On Monday 3/17 I was scheduled for a NST and bio physical profile ultrasound for being post dates (I was 41w3d). I actually had had a few contractions in the middle of the night, and about 4-5 that morning before I went to L&D for my appointments so I wondered if something might be starting. Ultrasound went great and baby passed with flying colors. Then I went up to L&D to get on the monitors for a bit. I noticed the pressure from my uterus was reading higher at the baseline than it had the Friday prior, and it was picking up some mild contractions. After about 40 minutes, my midwife came in to see me and she looked and agreed that it looked like my uterus was warming up and trying to get going. She checked me, I was 3-4cm and 100% effaced so she stripped my membranes and sent me on my merry way. We left the hospital about 11am and decided to go get some lunch and walk around the mall for a bit. I noticed I was having regular contractions while walking around about every 12 minutes, but they’d go away when I sat. So we did that for a bit then went home to get my big kids off the bus. My MIL was visiting so she put dinner in the oven and dh and I took the kids for a nice long walk. Contractions started up again about every 10 minutes now and they were much stronger, but I still wasn’t feeling any pressure in my cervix from them so I knew she still needed to shift her position for them to amount to anything. I ignored them and we went home, had dinner, cleaned up and around 8pm I decided I needed to go to the grocery store just in case I did go into labor so MIL wouldn’t run out of milk or anything. Well, walking around the grocery store they started to come frequently and NOW I was feeling the pressure in my cervix so I knew she had shifted position and this was it. They were about every 7-8 minutes and getting more intense by the time I checked out. Got home around 9pm and put my doula on alert. Then I sat on a kitchen chair backwards to encourage good positioning and get the pressure on my cervix. My contractions quickly went to 5 minutes apart doing this. At this point they were 5 minutes apart and 60 seconds long but they didn’t feel hospital worthy yet so I had my doula come to my house. I spent the next few hours laboring at home, alternating between standing and swaying my hips, sitting on my birth ball and sitting backwards in the chair. Around midnight I noticed my stomach had dropped INSANELY low and I was having bloody show. I had already talked to my midwife and she told me to just head down when I felt like it. Since it was midnight and everyone was asleep in the house, we decided to go. I really wanted to be 6cm or more when I arrived so I was trying to hold out as long as possible (active labor doesn’t kick in until I hit 5-6).
So we get to L&D and by 1am I am in the room on the monitor. Contractions were all spaced out because I was laying on my back in bed. The midwife had a student with her and the student checked me and said I was 4cm. I was SO DEPRESSED! I wanted to be at least 6cm. Ugh. So they left us be for a couple hours in the room and let me labor, and again I just sat in the rocking chair or on the ball. My contractions at about 3am were coming every 3-4 minutes so I asked to get into the tub now. I was planning a water birth. My midwife checked me and I was 6cm then so she left to go start filling the birthing tub (it is in a separate room).
Finally! My sweet sweet hot bath I was dying for. Water helps me so much when I am in labor. Around 3:30/4am we made our way down to the birthing tub room. I got in, it was nice and hot and ohhh felt so so wonderful. I labored there like that for about an hour, hour and half, contractions every 2-3 minutes. Around 5am I started feeling like my body was bearing down with the contractions. Not a super strong feeling yet, but I could definitely feel it. My water was still intact. I have always let them break my water and had never experienced it breaking on its on so I was determined this time come hell or high water no one but baby and my body was breaking my water! So anyway, I was feeling the pressure and the midwife had the student check me again–she said I was 8cm. This was like 5:15am. She said the pressure/pushing feeling I was feeling was the water bag bulging through my cervix. So that discouraged me I thought for sure I’d be almost 10 with the pushing feeling I was having.
So I decided to stand up for a bit in the tub and let gravity work to bring the baby down and get my cervix open to 10. I thought I still had plenty of time. I don’t ever go fast from 8-10 with any of my other kids. So they have a rod across the top of the tub and they tied a sheet around it for me to pull myself up with and just kinda of use it to hang onto for support. So I stood up in the tub and hung onto the rod. Now, keep in mind about water births: baby can be born under the water, but baby can’t be born out of the water and then put under the water–meaning you have to already be sitting IN the water when baby comes out. Like my midwife says you have to commit by land or by sea.
So anyway, I am standing in the birthing tub, holding onto a sheet and swaying my hips. I am 8cm and it is almost 5:30am. I get a contraction, a very powerful one, and notice some clear fluid dripping out with the contraction. I am so out of it at this point but I hear my midwife mention the time to the nurse, and then I realize she is telling her to note the time my water broke. The contraction ends and I tell the midwife I think it is urine. Haha she says nope it was fluid but touches the strip to my vagaina to show me the proof as it turns blue. I still wasn’t sure but then another contraction came and this time there was no questioning it. It was an unbelievably strong powerful contraction and I felt and swore I heard a LOUD pop, and I felt and saw my water explode. I looked into the tub and saw the fluid explode and the blood and mucous. That instant that happened my body started to bear down again. This was NOT from my water like she said. This was the baby. I grunted out “oh god I gotta push” and my midwife told me to sit but then the next instant my body started bearing down again and her head started crowning.
Uh oh! Too late now can’t sit! I grunted out “Oh god I can’t sit she’s coming” and just like that I had pushed her head out. That fast. Minutes after I was told I was only 8cm and decided to stand up and here I was having my baby now while standing up in the birthing tub! I got her head out, and now I had the midwife and her student trying to get under me to catch her. They told me to stop pushing while they positioned themselves and I actually was able to listen and breath and stop pushing until I got the green light to finish. Then they told me to push again and I did one long, hard push and my baby girl was born. No burn. No ring of fire. It doesn’t hurt to push out a baby when you stand up! They handed me my baby girl, wrapped us in a bath blanket and put towels on the floor. I got out of the tub, walked across the room, all while my baby was still attached to me by her cord, and climbed into the bed.
She was 9lbs 5oz and 22″ and so beautiful. Born at 5:35 am on 3/18/14
It was such an amazing birth experience. Not the water birth I had hoped but it was such an epic birth experience that I am amazed I did that and amazed at the power of my body.