I'm November 5th- I woke in the night to several mild to moderate contractions, but instead of getting stronger, they fizzled out and I went back to sleep. Throughout the day, I continued to have random mild contractions, but no pattern and no consistency. I lost my mucus plug, though, and started having my bloody show.
I thought labor was beginning several times, but contractions continued to stop. I ate, rested, and kept myself hydrated.
At 10 pm, a contraction woke me up. I went back to sleep. At 11 pm, I had another. I got up to pee and then the contractions began to come every 5 minutes. I began to make the groaning cake, pausing to moan and dance through contractions. We called the midwives. I popped the cake pans in the oven and mixed up the frosting.
The first of our birth team arrived and helped Rob start to fill the birth tub. My contractions were already incredibly intense, and I couldn't wait to get in the water. Unfortunately, we have very low water pressure so I had to wait what felt like forever.
I couldn't believe how strong my contractions were, and I couldn't find relief. I dropped to my hands and knees and tried to rock through a contraction, and then I was told the pool was ready. I hopped in eagerly and immediately had another contraction.
The water helped a little, but I continued to be slightly overwhelmed by the power of my contracting uterus. I was already quite over the whole labor process. I was hot, I was cold, I was shaky and felt slightly nauseated. I felt like my contractions were transition strong, and bellowing to the point of almost pushing helped me get through the peaks.
My transition during this labor was by far the longest, and I was desperate to cross the finish line. I had been kneeling, but decided to sit back, and my contractions began to get "pushier," but I wasn't fully pushing yet.
I kept changing positions, listening to the feedback of my body. I stuck two fingers inside and was quite surprised to find the bag of water and his head about 2 inches from the opening. I knelt with my legs wide open, and kept my fingers on his head and felt him move down with every push.
My amniotic sac ruptured and I could feel his wrinkly little head. At first, I thought he was another baldy baby, but a few pushes later, I felt quite a bit of hair.
I kept waiting for the "good feeling" I'd had with previous births while pushing, but it never came.
I continued to change positions from kneeling to almost all fours, supporting my perineum as needed. In what felt like an incredibly short time, his head went from inside me to outside me. "His head is out!" I gasped, and I could feel the cord around his neck. Another push and his body slid out. "He has a nuchal cord," I said, and unwound it from around his neck. It was wrapped around twice! Then I pulled him out of the water.
He was a little stunned and wasn't immediately responsive. He looked surprised! We rubbed his back and feet and soon he began to grimace and then let out a soft little cry. And then he began to take in the world around him, quiet and alert.
He was so peaceful and calm, completely unlike his siblings at birth. A totally new experience, and one I had been wishing for.
The pool began to feel cool, so Eliza cut the cord and we waddled our way to bed. He latched on like a pro while we waited for my placenta to detach.
I was so pleased to have a minor "skid mark" tear, because I've needed stitches with all four previous births, from a 3rd degree episiotomy to a fourth degree tear. That alone was a huge victory for me.
Baby was weighed and measured, 7 lbs, 8 oz and 20 inches. It was my most intense birth experience, but so incredible to catch my baby all on my own.
Our family is complete. :)