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Seamus Rayburn McGhee
10/6/13 at 11:30am
7lbs 2oz and 20in long
At 5:00pm on October 5th, I started having contractions about ten minutes apart. I had already had false labor two days in a row so I wasnít getting my hopes up just yet. Plus I was only 37w4d and did not expect to go that early. I started timing my contractions and around 7:30pm we decided to send Mason to our friendís house that would be watching him. We werenít sure if it was real yet but didnít want it to be midnight and dropping him off somewhere. Plus, we thought Iíd have a quick laborÖÖ I gave my doula and birth center a heads up that I thought I was in labor and Dave and I started laboring at home.
Around 11pm, we realized this was probably the real deal and started getting our stuff together for when it was needed. I wanted to stay at home as long as possible but assumed since it was my second birth, Iíd be delivering pretty soon. Around 2:00am, we decided to head to the birth center. Our doula was meeting us there and it was honestly going just like I planned it to. I got checked once we arrived and was found to be at four cm. Not amazing but since my water hadnít broken yet I wasnít expecting to be TOO far. We set up camp and started our laboring process at the center. Honestly, it was perfect. Dave and Donna (our returning amazing Doula) are seriously the perfect laboring team. We had a system down in no time and we labored in peace. Contractions were strong but manageable and I expected my water to break at any moment. At 5:00 am, 12 hours into labor which was already longer than my first, I was checked again and found to be at 8cm. I was stoked! Labor was progressing perfectly, the tub was keeping contractions pretty mild, and I figured I had an hour left at best. Wrong wrong wrong!
About this time is when my labor just stalled. I remember the sun coming up and thinking, huh, Iím still in labor? Why? Dave and I were making jokes in the tub. Our doula and photographer were laughing at us because we did not appear to be in labor. Both of us just sat around playing on our phones like it was no big deal. Dave passed out in the tub lol. I eventually moved to the birth stool to try to progress things along and get Seamus to come down. My water was still in tact and this was preventing movement I think. Birth stool did nothing really. Around 9am (maybe, Iím not completely sure of time) my midwife checked me and I was at 9cm with a lip of cervix left. We tried pushing it over his head while I pushed but my body just did not have the urge to push so it wasnít working. She then suggested that me and Dave try nipple stimulation alone to bring on stronger contractions. They all stepped out at this point. This ended up working very quickly and my contractions became stronger. I tried pushing some but nothing was happening. We then talked to the midwife and discussed breaking my water. I thought itíd be soo cool if he was born in the caul but at the same time, I was done. Labor was long and I was ready to meet my baby. Had we not broken it, he had a good chance of staying in it lol. It took my midwife a good few tries to break the sac. It was quite a strong membrane. I was nervous for this point but was ready to be over. I assumed contractions would pick up and Iíd have the urge to push right after. Nope, not at all. I continued to have that lip of a cervix left and just couldnít get him past it. Around 10am, my contractions did start really picking up and this is when labor became really painful for me. I had no urge to push yet still. I got out of the tub and hit full transition mode. Shakes, throwing up, strong strong contractions, irritated (I started yelling at people). I just felt out of control at this point and wanted relief. I felt like he was never coming and I kept saying that over and over again. I was beyond done. I ended up getting back in the tub and we worked to get him to come down. My midwife checked me and said that the lip was finally gone and that Iíd be having him soon. Me, in my whiney transition stage did NOT believe her and just felt defeated. I really wasnít having the urge to push but started pushing with contractions some to move him down. Finally, a million years later, I got him to a point where he was finally visible. Dave held a mirror so I could watch him progress down. Iím not going to lie, I feel like I was roaring like a bear to get him out at this point. Dave said I wasnít but I felt like I was. I pushed with every thing I had!!!!! It was a really intense point and the pain was just unreal. Dave is the one who caught him so our midwife was coaching him on what to do. I thought once his head was out heíd just slide on out. Nope, I had to wait to pass his shoulders which was even bigger than his head. And another push for his body. We had to wait for him to turn for me to fully push him out.
Once he was out though, pure bliss! I was so ready to meet him and I loved that moment of seeing him for the first time. And I also loved that the pain was finally overÖ. So I thought. I noticed the tub was filling with a lot of blood and my midwife was already messing with my placenta to get it out. I seriously almost slapped her hand away. I felt like I was mauled by a lion in my vagina and here she is tugging on the cord. I wonít go into a million details but I ended up having a retained placenta. We did two doses of Pitocin, some tincture, oxygen, manual traction, a million positions but it was not coming. Usually after an hour we would transfer. We were at the two hour mark and knew weíd be leaving. After three hours PP, we transferred to my back up hospital. A million young doctors later and three different plans, I was given an epidural and Pitocin to attempt to pass my placenta. My midwife and doula stayed the whole time amazingly. I was told Iíd most likely end up with a D&C at the end but we wanted to try the least evasive option just for the hell of it. Well, it amazingly ended up working. The attendee came in and I thought he was just going to examine me, nope, he just pulled it right out. Yay. Finally, for the first time since the night before I felt relief. The whole PP time, I had a placenta and cord stuck in me and thatís just not comfortable or natural feeling. We ended up signing ourselves out after two hours of observation because we were ready to get home. I was stoned by this point for exhaustion. I missed my other baby even though I wouldnít get to see him till the next day. I was just done and a hormonal mess.
I cried a good cry through the course of this whole labor. I cried for Mason, I cried for a stalled labor, and I cried at the irony that after giving natural birth, I was going to end up with an epi and Pitocin anyways. After Mason, I was on a high. This time, Iím just glad itís done and Iím not sure how to process those feelings. But itís over now, I have a beautiful healthy baby boy at home who is just amazing. Heís nursing like a pro which is a dream come true in its self. Weíll see what decisions I end up making when we deliver number 3Ö..
Oh wow- what an emotional roller coaster to go on right after such an amazing birth! Congratulations on your natural birth. I know you must have conflicted emotions on everything you had to go through immediately pp. What a tough situation! I'm so glad the placenta finally came on it's own, and I hope your body is healing well. Congratulations on the birth of your baby, and I hope you are getting in lots and lots of baby snuggles!
Previously known as ~~Que~~
Student Midwife, Doula, Placenta Specialist, and Lactation Counselor
It was an incredibly emotional experience and I cried several times throughout the labor and pp. It took me a few days to really process it all but I've had long talks with my midwife and doula and I feel so much better about it all now. I've healed super duper fast this time! This PP has been a breeze compared to number 1 amazingly.