So the last couple weeks of this pregnancy seemed like an eternity since my last 3 babies were born a week to 2 weeks early....for *sure this baby would be born early too, right?!....
Well, it was the day before her due date and Nathan called to tell me he was coming home due to the rain in Sioux Falls and since the weather wasn't supposed to be any better the next day either, he just planned on staying home both Tuesday and Wednesday. He got home around 1:00 Tuesday afternoon.
Tuesday evenings my parents usually watch the kids for a bit while I co-lead an FPU class and since Nathan was home and we were going to go see Ruth after FPU, my parents graciously offered to take the kids overnight. So we went to FPU, then over to Ruth's office. (Note: My "normal" midwife Joy is gone for a month of intensive training in a different state so therefore was unable to attend my birth, therefore another midwife in the area, Ruth, took her place).
We got to Ruth's office at 7:30 and had high hopes that she'd be able to stretch me out and hopefully get something started soon since we knew my baby was on the edge...hadda be soon and with Nathan home, what time would be better?! So I was dilated to a 5, 75% effaced and baby was at a +2 station. She stretched me out and "swept" around baby's head to release some hormones in hopes that would push my body into labor. She gave me instructions on things to do to encourage things along, such as walking steps, sitting on a birthing ball, "making out" (Nathan liked that suggestion!), etc.
We left her office shortly after 8 and headed home. I walked around, went up and down the steps, and watched a lot of Duck Dynasty with Nathan :)
Contractions were definitely more significant in amount than they were any other evening and while I was walking around, they would come every couple minutes but only lasted 20-30 seconds...not really long enough to do much. When I sat or lied down, they lasted longer, around a minute, but they were stretched out longer between them, usually only coming every 10-15 minutes.
Ruth had some more work to do in the office and said that she would check in before she left town (she lives about an hour and 15 minutes from us). She called around 11:45pm to see what was up. I filled her in and she thought it'd be a good idea for her to come check me to see if any of the contractions were making any difference. She got to our house around 12:30. She checked me and I was at a 5.5 so she stretched me again to a 7 and my water started leaking a little. She said no turning back now! She decided to call Laura her assistant and bring in the rest of her stuff! This was actually gunna happen!...although I didn't feel like I was even in labor yet.
I had told my friend Melissa that Ruth was planning on coming over to check me and that we would decide from there if anything was going to happen tonight or not. She originally said that I can just keep her posted but then texted a few minutes later and said 'nevermind...I'm coming over!"
So around 12:30 after I was all stretched out, I took to walking around upstairs and walking up and down the steps to encourage contractions to keep coming. Once while walking past the kitchen, I leaned over the counter during a contraction and thought 'hmmm, that one was a little uncomfortable.' Ruth came over to check my blood pressure and with the other arm/hand, I was texting the boys' teacher from school, telling her that labor seems to finally have started! Also during this time, Melissa showed up! While still at the counter, another 'not-so-comfortable' contraction came and then I knew this was most likely the start of my labor! yay! I was finally going to have my baby!!
I decided I needed to get in the 'game on' mode and figure out where I wanted to labor, so I headed back to the bedroom. I had some comfy padding on the floor next to a chair so I knelt down and leaned over the chair for a few contractions. Wow, these were getting strong fast! I had decided before today that for this labor, I was really going to try to focus on what the contractions were doing physically to my body, instead of just focusing on how bad they hurt. So I tried really hard just to breathe in through my nose and out my mouth, thinking about what my body is doing.
I remember thinking that these hurt "too bad" for the first few serious contractions so I thought changing positions might help. So I got up and laid down on the bed. Maybe if I didn't move... Nope, still as painful! Nathan gave me a friendly reminder at this point to 'get off the bed' though because of what happened with Jaeger...once I got on the bed, I didn't want to move and it got too late and therefore he was born on the bed! :) And I wanted to birth in the tub with this one so I didn't want to get 'stuck' on the bed again. So I took his advice and got back on the floor.
Ruth suggested that Nathan start filling the tub, maybe even half full so that way when the time came that I wanted to get in or if I had to get in fast, that most of the water would be in it already. So he started to fill it. At first I thought 'fill the tub already?...are you crazy?...it's going to be a long time til I need it!' Because of getting SO incredibly hot during labor, I knew I didn't want to labor in a hot bath tub...I only wanted to get in once I was pretty far along. But the water is so tempting....
So once he had it half full, I decided to use the bathroom first and then get in. I still thought I had a long ways to go because normally once it gets real close to baby coming, contractions come as soon as you move a muscle. But I was able to get up off the floor (I was kneeling by the chair), walk over to the toilet, go to the bathroom, and get in the tub before another contraction came. I was shocked! I was sure I was going to have a contraction on the toilet, which I hate, so I was pleasantly surprised!
Once I got into the tub (which we put down a super comfy thick towel so the bottom was cushioned), I told Nathan to get Ruth to come in and check me. I wanted to know where I was at. It seemed like she was taking her time in coming in so I asked Nathan again to get her. (I was wanting her to come in before another contraction came). Once she was in, she checked and said I was at a 7.5. What?!?! All that work and only at a .5 more than before?! Not what I wanted to hear....but then she had a suggestion. She said that she could hold my cervix over (or something like that lol) during the next contraction to see if that would help open it up at all and even though it sounded like it would be very uncomfortable, I agreed. Anything to be done sooner!
She did her thing and after the next contraction, she says "You're at an 8!" Then the next contraction "You're at a 9...and I can feel baby trying to push down. I think with the next contraction baby will want to push out." Sure enough, the next contraction came and I had to push! Soon the head was out, followed by one shoulder, then two...then I had a baby on my chest! YAHOO!!
So in just 3 contractions after she had checked me...I went from 7.5 to holding baby. Never, ever, EVER did I think it would go that fast. Ever. Time of birth? 2:02am. Only 1 hour after uncomfortable contractions started. 19 contractions, that's it.
I even remember thinking while I was pushing that there was no way I should be pushing yet, I JUST got into the tub! And at one point, Ruth called to Laura to get the doptone bc it was time to listen to baby. With the next contraction I was pushing and Ruth calls out "nevermind! we won't have time"
She stared at me right away with her big eyes (and of course we double checked to make sure she was actually a she :) and we were immediately smitten. Our 6th child, our 2nd daughter. And Dad made it. Couldn't have been better. :)
**Before the birth, I told Nathan of my plan to really try to focus on my body and relaxing. He told me that "that's just not the kind of woman you are" lol! Well, it must have worked somewhat because afterwards, everyone was exclaiming on how calm I looked and Nathan was even having a hard time telling when contractions started and ended bc I was staying so calm and focused. Nathan even said afterwards "Yeah, and it wasn't even that painful!"...ha!...excuse me?? Then he back-peddled and said "What I mean was that it didn't *look* that painful and it was so short that at least you didn't have to go through a bunch of painful stuff for very long." Yeah, ok...that's what I thought you meant ;)