[sorry so long and not-well written...time is tight these days!]
Monday started like any other day. We got up, dressed, fed. Marlee's
first dance class was that morning. We went to Target first to grab a
couple of things, including some supplies for my hospital bag. After
dance and lunch, I put her down for her nap. I had my usual nap time
chat online with Katie. Here's a snippet:
1:26 PM me: whew- i am having some serious contractions. forgot what these felt like!
1:31 PM Katie
: uh oh
1:32 PM me: nah, nothing exciting
2pm, I decided to start timing. They were 4-5 minutes apart. I was in
major denial that it could be labor, and made every effort to stop the
contractions. I took a nap. Then a shower. Then a bath. Still 4-5
My dad was planning to come by and visit with
Marlee after nap. I called and asked him if he could take her
somewhere instead so that I could focus on myself and try to figure out
what was happening. By the time he got to the house, I was pretty sure
I was in labor, but I figured we had hours. Why I thought this, I
don't know. I had been having contractions every 4-5 minutes for
several hours. I am a certified birth professional. I was in denial.
I called my mom to let her know she probably needed a sub the next day
(she was planning to keep Marlee), but that we would all be going to
sleep in our own beds. I sent a message to my doulas to see who wanted
to be called in the middle of the night.
An hour later, after
a talk with my doulas (who were very good at handing me a virtual
mirror and making me evaluate my situation), we got ready to leave for
the hospital. At 8:00, with Marlee settled with Giggy and Jenna along
for the big ride, we hit the road.
We arrived at the hospital
around 8:30 and checked in. By then, my contractions were 2-3 minutes
apart.I was placed on fetal monitors for 15 minutes and checked for
progress. I was thrilled to learn that I was already nearly 6cm! I
labored around the room for a bit while the nurse set up the tub. As
soon as it had a bit of water in it, I got in. The water felt
HEAVENLY. I hope that sometime in the future it will be more widely
offered as pain management. Being in the tub gave me a bit of a break
from the intensity of my contractions, but it wasn't long before I was
in transition and things picked right back up. At this point, I was
having terrible back labor. Michael and Guina (one of my doulas) were
squeezing my hips with every contraction to relive some pressure. It
helped, but not a ton. I had about an hour of these strong
contractions in my back when I asked my midwife, Margaret, to check for
progress. I was 8cm. I was frustrated and asked her to break my water
so we could be done with it. She said she thought I had only 3 more
contractions to go and I'd feel ready to push, and she was right!
Three contractions later, I was at 10cm and felt like pushing, but the
pressure was not quite right. Margaret broke my water, and it was such
a relief! I actually said, "Thank you, God!" I instantly felt the
pressure of the baby's head and felt like I could push productively. I
have no idea how long I pushed. I'll have to update this story with
times once I get the write-up from my doulas. I'm guessing it was
about 30 minutes. Eloise was born posterior (face up), explaining my
back labor. She was plump and perfect, with apgar scores of 9 and 9.
8lbs 15oz, 20 1/4 inches long.
My birth experience was
WONDERFUL. Having my husband, sister, midwife, and two doulas there
for support was really neat. The mood in the room was light...everyone
there trusted me to do what I needed to do. I directed
everything...when I was still, when I moved, when I got in the tub,
when I pushed. No one shouted instructions, no one intervened (except
for that water breaking at my request!). I never had one pill or
needle stick. I just did what I instinctively knew how to do. Perfect.