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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-02-2008 12:15 PM
AmyC the births of Noel Stephen & Linus Patrick

In the early evening of July 19, I spent some time online, sitting on my birth ball at the computer. My husband called me a couple of times for dinner. I stood to respond (it was 7 p.m.) and the cramps began when I rose to my feet. I was so happy to welcome them again after nothing! I went to the bathroom and noticed "bloody show." Walking down the stairs, I told Joe what was happening.

As I sat at the table and tried to eat my dinner, the cramps continued with regularity and vigor. At one point, I asked Joe to time them, and I began to realize that there really wasn't a break between them. They continued in a seamless wave of surge-peak-receding followed by another surge and peak, which started before I could distinguish an end to the first set. There was no time between when I wasn't contracting. They were lasting about 2 minutes with no break in between. I thought that was kind of strange for beginning labor, but then I really am not quite the labor jock who remembers all the details about what is significant about how long & how frequent contractions are....

I was using my Hypnobabies training to relax around the surges and that made things manageable, but it all felt a bit revved up. Then again, that's what I was hoping for by welcoming the contractions as muscular and relaxing around them: that the lack of interference would let them accomplish their aim most efficiently.

In addition to things seeming "revved up," I had a weird concept of time: an hour and a half felt like 15 minutes, even though I could see from the clock how much time had passed. I was aware (by the clock) of the passage of time, but it all felt much slower.

Remembering how long my labor with my first child had been, I wasn't sure what we were in for.

I believed this was the real thing (more bloody show that was disconcerting enough that I had to look it up online to see if it seemed within the range or "normal" or if it was more "concerning," but it seemed okay) but I wasn't sure if I was starting from a very firm & closed status or if the cramp-like contractions on Wednesday had accomplished a lot in terms of effacement progress.

I was thinking about booking a hotel room to labor in and dropping off our daughter with friends on the way (again, I believed this was the real thing, though uncertain about how far into the process we were, overall) and I wondered if my primary care physician (our family doctor) would be willing to meet us at her office and check my cervix, giving me an idea of whether we were progressed enough to go to the hospital then, or whether it was going to be more of a long haul type situation.

We were about 2 1/2 hours into labor. I had gone upstairs to lie down at this point, knowing that my pillows would help facilitate more complete relaxation around the contractions. This slowed things down a tad, but not in a big way. And honestly, I'm not sure if things really had gotten easier, or if my relaxation was more effective (making things easier) in the supine position.

I was listening to one of my Hypnobabies CDs while Joe called my primary care physician at home. He spoke to her husband, who said she'd had a long day and was exhausted; she had gone to bed at 7 p.m. and was sleeping.

Joe relayed this to me, and we began discussing logistics such as packing the car and calling the friends to arrange for our daughter's care. Before too long the phone rang. It was my doctor! Joe talked to her for a bit and then gave the phone to me. I figured she was doing the old trick of seeing if the laboring mom could talk through contractions, and I wondered if the effect of my Hypnobabies training would disguise things at all, or give a "false read." I was pretty calm, a little distracted/fragmented, and I told her how things were going and narrated the contractions as they came and went. I also talked about how I was considering going to a hotel to labor, since I wasn't keen on being at the hospital if I couldn't use the most effective of their supports for natural labor, but how I'd like to have an idea of where I was at in terms of cervical progress before making that decision. (She lives in the same town as the friends who were keeping our daughter for us, and her office is very near her home. I thought maybe she could meet us at her office and we could swing by there after dropping off O. I didn't actually ask her this, but I was hoping.)

She basically said, just call the on-call OB for my doctor's practice, and that it sounded like I was in active labor and should go to the hospital. She said especially with twins, it wouldn't be that great to surprise them, especially if they were short-staffed that night and needed warning to call in extra nursing staff. I expressed my disinclination to labor long there stuck to monitors, but she seemed to think we could use telemetry if constant monitoring were necessary (I mentioned that Dr. P had changed her tune on that and told me it "wouldn't work well with twins" just in the last two weeks.)

I already knew that the on-call OB was one my doctor specifically had recommended against using back when we'd just learned I was carrying twins and I was trying to figure out my medical care. She had thought we wouldn't vibe well at all and she'd been frank with me about why. She was pretty quiet when I told her he was the on-call physician. (I mean, what could she say at that point? "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that"?) She did ask me if my OB had said she'd come in for me, being twins, whether she was on-call or not, and I said that actually, she'd said she wouldn't be available that weekend.

So....we called the OB's answering service, then went about with our last minute preparations: me laboring, Joe gathering the bags. The answering call came back, with instructions to go on in to the hospital and report to Women & Childrens. We loaded the van and I took a minute to confirm my hypnosis & to raise my "lightswitch" to the center position, so I could walk and talk without leaving hypnosis, and I walked out to the van and curled up on the back seat around my Snoogle body pillow. I had the CD player and headphones, and I listened to another Hypnobabies CD as we rode into town.

All in all, a fair bit of time had passed since we'd called and said we were going to be heading in. We got to the hospital sometime after 11 p.m., and someone met me with a wheelchair and took us upstairs, got me to a small room with two twin beds (not one of the nice birthing rooms), checked my progress (I either was 2-3 cms or 3-4 cms...I can't remember for sure and neither can Joe, but I think it was 2-3 because I remember being unimpressed), and hooked me up to a monitor. I think the test strip was pretty good.

They left me on the monitors until the doctor got there, and someone brought in an ultrasound machine to be ready for him. Joe had my Hypnobabies discs playing, but the CD player was on the other side of the room and though I could hear it, it wasn't front and center for me.

Dr. M, the on-call OB, was high-energy and very bulldozer-ish. He basically came in the room, introduced himself, announced that I had monochorionic twins with a breech-presenting second twin, and said we had no real choice but to have a vaginal birth with Twin A and then a c-section with Twin B (since he still was breech.) Or else, of course, to have both delivered via c-section. I challenged him with the info that Dr. P was planning to try an external version on baby B after twin A was born, and that none of the perinatologists in Albany had questioned the goal of a vaginal attempt for both twins.

He said no way should a version be attempted, that babies don't turn vertex even with more room in the womb and there's not time to wait for that possibility, anyway. (He kind of blustered through his reasoning against external versions, and I don't remember all of his "babies don't" rationales.) He said a version is risky for a breech baby. He said the only legitimate possibility would be a breech extraction (when the doctor reaches in, grabs a foot, and pulls out the baby. Not to be confused with a breech birth, when the mother pushes out a breech baby.) He came back with stats and studies, including one currently still underway in Canada that we'd heard of from one of the perinatologists, after which nobody was going to question c-section for a second twin who is breech. (Again, he was blustering/overbearing and his train of thought was not very easy to follow at this point, at least not while I was in labor, but he obviously was trying to pressure/influence/convince us.) He blatantly and clearly said we were jeopardizing our babies and not choosing in their best interest if we refused the c-section.

He then said we had the right to ask for another physician or to refuse his recommended treatment. We asked for time to talk. Everyone left the room.

The "good" thing was that in order for him to do the ultrasound to confirm fetal positioning (and baby B still was breech), they'd turned off the fetal monitor. And nobody hooked it back up. While they had left us alone, I pulled off everything that remained and pulled the velcro straps out from under me in hopes that that would be that for being tied to the machine.

I'd been contracting that whole time, and found it really hard to keep my "pressure-sensation" only contractions (thanks to the Hypnobabies training) while he was in the room. They were more like pain sensation contractions, and I was resisting and practically writhing on the bed through a few of them, due to the tension of his "vibe." I did not feel phased or frightened by his words, though, just stymied by how I was going to birth there with that obstacle in my way.

I told Joe that we should ask him or one of the nurses to page Dr. P and see if she was available, and if not, to ask for a transfer to Albany Medical, where the perinatologists with whom we'd worked were based. Joe went out to talk to Dr. M (I'd said I couldn't labor effectively if I had to be involved in the negotiations.) Joe told me didn't get many words in, but the guy asked why we were so against c-section, anyway, since it was our "safest option" at this gestational age....practically no-risk. Joe gave him a few reasons. I know he was under a lot of pressure. The doctor said there was nobody else available to deliver. Joe never got to bring up the question of transferring, because the guy was so take-charge in the conversation. He asked Joe, "So are you going to do this? Can I prep my team for surgery?"

Joe said he'd talk to me, and he came in and relayed all this to me. I know he was shaken and he said maybe the c-section was the right thing. I still was feeling calm and certain without self-doubt on this issue, albeit upset about what was happening and distressed about Dr. M attending the birth. But I had the Hypnobabies training to help with my centering. I was listening to the Twin Birthing Affirmations that were so familiar to me, and continuing to contract. I was thinking hard about what to do.

The doctor came in the room a bit later and I asked about transfer to Albany, and the doctor basically said it was against the law for him to transfer us because I was in active labor (2-3 cm dilated was his assumption based on the pelvic exam just before he talked to us, but I knew/suspected I was progressing fast.) I clarified that getting to Albany would be a matter of us checking ourselves out of the hospital and going to Albany on our own steam, and he said that was right.

I asked him about giving the baby a chance to rotate, and he dismissed that idea. He said something about "babies not doing that" which made about as much sense to me (since I've talked to mothers whose babies did exactly that) as "your twins are growing big and twins don't do that" which I heard multiple times from one of the members of the perinatologist team. I asked about breech extraction, and he said if we refused a c-section, that's what he would do. He didn't think it was best for the baby, though. He mentioned that if the baby was in distress or not tolerating labor, or if cord prolapse or placental abruption was an issue, c-section was going to happen. I said that had been my assumption all along; I just was not convinced that it was necessary to plan it ahead of time.

At one point, he said, "You are high risk. You are a high risk pregnancy. Humans are not supposed to carry twins; humans are supposed to have one baby at a time." I got the impression that he honestly felt I was being stubborn out of ignorance or something.

I didn't say anything to him (I still was contracting and working hard to stay relaxed, muscularly, around my uterus and its work. "My job is to relaaaax," I would whisper to myself anytime my mental activity got in the way of relaxing around the process.) In a way, I knew what he was saying: humans aren't meant to have litters. But I had a sense of assurance that basically dismissed his comments, or at least displaced them. These were spontaneous twins, and the rate of identical twins worldwide across cultures and races has remained constant, and he was telling a woman whose cervix had remained firm and closed at 38 weeks that she was "not supposed" to carry twins when I knew I was carrying my babies to term in such a healthy way. The other thing was that I was going to have one baby at a time, as every mother of twins does: I was going to have two births.

He also brought up my file, which he'd been reading, and said that Dr. P had written that she'd advised me that I had a 60% chance of having a c-section for the second twin. He brought it up in a "your own doctor told you you had a very strong chance of having a c-section. Why is this a problem?" sort of way. I told him I wasn't sure she'd mentioned percentages to me, but that she'd reiterated the possibility (probability?) multiple times; it still wasn't the same thing as consenting to a c-section for the second baby in advance.

He told us to let him know our decision.

I had a bunch more contractions, relaxing ("My job is to relax") around them and hoping that this was allowing the uterine muscles to work double-time. This was so different than my labor with Ocie....I felt very little resistance to the journey, to what was happening in my body.

My response to the contractions this time wasn't perfect because I didn't have great pillow support on the bed to relax as well as I wanted (physically.) I'd packed my Snoogle pillow for that purpose, but I puked on it in the car, so that was a no-go. I needed two pillows for my leg, and not really "between my knees" the way the nurse had put it, but stacked a little in front so the top leg could rest on them while the bottom leg was just behind, and a lip of pillow for under my belly so I was comfortable and relaxed on my side. But I was making do with what we had.

I was starting to feel overwhelmed, though, and thinking things like, "Shoot, if I am going to end up with a c-section for baby B, why not just give in and have them both by c-section? Then this will be over." The thought of going through all the labor contractions, then the pushing, knowing that I had abdominal surgery in front of me (I had the irrational conviction that even if we agreed on an attempted breech extraction, the doctor would pronounce it impossible no matter what when the time came and I'd be having a c-section), just felt like too much. I felt afraid and betrayed and pessimistic. The thought of a c-section was upsetting and scary but a little seductive.

But part of me said, "I'd better ask for a vaginal exam, because I bet I'm in transition if I'm thinking this way." (Bless myself for learning from Ocie's birth....I'll always regret that I didn't ask to be checked one last time before transferring up to the LDR floor from the alternative birthing center, since it was almost an hour of waiting since making the decision to go up, and I'd continued contracting the whole time. When I got up there to be hooked up to pitocin, I was in transition, and I bet I'd have been able to stay down in the birthing center and have more of the birth we'd wanted if I just realized the signs, and asked to be checked, at the time. But, that regret served me well last night.)

I did tell Joe my thoughts (about having both babies by c-section), but acknowledged that it was mostly because I felt dejected at ending up with it either way, and the thought of going through all of labor with that ahead of me was challenging. I also said that I knew that laboring was good for my babies regardless of how they ended up being born, so I shouldn't just decide to do an end-run around the process even if the end result was going to be c-section. I also mentioned that I thought maybe I was in transition, though I couldn't remember when that typically come (the last 2 cms dilation or what?)

I asked the nurse to check me next time I saw her, and she did so and ran out of the room, saying, "I think you're complete; I have to get the doctor."

He returned with her, gloved up, and did an exam, saying "We have to get you to the O.R., you're ready to have this baby, the head is right there."

We never had given him our decision, and I was mindful of that but decided not to bring it up. Classic Amy.

I kept my eyes most of the way closed so the switch from dim birthing room lights to hallway & then OR lighting wouldn't shock me too much. Joe left the CD player back in the room so I didn't have anymore Hypnobabies to listen to even though I'd been counting on the "pushing your baby out gently" CD for guidance during the pushing phase. (I didn't send Joe back when I thought of it because he'd already scrubbed up and I wasn't sure if leaving the room would be problematic or not.)

There were so many people in the OR. The anesthesiologist sat near the head of the table through most of my labor with the second twin and basically kept his eyes averted, and I realized later it probably was to preserve my modesty because during much of the pushing I ended up upright on my knees facing that end of the table, and I wasn't wearing anything. At a certain point before the first twin's birth, Dr. M sent the surgical team out to give them a break, but told them to stay close so they'd be on hand for the second twin.

I had rapid-fire contractions and couldn't find a break to move from the bed (I'd rolled in on) to the table, but they kept telling me that I needed to, so I eventually did. I said I didn't want to be on my back (the OB said he only needed me there for the breech extraction--which we'd never finalized, but I guess he assumed we were set on that) and I tried being on my hands and knees for awhile. I felt lots of pressure but was waiting for the urge to push. Finally, I tried some tentative pushes...nothing obvious to anybody else.

I waited for the birthing waves and pushed gently and gradually started to "feel it." It took awhile. I ended up moving upright on my knees, with my arms hooked around Joe's neck/shoulders and those of the nurse beside me. I didn't ask her; I just did it. I pushed pretty hard, at least when I could feel it, and also tried "breathing out the baby." I ignored instructions from anyone else (mostly the nurse, who offered low-key coaching from time to time), though I did consider if it "felt right" to me and sometimes I did what she suggested for the next "pressure wave." (Guess she was being considerate of the fact that she knew we were using hypnosis...she kept saying "pressure wave" instead of contractions!) Back in the other room, she had complimented us several times on how beautifully we were laboring together, and yet she'd still be shocked at how speedily I'd made progress (she was the one who'd checked me.)

The hypnosis worked well for me, as far as pain management. I definitely felt I was experiencing the “comfortable vaginal twin birth” I’d been preparing for. But it wasn’t easy, exactly. It felt a little like things were out of synch, or a little bit willy-nilly, in terms of the productivity of my pushing. I’d been counting on having the “pushing phase” disc to listen to, but I didn’t have that. Maybe it would have helped to economize things a bit. I have no sense of how long I was pushing; it seemed like a “long time.” Joe estimates it was about twenty minutes; I don’t know if he is right.

I felt the ring of fire but it was distant, a sensation that didn't feel exactly painful, just a ring that I "recognized" (in a “hey, that’s the ring of fire” way) and I pushed through it after a moment. I didn’t think about pushing gently or incrementally; I just bore down. Noel's head was out, and then his body burst out in a tumble. I'm not certain if anyone actually caught him, poor little guy. They clamped and cut his cord immediately, and whisked him over to the warmers to check him out. The doctor had been sitting quietly nearby during the whole birth, not doing anything apart from offering perineal support (with olive oil) one time, and keeping up with the intermittent monitoring. I was grateful to him for his low-key role at that time.

After Noel's birth, he sprang into action, calling back the surgical team, saying I had to turn around and get on my back, with my legs elevated. I took my time, partly because maneuvering on the skinny O.R. table was SO awkward, and partly because I was exhausted & uncomfortable (and freaked out by the metal clamp dangling down and swinging--the clamp at the end of Noel's umbilical cord), and partly because I wanted the time to meditate/communicate with Baby B and remind him "head down, facing back, chin to chest." AND give him time to begin to turn. I told him he had lots of room and to USE IT to improve his chances of a safe vaginal birth. (Breech extraction has its risks, and it never was my first choice for birth, albeit more desirable to me than a c-section.) I also did my finger drop Hypnobabies technique, trying to center myself against fear and uncertainty.

I finally got into position and the doctor reached in. I don't remember feeling anything. What he said then is a blur, but I think he did try for a foot and realized the baby had slid transverse and was on his way into a vertex lie. I'm not sure if he (doc) manually manipulated that process anymore, but I know he called out, "We have a cephalic presentation!" in a very excited voice. Joe confirms this, that he sounded manic and giddy. [I saw him briefly when we were leaving the hospital, and I asked him what happened. He said, "I turned him." (He was all smooth and glib and matter-of-fact at this point. It made me wonder if I'd imagined his tone in the OR.) I pressed for more details, asked if the baby had turned transverse or was turning and he said yes, the baby was transverse and he reached in, got a foot and the baby easily turned vertex.]

After a few pushes, I said this position was crazy and that I wanted to get upright again. The doctor, bless his heart (because the attendants seemed to look to him for "permission" at that point), said, "This is a vertex vaginal birth. She can use whatever position she wants." (This is sort of what he said when I first got to the O.R.--that the first birth could happen however the mother wanted. That it was the breech extraction that he needed me to be on my back.)

So, I got upright, moving gingerly again. The contractions didn't start up right away. When they did, I didn't really feel the urge to push (I think it was because the baby's head wasn't really engaged yet, or something regarding his positioning.) This was a little stressful to me because before the birth, Dr. M had been harping on "no more than 15 minutes between babies, because of the shared placenta. Too risky to go longer," and I felt I was going to run out of time based on his clock.

I don't remember the same kind of pressure that I'd felt before, the feeling of an impending poop. I pushed hard, but it felt random to me. I kept looking over to Noel under the warming lights, and he was so calm, staring up and looking around. I felt upset that he was alone those few feet away, and that I was missing his calm, alert period. I also felt fearful of being too tired to get Linus out, and that I'd end up having a c-section. I am not sure if the sensations/urges and my pushing efforts ever got synchronized. I know that I pushed hard.

The intermittent monitoring did not seem to come very frequently, but things seemed fine the couple of times they checked. Then they checked again and had trouble finding a heartbeat. Or they weren't certain that it was the baby's heartbeat and not mine. I remember that the anesthesiologist grabbed my wrist and waited quietly, counting, then told the doctor my pulse rate. I'm not sure if it differed from whatever they'd found with the Doppler, but things got very stressed at that point.

Dr. M called for me to turn around and lie down. He said that he didn't have a heartbeat, or that he couldn’t confirm a reassuring fetal heart tone anymore, and that the baby needed to come out right then. I wasn’t sure if they had gotten no heartbeat on the Doppler, or if it was that they weren’t certain whether the heartbeat they heard was mine or the baby’s. I also wasn’t sure if the pulse rate that the anesthesiologist got from me confirmed that it wasn’t my heartbeat they’d heard on the Doppler, but that the baby’s rate was “unreassuringly low.” Or if, indeed, there had been no heartbeat found for the second twin. I didn’t try to ask what the scenario was; I just asked what he was going to do. He said he was going to assist in getting the baby out via vacuum extraction, and he barked at the nurses to help me get my legs up. Joe held up my left leg.

All of this pretty much was a blur after the fact, plus I waited too long to try to write it down. But I think I pushed, and he used the vacuum. I don't remember feeling anything at the time, and suddenly the baby was out of me, on the table. I could see him. He wasn’t really moving, and he wasn't pink. I wondered at the time if it was vernix on his skin, which is what it looked like, or if he just was lifeless and gray or bluish. I never thought things would end badly, but I wondered if he was okay. Joe was similarly concerned because the baby seemed stunned or dazed to him, but he saw him move and make a sound within seconds, and he immediately assured me that the baby was okay. Dr. M yelled out for some piece of medical equipment, barking about having asked for a second set, and the nurses sort of fumbled around. He said he’d do it himself. I think it may have had to do with clamping the cord.

They took Linus to the isolette next to Noel and by that point we could hear him crying and see him kicking. His ferocity was such a contrast to Noel's wide-eyed and round-mouthed (a little "O") calm. I told Joe to go over to the boys and I turned back to attend to stage 3 of labor. Dr. M mentioned to me that there might have been some transfusion between the twins, but that if that was the case, the second twin was the “recipient” rather than the “donor.” He suggested that this may have served the baby well at the end (by giving him “extra” blood which may have balanced out whatever distress he was in.) There really was no obvious sign of TTTS, though. Twin B had more red blood cells than his twin, but neither twin was polycythemic and Twin A was not anemic.

I did end up with a hemorrhage when I delivered the placenta, and ultimately when my iron levelsw didn't rebound, and kept dropping, I had a transfusion (2 units of blood) the next day.

By the time I got into a bed from the table and they wheeled me back to the room where we’d started out, I was fading fast. I kept thinking that I wasn’t going to be able to hold the boys, let alone keep my eyes open to look at them and focus on them, because I was so weak and tired. They had gone to the nursery and Joe had stayed with them, both to be with them and to make sure our wishes were honored as far as the newborn procedures go. He brought them back to the room so that I could hold them for the first time, and they spent what was left of that first night sleeping with us. I was, indeed, exhausted and weak, but I lay there looking at them. I did nurse them, too, though I don’t remember much about that.

The thing I remember is that from the start, postpartum, I felt joyful and empowered, and as soon as I’d rested and started to rebound from the blood loss, I felt completely able to focus on the babies. This was a sharp contrast to my experience after birthing my daughter, when I felt so much distress about the birth. My need to process it and to heal emotionally almost distracted me from bonding with her; it certainly conflicted with that focus on her. This time I wasn’t focusing particularly on how empowering the birth experience had been, but the satisfied feeling was a foundation for my focus on the twins and I was “moving on” into mothering my newborns without effort or conflict or distraction. That was so wonderful.

Noel Stephen was born on Sunday, the 20th of July at 2:20 a.m. He weighed 7 lbs and ½ ounce, and was 19 inches long.

Linus Patrick was born on Sunday, the 20th of July at 2:50 a.m. He weighed 7 lbs and 11 ounces, and was 20 inches long.

The twins were born at 39 weeks and 2 days gestation, the night after the full moon.
08-07-2008 06:39 PM
DawnaRose .
08-03-2008 04:21 PM

baby Romneya Martin Grey O'Melay, born 7/29
08-01-2008 09:56 PM
Materfamilias Odette Sheila
7 lbs. 6 oz.
20 inches

This was my first birth. Labor started at 40 weeks 3 days at about 3 a.m. I remember worrying throughout late pregnancy that I wouldn’t recognize labor contractions, but they were unmistakable. They started slowly, at about 10 minutes apart, so I had ample time to think about how I wanted to deal with them. I figured wave imagery was best and visualized the ocean in northern California, where I grew up. This helped me all the way through transition, since the coast there can produce both mild and very violent, unpredictable waves.
At about 7 I woke my husband up to tell him I was really in labor. I half expected the contractions to slow down or even stop, as they had for other people, but they never did. For a long while I lay on my side and they quickly progressed from every 10 minutes to every 6 to 7 minutes. I worried that my water would break, because I was GBS+ and knew that would mean an immediate transfer to the hospital, and we didn’t want to go there until I was in transition or ready to push. But the water didn’t break and in the mid-morning I began to sit on the bed between contractions and adopt a hands-and-knees position when I felt a contraction coming on. DH kept Wolf busy until a friend picked him up at around 11, then he sat with me for the duration, timing contractions and helping me through them. The more upright position sped up the intervals to every 4 minutes, sometimes 5, with the occasional 2- or 6-minute thrown in. The contractions required all my attention, but thinking of them as waves and breathing very deeply through them made them very manageable and not what I would call painful, just very intense. They would peak quickly and fade slowly. I suppose the endorphins made me feel somewhat in another world as well, like a nice high.
When the contractions were mostly 4 minutes apart for an hour we called our doula and she checked us out and said she thought, as DH did, that the intervals would quicken toward sunset, and so we decided to stay home. Then, near sunset (about 7:30) they did just that and finally at 8 I decided it was time to go. As I stood at the door preparing to get into the car my water broke. It was like a sign that we’d made the right decision.
Once at the hospital I was gently but quickly put in a delivery room, the antibiotics were started, and I was checked. I was at 8 centimeters. I lay on the bed on my side and worked through transition with the help of DH and our doula; I recognized transition only because the contractions were virtually continuous and much stronger. The nurse had not finished her admission questions (which DH answered) when I felt Odette moving down and pushing contractions starting – I could not keep from pushing. I sat up with my legs elevated (the classic Bradley pose) and tried to work on pushing Odette out. Pushing was such a strange sensation, very different from my other contractions, so that sometimes it was hard to tell when I should push. Odette moved very quickly to the vaginal opening and then I had a hard time pushing her head out. Once it did come out the rest of her followed in a rush. There was some meconium so they had to cut the cord sooner than I wanted and suction her before they could put her on my belly. The placenta came out beforehand and so I was able to see the midwife examine it, and saw the hole in the amniotic sac Odette’s head made. The umbilical cord was long and looked almost sculptural. Then Odette came to me and began suckling immediately. She was alert and just so beautiful.
08-01-2008 12:14 PM
lotusblossom9 Giuliano Silvestro
July 23, 2008
5:35 am
6 lbs. 8 oz.
19.25 inches long
Waterbith after induction with Pitocin
40 weeks 5 days

I went to the hospital on July 22nd at 8am for an ultrasound. On the way to the hospital, I started having mild regular contractions. We had the ultrasound and they said there was hardly any amniotic fluid left, because he was past his due date. The midwife, Patty, came and checked me at the hospital. She said that I was in prodromal labor and dilated 1 cm. She said that I had to get induced because the amniotic fluid was way too low and the prodromal labor could go on for days. So I started the Pitocin IV around 2 pm. I was very sad about this because I didn't know if I'd be able to labor naturally after having the Pitocin. It brought on contractions HARD and FAST. I labored on the birth ball like this for about 9 hours and got to 4 cm. Patty then took me off the Pitocin and said that I could try to see if the contractions would continue on their own and luckily they did. I walked around for about 30 minutes while the birth pool was getting set up. I got in the birth pool at around midnight. By that time, I was so exhausted and asked for an epidural. DH and Patty assured me that I could do it naturally but I was ready to give up. I begged for the epidural so they put in the IV fluids in preparation. It took a couple of hours for the fluids to get in me and by that time I had dilated to 8 cm. I was so excited that I had gotten to 8 cm and knew I could do the rest naturally. They broke my water and I went back into the birth pool. It was like being in a warm bath-very relaxing. At 4 am is when I started pushing. At 5:35 AM Giuliano was born in the water! I am so happy that I was able to do it naturally. It was such an empowering experience. DH was the most amazing birth coach. I couldn't have done it without him!

And now for pictures!
07-31-2008 07:27 PM
Hadleychick He was born July 30 weighing 7 lb 6oz and was 20 1/2 inches long. I of course think he is the sweetest thing since strawberry jam.

I had been having ctx that were 7 min apart all day tuesday and at about 6pm the suddenly went to 2 min apart. This is exactly what happened when ds1 was born so I called the midwife. She came over and things kept up like that until 2 am. I lay down next to dh and tried to rest and ended up falling asleep. When I woke in the morning ctx were again 7 min apart and less intense.

In the meantime my midwife had another mom go into labor. Due to a little bit of fear on my part of having a uc we sat down to discuss our options. I am not afraid of ucing personally but it was a first homebirth for my dh and he has a tendency to pass out when people he loves are bleeding or in pain. I knew I wanted to make this birth okay for him (he had never seen a birth but had an ex who died after giving birth to a child of his-they were young and the child was put up for adoption- years ago and he has never quite recovered). So it was very important to all of us that this go smoothly for dh.
The midwife was concerned that because this birth was following the pattern of my last one and I was already at about 4cm. And she said my bag of waters had a tear in one layer but not the second and she suspected it would break at any second. When my water broke she said the head was in such a position that things would probably be like my first birth and move really quickly. AND, she needed to leave if things weren't speeding up in the next couple hours.

I considered the possibility of a uc with dh passed out, ds1 freaked out, and me in labor. The me part and the baby part I could handle. The rest of it, not so much.

She ran through the list of options. I was uncomfortable with what I had read about using the cohoshes to jumpstart things.
I opted to rub a little pitocin on nostrils and just see if that gave things a kickstart. She let me know that the pitocin that she uses was 10x less strong than the stuff they give women in the hospital. So, she put some on a q-tip and I rubbed it on the inside of my nostrils.

Things got a little more intense over the course of the next hour but not unbearably so. When they began to speed up we stopped the pit to see if my body would continue to move on its own. The contractions were still 7 min apart but stronger. My son woke up around 8 and came in and sat on the bed with me. I rubbed his toes and he stroked my hair during contractions. The ctx were totally bearable but having him close was very special. And he felt grown up helping.

Then at 8:30 they started coming 2 min apart. Within 5 or ten min they were right on top of each other just like my other birth. DH woke up. I went into the shower so he wouldn't see me going through transition and because I really wanted a little more distraction at that point. The water felt good. I breathed and swayed through 3 or 4 really strong ones, toweled off, went out in the playroom, had one ctx on dh, 1 leaning over the banister on my way back into the bathroom, and one as I sat on the toilet. I felt a pop and lots of pressure, said something like "Oop, there it goes."

Dh and the midwife helped me get back into the bedroom, she tried to get the heartbeat and was having a hard time finding it. She had me get on hands and knees and said "Oh, your crowning, the head is right there." Deja vu for me. I knew I was about 2 seconds away from having this little person. The pushing was a lot easier this time than with ds1. He slid out in just 2 pushes. He was born at 9:06 am.

DH stayed conscious through the whole process (well once he woke up lol). Though I am usually a low intervention person I was glad I gave things a little push this time. Next time I would opt not to and just chance a uc but doing what we did made this a kind of healing experience for dh I think. And it wasn't so much intervention that my labor pattern differed at all from my first birth. When I had ds1 the midwife lived within a 1 minute walk from my apartment. This time she was a 40 minute drive and had she left to attend the other mom she definitely would not have made it, assuming that my body would have followed a similar pattern anyway, it just would have been a little later that my water broke.

I am amazed at how greatI feel. I have to say, on the placenta front- placenta is yummy mixed in a smoothie with frozen strawberries, crushed pineapple, and coconut milk. Pina colada placenta... And, it seems to reduce afterpains a bit for me. I find after I have a smoothie I don't feel them as much for several hours.

I am also really pleased that I didn't tear. All in all, despite just a bit of guilt over using the pit, I had a wonderful birth. My mother in law pulled me aside and said that when she walked in (15 min after the baby was born, she could see that DH had such a triumphant look on his face and was more pleased than she had ever seen him.

Little Liam is so sweet, he looks a lot like ds1. He is a champion nurser and has been doing all those things babies do their first day of life in good form. Sleep eat, pee, sleep eat, sleep eat, look around at the world, sleep eat poop...etc.
07-30-2008 02:53 PM
hippie chick Our birth story…:::

I write our birth story, because it is both Wesley’s and mine. He made this journey just as much as I did. Preparing for a natural childbirth started at about 30 weeks for me. For me it is a time that my body allows a new body to enter into this world. My belly had been cooking this baby for months and on Tuesday July 15th my body started making preparations for the babies exit and entrance. I love the beach, as does Huntington and I knew that I had one more beach day in me before I was going to have the baby. On Tuesday Huntington and I met my sister and her 3 girls for breakfast. I started having some odd sensations while at breakfast. Not thinking twice about them we finished breakfast and headed for the beach. Hunny and I met Lisa Berry and Johnny for a couple of hours of surf and sand. It was while driving home from the beach I realized that these odd feelings that I was having were very timely, 10 minutes apart. I got home, jumped into the spa and called Kurt to say I might be in labor, but wasn’t sure if it was the real thing or just some false labor. After 30 minutes he decided to start the trek home, 1 hour of terrible commute. He got home, we visited, got excited, I laid down and knew I had to lay down and try to fall asleep if I was going to make it through this. As I drifted to sleep I could feel my body slowing the contractions. When I woke up I knew my body had stalled labor for yet another day.
That night we went for Chinese, a staple in this baby of mine’s diet and I got to sleep by 9:30pm, I was super tired.
At 4am my body woke up with bloody show and I knew today way the day that I was going to meet my baby boy on the outside. I lay in bed and did a mental checklist of things that had to get done. I woke Kurt up at 5:45am keeping him home from work and letting him know I was having real contractions this time. We went about our morning as normal as we could. I was preparing for a long day of labor, with Huntington I had 27 hours of labor. We went to the mall to get some walking in, we got there around 11am. Contractions were 5 minutes apart lasting 1 minute. I called the midwife at noon to let her know how I was. She said to call her back after I got Huntington out of the house (he went to my sisters for his comfort and mine). I called Christine to be on stand by for later that day/night and baby was coming.
Contractions became more and more intense while at the mall. We had a little lunch and headed home. We put Huntington down for a nap and got ready for labor and our impending birth. My mom came home at 3 and left at 3:45. Meanwhile I started paging Margo Kennedy (my midwife), but her pager was out of service. Yes, contractions were now 3-4 minutes apart and she was not getting my calls. I tried her cell and she didn’t answer that either. Kurt called her home office one more time and alas, he reached her. Until this time I am panicking that I am going to have an unplanned unassisted birth, it turns out her pager service is changing companies and was unavailable for a few hours, just my luck. I think Margo got here around 4pm, at this point I was walking circles during contractions and cleaning during down times.
When she came in, she set up shop in my parent’s room, close to the kiddie pool and where I assumed I would give birth. She checks the vitals during a contraction and baby is doing good- I am happy. Her apprentice, Sherry gets here and checks my vitals; I am doing good as well. Margo gives me a vaginal exam and she says I am at 6cm-8cm. My humor is good and I can’t believe I am that far along. I keep asking her if she is kidding. She says ‘always believe my vaginal exams’. Kurt and I find this statement to be the funniest thing we have heard. Kurt and I danced, he held me as I swayed back and forth. My love for him is like no other, he is my foundation and he proved it again and more so on this day than previous days of our marriage. He is who I want to go through hard times with.
Labor is uncomfortable but I remember it being much more painful the first time. At this point I realize I want to make each contraction count. I keep myself moving and work with the contractions. I let my body do its thing. Christine arrives at some point, toting beautiful flowers for me as well as gifts for both Huntington and new baby. Christine and Kurt start filling the kiddie pool so I can get it. They were killing me, I remember telling Margo to make them stop trying to turn the pool. One of those things that is funny after the moment passes, not during. I went between the ball and standing. I really wanted a productive labor. I started to feel myself go into transition. I got really shaky and wanted to vomit. My contractions were not nearly as long as textbook says they should be. It was on odd labor in my opinion. I never got a real rhythm so to speak. If I were to say my rhythm was to question where my body was at and what I could do to help work with my body. Margo and Sherry frantically were setting for birth. Thankfully I bought and extra tarp that they laid down on the ground along with Chux pads.
The moment of truth came; it was time to push this baby out. I was scared to push. With Huntington I pushed for 2 ½ hours. I did not want to last that long again. I pushed once and it felt like I remembered, my body just took over my mind had no control. My noises became low and loud. I vocalized into my deepest parts of me. I am sure I scared the crap pout of Christine, I didn’t care, I knew this is what my body was made for, what I was capable of doing. I was standing in front of my fathers’ bedside, pushing with all my might. I peed on his floor (sorry dad- and mom). My contraction stopped, I went to the bathroom- in the toilet this time and think I pushed on the toilet this time. Margo was thankful to get me up. I went back to my parent’s room and ended up kneeling on my knees with my head up against the bed, pushing again. This time I felt the baby moving down, I got part of his head out and the contraction stopped. Margo told me to push more, I couldn’t I didn’t have it in me. Another contraction rolled around and out he came. In my position he was laid on the floor behind me, he cried that sweet cry. Kurt and I hugged and kissed and were so grateful for our little baby. Kurt held him while I stood up and made it to the bed, all the while with cord attached. It was funny, it was romantic and it was alive. Afterbirth came and went, I can’t thank the midwife team more. Having a homebirth was everything that I wanted, even when I didn’t know what I wanted. I loved being at home, giving the freedom to walk around, change my clothes, and eat my food. Drink my Perrier, my Gatorade and have my dogs there. I got 3 stitches on my bed, my feet propped up by the kitchen chairs. Birthing is so natural and so normal and a woman’s body can do it. I am not super woman nor especially brave. I just wanted to welcome our child into the world without drugs or unnecessary medical interventions. Wesley Vedder Edelhauser was 9lbs. 12oz. 22 ¾” long (after a big poop).
07-29-2008 11:17 PM
xixstar Birth details:

DD born July 20, 1:15am
41 weeks gestation
10lbs, 1oz
21 inches long
15 1/8 head circumference
25 hours labor
Shoulder dystocia
No stitches

Short Birth Story on personal website

Long, Detailed Birth Story in the birth story forum

Baby Picture on
07-28-2008 01:54 AM
Kidzaplenty I finally got here to post this.

Baby Isaiah's Birth

To start off, if you are expecting to hear about a UC turned tragic, this is the wrong story to read. And if you are thinking of a hospital horror story, you would be wrong as well. This is a story that is horrific, yes; but also funny, and totally turned out the way it had to, as there was no way around it.

Around 36 wks my blood pressure began to rise. However it was "stable" at a "borderline" high. This was my one and only real sign of something being wrong. And even my shadow OB was not overly concerned, we were just watching carefully.

Sunday I developed a headache that would not go away. My signal that something was not right. So after checking my B/P and seeing that it had spiked to 210/101, I knew things were going downhill. I carefully rested that night and called my OB first thing Monday morning.

With one look at my B/P, my OB sent me to the hospital for an induction. I had delivered every one of my other children at home, and had never been in the hospital, so this was not an easy decision to agree with. But, after having done some research on inductions the night before (because somehow, I just knew this was going to come up), I decided to follow through and at least find out what she was willing to offer. Knowing that I could walk out at any time.

So, after picking up my Hubby from work, we headed to the hospital.

Arriving at the hospital at 1pm Monday, we immediately went to L&D where we were met with the standard paperwork.

Here my story begins.

Filling out the first form, I read the small print on the back, with the clause of "General Consent". My first "battle". I marked out the "General Consent" clause; hand wrote "I do NOT give general consent" and handed all the paper work back to the nurse. She read what I wrote, rolled her eyes, and made her way to inform the others that "one of those" had arrived!

We quickly made a name for ourselves, one that will probably not be forgotten in a long time.

We were shown to my room and I was instructed to change into a gown, crawl into bed and she would be back to start the IV. To which I told her I would wear what I had on and be perfectly fine. She stammered and stuttered. But finally, hesitantly, "agreed" to "let" me. Then she said she would also bring more consent forms for me to sign.

My Hubby and I just laughed. It was going to be a good day!

Coming back in, she brought a handful of forms, and explained each one. We were to sign and date them, and then the OB would be coming in. She left again to gather the IV supplies while my Hubby and I carefully read the forms, word for word.

The first "consent" was for the OB to provide "basic" care and "routine procedures"...Oh, and a c/s "if it becomes necessary". To which we said "no". Going down the form, we marked all of the "consents" with a "no" and signed the bottom, as well as wrote, "I do not give 'general consent'". This totally threw the nurse off, and she did not know what to do. She said, "I will insert your IV now", and I said, "I would like a hep-lock instead" very nicely as I smiled at her. Slightly flustered, she agreed and then left the room to re-gather needed supplies.

Her patience was wearing thin, and I could hear her talking about us in the hall with the other nurses. We were going to be trouble.

After she inserted my hep-lock, she started to collect our paperwork. But when she realized that we refused all general consent, she said she would have to find the OB before she did anything. This is where the real fun began.

A very short while later the OB came into the room. Now, having seen this OB my entire pgcy, I was still unsure of how things would go. But it actually went much smoother than I had anticipated. I just told her that I would not give a general consent, but would consent to specific things as we went along. And she, not being a hospital employee, was OK with that.
She asked me what I expected, and what I wanted. We discussed what options I had and what I would allow, and decided that we would draw blood, and then start on a low dose of Pit, expecting an easy accomplishment of our goal, Baby out.

However, the nurse was not as accommodating. She refused to draw the blood or start the Pit before calling the supervisor, since we refused to sign a consent form. So we waited again. And finally the supervisor came.

After spending a little time talking to us, she tried to convince me that signing the general consents would NOT be giving up my rights and such, but finally relented and allowed me to hand write my own, very specific consent form. This was better than I had anticipated. I hand wrote very specific consent forms, stating exactly what I would allow to be done and what I did NOT consent to.

I would consent to a pit induction, I would consent to EXTERNAL monitoring, I would consent to low dose IV fluids, I would consent to blood draws.

I would NOT consent to internal monitoring, I would NOT consent to remaining lying down, I would NOT consent to an epidural, I would NOT consent to a c/s, I would NOT consent to my baby being removed from my room-at all-ever-for any reason. And in the event of my incapacitation, my Hubby had my authority to make the consents for me.

From there it began.

After taking a full hour to "consent" to treatment, my journey began, at 2:15 pm.

Pit was started at "2", to be raised by "2" every half hour, to "6". I began at 3&50%. Contractions started quickly, feeling like mild b/h. By 4pm, the OB came to check me and found only 4&60%. This surprised us both, since I was birthing number 9 and always had short labors. I consented to having her break my water and taking the Pit to "8". The contractions were somewhat intense, but easily manageable.

At this point the OB came in very worried because my labs had come back, and I was in Severe Pre-E with HELLP. Suddenly, my very life was on the line (I had shown no symptoms other than high B/P). And the OB was convinced I was about to seize and die. We needed to get the baby out, NOW, and start me on magnesium sulfate.

However, MS, does not "cure" this, only "possibly" prevents seizures as well as makes you as sick as a dog and lethargic. So, because it did not "cure" my problem and we were in the middle of induction, I told her no, I would not do MS, but we could continue with having the baby (the "cure"). She was not overly pleased, but willing to permit me.

Did I mention that I questioned everything and asked why for every "suggestion" and an explanation for every activity? The nurse was thrown out of whack so many times because she just did not have any answers for some of my questions. (Like, what affect does the Pit have on the baby? Or What liver enzymes are normal and how far off are mine from that normal frame?) They were so used to people obeying that they just did not know what to do with me.

Around 6pm my contractions began to be continuous with no down time (over stimulated uterus) and intense, though I could still walk and talk through them with no problems at all. The OB said to turn the Pit off for a while. However once the Pit was off, my contractions did not stop, but continued to increase (only, at a normal "wave" rate). The Pit, used properly, actually started my own labor. However, I was only 4&75% at this time.

During all this time, I had to have my B/P monitored every half hour. The "contractions" of the B/P cuff hurt worse than any of the uterine contractions I was having. And, to the dismay of my nurse, I continued to take the cuff off all the time, only to return it just before the "scheduled" B/P time. My OB OK’ed this.

My own labor picked up quickly and by 8pm I was breathing through contractions (this is the point where I would find "my spot" and I just knew I was really close) but when the OB checked me I had no change at all. I was shocked. She was shocked. I should have "gone" way before now, and it was already six hours in, and we had not made hardly any progress at all. She asked if she could restart the Pit, to which I told her no. If the contractions were increasing, there was no need to add Pit to increase them.

The contractions continued and I stood to labor; again, against what my nurse "insisted" I do. I relaxed during contractions to allow Baby to descend and the cervix to open. I would squat during contractions (about every 2 minutes still) and felt a bit pushy when I did. But I always messed up the monitors, which sent off the alarm bells, and sent the nurse running. She would re-adjust them and we would continue.

A quarter to 9pm Baby's heart began to decel during contractions (not "dangerously" so IMO). However, they would quickly recover. Contractions began coming 1.5 minutes apart, and became very intense at this time. This is how normal transition contractions were, and I had to concentrate and breathe through each one. The nurse was insisting that I stay lying down on my left side because of Baby's decels. But I told her I would not, because it doubled the pain and intensity and made them unmanageable. This flustered her so much, but she just kept insisting.

I crawled back on the bed for the B/P check just before nine and suddenly realized that I was totally exhausted. So (although I could not lie on my left side, I did stay on the bed from that point). I raised the bed to a high sitting position and lay back between contractions. Shortly after this, I began to rest between them, which saved me, because they became so intense with me sitting/reclining, that they registered about a 9 on a 1-10 pain scale. And at this point, all I could do was to ride them out and breathe through the intensity. However, with them coming every 90 seconds and lasting about 75, I did not have much "rest" time. As they were intensifying, I began to think of getting an epidural. My strength was suddenly gone and I felt like Baby was not going to come out.

The OB came to check in on me about 9:45pm. She checked me and although I was 95%, I was only a 6-7. I was floored. I was tired. I was ready to quit. She insisted that we had to get the baby out and asked if we would consent to a c/s. I said no. So she asked to start the Pit again. I agreed, but only if I got an epidural, because if I could not handle what I had, I just knew I would not be able to handle it with the Pit added on.

This necessitated my Hubby rewriting the consent form to consent to the epidural. The OB sent for the anesthesia person, and walked out the door. The first contraction that I had as she stepped out, I suddenly began to bear down, and the on 1-10 scale, it suddenly became a 12.

The nurse, standing beside the bed, staring at the monitors (of course), asks me if I was bearing down. To which I did not respond, because, duh! I was in the middle of pushing. The contraction ended, and all I could do was to catch my breath. Another contraction came almost immediately and I began to push again. To which the nurse, AGAIN, asked if I was bearing down, and when I did not respond, she instantly called the OB back in the room. By the third contraction, the OB was back in the room and I was pushing again. It hurt, REALLY bad, but I had no choice, though I think the nurse thought I was doing it on purpose.

The OB asked me to consent to a c/s, and even during a contraction, I yelled, "NO!" Baby's heart was deceling, my contractions were suddenly on top of each other, 90 seconds apart, lasting for 90 seconds. Not a breath's break in between. She asks several times if I would consent, I said no, my Hubby said no. I kept on pushing.

In my head, I heard everything that was going on. I knew what was going on. And I knew it was suddenly going to be ok. She suddenly stuck her hand up inside me (I know this had to be done) and said that suddenly (within the five minutes and four contractions since she last checked) I was 8&100%. And Baby was moving down, heart was deceling, and we were going to be birthing baby out whether we liked it or not; NOW!

Suddenly, the room was filled with people, and the OB was screaming for the neonate specialist dr to hurry in, knowing we were going to lose Baby. The head of the bed was dropped flat and raised up so that I felt as if I was standing on my head. My scale of 1-10 pain suddenly became a 20. She said she was going to have to push back the cervix and I would have to push through this. I was continually pushing with contractions, as I had no choice, and I never responded. My legs were shoved into stirrups and I was told to push. I did take a breath to yell out, "Don't cut me!" At the same time Hubby heard a nurse ask the OB about an episiotomy, and was told I did not need one.

I continued to push when I felt the urge, even though they screamed at me to "PUSH!" The OB reached inside and stretched my cervix as I pushed and everyone was screaming for me to push. I pushed with all my might (with the contractions) and breathed when I could, even though they kept saying push. My Hubby was holding one of my legs and a nurse the other and they kept pulling them back (Hubby kept saying, "they are trying to open the pelvis, come on push". He was really a great help, and I focused on his words). Then I felt Baby moving down, and it hurt like no other birth had ever hurt. And Hubby said, "I see a head, he's is almost here!" And I pushed some more. With all my might, I pushed. That "ring of fire" you feel when Baby crowns? Well, I felt that from the very first push on the cervix. And it continued until his head emerged. I felt the pain and registered his ascent (since I was on my head-or so it seemed) and knew moments before his head was out that he was REALLY coming out, NOW! His head was born, and from that moment, PAIN, like I had never felt in my life (or ever hope to feel again) began.

The moment of truth hit. The reason that labor never progressed; the cord had lassoed him in. Literally. (Wrapped around his neck, shoulders, chest, and then feet, keeping him from descending into the birth canal). He could not come farther out.

**From my "point of view", the OB reached in and began jerking and wiggling and pulling his little body out. Then suddenly she uttered the terrifying "shoulders stuck" as she twisted and pulled on him. Pain radiated through me, as I continued to push with all my might. At the same moments my mind was screaming that if only I was squatting, he would not be stuck.

**From my Hubby's POV, the OB reached to pull the baby, but her hands kept slipping, so she did not actually pull. Then he heard "Shoulders stuck" as she reached up and grabbed his head. So he swatted her hands away and told her "Don't pull!" A nurse asked him to back off, and he told her "No!" He said he just knew that if she would just give me one more contraction, I would push him out, and I did. (The doctor did have to loosen, and then cut the cord from the shoulders before his body would slip out, though.) Then the slippery little guy nearly slipped right through her fingers.

Time stood still until suddenly he was ripped from my body and I fell back exhausted, spent, and utterly happy to have to pain gone. And it was gone as suddenly as it had begun.

My Hubby was still holding my leg as I immediately shooed him to be with baby. Just seconds had passed (maybe 3) and I heard Baby "squeak". That was all. He made no other noise, and it's not as though I would have heard him over all the noise in the room. But I heard that "squeak", and I knew he was perfectly fine.

From the moment I was dropped flat on my back, to the moment the pain stopped, was a mere five minutes. But it was the five minute from hell, and more than enough for a lifetime. I suddenly saw pain that I had never seen before, and birth from a view I had never had before. At 9:52pm my son was born; all 9lbs 1oz and 21.25 inches of him.

The nurse was immediately at my side asking me to consent to Pit for third stage management (which I had told her I would not consent to). I told her no. Someone picked up the cord, to which I immediately screamed "DON'T PULL!" And they dropped it and stepped back. Within five minutes, I felt the placenta detach (the nurse was watching the monitor, and likely praying for a contraction so I would not bleed to death as placentas cannot possibly come out on their own) and I said "it's coming". It took her a few seconds to understand and skeptically said to the OB, "the afterbirth". And in a moment's time, I pushed out the placenta and it was over.

The OB's job was done. And she quietly left the hubbub of the room, on shaky legs, I assume, as she was sure one or both of us would not come out alive. I shook her world that night in many ways, and I hope it is good for her. I appreciated her allowing me to manage my own care, and truly do not believe another OB would have allowed me that as easily as she did.

The remainder of the time spent in L&D was just over an hour. During that time, they tried to convince me that Isaiah "HAD" to go to the nursery for observation "because of his rough start". But I figured, if he was on my chest looking around and happy, minutes after his birth, his start was not TOO rough. I told them no.
BTW, though there were decels his heart rate dropped below 70 only one time and was usually in the upper 80 to low 90 during decels, so I did not find it that “urgent” to warrant a c/s, though I totally understood where the OB was coming from.

They had to continually ask me every detail about what I would consent for them to do (which was not much!) and finally left him in my care. The nurse that I had had the entire night gratefully saw the end of her shift and actually passed off my care to the next nurse to transfer us to maternity. She was nice, but utterly flustered as we would not comply with most any of her routines and policies or procedures.

Since the birth was a bit more traumatic than I had anticipated, I consented, on the advice of my Hubby, to stay the night, but refused all meds they offered, which they just could not understand. I felt GREAT! Sore, sure, but not in "pain". I have the tiniest of scratches from the birth, and only know that because of the slight sting, though it cannot be seen.

Much to the dismay of the nursery staff and maternity ward, we walked out of there at noon on Tuesday, NOT AMA either. The OB actually signed me out, though she did note that it was not what she advised.

Thus is the saga of my 23 hours of hospitalization. A time in my life I will never forget.

I have no regrets. I know now that the reason my labor kept stalling before was because Baby could NOT come out on his own. He needed the help. The hospital was there for what it needed to be there for. And I am grateful. Things worked out exactly as they HAD to work out. Though I could have done without the last hour of labor, and would settle for avoiding the last ten minutes. But I kept my head, my husband was my champion, and we all three walked out of the hospital in one piece, and in good spirits.
07-26-2008 10:47 PM
nubianamy I was already a week overdue, but showing no signs of labor, so DH went to his best friend's wedding on Friday afternoon. He was reluctant to go, but I pushed him out the door, saying, "You'll only be 4 and a half hours away. I'll call if anything happens."

That evening I had some usual BH contractions, nothing really notable or painful, but fairly regular, maybe every 10 minutes, for a few hours. My mom and I rented a video on the way home. I had a glass of wine and relaxed and they petered out during the movie, so I didn't think much of it.

About 2:30 I woke up with uncomfortable contractions, so I got up and wandered around for a while, wondering what to do. We had a bunch of flies in the house and so I spent some time swatting flies. You haven't lived until you've tried to swat flies during contractions. Then I thought I'd better time some before I made any phone calls, so I kept track for a half hour and they were every 4-5 minutes apart. I called DH first, waking him up of course, and told him he might want to come home. He was pretty groggy, so I said I'd call him in an hour if things hadn't changed. Then I called my midwife. She was at another birth but was almost done and said she could come after that if I needed her. Of course I did call DH after an hour and said, "Okay, I don't think things are going to stop, you'd better come home."

I stopped timing contractions and got my Hypnobabies recording on the iPod, crawled under the covers of our downstairs futon and tried it out. What do you know?? That stuff works!! It was pretty neat. Every time another contraction would begin, I'd think, "Oh, no, it's starting to hurt... okay, relax... cue anaesthesia... relax... wow, check it out!" I slept between contractions and woke up to deal with each one. Getting out of bed to pee was not pleasant. At some point I decided things were getting harder and I was having a tough time staying relaxed enough to let the hypnosis do its work, so I called my midwife again and told her to come.

Her newer apprentice lives right across the street, so she came first. She asked me if I wanted her to set up the birth pool, and when I realized my response was, "I don't care," I knew things were moving right along. It was upsetting because I thought by this point that DH might not make it home in time, and there wasn't much I could do about that. Finally I sat up on the bed and was trying to deal with more intense contractions, and my water broke, BOOM, and everything started to open up. I think I probably dilated a few cm in that moment. I shouted, "Whoa, the baby is coming!!" Of course it wasn't going quite that fast, but I immediately felt like pushing and that was very upsetting without DH there.

My mom got my daughter out of the house and had her go to spend some time with neighbors before brunch (she wondered why I was making those noises and my mom told her I was pushing the baby out. She just said, "Oh, okay!") After that I spent time dealing with each cxn while the other midwives arrived and got ready for the birth. I mostly mooed and said, "No no no" during cxns; I know, not the most positive statement, but I really didn't want the baby to come yet without DH there! The pain was intense but between cxns I felt very lucid and willing to interact with others. They got me to drink a little milk. At some point my midwife convinced me to get off my butt and onto hands and knees for pushing. My tailbone was killing me, which I didn't realize until later meant the baby had turned and was posterior. (Argh, what is it about my uterus that produces posterior babies??)

When it was clear that I couldn't hold back any longer I suggested my mom might want to catch the baby. He came out in just a few contractions with a little pushing, face down (remember I'm on hands and knees) into her arms. He felt really big, long and substantial -- one push for the head, wait for next cxn, another push for the body, and a third for the legs. Turns out he was 22 inches long and 11 lbs, 5 oz! His tummy was even bigger than his head (which was 14.5 inches)! He didn't cry a bit and was still in his own little world when the cord stopped pulsing many minutes later. My mom cut the cord and the placenta came spontaneously soon after. I took off my pajamas and nursed him right away. We didn't really see his eyes for two days but he nursed great! I climbed onto the bed and just hung out there, feeling awesome. My tailbone felt super bruised but I had no pain (for over a day) other than that. Natural endorphins are THE BEST!!

My daughter came back about a half hour after the birth and climbed right up to be beside us. She was excited to see her brother. DH arrived shortly thereafter, but was all smiles and did not seem upset about missing the birth. I told him how sorry I was but he said he just was happy to have a healthy baby.

It's been a really super easy recovery. I went downstairs and took a walk around the block the day afterwards, and was totally pain free and back to normal activity after one week. Bleeding has been minimal.

Our little guy, two weeks later, does a lot of sleeping and eating with very little else. I know at some point he will develop a personality and start to complain more, but for now I am enjoying the sleep. He's very cute and looks a lot like DH, with some features like me. Update: we finally named him at 3 weeks. Now it's 6 weeks and he's still pretty mellow. :

I really couldn't have asked for a better birth, but I think it would be nice someday to experience transition and pushing with an anterior baby.
07-24-2008 10:56 PM
aprilibarra this is my 5th, so i really thought this would be really predictable. it so wasn't anything like that.

in my heart i name my children according to what their life means to me in my walk w/ God. i know it seems cheesy, but this one was "submission" bc i was just starting my 1st yr of grad school, we conceived by natural family planning as our contraception. submission bc either this was the worst or best time for another child and we wanted to trust God with the decision rather than force it ourselves. when i started to bleed midway in the pregn. i thought God was showing me that submission doesn't always mean it endsthe way we want, but there was little man kicking away.
And at exactly 38 wks, i started labor, knowing this was it. but a couple hours in and i knew the pain was too intense for the dilation i figured myself to be at and the contractions not regular enough. as it progressed it stayed a bit iregular and sex actually caused my cntrx to stop for an hour. by 3 am they were coming 4-6minutes apart and they were terribly painful, on my pubic bone and my tailbone. we called the mw, and she came at 4:30 w/ them being horrible and me only being 7. baby was still at 0 station. at 10 i didn't feel pushy. my last 4 dialtion went really fast once to 3 and i got pushy at 8-10...something wasn't right. after pushing an hr and a half, baby's head was not coming down. we decided transfer was best. the pain in my groin and back was atrocious and the pokiness of the mw's and the 30 minute dr. to the hospital sucked really bad. i was so thankful that her back up met us at the door and i told him i was ready for my epidural. he said we wouldn't need to. i was a bit dissapointed, but the contx kept coming and i was exhausted. he had me push but the baby would get sucked back up w/ every push. within minutes the doc decided to us forceps and i don't know which cam,e first but he had fingers in my rear too. He said the baby was really wiggly. He asked the baby's name and thought Zion was totally fitting, for the labor that was bringing him into the world (Dr. does missionary medicine). it was so painful and he and everyone kept telling me to push and i could swear everything was tearing terribly. but after my bony baby finally came out, face up,covered in vernix chunks, dr. said no tears. i could not believe it!! i bled a lot but delivered a heavy placenta within a few minutes.

the post pain was as bad as labor and my butt was so swollen that it was plumb with my nates. i had to spend 2 days in the hosp. bc of not being tested fot gbs and i barely slept. the bed hurt my bum and tailbone so bad, i was miserable. homebirth is so much better for recovery!

baby was great and healthy thruout and now all my pain is gone, 9 days later, so i'm really thankful. Sooo thankful.

sorry this is so scattered. i love reading everyone's story but don't always have time to comment, but thanks for answering all my stupid questions and allowing me to journey beside you all. i don't know how to add the pic yet.
07-23-2008 03:52 PM
newfiemomma On Saturday night around midnight, I started mild cramping and spotting. I was so excited, but I made myself sleep anyway. The next morning was much of the same, and by 1pm, DH and I decided to go to Walmart with the boys. We did a bit of shopping and around 2:30 we were on our way to see friends of ours at their house. Halfway there, the contractions really started so we went home. I called my parents on the way home (they are an hour away) and told them there was no hurry, but to come in because I figured we would be headed to the hospital sometime that night. luckily, they didn't listen and left right away! When they arrived, I was ready to go, with contractions 4 minutes apart. DH and I got to the hospital and I was 6cm dilated. I was taken in immediately, this was around 5:30 or so. By 8:00 I was begging for something, ANYTHING!! lol the contractions were right on top of each other (or so it seemed). The Dr gave me a shot of Nubain; which dulled the pain enough so I could breathe and concentrate through the contractions. I was checked again at 9:15 and I was fully dilated and the Dr said I could push, but I didn't feel any urge, so we waited. Sometime around 9:30, I rolled over and was instantly nauseous. After throwing up violently a few times, I felt the baby move down and I needed to push! I pushed and immediately, her head was partway born. Two more and she was here!! It was 9:45pm. What an amazing feeling. I had epidurals with my boys, so the feeling of her being born was so new to me, I loved it! She was placed on my chest and she stopped crying as soon as I held her. She is beautiful and perfect in every way. I have no rips or tears, and I was on my feet shortly after. Besides feeling absolutely famished, I felt great. At one point, I was saying to DH, I can't do this, its too hard!! And as soon as I said it I knew then she was coming and that I could do it, and I did.

Juli Celeste
July 20/08 @9:45pm
8lbs 6oz
07-22-2008 06:39 PM
TwoLittleToots Noah Benjamin
July 13, 2008
10lbs. 7oz.

On July 11th I woke up with a few contractions. They were pretty consistant but not too painful. I had a blood pressure check at the birth center anyway that day so I called and let them know about my contractions. Jewell was on call that day so she said she'd check me out anyway. My blood pressure was good- 130/88. I was 3cm dialated and she could feel pressure from Noah's head on my cervix during contractions. So, we went home and I contracted all afternoon. By that night the contractions fizzled out totally.

Saturday the 12th I felt nothing all day. I did cleaning and laundry all day, took a short nap while reading. I told Mike that I was going to read as much as I could until Noah was born... who knew it'd only be one chapter? After dinner I started with contractions at 8:15pm. They were irregular and light but real. Everyone was calling us that day checking up on us. At 10pm I came downstairs to watch Graham Norton on BBC America with Mike. By 10:40 I told him I was going to take a bath and see how my contractions were. I get in and at 11pm my contractions become consistant and 2 minutes apart. After my bath I laid down to check them out that way. Still 2 minutes and light. I paged Mike on the intercom downstairs to let him know. I said it didn't feel urgent but that I might tell Steph to come spend the night. Mike felt a little urgent about 2 minutes apart. So, I called Steph and said, "Why don't you just hang here tonight?"

Before Steph could get here I ended up calling the answering service for the birth center. I talked to the midwife oncall, Jenny, and actually said, "I'm in labor." I was praying I didn't wake her for nothing! She told me to meet her at the birth center at 1:30.

We beat Jenny there by about 5 minutes. She puts us in a room and checks me, I'm 6cm! I'm actually in labor! I didn't think I'd ever in my life go into labor on my own. I'm 6cm, but she's not convinced that Noah is head down. I had felt for a long time that he was breech, but that thought hadn't crossed my mind in weeks. Jenny called Leigh Ann, who was the backup midwife that night, to come check me as a second opinion. Leigh Ann got there in about 25 minutes and she felt Noah's orientation from my abdomen and said, "Wow, that's no preemie!" She checked me... and checked me... and checked me. Said he felt head down to her. Then Jenny checked me... and checked me... and checked me. They appologized to which I replied, "Sure, they won't use forceps here but they will use their hands!" They both thought that was hilarious.

Not so hilarious was the fact that they were only 95% certain that Noah was head down. Jenny made some calls to try and get us in quickly at UNC for an ultrasound. She was afraid I'd have to be triaged and admitted for one, then have to wait around to be released. We drove over to UNC and the whole time I keep saying, "As long as my water doesn't break we're okay, I go fast after my water breaks." Mike drops Jenny and I off at the front of the hospital and we go up to L&D... where they are in the middle of admitting 7 women into triage. The lady in the wheelchair infront of my doesn' look like she is in labor at all and here I am standing behind her praying my water doesn't break.

Finally one nurse says to Jenny, "You're just hear for a quick ultrasound, right?" And they put us back in a recovery room for that. Mike still hadn't made it up to L&D. They put me in a bed that's WAY uncomfy to lie in and an OB comes in and Mike with them. They do a quick scan and yay, he's head down! The OB says, "How big of a baby were you planning on?" and Jenny said, "She's already had a nine pounder." Then we were on our way back to the birth center.

Its 3:30am and we got back without my water breaking and I use the bathroom while Jenny fills the birthing tub for me. Its heavenly. I float for awhile. Then I turn on my side. The pressure builds and somewhere around 4am I go to use the bathroom again one last time. I make it there fine, sit down, and hear/feel a crack/pop. I wait... no water comes out. I'm in PAIN and I can't relax to use the bathroom. I have to fight terrible pain to get back to the tub. I get back in and the pain is unreal. I tell Mike that I have to be in transition because I want an epidural now. They don't do any pain meds at the birth center so that's the only time I thought about or mentioned pain medicine. I was really just trying to make myself think I was in transition so it wouldn't be much longer. I guess Jenny could hear that something was different and the nurse showed up just then. They both came in the room and watched how I managed these new contractions. I mentioned they were like 45 seconds apart. Mike timed just one set to check, from peak to peak it was a minute and 10 seconds apart. After that set my contractions started having 3 peaks to them. I started moaning. Jenny checked me and said I was a 9 and could slowly start to push as I felt my body bearing down. I pushed hesitantly because I knew I wasn't complete yet. Then my body started to bear down. I was so uncomfortable I got out of the tub. Mike and Fran, the nurse, dried me off. I got over to the bed when another contraction hit. The nurse was trying to get me into bed and I had to wait it out. It actually wasn't bad leaning over the bed, I should have done that longer in hindsight. I got on the bed and it was party time.

I started screaming during contractions. I could feel myself tensing up when I'd feel one start again. I'd yell, "Oooh noooo." I gripped the bed so hard that I pulled a muscle and 4 days later its still bothering me. Mike massaged it out for me because I couldn't move it. I pushed on my right side but needed something to push against so they had me roll to the left and push against Mike. Our foreheads were together and I was pulling my right leg back at the same time. It was much easier to have leverage. I pushed a few times and felt Noah drop into the birth canal. I think I gave everyone the play-by-play of what I felt. It helped me to do something besides scream. I continued to feel Noah drop and could feel him start to crown and I said, "Oooh it burns!" I thought it was kinda painful until we got to the part where he was moving under my pelvic bone. Oooooh, then the burning was like I spent a little long out in the sun. The pelvic pain was like the Amtrak was making its way through my pelvis and it wasn't going to wait for it to open up.

I seriously thought my pelvis was going to have to break to get Noah through it. I said stuff like, "Why does he have to be so big?" or "Why does he have to have a head?" Then Jenny told me to feel him crowning. It made me happy that it was almost over, but sad that it was going to get more painful. Then all of a sudden my body started pushing much more intensely and I wasn't in control. That was fine with me, its hard work. Noah's head was half way out when my body stopped pushing and I wasn't having a contraction. Jenny told me to let him sit there and I said, "NOOOO IT HURTS!" It felt like my pelvic bone was being ripped apart. But I couldn't push so I HAD to wait. Finally I got the urge again and pushed so hard that I felt his head come out. They had me flip on my back real fast and I pushed his body out.

HOLY MOSES it felt like Noah AND his ark had exited my body. He was so big. I think I said, "BABIES!!! ... I feel SO much better now." I could breathe. They gave me a shot of pitocin in my leg.

Then came the placenta, it was huge. So huge I had to actively push it out. What a cruel joke after having pushed out a baby. The placenta came out, and so did the animals two by two. Jenny just kept saying, "that baby is big, he must be 2 feet long!"

I had no tears, needed no stitches. They cleaned everything up while I held warm Noah to me. I cleaned him up with the towel he was in. Jenny couldn't wait to see how much he weighed so she pulled in the scale. I guess he was 9 pounds 5 ounces, Fran guessed the same. Jenny weighed him- she had to slide over to the double digits and said, "I knew it!"- 10 pounds 7 ounces. She half heartedly measured him at 21.5" but she didn't stretch him at all and he had his feet pulled way back.

Mike and I called our families with the news: a 10.5 pound baby born without any pain medication.

The flood is over, you can now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

07-22-2008 02:18 PM
Tenk Bodie Maddox
6lbs 14ozs
20 inches

I just wanted to post a bit about Bodie's arrival.

We went in on thursday night as planned. I was around 1cm 50% effaced. got everything going and started pit around 11pm. I labored all night long having 2-3 min apart contractions, on the ball, standing up. She checked me several times of course, and no change. My pit was increased every 30 mins. During this time the pain got worse and worse and since I wasn't changing I assumed it was because my body just couldn't relax. So I asked for the epidural around 7am, contractions were still very strong and I even cried during a few of them. Epi worked for all of 2-3 hours, so I got to 2cm and agreed to let her break my water. Labored for 5 more hours or so and still no change (2cm that's it) Epi only working on one side of my body. The pain was so bad on the other side that it was all I could do to breath thru them. I did get to 3 cm, but stayed that way for another 7 hours. they checked me about every 2 hours and never once did they say I had dilated at all. The Dr. came in around 6 pm and said there were so many decels in his heart, my ctx were still 3 mins apart and weak, and I had not dilated so it was up to me. Labor for up to 12 more hours or have a C-section. I told her that I was in so much pain, and the decels were scaring me. I don't know what I'd do if something happen to him. So I told her we could do the section now, almost 24 hours into labor. I cried all the way to the OR, and they preped me for it. Bodie just couldn't stand the labor and I wasn't dilating on the max amount of pit. I've been induced 4 other times and by 24 hours it's baby time. Started the C-section and discovered that i was seconds away from uterine rupture and my uterus had 2 deep cuts at the top of it. This could have caused him to come out of my uterus along with the placenta and Bodie would have not survived this for sure. The Dr. was so amazed by seeing this rupture looking design on my uterus that she was telling DH to look at it and the other Dr.s in the practice said they wanted to see pictures of it even. Sorry for the long story, he's here and safe and that's what matters. He did nurse with in an hour of coming out, and his apgars were 8/9 which is great considering he was a C/S baby. It was advised that if we do have more children I should NOT labor at all because my uterus had to be sewn (sp?) in so many different places. We came home yesterday evening from the hospital and are trying to recover from the unexpected.

We are in love with him, he is perfect. He's at 6lbs 2ozs now (as of today) and is a little jaundiced, but doing wonderfully. I'll try to add photos to my flickr very soon.
07-21-2008 02:48 PM
samuelsmom I've been meaning to put this up for 2.5 weeks now!!!

July 2, 2008

I woke up and looked at the clock at 4:44 am (I think I'd been having some ctx before that, though, but didn't wake up fully). I started paying attention to the time of the ctx...they were about every 12-15 minutes, and I felt them down low in the front and in my back, but nothing at the top of my uterus, so I didn't know if it was really labor. I woke dh up at about 5:45 to tell him I was getting in the shower to see if they stopped. I had a few in the shower, and they were getting pretty painful. At about 7, I called my parents to have them get on their way to our house to get our older kids (it's a 45min. drive). Then I called my MW to tell her I was in labor, since I knew she was going to be heading to a visit that was an hour in the other direction.

I labored at home on the ball or in the rocking chair. Every time I got up to move around or go pee, the ctx got faster and stronger. By 9 when my parents arrived, I needed DH to get me through them...they were still just low and in the back--very different from my other labors. No breaking water, no bloody show, no mucous plug, just lots of diarrhea. (TMI, I know).

At about 10, I called my MW to ask when she thought I should head to the birth center...we decided we would leave about a half hour later (I didn't want to get there too early and have things slow down.) We left at about 10:45 for the 45 minute drive to the birth center. The ctx picked up on the drive and were coming every 4-5 minutes by the time we got there.

I labored on the couch for a bit, drank some water, went to the bathroom, labored on the floor on hands and knees so dh could do some counter pressure. Then I got changed and into the tub. It was HEAVEN!

I don't know what time it was then, but I got a little repreive in teh ctx at that point. Then they started coming really fast and furious. I was having a really hard time staying on top of them (I don't know if I did at all, actually). DH was great, my mom was giving me cold cloths and my MW was so supportive, too. I was in transition, but thought i had a long way to go, according to my previous labors. I was feeling really nauseous.

Then all of a sudden, I felt Lucy move down and had an immediate urge to push. My waters had never broken, and the bag was bulging out, with her head right behind it. I used my own hand to keep her from coming out too fast. It was just a few pushes, maybe 4 or 5, and her head was out, quickly followed by her whole body. I remember feeling her shoulders turn and pushing her out. It was amazing! She came out with the bag of waters over her head like a veil, and the cord around her neck. She was a little blue, but pinked up really fast. DH caught her and I got her right away! She was born at 1:44pm, exactly 9 hours from when I woke up that morning.

Our kids came in to see her for a minute, then they left and I got out of the tub, sat on the birthing stool and pushed out the placenta.

Then I got into bed and nursed her right away. She was quiet and alert and just perfect.

It was such a peaceful and wonderful birth. For our first out-of-hospital birth, it was amazing! I wouldn't do it any other way again! We were home by dinner time and had wonderful bonding time for 2 days while our older kids were at grandma's.

Lucy Joy weighed 7lbs. 4oz, was 20in. long, and has beautiful black hair and blue eyes. She's just perfect.
07-20-2008 10:22 PM
njbeachgirl I had been having contractions on and off for a couple of days. 9 days past my due date, which was Sunday, they started to feel more regular- about 4 minutes apart. They were still very light, but my midwife decided to come check me since she was in my area. When she arrived I was at 2 cm and 80% effaced. We went for a walk around the block, and soon I was contracting every 2 minutes, and I took another walk with DH and they continued to get stronger.

When we got back to my house the other midwife had arrived. I thought she was jumping the gun because I didn't feel like I was having a baby anytime soon! Labor was definitely picking up though, they wanted me to eat a little something to keep my strength up for later, so I did een though I wasn't really hungry. The midwives, DH and DD all ate some pizza they ordered, and by then I was walking around, restless in between contractions. After they were done I played with DD and joked around with the midwives for a while, all in between laboring.

Soon it was DD's bedtime and DH got her to sleep very easily. I had called the doula knowing she had about an hour's trip to the house and she arrived just after this. I was having to concentrate and breathe through contractions at this point, and the midwives were so encouraging whenever I had a good strong one. I started to use some of my Hypnobabies cues, like "peace" and "open, open, open"- really concentrating on relaxing through each one which helped me so much.

The midwives told DH to start filling up the birth tub (again, I thought this was really funny because I felt that "real" labor was hours away). I sat on my birth ball for a while and my doula did some counterpressure on my back with a cool vibrating massager thingy. In between contractions I felt great and we all talked about birthy stuff- so much fun!

The pool was ready very quickly and the midwives said I could get in if I wanted. It was sounding good so we moved upstairs- where DH had created such a nice atmosphere with candles and music. I loved being in the water- it took the edge off the contractions which were coming faster and more intense now. I experimented with some different positions in the pool and started to feel a lot of rectal/vaginal pressure. I went to the bathroom to see if I had to go but I didn't- I came back into the pool and the midwife said the pressure I was feeling was probably baby's head. I reached inside and sure enough there it was- there was not much cervix around it at all either! She checked me and I was at about 8 cm, and that was when I really started feeling transition-y- I started getting a little shaky and during the contractions I felt like I couldn't do this much longer.

The midwife wanted me to do some contractions on the toilet to help bring the baby down.... that position was just awful for me (I think I told the MW she was evil- hee hee hee) but within two contractions, my water broke with a whoosh (into the toilet! how convenient!) They had gone downstairs to give DH and I some privacy so I went to the top of the stairs and said "Hey guys, my water broke. By the way, it was clear". Then I pretty much ran into the pool and knelt in it leaning on the side.

Everyone came into the room and all of a sudden with the next contraction I had that incredible urge to bear down. I yelled that I was pushing- I was making these crazy roaring sounds that I didn't know I was capable of- my animal side totally took over. The midwives reassured me it was fine to push and to go with my body. I could feel the baby's head right there and I turned over into sort of a sitting/crab position, because I wanted to be able to catch, and it just felt right anyway. There was pretty much no break in between the contractions now- I was trying to push slowly and breathe the baby out, but he had other ideas! With a couple of crazy pushes the whole head was out, and I had a break in between where I could feel the rest of the body moving inside me. On the next contraction the body was out, and I pulled my sweet baby out of the water!

The baby was beautiful and perfect, and cried right away and turned pink. DH checked to see the gender- it was a boy as I thought all along! I told him, "It's OK, Mommy's here. I'm your mommy! Beautiful baby boy!" Everyone said he looked pretty big, but he looked so tiny to me.

There was a fair amount of blood in the pool and the placenta was not out yet, so everyone helped me out of the pool onto the bed. Henry latched on right away and nursed for a full hour. Finally the placenta came out after the midwife gave me an herbal tincture. I hung out nursing and snuggling with Henry while everyone cleaned up. After an hour or so DH cut the cord and they did a newborn exam, and I needed a few stitches as a result of the fast birth. Eventually all was done and DH, Henry and I snuggled to sleep, and Henry nursed on and off all night. Miraculously, DD slept through the entire birth in the next room!

In the morning we called our parents to tell them the good news. DD woke up and DH brought her in and she said, "Baby!" She is still adjusting to being the big sister but is generally doing great with him. I really loved having my baby at home. It was such a joyous and empowering experience.

Henry Lawrence
Born July 13, 2008 at 11:47 pm
8 lb., 7 oz.
07-20-2008 07:47 PM
faerymom64 Lilly June 7/19/08 6:34pm 9lbs. 4 oz. 21.5” long

Birth Story:

After what seemed like FOREVER, Lilly June made her way into the world in a fast and furious way.

I awoke from a nap at 3:45pm to an empty house. All day the house had been empty and I kept thinking it’d be such a great time to go into labor – when I could be all alone and focus. My mom had taken Alexander to a cook out at my aunt’s and Pete had gone to a bookstore with a friend. The house was so quiet and peaceful.

I had to go to the bathroom, and as I finished I had a good strong contraction. After months of contractions that led nowhere, I was highly skeptical, so I decided to take a shower at 4:05 and see if they kept coming. In the 20 minutes I was in the shower I had 6 or 7 contractions, and thought that perhaps I should call Pete to come home. While I was on the phone with him, I decided that I should probably call the midwives, just in case.

I called Paige and told her that I thought it might be real this time. We were on the phone and the contractions were coming every 2 minutes and were quite intense, but I was still concerned that it was going to peeter out again. Paige assured me that even if it was a false alarm that it’d be OK. (She later told me that she was nervous that she wasn’t going to make it in time.)

By the time Pete got home around 5:30 I was feeling more confident. The contractions were coming on top of each other and I was having really intense pain in my low back. He immediately set to work on filling the birth pool. The midwives arrived around 5:45 and starting setting up as fast as they could. I vaguely recall asking Paige if this was really it this time, and she smiled and asked me what I thought. I promptly vomited and knew that it was time to have a baby.

I went through transition with sweating, shaking and vomiting as the contractions were coming constantly. Paige suggested I get in the water and I was concerned it’d be too hot. She asked me to give it a shot and reminded me that I could always get right back out if I wanted, so I stepped in around 6:10. I slid into the water and it felt like a shot of morphine. Instant relief. I finally had a break from the contractions for a few minutes. I laid on my side with my head on the tub wall and had a few contractions in the water. At 6:25 I had a powerful contraction and announced that I was pushing. Pushing was not an option at that point and I pushed with more ferocity than I’ve ever known. At 6:34, Lilly June was born into the world, with her long cord looped twice around her neck. She was bright eyed and scanned the room with incredible awareness. It was dark, quiet and beautiful. She just looked and looked at everyone and everything for several minutes until we decided to move into the bedroom to wait for the cord to stop pulsing and to birth the placenta.

She laid on my chest for her first hour of life without interruption, all the while, wide eyed and inquisitive. After all our waiting, her birth was absolutely perfect. I didn’t tear at all and haven’t had a bit of swelling. I feel phenomenal physically and absolutely overjoyed emotionally. While I am not at all good at being pregnant, I remember why I chose to do this again – I LOVE giving birth and I love being a mom.
07-20-2008 07:34 PM
mama to 2 girls On Thursday July 10th I went in for my 41 weeks visit with my m/w and I told her I kind of wanted to be checked, so she agreed and my cervix was closed but soft and anterior. I felt really discouraged so she mentioned she could strip my membranes but it was up to me and I told her I would rather only use that as a last resort, so she suggested I go for reflexology to see if we could maybe just bump things along. I told her that sounded like a good idea because it wouldn't do any harm and also wouldn't even work if he wasn't ready. I worried maybe he just needed more time to "cook". So as soon as I left her place I called the reflexologist and she had an opening at 4pm.

I went for my appt. and she worked on me for over an hour, I thought well even if it doesn't work, I have never been so relaxed in my life! So it wasn't going to be a total waste. The lady told me that it took almost an hour to feel the "points" start to pulse, so we talked and she thought I could try accupunture the next morning. So I went ahead and made an appt. at a different place for accupuncture. I left and felt kind of down because I didn't feel like anything was happening.

I got home at about 5:30pm to a house full of people!(All family but STILL! UGH! I just wanted to go relax because the the reflexologist told me I needed to relax (my kids had been driving me crazy!) if I wanted to go into labor. So my dh made me go into the bedroom and lay down with the lights off while I listed to some relaxing music and he made dinner and kept the kids out of the room. At about 6:00pm or so I started to feel "something" and I thought no these are just the same old cntrxs I've been feeling. But I told dh that something *might* be going on. At 7:30pm they were still coming but not consistent at all but I thought I should give my mom a heads up also. We live right next door to each other and I was birthing at her house. Plus that is were everyone was and I thought for sure they would be gone by now. So I had dh go over there and try to get rid of everyone without letting them know what was going on.

By 7:45pm they were getting pretty strong and I was stressing out because there were still people at my mom's and the girls weren't in bed yet! I couldn't relax. I called the m/w to give her a heads up and she said it just sounded like early labor because they were so sporadic and didn't last very long. She told me to go take a warm bath and call her back in an hour. So I took a warm shower and I had 3 cntrx that were 2 mins. apart and then only 2 more that were 12+mins. apart. I called her back and told her that they were getting really painful but they still weren't regular, she told me to just go to bed as she was going to do and get some rest and that she would be expecting me to call in the middle of the night. She asked me if I was alright with that and I said yes, so I hung up and tried to lay down, well immediately I had a HUGE, EXTEMELY painful contraction and knew that either something was wrong or that's just the way this labor was going to be. So I called her back and told her I just had a contraction that left my legs shaking and I would really like her to come NOW! So she agreed happily to come and check things out.

Meanwhile my mom and dh were scrambling to fill the pool and make the bed.

By this time it hurt to sit on the toilet but I had to pee so I got back in the shower to pee. Dh was filling the pool and then the m/w's showed up and I got into my gown I wanted to wear and asked her to check me. I was 6-7 cm's, this was at about 8:30 I believe. I wasn't having to moan thru them yet but they were quite intense, I just had to breathe and concentrate and relax. She told me to go ahead and get into the pool if I wanted.

I got in and it felt SOOOO good when I first got in but something just didn't feel right I tried laying back but it just felt like my stomach was in my throat and then I tried laboring hanging over the side of the pool. By this time I was having to moan thru them but still able to put on a smile in between. I labored in the pool for about an hour.

I got out and got onto the bed and I was getting quite vocal thru them but still able to be happy between. This went on for about 2 hrs. finally I started to feel really tired and wondered why it was taking so long. I was comparing (which I knew was wrong) it to my last labor where I went from 3cm's to 10cm's in a little less than an hour. I asked her to check me again and i was a stretchy 9cm's with a BBOW. It was about 11:30pm. I was getting to the point where I didn't know how much longer I could go on like this. Finally at about midnight the m/w asked if I was starting to feel pushy because she noticed I was getting a little grunty. I told her I didn't know, when in all honesty I think I was afraid to push. I even told my m/w that, that happened with dd2, I was afraid for the first few pushes and then I got the hang of it.

So I tried pushing but it hurt SOOOO bad, not like it was with dd2 where it was a relief. I almost begged her break my water but I knew that just like with dd2 I would rather it break during pushing because of the GBS. So I pushed a few times and my water burst all over her! I even warned her that she would get soaked, so she better move to the side. Then I said, oh thank goodness!! I remember it being so much easier with dd2 once my water broke. But it didn't get easier....I was screaming. I was getting cramps in my hips and just coudn't get on top of it. I was worried at one point about the neighbors because I was REALLY loud. I was screaming no, and I can't do this over and over again. I would push and feel his head move down and then it would go right back up. I kept asking how much of his head they could see. I would feel myself start to stretch and then he would slip back in again. Finally I was so fed up with getting 1 step ahead and 2 back that I just pushed (and screamed) like crazy, I didn't think I could stretch anymore and then heard her say push again! He was only out to his forehead. So I pushed again and he came out to his nose, so I pushed again and out came the rest of his head. Then I got a break from the cntrx....they had been one right on top of the other.

So I rested for a few seconds and she said ok, just one more time and he will be here.
So I pushed like crazy and he didn't budge. I saw the student m/w look and my m/w and she said ok, you need to push for your baby! I pushed again and he wouldn't come out. I was sitting up, so she had me lay flat and reached in to see what was going on with his shoulders and told me to PUSH! She unhooked his shoulder and out it came and then I had to push again and out came the other, he was born at 12:20am on the 11th. She put him right up on my belly and he was blue (his 1 min. apgar was only a 6). I was scared but he was crying so I wasn't totally panicked. He was a big boy.

He laid on my stomach until the cord stop pulsing(which was quite a while) and my mom cut the cord...dh has a queasy stomach. Then once again my placenta was being stubborn. So she gave me a shot of pitocin but i was still bleeding pretty good. So she gave me another...finally she had me stand and squat and gently "pulled" while I pushed and it FINALLY came out. It felt huge!

She checked me for tears...NONE!! WHOO HOO!

Then she weighed and measured him...

23" long
14 3/4" head
14 3/4" chest
14 1/2" stomach

He latched right on, he's a hungry little boy! He is also a strong little thing, he was lifting his head up off my shoulder while I was trying to burp him and he was only a couple hours old. His poor face was bruised and purple for a few days.

The birth was nothing like I thought it would be, mainly because none of us knew he was going to be that big. It was truly the hardest thing I have done so far in my life. But I still couldn't be happier about the way it went.

The girls just adore him. He is kind of a fussy baby but other than that he is good.

My dh got his son, my Dad got his first grandson. We couldn't be happier.
07-18-2008 11:45 PM
blessed_mama Noah John's Birth Story

At my 40 week appt on Wed. (7/9/08) I had my mw check me to see if I was dialated. She was barely able to get a finger in and said I was barely one cm. I was half effaced and soft. So we were thinking it could still be a week or so.

During the early morning hours of July 11th (40w4d), I was getting up to go to the bathroom every hour (as usual) and was feeling some pressure in my back. I thought I had to poo so I tried, but couldn't and became annoyed that I might be constipated.

Then around 7am I had a contraction with the pressure and thought this was like all the other times where I'd contract and it be nothing. But this contraction felt a little different. In addition to the pressure in my back, I was feeling pressure in my abdomen as well with the ctx. So I told my dh this felt different and he said I should time the ctx. Well, after 15 min, I still hadn't had another one so I was frustrated that once again it was a false alarm. Around 8am I called my friend b/c I was still having constant pressure and had a weird feeling this was different. I told her I thought about calling my mw and she said she thought I should since I had been feeling pressure throughout the morning.

I called my mw around 8:15am and told her I didn't know if this was it. I wasn't really having ctx, but the constant pressure was making me wonder if this might be real. So she said she'd be over in a little while. She was going to take a shower and then stop by. She lives about 30-45 min away.

My husband was feeding our children breakfast and I had a major ctx hit me out of nowhere that lasted 2 min. It really hurt. Then I had another one and I told him I really thought this was it and to call my mom to come get our children so I could have his help. This was around 8:30am. The ctx kept coming and were getting more intense each time.

Around 9am I got in my bathtub to help me cope. It felt wonderful! I started moaning thru them and got that "I don't know if I can do this" feeling. I still didn't believe I was close since I had a 16 hour labor with my daughter and it had only been about 30 min from the time I thought this might be it. My husband was trying to hurry and get the kids stuff ready for my mom when my mw got here between 9:15-9:30am.

She was bringing her stuff in when she heard me moan thru a ctx and she stopped and asked if I felt like pushing. I said no, but they were really coming fast and very intense! I said I feel a ton of pressure. So she asked if she could check me before she finished getting her stuff in and I said yes. I wanted to know I wasn't just at 3-4cm. She told me I was 7cm and at +2 station. I was so shocked I was so close. She told me that in a few minutes we'd have a our baby.

My mom arrived a few minutes later and kept my ds and dd in the playroom so my dh could be with me. My dh got in the back of the tub on the ledge and put counter pressure on my back. I started feeling pushy and my mw checked me and I was complete. My dh was supporting me from behind so I could push. I pushed for a total of 4 pushes and at 10:08am he was born in the water! My husband was going to catch him, but since I needed him behind me my mw caught him. As soon as she put him on my chest, my dh said it's a boy!! I looked down and thru my tears I saw my sweet, beautiful boy! I will never forget that moment.

He weighed 7lbs 7oz and 19 1/4 in. He latched right on and has been nursing well. He is a very calm, sweet baby.

My labor was less than 2 hours, but very intense. I had a minor tear needing 2 stitches, but other than that everything was perfect He is eating every 1 1/2 hrs and doesn't want to be out of our arms. We are loving every minute with him and his siblings adore him!
07-18-2008 08:11 PM
firespiritmelody Sorry it's taken me so long to post this! I forgot how hard it is to do things with a newborn!

I was 41weeks 1day pregnant on Wednesday July 9th. I had been dialated to about 4-5cm for several days, about 75% effaced and baby was low in my pelvis. I was starting to feel discouraged and a little panicy about being “over due”. We weren’t 100% sure of my due date as I had been having irregular cycles prior to conceiving. My “best guess” for her due date was 7/1/08. The first ultrasound dated us at 6/29/08 but my midwife and I agreed to use the July date anyway.

I decided to start trying natural ways of encouraging baby to make her arrival (walking, nipple stimulation etc) earlier in the week to no avail. I even bit the bullet and tried castor oil – which I promptly threw back up. After talking to my midwife and doula we decided that it would probably be best to break my water and get things moving. We went to the midwife’s office at about noon on Thursday the 10th to check on the baby and see how she was doing – perfect of course. We made the decision that we’d take the girls out to lunch and when we got home, we’d call Toni (my midwife) to come out to the house and she’d break my water there and we’d get things going.

On the way to the restraunt I started to have mild regular contractions! As soon as we got home I called my mom to come over and help keep my girls entertained as well as my doula, Patti, and Toni. The contractions continued all afternoon and when Toni arrived and checked me I was dialated to about a 6-7 and basicly completely effaced. We went ahead and broke my water, which took hardly anything – it was ready to burst!

The contractions started to pick up a little and we got the pool filling. Once it was ready I hopped in for a while. The contractions started to pick up and feel uncomfortable but they were totally manageable. After a bit Patti suggested I get out and try and use the restroom and then sit on the birth ball for a while to help my pelvis open up. I could tell that the baby was moving down because I started to get a sharp pain in my back with every contraction. HARD counter pressure from my support people on my sacrum (lower back) was the only thing that made this manageable.

After a bit of sitting on the ball Toni wanted to check me again. I was dialated to about an 8 at this point. Lying on the bed was excruciating because there was no way for anyone to push on my back and the pain was very intense. The contractions themselves were still very manageable, even at this point. But the pain in my back was getting much more intense. I moved to stradeling a chair in hopes of getting that last bit of cervix out of the way. Toni encouraged me to push a little with contractions as well. Sitting on the chair allowed my support people to really get to my back which was the only thing that provided much relief. They applied hot wash cloths to my back and put a cold one on my forehead. That helped a little, but really only the HARD pressure took the edge off. I am very thankful though because even though the contractions and back pain we’re extremely intense, I almost always had a nice break in between where I was able to breath and recover.

At this point the back pain was getting almost unbearable, even with the counter pressure. I asked to get back in the water and did. I was disappointed that the water didn’t help as much as I had hoped it would, in fact they seemed even stronger. I had one really strong contraction where the pain shot all the way up my spine. Feeling very overwhelmed, I said that we HAD TO DO SOMETHING about the pain in my back. Toni was getting a syringe ready with saline solution to inject which was supposed to give some relief. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the urge to push. (No time for that injection after all…) Toni checked me again and with a little push I was able to get the last bit of cervix out of the way. With the next contraction I pushed out her head, then her body with the one after that. She was literally born 2 minutes after I reached 10cm.

Through out my labor my girls came in and out of our bedroom where we were set up. They were both so sweet and loving and tried really really hard to be good. Most of the time they spent playing games with my mom out in the living room. When everyone realized that I was so close to delivering, they called them in and they were able to watch their new little sister enter the world.

Touching her head during that last contraction gave me the strength to push out her body. I lifted her up out of the water and into my arms. She cried a little – I’m sure the stress of being born so fast (5 hours from when my water broke) was a little scary for her too. We stayed in the pool for a while and everyone got to come over and say hi and kiss her little head. My oldest daughter, Bridgitt, brought over the Build-A-Bear that they had made for her and showed it to her. It was all so so sweet.

After the cord stopped pulsing, we clamped it off and my husband cut it. Her cord was 38 inches long! Almost twice the “average” cord length! She weighed 9 pounds 7 ounces and was 21.5 inches long. She was born at 10:36pm on July 10th 2008.

It was an extremely intense birth but I’m so happy with the way it turned out. I really could have done with out all that back pain though!! Baby Meridith is doing very well. It amazes me how something can be so big and yet still so small at the same time :
07-18-2008 01:05 AM
JennaW Shorts stats:

Born 7/16/08 at 1:48am, 42 weeks
7 pounds and 2.6 ounces
20 inches long
Labor induced with pitocin but no pain medication used

The Long Story

I went to the acupuncturist on Monday in hopes of getting labor started. The appointment went great and I was feeling some mild contractions upon leaving. We went to my parents house for dinner and while I was there I had one strong contraction but nobody was around to witness it but I wanted to leave because I didn't want to be "watched".

On Tuesday morning around 1:00 am I was awoken with some contractions. Around 2:20 am I had some bloody show and loss of mucous plug. I stayed up for a while longer with some inconsistent contractions and then decided it would be a good idea to get some sleep. Went to sleep around 4:40 am woke up around 6:30 am. I decided to just try and take it easy Tuesday, let my body rest before labor got started. I did have some contractions here and there but nothing regular or very painful.

We had a midwife appointment at 3:00 pm. Before we left Jon asked "Should we put our stuff in the car just in case?" and even though I was philosophically against the idea (because I wasn't planning on being induced simply for the fact that I was post dates) my instinct told me we should put everything in the car for some reason. When we went to our midwife appointment my blood pressure was high, like 158/90, around there and I was spilling protein in my urine (3). So the CNM came in and said "I know you don't want to be induced but at this point we really need to." She checked me and I was a "stretchy 2.5 cm and about 70% effaced". She also stripped my membranes (OUCH!). I was bummed about being induced but I felt like we at least had a medical indication so DH and I headed over to L & D. Jon called our doula, Wendy, and she said she was on her way.

When I got to L & D I was really happy to see the CNM I had had my NST with on Saturday, Shavan. There was another CNM there named Annie whom I had never met before but I liked her. However, I was really bummed out to learn that the midwife I had had the NST with on Thursday, Stephanie, was coming on at 8pm when Annie left. But I talked to Shavan and she was like look, you will probably have your baby in the morning and I will be back by then, also I know you had a bad experience with Stephanie but she really is a very competent CNM. I decided there was no reason to go into this thing with more stress then necessary and made a decision to let what happened with Stephanie go. Annie asked me if I knew what to expect with the induction, I told her and she said "Wow, you really know your stuff."

So we got admitted. I was actually really calm and at peace. The nurse who got me all set up, Tracy, was very kind and did a good job getting the I.V. set up. She told me from my reaction from the IV that she thought I was going to do great. This may have been BS but it made me feel good. She asked if I had a birth plan. I got it out and we went over it. She didn't blink an eye at the things we were declining and went ahead and got me all the refusal forms I would need to get it out of the way. Sometime during all this Wendy showed up. I was so glad to have her there.

Shavan came in before they started the pit and let me know that the OB wanted to do magnesium sulfate because of the level of protein in my urine but that she had requested that they at least wait until they had my labs back. I asked her about the magnesium sulfate, what it was like. She admitted that it was not pleasant and that is why she wanted them to hold off because she wanted to try and make my birth as close to what I had wanted given the situation. She told me I was going to do great and that she was leaving now and she would see me in the morning.

Once the pit was started everything was going pretty well. No bad reactions. The contractions were very similar to the ones I had been feeling earlier. I was sitting on my birthing ball a lot or standing. Wendy and I were chatting about different things. Around 7 pm Wendy brought up dinner and decided to run down to the cafeteria to check out the options. When she came back she said that the cafeteria closed at 7 pm so she had just grabbed what she could which was a muffin, some cottage cheese and some random slices of meat. I thought the cottage cheese sounded good so I had that. I told Jon he should go get food for him and Wendy because it was going to be a long night and they needed to eat. I told him if he was going to do it, he needed to do it now while I was still handling everything so well without help. He went to In and Out to get him and Wendy some food.

By the time he got back the contractions had gotten more painful and required my attention. But I wanted him and Wendy to eat and not focus on me, I could still handle the contractions myself. I was so happy they listened to me. This was about 8pm. Around this time Annie came in to let me know that my labs looked great and we did not need to do the magnesium sulfate. Also, interestingly, the urine sample sent to the lab didn't have any protein in it...

Sorry this is getting so long! Basically from 8:00pm to 10:30 pm the contractions kept getting stronger, longer and closer together. I was vocalizing through them and breathing out of them. Around 11:00 I asked to be checked. Things were very painful and I needed to know where I was at. The nurse told me the midwife was at a delivery right now and then she had another one so that it would be about 30 minutes. That seemed like a long time but I knew time was going by fast and that I could handle it. Well it turned out it was about an hour and still no check. At this point I had just gotten a new nurse who was VERY chipper, so not in the mood for that. So I reminded her that I wanted to be checked. She said it was going to be about 30 minutes, I let her know that I had asked an hour ago and 30 minutes was too long at this point. Magically she was able to get the midwife within 5 minutes. So the midwife came in to check me which of course was a long process because I didn't want to be checked during a contraction, she wanted me on the bed to check me, plus the talking about it before hand. Finally when I got checked she said "Okay you are 3.5 cm and 100% effaced". I was so disappointed. I said "I want an epidural, I can't handle this for hours more." She said "Hold on, let me tell you what I felt. At first when I checked you I thought you were like a 10 because you are very thinned out and stretchy. I can feel the babies head and the bag of waters. What if we got you off the pit, off the monitor so you could move and get in the shower. I would put a small leak in your water and we could see how that goes. You can have the epidural if you want but I don't think that is what you really want." This sounded good to me. I just really needed a change of scenery so to speak. So we did that. If I had any bad feelings towards Stephanie before they were gone now.

I was so happy to be off the pit. Jon started the shower and that was like heaven. But I was noticing that the contractions were getting more intense and I didn't have a break. It was just one big contraction with more intense points. In my mind I was begging for an epidural. I was in so much pain. Finally, after about 50 minutes of this, with a very clear state of mind I told Jon and Wendy I wanted an epidural. I was sure about it. I would not be able to keep up with this type of pain for much longer. It was unbearable. They took me seriously. They went and got the nurse. She came in and said "How's it going honey?" Me: "Get me an epidural now.". I was on the toilet at this time. I knew I had to get back on the IV for the epidural so I walked into the room and an intense point in this hour long contraction came that was my breaking point. I got on the floor on a chux pad, hands and knees and just started screaming. It was so painful. I felt like I was never going to make it. At this point Wendy came over and said something to me, in a firm but loving voice. I think something about how I was doing so well but I needed to keep it together. Those weren't her words. Whatever she said was perfect but that was the point.

So then something changed. When the next intense point came my body started to push. And it felt so much better to do that then what had been happening. But for some reason I didn't say anything to anyone. I think in my mind I thought that it was impossible that it was time to push and I didn't want to give my hopes up or something. So then after one or two contractions like this the nurse asked "Do you feel like pushing?" I told her yes, she said "Are you pushing?" I told her yes. She told me not to push. I asked her how the hell I was supposed to do that. Wendy calmly informed me to try to pant or grunt. The nurse checked me and said "Yep, its time to push." She called the CNM and though I couldn't see it, I could hear the CNM and nurses scurrying into the room, setting up the bed. Remember I am still on the floor at this time on hands and knees.

The CNM asked me if I could get on the bed because delivering the baby on to the hospital floor was not a great idea. I said I could. I got on the bed in a side laying position. And then I heard the most magical words. The CNM said "Okay, when the next contraction comes, you just do whatever your body tells you to." So I pushed and it hurt. On the next contraction I could see the head and Wendy told me to feel the babies head and told Jon to feel it too. Then the CNM told me, "Okay on the next contraction I want you to keep pushing even when you don't want to anymore to help get the babies head up further." I took her advice and was screaming through the pushing. After that contraction the CNM told me "Okay on the next contraction, I am going to tell you to hold the pushing after a little while so I can support your perineum, to prevent tearing." She was using oil and warm compresses. So that was the next contraction. Then on the next contraction I pushed out the head and shoulders and she was out! I was screaming my head off during this. As Jon so lovingly puts it "It was the most f'ed up sound I had ever heard in my whole life." I had started pushing at 1:30 am and she was born at 1:48 am. They handed her right to me. The cord was wrapped around her neck one time, which had been causing some decels during pushing. They suctioned her a little bit. They waited until the cord stopped pulsating and then had Jon cut the cord. She was screaming at us. I was smiling and happy, Jon was crying and happy.

The placenta was delivered shortly after that. Then they were pressing on my uterus to get out stuff. Holy crap that hurts.

I had one small "skid mark" near the urethra.

Caroline was nursing within 30 minutes of birth and did beautifully.

I am feeling great but just focusing on resting, snuggling with baby and nursing.

My birth wasn't exactly how I envisioned it but I am far from disappointed. I feel very empowered. All the nurses were impressed by my birth and recovery. The nurse at my birth (the chipper one) turned out to be awesome. She told me that she had never seen someone birth naturally on pitocin and that she was so impressed by me. She also told me that she used cloth diapers on both her kids and said "Well I bet you'll just have a home birth next time, huh?" And I said "YEP!"

If you made it this far, thanks for reading.

And what you really want to see:
07-17-2008 12:30 PM
HidaShara The vitals:

Margaret Alexandra was born at 1:08 am on July 15th - her due date! She was 7lbs 14oz, 20" long and totally perfect.

So I was having "mild" contractions at home the afternoon of the 14th, maybe 4-8 minutes apart. Honestly, I was timing them badly because I was doing other stuff, like making LJ posts and putting sheets on the cradle mattress. Suffice to say, they were uncomfortable but I was so functional that I couldn't believe it was real labour, so I just sorta wandered around the house.

Just before DH went to class I let him know I was having contractions and that he should "keep his phone on vibrate" just in case. This freaked him out and he suggested I call my mother and go over to their place, so that if it turned into "real" labour I wasn't alone and could get a ride to the hospital. This was reasonable - I was actually thinking it was an excuse for a free dinner - so I made the call and my mum headed over here around 5:30pm.

Now I figured, well, I've got everyone freaked out, I'd better make it worthwhile. So I walked around a lot and sat on all fours for a while, just to see if maybe that would get things moving. Instantly my ctx became 3-4 minutes apart. Some were even really intense! But if I sat down and relaxed they chilled out, so I still wasn't convinced this was labour. Similarly, when my mum showed up and I got into the car, my ctx vanished almost completely. She suggested we drive by the hospital on the way to her house, but when we actually got there I was so relaxed that she didn't think it was worth paying for parking when it seemed pretty clear that nothing would happen for hours, maybe days. I wavered on it and finally decided, you know, we're here. I'll pay for parking or whatev. I wanted someone to look at me and at least tell me something would happen soon.

The nurses at the hospital were just as skeptical. I felt so silly walking in there all calmly and saying "Oh, um, yah, when I was at home I had some ctx..." They asked me if this was my first baby and I said yes and they practically rolled their eyes at me. But they hooked me up to a monitor and called the ob/gyn on duty to check me out anyway. Turned out it was the guy I saw a few weeks ago. Anyway.

Time passes and I sit there calmly waiting. I'm having ctx but I am very zen about them - just stopped talking, breathe and wait patiently. When Dr. Daly finally arrived and checked me, my cervix was "very thin" and I was dilated 5cm. "Congratulations," he said, "You're in labour." Everyone, especially me and my mum, looked shocked and they admitted me.

I knew in advance that I'd need an iv for an antibiotic drip because I'd tested positive for GBS. So, fine. They asked me if I wanted anesthetics and I told them I'd like to try to go it without them. My sisters and DH showed up and we basically sat around the delivery room talking and hanging out while I got periodically visited by nurses. That was when I found out that Dr. Daly wanted to strip my membranes (break my water manually) to make sure my amniotic fluid was clear and healthy and that we wouldn't need any further specialists. I wasn't thrilled about this, but there you go.

As it turned out, it was a "good" idea. Having your membranes stripped is exactly as painful as everyone says. It triggered insane ctx. And, my amniotic fluid was all yellowy-green, meaning a some point during the pregnancy the baby had been "in distress". So I lay there writhing and gushing and they put a fetal monitor on baby's scalp, and arranged for a respiratory specialist ti be present at delivery. I was now hooked up to three machines - the iv, a fetal monitor which came out of my whoo-hoo and the belly-band ctx monitor. At this point I was so immobile and uncomfortable anyway I asked for an epidural. I got one 45 mins. later, which meant I also got to have a catheter put in. Five wires!

This just totally reversed labour if you ask me. I couldn't feel any pain, couldn't sit in a position that made me feel like baby was anything but comfy and content and it reduced labour to a waiting game. We joked and talked and waited. After a while they checked me and I was still only 5cm dilated (but fully effaced, which I guess was something). According to the monitor my ctx were regular and strong... they just didn't seem to be doing much. Finally I insisted on being turned over and allowed to sit up some. Almost instantly I felt baby shift and started having crazy painful ctx - despite the epidural. I got kinda worried when the ctx wouldn't stop - it was one long ow for minutes and minutes. I called the nurse and she was equally baffled. More nurses arrived and they said I should be disconnected from the picotin - and were shocked to discover I wasn't on any. They turned up the epi instead. :/

Well the pain and contracting continued so the nurse opted to turn me back onto my other side since it was more comfy. I joked that maybe the baby was coming - after all I was having the "poo pressure" they told me to watch for. She reminded me that barely 45 mins earlier the baby was really high and only 5cm dilated. Another nurse in attendance checked for me to prove it but instead was like "baby's head is right here". Dr. Daly was quickly summoned for delivery - I was totally dilated and there was just a little cervical lip to go.

It was about midnight now. My mum (who had gone home) called in to check in and my sister told her that I hadn't progressed much and it would be a while. Well, three seconds later she phoned her back and was like "never mind - COME NOW." When she showed up I was about to start pushing, and DH needed to leave the delivery room. He had been really good up until then but it was all just a little too much. He looked greener than me. :/ Mum and my youngest sister stayed for the delivery.

Didn't take much pushing! I pushed like an olympic medalist - maybe a half hour worth? After Maggie was born and the placenta was delivered I saw Dr. Daly whip out the thread and needle and I was like "Oh, did I rip?" and he told me they'd done an episiotomy. That pissed me off - I didn't want one and nobody asked me. But I guess Mags was presenting an anterior shoulder and I'd already ripped like crazy and they needed to. Sewing me up took forever... later I found out I looked like a real warzone, with the 1st degree tear and the episiotomy. Again, I wish I hadn't had the epi 'cause maybe I could have known to push more carefully. Oh well.

Maggie instantly took my breast (well, as soon as I was sewn up) and has barely left my arms since! I couldn't walk at all after delivery and needed help for everything in the first day... even now I'm not especially mobile. So visitors have to come here! But I feel awesome anyway. Shot through with adrenaline and totally sleep deprived.

Need food now. Healing + milk machine = not a lot of energy...
07-15-2008 10:42 AM
AnnieMarie My water broke on sat @ 7am on Saturday 12/08, so I got hold of my midwife and she said they would head up later in the morning. I was having really mild contractions (which I had been having for the last two weeks - yuk), but actual labour was taking its time to start. She and the doula arrived at about 11:30 and I asked her to check how far I was, I was about 5cm (I had been at 5cm for at least a week) but still no contractions. By now I had lost a huge amount of amniotic fluid and was gushing steadily. I wanted to get things going so we decided to try some natural remedies (caullophylum & blue cohosh), had some lunch and went walking around the garden. By 3pm I was still 5cm dilated and not having much in the line of contractions, I was also running out of patience (lol typical me, I had run out of patience waiting for her about 2 weeks earlier and tried every natural method to start labour I could think of, none worked), but after three weeks of hearing that her head was engaged and it would be any day now, with two weeks of contractions and no bladder control I was ready to try anything).
My mw offered to start a pitocin drip with a very small dose, just to get things going. I decided to try that, and she set it up at about 4pm, by 6pm I was having regular contractions which were strong but manageable. I then got in the pool, which was heaven. By around 7pm I started to have the urge to push, but waited till my body took over pushing by itself and at 7:42 she was born, all round it was a very gentle relaxed birth and I felt I was in control the whole time. The contractions were uncomfortable, but not really painful. I had DH and the doula rubbing my back in the pool through contractions and in between them I was chatting to everyone. I decided to turn and float on my back for the actual birth. My mw even laughed that I was giving DH instructions how to turn on the flash on the camera between contractions (this was somewhere after her head was born and I was waiting for the next one to push her body out).

All round it was a very relaxed birth, even though I would have preferred to avoid anything non natural – like the pitocin, I realize that at the time it was the right thing for me. The MW used a very small dose compared to what is usually given at the hospital and it was just enough to kick start things without making labour unbearable. Storm was born in a very relaxed way and it the most placid and calm baby and is already nursing like a champ! I had one tiny nick not requiring any stitches and apart from the wobbly stomach feel like my old self again.
07-13-2008 09:14 PM
DandeCobb the short version:

Margaret Frances
5:43 pm

9 # 7oz
20 inches

the longer version:

I went in to the hospital on Tuesday night with David, we were starting to induce the baby the day after my due date. Tuesday night was pretty easy, I dilated to 4 cm by midnight and started some light contractions. My water broke around 8 on wednesday morning, I was disapointed to learn i was still only 4 (maybe 5) cm dilated and by that point the contractions were coming about every 3 minutes by then. I did a pretty good job handling them, I got up and changed positions frequently and was able to breathe or moan through them. At about 4 in the afternoon i was STILL 4 (maybe 5) cm dilated and it didn't look like she was going anywhere. We decided to start a tiny bit of Pitocin to get things rolling. The nurse hooked it up to my heplock and immediately a BIG contraction started, but it did not stop, the nurse was watching the monitor and turned to look at me (i was sobbing at this point) she realized the contraction had not stopped so she just reached over to my IV and unhooked the pit. my contraction stopped almost immediately. I got back into bed and we decided to try pit one more time and an even smaller dose, the same thing happened again, I went into a hyper contraction that did not stop until the pitocin was stopped. The baby's heart rate was doing okay at this point, it wasn't dropping low but it also wasn't reacting as well as it should. We all knew things weren't going well at this time so I started on some oxygen by a mask and my IV fluids were put on wide open (my arm got so cold so fast!) The OB came in about then and started talking about a c-section, I knew it was time but i was so disappointed and just cried and cried even as i agreed that labor was going no where (20 hours at 4 cm dilated) and the baby needed to come. Everything went into high speed then, the anestesiologist came in (luckily I knew him) and talked about the spinal he would have to do. David was great through all of this, stayed calm even though i know from the time they started the pit he was very scared. They wheeled me into the OR and started the spinal (after 2 tries and alot of digging!) and layed me down on the table. David came in fully gowned up as they put up the divider. They did alot of checking to make sure i was numb. Being numb like that and awake was so odd. David said I asked him if they were cutting yet and he looked and told me they were already digging inside of me. Sometime around here they started saying in stuff about her looking like a big baby and being really wedged in there. Then i remember hearing her cry and saying, I know that voice! they held her up around the curtain so I could see her, she was purple as heck but screaming loudly. Then David and the pediatrition came around with her all bundled up and i got to kiss her head before they took her to the nursery, her apgars were 8 and 9. The putting me back together again took almost an hour then i was taken to recovery. I only had to be in recovery for about 30 minutes, the spinal wore off quickly and easily. They brought me back to my room and a couple minutes later David came in with Maggie! I couldn't believe how big she was 9 pounds 7 ounces, she looked so chubby to me! She started nursing right then, very easily and hasn't stopped since. I got up and started walking within an hour of returning from recovery and I think that really helped my recovery and we were able to be discharged 36 hours after she was born. We are at home now and doing great!
07-13-2008 02:22 PM
veganf Maia Anne's birth:

Guess I'd better write something out before I forget!

So at 3:15 I was sitting at the computer and I felt what seemed like the PING of water breaking, but without the water. And then I had 6 contractions over the next hour while playing Tetris.
I think I called my husband to give him the heads up around 4:30 or so. And I called my midwife who said they were at another birth nearby.
He got back a little after 5 I guess, and he called the other midwife and said "It's time!" : and she had no idea who he was or anything, it was so funny, so I said "give me the phone" and told her the deal and she said my midwife would head over.
I think she arrived around 5:30, set stuff up, and I was having really painful contractions very soon and yelling "ow! ow! OW!" etc.
I pushed on my left side, screaming like a madperson, it reeeeaally hurt. And all the water that never came out when my "water broke" came gushing out with each push. I was clawing at my husband's shirt with one hand and holding on to the bedside table with the other. AJ and Nate were imitating me from the bottom of the stairs, it was pretty funny actually. And Ryan came upstairs just as I was pushing her out. He got to see her emerge still in her amniotic sac (my midwife says being born that way means she's going to be a midwife sup: ). The midwife unwrapped the cord from her neck before I pushed the rest of her out at 6:38pm.
I lay there with the baby on me for a while, too exhausted to even open my eyes, but when I did I couldn't see anything but a blanket and hat and a little bit of her back peeking out. I had Ryan and AJ tell us if it was a boy or a girl...and at first they didn't know, and I asked "does it have a penis?" and they said "yes", and so I looked (my husband was on the opposite side and couldn't see, so he really didn't know) and I had him come around so that he could see that they had no clue what they were saying. Then Ryan said "It's a girl just like I always wanted!" and then AJ burst into tears because he never likes Ryan to be "right" about anything.
The placenta came out quickly. I hardly bled at all. No tears, but I was really sore and could still feel the burning sensation which lasted a while. Ryan and I cut the cord (I had never done it before).
Nate came up and looked at Maia with his pouty expression a few times, but then found the "baby's flag" (blankie) and gave it to her which was really cute. But it was getting pretty late, and the midwife did what she had to do and went back to the other birth still in progress. Ryan & AJ fell asleep quickly, which upset Nate and he was trying to climb out of his crib which he has never done. I went in to see him and asked him if he wanted various things like "a big hug" and he said "no thank you...crying" and he just stood with his back to me gazing out his window crying, repeating that. So I told him I'd leave him alone and I went to the bathroom and he laid down and went to sleep.

Maia seems to be keeping to the same schedule she had prior to birth...she had a few active periods, mainly one in the evening, then didn't budge all night. So she nursed and nursed and looked around a lot until almost 11pm, when I realized that she wasn't crying when she woke up because she wanted to be nursed, in fact it was the opposite--she just wanted to be left alone to sleep! So I admit I let my newborn sleep from 11pm-5:30am : . She woke up between 12:30-1:30 a few times spitting up bubbly saliva and colostrum, but just wanted to be patted briefly or shushed to go back to sleep. Then she woke up at her "usual" time and nursed and stayed awake for a few hours this morning.
5 days old:
07-11-2008 02:17 AM
logies-mom On Tuesday evening, I had an appointment with Laura the midwife at 7 pm. My mom, Logan and Laurie (my mother-in-law) came along. I was preparing myself for her to say that I hadn't progressed at all, and that I probably wouldn't be having the baby in the near future because I mentally have to do this preparation otherwise I go with too high of hopes. Anyway, she listened to the heartbeat (which sounded wonderful), she weighed me (and I gained so I was worried because she said that a lot of people lose the week they go into labor), and then she checked me. While she was checking me she asked me if "this" hurt, and I said no... she later told me that she was stretching my cervix all over the place, and she also stripped my membranes. I'm under the impression that a normal stipping of membranes is two sweeps, but she made it out to be a lot more than just two when she was showing us what she did. Anyway, she told me again that I'm "so tough" and that, like always, made me embarrassingly happy. Embarrassed because I don't know if she tells all patients that, but happy because I really wasn't lying when I said that I've felt a lot worse things. Anyway, she told me that I would get a lot of cramping from the stripping of the membranes, and oh, she also said when she pulled her fingers out and there was blood that the blood was a good thing because it meant, gosh, now I don't remember what it meant. Anyway, she said the blood was good... this is important for later in the story. So, back to the lots of cramping... I asked her if I could take some of the PN6 herb thingys if I did get lots of cramping, and she said that as long as I want to be up all night, she's up for it, to go ahead and take them. I left her office thrilled. She said that I was still about 75% effaced, but that it was my whole cervix, not just the bottom half that was soft. She said that last week when she checked me my cervix was a tight 4cm, meaning, it was definitely 4cm, but it couldn't be stretched. At the appt. it was a "very stretchy" 4cm. The head was low, everything seemed great.

Before we even got to Castle Rock, only about 10-15 minutes into our drive home I started getting some back pains... which is pretty normal considering that I had just been checked and even more normal (for me at least) because I had my membranes stripped. I mentioned it to the moms and they acknowledged it and we went on with our conversation. So, this was about 7:45 or 8:00 I think. Mom, Logan and I dropped Laurie off at her house and we went to Taco Time to eat dinner. While at dinner, I mentioned to my mom that I was having a lot of cramping, in my back and in the front like menstrual cramps. She asked me if they were contractions, and I immediately said "No, just pain" and then once I took a minute, I realized that the pain was coming and leaving in waves like contractions. This excited me even more than just the pain, which, I keep calling it pain, but I want to just mention that it was completely bearable. We ate dinner, and I tried talking my mom into taking a walk with me, but she wasn't going for it, so I was a little bummed. We finished dinner and then went back to my house where my moms car was... she left and I looked at my "to do if in labor list" and marked some stuff off... I unlocked the doors, turned on the porch light, emptied the washer and dryer, that kind of stuff. I think I might have did something on my MySpace, and maybe posted some stuff on Mothering, but I don't really recall. I do remember calling Laurie (who was in the room when I was checked and Laura told me when to take the PN6) to ask her if she understood that I was to take them if I was cramping. We agreed that that was what Laura had said, so I took one at 9 o'clock. I then called Josh. I called him to tell him that I thought I just might be in labor, and could he maybe come home a little earlier than he was scheduled... he wasn't going for it until I told him about the appointment and about how I was cramping pretty good, and that they were pretty consistantly 3 minutes apart. He said to call him back at 10ish, and he'd have more news of when he'd be able to come home. I called him at like 9:40 because being alone was just really killing me and I told him that I was going to get gas and then come pick him up. (He had ridden his bike to work, and it would have been an extra 20 minutes without him if I didn't just pick him and the bike up.) On my way to his work, I called Laura to see when we should call. I knew that with first time babies, you call when you can't "walk, talk or breathe through the contraction," but I didn't know if it was the same for second timers... you know, because it's supposed to be faster the second time. She told me the same thing as she did when I was asking this question of her when I was pregnant with Logan, but added, "Just whenever you feel like you need me." Which was funny to me because when I was in labor with Logan I never did feel like I needed her... I was so unsure of being in labor that I didn't even want Josh to call her. (And for those of you who don't know... I was at 8cm when she finally did get to our house) Anyway, I picked up Josh and told him what she said, and that I thought that we should just go by how he felt because I didn't think I had an accurate meter when it came to when she should come. And I never had any contractions with Logan where I truly couldn't walk, talk or breathe so I didn't feel like we could use that either. So, we went to get Logan some "coffee" (hot chocolate) because he'd been asking for it all day long and then went to the grocery store to pick up some orange juice and some toilet paper. We came home and then I think Josh and I played a game of "Hate and Discontent" while Logie watched a movie. Josh won the game... probably the best win he's ever had, and I told him that he couldn't really be that excited since I was maybe in labor, and he pretty much just took advantage of that. The contractions stayed steady through all of this, but really didn't seem to be progressing... especially not the way that I was hoping for them to. They still were so bearable that I could talk, and walk, and do anything I needed to without even having to concentrate that hard. It was just like menstrual cramps, or maybe diarrhea cramps. I was a little dissapointed. We went for a walk, and I squatted with each contraction, but by the end of the 8 block walk, I was even in a bad mood because they still were so mild. This was not how I wanted my labor to go... I wanted to know that I was in labor, and be thankful for the pains. But since I was dealing with them so easily, I was really afraid I was having another bout of false labor, and it was really pissing me off. We came home and decided to try and lay down. If it was false labor, I might as well go to sleep, and if it wasn't, maybe it would get moving while I was sleeping... or attempting it. I took another PN6 before I laid down. I did fall asleep, for about an hour. I woke up, went pee, and came back to the bed where I laid and timed the contractions. They were still consistantly 3 minutes apart and lasting a minute to a minute and a half. I took this as a good sign, but since I was still able to easily lay in bed, I was aggravated with the lack of pain and intensity. Around 2:10ish Laura called to check on me. She said that she was wondering what was going on since I called her at 10, and so I explained everything to her, and how I was afraid that it wasn't the real thing because they were so easy to deal with and because they weren't building in intensity as fast as I remembered them doing with Logan. She asked if there was much bleeding, and I told her that I was excited because there had been a TON of bloody mucus-looking stuff, which I took as a very good sign. She said to call her if anything changed from what was going on now and I said that I would. I was completely sure that she was at home thinking, "Wow, Melissa is so overreacting, this is nothing, and I can't believe that I woke up to waste my time on her." I was even more aggravated, but the contractions were enough to keep me awake, so I woke Josh and told him that I thought we should start preparing the house just in case. We moved some stuff around so that there would be room for the birthing tub and I made sure that the PN6 was upstairs, along with the camera, new tape for the camcorder, a bottle of water to keep drinking on, etc. I made Josh and I both a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and we decided that things were staying the same enough that we maybe could start filling the birthing tub. We sat on Logans bed while we watched it fill and ate our sandwiches. While Josh did stuff around the house that I couldn't really help with, I laid on Logans bed (he was in our room on one of the recliners sleeping) and watched the tub fill up and timed my contractions. They were getting a bit more painful, but I could still easily walk, talk and breathe through them... very easily, really. I soon realized that my hair was more than driving me crazy, so I called my mom (this was 3:15ish) and told her that I don't know what else she could do to kill time, but I really wanted her to come and braid my hair. (I know, this is completely ridiculous, but I wanted my mom here, and I had a reason for her... even if it was ridiculous and childish, I had a reason.) At 3:28 Laura called and asked how things were going. I told her that I was pretty sure that I was really in labor, because they had changed a bit, but nothing really too exciting... but I was pretty sure. She said then, "Well good, because I'm parking outside your back door." I totally panicked! I told her that I would be right down to get her, and threw my phone at Josh and told him to hurry up and call my mom, Laura was here and I knew she was here to break my water. I was so upset because I just knew that I wasn't far enough along in labor for her to be here, and that once she was here I would feel like there was a little clock ticking... I didn't want that feeling, and I didn't want her to have to wait all day for something to happen. Too late now though, she was outside my back door. I ran down the stairs, and welcomed into our home... which by the way, was not in the shape that I was wanting it to be when she came. I was planning on coming down to tidy up after the tub was full. While taking her up the stairs I had another contraction, but didn't miss a beat... I walked up the stairs and talked her ear off about how the evening had progressed. (This is the exact reason why I didn't want her to be at the house already... the pains were still so easy to deal with!) She told me that she had come because she was worried about the blood that I talked about, and didn't want to say anything on the phone to worry me. She said that when she talked to me I seemed way too relaxed and she was afraid that we were going to wait too long to call her. (She lives 35 minutes from our house) In my head, I was like, "She's going to be so irritated when she realizes we weren't being too relaxed..." She checked me, and informed me I was at 8 cm! She told me that when I was having the next contraction, she wanted to break my water, was that okay? Josh and I both stalled, and so when I told her I was having one, she did it. Holy cow did that feel good! I don't remember there being such an intense release of pressure when she did it with Logan, but wow, it felt good this time!!! We showed her Lelahs nursery Josh took one last standing picture of me pregnant and then I got into the birthing tub. She broke my water at 3:40 am on July 9th by the way. She had told us that things would progress fast once she did that, so Josh called his mom and sister so they could get moving. I thought that the contractions would get pretty unbearable once she broke my water, which is why I didn't say anything about if I was okay with her breaking my water or not, but they surprisingly weren't bad. I mean, they were a lot more like "real" contractions, but I could still talk through them. I joked with Laurie, Joni, my mom, Josh and Laura through them, I walked to the bathroom through them, I was happy through them. It was really quite amazing. Nothing like my contractions with Logan. What also amazed me was that they spaced out. I thought that once she broke my water they would get closer together, but they actually spaced out to closer to 6 minutes apart instead of the 3 that I had been experiencing all night. Laura laid on the bed while everyone stood around visiting, it was really nice. Soon they started to get more intense, and everyone but Laura and Josh left the room. They still weren't awful, they just took more concentration to get through, and I appreciated the time between them a lot more than I had been up until now. Laurie and my mom wanted coffee, and they realized that we had no creamer, so my mom ran to the store and Laurie and Joni just hung out downstairs. Around 5 o'clock the contractions started getting really intense. I had Josh doing counterpressure on my back (which is what totally saved me with laboring with Logan) and when that didn't cut it I had him do the acupressure thing on the bottom of my foot. I don't know if the acupressure helped or if it was just how easy it was to concentrate on the pressure on my foot, but it helped a ton. I remembered reading in "Spiritual Midwifery" about keeping your eyes open and concentrating on one thing... a lot of the birthing stories in that book talked of concentrating on the same thing every contraction. I didn't do that. I concentrated on something different each one. Some of the things I concentrated on were the latch on the window, the bubbles coming from one of the fish on the pools mouth, a chip in the paint, etc. Random things... it was funny though, I never shared with Josh what I was doing, so he was constantly getting in my line of site. It wasn't a big deal though, I would just find something else. Around 5:45 Laura asked me to push with a contraction... it was awful. It was so awful! I told her I didn't want to do that again, and she told me that I had a lip of cervix that she could easily push out of the way and that the baby was so low, I would have her in no time if I just pushed. I didn't want to though. She said that was fine, and that we could just wait. After a few more contractions she checked me again and said the lip was gone and had me push at her hand... again, I didn't like it. She told us that the babies head was so close that it would be out with two or three contractions and me pushing. This is when we decided to call Laurie, Joni and my mom to come upstairs. They came upstairs and with the next contraction Laura had me push again. This is where reality and what I thought was reality really part ways. I was SURE that she was stretching me to the outer edges of the pool... and I BEGGED her to stop... "PLEASE STOP, IT HURTS SO BAD!!!" Josh just said to her, "Laura???" and Laura said to him, "She's got to push Josh, the head is right there." Apparently Josh thought she was the cause of the absolute torture I was feeling also, but after watching the video she was doing nothing but supporting my perineum and it was the babys head that was causing all the pain. For some reason neither Josh nor I believed her. Anyway, she told us again, after the contraction that it was right there, and told Josh to get into the tub if he was going to catch the baby. I was pretty sure she was lying, but didn't have the energy to question what the hell was going on and mention how utterly miserable I was feeling, and that I felt like there was a giant, 20 lb. watermelon pushing to get out. She told me that I needed to push through the pain and that the baby would come out. I didn't believe her again. (I do need to mention here that I don't understand any of these thoughts. There aren't many people in this world that I respect and admire as much as I do Laura, so it makes absolutely no sense to me...) Josh got in the tub as he was told and I sat through I think two or three contractions. My mom questioned Laura about it, something like, "Is she hiding her contractions again?" and Laura, being the ever-wonderful and patient person she is said to my mom, "No, she's not hiding them, she's just waiting for a strong enough one to push with." In my head I was thinking, "I'm glad she believes that because I'm not pushing ever again!" About then another contraction started and I had no choice... my uterus was pushing even if I had made the decision not to... and it hurt a hell of a lot more to let it push her head against the birth canal while I just sat there than it did when I had something to concentrate on... like pushing. So I pushed. Laura must have known from what I looked like down there because she started showering me with praise and telling me that the head was right there and that it was crowning (????... again, I didn't believe her... it just felt like a whole hell of a lot of pressure to me) and all the sudden, "The head is out!" Holy cow, I couldn't believe it... she told me then to take a deep breath and push again and the body would come... I remember thinking, "A deep breath!?!?... screw that, I'm pushing!" I pushed again, and out came her body. "Oh my God! That feels so good!" is what I said about that, while everyone else was oohing and awing over my beautiful baby girl. I sat there, on my knees, draped over the side of the pool for what felt like forever while I listened to her crying (which I did care about... even if it didn't seem like it after my last outloud comment) and about how she looked... everyone kept talking about her hair and how much there was, I wanted to see her so bad, but I just couldn't move. I was like on sensory overload down there or something. It felt like I sat there just listening for an eternity, but I don't think it was even a minute before they started talking about how to get her around to me. I then decided I didn't want to hold my baby for the first time on my hands and knees, so I started to move to sit on my bottom. She was beautiful! Her head was soooo full of black hair I could hardly believe it, and she was COVERED in vernix. I felt so much more with it then I did with Logan... so much more thankful that she was there, and crying, and that she was letting the world know that she wasn't happy to have joined us. She was born at 6:10am on July 9, 2008, after I say, three pushes. I don't think the other ones really counted because the three were the only ones that I really gave my all. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing, and while waiting, Lelah didn't miss a second to fill with her loud cries... and Aunt Joni and Grandma Laurie didn't miss a second to fill with pictures. It was wonderful... really really wonderful. Once the cord stopped pulsing, Laura clamped it and Josh cut it... Laura handed her to Josh and started trying to get my placenta to come out... it came out in one push, and again, it felt like such a relief! Soon after the placenta was delivered Laura weighed her and she was 9 lbs! She measured 22 inches long... just like Logan, and she was still crying through all of this. This is funny to me because she's so mellow now... and Logan was so quiet when he was born, and has since those first moments after birth been one really loud boy.

I have to say that the laboring was easier than I could have ever dreamed of. I really feel that I only labored hard for an hour, and the fact that I pushed her out in three pushes is absolutely amazing to me. I'm not half as sore as I was after Logan, and I didn't pass out even once... compared to the four times I did with Logan. I feel wonderful, she's beautiful, and I'm so happy with everything.
07-10-2008 05:13 PM
punky monkey July 7th I woke up as usual with Rick. I was having some different cramping than before but didnt really think nothing of it. At this point I really thought I would be pregnant forever. Well about 8am I started having way different contractions than before. I couldnt get comfortable and it was all in my back and then every so often strong contractions came to the front. I waited as long as possible to call Rick and finally did but told him I was really hurting but no need to rush home as I didnt even know if I was actually in Labor. By 10 am I knew it was labor but wanted to labor at home as much as possible. I got my shower and ate some toast. About 1pm mom took me to the hospital as I was contracting so badly in my back and they were every 4-5 minutes. We got to the hospital and I was only 2cm dilated and 90% effaced. So they had me walk for awhile and monitored my contractions. Well it was still mostly in my back so the monitor didnt pick up most of what I was feeling and I would have regular front contractions then they would stop for 10 min then pick back up. At 4:30 the dr came and said I was 3cm but because the contractions werent regular enough he sent me home. So we went home and no sooner than we got home did the front contractions pick up and stay regular. I was having back labor and front labor at the same time and completely miserable. I decided to get in the bath tub which helped. I waited for Rick to get home. At 6:30 he walked in the door and I told him he better get a shower that the baby was coming tonight. He was ready to go but my mother felt that they would just send us home so we waited. I was planning on no pain meds but when the back labor got so bad I was puking couldnt walk much at all I started telling Rick we need to go to the hospital I wanted an epidural now. My mom had said no they wont give you one yet. Well at 8:55 pm we went back to the hospital, and I had different drs this time. My dr was not on call that night and didnt make it up there either. All i knew I wanted was an epidural. I was 5 cm when we got back and they did all the necesary stuff for the epidural which felt like it took forever to get. The IV they put in first blew, so they got someone else to start an IV. Then they missed my vein getting blood. About an hour and a half later they check me again, before they give the epidural and I was 8cm. I was thinking maybe a baby by midnight. Epidural went in then and after I was a much happier woman. My friend had come up with her mom and they all alternated time in the room with me. My water broke on its own at 9cm, well for the most part. There was still part of it intact right before I started pushing and when they went to break it it broke spontaneously. I was so glad cause i didnt want anyone breaking my water. 2am I was fully dilated, they had come in to see about putting an internal monitor because my contractions werent picking up on the monitor but they knew I was having them. I told them I would rather not have internal monitoring and they said well you are 10cm so no need to worry. He was still at 0 station and they wanted to let the contractions bring him down. So we waited an hour then the pushing began. At 4:06 I became a mother and my beautiful Sawyer Patrick came into the world screaming.

Overall the birth was great, everything I had planned except the epidural happened. No episiotomies, no AROM, no pitocin. I was one happy mother.

Nursing has been rough and it is a struggle with him. One of my nipples is inverted and the other is flat which makes it hard on him to nurse. He will only take one boob, so I have started pumping and keep offering him the breast.

Sawyer Patrick made his entrance July 8th 2008 at 4:06 am
07-08-2008 09:39 PM
bluebirdmama I’m finding it so much harder to get on here these days and keep up with all of you and keep track of all the new babies, let alone post Noa’s pics and birth story. But finally, hopefully, here it is.

We are in the middle of a big move. The plan has been to move in to our new place and then stay at my sister’s while we waited for baby to make her appearance. The town we are moving to is about 4 hours away (including a 2 hour ferry ride) so we were a bit nervous about doing the move so close to my EDD but I was fairly sure that I’d go pretty close to 40 weeks. The plan was to be out of town for three days over July 1 (when we would get access to our rental) and then hightail it back to my sister’s place. At that point the plan was to cook and fill the freezer and generally get ready for baby since we’d mostly been focusing on the move up until then.

Dh’s twin brother flew in to help us move and we spent the week relaxing together in anticipation of a busy weekend packing. Thursday we had our home visit with the midwives. I was 37w1d and had been feeling great all week and told the mw that I felt like I had at least another couple of weeks to go. She ok’d us to head out of town on Monday.

Our little miss had other plans. This is from the weekly thread from the first week of June:
Originally Posted by bluebirdmama View Post
I had my first baby dream this week. I dreamt I had a baby girl at 37 weeks. The labor was super fast and the baby had some breathing issues and needed some resucitation which was a bit scary but came out ok. The worst part of the dream was that the midwives called in some of the other very influential, active midwives in the community and they gave us heck for not being more prepared! I guess I have some subconscious fears about going early and not being ready!!
Friday morning dh, BIL and I spent the day cleaning out my sister’s spare room in preparation for us to move into it when we got back from our trip. The room was piled floor to ceiling with all of our stuff, boxes, furniture etc. I boxed up all the inventory from my birth supply business and separated out what I would need for my home birth. All day the baby was putting pressure on that nerve in your butt that makes your legs drop out from under you, but otherwise I felt fine. We had just finished moving everything out into the yard around 4:00. The room was empty except for the guest bed and a table. BIL and dh decided to run out to buy some wood to build a fence. I spent some time at the computer and around 4:30 got up and went pee. I was on my way back to the office when I felt a pop and a gush and found myself standing in a puddle thinking I’d peed myself… I was utterly shocked that my water had broken. When ds was born the mw broke my water when I was 8 or 9 cm and 1 contraction later I was pushing. My sister’s water never broke in 4 births. I had no experience with labor beginning this way. My initial thought was “oh sh*t! What terrible timing!” My sister’s spare room, while empty was a complete mess and our bus was in a total state of chaos. The birth pool had arrived by mail only the day before.

I tried to call dh and heard the cell phone ringing beside me – he’d forgotten it. I went in the house and told my sister that my water had broken and that I might need her to drive to the building store and find dh if he wasn’t back soon. We were all expecting labor to go quickly but I hadn’t had any contractions yet. My sister laughed at me for my bad timing. I called the mw and found out that the one on call was not one of the two who had been at ds’s birth. So I also called my other mw at home and let her know what was up. My sister and I started frantically cleaning, threw in laundry, vaccuming, moving piles of crap.

Dh got home and was busy doing something when I caught him in the yard and told him my water had broken. He said “what does that mean?” I said, “We’re having a baby today.” That stopped him. We hugged and laughed. So he and BIL joined in the panic to get ready. We finally got the bed made and the room vacuumed about the time contractions were taking my concentration. I went to lay down. Dh continued with laundry and BIL and my sister started filling the pool.

My sister’s kids and my ds were running wild in the yard and we hadn’t managed to find a quiet time to tell them what was going on. A friend came and took my nieces and nephew to the park and my sister watched ds. Around 6:30 my contractions were less than 5 minutes apart so we called the mw again and told her we’d be needing her soon but would let her know. Not much later the contractions were getting pretty furious so we called her back and she arrived about 7pm. I desperately wanted to get in the pool but they were still filling it. We’d run out of hot water so they were boiling water on my sister’s stove and the neighbor’s stove.

The mw set up all her stuff, helped me go to the bathroom, checked my vitals and then checked my cervix – 7cm. Contractions were right up on top of each other. Ds came in and helped me through a couple of contractions, cradling my head in his arms and saying over and over “I’ve got you Mama. I’ve got you.” It was the sweetest thing ever. And then he ran out again. Mw told me to warn her if I felt pushy so she could call in the second mw. Within a couple of contractions I was getting the edge of a pushy feeling deep in the contraction but was worried to go with it as I was only a 7. She explained that I should just listen to my body and she called the other mw (who had been at ds’s birth). She lives close by and arrived within a few minutes. She asked me how I was doing and I said that I didn’t want to do this right now. She assured me that that was totally normal. I had been struggling through the whole labor with feeling like I wasn’t ready to do it and I was trying very hard to relax but I knew I was fighting that pushy feeling. I asked again about the pool and was told it wasn’t ready. The mw were whispering amongst themselves and dh told me later that they were saying that there was no way I’d make it anyway, as soon as I stood up the baby would be born.

The mw convinced me that I should get off my side and onto my knees and it took a contraction to get into the new position, up on the bed with my arms around dh, facing him on my knees, belly supported by pillows. The next contraction was incredibly pushy and I just surrendered to it and PUSHED. I felt that breaking in two feeling ever so briefly and suddenly the head was coming and I was roaring and gripping dh’s shirt. I was totally surprised. I hadn’t known I was so close. I felt the head was out and the contraction was going on and on and I just kept pushing. My mw was telling me to blow, blow, blow if I could…and I tried but the contraction continued to intensify and I pushed again and out came the shoulders and the rest of her body just slipped free.

They passed the baby through my legs for me to take but I was supporting myself on my hands and had the shakes so I couldn’t take her. Dh held her and they helped to turn around so that I could hold her. And we discovered that she was a girl as we had been hoping!!

It was 8:13 and my sister had just gotten back with ds. The mw went out to get him to cut the cord and was informed that the pool was finally full. “Too late,” she said, “the baby is here.” The cord stopped pulsing and ds cut the cord and then I pushed out the placenta and bawled my head off because that meant I got to stay home!! (With ds I had to transfer to hospital for retained placenta). It was a huge emotional release of a worry that I had been holding in for almost three years.

I showered and climbed into bed and nursed baby for about an hour. Dh made me boiled baby potatoes with butter and sour cream and fresh dill from the garden and cherry tomatoes. Friends and neighbors popped their heads in to say hello. Mw did her paperwork and checked us all over. I had a small tear but we left it unsutured on condition of taking it easy over the next few days. Ds and my nieces went swimming in the birth pool in the living room. Dh told me that the mw had made a comment about how unprepared we were. The third thing from my dream to come true.

By 11:30 everyone was in bed and sleeping peacefully except for me…too wound up and excited about my new daughter to sleep a wink.

It took me at least a day or two to really fall in love with her. At first I was really just in shock at what had happened. I had been expecting to be pregnant for another 3 weeks and my labor was so fast that I barely had time to process what was happening before I was holding my baby. I’m mourning the early loss of my pregnancy right now and feeling more than a little jealous when I see pregnant women. But every day Noa looks more like her big brother and that has really helped me to love her. She is beautiful and wondrous. Her big brother adores her and is very protective but I do feel a strain on our relationship…it is subtly changed and I am occasionally very saddened by that. I am doing my best to connect with him between nursing sessions and so far things are going smoothly.

Noa is a little jaundiced and not yet back at her birthweight so we are sticking around at my sister’s for another few days. Hope to pick up with the move again by the weekend. All in all, she was the smartest of all of us and came at just the right time!!

first family photo

cutting the cord
Rain & Noa
07-08-2008 08:32 PM
Tiffanoodle I already posted this the week she was born, but I figured I'd put it here too and include pictures.

At 9:51 on June 23, we welcomed Miss Cadence Leia into our family. She weighed 7 pounds 1 1/2 ounces, was 19 inches long, and is perfect in every way possible.

I think the week+ of prodromal labor helped. I started having contractions around 8 last night. They came on REALLY fast and furious. By 10, after bouncing on my exercise ball for about an hour, I called dh. He came home and we came to the hospital. I was having contractions that were spacing between right on top of each other to 3 minutes.

We got to the hospital and checked in at 11:30. I was 1-2cm dilated. The Dr. offered to break my water and I accepted. It was just to the point where I had had enough. Even after a sleeping pill Saturday night and a day of pretty much laying around bed, I was still contracting. There's no saying if I would have continued on my own quickly, but the AROM definitely helped! The contractions were WAY more painful than when I had the Pitocin with the other kids. Seriously. At 4am, I was only about 3. By 5, I had gotten to 5. I got to 6 and then the contractions were excruciating. I kind of stalled. I had a really bad bout of throwing up and having other things come out the other end, which pushed me to around 8. But the pain was unbearable. I asked for a half dose of Nubain at like 8:30. I had the goal of doing this fully unmedicated, but I just couldn't. I was so tired and they hurt SOOOO bad. It helped me relax a bit and get some rest. The doctor came in, declared that I was ready, and they broke the bed down very quickly. It was about 4 pushes and she was OUT! I hogged her for quite some time. My placenta came out pretty quick with just a couple pushes. At that point, I didn't realize it but I was hemorrhaging. My OB was a bit nervous and ended up giving me a cytotek? suppository. She said that helped it stop right away. (she told me this later). I tore a little bit, but I barely felt the stitches since I was finally holding my baby.

My dd got to cut the cord (she stayed in the hospital with us last night, sleeping in the couch bed, but when things got super intense this morning I had my mom take her to the waiting room. They ran over there as soon as she was out to get her.) ds is so happy it's a girl baby.

She has a tremendous appetite and nursed 3 times before noon! I'm sure she's going to love it when she's getting more than just a few drops of colostrum from the boobs. She snorts and yells when she's wanting to be nursed, and she really didn't care for her bath. But the "sunbathing" afterward was pretty acceptable and now she's been sleeping for a couple hours. It was nice for me to be able to get some rest finally.

I always kind of wondered if I could love the third with the enthusiasm that I love the first 2. And, not knowing what she was made it hard to bond. The second they threw her on my chest (good thing I was paying attention, I barely knew she was out before they heaved her on up and I got to see for myself that she was very much a girl) I was in instant love. There is this new place in my heart that seems to have come out of nowhere to fit her right in. And seeing my other kids with's pure bliss.

Here's a few pictures from in the hospital:
07-08-2008 08:13 PM
quarteralien I noticed the URL here. I went to OSU for grad school. My older DS was born just as DH and I were finishing up there. We miss Corvallis.
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