Hey ladies! I am so excited to announce the birth of my baby boy Kaian. He arrived on Tuesday 9/18 at 6:07 a.m. after about 7 hours of labor. I had him on my living room couch!
Here's our story:
On Monday evening I started to get the feeling that I'd be in labor very soon (I know I must be Nostradamus or something considering I was 9 days past my edd). I kept bugging DH to go to the park w/ Riley because I knew it would be the last time we'd go out as a threesome and I wanted some fresh air. While we were there I felt fine, a little pressure but no contractions or anything.
We came home around 7 and I made Kraft mac n' cheese for dinner (I did add broccoli to give it some integrity) and we had some ice cream. At about 10:15 I took Riley into her room to nurse her and started having some mild contractions. This was nothing new; I had been getting them while nursing for weeks so I didn't think much of it. At 10:40 I called Greg in to sing Riley a song and get her into her crib and I did what I always do - I beelined it to the bathroom to pee. I had just finished my business and was sorta just sitting on the toilet waiting for the right moment to get up when I heard and felt a strange "pop" at the top of my belly. Immediately a gush of fluid poured out of me into the toilet. I started shaking (excitement) and called out to Greg that my water had broken. He was so excited he was almost dancing!
I called Kelley (my midwife) and she told me to try and sleep because it could be minutes or days before labor begins. I stood there as a puddle accumulated below me and agreed to try to sleep, but I knew I'd be calling her back very soon.
I took a shower and was amazed at how much smaller and lower my belly looked. After that I started to get onto all fours to try and get baby into a good position (he was head-down with his side facing out that morning when Kelley checked). Contractions started soon after my shower and were pretty strong and surprisingly close together, about 2-3 minutes apart. We called Kelley again and again she told me to sleep, but she wasn't surprised when I called her 5 minutes later and said she should head over since she is an hour away.
Greg got to work setting up the birthing tub and I could feel myself starting to withdraw. The surges were extremely intense now and I was leaking all this fluid and was finding it very hard to change positions. I was lying on my side on the floor for a long while waiting for the tub to get full. I told Greg to call my friend Sara, who was supposed to be my doula. I knew I was not going to want her to do anything for me but I still wanted her to be there since she was really excited about the birth. When Sara arrived all I wanted was for her to hold one leg up for me while I labored in that same side-lying position for a while longer.
To our surprise, the tub was filling fast with murky, brown water. There had been lots of rain earlier that week and the water had been a little cloudy, but I couldn't believe how gross the water looked. When Kelley arrived she said not to worry and that I could get into the tub anyway. I wanted to be in the water but truly had to be convinced to get up and get in because I was having so much trouble changing my position. Finally I got up the strength to get into the tub and after a few minutes in the water I did feel more comfortable. It was not the blissful experience I'd expected but it was better than lying on the floor.
This is where things get really intense. I wasn't speaking to anyone unless absolutely necessary anymore., I was way too focused on "opening up" with each contraction and the surges were so intense I was making these animal sounds to deal with them. If someone tried to move my hair or touch my shoulder I shrugged them away - I was sooo not interested in being touched in any way.
One wonderful thing was that everyone there totally respected this and they were quiet and did not try to force me to answer any questions or anything like that. Really the only one I talked to at all was Kelley and that was to let her monitor the baby's heart rate (which remained perfectly strong!) and to say no thanks to Dh and Sara, who kept offering me sips of Recharge. Kelley told me later I was very polite (lots of pleases and thank yous) and that whenever someone offered to do something for me I would respond "I want nothing." I had no concept of what time it was. I was exhausted, sweating, and believe it or not, nodding off between contractions. I kept feeling my face hit the water and I'd wake up to another strong bolt going through my body. It's funny, but as quiet and serious as I was, I had Bob Marley in my head all night.
There definitely came a point where I said "how much longer?" and "I can't do this!" and I even said "I think I'll take a c-section now!"and Kelley very quietly assured me that I could and was doing it and told me how great I was doing. I felt the urge to push, or bear down, soon after getting into the tub. When I felt the need, I did it. I didn't ask if it was OK, Kelley told me to do whatever I needed to do. I never once knew how dilated I was (Kelley never checked and I was thankful for that). That urge to push came with some contractions and with others no. It was so overwhelming there was no way I could deny it. I could not believe how strong my body could push down ... I kept feeling like I was pooping (gross I know but that's the only way to describe that feeling - like you're pushing with all your might).
At some point Kelley told me to feel inside and see if I could his the head and I couldn't believe it - his head was right there! Once I told her I could feel the head she took the baby's heart rate and it had slowed down. She and Joyce, the other (wonderful!) midwife who was there, suggested I change positions. She said the baby was still doing fine but now he was acting like a baby in labor (before that she kept joking that he seemed totally unaffected, like he was having a great time) and that I should try and get him to move down a little quicker. She said I should get out of the tub and lay on the couch. UGH. I was in NO MOOD to be moved. But I knew it would help the baby come out sooner so I used every bit of strength and stood up, leaning on Sara, and got my ass out of that tub. I wobbled over to the couch with a baby's head between my legs and layed down and immediately got to pushing.
Greg had gotten Riley out of bed (it wasjust about 6 a.m. now) and she was just watching the whole thing unfold. I thought she was going to be scared to see me in pain but she was surprisingly amused. If I yelled or moaned, she giggled. It was really nice to have her there to lighten the mood.
Pushing itself felt great! What didn't was the "ring of fire." I was screaming and saying that I felt like I was tearing and Kelley kept saying "you're not tearing you're stretching!" I was like "Yeah right, oh well, F-it" and pushed with all my might. I don't know exactly how many pushes it took. Joyce was there with the mirror and I could see his little face (I'm still unsure of what position he was in, I'll have to watch the video Greg took) and this made me want to hold him so bad so I gave it my all and out he slid! He was on my chest and crying and everyone was rallying around us taking pictures and the midwives were doing whatever it was they needed to do ... He stayed attached to the cord for a good 25 minutes before they clamped it and Greg cut it. Kai got 10s on both his APGARS and was wide-awake, just calmly looking around at everyone and taking it all in. I couldn't believe he'd come out of my vagina!!! (lol)
Once the placenta was out I layed down in our bed with the baby to nurse. I was sore and shaky and still in a bit of shock. Greg made me toast with peanut butter that tasted like wood so Kelley got me some yogurt and strawberries. Everyone really wanted me to eat and get some fluids but I was really not hungry. Riley was supercharged and running around like a nut while the midwives cleaned up our apartment so Kai and I had some alone time with Daddy.
It didn't really even hit me that I'd just had a VBAC for a while. I realized I hadn't thought about my scar even once during the entire birth. I felt totally strong and capable the whole time, even when I said I couldn't do it anymore I knew I was going to. Everyone around me had complete faith in me and I know that their positive presence helped to keep me calm and focused... and that's how little Kai came into this world!
If you've made it this far, thanks for reading!