We arrived at the birthing center around 11:30pm. Surprisingly I didn't have any contractions in the car! That's a good thing considering how miserable I was on Russell's car ride to the center, but I was a little worried that it meant my labor was going to slow or stop. I didn't want to have woken up my midwife and photographer for nothing!
When we got there my contractions were about 5 minutes apart and I was 3-4 cm dilated. Contractions required some concentration, but I could talk during them if I had to. I chatted with everybody in between and made some trips up and down the stairs to encourage labor to proceed.
I stood and swayed through most contractions, holding onto a stair banister, bedpost, or countertop. After an hour or so, things weren't much different than when I arrived, so my midwife Leslie suggested trying to rest on my side on the bed and see if my body backs off (like maybe I would be going home still pregnant- noooo!). We turned out the lights and laid down. I was jealous of everybody else who would actually get a real nap without painful contractions nagging them every few minutes!
Fortunately the "rest" allowed my body to recharge a little a throw a little more weight behind those contractions. I had a hard time coping with the contraction pain while laying down so I got up to move around more. I held onto Tyler's shoulders and neck a lot while I stood and swayed. All of a sudden I felt a little desperate to get in the water and had Tyler go ask the midwife if she thought I was dilated enough to get in the tub without it slowing down my labor. She said yes!
The warm water felt GREAT. Oh my goodness, finally. My contractions were intense, but I held Tyler's arms and hands over the edge of the tub while my midwife Leslie or birth assistant Debbie (recently arrived) poured warm water down my lower back. This was about 2:00 am and the point I entered a crazy exhausted time warp. I labored through challenging contractions in that tub for 2 more hours. That's til 4:00 am if you're counting. I was beyond tired. Beyond. Shouldn't I be done by now?
We had listened to some music from an iTunes playlist of mine off and on throughout the night. Sometimes it bothered me and sometimes I wanted it on. (Women in labor can be moody ;)) I did a lot of deep humming and moaning through contractions and always felt better if I could hold Tyler's hands. In between contractions he would hold out a glass of water for me with a straw so I could take a sip without having to hold it.
My midwife asked if I would like to be checked for dilation and I declined. I did not want to hear it if I had only made a little bit of progress after all that hard work. I figured if I HAD dilated a lot more, then we'd be meeting baby soon, so no need for a painful cervical check. I stood and labored some more. I don't know if it was this time or before the tub (time warp) but at one point my whole body was shaking out of control. I think it was a mix of exhaustion, adrenaline, and labor hormones. I would get my legs to stop shaking and then my arms and torso would start. I'd get them still and them my teeth would start chattering and then my legs again!
Everyone was soooo sleepy having been up all night and Leslie encouraged me to try and rest on my side again because I was getting incredibly worn out. My contractions were tough at this point since I was in transition (past 7 cm) and I did some serious moaning through them. Sometime between 6 and 7am, after a couple more hours of laboring, I was so done. I didn't have a big meltdown, but was definitely feeling emotionally taxed! Leslie suggested checking my dilation and possibly breaking my water based on that. She checked me at 9 cm and warned me that breaking my water might make the contractions more intense. That was fine with me though as long as I could get in the tub again! I gave her the OK to break my water at 7:00 am in the hopes it would speed along delivery.
Boy was that right! I waddled to the other room where the smaller clawfoot tub was since the big birthing tub had cooled by this point. I just kept hoping that there wasn't much longer and that good progress was happening! One neat thing about unmedicated childbirth is you can be so much more in tune to what your body is doing. The urge to push is unmistakable, so you don't need anybody telling you it's time or counting out tens for you. Baby June arrived at 7:25 am and man was I sooooo happy to have her out! Haha, and to meet her of course. Ladies who are expecting big babies- don't spend too much time worrying about L&D- the little babies are sometimes just as difficult! 7 lb 11 oz compared to Russell's 9 lb 9 oz seems like it would have been a piece of cake, right? My first girl just had to be a tough cookie ;)
Check out the link if you haven't seen the other pics! I was so happy with how they turned out!
Snow Day 2.27.15
3 years ago