid all the hospital stuff, but I am SO HAPPY that I don’t ever, ever, EVER have to do that again. :D And I DO deserve a medal for that birth. ;)
+= Peanut (2004), Pumpkin (2007) and Butter Bean!! (2011)
Congratulations on your giant baby! I think you win the biggest baby prize for our DDC. :) Rest up and enjoy your new butter bean.
Momma to my boy (1/99) & girl (7/00), Birthmomma to my Ladybug (8/09), the new baby monkey boy born 6/6/11!
Student nurse, doula, future midwife, and breastfeeding, bedsharing, babywearing, organic gardening, God-loving single momma