Now that things are starting to find a new normal I feel I have time to tell the story of our delivery of our third little one.
My parents came to town and stayed for a week in hopes of meeting the new baby and helping us after she was born. As it turned out she needed more time in the oven and didn't make her appearance for them. With my other two babies they came before or just after my due date and so by the time I was a week passed my due date I was ready for her to be here. I was having a very hard time sleeping. My hips were killing me and some nights I had a lot of contractions. It was nice to have my parents here to take the kids in the daytime I spent quite a few days sleeping while they took the kiddos out to play. Finally last Tuesday I decided to get my membranes swept. I have never considered doing this before and I had mixed feelings about it. Deep down I was hoping it would work immediately (which is super unlikely it takes about 24 hours if it even works at all) and she would be born before my parents went home the following morning.
At about one in the morning on Wednesday I was having solid contractions that were real. They came about every 10 minutes and lasted about 30-40 seconds long. I told hubby and we called my midwife at about 3:30. She lives about an hour and a half away so I told her I didn't want her to come until later that morning especially since I hadn't had any blood or fluid. We were all expecting the labor and delivery to be fairly fast because my two previous children were. I got up at 4:30 and ate some food while hubby took the kiddos next door. Then we went back to bed. I woke up at 7 and realized I hadn't had a contraction in about an hour. I called my midwife back because i didn't want her to drive all the way here for nothing. After that I called my neighbor and we decided that she would keep the kids until at least noon to give me a chance to see if things would start back up. Hubby was convinced things would start back up and at 8 am I had another contraction. Hubby then decided to try to trick my body into thinking it was night time and he covered all the windows to make it dark in the house. Then he started recording all of my contractions and the times they lasted. We did this and watched a lot of X-files on Netflix until about 2 pm.
I took a shower at some point and was surprisingly hungry. I ate a lot of food all day long. All that time I had about 2-3 contractions an hour and they were pretty mild in intensity but they were lasting 30 seconds to a minute. At about 2 they started to speed up in frequency and length and my midwife called and said she would be coming to town later to check on me. By the time she got here at 6:30 at night I was having a contraction about every 4 to 5 minutes and they had started to last longer and were more intense. She decided to go get some dinner and I was debating setting up the birth tub in our living room. Right after she left things sped up dramatically. I was having a harder time with the pain and I decided to get in our tub. I didn't want to set up the birth tub because now that I was having baby three it was less of a "fun" thing and I always commented before how I felt it slowed things down for me. Hubs drew me a bath and I got in it and then my midwife returned with take out. She decided to be fast because of how things seemed to be progressing when she left. She listened to the baby's heartbeat and told me the water was to hot. We put in cool water and shortly after that I was out of the tub because the cast iron cools down so fast it stopped being effective for me. I also wanted to be checked to see how dilated I was.
I was at an 8 and things were getting intense and I was hoping the baby would be out soon. I think it was about 7:30 at this point I kind of lost all sense of time and my contractions were coming really fast and hard. I remember moving around the house a lot and trying to get into all sorts of different positions. I found myself praying that the baby would come out quickly and everything would be fast. I had my midwife check me a couple more times and then at some point I decided I would like to try to push. I had been feeling a lot of pressure. I did a few pushes and then I ended up lying on my side on the bed. As I pushed in this position I started to feel really large movements from the baby and I started being very vocal about how much pain I was in. All I remember is how bad those movements hurt. They almost opposed the contractions and when there was a break in the contractions the movement would happen and it was worse then the contractions themselves. This lasted for what I think was like 5 minutes or more and when it was done I declared that I swore that the baby just spun around inside me. After that I got up never to lay in that position again and we went into the bathroom to push from the toilet.
I have no I idea how long all this went on and I tried to leave the bathroom a few more times to do various other positions I kept saying that everything hurt and nothing felt good. I remember our midwife saying "well ya everything is going to hurt because I was in labor." Eventually I started to ask to have my water broken and my midwife told me it would break on its own when it was time. Sure enough it did break while I was pushing in the bathroom. Right after that my contractions went away for a while and we moved into the living room. While we were in there I whispered to hubs that I couldn't push this baby out and that I didn't want to try anymore. I was starting to be really tired. We moved back to the bathroom. Shortly after that I managed to muster more energy to push and I could finally feel it working. Her head started to come out and I remember feeling so relieved to have that sensation. I remember my midwife announcing that the baby was posterior and that she had been having suspicions that she was. Shortly after that she was born and I was holding her in my arms. We went to the bed and I was so happy she was out.
During the time I was being attended too just after the birth we talked about the position of the baby. How I had felt her turn during the labor. Hubby said that it was weird looking when she started to come out and that he thought it was a bunch if cord all balled up but then he realized it was her face. I realize now that it was because of her position that made me so tired and made it take so long. Really it wasn't that long of intense labor and pushing, just a little over 4 hours.
Looking back I am glad we have decided to have our babies at home naturally. I have found that it truly is possible to manage the pain of natural birth. I have thought a little about my 2nd and 3rd labors and the untypical or strange way they progressed and it makes me shudder to think about what would have happened if I had been at the hospital. You can read about the birth of our middle child here. Baby three was a whole pound lighter than the other two and I finally accomplished my goal of not tearing.
I am grateful we live very close to a hospital in case something had gone wrong. I am grateful for my midwife and her assistant and the relationship I have with them. I am grateful for my husband and the awesome support he gives my during labor. He holds me up, stands in uncomfortable small spaces to encourage me for hours and is right on the same page as I am of how and where we want to bring our children into this world. I see the birth of a a child as a special spiritual event and am grateful I am healthy enough to have my babies at home.
I am looking forward to our future as a family of five and am happy to be on the other side of pregnancy and delivery. Lets hope I can keep it this way this time.