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I had an appointment scheduled for Tuesday, April 10th. I would be 39w4d. That weekend, I was feeling huge, sore, tired, and all around done with being pregnant. I was so sure that he would be early, and as my due date was approaching, I got more upset that I wasnít in labor yet. To top it all off, I felt itchy, like I was getting a yeast infection. I decided that I would try to call on Monday and switch my appointment if the midwives had an opening.
I got in on Monday afternoon and did the whole check heartbeat/pee in a cup routine and when the midwife came in, she checked me. I had been sitting on 2-3cm for two weeks, and there was no change. I asked her to go ahead and sweep my membranes. With Colleen, I had it done and was in labor 4 hours later. I figured that if he was ready, it would work and if not, then no harm done. It was unpleasant, and David said that I didnít let her sweep them enough. I shot him a look of death and that was the end of that. The midwife said that I was basically sitting on ďgoĒ and that it was up to baby to move things along from here.
I went home kind of disappointed. My mom had been watching Colleen for us, and when we picked her up, David jokingly said that weíd see her again in a few hours. My sisters and I were much more doubtful. But we got Colleen down for a nap and I took a short nap, too. I had been having annoyingly un-timable contractions and I was getting very cranky. David made us a late dinner and we sat down to watch Bones on tv. I got a few bites into my (spicy) turkey and rice when I realized I was having painful contractions that might be close enough together to time. They seemed to be coming every 4 minutes, so I told David that we needed to go ahead to the hospital and get me checked. Because Colleenís labor was fast and I needed antibiotics for group b strep, we were not supposed to hang out at home that long. Besides, the hospital was 20 minutes away.
I was starting to have to breathe through the contractions, which were definitely 4 minutes apart and increasing in intensity. David wanted to take a shower before we left (!) and I sat on Colleenís toddler bed, with my knees apart, breathing through contractions. Admittedly, I got a little upset about how long it took to get in the car and get going. Finally though, we were on our way, and my mom headed up to meet us and take care of Colleen.
At the hospital, I got wheeled into triage, changed into my hospital gown and signed all my forms. The contractions were really strong and I was doing my best to breathe through them. The nurse got me strapped to the monitors and checked me. I was 5cm dilated and definitely in active labor. We wheeled me to a labor room. I was dealing with my contractions by sitting with my legs spread and I really wanted to straddle the bed, but it was just a bit too wide. I remember thinking that I would never get into a comfortable position. We also had a problem with the heart monitor. I was all belly and because I was sitting up and he was so low, it wasnít picking up his heart rate consistently.
Then there was the subject of pain medicine. I didnít have the first time mom denial that helped me get through Colleenís labor, and while I knew I didnít want an epidural, I thought it would be really nice to have something just to take the edge off the contractions. I didnít want to feel nothing, but I didnít want to be in serious pain for hours either. I asked David if he would think less of me if I got drugs. (Not that it matters, reallyÖ) He was supportive of whatever I wanted, and I was wavering so much that the nurse offered me some fentanyl in my IV while I thought about it. The fentanyl was nice. I ended up getting three doses of it. It would have been nice to have another completely natural childbirth, but in the end, I am happy with my choice. I didnít get an epidural or a c-section, and those were the main things that I wanted to avoid.
But back to my labor. I spent the next few hours just breathing through the contractions. I would close my eyes and just breathe in and out, gripping the side of the bed until it passed, visualizing him coming down and my body opening up. David and the nurses knew to leave me alone during a contraction. At one point, David asked the nurse if that was normal, for me to be so quiet and she said no, it was amazing that I was keeping my cool so well. (David is immensely proud of me for this, itís cute.) Three hours after I was admitted, I thought my water broke. There was this huge gush and I got excited that it was almost time to push. I called in the nurse and we checked me again. Only 7cm. Thatís just 2cm in three hours. Also, my water didnít break at all, I just peed myself. I admit, I was really discouraged. I did not like the prospect of laboring like that for three more hours. I had visions of Pitocin and stalled labor and all kinds of interventions and I just got really down. The contractions were getting stronger and I thought heíd never get here.
About half an hour later, I was really struggling with the contractions. My last dose of fentanyl didnít really help the pain at all and I felt like I was going to have to push soon. I told the nurse how I felt and she called the midwife down. She checked me again and lo and behold I had gone from 7cm to fully dilated in the last 25 minutes! My water hadnít broken yet, and I agreed to let them break it for me so I could push. Declan had other ideas, though, and it broke on itís own with the next contraction. I also had to push, that ďI donít care if you tell me to just breathe through the contraction, Iím pushing whether you want me to or notĒ kind of feeling.
So I started pushing, because what choice did I have, and the midwife finally rushes into the room. I pushed and pushed (I also pooped, I felt it. Oh well) and he was out in less than five minutes. He came flying out of me so fast that I didnít get to tell the midwife not to clamp his cord. I wanted to wait until it stopped pulsing but she didnít know that and she clamped it before anyone could tell her not to. I didnít get to pull him out, either. With Colleen, I pulled her out myself, which was an awesome feeling. He came too fast for any of that. I got another second degree tear, and the midwife said it would just take a few stitches. It sure seemed to me like she was down there stitching for-ev-er.
But it didnít matter, he was here and he was perfect. I got cleaned up, changed gowns, and I got to hold my precious baby boy on the way up to the recovery room. The funny thing is, I was put in the exact same room as I got when I had Colleen, which is basically the biggest room they have. It was a nice surprise.
So here he is. Declan Rhys. Born 4/10/12, 3:28am, 6lbs 11oz, 21.5 in long. 6.5 total hours of labor.