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I guess I'll start on the Monday prior to going into labor. That would be 7/18. I was a week late and went in for my appointment. I hadn't had any contractions and just a few minor braxton hicks in the last few weeks. She asked if I wanted to be checked and I said yes! I just wanted to know if it was going to be any time soon!!
So she checked me and I was about 3 cm or so and soft. But the baby wasn't fully engaged yet. bummer! Since I was overdue she wanted to send me over to the hospital to have a NST done. She "agitated" things while she was checking me (her words). She didn't really strip my membranes or anything, just kinda pushed and poked around a bit (ouch!)
The agitation worked a little! by the time I got over to the hospital for the NST I had started having some good contractions. They were able to monitor me for about 20 minutes and verify that she was doing just fine. I went home, the contractions stopped and I waited...
Then the evening of the 19th I headed to bed about 10:45pm. I had been feeling fine all day, I dont' remember anything different. But about halfway down the hall I got hit with a good contraction. The pain was alllll in my back hip joints. My hips didn't spread until labor hit, so most of my pain was there during the whole labor. DH was already in bed. I was able to kinda sleep for an hour or so, but then couldn't anymore, so I got up.
For a few hours I paced and tried to apply pressure to my back, but it wasn't helping. So around 1am I got DH up and told him what was going on. I showed him how to hold me in a bear hug during contractions and press his fists into my hip joints. That helped a TON! At this point contractions were around 8-10 minutes apart.
About 2am I phoned my midwife to let her know I was in labor. I don't' think she believed me I was able to talk through contractions and I only had one or two during our conversation. She said she'd come over in a few hours unless things got worse.
I called my mom about 3 or so and she came over with the video camera . I was soooo exhausted by this point. Not because of the labor, but simply because I hadn't slept in nearly 36 hours. So I was dozing as best I could between contractions, and guzzling water from my huge 96oz bottle! It never even occurred to me to eat anything . That might have helped...
5am, my midwife shows up. Sees how I'm doing and decides to check me. So we went back to the bedroom and she checked and I was 5-6 cm! yay! but the baby still hadn't fully engaged. So she insisted on taking a walk. My mom and DH came and supported me while the four of us speed walked around the neighborhood. (boy was I glad it was early morning and no one was up!!) I was told not to stop during contractions and to walk "sumo-style" with my legs opened as far as I could. That was probably the hardest walk I've ever taken!!
Finally about 7 I said I'd like to head to the hospital (it's like 4 blocks from our house). I mostly wanted to get in the tub! Got there and checked into our room (it was fast, I think there were only like two other women there). Had to fill out a little paperwork but I had preregistered, so most of it was already done. But the nurse wanted to strap on a monitor and check my BP before I got into the tub.
At 8 I stripped down to my sports bra and got into the tub. AHHHH!!! such relief! I actually ended up sitting indian style sideways in the tub with my back pressed against a jet. I was soooo completely relaxed. I just kept chanting in my head "this is normal, this is supposed to happen" over and over. DH was running his fingers back and forth across my belly, it was the only thing that worked for me to concentrate on during contractions. After an hour or so of this, DH could NOT stay awake and my midwife saw that it was irritating me, so she sent him away to go sleep on the couch in the room. My mom took over rubbing my belly.
At some point I had to pee and the nurse insisted I get out and be monitored for a few minutes again. getting out of the tub was horrible!! As soon as I rose up out of the water my entire body went into a contraction and it hurt SOOOO freaking bad!! Went to the bathroom (with lots of help ) and got back in bed and monitored. everything was still fine. I think I was at 6 or 7 cm, but I dont' remember for sure.
Got back into the tub and relaxed back into the routine. My mom kept trying to converse with me. Grrr... my midwife told her to shut it! I pretty much wanted dead silence during the whole thing. I think around 12:00 (lost track of time here) my midwife stepped out to talk to the nurse. I overheard her say something about transition... I turned to my mom and said "I don't know how much longer I can do this". Not meaning I wanted pain meds, but just needed to know how much longer. A few minutes later I had to pee again, so I got out (another HORRIBLE pain!!). While on the toilet I got sooo sick to my stomach and puked all that water out that i'd been drinking. Yuck!
At this point, the contractions were one after another and very painful. I got back in bed to be checked. I dont' remember hearing what I was at though... I rolled to my side, they woke up DH and he came and stood by my side. In that position though, they couldn't find the baby's heartbeat... Since I couldn't move my midwife said she'd have to break my water (it still hadn't' broken) and put the probe on her head. I believe at this point it was 12:45 or so... totally NO concept of time then...
Once they broke my water, the contractions just PILED up one on top of the other, I could barely breath. All I could do was cling to the rail and pant. They put an oxygen mask on me at that point cause I was practically hyperventilating. A few minutes later my body spasmed and started pushing all on its own! It shocked me because no one had told me that would happen, and I didn't even know if I was fully dilated. But it felt right to push and no one said to stop, so I just kept pushing... even through breaths, just kept up the pressure. I screamed as she crowned, but as soon as her head was out the relief was amazing. She had the cord around her neck (part of the reason they couldn't' find her HB). It took only about 3 minutes of pushing and she was out! It was 1:03pm.
She was very laid back and refused to cry. She just wanted to examine everything even with the nurses beating on her she barely cried. She spent the first four hours of her life, just staring at the world.
The placenta came about 10 minutes after she was born, it was pretty cool to see and examine. I got the shakes really bad after that. I was freezing cold! I couldn't move anything because of the shakes and one of my feet was in a puddle of goo and it was cold!! LOL I remember yelling for someone to take my foot out of the goo. I had no tears (just a couple minor skid marks), and other than some nasty hemorrhoids no other problems. It was all-in-all a great birth!
Sorry this ended up being so long! lol But hopefully this will be a good inspiring story for some of you!
Kellisa, Mama to:
Courtney, Nola, Kya, and Whitney
Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, training to be an IBCLC!