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I woke up at about 4:00 am on June 13th and could feel that my shorts were just a tiny bit wet. I went to the bathroom to use the toilet thinking that it might be my water, but I wasn’t sure yet. I stood up from the toilet and could see a definite trickle of amniotic fluid. I was so excited that Zia would have a 13th birthday, just like her sisters and me. I changed my shorts, put in a pad and went back to bed. I wanted to get a little more sleep since I wasn’t having contractions and I didn’t want to wake DH yet. I was too late though because he was awake. He asked what was going on, so I told him. At about 4:30 am, I got up again and this time my water gushed. Neither of us could sleep, so we decided to get our hospital bags packed and get ready for the day. While DH got some stuff ready downstairs, I called my mom. I was hoping my dad and she would be awake already. I don’t know why, because she definitely would not mind me calling early and waking her for something like this. I told her what was happening and she said they would get ready and head out the door. I showered, finished packing my bag and then folded laundry while I waited for it to get light enough outside to feel comfortable going for a walk by myself. The girls’ Mema and Bepa were supposed to come to help out that day and we had told the girls about it the day before. DH asked them “who’s coming today?” and both responded “Baby!” DH and I just looked at each other in shock. How could they possibly know that? The day before, Eiley had been yelling “Come out baby” at my belly, so maybe Zia decided to listen. I got the girls breakfast and headed out for a short walk around the neighborhood at about 6:30 am and called my sister to let her know my water had broken, but she didn’t answer.
I got back to the house sometime before 7:00 am, my parents arrived shortly after. I moved around the house, cleaning up odds and ends, waiting for contractions to pick up. I didn’t pay attention to when they started, but by then they were consistently about 5 minutes apart, but more uncomfortable than painful. I needed to walk through them, but they were very tolerable. Not much stronger than the Braxton hicks contractions I was used to. At 8:00 am I called my midwife’s office. I knew they would want me to go in right away, so I put off calling their answering service and was waiting until the office opened. I got their message that the office didn’t actually open until 8:30 am, so I hung up, continued to putz around the house and called back right after 8:30 am. I talked to a front desk person, who took some information and then passed me onto a nurse. The nurse took a bunch of the same information and then decided it was best if I came in to check if my water had actually broken. She made a 9:00 am appointment for me with the midwife. I was glad we live so close to the hospital and that our bags were packed. We put our things in the car, said goodbye to the girls and headed out. I knew for sure my water had broken since it had broken with the twins, because I had already soaked through 4 or 5 pads and because the fluid was originally clear and as my contractions picked up it had become tinted with a little pink. I let the midwife do her exam anyway. She was not convinced at first that my water broke. She had me lay back and cough and didn’t see any amniotic fluid fly out. She then used a speculum to swab me with a little stick to see if it changed color. She could then see all the amniotic fluid. When she pulled the speculum out, the fluid had fluid pooled in it. I was 3 cm dilated and she decided because I was attempting a VBAC, that going downstairs to L&D was probably the best option. My contractions were still about 5 minutes apart, but more intense, so I don’t think I would have been comfortable going home.
I went downstairs to labor and delivery and checked in around 10:00 am. Thankfully they had all my pre admission paperwork on file this time and I was able to walk straight into a room. I had to get monitored to get a nice “reactive” strip of Zia for a “short” time, got my IV line put in, csection labs drawn (just in case) and then I would be able to get up and move around as I’d like. I got into the bed and lay on my back as they asked me to. I was not paying attention to my contractions by this time. I was focusing on my breathing and my hypnosis stuff so that I wouldn’t have to think about being flat on my back in bed, being monitored, just like I didn’t want to be. Of course they couldn’t get a good “reactive” strip. I was asked to move to my side and thankfully that helped a lot. I think I was monitored for about an hour total. It took the nurses 3 tries to get my IV line in. The first nurse just plain did it wrong. The second nurse, Desi, was amazing. She came in and saw what the first nurse was doing and took over. She explained that what she was doing wouldn’t work for the csection labs I needed. The first vein was blown, so Desi started over. She of course blew the second spot too, so a third spot was needed. After delivery, I gave her a hard time about the blown veins and she felt terrible for arguing about it in front of me. Normally that would have driven me crazy, but I was so focused that I barely felt them digging around in the veins or blowing them.
When I was finally done monitoring I was allowed to get up. I got some water and jello and sat in a rocking chair for awhile. I was mainly having pains in my back and asked DH to press on my back for me. We had talked a few weeks before delivery and I explained what I would want him to do if my back hurt during labor. He listened well and did exactly what I needed. At one point, I got up to use the bathroom and was so dizzy/light headed. I had wanted to walk, but I could barely stand up. After using the bathroom, I sat on the birthing ball and had DH continue to press on my back during each contraction.
Only DH, my mom and I were in the room while I was laboring. The nurses came and went a little, but not often. They had been told I wanted a natural delivery and that I was doing hypnosis to help with the birth. I think Desi was assigned to me because of the hypnosis. She was very familiar with it. At one point, I was having a difficult time making it through the contractions and I really wanted to know how far along I was. I was becoming more vocal and the humming sounds I was making were a little deeper. I had DH call Desi into the room to check me. I got off the ball and felt another huge gush of amniotic fluid. Up until that point, the pads were soaking up most of the fluid, but my pants were soaked once I stood. I took them off and climbed onto the bed to be checked. I waited through a few contractions and then told Desi to check me. She said I was at about a 6, maybe a 6.5. I knew at that point that I would be fine without drugs because I didn’t have far to go. She asked if I wanted to go into the tub to help with the back labor and I happily agreed. She did a few things and then went to start the tub. I spent the rest of my labor sitting cross legged on the bed. At one point, I made a really deep vocal noise, sort of like a cow mooing and laughed at myself mid contraction. I started shaking right as Desi started filling the tub. She came back, saw me shaking, listened to my vocalizations, and said she didn’t think I’d be able to get into the tub since they aren’t allowed to have water births at this hospital. She checked me again shortly after and I was at a 10 already.
It’s amazing how much relief there was once my body made it to 10. The contractions no longer hurt and I instantly needed to push. I started pushing on my left side, but it wasn’t comfortable and I don’t think I was pushing very productively like that. Zia was also having some issues with her heart rate, so I was giving an oxygen mask. I moved to my back and would sit up each time I needed to push. DH held one leg and Desi held the other. I believe Zia’s heart rate improved as soon as I moved positions because they stopped handing me the oxygen mask after each contraction. My midwife came to see how I was doing. She was probably there 20 minutes, but had to leave for a csection. She let me know that if she wasn’t back in time, one of the other midwives would be called to deliver. I love all three midwives in this practice, so honestly didn’t care which one was there for the delivery. Zia seemed to be stuck in my pelvis a little. I was pushing as hard as I could and Desi kept telling me I was doing an awesome job, but Zia wasn’t budging. My midwife made it back from the csection before Zia made her appearance. Finally, Zia cleared my pelvis and at that point there was no holding her back. I was not letting her head go back in and kept her in one place between contractions. The midwife commented on her not moving back, but I didn’t tell her I was making sure Zia stayed put. I was concentrating too hard. The midwife started instructing me exactly what to do, so she could get Zia out without me tearing. She was very calm and soothing with her instructions and I was able to listen to her even as my body wanted to keep pushing. My midwife knew when Zia was getting closer and put some numbing gel on my perineum before Zia cleared my pelvis. I honestly don’t know how much I tore. I did need stitches, but couldn’t feel the tearing because of the gel. I’m sure I would have torn much worse if I hadn’t had such amazing instructions and she hadn’t helped guide Zia’s head out.
At some point, someone had moved a mirror so I could watch my progress and watch Zia coming out. It was so hard to keep my eyes open during pushing, but I did see her born and it was amazing. I was able to reach down and pull her to my chest. She wasn’t taken from me to be weighed or for any other reason for over an hour. I was able to hold and breastfeed her right away. I was amazed at how calm and peaceful she was. She cried a little, but was very content once she was warm. Once her cord stopped pulsing, DH was there to cut it. I felt the placenta and sac be delivered and then the midwife showed it to all of us once she’d examined it and made sure everything was intact. I was numbed up then and sewn with a continuous stitch, so I don’t know how many stitches were used. I don’t remember what I said, but I know I made a few jokes between contractions while I was laboring and then made some more after Zia was born. An hour after her birth, I was up and moving around, slowly, but moving. It was so nice to be able to get up and use the bathroom. Desi made sure I got up very slowly because my blood pressure was low and my resting pulse was down around 47. I felt fine though, I was just super relaxed. After that initial hour, Zia was weighed and some ointment was put in her eyes. The nurse I wasn’t too fond of was off duty soon, so she was getting ready to leave the room. I heard Desi tell her that a natural birth usually doesn’t go like that and there is usually screaming involved. About an hour later, I was moved from my delivery room into a recovery room. Zia was taken a few hours later for a bath, after she’d met 2 sets of her grandparents and her sisters. 24 hours later, I was allowed to leave the hospital. Her birth was incredibly peaceful and I could not have asked for a better experience.
Thank you peimum for my siggie
Dec 26 '08, BFP after 21 months thanks to acupuncture
Jan 14 '09, first u/s one strong heart beat
Jan 28, '09, second u/s, Surprise! two strong heart beats
Aug 13, '09 Arya and Eiley are born on what would have been their great grandmother's 105th birthday 365 Days in a Roe