Disclaimer: This post may well contain TMI* if you are one of my tween/teenage sons or nephews, brothers, brother-in-law or male with whom we attend church. I'm not going to be embarrassed if you read this, but I won't feel bad if you chose not to read.
*too much information
As I was saying...
I went to sleep at 1:00 am. I had a really strong contraction, opened my eyes to see what time it was.
Closed my eyes again, had another good four contractions or so, and decided to look at the clock again.
Five contractions in 18 minutes.
Maybe something is going on after all!
I thought to try to sleep some more, but just couldn't stay laying down. I threw back the covers and walked from the hall out to the living room and back a few times.
The contractions were really coming strong now; I decided to wake Dennis up out on the couch.
I stood before him and said, "Dennis, I need you to be awake with me."
And would you like to know what he said?
Would you really?
Would you really like to know what this father of eight said???
He said, "Why?"
As his overdue wife stands before him, swaying from side to side massaging her bulging belly, he asks "why".
He quickly figured out the reason for my request.
He tried his best to stay lucid for awhile and then he suggested we both try to get some more sleep. While I'd like to think that this was his way of being concerned for my well-being, I'm pretty sure he was just plain hoping to go back to sleep.
Either way, it wasn't happening.
I tried to lay down...lasted about 45 seconds and had to get back up again to walk the floor.
I must say that this time around, the contractions were so very short in duration. I found that to be a little disconcerting, because I felt like things wouldn't really progress if they didn't get longer. They just kept coming on, fast and furious, with really no break between it seemed.
We kept trying to decide whether or not to call our doula, Megan, (which is a whole 'nother post, too! I will get to that one soon, I hope!) and eventually called her at about 2:00.
While waiting for her to arrive, we called my parents to come be with the kids. Here, too, as in the whole situation, God was so at work! My mom had called our house just that afternoon to say that tomorrow would be a good day to have a baby because she'd be able to get the day off.
So, now we were waiting for Megan and eventually my parents. Megan got here, she observed me for a bit, we all chatted, bless-her-heart she told me I looked really cute in labor. Call me vain, but I had touched up my make-up and gotten dressed out of my pj's. I didn't want any pictures of brand new baby and hagged out mommmy!
Dennis made a pot of coffee, realized he hadn't put in any coffee grounds, tried again and was successful. Dennis and Megan had coffee while I contracted. It was a good arrangement.
Then things started picking up and we decided to go to the hospital. My mom and dad hadn't arrived yet, but that was ok. Dennis called and let them know we had left, they were just pulling out of their garage, it was something like 3:20 am, if I remember right.
I left the house with no shoes, only my slippers. Oops. I didn't care at that point.
We drove along, realized we had NO gas.
Somehow made it to the hospital.
We laughed and joked along the way, but I was getting really uncomfortable.
We got to the automatic doors, found they are pretty sluggish when it is cold out.
Got to the second set, and stood before them waiting for them to open.
Dennis made some smart comment about having the baby in the entrance while waiting for the doors to work.
I followed with some comment about how he should read the sign right in front of our noses that said "Between the hours of midnight and 5 am, please push the button to open the doors."
He pushed the button.
We went in, freaked out the lady pushing the mandatory wheel chair just by being in active labor. They actually don't see many women in labor anymore, what with all the inductions and planned c-sections.
Admittedly, it was a little funny to see them scramble.
Ok, so on the ob floor...
They attached the obligatory electronic fetal monitor, I sat in the bed for about 90 seconds and then had to stand up. I walked as far as the cord would let me, knowing that it was hospital protocol to get a good reading on baby before being amiable to letting mom be off the monitor. Bless the nurse's heart, she was so nice.
I said we had ok'd intermittent fetal monitoring with my dr. and she said no problem.
Off went the monitor, and it never did go back on, 'cause things went kinda fast after that...
I walked and walked and walked in my room--I'm not big on walking the halls of an ob wing, or any hospital wing for that matter, just so we're clear.
I walked from the door to the window and the window to the door...back and forth, back and forth.
I probably spent all of three minutes in the bed before she was born.
Megan and Dennis took turns pressing in on the top of my hips, to make more room for baby to descend. If you don't understand what I mean by that, I can't think of how to type that any differently for you to understand. Sorry.
This was a wonderful help to me--it felt so much better during those contractions!
Megan thought to raise the bed up as high as it would go and to put a bunch of pillows on it; I stood at the side of the bed and leaned over onto the pillows. This was great, too.
Not too much longer passed, I had a really painful contractions, I tried squatting to get through it, that didn't help, I stood up, my water broke, I could tell baby was coming.
Megan went to the door to tell the nurse the baby was coming.
I remember saying again that the baby was coming...in ran the nurse, I heard her say "up in the bed, up in the bed".
I hopped in the bed, (as sprightly as any birthing woman could hop I dare say) and out came Ivy.
Caught by the nurses, born without me even pushing.
I think that having the bag of water intact for so long protected her and let the contractions do all the work of having her be born.
Dennis said "It's a girl" and I was crying and laughing.
I always cry when the babies are born and I was laughing for joy and because I honestly thought the whole thing was funny!
The nurse had time for one glove.
There was no time to take the bed apart as they do.
Just catch that baby.
At 4:53 am.
Four hours of labor? Not bad...
You probably know that we had looked into and really wanted a homebirth. Well, we got the closest thing to it that we could in the situation.
No doctor, just a very midwife-minded nurse, our friend Megan, and my husband. No interventions...just normal, physiological birth.
It was fabulous.