I had my 38 week prenatal visit Thursday, February 11th. My midwife checked me and reported that I was 80% effaced and 2-3 centimeters dilated. I was super encouraged at the fact that all the pre-labor I had been having the past couple of weeks was not in vain. She didn't schedule my next appointment because she didn't think I would make it another week. Part of me was excited yet I didn't want to give my hopes up only to get discouraged if I went beyond that.
Friday night I was feeling especially moody and crampy so I went to bed early. Knowing that my cervix was almost completely thinned out we did some things Saturday morning to help things along...wink, wink ;-) After that we went to the mall and walked around since it was too cold outside for my liking. When we got home we took a nap. I think my body knew I would need all that rest! When the evening came some pressure waves started coming every 10-20 minutes apart. I took this as a sign that I better straighten things up around the house. Once I finished I went to bed to try and get some rest. A couple strong ones woke me up in the middle of the night. From about 5 am to 9 am I was in and out of sleep since the pressure waves were coming closer together.
I got out of bed at 9 am and listened to my birthing affirmations while rocking on my birthing ball. After that I went about my normal Sunday morning routine. I made some breakfast and decided to time the contractions. To my surprise they were coming every 4-5 minutes. They were very mild so I found it hard to believe that my birthing time could be here. They would start in my pelvic area as pressure and wrap around my uterus like a big hug. To make sure I was relaxing during each one I would stop, close my eyes and say my "peace' cue to myself while swaying back and forth.
After timing them for about an hour I lost my mucus plug. I decided that it was time to call the midwife (10 am). We talked and she had a hard time believing they were coming so close since I sounded normal. She called me back an hour later and let me know she was on her way to check on me. When she got to our house (12 pm) she found that I was 100% effaced and 5 cm dilated. She told me she would hang out for another hour to see how things went. When she checked me again I was 6 cm. Now it was my intentions all along to do minimal VE's, but I told her to proceed each time since I was having a hard time believing that I was actually in labor.
There came a point where the swaying and "peace" cue were not enough. I decided it was time to get in the tub. I turned on the "Easy First Stage" track from my Hypnobabies program and got comfy in the tub. The buoyancy of the water helped to tone down the intensity of the pressure waves tremendously. I even recall smiling between some of them. I was probably in there for an hour when all of a sudden I got a very intense pressure wave that felt like it lasted forever. This was the first point in my birthing time where I found it difficult to relax during a wave. The midwife came in and checked me, and announced that I was near complete (9cm). I could hardly believe it since things had gone so smoothly up to this point!
We headed to the birthing pool to find that it was still very cold! We quickly changed route to the bedroom where I laid down on my side. Danny turned on the "Pushing Baby Out" track so I could get in the right frame of mind. Right at that moment Megan (my sister) and Lucy (my MIL) arrived. They started boiling pots of water immediately to try and get the pool to a comfortable temperature. They also kept an eye on Logan for us since I needed Danny's full attention at this point.
While in the bedroom the midwife broke my water and had me push the baby down a bit due to her being "sunny side up". Once that was all done I found the bed to be very uncomfortable. I sat on the birthing ball and rocked with each wave while moaning deeply. The midwife and Danny were excellent in offering much needed encouragement while deeply massaging my lower back. After a short bit Megan and Lucy announced that the pool was ready. It was just in time too because I was starting to feel the urge to push.
The midwife and Danny helped me into the pool. I got in there during a wave which made if difficult for me to get comfortable at first. I leaned over the side, and then flopped onto my bottom leaning back on the pool wall for support with Danny right behind me. I pushed with 2-3 contractions when all of a sudden I felt the pressure of the head coming out. I could hardly believe it! The midwife had me pant a bit before the next push since things were going a bit too quickly. Once she gave me the go to push again the head was out. With the next one her body was out (amazingly I had no tears)! I helped her out of the water and made it a point to be the first one to find out the gender. I quickly announced that it was a girl! I was so surprised at this I had to check again! Yes, a girl!! The midwife announced her arrival time as 4:13 pm. At that moment Megan and Lucy came into the room. They were amazed at how quick and easy everything went. They weren't expecting the baby to come until later that evening...lol!
Overall, the experience was everything I had expected and more. I have been on an emotional high ever since she arrived. It was very rewarding to be able to accomplish this feat being that I put so much preparation and thought into it.
The bonus is that my husband finally gets what all the fuss was about. He was always supportive, but didn't quite understand why I was so intent on doing it this way. His participation in the birth and reaction to it has definitely created an additional bond in our relationship that was not present before.
Weight; length: 8lbs 8oz; 19 inches long
Our Valentine's Day baby girl, one day old: