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Sunday night (November 30th) I started to have contractions that felt like the labor contractions I had with Ele...painful menstrual-type cramps plus these ones radiated into my back. We timed them for a while and they averaged every 11 minutes. We decided some sleep was in order, so I took a half dose of Benedryl and we went to bed. I slept ok for 4 or 5 hours, occasionally waking from a contraction. The Benedryl really helped me rest through them though.
Monday Trupe went to work as usual, and I took Trupie to school, then Ele and I walked around a store for a few hours. We went to the mall toys after school...basically I was trying to stay busy and not focus on the contractions. I checked my dilation and was still at 3ish cm. I timed the contractions here and there through the day and they averaged 11 minutes apart still, so we decided some more Benedryl was in order to sleep again.
Tuesday, same thing-work for Trupe, school for Trupie, store-walking for Ele and I, mall toys after school-although I had a really hard time sitting there acting normal and not making obvious pain-filled faces when a whopper of a contraction would hit. Tuesday night again we looked over timing, 11 minutes still on average...Benedryl and bed.
Wednesday morning we got up and I did my usual-get Trupe's lunch and coffee ready, get mine and the kids' breakfast ready, and I timed the contractions for the first hour I was awake...every 7ish minutes. Hmm....I thought. I checked my progress and was 4-5cm now. Sent Trupe off to work, but told him that I didn't think it was a good idea for me to drive today, so Trupie was staying home. I read my Bible during breakfast and was excited because it was a wonderful Psalm that seemed perfect for the day...Psalm 57. Verse 1 says "Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in You my soul takes refuge, I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed." Many times during the labor I whispered and cried to God that I needed to be in his wings...sometimes all I could mutter was "wings God, wings", but I know He understood me. The contractions stayed about 7 minutes apart all morning. We had our lunches, and then the contractions started to come closer together, about 5 minutes apart. Around 1 in the afternoon I started to get a little frantic and talked to Trupe about tentatively coming home...I told him if the time between contractions changed from 5 minutes, that he HAD to come home. By 2pm they were coming every 4 minutes and I was really having to work through them, down on the floor on all fours and swaying my hips was about the only way to survive one. Earlier in the day I'd been ok just leaning over the counter or desk and swaying my hips when one came on, but that just wasn't enough by about noon. But all fours was quickly becoming insufficient and I knew I needed some back pressure added in the mix. The kids were doing really well through the whole ordeal, Trupie was playing right beside me on the computer, and Ele had crashed and was taking a nap. I knew that she'd be waking soon and I didn't think I could handle her screaming (she's a screamer when she wakes up) myself. So with all that in mind, I told Trupe it was time to come home. He asked if I could wait until 5 when he gets off and I said "No, come home now please". I was getting to the point where I was almost crying through contractions (I'm not a screamer/yeller, I'm a crier), and I didn't want the kids to freak out, so I felt confident in my decision to call Trupe home. Then all of a sudden, the contractions eased up a bit and I started feeling better and felt really bad about having Trupe leave work early. Trupe got home (it takes him about a half hour) and I even slept between a few. I decided to check my dilation and was disappointed that I wasn't complete-and really felt like I hadn't changed much since earlier in the day. I knew that the baby was posterior, and I was thinking that maybe the bag of waters needed to break so he could apply better pressure. I tried to break it to no avail and continued contracting and trying not to cry. A little while later (time gets hazy now, and I quit timing contractions by this point because I decided that we WERE having a baby darn it) I decided to check again and this time managed to break my water. I had been in the computer room right next to the bathroom on my little birth space (complete with a shower curtain and towels to catch the mess), but I decided that I was much too drippy now to leave the bathroom (1/2 bathroom at that...nice and snug LOL). Every contraction now required back pressure from Trupe (whereas with Ele I did NOT want to be touched). At first I stood and leaned against the wall, but eventually decided to get on all fours. I checked his positioning and my dilation again and found something I wasn't expecting further in with his head...a lump. I immediatly wanted to panic, thinking it was the cord, then it wiggled. FINGERS!!! Posterior AND a nuchal hand...I about lost it. I told Trupe I couldn't do it anymore and I cried and I told him I wanted to die. I didn't think I was close enough to complete to push, but suddenly I didn't care anymore. I envisioned someone cutting my cervix in half while I wished I was on an OR table getting a c-section (with Ele I told him to take me for an epidural about 20 minutes before she was born, but I decided that posterior and a hand were too much for just an epidural too, I wanted a c-section). I felt completely hopeless. I squatted through a few contractions and reached inside to try to reassess dilation, hoping I really was complete. I reached back as far as I could and didn't feel any cervix...only a little in front. I decided then to start pushing and just hold back the lip. Trupie and Ele both rocketed out with minimal pushing time from me, so I was hoping that this was coming to an abrupt end momentarily. I pushed, but I wasn't focused. All through the pregnancy I had kept my muscles down there tightly clenched because of some bladder leakage, and it was tough during the labor and birth to let go of that feeling. It made me very nervous, so pushing took me longer because I had to overcome that issue. He didn't move down very far when I pushed and I freaked out to myself (poor Trupe, he was thinking it was never going to end either) thinking that I was going to have push for hours and that there was no way on earth I'd last. My legs felt like they were giving up so I switched to all-fours and pushed again, not even waiting for contractions. The pushing felt all wrong in that position (which is how I'd delivered Ele) and it just felt unfruitful, so I switched back to squatting and decided that it was baby time NOW, no matter what. I begged God, "please get him out of me now" and pushed with all my might. I didn't care if I tore in half, I was done. I was done. I felt a little burning in my cervix and thought I must be tearing myself apart, but I didn't care. Then I felt some burning as he crowned towards the front mostly, so I focused on pushing that skin out of the way, assuming I would tear there too. His head finally came out and I told Trupe, who couldn't see what was going on since he was behind me. He had just asked if I wanted him to see if the baby was crowning and I said "no, he's coming out now". I pushed again and the rest of his body slid out...Trupe said it sounded like a wet squishing noise. Trupe was really surprised that it happened so quickly because he really thought it was going to be a while. It felt sooo good to have him out, until the after pains. I had Trupe check the time, 4:25pm, and the kids came in to see their new baby brother, Israel. Trupe and I decided pretty immediately that we wouldn't be having another kid at home, and I felt just totally beat up the rest of the night. The next morning though, I woke up refreshed (don't mistake that for not tired though, Ele stayed up until 1am) and felt like I could have another kid at home, unassisted. I felt so happy and accomplished. It was definitely the hardest thing I've ever done though. Israel took a while to nurse, probably about 3 hours. He licked and sucked momentarily here and there before then, but he finally ate good around 7:30 that night. Around midnight he opened his eyes finally...before that we'd seen a slit of one eye or the other a few times, but he wasn't sharing much. At midnight though he was wide awake like "hey, I'm here now!" and stayed awake for a while. Trupe took two days off from work plus the weekend and it was so nice having him home with us. I checked the next day when I showered and am completely intact. No outer tears, no skid marks, and my cervix is 100% ok too! God is so merciful! Israel is doing great, especially for being 4 weeks and 1 day early. He's had absolutely no problems breathing or eating. He seemed to do better the first few days with no clothes on and either skin-to-skin contact or being tightly swaddled for maintaining his temps. He's a tad jaundiced too, but he's improving with sunshine. He did end up with a pretty good black eye on his right eye, and a lighter one on his left eye, but I suppose that's what happens when you come out face up and have to hit the pubic bone.
So Israel was born Wednesday, December 3rd at 35w6d. He weighed 6lb4oz, and was approximately 18 1/2" (he wouldn't stay straight for long).
"Unborn children should be welcomed in life and protected in law." George W. Bush
Great birth story! Congratulations Mama! A job well done! :-)
ESTHER GRACE WAS BORN ON MARCH 23RD, 2009: 4:15 PM, 9 POUNDS, 20.5 INCHES. ANOTHER WONDERFUL HOME WATER BIRTH!!!
The world today is upside down because there is so very little love in the home, and in family life. We have no time for each other. Everybody is in such a terrible rush, and so anxious…and in the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world. -Mother Teresa~