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Labor started around 5:50am on July 18th. Thats when I noticed a contraction. of course I had been getting these contractions for a few weeks, but they always went away. I was at work at the time and didn't think anything of it. I wrote the time down, in case more came and I needed to time them. Well I had a few on and off but nothing too painful or timeable. Around 8:30am I went to the bathroom and had some bloody show. Thats when I first thought this could actually be it. I left work around 9 and headed home. I knew that if this was false labor that taking a shower would get rid of the contractions.
I took a shower and didn't notice any contractions, since it was soooo hot out, Paul, Lily, my mom and I went to the mall to walk around. I figured if I was in labor walking would certainly help! I didn't notice any contractions at the mall either, so we came home for lunch. Around noon I started noticing some contractions and they were coming about 6-9 minutes apart. I sent Paul to work and put Lily down for her nap. I called my midwife around 2pm to see what she wanted me to do. She said I should come in and get checked, so off I went to the office. I drove myself up. While making the 45 minute drive, I noticed that the contractions were getting a bit stronger. At my midwife's office we did some monitoring. Contractions were about 4 minutes apart. I asked her to check me because at my last appt. the baby was posterior and I wanted to know if she had moved. I was 2cm dilated when she checked me and the baby was in the correct position. Margie (my midwife) said that this was definitely early labor but she wanted me to go home and wait till the contractions were around 5 minutes apart and bad where I couldn't speak through them. So home I went.
The contractions were definitely getting more uncomfortable during the car ride home so I called Paul and asked him to leave work around 5pm so that he could help me with Lily that evening. Once I got home, I did some last minute cleaning up around the house, called a few people to make sure someone would be able to watch Lily if we ended up at the hospital that night. We ordered a pizza for dinner (which I had absolutely no appetite for) and then played with Lily till she went to bed. I used my breast pump to help induce some more contractions, and boy did that work. I really think thats what helped my labor progress over the course of the evening.
We put Lily to bed around 7:30pm and Paul wanted me to call Margie to see if we should head up to the birth center. He was getting a bit nervous because it was an hour long drive to the birth center... and he just gets nervous over things like that. I on the other hand was convinced that I wouldn't be going till the morning. After speaking to Margie, she said that we should continue to hang out at home till the contractions were 3-5 minutes apart. She suggested drinking some juice and eating some crackers when she found out I hadn't eaten anything since 10:30am.
Around 9:15 I called Margie back because the contractions were getting closer together and a bit more uncomfortable.... so in we went to the birth center.
My mom and mother in law followed us up to the hospital and our friend Krista stayed with Lily. Once up at the birth center we immediately got a room and Margie checked me. I was 5cm dilated, but the baby was still pretty high. This was around 10:30pm. I labored around the room for the next few hours. I was in and out of the shower, on the birthing ball, and walking around. I couldn't stand being in bed, and was happiest when I was sitting on the birthing ball. Around 12:30am I told Paul that I wanted to get in the tub, so he went to go tell our nurse.
Margie wanted to check me before I got in, so around 1:30am she came to check me. After 3 hours of laboring on my own with no medicine or pain relief, I was hoping to have made some great progress. I was quite discouraged to hear that I was only 6cm now. Margie suggested breaking my water to help move things along. I was unsure about doing this since I wanted to go as natural as possible and didn't see this as being so natural. I decided to let her do it, since it had been 3 hours and I was getting tired.
Once she broke my water things definitely picked up in speed and intensity. I was in the tub by 1:40 and telling Paul that I didn't think I could do this, that this was so hard and I couldn't do it. He kept reassuring me and telling me that I could. My mother in law and my mom were there as well pouring cool water on me and reassuring me as well. They were all great. Within a few minutes of being in the tub I told my nurse I felt pressure so she went to get Margie. Margie wanted me to sit down to get checked but I was honestly most comfortable standing up in the water. I did sit down and Margie told me I was already 8cm. I asked her how long she thought it would be till I was fully dilated and could push. She said it would be about a half hour or so. I told her it would be about 15 minutes. I was right. I kept making everyone nervous though because I wouldn't sit down, I wanted to stand up. Margie kept calling me the dancer, since I just wanted to lean on the sides of the tub and rock my hips back and forth. I remember the nurse and Margie saying that they didn't think I would be able to have the baby in the tub since I wouldn't sit and I certainly couldn't deliver standing up and having the baby do a swan dive into the tub of water (the water only came up to my knees about)
Eventually I did sit back down and when Margie checked me around 2:10am I was completely dilated, which was a good thing because I started pushing right then and there. I pushed through 3 contractions and out she came! Julia Nicole was born at 2:20am. I was in shock.... I had pushed for 2 hours with Lily so the idea of pushing 3 times was a complete surprise.
We are home now and doing well. Julia Nicole was 7lbs 8oz and 20 inches long (over a pound more than Lily was!). I think she looks exactly like her daddy! She is nursing pretty well which is also a relief. I'm having some pain but was told our latch is perfect and the pain will go away soon.