Sunday night I woke up to contractions and bloody show. The contractions went away but the bloody show continued all night and the next couple days until I gave birth. Monday morning I put this as my Facebook status

My to do list for the day :
clean up a little and vacuum
take Adriana outside
have a baby

Hopefully everyone cooperates :)

I was half joking, half hoping. I cleaned and vacuumed the whole house and got caught up on laundry. Then Adriana and I went to Target. While we were shopping, I started having contractions. These contractions were a little stronger than the ones I had been having every evening. We went home and went for a walk. The contractions were coming regularly every 2 to 3 minutes during the walk. We went home to relax and see if the contractions would stick around. They slowed down to every 5 minutes but didn't go away and they didn't go away until I had the baby early Wednesday.

Nate got home from work around 10 pm. I was still having contractions but I wasn't quite sure that it wasn't more prodromal labor. Showers made my contractions stop every evening so I took a shower. They didn't stop so I let Mary (my best friend who was coming to the birth) know she could start driving up. She lives two hours away and I thought it was better to have her drive up at 10 pm than at 3 am. Mary got to our house at midnight. Nate played on the Wii a little bit. Mary kept asking me if I needed anything. I felt pressured like they were watching and waiting. I don't like being the center of attention. Around 2 am my contractions started to feel stronger and they were coming 5 minutes apart. I started to have a ton of pressure in my butt. I called my midwife and told her I was in labor but while I was on the phone with her I decided I didn't want her to come yet.

We started watching House (dvr'ed) and my contractions slowed down though they were still so intense I couldn't ignore them. Around 3 am, I told Nate he could go to bed if he wanted and I'd wake him if I needed him. Mary was falling asleep in the recliner so I covered her with a blanket and went upstairs to lay down. My contractions continued all night so I didn't sleep well.

At 6:30 I called my midwife and told her my contractions had slowed down but I was still contracting every 10 minutes. I cried a little. I felt frustrated. What was taking so long? I was induced with Adriana and I remember very vividly how the contractions felt when I hit active labor. These contractions I had been having felt like active labor and they were lasting over a minute but they'd speed up and slow down. All day Tuesday, the contractions would go from 2-3 minutes apart to 10 minutes apart. I tried not to time them. Mary and I went and got lunch and went to the mall to walk. One lap around the mall and I was done. It didn't feel good to walk. It made my contractions come closer together and they were strong enough that I didn't feel like being in public. Riding in the car sucked. Sitting was really uncomfortable because every contraction I felt a lot of pressure.

We went back to my house. I said I wanted to take a nap. Mary went to her parent's house. I only slept for 45 minutes and I woke up every time I had a contraction. They hurt worse laying down so I got up. Nate was playing his computer game all day and Adriana was laying down watching tv. She woke up with a cold that morning and was really out of it. I was walking around the house playing on the internet on my phone. I couldn't find a comfortable position and I couldn't focus on anything but my contractions. I spent the evening going back and forth from the bathroom to my birth ball. Sitting on the ball felt okay. Sitting on the toilet was really uncomfortable but I kept feeling like I had to go potty.

I wasn't sure if Mary was planning to go back home that night or stay up here. I texted her to see what her plan was. She was staying but asked if I'd rather her stay at her parent's or come back to my house. I told her to stay there so I could keep things as normal as possible. I thought the pressure to "perform" was making my labor stall.  I laid down with Adriana to put her to bed. My husband was still playing his game. I was annoyed that all day he could sit there and play his game while I was in labor but at the same time I was relieved that he wasn't sitting there waiting on me.

I was starting to feel emotionally and physically exhausted. I kept thinking "Either stop so I can rest or speed up and bring the baby." Everything I've heard about active labor made this day frustrating for me. They say active labor is when your contractions are 4 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute for an hour or active labor is when you can't talk through your contractions anymore. My contractions never stayed regular the entire time I was in labor. They never got farther apart than 10 minutes but they were never regular. They were always longer than a minute even in early labor. And I could still talk during contractions minutes before Fiona was born. I didn't want to but I was answering questions and telling people where stuff was.

Adriana woke up at 10:30 crying. I laid down with her for 45 minutes trying to get her back to sleep. She was crying the entire time. She was so congested and miserable and I was tired and uncomfortable. I let her get up and watch tv. Standing was the only position that felt right but I was tired I didn't want to stand around. I felt like I was going to be in labor for days. My husband said something about calling Erika (my midwife) again. Maybe he could tell I was having a harder time working through the contractions. I told him I was going to lay down to see if my contractions would slow down and if not then I'd call her.

Five minutes after laying down my water broke. It was almost midnight. I felt it break but because I was laying down it didn't all gush out. I knew if I stood up I was going to leak everywhere. I called for Nate. He didn't hear me. In between contractions, I yelled for him louder and louder. It took 5 minutes for him to finally hear me and come upstairs. He got me a towel and I put it between my legs and got up. I waddled to the bathroom to clean up. My contractions started coming really close together after my water broke. I told him to call Erika while I changed. She lives over an hour away but she was actually out our way that night so she was closer. She said she'd be there in 45 minutes to an hour. Nate called Mary and she came back.

I started to feel so much pressure with my contractions that I wondered if Erika would make it. They were coming close together and I kept saying, "I need a break." In between contractions I would sit on my birth ball kind of leaning back so it would press on my butt where I was having so much pressure. Then when I'd get a contraction I had to stand up. I'd lean on my husband until it was over and then sit back on the ball. When my husband was off doing something, I'd lean on Mary but she seemed so small and bony. It just wasn't as comforting as my fluffy husband. I kept looking at the clock. I really wanted Erika to get there with the birth pool. I thought the water would feel so good and I was starting to feel pushy.

Erika arrived at 1:15. She asked a few questions and listened to the baby's heartbeat once. Then she started to set up the pool. I could feel my body pushing with the contractions as I watched them getting everything ready. Nate walked away to help. I needed him there. When he came back I asked him not to leave me anymore. The water had just started to fill up. I leaned on Nate during a contraction and my body pushed and I felt the head really low. I said, "the baby is coming." Erika asked if I was feeling pushy. Perhaps I should have said something sooner and they could have prepared the floor instead of wasting time setting up the pool. I think I was in denial. I really wanted a water birth.

They set up some chux pads on the recliner and the floor right in front of it. I sat down for a second and then realized that felt really wrong. So I flopped down on my hands and knees on the floor. Mary got me the ball to lean on. It was perfect. Next contraction I felt her crowning. Erika told me to reach down and feel her head and I did. Next contraction my body pushed and I felt her head come out. I thought I felt the ring of fire. Adriana was right behind me. I guess she had the best view. Nate said something to her about how you could almost see her eyes and I realized her head wasn't all the way out. With the next contraction I felt the ring of fire. I didn't try to push. I didn't have to. My body was doing it all on its own. With every contraction she came out a little bit more. I listened to my husband and daughter's commentary. They said she had hair. Mary rubbed my back and everyone told me I was doing good. At some point Adriana said something about "When I was a baby, I was in mommy's crotch..." and I chuckled mid-contraction. Once her head and shoulders were out, it took one more contraction and she slid out. It felt really weird. Fiona was born into her daddy's hands at 1:47 am Wednesday April 13th. I sat back onto the recliner and they handed her to me.

I talked to her and she started crying. I had someone hold her for a second so I could take my shirt off.  She was covered in blood so Erika wiped her off while she was on my chest. Her apprentice, Alyssa, showed up 20 minutes after the birth. I squatted and the placenta came right out. I held her for awhile and she nursed right away. She had a head full of dark hair. Even though I had dreamed when I was pregnant that she had hair I was still surprised. She looks just like she did in my dream. Nate cut the cord. They got me water and snacks while Alyssa weighed and measured her. She was 8lbs even and 21 inches long. I could tell when I was holding her that her head was smaller than Adriana's was. It was 12.5 inches. They checked her out and she was perfect. Erika checked me and I only had a first degree tear (YAY!). Everyone cleaned up and went home.

I didn't decide to have a home birth until halfway through my pregnancy. That was one of the best decisions I've ever made. When we did first switch to a home birth, I didn't think I wanted Adriana there but I'm so happy she was. She was really well-behaved even though she was sick and she loved it. The next day she told me, "It was fun watching baby sister be born."  I don't know if I'll have any more kids but if I do, I would only change one thing. When labor starts, I'm going to hide all the clocks. My labor wasn't typical. I think if I didn't know how long I was in labor or if I wasn't timing my contractions, I wouldn't have felt so frustrated.

Here she is at 2 weeks old.


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Comments:

IMaTA...
Apr. 29, 2011 at 1:21 PM

She is so beautiful!  Congratulations!

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Mom2A...
Apr. 29, 2011 at 1:53 PM

What an angel!

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shajd...
Apr. 29, 2011 at 2:18 PM

CONGRATS!

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Vinta...
Apr. 29, 2011 at 4:46 PM

She is absolutely beautiful!!!

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twoli...
Apr. 29, 2011 at 9:15 PM

aww shes beautiful,congrats:)

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Lb128f
Apr. 30, 2011 at 12:44 AM

Sweet!!!

congratulations

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jilli...
Apr. 30, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Sweet picture of a sweet baby.  Thank you for sharing.  Best of luck to you and your family.

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