We met our wonderful little Franklin Christopher yesterday morning, 2/20/16, at 10:44am. He was 7lb 15oz and 21 inches, the smallest of my kids, even though he came 11 days past our due date! He is doing great and is getting the hang of breastfeeding, I think, although it's been more painful this time, so I'm trying to be really mindful of his latch. For anyone who enjoys reading birth stories...
My contractions ramped up very slowly over the few days preceding the birth. They came and went all day on Friday. By evening, they were strong with lots of pressure. I was able to sleep for a couple hours before we decided to drive to the hospital at 4am. My contractions were still 7 minutes apart (was hoping to wait until they were 4 minutes apart to leave, like my previous birth), but I was dreading the 25 minute car ride to the hospital and was starting to psych myself out about how uncomfortable it was going to be - so we left to just get it out of the way and help stay positive!
Got to the hospital at 4:30am - 4 cm dilated. I was hoping to arrive a little further along. At this point, my contractions which had been six minutes apart and powerful in the car, slowed down to 10-12 minutes apart *and I could barely feel them*... I started to get worried that we would eventually be making the walk of shame back to our car. Around 6:30 the nurse asked to check my cervix before shift change, and I was at a 6 - progress - even though my wimpy contractions hadn't picked up a bit. I got in the tub to see if a little privacy and comfort would speed things up, but it didn't. I used my hypnobabies techniques with each contraction in the tub, but I was still very comfortable.
My doctor arrived and encouraged me to move to the waterbirth suite and break my bag of waters artificially to ensure that there was no meconium, so that there wasn't a surprise during the pushing stage with a sudden need to move out of the water. I agreed, and I think we did that around 9:30. The fluid was clear, and there was immediately an increase in pressure, so I moved into the tub. I continued to use the hypnobabies techniques through transition (which was a goal of mine since I got overwhelmed and abandoned it with my last birth) and through the first 15 minutes or so of pushing. I was kind of squatting in the water and "ahhh-ing" the baby out, pushing calmly and gently, when the hypnobabies track ended, I told my husband not to replay it, and I felt an urgent need to get baby out NOW. I don't know if it was stopping the track or just because it was time, but everything changed and I was pushing as hard as I possibly could, making the more animal-like noises that many of us know so well;) I pushed like that for 15 minutes or so until baby came out, looking and sounding great, with just a small tear. After the birth, the nurse told me that my "patient contractions" never got closer together than 5 minutes - weird, and a good thing I didn't try to stay home until they were 4 minutes apart again!
So far, my recovery is going really well and I am thankful!
*E 10/2012, H 7/2014, F 2/2016*