Starting Saturday, June 5, I'd been having contractions. I'd have them, then go to bed and they'd stop. Monday night Jeremy and I did everything (and I mean everything) we could to get this kiddo here, but nothing was working...not even causing 1 contraction! I was a bit disappointed. Tuesday morning I called Stephanie, and was telling her how upset I was about this. She advised me (smart woman) to rest up...because if I went into labor, I would be needing all the energy I could get. So, I took her advice and did a whole lot of nothing that day! :) I went swimming and just sat around my apartment relaxing...very nice. Well, about 4:00, I started having some good contractions. I thought, "ok, good, let's get things going!". But, I didn't do anything to further stimulate my labor. I didn't want to work and work and work and then have it all stop when I went to bed, again! About 5:30 I noticed bloody show. I was excited, but tried not to be TOO excited. I called Stephanie, who is also my doula, and told her. I never noticed my plug with Emma, so this was all new to me. Stephanie told me that the only time she ever saw her plug was with her daughter...she wasn't born for another 2 weeks. So, I really tried not to get too excited. I went to an activity at church that night. So, at 6:30 Jeremy drove me to the church and I sat through this activity. I talked to everyone, a lot of the ladies kept asking when I was going to have this baby. I told them, anyday but probably not for 2 weeks. All the while I was having some period like cramps and contractions. I was done at the church around 7:30 or 8 and decided to walk home. It isn't far from our house, and I figured the excercise would do me good. So, I walked home...funny side note - we had dinner at the church and there was left over fruit, so I got sent home with some. I was walking home with this cut up canteloupe and honeydew melon on a plate and dropped it. Picture this hugely pregnant woman squatting on the sidewalk trying to salvage her melons! ;) There was a nice boy who came over to help me, we put the melon that didn't touch the ground in a grocery sack and I was on my way.
So, I got home and my contractions were coming pretty regularly, every 5-7 minutes lasting for about 40-60 seconds. I talked to friends on the phone and online, and they all told me that they thought I was in labor. I assured them I was not. That I was going to go to bed and wake up pregnant in the morning! :)
I don't know what time Jeremy and I decided to go to bed, but I think it was around 10:30 or 11. We did a hypnobirthing script, Baby Come Out (we'd been doing it for about a week and nothing had happened yet, so we thought we'd give it another try). I got good and relaxed, but still told Jeremy not to get his hopes up, he was going to work in the morning! :) About 11:30 we finally settled into bed. Jer was so excited he didn't think he'd be able to sleep. I was too, but didn't want to let on to him that I was thinking that. So, I told him to go to sleep. I woke up at midnight (actually I don't think I was ever asleep) to go to the bathroom. I came back to bed and as I was getting settled I felt a POP! and gush. I knew that feeling very well. I told Jer that my water had just broken. I've never seen him sit up so fast! :) We called Suzanne, my midwife and told her that things were happening. She asked when we wanted her to come up. I didn't know, I really didnt want her to waste a night of sleep to come up here if my labor was going to be really long. So, I told her I'd call Stephanie and when she got here we'd assess the situation and call her back. I called Stephanie and she said she'd be down in about an hour. I went and sat on the toilet. My contractions were coming about every 2 minutes and were HARD. So, I called Suzanne again and told her that I needed her to come up now.
Meanwhile Jeremy is trying to get the birth tub filled. So, I am sitting on the toilet having good hard contractions and he is running around the apartment trying to help me and fill the tub. He later told me that at this point, he was scared to death. He was so afraid I was going to have this baby before Suzanne got here. Poor guy! Right before Suzanne arrived I threw up. Now, I know that happens during transition and I thought, "WOW! I'm already in transition?? This is EASY!" HAHA! Suzanne got here and checked baby's heart tones (sounded great) and checked my dilation...I was at a 4. A little disappointing, but a 4 is better than a 1!! :) Sometime in there Stephanie and Vivian (midwife apprentice) arrived. We worked through more contractions with me on my birth ball and Jeremy, Stephanie and Vivian doing pressure on my back and knees. That felt SO good during contractions. Then at some point I really wanted to get in the tub, so I had Suzanne check me again. I didn't want the water to slow things down, so I wanted to be sure I was at 5cm before I got in. Sure enough I was! :) I got in the tub and BOY did it feel good. I continued to work through contractions in the tub. I was getting really vocal about them and the water was starting to get cold. Suzanne and Vivian were boiling water on the stove to get it warmer. I was Group B Strep Positive, so at some point I knew we'd have to do the Hibiclens wash (an alternative to the antibiotic). Suzanne asked me to get out of the tub so she could check me and do the wash. She checked me and I was at 7cm!! So, we did the wash. I don't remember a whole lot about that, just that it gave me more contractions. Actually every time I was checked I'd have a good good contraction. OH! I do remember though that I threw up in the tub. When Suzanne checked me she commented that my throwing up had helped baby to really move down. That made me happy that it was doing something! :)
So, back to the tub I went. The contractions were SO intense...at times I felt like I was thrashing around in the water like a fish. Jeremy assures me that I didn't do it as much as I think I did though! Then, I hit transition. I begged for a c-section. I said that I just couldn't do this anymore, it hurt too much and I was too tired. Let's just go to the hospital and cut this kid out. Stephanie, Vivian and Suzanne were very good to me and told me that it would just take longer. I'd have to get out of the tub, get dressed, get in the car, have contractions in the car and really it would probably be another hour before anything would happen. It made me tired just thinking about all I would have to do, so I stayed put. Stephanie and Vivian also reminded me that I couldn't go around it, under it or over it, I had to go through the pain. I was trying to do everything I could not to deal with it, but now I had to. So I made up my mind that I would, and I did. The next little while I don't remember much. I felt really tired and would just totally relax during my breaks. All the sudden I said, "Um, I feel something." Suzanne replied, "What do you feel?" I said, "A head, I have to push." With that I started to push. I couldn't help it. Vivian came over and checked to be sure I was fully dilated and sure enough I was. So, the pushing began. It must have been about 4:09 at this point. I pushed for 50 minutes. While I was pushing, I just kept thinking and I said it between pushes too, "I can't believe I'm doing this!". It felt so good to be pushing. Granted, it hurt. I could feel myself tearing, but to finally be pushing and working with my contractions, that was wonderful! Some funny little things that went through my mind as I was pushing...when they called crowning, I asked, "So one more push and baby will be out?" HA! I was assured that no, it would take more pushes than one. That's probably a good thing because I was prepared to push whether I felt like it or not if that was all it would take. Another time, his head was almost out, but not fully. I thought to myself, "Why don't they just go get the salad tongs and pull him out?" Also, during pushes we were guessing if it was a boy or girl. Stephanie, who still hadn't entered in her guess as to when baby would be born asked if it was too late to do her guess ~ cheater! A few more pushes and then, his head came out. Oh my goodness what relief! I felt so good to have that head out. The next contraction came and I thought I would have to push as hard as I had been to get his head out. So, I PUSHED, but this sweet little body just slid out and I don't think I've ever felt such relief.
I lifted this baby to my chest and couldn't believe that I had just done this! I immediately looked at my very vernix covered baby and saw Emma. I said, "Oh you look so much like your big sister!" Jeremy said, "Is it a little brother or sister?" I replied, "I don't know Daddy, look and see." So, Jeremy lifted the towel that they had placed over us and said, "It's a brother!" Emma has a little brother! We sat there and talked to him for a bit while we were waiting for the placenta to be born. I felt the urge and pushed out the placenta. Now, there is a reason I looked like I was having twins...the placenta was HUGE! We waited a little bit for the cord to stop pulsating, then Jeremy cut it.
I was transferred to my room, and they did all the newborn stuff to Seth. He weighed in at 9lbs 3oz and was 20 1/4 inches long and was born at 4:59 am. My big boy! I had lots of tears, but a wonderful midwife who sewed me up good!
We are all doing well now. As I type this, he is 4 days old and we had a great nights sleep last night. My milk is in and he is loving it.
I am so happy I had my VBAC. I am so glad that I was able to stay focused and to think of nothing other than getting him here. I am so happy that he is so healthy and strong.
Since he has been born, I have felt Emma near by so often. She is still Mommy's little helper. She's just not doing it physically. I know that it was her, when I was in labor, that helped to keep me relaxed. She talks to Seth and tells him all the wonderful things about earth, and constantly assures him that everything will be great.
I am so grateful that he is here, that I am nursing again and changing diapers again, and being a fulltime Mommy again. *sigh* it is wonderful.