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Technically, I had a very long birthing time. I started having pressure waves (contractions) 2 weeks before my guess date. That first week I had 2 days where the PW's were coming every 20 minutes for 6 hours, then they stopped. That week my midwife, Terina, checked me and I was dilated 1.5cm, soft and stretchy. So at least they were doing something. The next week I had 2-3 days where they were every 15 minutes for 6 hours, then they would stop. I didn't get a check at that appointment, so I don't know if they were just annoying PW's, or if they were actually making progress. My guess day came and went, and still no baby. By this time, I was having PW's everyday, generally about 15 minutes apart. The intensity level had increased, but they were completely manageable.
On Sunday, October 17th, 2 days past my guess date, I noticed that the PW's were a lot more intense than ever before. We were at church, and as the time passed, I started to realize they were getting more frequent. While I was playing piano for the Primary, I had to alert the chorister that if I stopped playing the piano or just didn't start when she was expecting me to, to just go on, and I would join back in when the PW was over. I had to do that 1 or 2 times. I thought that just maybe, this might be leading to the real thing this time.
My 40 week appointment was that day after church. Terina got here around 7pm and I had her check me to see what was going on. I was 3+cm dilated and 80% effaced. But baby was still really high. We discussed what would happen if I made it to 41 weeks, and then 42 weeks. As she was leaving, she said, "But you never know, you may just call me in 3 hours to come back."
Things stayed pretty much the same the rest of the night. I went to bed around 9:30pm. But before I did I had a talk with my husband about my frustrations and expectations of the birth. I decided that I needed to to a fear clearing hypnosis session (Part of Hypnobabies) before I went to sleep. The script lasted around 30 minutes, and a the very end of it, I had 3 PW's within 10 minutes. I couldn't lay down anymore, so I went downstairs to where my husband was. He was working the graveyard shift that week, so he was getting ready to go to work. I told him that if things kept up, I really might be calling him home that day.
By the time he left for work at 11, I had called my friend Becca, who was my birth partner, and told her to come over. I didn't know if I was really in my birthing time, but I felt that I wanted her there. I also called Terina and told her that I didn't need her right then, but that I wanted her to come that night. She was almost home, so she said she would get some new clothes, get her assistant and come over. Guess how many hours that was after she left my house? Yup, 3 hours! I also called the photographer I hired and told her that I would like her to come over as well.
Becca arrive just after David left, the photographer about an hour later, and the midwives maybe an hour after that? I think it was 12:47 when I glanced at the clock at one point, wondering if Terina was coming, or if she was waiting for me to call her still. They showed up just a few minutes later. David called at one point to see how things were going. I told him to go ahead and head home. I don't know when he got here, but it wasn't too long after the midwives arrived.
My pressure waves were still around 5 minutes apart, give or take a few minutes. David started to fill up the birthing pool as soon as he got here. I don't have any idea on the times from this point on, but I plan on getting that information from my midwife when I see her today. So I will come back and fill in the info later. After the tub was filled, I decided to get in. It was real nice. I was leaning way over the tub at that point, and Terina was listening to the baby's heart rate. Baby was having decels, so she wanted me to try a different position. I went into a reclining position, and she listened for a really long time. As I was sitting there, I got a very calm feeling come over me. I had a feeling she was going to tell me something was wrong and that we needed to go to the hospital. For me, going to the hospital meant that I was getting a cesarean. But as I thought about it, I realized that I was okay with it. If she felt something was wrong enough to suggest we go in, that it would still all be okay. However, she said everything was fine. She thought that maybe if was just my leaning forward so far that was causing the problem, as she heard no more decels after that.So, it looked like everything was fine and we could stay at home. But it was a revealing moment for me to realize how I would feel about the situation if it came up again.
A little while later I started making comments about how I just wanted to get an epidural now, and that I was done and didn't want to do it anymore. I wasn't really serious, of course. If someone in the room had said, "Okay, let's go" I would have told them they were crazy. Terina checked me and told me that I was a 5-6. I complained a lot during the birthing. Haha! Mostly about it taking forever, and that I was done. Stuff like that.
The birthing time continued, with the pressure waves still around 5 minutes apart. Things were getting more intense and I was getting more and more vocal. Terina checked me again at some point and I was at an 8. I started grunting a bit, and my tone changed, so at the next check she said I was complete except for a little lip on one side that she thought I might be able to push past. So I started pushing just a little bit with my waves. I didn't do it a lot, as it was crazy intense, so I held back and relaxed as much as I could get away with. This whole time David or Becca were reading mini scripts from the birth partner guide to me during and after a pressure wave. It was real nice having them read them to me. I didn't pay a lot of attention, but it was in the background noise, and helped.
This whole time the pressure waves were still only about 5 minutes apart. Some closer, some longer. I really enjoyed the long breaks in between! I don't recall having anything like a transition moment. I did shake a little bit, and I started burping like I would throw up. They got a bowl for me in case I did. But I had to remind David that I just DON'T throw up. Don't know why, but I just don't. And sure enough, I didn't. I decided that I didn't want to push for an hour like I did with my last birth. When I got the pushing sensations, I was just going to go for it. I was so done laboring, and just wanted it over with. So when they came, I just gave in.
I pushed for a few contraction and moved the baby down. Terina told me that I could reach down and feel the head. Sure enough, the head was probably just a fingertip away from coming out. Exciting! At this point I was on my knees, upright. I felt the need to switch to more of a reclining position, so I flipped to the other side of the pool. I didn't get another pressure wave. Instead, I started pushing baby out without one, real slowly. I said "Peace" out loud during this. It seemed like it took a long time, but when I watched the video, it was real fast. The cord was wrapped around baby's neck two times, and was really tight. Terina couldn't get it off, so told me to really push and get the rest of the body out. So I did. I got to reach down and pull the baby up onto my belly. The assistant helped me, but the cord suddenly pulled on me, so we had to put her a little lower. Then Terina picked baby up and twisted her all around to get the cord undone. When the cord stopped pulsing I got to cut it. What a neat experience! She was born at 4:51am.
From the time I started calling people to come over to baby being born was just 6 hours. And, even then, I wasn't sure I was actually in labor until I got into the birthing pool. We checked baby, and it was a girl! She was 6lbs 12oz, 19 3/4" long. Her head was 13 3/4", her chest was 13, and her belly was 12. What a big baby! Well, for me anyway. My biggest one.
Wendy, Mom to
Kyron, Porter, Donovan, & Jocelyn