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Hi guys! I finally got around to writing my son's birth story, born June 9, 2006.

At my midwife appointment on Wednesday June 7th, I finally broke down and had an exam (my first in the pregnancy aside from a pap in my first trimester) I hadn't wanted one earlier as I didn't want to feel disheartened if there was no progress (because *progress* means nothing!) but I was feeling rotten and needed a pick me up. it was four days past my due date and I had developed an awful ear infection. The exam said that I was one CM dilated, 80% effaced and at -1 station. about what I expected.

That night my ear infection took a turn for the worst and I was in sheer agony. I ended up in the hospital at 4AM with a wick in my ear as it had completely closed over and there was no way to get the medication in. I spent most of the day trying to sleep through the pain.

the next night (Thursday-Friday)I noticed I was waking up every 15 minutes (I had been waking up every 1/2 for for about a week) to use the washroom and I noticed I wasn't actually using it. I got back into bed and tried to go back to bed but this time woke up 10 minutes later. I noticed a menstrual cramp type sensation, and realized I was in labor when I touched my stomach and it was hard at the same time as the cramping sensation was happening. I poked my husband and said "I think we're having a baby today" and he said "really?" in a muffled voice. I replied "Yes, but go back to sleep, we need one of us to have had a good nights sleep! This could take a day or two".

I got out of bed and went to the computer as I was too excited to sleep. The contractions didn't hurt yet, but I timed them and they were lasting about a minute and were 4-6 minutes apart at 5AM. I sat at the computer timing my contractions and chatting with friends (who didn't believe I was in labor because I was on the computer) and playing online monopoly (none of my opponents believed I was in labor either!)

My husband got up at 9:30 AM (lucky man sleeping in!) and my contractions were 3 minutes apart lasting 45-60 seconds. They were beginning to hurt (but still not enough to affect my ability to do things like cook, type etc) so we paged our midwife Patti. I don't think she thought I was that far into labor as i was still talking normally and my voice was only slightly affected by the contractions. She said to give her a call when the contractions were less than three minutes apart and lasting for at least 60 seconds. This turned out to be in about an hour, and she arrived at our home at 11AM.

DH and I had been blowing up the pool and filling it with water, and at this point I was no longer able to help him. The pool was almost ready and I was working through contractions laying on my stomach in the bathtub. Patti asked me if I wanted to get in the pool and I said yes. I got in and she watched me dealing with a few contractions, and asked if I'd like her to check my progress. I said yes, and she checked me in the pool. I was 100% effaced, and 4 CM dilated with bulging bag of waters. This was at about noon.

The next while is kind of a blur. I was moaning through the contractions with a loooow voice, and catching rest in between. at around 1:30 PM, Patti checked me again and told me I was fully effaced on one side and 6-7CM dilated on the other. This was probably because I had been laboring mostly by laying on one side. I had been switching between laboring on a mat by the pool and laboring in the pool. She asked if I would like her to break my water (she had asked a few times previously but I was afraid it would make the contractions too intense) and I was scared, but then she said something very important that kept me going through my labor. "It doesn't get worse than an eight. You will never feel worse than you do at 8CM". I decided to let her, so I got out of the pool (she wouldn't do it in the pool) and got on the mat. The water breaking didn't hurt at all, but all of a sudden I could feel my baby so clearly. He felt so vulnerable and exposed without all that water protecting him.

My sister arrived shortly after and prepared some food for my husband and drinks for everyone. She forced me to drink a little. Patti told me it might help to labor on the toilet, but I only made it through one contraction on the toilet. too intense! I made my way back to the pool, and had a nine minute long pushing contraction. Patti asked me part way through if I was pushing between contractions and I gagged out "NO!" She took my pulse and the baby's, and asked me to get out of the pool and labor on the mat. My sister and husband at some point were talking to each other during my contractions and it made me really angry and I scolded them for it (I believe I said "no one is allowed to crack jokes but ME".

Patti called Shannon (the assistant midwife for my birth) as it appeared this baby was a-coming! It was about 3PM.

I started pushing through each contraction (I had been before but not aggressively) after Shannon arrived (about 10 minutes later) but I was getting disheartened. It had suddenly occurred to me that I had to push out a BABY, and I was having none of it. I told Patti I needed to go to the hospital and have a c-section and she ignored me. SO I tried to appeal to Shannon, who told me "Well, we can go to the hospital, but they are REALLY busy today, so it will be a four hour wait for your c-section" at which point I realized that I wouldn't even make it TO the hospital. The pushing contractions finally started feeling like they were doing something. about 5 contractions later I felt the ring on fire and could not control my pushing. This baby was coming. The head was out and there was a brief pause, and the midwives asked me to hold on though the next one but I could and then he was out and on my chest. He was blue and in a little shock so they blew oxygen on his face and in a little bit he started crying. He was blue and puffy with a cone head but in my eyes he was perfect. I just couldn't believe that he was mine and he was real and that he had ten fingers and ten toes. His apgars were 7 and 9.

After about 5 minutes Patti asked me to nurse him. He latched on immediately and nursed 1/2 an hour on each side, even with my inverted nipple that I had worried would cause us nursing problems. While I was nursing Patti quickly told me to push, and then the placenta was out. Patti and Shannon checked me for tears, and noted that I had a cherry sized tear, first degree, and it did not require stitches. The midwives supported my perineum so that most likely minimized tearing. After I nursed him we gave him to my husband to hold and Patti asked me what I would like... food, tea, juice, bath, shower etc. I decided on the shower, and she helped me in to the bathroom and sat with me, then helped me out. My husband was still holding the baby and was totally in love.

All in all, Callum John barreled his way into the world in about 13 hours. He was 8 pounds 12 ounces, 21 inches long with a head circumference of 14 inches. He had no vernix and a full head of hair. I had expected at least 24 hours of labor, as everyone I know had had about that amount, so I was totally shocked when he was out and it was still light outside.

On a side note, my blood pressure had skyrocketed in the two weeks prior to the birth, and at mty appointment was 138/88. If it had gone up two more points I would have been forced to have a hospital birth. When Patti checked me in labor, it was 120/60. Apparently I just don't like medical offices!

I had really wanted a waterbirth, but it just didn't work out that way. Obviously my body just did not want to give birth there, which was a little dissapointing, but the lesson learned is ALWAYS have a back up plan! Thank goodness we had been wise enough to prepare the mattress from our pull out couch!
 
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