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I knew going into this pregnancy that I would probably have a very fast labor with this baby. My second son came quickly, 5 hours total, and I guessed correctly that this labor would be even faster.
On Monday I had an appt. with the midwife, and at 39 weeks, 3 days she checked my progress which was nothing but a fingertip dilated, and my cervix was high and posterior.
On Monday night I was having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, and I was sitting on the loveseat timing them while watching TV with my husband. I was having them about 4 minutes apart, but I knew that they weren't the real thing just because they were located only in the front. All of a sudden I got a shooting pain on my right side that wouldn't go away. The pain radiated to my left side, and it was so strong and horrible that I could hardly move. I finally made it to my bed and tried to lie on my right side to see if it would subside, and it didn't. I knew it wasn't labor pain because it was constant, but I figured I should call the midwife anyway. She said that it was probably round ligament pain, and that I should take Tylenol and sleep with a heating pad.
It seemed to help after a few hours, and I was able to sleep. But when I woke on Tuesday morning the sharp pain was back, and it wasn't until the Tylenol kicked in, that it subsided enough for me to move around. The pain never totally left me, and I had lots of contractions, all day long, anywhere between 4-6 minutes a part, but still all Braxton Hicks, located in the front of my abdomen. I tried to get things done around the house, but didn't get much accomlished because I was so uncomfortable.
At 8:15 that night, I was reading to my son in his bed, and all of a sudden I felt the unmistakable gush, that I knew was my water breaking. I called to my husband, and told him that it was time, and then tried to explain to my boys what was happening and going to happen.
I went right into the shower and told my husband to call his mother and asked him to bring me my cell phone so I could call the on-call Dr.
I was a little concerned that my water was so red with blood. I finally got a hold of the Dr. and was dissapointed to learn it was someone that I had never met. So I quickly gave her a run-down of my two previous births, both epidural free, both big babies, the first 10 lbs. 11 oz., the second 9 lbs. 3 oz. I told her how I preferred to deliver on my knees upright, as I did with my second so that I could avoid the tearing and vaccume extraction I endured while flat on my back with my first son. I told her how my second son came quickly, and that as soon as I felt real labor contractions come on, that I would go in.
After my water broke, all contracting and pain stopped. It wasn't until almost nine o'clock that I started to feel the real thing. My husband and I got ready to leave, and I remember looking at the clock in his truck while he pumped gas and ran to get a coffee at 9:20 to register a contraction, and at 9:23 I was having another. It took us about 15 minutes to drive to the hospital, and at around 9:45-9:50 I was being monitored and the nurse checked me. She said that I was at 4 cm, and paper thin, and after about 5 minutes said, "I know you don't want to be hooked up to this for long, let's get you in the bath." (I was glad she read my birth preferences!)
There was a large tub adjacent to the room, and it was filled up to a little over my belly button line with very warm water. I got in and started to focus more on the contractions. The were getting a little harder, and I was breathing through them. One of the nurses came in overheard me telling my husband that breathing was making me feel dizzy, and she showed me how to cup my hands over my mouth so that I wouldn't feel light-headed.
At 10:15 I asked my husband to give me my phone, and I sent a text to my best friends telling them that I was in labor. The nurse came in at one point and told me that I should be on one of "those birthing shows" because I was so much in control.
After that my contractions got increasingly more difficult, and about a half-hour later, I could feel the change. I dealt with the pain by moaning with the contraction, and I knew things were moving along. I told my husband to pull the nurse's cord, that I wanted to push, and he was shocked. I had to tell him about 4 times to "PULL the CORD" before he actually believed me.
As I got up out of the bath with assistance, I told them that I needed to pee. The nurse said, "why didn't you just pee in the water?" I guess I am just used to holding it when I am in water! So I went into the bathroom to quickly pee, and as I sat down, I didn't think I would be able to get up again. I told them I felt like I needed to poop, and the nurses insisted that I get up into the bed! The Dr. was there, and quickly looked and said, "The baby is there. What do you want to do?" At that point, I knew I wanted to get up on my knees and turn around, but I had no ability at all to do anything but push at that point, and I knew I didn't want to push on my back. But I couldn't move.
The Dr. and 3 nurses assisting had me get up on the bed and put my feet on the paddles, and I told them that I couldn't do it like that, and they said that I had to because the baby was right there. I had them put the back of the bed up as high as it would go, and at that point I totally lost control. I wasn't in the position that I wanted, I was deathly afraid of tearing, and I felt myself pushing, and pooping at the same time, which to me is the most horrific feeling. I was yelling, and I remember one nurse telling me to look at her and then saying, "you are making too much noise. Put the noise into your push, and you will have this baby." I remember the Dr. telling me that what I was feeling was the baby, that his head was coming out, and that I just needed to push." I paused for a second, gathered myself and pushed with everything I had, and I felt the welcome relief of him slipping out of me.
Matthew was born at 11:02. All of the stress of going from tub to bed and pushing him out lasted only about 15 minutes.
In the process of birth, he swallowed a lot of my blood, which we found out later.
The cord was a short cord, but I was able to reach him and held him on my chest for about five minutes before it was cut. I wasn't at risk for hemorraging, so I did not get a shot of pitocin, and I had litocaine (sp?), two shots before the Dr. sewed up my tear--second degree (I knew that on my back I would tear--with my second on my knees, I think I only needed one stitch).
Overall, I would say that if it hadn't gone so quickly at transition, that I might have been able to choose a better position, but given what I had to do, it was fine.
The baby latched and was nursing immediately after the doctor finished stitching me up.
He was 9 lbs. 3 oz. 21 inches, and came after what I consider only one hour of really active difficult labor.
Congrats again, Willow! Great birth story. I am so sorry you didn't get to deliver in the position that you would have been comfortable in. I am glad Matthew was delivered quickly and that you got to snuggle him immediately, though!
Oh Willow! I am so proud of you!! You are amazing!! Baby Matthew is gorgeous... so glad you are all home together and everything turned out fine. I'm sorry things didn't go exactly how you wanted them to, but glad they went ok.