This is a Birth Story in all it’s spectacular (and perhaps gory) detail. If you aren’t prepared for that, stop reading now.
Baby #4 was due on October 5th, 2012. Because his sister had arrived 3 days early (here is her birth story), I was all geared up to have a baby the first week of October. Little did I know it would be another couple of weeks. When I went in for my 42 week check up on the 18th of October my midwife discussed our options with me. Basically, since I am a VBAC, she was reluctant to induce, but felt like he needed to come out within the week. We agreed to try stripping my membranes that day and to give me the weekend to go into labor on my own. If nothing happened by Monday I would go in for an induction. After having my membranes stripped We left the birth center and ran some errands on the way home.
I was having some pretty strong braxton hicks contractions, but that was nothing new, since I had been having those regularly for the last month. However, they felt slightly crampier and lower than before. Throughout the rest of the day, I continued to have these contractions whenever I was moving or walking around, but they went away when I sat down for a while. That evening after getting home from my oldest son’s soccer practice I was cleaning up, doing chores etc, and these contractions got a little stronger and I started to think maybe something was happening. They still weren’t really painful, but they started coming more regularly so by bedtime they were about ten minutes apart. Well, this might or might not be it, but I figured I would want some sleep either way, so I went to bed. I had two more contractions before falling asleep and then nothing all night long.
At 4:45 am, I woke up and went to the bathroom, feeling pretty alert. I was not woken up by a contraction that I was aware of, but as soon as I got back in bed at 4:50 I had a doozy of one. I decided to see if I had another, but that one had been so uncomfortable laying down that I decided to get up and walk around. Pretty soon another one came and it was stronger. I was almost sure this was it.
I waited for one more before calling my dad, who lives almost an hour away. He was the one coming to be with the kids and I wanted to give him plenty of notice. So, I called dad and then woke up Justin. I told him to take a shower if he wanted one, because I was pretty sure I was in labor. He opted out of a shower in order to time the contractions which were now only 5 or 6 minutes apart. Molly woke up very grumpy and crying and we went about the business of soothing her and getting things ready to go to the birth center. We called the midwife and told her we would leave our house at 6, when my dad was supposed to arrive.
Within 10 minutes we realized that they were coming on so strong and fast that we really needed to go NOW. We called dad back and told him to meet us there and Justin got all the kids up and into the car. I was coping with the contractions by leaning my back up again a wall and pressing my feet into the floor, so I wasn’t looking forward to having to sit in the car. I had also starting sounding (deep moaning “ooooh”, which helps me release tension), which kind of freaked all the kids out. We got in the car and in between contractions I called my friend Candice to meet up there at the birth center too, to take care of the kids until my dad arrived.
Justin was already driving fast, but when I told him that I would need to push soon, he started going ridiculously fast. It passed through my mind that we might get pulled over. The only thing that bothered me about that was the thought of dealing with another contraction in the car. I pressed my feet into the floor and sounded every time I felt one coming on. The deeper and lower I was able to moan, the more on top of the contraction I was able to be. We arrived at the birth center at about 6:10 and I finished one more contraction in the car. Betty (the midwife) met us at the car and helped me walk in.
She had the tub ready and warm and suggested I get in. I felt another contraction coming on and looked around desperately for something to press against my back. I ended up leaning over the bed while she pressed her fists into my back. I just had enough time to slip off my skirt and climb in the water before the next one hit. She showed me where to brace my feet and I had several contractions in the tub, doing my best to let go of each one before the next one came. She told me that I could start pushing whenever my body told me to. This caused a couple of panicked contractions for me, because I was starting to want to push, but up until then, sounding was my best coping tool and when I push I have to hold my breath. This panicked me, because I was afraid that if I stopped making my sounding, moaning noise I wouldn’t be able to handle the contractions!
I think I said something about not being able to push, because I didn’t remember how. So, during those contractions I tried to sound and push, which was unsuccessful. So on the next one I made up my mind to just push and push. When it came on, I tried it and suddenly I remembered how. I spent two contractions right on top of each other pushing as hard as I could when suddenly I felt a pop and realized that my water had broken and he was THERE. She urged me to reach down and feel his head, but in the middle of that contraction I couldn’t deal with it. But I could feel him, right there at the gate and as that contraction eased, the pain was so intense. I managed to reach down and feel the crown of his little head. I made the decision then and there that it hurt to much to wait for the next contraction and that if I just pushed I could end this all RIGHT NOW. So I summoned everything within me and I pushed, pushed, pushed. He slid out all at once and they laid him on my tummy.
I wanted to cry, but was too exhausted and relieved. I could feel the chord pulsing between my legs and when I felt his body against mine and looked down at his little face I couldn’t believe it was over. His face was incredibly wrinkly and purplish. He looked a little like a brain. But beautiful nevertheless. I held him close while my husband cut the chord and after a little while they took him so I could birth the placenta. We called my dad to have him bring the kids back, even though he had only left 15 minutes before. He was born at 7:04 am after my water broke at 7:02. They helped me to bed and because I was bleeding heavily they gave me a shot of pitocen to help my uterus contract. I stayed in bed the next 3 hours nursing my sweet new boy and visiting with my other children. She encouraged me to eat and drink and finally she put me on an I.V. because my blood pressure was still really low. I slept a little and when I woke up, they helped me get cleaned up, dressed and ready to go.
Once again, I became a mother. A glorious woman doing the most amazing thing ANY body can ever do. What a miraculous experience.
If you are interested in reading about the births of my other kids, feel free!
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