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One week prior to going into real labor, I had a long stretch of time when I was having false labor about every 8 minutes. It lasted for over 12 hours and the contractions never got painful, so I knew I wasn't close but knew my body was progressing. Two days before the real event I got another stretch of false labor where the contractions were stronger than the previous false labor but still not painful, though they were 3-5 minutes apart. So I knew things were coming and just took each day as it came.
My due date was the 9th. I had a great day, and timed my non-painful contractions that night at about 7-8 minutes apart. I knew I wouldn't go into labor and fell asleep on the couch. I awoke around 6:30 am and got into my bed. I just dozed. I felt some pressure, like I might have to have a BM, but was tired and didn't feel like getting up, LOL! At 7:21 am I felt a gush of fluid and immediately knew it was my water. I jumped up and ran to the kitchen to keep it off the carpet and just let it gush. I was completely soaked. I grabbed the phone and called DH, who had just left for work (I could still see his pick-up down the road). I then began to call the important people - immediate family and my doula. I could tell from the pressure that contractions would come very, very soon. They did.
My doula arrived, as did family to watch my daughter. We turned on my "labor CD" and DD, DH and I danced to the music. My contractions were definitely regular and had pain but were definitely tolerable. They started to get harder and DH, the doula and I retired to the bedroom. We focused a lot on breathing and relaxation. DH was immensely helpful. By 10:30 I had hit active labor. We knew immediatly, as my breathing changed and the intensity was amazing. I kept moving - swaying, rocking, whatever - and tried really hard to rest between the contractions. I tried a lot of focus points - spots on my doula's sweater or my DHs T-shirt. I could look out the bedroom window and saw the sun shining and the golden leaves on the tree and littering the ground. I also moved to the bathroom and spent a lot of time laboring on the toilet, where I could rest my head on the sink between contractions.
I was starting to get really tired. At one point, as I was laboring on the bed, my doula said we had to make a decision. The hospital was 75 miles away and she said if we were going to go, we had to go NOW. I didn't want to even entertain the idea - getting into a car seemed INCREDIBLY impossible at that point. I convinced DH that I was going to have that baby at home. They sprung into action, covering the floor and putting plastic under the bed sheets. We also brough in a heater to warm the room for the baby. By this time I was definitely in transition. I was shaking uncontrollably, was sweating profusely, and my voice was not my own. I finally got pushy, and sat on the birth chair and just let the pushes come over me - I didn't try to push more than they told me and did as much resting in between as I could. After about an hour and a half, my doula checked me and said there was still a lip of cervix and that I had to stop pushing for a while. The next hour was torture. Not pushing made the contractions a gazillion times harder. I fought to stay on top of my sanity. I started to doubt myself. My doula kept trying to give me things to try. Finally, I told her I was going to focus inward and do my own thing. I dug deep and really connected with what my body was doing. I got really, really quiet and just focused on me. I did whatever felt good at the time. My doula would start to protest and I'd just tune her out. DH was the best! I did lunges, I layed back on the toilet, I stood at the sink, I leaned backwards against DH... My doula checked me again and said she could feel the head. I went back to pushing. I felt like there was something between my legs, so had my doula check me again - she said the baby was back up to a -1 and that what I was feeling was an increibly swollen cervix, labia and huge hemmeroids. She convinced me to get into the bath. I did, but was defeated by then. I couldn't handle the contractions in there - I needed to stand, so I got out.
DH put the seats down in the SUV and covered the back with blankets and pillows. I threw on one of his T-shirts for some modesty and a pair of panties. My sister sat back there with me and I layed down the entire trip - too exhaused to do anything else. For 75 miles I continued to labor and push, laying down, in the back of the SUV. I did everything mentally possible to keep from going insane. I counted. I visualized, I rolled. I sweated, I froze, I shook. Luckily, DH is an ambulance driver and had some tricks up his sleeve. We arrived in 51 minutes (at 5:15 pm) with my doula in her car right behind us. They got me to triage quickly, but I still had to labor on the gurney while they did IVs (which took forever - I had been eating and drinking but was apparently dangerously dehydrated). My Dr. checked me and said my cervix was extremely swollen. He asked what I wanted and I said a spinal and another CS. He said that was my best option, and looked me dead in the eye. They prepped me (I'm still dealing with pushing and contractions at this point) and wheeled me into the OR. There I got my lovely, divine spinal. I was FINALLY able to rest. My body had worked so hard, and this rest felt AMAZING. I got quite chatty at this point I was just so happy that I could rest. DH came in and I could see my baby being born by watching the reflection off the ceiling light. They brough out it's head, then it's body, then spread the legs. I told DH to look and to tell me what the gender was and he said "it's a CORBIN!" I was elated!
Corbin didn't breath for 4 minutes. His apgars were 2 and 8. They let me see him briefely then rushed him to the nursery (DH got to take him). I watched them take out my placenta and sew me up. I was in recovery for nearly 3 hours, as it took longer than normal for whatever reason for me to come out of the spinal. Against hospital regulations I was able to get DH to come in to recovery with me.
Corbin's breathing was shallow and fast so they had him on O2 under the hood. They also suspected he had aspirated so were taking precautions. My white blood cell count was up so they treated both of us for infection. I didn't get to see Corbin again until 3 am. I was in my room and started bawling that I HAD to see my baby. They took me in but I couldn't hold him The next morning they let me go hold him and breast feed him at 11 am and 3 pm. He latched like a champ! After that they brought him to me for feedings and let me keep him for an hour at a time in our room. He was still hooked up to IVs for his antibiotics. By Weds evening he got his IV out and got to join DH and I in our room. I was still on IV antibiotics. We were discharged on Thursday.
We are home and things are going great. I'm starting to get really emotional, LOL, but things are going very normally!