Actually, she has been out for about 10 days but this is the first time I've been on the computer since her birth.
Hazel was born on Jan. 30 at 1:17 am. She was 8 lbs 1 oz and 38 weeks 3 days gestation. Not too surprising, since my other three were all born between 38 and 39 weeks. But that was the only unsurprising thing about her birth, everything else was far different from her siblings births.
To start I have to explain that our state laws that are unfriendly to midwives (though hopefully they'll get that changed soon). So to have an assisted out of hospital birth we have to travel about 50 miles across state lines to a house that a local midwife has set up for families from out state. We did that last time as well.
This time my labor started with leaking amniotic fluid, which has never happened before. It started after I got out of the shower about mid morning and a few hours later there was a big gush. Then I was sure that it was amniotic fluid and I talked to the midwife about it. Since there were no contractions, she said to just keep her updated. I puttered around and finally laid down and listened to some hypnobabies for a while. I'd been doing hypnobabies since about 20 weeks and I really think it was responsible for how well this labor went.
My mom came and got the kids in the late afternoon so that we wouldn't have to drop them off on the way to the birth house. This turned out to be an excellent idea.
Around 5 pm I could feel Braxton-Hicksish contractions every 10 minutes or so, but they weren't noticeable when I was up doing things. In retrospect, I think they were real labor but I just didn't feel them that strongly because of the hypnobabies. After supper I talked to the midwife again (I'd been talking to her every couple hours) and told her that I thought it would probably be a while. At 9 pm dh and I went to bed. I turned on the Easy First Stage cd and listened to it for about 2 hours. I don't know if I really slept, but I had six really strong contractions that I could really feel during that time. After the cd stopped for the second time I had the feeling that we should get ready to go. So I got up and started getting ready while listening to the cd again. I knew that I was moving extremely slowly (I always do in labor), so I didn't wake dh for a while. I called the midwife and she said that she'd get ready to go, too, since she also had a ways to drive to get to the birth house. During this time, I could feel that there were contractions from time to time but they didn't bother me at all.
Unfortunately getting into the car brought me more to attention even though I was continuing to listen to the cd. The difference was quite noticeable and the contractions were unpleasant. We pulled out of the driveway at 11:44 (I know because I was using the car's clock to time a contraction at that point) and we called the midwife who left at the same time. Contractions were about 4-5 minutes apart.
By the time we crossed the border (about 40 minutes later) I was having to push slightly with each one in order to make it feel better. I mentioned that to dh, who was calm about it. Though he later said that it caused him to drive faster. We got to the birth house at 12:30 and then the contractions were right on top of each other. I had three contractions from the car to the house, which was about 40 feet. Once inside, I started shaking. I knew that was a sign of transition, but I could quite get the words out to tell dh. No one was home, since the lady who owns it goes to her son's house when a birthing mother is on her way. We got upstairs and I had more contractions. They were very strong and very unpleasant and I was upset that the hypnobabies hadn't worked. In retrospect I can see that it did work, but I was very in the moment at that time.
Dh had brought out birth kit and bags in and I had him help get me to the bathroom. After I got off the toilet I got on my hands and knees and he took off my shoes and pants for me. I kept wanting him to fill the tub for me (it's a lovely big claw foot tub that my older daughter was born in), but the midwife had said to wait until she got there. The contraction that I had on my hands and knees was really no fun, so I got back on the toilet and had dh put his hand on my should which help a lot through that contraction. The midwife had just called and was 5 minutes away, so I asked him to start filling the tub. He turned on the water and I had another contraction which made me call him over to put his hand on my shoulder again. Half way through that one it turned into a push. Not the kind of push you can ignore and I figured that if my body wanted to push, I was in agreement. So I pushed with it and I felt her head come out. I said something to that effect and got off the toilet. Dh wasn't moving fast enough (it turned out he didn't believe me until he saw her head) so I yelled, "Don't let my baby fall in the toilet!" Then he saw her head and he asked if I could push her out the rest of the way. I thought I should wait for the next contraction but then I pushed again and she was all the way out. Dh caught her and I went down on my knees and all three of us were in shock. Then dh got her passed through my legs and I got to see her. She was covered in vernix and had lots of dark hair (it's actually brown when it's dry) and her cord was over her shoulder. I put her down a little to move the cord and that's when she started crying. I grabbed a towel to put around her and that's when the midwife walked in.
We were just elated that she was really out, just like that. The midwife got pads under me and more towels around both of us and such. Then the contractions for the placenta hit. I was completely out of hypnosis by then and those contractions were as bad or worse than the ones at the end of labor. That's when I started to realize how well the hypnobabies had actually worked. I pushed the placenta out 20 minutes after Hazel's birth. By then the midwife had her instruments boiled so then she cut the cord.
Hazel nursed for the next two hours straight, then we had a bath with tea tree oil. She was weighed and measured and I was checked for tears. I only had a few skid marks despite her rapid birth. Then we all went to bed.
So I ended up having an hour and a half of unpleasant contractions (and during the 45 minute car ride they were tolerable) and two pushes to get the baby out. In contrast, my other three labors were 12.5 hours, 11.5 hours and 15.5 hours. I still can barely believe it.
Hazel is 10 days old today and nursing well. She has beautiful brown hair and bright eyes and the most laid back personality. She's a lot like my dad and my brother. She's just an awesome baby.
I enjoyed reading other people's birth stories on here in the weeks leading up to Hazel's birth, so I hope this is as interesting to some of you as those were to me.