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<p style="margin-bottom:0in;">Wednesday September 15<sup>th</sup> 2010 was not my friend. Here I was, already 10 days late, and not a single promising symptom of labor in sight. DH and I tried the usual gamut of labor inducing activities to no avail and I had awoken once again knowing that nothing was going to happen that day. So I busied myself with mindless activities and sat around on my bouncing ball watching TV slightly annoyed and feeling like I was just going to stay stuck pregnant forever. DH had started working from home earlier in the week and was around to lift my spirits. After dinner he suggested we go grocery shopping to pick up snacks for the midwives (which I would then eat, an endless cycle) and then stop by my parents for a quick visit. At my parents I was able to pick up the bouncy seat I had ordered a few days before and gave my parents the regrettable news that I was still 100% labor free.</p>
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<p style="margin-bottom:0in;">When we arrived back home I played some video games and then got ready to crawl into bed around midnight. DH was already in bed and as I was crawling towards my many pillows to settle in I felt a small gush of water. I can't describe the absolute excitement that enveloped me! A sign! I was going to have a baby after all. I quickly told DH what was happening and watched in amusement as he sprung out of bed and began to hurriedly put his clothes on. He only stopped when I reminded him that we were planning a homebirth and that we didn't need to go anywhere. I told him to call the midwife as I neatened up in the bathroom (every movement I made let out another small gush of water). When I returned I took the phone from him and answered my midwife's standard questions and she told us to go back to bed and get as much rest as possible. Call back if contractions had started and were a constant six minutes apart, otherwise she'd call us back in the morning. When I went to lay back down with DH I felt my first contraction, a fiery vise-like grip that came around from my back and held on to my hips. Sleep eluded me. I began to hold my DH's hand to squeeze when one would come and release once it was over. He began to time them.</p>
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<p style="margin-bottom:0in;">Where were the easy ones, the ones far apart? The ones the books talk about? Wasn't I supposed to be in early labor? And where did that MACK truck come from? These were intense, too intense to talk through. DH asked me if he needed to call the midwife back and have her come. By the time the next contraction hit I let out a whimper of yes. It was 1:30am, just an hour and a half after my water broke and my contractions were a steady five minutes apart and lasting over a minute. I was in hard labor. I remember thinking in between the contractions that this was good. My baby would be born sooner then later and I wouldn't need to deal with this that long. Time was a blur. I whimpered and moaned through each contraction that came and went as steady as the ocean tide. How much time had passed? Had I made any progress yet? I was dimly aware of the midwives arriving and someone giving me some water to drink. I vaguely remember them asking me to get up and walk. It would help they said. But walking was so hard and I had to pause so very often to lean on DH. I couldn't really talk anymore and I retreated deep inside myself. I also didn't like that I was dripping little drops of blood when I walked. I remember staring at some droplets accusingly. I didn't want them, I wanted my baby, either Ollie or Gwen. I remember the midwives saying it can't be long now and how they were exited to have an early-in-the-day baby. But the fire kept coming back unceasingly and I was so very tired. I hadn't slept since the day before and was now at 24 hours with no sleep. I would walk, I would sit on my bouncing ball, and I would lay down. Time was meaningless. The fire would always come back and I would moan. “Make low tones” someone said. “They can be loud, but keep the tone low.” It was the one phrase I could hold onto. The only thing that made sense in my world of fire.</p>
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<p style="margin-bottom:0in;">Sometime in the late afternoon my midwife decided to check my progress. A stretchy five centimeters. I had been in hard labor for 12 hours working with on 32 hours with no sleep. Try to sleep they told me … try. And I did, sort of. For a brief period from 3pm to 5pm my contractions spaced out to six minutes and in between each one I would doze for a few brief moments. Then I couldn't sleep anymore. They were closer now, only four minutes apart and lasting a minute and a half. I was at the point I was begging my body just to have the baby. Just to do anything at all to get me out of this never-ending cycle of fire. DH asked me if I wanted anyone to come. I begged for my mother. More time passed. I sat on the toilet, hobbled into the tub and increasing just laid on my bed surrendering to the fire. At one point the midwife asked if I felt I needed to push. Push? The thought had never crossed my mind. So I gave it a shot and it was painful and felt “wrong”. It was not the time to push. I was so very very tired and so very annoyed with everyone in the world. To many people around trying to touch me and I just wanted to bat them all away. I gave in to yelling curses out to anyone who could hear. At 8:30pm I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and thought to myself that I couldn't do this. That if something didn't happen soon then I would need to transport to the hospital and nothing scared me more then going to the hospital.</p>
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<p style="margin-bottom:0in;">20 hours of hard hard labor working off of 40 hours without real sleep. I asked the midwife to check me again. I was at 9cm with a cervical lip. I knew the clock was against me. Something needed to be done otherwise I would collapse from exhaustion. My midwife offered to reach in and push the cervical lip out of the way while I pushed to help the baby. By the next contraction I agreed. I still had no urge to push, but knew that I needed too. So with her holding back the lip I pushed and I pushed and have never felt anything so painful in my life. Finally the head descended. Ah, here was an actual pushing urge. It felt like a breath of fresh air to push. Finally I was in control. I didn't feel the ring of fire. I felt pressure that gave me focus and sweet sweet relief as my baby was born at 10:23pm on September 16<sup>th</sup> after 45min of pushing.</p>
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<p style="margin-bottom:0in;">My first thought as I looked at the slimy baby on my lower abdomen was “Good God, now I can sleep” followed immediately by “Who is this baby?” and “Man does it have a set of lungs”. Cute, red, slimy, and screaming its head off. After a few moments I had DH look between the legs since I couldn't see from my vantage point. “It's a boy, we have an Oliver.” Odd, I really thought I was having Gwen. The midwives left him on my stomach as I birthed the placenta and then I could finally hold him closer and have a better look. The cord was cut by DH after an hour or so and then I brought him up for nursing.</p>
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<p style="margin-bottom:0in;">Ollie was a solid 8.5 pounds and 22.5 inches long. I was in hard labor for 22 hours and he was born with an elbow by his head. My difficulty dilating was do to the fact that he had squished his umbilical cord (already a short one) between his head and his elbow making it so he couldn't descend effectively. I tore up the front and needed five stitches <sarcasm>thanks elbow</sarcasm>. I did bleed quite a lot but it stopped on its own. Oliver's birth was the most fantastically difficult endurance race I have ever experienced, just around 250 contractions.</p>
 

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<p>Whew! Was right there with you! You are a hero!!!</p>
 

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Thanks for sharing your story. <img alt="joy.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/joy.gif">
 

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<p>Congratulations! I remember thinking something similarly unromantic when I gave birth to DD - rush of overwhelming mother love my eyeballs, it was more like "Thank goodness that's over". <span><img alt="lol.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lol.gif"></span></p>
 
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