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  #1  
January 27th, 2013, 01:52 PM
mojomama's Avatar Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 630

The stats: Thomas O, born 13 January 2013, 7:46 pm, after ten hours of labor. We were intentionally unattended at home, and Thomas was caught by his dad. He weighed in at 8 lbs 5 oz, and was 19.5 inches long.
Contractions started on Sunday morning, but I think my birth story really starts on Friday night, when my husband held me while I cried about being pregnant forever. I may preach about a normal pregnancy actually being longer than Nagels Rule allows, but I myself had never before seen my due date,* and I was completely unprepared for it emotionally. So I was crying over that and about a hundred other things that were stressing me out, and dh just held me, and told me it was going to be ok, and I would definitely not be pregnant forever. Saturday he had to work, but he brought home bath salts, and chocolates, and a bottle of wine. After he made dinner and put the kids to bed, he drew me a candlelit bath and shut me in the bathroom. I listened to classical music, read part of a book, ate chocolate and sipped a glass of wine. I painted my nails, and even shaved (which was incredibly hard to do with a belly measuring 50 cm, but so worth it!). I rubbed my belly and talked to the baby. I told it how excited we all were to meet it, and told it I would try to be patient and keep it safely baking inside me as long as it needed to. I came out of that bathroom more relaxed than I had been in months. Michael and I snuggled in bed and watched an epi]ode of our current favorite tv show before going to sleep.
Sunday morning we skipped church, because I didn't want well-meaning neighbors stressing me out again with a thousand questions about why I hadn't had that baby yet, and wasn't I afraid of going too far over, and when was I going to be induced if I just never went into labor. Instead, Michael and I slept a little late, snuggled, and around nine-thirty we made love. Contractions started immediately, and were quite uncomfortable lying in bed. We got up and took a shower, but I didn't like the hot water, so I skipped washing my hair and got out quickly. I made Michael strip the bed and wash the sheets, just in case. Even though some of the contractions were strong enough that I was vocalizing a little, they were very irregular, and I wasn't convinced this was the real deal.
I ate breakfast because I thought I should, not because I was particularly hungry, and the contractions eased in intensity, but didn't stop. Michael got the kids cleaning up the breakfast mess, and I retreated to our bedroom, where I would spend most of the day. I put clary sage oil in the nebulizer, rocked on my birth ball, and paced the room. I knew the baby was posterior, and had a feeling I needed to turn it if I wanted to kick this into high gear, but all the positions that had helped me turn my other babies (two of them had also been posterior in late pregnancy) felt unproductive and less than helpful. I paced some more and rubbed my belly, asking the baby to rotate. I would have several contractions that were good and strong, and then several that felt weak and wimpy. I still wasn't sure this was going to result in a baby, but I felt very restless- I paced a lot, and I kept venturing out into the rest of the house for more pacing room, but my kids were irritating me, and our bedroom felt the most soothing, so that's where I kept ending up. I was remembering my doula at my third birth, reporting to my midwife that I was "on the prowl" and she (the midwife) needed to get on the road to my house. I had been well into active labor then, nearing transition, and this didn't feel like that. I chatted with my due date buddy a little, and told her I wasn't sure, but might be in labor.
It was about two thirty when curiosity got the better of me, and I checked my cervix during a trip to the bathroom. I was disappointed to discover that I had been contracting for five hours, and had only progressed a half centimeter. My cervix had moved forward some, but it really didn't feel much different than it had for several days. I was really starting to think that this wasn't labor at all, just "positioning" contractions to get the baby to turn, and it didn't seem to want to. My husband might have known better though, because he suggested that we run to the grocery store for milk and a couple of other things that we usually would have waited until Monday to buy, but wouldn't feel like going out for if we had a baby that night. Walking around the store intensified the contractions again, but being around people was giving me anxiety, so we split up in order to finish sooner. I waited in the car with the kids while he checked a second store for more clary sage oil, and since there wasn't much else to do, I timed a few contractions. They were anywhere from two to eight minutes apart, some lasting a full minute and others just twenty seconds, and the intensity was still quite variable as well.
We got home around three thirty, and although the baby was active, I checked heart tones (normal rate, good variability), and confirmed that the baby was still posterior. Michael started the kids on an art project (Valentine's day decorations for the hallway) and I decided to make some quick English muffin bread, which turned out to be a mistake. While I could mostly ignore the weaker contractions, the stronger ones kept catching me off-guard, making them difficult to deal with. I retreated back to the bedroom as soon as the loaves were set to rise, and Michael started an early dinner. I discovered that if I pulled up on my belly during a contraction, I could feel the baby wriggling, trying to get into position, so after dinner I had Michael sift my belly with a scarf (I got on all fours, he wrapped a long scarf around my belly and lifted it up towards my spine, then rhythmically jiggled it from side to side). I couldn't feel any movement from the baby with that going on, but within twenty minutes (around six thirty) there was a dramatic shift in the contractions. They were now between 90 seconds and three minutes apart, and lasting 60 to 100 seconds, and they were all very intense now. I was finally convinced that I was in labor. Zoe, my ten year old, boiled water so we could sanitize the scissors and cord tie, and we finally broke open the birth kit. I opened the shower curtain and package of chux, but never got around to laying them out anywhere. I was restless and trying to find the space or position that felt right. I tried the birth ball again, and it was the worst idea ever! I was in too much pain to stand up, but did manage to make it to my knees to ride out the end of the contraction, with my head in my husband's lap. I paced, and my children took pictures. At one point, my son came down the hall with a blanket over his head, and making ghost noises "like you, Mommy!" He always knows how to make me smile.
The only position that helped was to hang onto my husband and sway. I would bury my face in his neck and run my fingers through his hair, and he would whisper in my ear that he loved me. I told him how glad I was that he was here this time (he missed my entire labor and birth with Gwen), and how much it helped to lean on him.
I was still prowling and pacing between contractions, trying to figure out where I really wanted to give birth. I'd had dreams about birthing while squatting next to the bed, but a big part of me didn't want to deal with that mess. I didn't want to get in the bath, either. I hadnt liked the shower that morning, and I hadn't loved my previous waterbirth. But I finally told my husband, after a particularly long contraction, to go fill up the tub-maybe it would help after all.
There were only a couple of inches of water when I got in, and it wasn't very soothing. I was kneeling and holding Michael's hand, and I scooted backward so the water from the faucet ran over my back. That was better. I started pushing with the next contraction, and felt the baby descending. I reached down and felt a huge, bulging sac just inside me. I looked up and said, "Hey, Michael. We're going to have a baby." He grinned and said, "Yeah we are!" I shook my head. "No, I mean right now. Do you want to feel?" He looked a little surprised, but he reached under the water anyway, and his face lit up when he felt the bag of waters, and the baby right behind. "Oh, wow!" he laughed.
I put my hand back down and pushed with another contraction, and my water broke with a huge gush- way more than with my other babies. I had to push again, hard, to get the head out, and there was another huge gush of fluid as the head was born. "We have a head," I told Michael. I pushed again kneeling upright, but the shoulders didn't come. I had Michael pull me forward onto hands and knees and waited for the next contraction. I asked him if there was cord around the neck, and he said he didn't think so. I tried to feel for myself, and for a second I thought a little ear was a loop of cord, but quickly realized it wasn't, and I didn't feel anything else. The next contraction seemed to be taking forever, and I reminded myself out loud that this was ok. Another contraction finally came, and I pushed. I was a little bit surprised that the shoulders didn't come immediately, but I hadn't felt the baby rotate yet, and I tried again (dh later confirmed that the baby never rotated during the actual birth, and was born in a direct OA position). I told Michael that I wanted it out, now. It took a third, roaring try before the shoulders and body came out in another flood of amniotic fluid. Michael lifted the baby out of the water, and I stood up for him to pass it to me. It was all kinds of tangled up in a super long cord- I wish we had a picture of that!- and as we unwound it, there was no mistaking the gender. "Did you see?" I asked. "We have a son!"
Our new boy wasn't breathing yet, and I held him facedown over my arm to drain his mouth and nose, and rubbed his back. He squawked some, and we wrapped up and made our way across the hall and into bed, where we snuggled and got to know each other. Since there was no blood, we called the children in to meet their new brother (our older son had decided that he didn't want to watch the birth, and didn't want to see the baby until we cleaned all the blood off. I hadn't wanted the girls in the bathroom when it came down to it. ), and they were more than thrilled with him, even if his head looked "a little weird". He was the only one of my babies to be born with any head molding, and his face was fairly swollen and bruised that first couple of days. The placenta came about fifteen minutes later, and even though I wasn't bleeding much at all, I started taking Shepherd's Purse right away, because I have a history of hemorrhage. The baby latched on about forty minutes after he was born, and didn't let go for twenty-four hours. He has been a champion nurser, and had next to no jaundice- unlike my other four, who were all orange. It took us twelve days to name him, and we're still not convinced we put the right middle name on the birth certificate. Mama had a couple of scraches, no tears, but my tailbone is bruised. Dh encapsulated my placenta for me, and so I've been in good spirits (yay placenta! ). Thomas is a sweet baby, and his siblings adore him.
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Jenny

wife to Michael, mama to Zoe (10), Selene (7), Garvin (4), Gwen (2), and Thomas, born 13 Jan 13

Last edited by mojomama; January 27th, 2013 at 02:09 PM.
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  #2  
January 27th, 2013, 02:21 PM
nursingmama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 1,105
oh my! you are like super woman compared to me lol! It sounds like a fantastic birth experience Congrats on baby Thomas!!!!
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  #3  
January 27th, 2013, 07:43 PM
joellejello's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 4,122
Wow, such an amazing birth!
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  #4  
January 28th, 2013, 02:31 AM
Expecting #1
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,622
Wow, such a great story! Sounds like a great experience for you! He is a cutie too!!!
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  #5  
January 28th, 2013, 09:18 AM
BeamerMarie- Due Jan 2012
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Texas!
Posts: 346
This is incredible. I'd never be brave enough, especially after my little one came almost two weeks late, 3 days of early labor with a complete lack of sleep, inability to keep fluids down, needing IV hydration, and then 18 hours of active labor with contractions under a minute apart for 7 hours, and then needing pitocin for about 12 hours to get her out due to her being asynclitic and my cervix refusing to dilate no matter how much I sat on the ball, laid on my sides, hot tub, squats, etc.
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  #6  
January 28th, 2013, 09:51 AM
mal91011's Avatar Mommy to Maxwell
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: GRMI
Posts: 3,484
What a beautiful birth story!!
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  #7  
January 30th, 2013, 03:32 PM
MelibearMom's Avatar Melissa--expecting #4!!
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Utah
Posts: 783
Wow! That is amazing! I could never do it! Congrats!
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  #8  
February 2nd, 2013, 01:17 AM
MammaWannaBe's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 3,601
Holy moly that is quite a story. I can't imagine going through that but it was powerful to read! Congrats to you!
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