Okay so some of you might not be into the whole birth story details but I really want to write this down so I can read it to him later.
We were lucky enough to be followed by a midwife and I got to have my all natural labor and delivery like I wanted. I'm incredibly proud of myself for accomplishing my dream birth. So here it is...
It starts on November 6th, 2014 at 12:30 am. I was 39 weeks and 5 days along, nothing felt out of the ordinary, I think I even went shopping the day before. So at 12:30 ish Aaron and I are getting ready for bed when I go to the bathroom to find that I'm starting to lose my mucus plug. This made me a bit nervous as in that moment I realized things were happening!! I quickly told Aaron who told me to relax, that it could take quite some times before anything else started to happen. Well yeah he was right, it COULD take some time but it didn't. Shortly after we went to bed and as I layed down I felt a "pop" and a little gush of fluid. Yep that was my water breaking. At that point I decided to inform my midwife by email. We went to bed to relax since the first part of labor is often quite long. Aaron slept while I anxiously tried to sleep. I realized i wasn't gonna get much sleep as the contractions started. At first they were quite mild but I had no idea just how painful they would become so to me they were strong. Funny! At around 5 am I told Aaron we were getting up and he was not going to work that day. The contractions started to intensify a bit. At around 8 am after not receiving word from my midwife, I decided to call and leave her a message. I got a call back from my secondary midwife as the primary was already busy with a birth. The secondary midwife would be the one to deliver our baby. We had met her a few times and I liked her so I was happy with that. When we spoke she told me I should stay home and try to wait it out. I tried to have breakfast but nothing I ate stayed with me.
We stayed home and tried to relax and work through the contractions. At around 1pm I told Aaron I was in a lot of pain and we should call the midwife. My contractions were a bit closer together so I though things were progressing. The midwife told us to come in to get checked out. The drive to the clinic was absolutely terrible. Considering that sitting down was very painful, the bumpy ride sure didn't help. I told Aaron to stop on the way to get me a Mars bar! I was STARVING!!! I remember being in contractions in the car while he went inside the gas station to get me a king size one. What was I thinking! (That also didn't stick, coming back up did not taste as good as going down for sure!) When we got there we brought all our stuff in and the midwife checked me. She told me I was not very far along, only 1cm dilated. I was crushed! I felt like I had been doing this for ever now and something should have happened. She told us we should head back home and try to wait it out. She recommended I take a nice warm bath and try to sleep. It turned out to be a pretty good idea since I finally had a bit of a break in contractions and was able to sleep in between them. I also spent a great deal of time in the bath. I'm not even sure about how long I was in there. Believe my mother in law was there at some point. She came to check up on us and brought us sports drinks since I could not keep any food down, I needed hydration and electrolytes.
At this point, the time starts to get fuzzy. The contractions picked back up and I was in a lot of pain! The only position comfortable was standing up which was getting exhausting. I was hanging on Aaron's neck during my contractions. Poor guy ended up with some back and neck pain from it. We called the midwife again and she told us we could come in if we wanted to. I was not looking forward to that car ride! She checked me as soon as we got there and sadly I had not progressed a lot. I was only at about 2 or 3 centimetres dilated. She said we could stay, so as to not drive that aweful road again!
I think she went off to go do some work, I'm not too sure. I was so concentrated on my contractions that there could have been ten more people in the room and I don't think I would have noticed. It started to get dark so we were coming into the evening. I still had not eaten anything. I was even having a hard time keeping water down. This made me feel very weak.
After what I can only think was a couple of hours, the midwife checked me again. That was very painful. She told me I was now 8 centimetres! Thank goodness! I knew at that point that I was in the final stretch before pushing! I was so relieved. I was so afraid she would say I was still not very far along. I spent the next little while standing through my contractions until she asked if I wanted to go in the bath. Yes please!! The water made me feel so good. I floated there for what seems like and eternity. Aaron said I even drifted off to sleep. I'm not too sure about that. All I know is that the contractions were at their strongest and that's when the mountain analogy hit me. Every contraction felt like I was climbing a mountain with a hidden peak. I could slowly feel it coming on and when I did I would say "no no no no no!". It would then start the get so bad I could no longer talk. I was contorting my back and my entire body was tensing up, which I realized after was such a bad thing to do as it made me sore for days. As if there wasn't enough to be sore about.
After a bit of time in the water, the midwife suggested that I get out and try the exercise ball on the bed. I was on my knees with my upper body on the ball. At some point she asked me if I was pushing. I said I think so. I wasn't sure. Seems like my body was just doing it on its own. She looked at me and said I was definitely pushing and that if it made it better I should continue, that I was probably at that stage. I had heard that pushing helped to ease the contraction pain, it was very true for me. While I was pushing she checked me and said I was ready. She told me I could stay in the bed or go back to the bath. I decided I wanted to go back to the water. It had never really been a firm plan to deliver in the water but at that point it seemed like the best idea ever. I started down in a sort of owl position i guess and was really comfortable but the midwife told me i had to be laying down more so that she could have access. That's when i started pushing a lot. The midwife checked on the baby in between contactions and pushes to make sure he was doing okay. At first when i pushed, the midwife said i was not pushing right. When i finally started pushing properly, things really picked up. Without even knowing it, the baby was really engaged and before i knew it, she told me she could see hair! She got Aaron to touch the baby's head. She asked if i wanted to but i was in my head, i was completely concentrated and i was not sure i wanted to be side tracked. I now regret not feeling his head, its something i will do next time for sure!
The worse part came next. Crowning! Holy Hell!! That ring of fire is right! Of course you need to push with contractions, well once he was crowning I stopped having contractions for what seemed like an eternity!! Finally I had a contraction and with one long push his head was out. It felt so relieving. The midwife checked for a cord around the neck and that stung like crazy! One final push and his shoulders were out. Aaron grabbed him and pulled him out in one swoop. He was born at 2:06 am on November 7th at 8 pounds 1 ounce and 20.5 inches. He was born calmly into the water. Will be a swimmer like his daddy!
Aaron placed him on my chest. He was really quiet. I wasn't worried, he was looking at us. They put a towel on him and a stinky hat too. The smell of that hat will forever stay with me. I'm a bit annoyed that this smell was part of my experience because I really didn't like it. I ended up asking them to remove the hat. At this point we still didn't know if baby was a boy or girl. I asked the midwife and she said we had to find out together. Before we could lift up the blanket to see, I picked him up and lifted him closer to my face. When I did so I put my hand under his bum. Oh! I said! It's a boy!! Girls don't have those! I was so happy! I sorta knew it all along. Aaron cut the cord and I birthed the placenta. Aaron did some skin to skin while I was helped out of the tub. I shook all over!
I was then taken to the bed to cuddle my new sweetheart and get fixed up. We took our first family nap. It was perfect. He was perfect. I didn't sleep much. I was too busy admiring him. They brought us fruit and yogurt, all I wanted was a huge bagel or something filling! I texted everyone I could to announce his birth. We left the birting center at around 11 that morning, it snowed. The first snow of the winter!!
The whole experience was actually wonderful. It hurt like hell, and I'm not exaggerating here. Like. Hell! But it was a good birth, no complications, textbook really. It took a total of about 26 hours, and 7 of active labour. Looking back now I feel like I could do it any day again. Having a midwife follow up was definitely the way to go and we will definetly do it again.
I though for sure I would cry after he was born but I was still stunned! All I could say was "omg, I just had a baby!"
Sadly the pictures did not turn out very good because the light was very low and we didn't want to use the flash.