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I was almost 39 weeks. That night I was having regular belly-tightening contractions every 3-5 minutes for about 4 hours. We were about to call my midwife and the babysitter at 5 when I decided to try to sleep a little. If they went away I knew it wasn't time yet. At 7 I woke up and they had stopped. I called my midwife and she asked me to come in for a "labor check" since I had been so dilated and effaced for several weeks.
DH and I went to the midwife's office where she told me I was a "stretchy 4 cm dilated." Plus, my very posterior cervix had advanced forward. I asked her to strip my membranes while she was in there which was not painful at all. On the monitors they were registering regular contractions but they were still pretty weak. For the rest of the day I had bloody discharge and menstrual-like crampiness.
DH worked from home that day. My sister came over and she and I went on several long walks through the hilly area behind my house. By the end of each walk I was totally winded and having sharp pains periodically in my lower back. They felt different than any of the BH contractions I had felt previously. I took a warm bath which only seemed to speed things up so I called the midwife again and told her I thought it was time. The back pains were coming about every 2-3 minutes. The plan was to labor at home as long as possible since the hospital is only 5 minutes away, but my contractions were very sharp in my back now and coming close together.
We checked in at the hospital. The nurses heard that I was very dilated that morning and we were all a little disappointed to find I was still only 4cm. About 10 minutes after checked in I felt a trickle of liquid and they told me my water broke!
Time gets a little fuzzy after that. I spent a few hours alternating between the jacuzzi tub and rocking on my birthing ball while my DH applied counter-pressure to my lower back during contractions. I played my Hypnobirthing affirmation track and some Ipod playlists on repeat. Back labor is a pretty awful (understatement) but I was still determined to try to make it without pain meds. My Hypnobirthing and yoga breathing practice were definitely paying off and I was able to stay relaxed and breathe. It was actually a pretty calm and relaxed labor. The nurses were very supportive of my decision to go without meds and they were complimenting me and DH for staying so cheery and relaxed through the night.
My midwife checked me and I'd only progressed to 6cm. She mentioned that the baby had a "fore-sac" of amniotic fluid in front of her head which was preventing her from applying pressure to my cervix. She and I agreed that rupturing the sac might help. As soon as she did that my contractions got more intense and came one right after the other. After about an hour the jacuzzi tub was not helping at all and I was shaking like a leaf. I would panic anytime DH wasn't touching me. He was so good through the whole thing. I kind of lost it and said I wanted to be checked and if I still wasn't progressing I would ask for an epidural. Well, they checked me and I was at 9cm!
Even though I wasn't fully at 10cm, my midwife suggested I "give a little push" to see how it felt. It felt amazing! The pain in my back would temporarily release and instead I would feel extreme pressure in my belly. We got set up on the bed with DH behind me and me resting against him between pushes. In Hypnobirthing you learn not to "purple push" but to "breathe down" the baby. Unfortunately this wasn't working very well for me and I started to really hold my breath and push during each contraction. Her head was sort of sideways and the first set of pushes basically turned her into a more favorable position before she descended down. I ended up pushing for about an hour. My sweet baby girl was born at 2:14am. 8 pounds 11 ounces! I had one small interior tear which has already healed. My DH was so amazing through the whole thing. The nurses said he should moonlight as a doula!
Aurora Violet is a very calm and happy baby, a great nurser, and heavy sleeper. We are totally spoiled this first week. We had to wake her up every 2-3 hours in the first few days to force her to eat since she had a little jaundice. But that has cleared up now. I am so in love and very happy with how our birth story played out.
That was GREAT! There have been so many wonderfully successful natural childbirths that I am REALLY getting excited and more confident! I want a NCB sooo badly, and I hope my birth goes something like yours!
what a beautiful birth story! I'm so happy it went so well! Lovely photos too
~Beth~ Wife to my Airman Chris, and mommy to: Anthony Nathaniel (8/31/04), Anastasia Fae (8/01/06), Baby C (lost on 10/12/07), David Cillian (7/31/08), Charles George (4/29/10), and Alan Christopher (2/22/12)