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Due date came and went. Had contractions during the night from 2-6 am but then they stopped when I got up. I got groceries and then came home and rested. I was really tired, probably from all of the walking and swimming. I woke up Friday and had a good feeling about the day. I called the office right away and told them I didn’t have a 40 week appt, and asked if I could come into be checked. They got me in at 1 pm, met mom for lunch, and saw Dawn (NP because all of the other OB's were at the hospital). She checked me—still only 2 cm. After all of that work, I just can’t believe this! Because I was past my due date, she wanted me to be monitored for a little bit to make sure baby is okay. They hooked me up for about 30 minutes, I was having contractions 10 minutes apart, and she said they were pretty good contractions, was surprised they weren’t doing more. So once again I left disappointed. Beth (doula) called me later that afternoon and was very calming. She told me to relax and just surrender to the whole process, enjoy the last few days with my family the way it is. She reminded me that baby sends hormones to start the labor process, so he might just want a few more days to “cook.” As long as he is healthy, I know that is much more important than the day he comes on, but I also think this wait is ridiculous!!! I hope he is not too big when he comes out.
On Saturday we got out all the Christmas decorations and got the house ready for the holidays! The boys were so excited about it, our sons loved putting up all the ornaments. They went to bed, and around 8 pm, I made a few loaves of banana bread and had a really strong cramp/contraction. 10 minutes later I had another one. 10 minutes. We watched a movie, and it was pretty consistent at 10 minutes until 11 pm, when it stopped. I went to sleep, once again disappointed. However, at 1 am, a very strong contraction woke me up. I went to the bathroom and had some mucous, started to get a feeling that maybe this was it. Went back to bed, had one at 1:06, 1:10, 1:17, 1:23, 1:30 and 1:34 so I woke up DH and told him that this was probably it. We got all our stuff together, our neighbor came over to stay with the boys and we headed out to Methodist. I called the hospital and the doula on call—it was Tiff. We laughed at the full moon out the window. Some of the contractions in the car got a little stronger, but nothing I couldn’t breathe through. We walked in, and the nurse took me to a monitoring room. DH kept trying to tell them that I have fast labors because they sure were taking their time. Hooked up 2 monitors and the contractions were getting stronger, and I was 4 cm. After about 20 minutes of being monitoring, we walked down to our room (one of the nurses was one of my student's mom and she asked if I was okay with her being in the room). Once I walked down to the room, the contractions got bad. I stood and Tiff applied pressure to my back which helped SO much with the contractions. Since I asked for no IV, the nurse said she had to draw blood, which made me mad. She tried to do it between contractions but they came so close that it didn’t quite work. I also got a bout of nausea, the sips of water weren’t really sitting well with me, so I dry heaved for a few minutes and then since baby’s heartrate was dropping with each contraction, they had me lay down. It actually felt good to lay down but contractions were extremely painful at this time. I moaned through them all and hung onto the side rail. Tiff put cold washcloths on my neck and back because I was really hot. They checked me again—I was 7 cm. So in the span of like 15 minutes I went from 4-7 cm. They called doc, kept asking if my waters had broke. We said no but they “might” have because of what happened with Brayden’s labor. With the next few contractions, I started to feel the need to push and I could literally feel his head moving down with each contraction. The intensity of the contractions started to scare me, and even though I tried to breathe through them, it was hard because the pain took my breath away. The doctor walked in and wanted to check me, so I had to roll on my back (which was really uncomfortable). When he checked me, my water broke at the same time, so I guess the little amount of pushing I did with the last few contractions were useful because he said I was fully dilated—once again I dilated 3 cm in less than 15 minutes, so no wonder why I was in so much pain.
Since I was on my back, I started to push when the next contraction came. The nurses encouraged me, said I was doing great with the pushes so that was encouraging. It’s hard to describe, but the pushing helps relieve the pain yet really hurts at the same time. I pushed for 10 minutes and got his head out. Doctor instructed me to stop pushing because the cord was wrapped around his neck and he was going to cut it right away. I stayed very still and just tried to take deep breaths. He cut the cord and told me to give a small push—got shoulders and rest of the body out—what a great feeling! He didn’t cry right away, and was working pretty hard at breathing. He was placed on my chest for only a minute because they wanted to help stabilize his breathing. Delivered my placenta with next contraction, and then he checked me for internal tears. NOTHING! No tears and no need to cut me, so I was really happy with that. They washed me off and nurse immediately started to press on my uterus (which I hate), and she was NOT gentle about it. I was passing a lot of clots, and since I didn’t have an IV, she said that if I was still passing them in 15 minutes, they would have to give me a shot of pitocin. Nurses were putting that little tube down to his tummy to get the mucous/fluid out—all 3 of my boys have had this done at birth, probably because they come out so quickly. Seemed like an eternity before I got to hold him again, and when I did, he was just so beautiful to look at. He looked so different than my other boys at first, and we could not believe how much dark hair he had!
Next time the nurse felt my uterus, I passed a lot of clots again, so she gave me a shot of Pitocin. The shot was way better than the IV, so I’m glad that all worked out. We unwrapped him and did some skin to skin time, and he nursed within 5 minutes of that. Latched on right away. After he nursed, they weighed him at 7 lbs 14 oz and 20.5 inches, and we had to choose a name! So we ordered breakfast and talked about what to name him, nurses gave him a bath and we started to call family (about 7 am by this time). As I held him, the sun rose—such a beautiful sight and a great memory to have on what will be his birthday for years to come. We love you, Carter Ray!
Congratulations! That is an awesome birth story! Those intense contractions at the very end really suck, don't they? You are a superwoman for handling them naturally! I'm glad everything turned out so well.