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Yikes this is LONG!!! To those that can get through it enjoy!
I was due with my "little" guy July 21st by a dating U/S in early pregnancy. I had been having quite a bit of prodromal labor for the week before the due date and it continued as I passed the due date. I had been really getting down in the dumps as the days passed on by. I resorted to take-out Eggplant Parmesan (delicious!!)from a nearby Italian restaurant and tried every natural non-interventive method to move this little guy along. Obviously he was taking his time! I had decided around the 24th that I was done watching for every little sign-it was just causing me to be more stressed.
The night of the 26th I began losing globs upon globs of my mucous plug-it was obvious to me then that the time was coming very soon. I didn't want to tell anyone...it seemed like after many false alarms that anytime I called him out on possible labor things stalled out! I went to bed the night of the 26th and slept very soundly which obviously that late in pregnancy is abnormal. At 7:38 AM I woke from a dead sleep to a gush of fluid-my water had broke!!! After my waddle to the bathroom I sat down to another small gush of fluid-I was certain it was go time! The bloody show only reiterated the obvious-my baby was coming that day!!
Ryan started getting Leila ready for the day and called his work to let them know he would not be in. I began making my phone calls, posted on JM(of course!) and started gathering the things that were not yet in the bags. I called the birth center and the midwife on call told me to head on in when I got things pulled together but not to rush. I took a shower and Ryan, Leila, my mom, and I got on the road to the birth center about 40 minutes away by 9:15 am. I was worried labor would progress rapidly and did not want to be laboring hard in the car. Contractions were coming about every 7 minutes but weren't anything to strong.
Upon arriving at the birth center the midwife(Susan for those familiar with the NSBC)did the test to see if my water truly had broke. She did not see the ferning that implies the water has broke but said that by my description she believes that it had. She did not check me for dilation at that time. We decide that we will leave our stuff there and go walk at a nearby mall to get things stirred up and will return in a couple of hours. After some pleasant shopping and a delicious lunch at Panera Bread with contractions continuing to get closer together and more intense we returned to the birth center around 2 pm. At that point the midwife asked to repeat the test to see if my water had broke-she saw the ferning at that point. It was a hot day(85-90) but Leila, my mom and I decide to walk around the birth center building outside. I squat down intermittently and sway back and forth during contractions. I was handling these contractions just fine! Leila was having a great time investigating flowers and checking out everything! I continued to walk and bounce on the birthing ball as my body told me to for several hours.
Around 6 pm I asked to get into the birthing tub. The contractions were getting stronger and felt like they were lasting longer. The midwife asked me if I would like to be checked since getting into the tub too soon has been known to slow labor. I consented and am a good 4-5 cm with a bulging sac of water still intact which explains why the first test to check if the water broke was negative. Most likely I had a break high up. She then performed the mandatory 20 minutes of fetal monitoring insisted on by the Beverly Hospital since the birth center is located on the hospital grounds while the tub fills. At that point I am contracting every 4-5 minutes for about a minute. Things are progressing but seem to be moving rather slowly. My sister Jamae had arrived at the birth center so my full team of my mom, Ryan, Jamae, and Leila were all there...that was such a relief! By 6:47 I am in the tub and still contracting well. I squatted in the tub and relax in between contractions. At some point Ryan took Leila for a drive-she was having a hard time seeing this huge tub of water and not being allowed to get in. Also she really needed a second nap and a nice car drive is a sure way to get her to sleep.
At 8:52 the midwife checked me again. I was 5-6 cm with the head down low and as she is checking me the remaining sac of water proceeded to burst with an audible pop. Things were surely going to get going now! I got back in the tub and continued my squatting and hip moving during contractions. They were definitely stronger at this point. I was having to really focus through them. I would lean forward on the side of the tub while squatting and go into my sort of trance. At 9:31 Ryan was called back with Leila because things looked like they were really going to happen fast from here. My midwife also went to go call in the second midwife. I had started to vocalize during the contractions and was feeling a lot of rectal pressure. These contractions were intense...way more intense than ANY I remember while giving birth to either my birth daughter Olivia or Leila! At some point soon after Ryan was called back involuntary pushing began. Around 9:42-9:45 I was checked and was fully dilated!
I started pushing around 9:45 pm. With every contraction I got in at least 2-3 good pushes and the contractions seemed to be coming one on top of the other. During one set of pushes this crazy baby of mine basically twisted himself around in the birth canal!!! It was the weirdest and worst feeling in the world. I could feel him pushing off with his feet up high and then twisting all over. It was odd and I remember exclaiming about it to the midwife.
Anyway his head crowned over and over with each contraction but I could not get past the fear that I was going to tear. I would push to the point where I would feel the ring of fire and would not allow myself to continue to push. After having two most likely unnecessary episiotomies I was terrified of tearing...especially with a labial tear. It just would not get out of my mind.
I had to literally pull from somewhere deep inside me to get the strength to push through my fear but after about 23 minutes of pushing his head emerged. With the next contraction I began pushing his shoulders. The midwife had to maneuver him and tug on him because he was stuck. I felt like I was maxed out and was pushing with all of my might. It seriously did not feel like I was making any leeway with my pushes. Finally several minutes later my big boy was born at 10:15 PM after 30 minutes of hard pushing. Immediately everyone in the room began exclaiming about what a BIG boy he was. The cord was not very long but I held him tummy to tummy as the midwives rubbed him down some. We decided I would get out of the birthing tub to deliver the placenta.
After maneuvering onto the bed to allow the cord to finish pulsating and the placenta to deliver Leila got to meet her little brother. She snuggled and kissed all over him and kept saying baby baby and pointing out all of his body parts. It was delightful and brought tears to my eyes. She did so wonderful during the whole day...I felt so bad for her with that birthing tub! She wanted nothing more than to go swimming with her Momma!!
The midwives said that the placenta was huge and still very healthy in spite of him being 6 days past his due date. They joked and said that it could have kept several babies healthy with the size of it! I did had some surface tearing along my old episiotomy line. It required some stitches but was definitely more minor than if I had had an episiotomy.
When they brought out the scale and weighed him I think the entire room was floored. My "little" guy weighed in at a whopping 11 pounds 15 and 1/2 ounces!!!! He was 23 and 1/4 inches long with a 14 inch head and 15 and 1/2 inch chest...no wonder his chest got stuck!! I am truly amazed something so BIG came out of me!
So far everything is going magnificently. I won't say it hasn't been fraught with battles because it truly has been. He is a very lazy nurser and has to be woken several times throughout each nursing session. Also due to his size they had to monitor his blood sugars and he had several lower readings. Combined it was an issue because he has to eat to keep the blood sugars up yet could not stay awake to nurse. I was offered formula as the easy fix but quickly declined. Of course with continued nursings his blood sugar quickly stabilized. He has a slight case of jaundice he is still battling with and at last check he was down 13 ounces. He is now on the upswing of both of those as well. Leila is still a little miffed about sharing her "me" but overall Tandem nursing is going well. She is relishing in the bountiful supply of milk and she is definitely helping to keep me comfortable with engorgement. I am hoping with time that she will adjust even more to sharing the milk.
I am beyond thrilled to have given birth to him in such a healthy way. The water for sure helped me to be more relaxed and who knows how bad I would have tore without having sat in the water for hours. I am positive if I had been delivering at a hospital that they would have insisted I have a c-section due to his size. If not then I most certainly would have had an episiotomy when he became stuck. However the capabilities of a woman's body are truly magnificent! I gave birth to a nearly 12 pound baby without any medicine of any sort! The triumph I feel is something that can never be surmounted!
Overall I am thrilled as a Momma to this sweet boy. He is HUGE and snuggly and cuddly and just perfect. I love his sweet strawberry blond head of hair and am truly surprised by his greenish eyes. He is a blessing and I truly love him dearly!
My last belly shot
Preferred spot for contractions
Leila loving on her brother
On the scale...it reads 11 pounds 15 and a half ounces!