At 2:00am, on May 20th I was not sleeping. I kept wimpering a little in pain. Ron decided that since I wasn't sleeping, it was probably "the night" and we should go see Carol (the midwife). At this point we had seen Carol every weekend, not including my regular weekly appointments!
So I called Carol and told her that we were on our way. I took our bags, Lulla-Bear and a "The Baby Book" by Dr. Sears. We got there and Carol did a cervical check. I was still only 3-4cm dilated. I had great contractions going though. She told us to sleep at the birthing center because she wanted to keep an eye on me. So we settled into The Lavender Room and I tried to sleep with no luck. Ron slept like a champ since he knew I was being taken care of. Haha!
I got up and took my bear and my book and went out to the lobby of the birthing center. I decided that since I can't sleep, I might as well listen to lullaby versions of The Beatles and read up on this baby before she came! One of the student midwives told me that I should try the birthing ball so I hopped on and read my book while moving a little on the ball...then I thought I peed myself. O.O
I wanted to DIE. I thought I peed on the birthing ball!! Haha. But no. Carol came in, asked me to stand up and WHOOSH!! Just like in the movies, my water broke. This was an hour after we got there (3:00am). So now the fun contractions began.
Being the crazy woman that I am, I stayed on the birthing ball for another hour before moving to a chair. My contractions we strong. I got another check at 6:00am and at 10:00am but Carol would not let me know how dilated I was so I would relax and let labor follow it's natural course.
Between those checks I kept walking around, laying down and updating Facebook. LOL!! Ron had packed movies in our bag just in case labor took a while and boy was I glad he thought of that! I was hooked up to a breast pump for an hour (10 min on the pump, 10 min off and so on) to get my contractions more close together & lasting a little longer (they were 3-4 minutes apart, lasting 45 sec). After the breast pump, I couldn't stand being in bed anymore, so I walked outside. It was such a beautiful sunshiny day! :)
Went back inside and actually napped for 30 minutes. This was all the sleep I had gotten since the night of May 18th because remember, I couldn't sleep May 19th and in the wee hours of May 20th we were at the birthing center. So yea. I was tired!
When I woke up at 1:00pm I had another check (I requested it). I had gone from 4cm dilated, 80% effaced and baby being at -1 station at 10:00am to now being at 5cm dilated, 90% effaced and baby was now at 0 station!! All my walking helped!
I was pretty much in and out of the hot tub after that. I used hypnobirthing, the tub, and Ron massaging my lower back to help labor progress. Hypnobirthing helped SO much with the pain!
At 8:15pm I was 8.5cm dialted, 90% effaced and this baby was coming!! I started pushing one hour later at 9:15pm at 9:30 baby Rebecca was at +1 station and I was 9cm dilated and 100% effaced. They made me stop pushing at 10:10pm though. The thing is, I started pushing at 9cm. The midwife had to move my cervix out of the way so the baby could come out AS I PUSHED. Yes I know what you're thinking...ow. Well, I got as far as seeing her head but I wasn't pushing too well in the tub so they had me lie on my side in bed and stop pushing for 30 minutes.
I wanted to scream. In fact, I did scream and my midwife and Ron held my hands.
At 10:50pm I was given the green light to push again and at 11:48pm our little Rebecca arrived into this world. She weighed 8lbs 13oz and was 22" long. She was covered in vernix, but she was beautiful! Ron was originally supposed to catch Rebecca, but since the pushing got a little complicated he just got to cut the cord. He was so happy with that though. :)
I delivered the placenta 20 minutes after Rebecca's birth. I hemorrhaged though so I had to get an IV with pitocin to help contract my uterus. Once the IV was in, Carol and the student midwives helped me get cleaned up as Ron went to the lobby where our families were waiting anxiously to meet her. Once I was changed my family came in, took pictures and let me rest.
Overall, contractions hurt, yes but they were tolerable. The hot tub really helped and although I didnt give birth in the hot tub because they made me lie on my side in bed, I was ok with that. I'm proud of myself for going drug-free for my birthing experience. I'll be doing this again for our next child. Most women talk about birth as the most traumatic experience "get the epidural" or "make sure you get an episiotomy". I chose to birth naturally and it was not at all traumatic. I remember everything vividly and I felt such joy and such a great connection to my daughter the second she was out. We breastfed right away and we were set.
Under normal circumstances, they would have kept me at the birthing center until 4:00am and then sent me home. I since hemorrhaged, they wanted to observe me a little longer. We didn't leave until 6:00 or 7:00am. Carol let the vernix sink into Rebecca's skin. It's a natural moisturizer. Right before letting us go, she cleaned up her hair, dressed her up for me and this was the end result...
Aside from our wedding day, this was the best day of my life. ♥