As you can probably imagine, I am still in shock that I already have a baby in my arms. I have never gone this early and I entered this labor feeling unprepared and surprised. I think that I went into labor partially because I have been so incredibly busy this last month (July). The last two weeks of July were especially busy for me, so I blame part of the early delivery simply on stress. Here are a few things that went on 2 weeks prior to delivery:
- We had a surprise birthday party for my oldest son, which means that I cleaned my entire house (with the exception of 3 rooms) and did this without my son's help.
- I had an appointment with my midwife (where I took all the children).
- I weeded two of my flower gardens at the end of a busy day.
- I went to Sam's Club with my husband and children and walked around on hard concrete floors for two hours.
- We had a sleepover guest for my oldest son the weekend of August 4th.
- I went grocery shopping one last time before I went into labor (another two hours on the concrete floors).
- We had extra guests for dinner a couple evenings.
- We went to a friend's house to go swimming (that is, me and all the children).
- We did a "test" run of our first week of school.
- I did my first day of real school on Monday (August 6)...last year the same kind of thing happened, only I went to the hospital for an ectopic pregnancy and heat exhaustion (after the first day of school).
And the list goes on....
I really wanted to be prepared, but with all the busyness, I wasn't. (O;
And with that said, here is my birth story.
I complained all day Monday of my back hurting, I usually don't complain, but it was VERY uncomfortable that day.
Monday night was a normal night. I didn't do anything different than I normally do before bed. I just took my normal bath, took my supplements, brushed my teeth and went to bed. However, after being asleep for a couple of hours, I found myself getting up to use the bathroom several times after having, what I thought was, a Braxton-Hicks contraction. I got up like 10+ times to go to the bathroom.
At 5:30 a.m., I got up for the last time to use the bathroom. What made me get up was the slight pain that I felt with the "Braxton-Hicks contraction". I figured I would get up and take a hot bath so I could get the baby out of my pelvis...she was really low and I figured a bath might make her move up out of my lower pelvis. I didn't think I was in "labor," but I was in denial that I could be also. I ate a granola bar and drank a large glass of water at that time, as well, as I was very thirsty.
After my bath I decided to watch "House of Babies" and load the dishwasher during the commercials. At one time, I had a contraction that really made me think that I might be in labor, as I stopped to lean over the dishwasher while I had it. At about 6:30 a.m., I went up to tell my husband, with tears in my eyes, that I thought I might be in labor (I was a little frightened at the thought of having a baby this early). Then I went back downstairs and rested on the couch, still in denial, but questioning the thought that I might ACTUALLY be in labor.
At around 7:20 a.m. I began to feel a little cramping in my pelvis, and then it happened...my water broke all over my new couch! I wanted so much to tell my dear readers that I was officially in labor, but I couldn't move! I sent my son upstairs to tell my husband that I needed him NOW, and that my water broke and we were having the baby today!!! I also sent one of my other children for a towel.
I then proceeded to call my midwife and tell her that my water just broke...she was also shocked! I called my mom to let her know that I was in labor (so she could pray as she lives about 1000 miles away) and the I called my friend who was to come over to experience her first live birth (however, she was asleep and did not answer her phone, her husband ended up having to drop in between jobs to wake her up!). We then called a family from church and they came to get the children.
I had all of my birth supplies and such, and I had planned to have a homebirth, but due to the fact that I was only 36 weeks, my midwife and I decided it would be best to go to the birthing center (where my midwife was trained). So off we went (after my friend arrived). My husband stayed back to gather some other things and pick up some things at the store.
I was having mild contractions on the way down to the birthing center, but nothing major.
When we arrived at the birthing center, I was dilated to about 2 cm and I was still not having strong contractions. For a while, time seemed to creep along with the contractions staying about 7-8 minutes apart. My husband arrived about 11:00 a.m. with something to eat for everyone but me (I actually ate a little of his sandwich). I was spilling protein into my urine, so I needed to eat.
I occassionally had a really good and painful contraction, but they seemed too few and far between. Then, at around 2:30 p.m. or so, my contractions stopped completely. It was a nice break, but unwelcomed at the time.
My midwife asked me at about 3 p.m. if I wanted some herbal tinctures to help speed the labor along and I was all for it. She gave me the herbal concoctions along with an herbal tea at 3:00, 3:30 and 4:00 p.m. and let me tell you, they worked!!! Almost immediately after she gave them to me, I began to feel my contractions and they hurt!!! With each contraction, I began to say the Lord's prayer to help me through the pain. Focusing my attention on the prayer instead of the contraction helped tremendously!
I was supposed to take the herbal concoction every hour after the first three doses, but after taking the first three, I opted to stop because they had done their job.
By the time I took the third dose of herbs, I began to enter transition. My contractions were very painful and every 2 minutes. I had never experienced transition before, so this was all new to me. My husband and midwives also noticed that all the color had drained out of my face which typically means that I will be at the pushing stage soon.
It was about 4:50 p.m. when I finally felt the urge to push. I got up on the birthing stool and the midwife checked me and I just had a little cervical lip left, which diminished with my first push. I pushed for about 5 minutes or so, and she began to crown.
Once she crowned, I felt the "ring of fire" and with that I pushed out her head. Then I paused briefly, cord was slightly around her neck. Once the cord was removed, I gave another strong push and out she came! The midwives untangled her from the cord, and in the process I learned that we had another beautiful girl. She began crying almost immediately, so I knew that she was okay. Besides being a little blue around her fingers and toes, she was perfect.
As I now reflect on the whole birth experience, I feel very blessed. God took care of me and my baby girl. She came in God's perfect timing!
My children have all been more than willing to hold and cuddle our new little girl. And the boys have graciously accepted the fact that we had ANOTHER GIRL!
I look forward to the years ahead, when I begin to teach my 5 dear daughters to cook, sew, and joyfully serve the LORD.
OUR NEWEST BABY GIRL!!!
Born: August 7, 2007
Time: 5:04 p.m.
Weight: 6 lb. 1 1/2 oz.
Head: 13 1/2 inches
Length: 19 3/4 inches