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Katrina Faith (Kate) made her appearance on Monday, April 14, at around 3PM, 1 day early.
Because my other two had been born at around 39.5 weeks, and my midwives told me they thought I'd do the same this time, I fully expected her to come the week prior to my April 15 due date, or that weekend. But Friday, then saturday came and went with no obvious labour signs. Oh I had contractions, and pressure and lots of cervical mucus.. but no Bloody Show which for me is the sign labour is coming in the next day or two. I had a hard time dealing with this at first, and went through much needless stress and whining, but eventually accepted that she would come when she would and I should just enjoy the extra rest and time with my family. We had a great weekend, spent time walking at the beach on saturday, and had some really nice walks to the park and time together as a family on sunday. I really treasure those memories now, and am glad she came later than i'd wanted, now that I'm in the midst of Post partum exhaustion and not being able to give my older two as much attention.
I had a nap sunday afternoon and woke up to Bloody Show! I knew it wouldn't be long, because of all the prodromal labour I'd been having, so we packed the kids to go to Gramma's house, dropped them off and while I was there my contractions started, 15 mins apart, but pretty strong. I gave the midwife a heads up call, and got everything ready to leave, than we tried to get some sleep. DH succeeded, I got a few hours before I couldn't sleep through the contractions anymore. I had always had my water break fairly early in labour before as well, and this time I just had a feeling that if it broke, things would go very fast and we wanted to be at the hospital before that happened, so when things picked up to 5 or so minutes apart and I was feeling like they were getting strong, we called, and the midwife said to meet her at L&D since she agreed with me about my history of early water breaking.
I had a really hard time gauging how hard my contractions were and how close my delivery was this time, I thought they were getting really hard, but when I arrived at 5 AM it turned out I was at a 2 and still had a long way to go to get my cervix effaced. They just felt a lot harder than my other labours because I was having back labour. Not fun. At around 9 AM she sent us out on a 'day pass' to walk around down by the beach and just have a change of scenery. She didn't want to send us home, and I didn't want to go home without a baby, so we agreed to give this a try and see if we could get the contractions closer to 3-4 minutes apart. Unfortunately for me, right at this point my contractions got a lot harder with the back labour and I needed DH to push on my back with each one to get through them. In the car they were unbearable and I was in tears. I was also feeling really tired and just wanted a rest but felt like I had to keep walking to make 'something' happen.
Going out was ultimately a great choice though, things weren't less painful but it helped to be out in the sunshine and fresh air, have something else to think about besides that baby was in the wrong position and causing me pain and to spend some alone time with DH. Something I think is wonderful about Labour is that in between contractions there is complete rest, no pain at all and I can recover and feel almost normal before the next contraction hits. We walked for a long time, grabbed something to eat and then went to the hospital and just did laps around and around trying to get things closer together and move the baby the right way. I was pretty exhausted by the time we finally gave up and called the midwife again to come check me, I needed a rest, no matter if it stalled my labour or not.
That was at 12:30 I was super nervous about the check, I was so tired I didn't know how I would handle hearing I had made little progress and was afraid I might lose control and start asking for meds. My midwife was great with her language and how she told me that I was only at a 3-4. Somehow she made it sound like we'd done really well and things would pick up soon now on their own. It also helped to know that I had dilated from a 4 to 10 in about an hour with my first, so I knew it was possible.
We got back into a room, (they had moved our stuff out of the first room we had been in, and when we got back there was a new room available so we were put in there, which was awesome, it was a WAY better room, with a tub!) and I lay down for a while to rest, eventually the contractions were too hard to deal with lying down, (seriously, who invented the idea labouring women should lie in bed the whole time? It's torture!) so I sat on the ball at the end of the bed and rested my head on my arms. I was taking things one contraction at a time and holding the tub out for myself as a last resort, if it didn't help with the pain than my plan was to ask for something. After a while though, I started to notice a feeling of pressure outside of the back pressure, as if I needed to use the toilet. So I went into the bathroom, even though I knew how much stronger the contractions would be sitting there. Within a few contractions I was making "the sound" that I always make when I'm close to pushing. My midwife started to get very cheery and excited lol, she knew without looking I was close. I moved to the tub and it felt great but I only got through about 2-3 contractions in there before my water broke... and there was meconium in it. So I had to get out to be monitored. Another reason I'm really glad my water didn't break earlier in the labour is because afterwards she said she thought the Meconium was old, from a few days ago, regardless, as soon as they see it they have to do continual monitoring so i wouldn't have been able to go for my walk or been mobile like I was.
This was at 2:40 PM, about 2 hours after we got re-admitted. I was pushing already at this point, I had to breathe through 5 or so contractions because i had a cervical lip, it was hard, but everything was so much more manageable knowing how close I was. Vaguely, I heard her calling for paediatrics to be in the room, and then she called for an OB, I'm glad that didn't affect me emotionally. Part of me knew what it meant, that she thought I wouldn't be able to get baby out fast enough based on my long pushing phases in the past and that I might need help or interventions, babies heart rate was dropping at this point. The very next contraction after she asked for the OB to come in though, I pushed Kate out!! none of the extra staff even made it in. Delivery has always been an hour or longer process for me, but my midwife held the cervical lip out of the way and out she came in 3 pushes, one contraction! It was EXACTLY what I had envisioned and prayed for my whole pregnancy, I did NOT want a long pushing time again and considering her mild distress levels, it was a huge blessing she did come out so fast.
I was hysterical after, laughing and crying because all I could think of was "I did it! 3 pushes! I'm all done!" Overall, this labour was the reverse of my first two. I would never use the term 'Pain' to describe labour in the past, I reserved that for delivery. This time, yah it was painful! Not unmanageable however, and if someone had told me "your baby will be born at 3 pm" it would have been easy, having the end in sight would have made a world of difference, it was the not knowing how long I have to do this for that was hard. Pushing this time was a breeze compared to my first two babies so that was great. Maybe next baby I'll finally find the formula for having the easy labour I've had before combined witrh the easy delivery this time . The worst part was only 6 hours long, so not too bad at all. I can look back and know in general I still had it easy. Kate had no issues with the meconium, and we were headed home by 9:30 pm, we slept in our own bed that night!