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Around 5am on the morning of May 3rd I woke up with an intense 1+ minute contraction. Since I was already 6 days past my EDD I was so excited at the thought that we could finally meet our sweet girl, I couldn't go back to sleep for the hope of more contractions. I had another about 25 minutes later, then another about 15 minutes after that. I fell asleep after the 3rd contraction & woke up hours later with nothing. I was so disappointed, lol.
I went on about my business for the rest of the day, once every so often (up to an hour+) I would get a small contraction. I tried walking, pumping, bouncing on the ball etc. to pick them up & after a while I just gave up. I went on about my normal business, cleaned up the house, played with L & E, even ran a few errands. Around 7pm I had another strong contraction that lasted roughly a minute. Then another about 10 minutes later, they kept coming consistently at 10 minutes apart for about an hour. I called my midwife just to let her know that I was having strong 1 minute contractions roughly every 10 minutes & to give her a heads up that this felt like the real deal. Within the next hour they progressed to every 5 minutes, I had several bowel movements & they would speed up to about every 3 minutes, then space back out to about 4 minutes apart. I called my midwife again, she told me to take a warm bath & see if they picked up or slowed down. Well, they absolutely picked up!
I got out of the bath & they were basically every 2 minutes, lasting a minute. It was to the point that I wasn't sure if we were going to make it to the birth center or not. My mom, FIL & SIL were at our home. My mom & FIL planned to help out with the kids while we were gone & my SIL was going to come with us & photograph the birth for me.
We got in the car basically as quick as possible to make the 20 minute drive to the birth center. In the car I would have contractions as long as 4 minutes with only 45 seconds to a minute in between them. It was 10:30pm when we got to the birth center. They lead us into the birth room & immediately started filling up the birthing tub. They checked me & I was at 7cm. I labored on my hands & knees on the floor for about 20-30 minutes as the tub filled up. I seriously thought that I was going to just have her right there in the floor, but amazingly my body somehow held off.
I got into the tub & quickly realized that I needed DH to stay outside of the tub & support me from there. We originally planned for him to be in the tub with me & for him to catch Arden, but I don't think I would have been able to brace myself on him as well had he been inside the tub.
It was about 11:15pm, I had been in the tub for about 15 minutes & I felt like I needed to push. I began pushing slightly with each surge of a contraction, I could feel her start decending into my pelvic bone. I took a small break in the pushing just because I thought I was going to #2 in the water, lol, then after another few hard contractions realized I really didn't care if that happened at this point & that my body was pushing for me. I needed to just go with it.
I pushed hard with each contraction for a little less than 5 minutes & she was born. I caught her & brought her up to my chest myself, it was amazing! She started crying immediately & needed no suction for her nose or mouth. Arden Jane arrived at 11:28pm, just an hour after us getting to the birth center & only 30 minutes after me getting into the tub. I held her in the tub until the cord stopped pulsating, DH cut the cord & I handed Arden to him outside of the tub. I stood up & delivered the placenta, got out of the tub & laid on the bed in the room where I got Arden back & we immediately started skin to skin. I nursed her & held her as my midwife checked me, no tearing! After tearing with both L & E I was so happy to have not tore this time. They left us be for about 30-45 minutes, we just cuddled & she nursed.
They came in, did a check over her & then helped me into the shower to wash off from being in the tub. My SIL ran & got DH & I food, as she was gone I got out of the shower, got dressed & just snuggled our newest little sweetie. SIL got back, we ate & then we took Arden's measurements. Shortly after that we left & came home.
Arden Jane was born on Saturday, May 3rd weighing 8lbs 4.5oz & was 20.5" long. The water birth experience was amazing & went as perfect as I could have ever imagined it to! If you ignore the random contractions I had earlier my labor was really from 7pm to delivery at 11:28pm (4.5 hours total) we only stayed at the birth center until 3:30am & came home to sleep in our own bed, it was wonderful!
Aw, so amazing! I wonder if delivering in the water helps not tearing? The in-hospital birth center that I delivered in wouldn't let me actually push in the water, so I had to deliver on the bed just minutes after leaving the jacuzzi tub, and I tore twice, just like with both my boys. I was really hoping not to tear the third time around!
I look forward to seeing the pictures! It sounds like a beautiful birth - congratulations! I might have the courage to post my delivery footage.