After my appointment on Friday, Husband I walked around town and grabbed some lunch. Then we picked up Baby and hung out at home. We didn't think the baby was coming anytime soon.
That night I went to bed around 10, super tired and wanting to sleep. Husband stayed up to try to beat a video game.
Around midnight I woke up and thought I might be having contractions. I told Husband, who was still up playing, and he was like, "I better go get some sleep!" and went to bed. There wasn't anything he could do, anyway. With Baby, I had to pace around the house for hours before the contractions were close enough together to go to the hospital.
I drew myself a bath and hung out there while contractions hit. Then I decided to sit on the birthing ball and watch some TV in the living room to take my mind off of things. I texted my mother that she might need to come over soon to stay with Baby. I got in and out of the bath a few times, paced the kitchen a bunch, and sat on the birthing ball, all the while breathing through contractions.
I kept waiting for the back pain to kick in, but my contractions were mainly in my abdomen. I was very excited about this. I really did not want the excruciating back pain that I had with Baby. I didn't think I could go through that again.
I got back in the tub again, and had a really intense contraction. I decided to wake up Husband so we could head to the hospital. I had attempted timing the contractions, but they were pretty sporadic. Plus, the intensity wasn't consistent either. I had no clue where I was, if I was dilated, or what was going on in me.
I texted my mother to come over, got Husband out of bed, and paced a little while longer until everyone was ready. I already had the hospital bag and carseat in my car, we just had to get in.
We drove to the birthing center with me breathing through contractions. We arrived at 3:11.
They checked me in (I was already in their system, yay!), and monitored the baby and my contractions for 20 minutes. The contractions were actually a little milder than I remember them being with Baby. And once again, I didn't have back labor (like, yay!). The midwife checked me and I was dilated to almost 6 cm. The words out of my mouth were, "Thank you, Jesus!" Seriously, my biggest fear was getting there and discovering I was a wimp at only 2 cm and getting sent home.
Since they had my information, the doctor I had seen less than a day before had put in the system that I wanted a water birth. The nurse informed me they were filling up the tub for me and we would move to the room with the tub when it was ready. Yay! I was going to get a water birth!
I breathed through a few more contractions, holding on to Husband, and we were able to go to the room with the tub.
The whole time I had been wearing comfy workout pants and one of Husband's old T-shirts. We got to the room with the tub and I stripped down to a nursing bra. Husband had already put on his bathing suit so he could get in with me if needed.
The birthing tub was in the back of the room, about five feet in diameter and about two and half feet tall. It was lined with a plastic liner and had a cushioned section hanging over the side. They finished filling it up and I jumped in. The midwife sat on a chair next to the tub, and Husband sat in a chair next to the cushion.
There was a nurse and a midwife assigned to attend to me. They dimmed the lights and lit a few candles to make it a more relaxing atmosphere.
I remember jumping in to the tub and leaning over the pillow on the side. It was so nice and warm. Then a contraction would hit and I would be clinging to Husband's hand and breathing through it.
The midwife was amazing, telling me to let my body do what it was supposed to.
Every so often the nurse would put a waterproof heart monitor on my belly to check the baby's heartbeat.
At one point, I felt something pop out of me. I think it might have been my mucus plug. My water probably broke at that point, too, but I didn't feel it come out of me. The midwife checked me and discovered that my cervix was "gone." That meant I was fully dilated and could start pushing. The contractions also became way more intense. With each contraction I was sqeezing Husband's hand as hard as I could, and ended up screaming a bit. It hurt!!
I then discovered that it felt better to push while biting into the cushion on the side. Let me tell you, I was definitely pushing because I was pushing out some excrement. The poor nurse got to go around me with a little net to clean it up. The midwife said that meant I was doing it correctly. You want to use the muscles in that area.
She told me to focus my energy on moving the baby down. Then she checked me again and said she could feel the baby's head. She encouraged me to feel it too, but I couldn't feel anything.
I had a few more contractions and felt for a head again. There was a solid head coming down me! I could feel it and tried to focus on bringing it down.
It felt like I was pushing for a long time, and I mentioned it to the midwife. She suggested a change of position and brought out the birthing stool. Google it, because I have a hard time describing it. Basically, like the outline of a toilet, kinda.
She set the stool up right outside the tub, laid towels around, and I sat on it. Boy, did I feel that baby then! I've read about feeling the ring of fire when the baby comes out, and I definitely experienced that feeling. Oh my word, it hurt! I pushed and out came the baby! She was born at 447 am. The midwife caught her and gave her to me. I held her while the placenta came out a few moments later.
Then I got to go lay down on the hospital bed, still holding the baby. The midwife followed, with the placenta still attached. After it stopped pulsing, she directed Husband where to cut the cord.
I remained holding the baby and bonding while the midwife checked me out. I had torn about three cm so she gave me a local anesthetic and stitched me up. The baby laid quietly on me the whole time.
Husband was slightly worried because the baby didn't start nursing right away, but the midwife said some babies take a little longer.
After the nurse and midwife cleaned up a bit, they weighed and measured the baby. She was eight pounds, six ounces, and twenty and a quarter inches long.
The midwife showed me the placenta, which was really cool. It was very large, in my opinion. She also showed me where the umbilical cord was attached to it. Apparently the cord is normally attached in the middle, and mine was off to the side. She also mentioned that the baby came out superman style, with her hands next to her head. The cord was wrapped around her neck, and she was possibly in a different position than normal and had to wriggle around a bit to fit through. That explains to me why pushing was so difficult.
Then the nurse had to push on my uterus. I hate hate hate that part. It really hurts.
They were slightly concerned that I had too much blood, or clots, or something (don't really remember), and wanted to give me pitocin to help. No way did I want pitocin. I had come that far in my natural childbirth experience and had heard terrible things about pitocin. Anyway, the midwife could clearly see that I didn't want it and said they would hold off for now. Thankfully it wasn't mentioned again, but they really pushed on my uterus a lot.
Eventually we walked to the postpartum recovery room. With our new baby! I think I'll call her Baby2.