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7/17 (Tuesday) I had my 40 week prenatal. Nothing exciting. I was just having a lot of on/off contractions. My midwife checked me and guessed she would see me over the weekend. That Friday, I felt like something was off. Like my body was trying and TRYING to go into labor, but wouldn't. I called the midwifes and told them. They let me come in get checked, tried a few things to see if we could get a normal labor pattern going. It didn't work. However, we suspected DD wasn't engaging properly and her head was tilted. I was sent home with instructions to stay on my side, hands and knees, etc to try to get her to engage better and make sure she wasn't posterior (as we suspected that also). I left 5 cm, mostly effaced, and highly disappointed. I was already taking my maternity leave since I couldn't predict when contractions would start up and if they did they were too strong to drive.
Nothing exciting happened and my 41 week appointment (7/25) rolled around. We had an ultrasound and NST. Baby looked perfect so we kept going and planned another NST and ultrasound the following Monday. My midwife checked me again, 4 cm and cervix was thicker. Again, very disappointed. Instead of making progress I was going backwards. I just resigned myself that an induction was going to be it. It was just a matter of figuring out the lesser of two evils: pitocin or breaking my water. Baby was also clearly posterior and the cause of my on/off contractions. I left the appointment and said we'd see each other Monday, not expecting a baby over the weekend. My midwife was even going out of town and told the other midwife that she would have a quiet weekend and doubted I would deliver. DH and I started joking that baby was just waiting for to be an anniversary gift (7/29). I planned a girls day and date night for the weekend. hey afterall, want to have a baby make a plan as babies don't listen to plans!
Around midnight (7/28), I had a single contraction. It was very intense, woke me up. But I went back to sleep. I felt a contraction again at 1am and 2am. I went back to sleep. Around 3am, I felt another contraction. This time I just couldn't go back to sleep. I figured I'd stay up and see if I was just sleeping through contractions. I had a few more, but nothing crazy. I did have to breath through them. I was hungry and decided to get some cereal and go back to bed. I got downstairs and was having more frequent contractions and HAD to really work through them. I got upstairs and tried to go back to sleep, but kept asking DH to rub my back. He would start and fall back asleep. By 4am, I was timing them. At 4:30am, I told DH if they were still around and like this in an hour I was going to call the midwife. THANK GOD I DIDN'T WAIT AN HOUR! At 5am, they were just very intense. I wanted to get in the tub and soak. I called the midwife and told DH we were heading up. Took us 19 minutes to get us ready and into the car. The birth center is 50 miles from our house. It was the most intense, crazy car ride EVER! DH said, "oh I need to get gas..." I told him NO in not so nice words! Then, I started yelling at him to drive faster. Then, again I told him if he didn't drive faster my water would break in his car! The whole time I really didn't think I was in labor. Looking back, I was in transition! We finally arrived at the birth center in record time at about 6am (DH was driving 80 when the speed limit was 55).
The midwife meet us at the car and helped me walk in. I honestly don't remember DH getting out or getting DD1 set up in the playroom area. I just told my midwife I wanted to get into the pool ASAP and fell down onto the bed. It felt amazing to be at the birth center and know we made it, even though I was STILL in denial that I was in labor. We checked the baby's heartbeat. Great. I got up to use the restroom and couldn't go. Got checked and was 9 cm, cervix 100% thinned. Baby was COMING! It hit me, I was really in labor and really going to meet my baby. The pool still wasn't ready, but I really wanted water. We tried the shower...basically i stood up and was complete. All I thought was "OMG, I'm going to have her on the bathroom floor!" I asked if the pool was ready. She said, if I didn't mind just sitting, I could get in. GOOD, because I have to push and I'm not pushing on land! Pushing was amazing. The only time it hurt was right before my water broke! The pressure was so intense. Once that broke, I felt the "ring of fire" and could feel my tailbone moving to make room for her head. It was so weird because I felt pushing with my first, but I realize now how much I didn't feel and how ineffective my pushing was with #1. The epidural really blocked a lot. I pushed for maybe 10 minutes (about 3 contractions). It was just amazing to reach down, feel her head, and pick her up to me. It was WONDERFUL. Placenta came out about 25 minutes later. DD2 was born at 6:38 about 20-30 minutes after we arrived at the birth center! Thank GOD, he didn't stop for gas right? And broke the speed limit! The other midwife and I joked during prenatals that they have numerous patients who drive an hour plus and everyone had made it so far, but there is always a first and it could be me. Um, yeah. it could have been me!
DH ran and grabbed DD1, who I had completely forgotten about. Thank god she's such a good kid and great at entertaining herself. My mom and brother walked in right as DH ran out to get DD1. Apparently someone turned the TV on for her and had just finished watching previews for a DVD and waiting to press play.
DD1 is in love with her sister. Since we delivered out of the hospital, we were home by lunch time! It has been an amazing recovery being at home instead of the hospital. So peaceful. I loved every moment of DD2's birth. It has been very healing on many levels. I'm still in disbelief how quickly L&D went. Only about 3 hours of hard contractions. I also can't believe I was in denial until I was 9cm!! Even then, I was still in shock.