|Annie, 11-18-11, 2:30am, 8lb 8oz, 21in|
In my prenatal meetings with the midwives and doula, I told them this wasn't going to take long. That my labor would start at night, I'd estimated it at 4 hours, and if the Hypnobabies was working I wouldn't appear to be as in labor as I was. Check, check, and check.
The only thing I didn't count on was going a week past my medical date! My first daughter was right on her medical date, my son a couple days prior. Annie's medical date was 11-11-11(wouldn't that have been cool?!). It was a surprise then, but the more I thought about it realized My initial dates were off. She wasn't really 'late', I just had been going off the wrong information. I am thankful that I felt confident in my baby and body to know when she needed to come, rather than rush her. We truly did nothing to try and start labor.
I went to bed at 11 pm that night. At 11:30, I woke up to my first real contraction. (Or pressure wave, if you will) The first hour I did on my own so my husband could get some sleep and I could figure out if this was the real deal. By 12:30 it was apparent, although the contracts were just 10 minutes apart and didn't require breathing through much. I woke him up at that point and contacted my doula to let her know what was going on. We put away laundry and ran around the house making last minute preparations(mostly to keep me distracted and relaxed as possible). In the time that I texted with my doula, the contractions went from 10 minutes to 5 minutes apart. It was necessary to focus and breathe through them, but they were oddly short.
At some point I decided it would be nice to get in the portable hot tub setup in the dining room. Which, by the way, homebirth or no I highly recommend! Every pregnant mama ought to have the luxury of a hot tub in her dining room before giving birth! Anyways, so I was in and out and in and out to run to the bathroom a million times. At 1:15 I decided I did *not* want to get out. That was my red flag per my midwife to call them as they found from past experience at that point it wouldn't be long. The contractions were still short and I just wasn't sure though. So I rode a couple more and decided at 1:30 it really was time to call the troops.
At that point I couldn't call myself so I had my husband do it. His first attempt he got a voicemail and couldn't comprehend the number left in it that he was supposed to call if someone didn't answer(he was exhausted and is dyslexic- bad combo!). I really needed him to hold my hand and be 100% with me then so I told him to text our doula and tell her to come and get the midwives.
About 1:50 she came to our house. When she walked in by herself I asked if the midwives would be here soon- she told me she was there to assess me and then would let them know what was going on. At that point I knew they weren't going to make it! She had no clue I was truly in deep labor. I got out of the tub once to try laying in bed on my side. This was the position I'd found most comfortable in my son's birth and I knew I could feel better what was going on as it was familiar. It didn't take long for me to determine she was descending, and fast. I knew then I had to decide if I wanted to birth in my bed or in the tub and quickly!
Tub it was! I got back into that thing as fast as I could between contractions. The warm water really did provide a lot of comfort. The contractions were so intense, it took everything I had to focus on breathing through them and attempting to stay relaxed. Most of them I rode upright and kneeling, then would sink into the water. Oh, how I loved that water! My doula asked me at some point if I could feel her head. I knew it wasn't her head but didn't have sense to realize it was the bag of waters right there. After a few incredibly intense waves the bag finally popped- 2:20am. A cloud of vernix poofed out in the water!
At 2:27, the first midwife arrived. As she walked in the door I was between contractions and able to smile and tell her hello. That really threw her off! As soon as a contraction hit though, she knew. She rushed to get the doppler out and was approaching me when the last contraction hit and Annie's head came out. I had felt stretching but not the ring of fire, so I wasn't expecting her head right there. It was rather amusing watching the midwife slowly put the doppler on the table, unused! She then knelt beside me to remind me to wait for the last contraction and then to push her body gently. Truly I don't know that I pushed more than a couple times total and it was only in response to what my body was telling me to do. Most of it was just hanging on and breathing through. I could tell as she was being born that she was much bigger than her siblings! A full pound+ and 2 additional inches! Her poor nose was knocked over to the side from being rammed through me. I felt so bad, I'd tried so hard to stay relaxed and make it easier. Annie also has a sweet little stork bite on her nose, just like her sister has between her eyes.
It was 2:30am, and my labor was 3 hours start to finish. The second midwife was walking up to the house when she heard Annie's first cry. While Annie was obviously much larger than her brother and sister were at birth, she was oddly covered in thick vernix. My midwife commented that she sure didn't look like a late baker- thick vernix is usually a sign of being on the early side. Let's be real, I'm so glad she didn't hang in there any longer and pack on more pounds! The word I used most to describe it afterwards was 'intense'. Never, never again will I wish any woman a fast labor! Easy, yes. Fast, no! I'd never felt so tired in my life. It was like I'd run a marathon- and ladies, I don't run!
Thankfully I tore only a little and didn't require stitches. She was healthy, I was healthy; we both survived that wild ride! My mom and the big kids were sleeping upstairs- my mom only woke up when she heard the door open and close multiple times. It was really nice to have them there, even if they weren't really right there for the birth.
Here are some additional pictures of my peach's birth day:
|Squeezing into my newborn stuff!|
|Annie and Daddy getting acquainted.|