Late Sunday morning, 8/21/2011, I was having contractions I could tell were real, but they were far enough apart. They didn't really hurt but I could tell that they were at least wavelike with a peak in the middle. I figured that they would lead to "the big deal" later in the day. By the afternoon, they were coming closer together (6-8 minutes apart). I was still able to get through them without people around me knowing I was having contractions (I was at my grandparents' house). I decided to go home around 4:30. At this point, contractions were 5 minutes apart. Things began to pick up shortly thereafter. I finished up some last minute things around the house (like laundry). I noticed that I was urinating quite often and I figured the baby was getting lower in the pelvis. Around 5:45 or so, I had bloody show. I knew then for sure that my baby was coming because I had bloody show the last two times only when I was in active labor. I called my mom over because my kids were driving me up the walls and my house was a mess, and Rob was gone with his brother, and I just needed someone there. She came over and swept the floors, did the dishes, made supper for the kids, and folded my laundry. I didn't ask her to do any of this, but that's just how she is and she said she didn't want me coming home from the hospital to a mess. She was just so excited to know that her newest grandbaby was on the way. During contractions, I went into the bathroom and sat on the toilet. It was what worked for me in the past, and it helped this time around too. Plus then I could lock the door so I could breathe through the contractions distraction (kid) - free.
Around 8:00, I sent my mom home with the plan that she would pick me up when it was time to go to the hospital. My mother-in-law also came over to stay with the kids. It was shortly after 9:00 when contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and my mom took me to the hospital. At this point I was still breathing through them and didn't feel the need yet to "ah" through them. I got checked around 10:00 p.m. and was 4 cm, 90% effaced, and 0 station. I was glad I was at the hospital because last time, I went from a 3/4 to an 8 in just 2 hours. I really thought that birth tub sounded enticing!
I got into the tub just before 11:00 p.m. Ah, instant nirvana. Amazing. Contractions continued to come every 3-4 minutes and I "aaahed" through them, as I did last time. The reason why this works so much better is because then I am slowing down my breathing. The tendancy when blowing through a contraction, at least for me, is to take more breaths. I kept my voice low to allow myself ultimate relaxation. The midwife on-call was not my regular midwife but she was very nice. She kept the lights low in the tub room and basically just let me be. My mom served as my "doula", telling me "good job" when I got through a contraction, and feeding me ice chips. I got out of the tub around 12:30 a.m. and had to use the bathroom. Prior to, I felt the shaking that I knew meant I must be in transition. After using the bathroom, I had the midwife check me and I was at 8 c.m .Yes! Transition! Home stretch, baby! I knew within 2 hours I would know the gender of my baby and have him or her in my arms finally. The nurse used the handheld doppler a few times thoroughout the labor, but that was my only "monitoring". The heartbeat sounded great and she told me the baby was definitely moving lower as things progressed.
Within a half hour, contractions started lasting 2 minutes, then three. When they were consistently lasting 3 minutes and I could feel a little more pressure, the midwife stayed close, but still continued to allow me to do things on my own and get through the contractions. Loose jaw, loose bottom was my mantra. I was using cold, wet washcloths to rub my face down because I started getting a little warm, and it helped to distract from the pain. Just before 2:00 a.m., she checked me and I had just a lip of cervix left. The bag of waters was still in tact. I was all "game on: let's go" so I had her break my water. After an intense contraction, I felt it. The urge to push. The baby pushed lower and I could feel that pressure in my bottom as my eyes watered. I heard the midwife tell me to push whenever I wanted to. She told me blow out in short spurts so that I could prevent tearing ("who-who-who"), so I did this and started pushing at 2:10 a.m. I felt the warmth and pressure as the baby crowned. Crowning! I was doing this! There was no turning back! "Push, push", I could hear them say. "The head is out!", I heard next, and then, "push again -- get those shoulders out!" I knew I had to just do this one more thing and my baby would be here. "Reach down and grab your baby!"
2:12 a.m.: My baby was out! Oh my God -- my baby was out. My hands grabbed the slippery, warm body and I pulled the baby close. "What do we have?" "I moved the cord out of the way and announced, "It's a boy!" My son. Jameson. He was here. Nothing else mattered in that moment and time seemed to stand still for a few seconds as I gazed at him and took him in. I held him close to my body and he cried out for a moment, but for the most part, he was just content in the water and close to his mama.
Another amazing waterbirth. The moments after labor are almost surreal.
Jameson Edward: 6 lbs, 13 oz. and 20 inches long., 8/22/2011