My due date based on conception was April 4, so that put me at 4 days past my due date when another round of contractions started on April 8. For over a week, I'd go through spurts of regular contractions, but they'd always fizzle out. I assumed on this time would be no different. However, in attempts to get labor started, I walked around outside with the kids, kept active making dinner, and tried to keep the contractions going. Around 5:30pm the contractions weren't letting up, some were getting harder to concentrate during, and they were coming a bit closer together, anywhere from 4-5 minutes apart. I called my midwife, Susan, to give her a heads up, but to let her know they could very well fizzle like they had in the past week. She called back to check on me about an hour later. At this point the contractions were definitely more painful then they had been, and some were even coming 3 minutes apart. She decided to come over and check me, to see if any progress was being made... worst cast senario, it was false labor again, and we'd just do our normal prenatal appointment that we had scheduled for the next morning. Susan arrive around 7:30 pm. After my cervical check, she estimated I was about 4cm dilated, sometimes even a 6 during a contraction. However the head was still high, my cervix was very long and thick. We assumed I was in the early stages of labor. Susan called the other midwife, Birdie, and after talking, decided Birdie would come over as well just to see what was going on. Contractions started picking up a bit more and I found myself rocking, moaning, and concentrating the best I could through all of them. They were still coming every 3-4 minutes, but definitely increasing in intensity. I called my friend Jen, who was planning on being present for the birth, and she headed over as well. Both Birdie and Jen arrived between 9-10pm. We all hung out and chatted while I dealt with each contraction. Around 11:15 I sent Paul to bed. I knew that I'd want him rested for whatever came next. Susan, Birdie and Jen all decided to rest as well, and I headed upstairs to lay down around 11:45pm. Within minutes of laying down, I immediately noticed a change in my contractions. They were much closer together, and incredibly more painful. After laying down and trying to deal with them for about 45 minutes, I took a nice shower. After my shower, I layed back down and immediately the contractions started back up again. I headed back downstairs around 1:30am and talked to Jen. She woke up my midwives after seeing me trying to cope through a couple of these "new" contractions. Birdie checked me and I was 5cm dilated, with my cervix thinning out, the baby was dropping lower, etc. I got a nasty case of nausea and to top it off I was experiencing hot and cold flashes. This went on till about 4am. Around then I noticed that I'd go 10 or 15 minutes with no contractions, then 15 minutes of straight painful contractions. Definitely not a "normal" labor pattern. At around 5am, the contractions pretty much fizzled out and I headed upstairs back to bed with Paul feeling discouraged and upset. I sobbed in bed for about 10-15 minutes. I was exhausted... I felt like my body didn't know what to do. I felt defeated.
Julia woke up at 6:30am, and thus began my day. My midwives and Jen all left around 8am or so. Before leaving Birdie checked me one more time and said that my contractions were obviously doing something... progress has been made.
So now its a wait and see sorta thing...
Birth Story.... part 2
After the 14 hours of labor I experienced on Tuesday, I was feeling pretty discouraged on Wednesday. I was emotionally and physically exhausted. Luckily, my body knew what it needed to do, I slept the best Wednesday night than I had any other night in my entire pregnancy. I slept for a solid 6 hours, then again for another solid 3 hours. Totally not normal for me, but soooo incredibly needed. I woke up feeling refreshed on Thursday morning. I started the day knowing full well that I was not in control of when my baby would arrive, and I had surrendered to the fact. One of my best friends, Krista, was planning on coming over to help me with the girls during the day. Before she arrived I spoke to my midwife, and we talked about "nudging" the baby along... not "evicting", but possibly nudging. She suggested a pedicure with a foot massage and acupuncture. She brought up herbs and Castor oil as well, and since I had no experience in that, I asked her about it. She suggested, that in order to "nudge" the baby along, to just start with 1/2 teaspoon the next day, and maybe 1 teaspoon the day after. She warned me that "evicting" the baby would be doing a couple tablespoons every 4 hours during the day, and that was too much. I completely agreed with her, and decided that maybe the next day I would attempt it. I asked Krista to pick some up for me on her way over.
Around 11am, about an hour before Krista arrived, I noticed a contraction. Wooptie do da... I'd been having them for days and weeks... so I obviously thought this one was no different. The girls and I went and played outside, and I noticed that they were coming about every 6 minutes apart. Krista arrived after lunch time with the Castor Oil, but I just set it aside on the counter, didn't think to even try it. When the girls went down for their nap, Krista, being the greatest ever, offered to go to the grocery store for me and pick up a few things. Once she left, and the girls were sleeping, the contractions picked up to every 4 minutes. They were about the same intensity that the contractions I had experienced in the early part of Tuesday were, so obviously I didn't think too much about it. However, as promised, I called my midwives and just let them know what was going on. When the girls woke up from their nap, Krista and I took them back outside to play and the contractions spaced out again, to about 6 minutes apart. Paul arrived home around 5 and we made dinner. Immediately the contractions picked up again, about every 3-4 minutes. I called Susan, my midwife, to let her know, and she said she'd be right over. Susan arrived around 6 or so and checked me. The baby sounded good and I was making some progress. My cervix had completely thinned out and the baby's head was a lot lower. It was good to know that progress was being made. Susan left about an hour or so later, to get some dinner with my other midwife, Birdie, and told me to call back if anything changed. Once the girls were in bed, Krista stayed at the house while Paul and I went for a walk. Contractions were coming every 3 minutes while we were walking and when we got home they spaced out a bit. I decided to just go upstairs and lay down. Krista left a bit later, and I called Susan at 9pm to let her know that things weren't getting any more intense, but that I was still having the contractions. I told her that so far it seemed to be pretty much the same as before, so I wasn't getting my hopes up. Her and Birdie decided to stop back over and just listen to the baby and check me again. No cervical changes had been made at 10pm, 4 hours after my last exam. I wasn't too concerned though, I figured, if this was the real thing, it was going to happen sooner or later, and if it wasn't, I was fine with just going to bed. Baby's heart rate seemed to be pretty fast and the baby was super active during my contractions. Around 10:45 or so I decided to try and go to bed. Birdie was going to hang out for a bit, then head home, and Susan decided to spend the night, just in case. Within minutes of going upstairs, contractions hit hard and fast. I came downstairs around 11 and went into full labor mode. I wanted to get in the pool that very minute, which obviously wasn't realistic, but Paul and Birdie started getting it ready. They emptied the hot water heater, boiled water, etc. Leading up until the point that I got into the pool, contractions were hard and fast. Once I was able to get into the pool I felt a lot more comfortable (for the time being at least!). Paul had called my friend Jen (who was acting as a doula for me) to come over and she arrived around 12:30am or so. She was there to hold my hand, put cold washcloths on my head and my neck, get me to drink juice, etc. I can't say enough about how incredibly helpful she was to me. Birdie checked me around 1am or so, and I was about 8cm dilated and the head was super low. Contractions were not easy and I had a difficult time coping through some of them. I remembered Julia's labor, where my midwife at that time broke my water, and it sent me right into transition and Julia was born 45 minutes later. I kept thinking, if only Birdie would break my water, then I know it would be over in less than an hour. I even begged her and Susan to at a few points, and they would say things like "lets do one more contraction", or "lets just get through the next one", and other positive things. I remember feeling whiny, but at the same time grateful for the minute breaks between contractions. I lived for each of those breaks, it allowed me to regain some composure, change positions, and remind myself that I was doing this, and that I could. Thank God for those breaks, because if I didn't have them, I honestly don't know how'd I cope. I remember getting "pushy" feeling... and wondering if I could push. I started to bear down a bit and I was able to feel my baby move down more. I thought that since Julia came out in two pushes, so would this one. Let this be a reminder that no two labor or deliveries are ever the same! My water still hadn't broken, and I was very concerned that this was holding me back. Soon I felt what I thought was the head starting to come out. I remember feeling the need to be gentle with my pushes, I didn't want to tear. This however was not the head, it was the bag of water. I was shocked it took me three pushes to just get the bag out, and dreaded doing it again for the head. The head was right behind the bag of water, and few contractions and pushes later I was able to push the head out. I waited for another contractions and pushed a couple of times to get the shoulders out. I honestly thought the shoulders were more difficult than the head, and I don't remember that being the case with Julia's labor or even Lily's. Again proving to me, I couldn't base one labor on another, haha. I ended up delivering her on all fours, and when I was handed her, I was able to sit down. I went to pull her up towards my chest, and wasn't able to. Her cord was super super short and I wasn't able to pull her out above the water. We got out of the tub pretty quickly and I delivered the placenta about 20-30 minutes later. After examining me, Birdie said I had a little "skidmark", and she could give me one stitch, but if I was careful during my recovery, it wasn't necessary. So we opted out of the stitch, because if there is one thing in the world that hurts more than giving birth... its the sutures that follow it. haha. During the newborn exam, Susan said she was worried about the sound of the fluid in the baby. However once the baby was suctioned and was able to nurse, everything was fine. Our baby was born covered in vernix, which means that she was not late at all. She was born at 1:48am, 7lbs 7oz, and 21 inches long. Our longest baby yet!
As for a name, we don't have one yet, but I'll keep you posted!
What a wonderful birth christine. It was really hard for me to push Kayori's shoulders out too, way harder then with Amara. I also had a tiny "skidmark", but she did not want to stitch it as it would probably hurt way worse then just leaving it alone.
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