The night before my 41 +5 week appointment with my midwife, light contractions start around 2:30 AM and continue until about 5:30 AM. I get up and take a shower, and I lose my mucous plug. I remember smiling through all of the contractions and thinking, “My body is doing this all on its own!”, as it’s just never happened without castor oil in my overdue history. I began to thank God for the baby blessing he is bringing me, and I really concentrate on keeping my excitement down enough to rest and conserve my energy. After my shower, it slowed a lot, and we were off to see my midwife. (My darling called in to work and stayed with me, just in case!) When she checked me, I was two centimeters dilated! This also has never happened for me before labor, and we were both pretty excited! When she checks my belly she does not get good acceleration readings on the baby, and we discuss our options. We decide to do the German labor drink and plan to have a baby that day, April 19th.
We splurge and all eat a celebratory Shoney’s breakfast. Then we come home for me to “chug” the labor drink and lie down and wait for contractions to pick up. Well, I throw that labor drink right back up! LOL! YUCK! (It’s like, apricot juice, almond butter, castor oil, champagne, and who knows what else!) I call my midwife, and we’re off to her house as she mixes up another. (Apparently I had a good fifteen minutes to sip it down, but some of us take things very literally! LOL! “Chug“ in my mind registers as three to five minutes!)
We go home and try again. This time I get it down with a little ice added. I lay down and rest, and light contractions begin within an hour. A lovely neighbor is excited to take the boys for the night, and we prepare to have a baby! We take a good, long walk to help things progress.
True to me, the contractions get harder and harder and harder throughout the night, but they slow and never come closer than ten minutes apart again. ~sigh~ This is my usual "holding pattern" of sorts, and it's not easy. My midwife had really worked with me on this part of the process~I am to rest, rest, rest between contractions until they begin to come closer together. They are intensifying, and I'm really working hard to embrace them. I'm just thanking God as they come that they are bringing the baby down and opening me up, thanking Him for His generous legacy, gift, and reward. I'm trying hard not to be afraid of the next one and relax through them. I'm to call her again when they are 3-5 minutes apart and take one contraction at a time, rather than try to look at the whole picture.
Sometime around 2:00 AM I find that I get relief in the recliner, and I am soo happy! I’m tired, and I am finally able to get some rest. I sleep a couple of hours as the contractions slow and become less intense, and WOW what even an hour can do for a tired body! When we call my midwife in the morning, she is glad to hear that I had slept, as she says you just shouldn't hafta work so hard for labor. We have EVERY TIME, and she says my body just doesn't like to be tampered with! LOL! She schedules an appointment so we can check the baby’s acceleration again, and the boys come home disappointed.
This time at my midwife’s the baby gives us EXCELLENT acceleration. Different time of day, maybe? My midwife is relieved, as she’s discerning how to proceed~home or hospital. We check my cervix and are both just shocked to find that I’m SEVEN CENTIMETERS! WOW! Again, this is UNREAL for me! But all contractions have stopped. OH are we elated now and talk about breaking my water or taking the German labor drink again. We decide we want to keep the water in tact for baby’s safety, she‘ll take a few more appointments, and then she‘ll come to my house with labor drink ingredients. She expects that when contractions start, we'll have a baby in an hour!
What a strange way to have a baby! There I am, welcoming my midwife into my house with expectations of having a baby before nightfall (it’s about 2:00 PM), and not a contraction to speak of! LOL! I drink the drink, get comfortable, and try to rest. We all just really hang out, and the neat thing was Jamie’s reaction. He still talks about how much fun it was to all be together in my room with our midwife and the music playing as I’m lazily scratching his back! LOL! I am eight centimeters. The two youngest boys go to the neighbor's again, but my Allen opts to remain at home.
The labor drink takes a little longer to work this time, and I hafta do some squat/stand/sit motions to get things going. When things get going this time, they take off! OH the contractions come every three to four minutes apart and are pretty intense! Again, true to me, the baby has not dropped, and my midwife has to reach in and spend some time turning the baby. She advises me to bear down, and I bring the baby to station 0 from 3. The contractions just get harder and harder and harder, and I’m sure I’m literally screaming through some of them. I beg the LORD to bring my baby down and out NOW, and hopes of a baby before sundown vanish. ARGH! I’m on the toilet, in the shower, leaning over the ball, in polar bear position, on all fours~oh what FUN! LOL! While on the ball or in the polar bear, my midwife pushes on two pressure points under my bottom and makes it even more torturous~although productive. I’m breathing quick, short breaths, screaming, roaring, and trying to tell myself that I am a soldier in God’s army, and this is how we women fight~LOL! I try to take on the attitude of attacking the contractions rather than letting them attack me, and my voice changes from screaming to deeper roars.
Finally while on the toilet I begin to get the urge to push. It continues in the shower on all fours and never goes away~we’re still trying to work this baby down! To me she feels like she’s right there, but she’s not. Three hours of this follow, and I feel very lucid between contractions, which are all three minutes or less apart. I miss that calm serenity between contractions that is just a picture of peace indescribable! In the shower I begin to tell myself that I’ll NEVER do this again, and NO WONDER women go to the hospital!
My midwife can hear a shift in my pushing, and I begin to really bear down. Baby crowns while I’m on all fours, and my midwife encourages me to get up on the birthing stool. I tell her sharply to listen to me! I want this baby out! I can’t! I don’t want to! She urges and sharply pushes right back (she wants me to be able to see my baby and immediately hold her), and I comply~with lots of help getting up. Two pushes on the birthing stool and she is here! (9:08 PM) OH! I see that little scrunched-up face and immediately exclaim, “It was all worth it!” Baby is on my chest, and we call Allen up (who had been happily playing video games while wearing headphones~LOL!). He’s very excited, and we turn baby over for him to tell us if we have a boy or a girl. He deems her a girl and goes back downstairs. I deliver a beautiful placenta within eight minutes, Hazel crying the entire time, my darling cuts the cord, and our baby girl latches on at twelve minutes old and nurses vigorously for an hour! While Hazel is nursing, my midwife slips me a pitocen shot (even though I've never been a bleeder, BIG MAMMAS are at higher risk~so this is just precautionary), and baby Hazel gets her Vitamin K shot. The labor drink supposedly also helps guard against bleeding, and WOW have my afterpains been almost nonexistent! YAY! My midwife then weighs her and takes her measurements, Allen holds Hazel, my darling goes and splurges on take out (I get a chicken cheese steak sandwich~MMMM!), and I get into an herb bath. My midwife leaves at close to 11:00 PM, we eat, and settle down for the night. Nobody really gets to hold Hazel, as she just wants to nurse and nurse and nurse and nurse and nurse and nurse and nurse….
What a peaceful and calm baby! We have always chosen names from family members for our boys, and we did the same with Hazel. We have a harder time deciding on girl names, so we don’t actually KNOW the Hazel she’s named after. We do have a blurb about her from our last family reunion though (my darling’s side), and what a wonderful, Godly legacy! I have since learned that there are many forms of Elizabeth on my Mom's side as well, including my wonderful Grandma (Libby) Jane! I cannot stop kissing her and just cannot believe we have a daughter! YAY! Here I thought I wanted another boy, but OH doesn’t God just KNOW? I couldn’t be more thrilled!
OH! The boys come back from our neighbor’s at about quarter to 7:00 in the morning. ******* immediately begins rubbing her face and hair, and Jamie just lies beside her and stares. You can see them both tracing her features with their eyes, just captivated! SO PRECIOUS! They are just smitten with their sister! (And HELP ME LORD! ******* is all TOO helpful! LOL!) All three boys are often found lying all around her in the bed, looking at her while talking to one another. So peaceful and sweet! Well, it does always finally end in wrestling, and they get kicked out~LOL….
Hazel is the picture of beauty. She has a head FULL of black hair, almost two inches long~like Allen did~looks like beautiful Indian hair. She has “coal black eyes” just like her big brother, *******. She has Jamie’s (and her Grandma on her Daddy’s side) pouty bottom lip when she’s not happy and really pooches it out. My darling says she looks sooo much like me, and he often finds us sleeping in the exact same position, which only accentuates it! Hazel has my hands, and I have my Mother's hands. All my boys have my darling's and his Mother's hands! She has long eyelashes from my Dad's side of the family. (((((HUGS))))) sandi
ETA that labor was a total of twenty-five hours, although they were not twenty-five consecutive hours. Hazel was due April 7th, but was born April 20th at 9:08 PM. She was 7 lbs, 14 oz. and 21 in. long. So sorry I don't have a way to take/post pics!