The plan was to go in on Tuesday morning at 9:00 am to have my water broke. The only reason I even agreed to it was because I found out Beth was on call. Beth is the midwife I felt the most connection with. She knew my desires and I knew that she wouldn’t make me do anything I wasn’t comfortable with.
On Monday we had plans to take the kids to the fair with Tracy and Antonette. We figured it would be the only chance we would have to get there since Noah was to be born on Tuesday. Steve got home around 5:15 and we headed over to the fairgrounds to meet up with everyone. On the way there I noticed I was having some contractions, nothing major and very similar to the same contractions I’d been having for weeks. I told Steve about them and he just laughed and said, “Watch, he’ll be here before we have to go to the hospital in the morning.” I of course laughed and said, “Yeah, right.”
After we got to the fair we ate dinner and started walking to see the animals and 4H projects. I kept having the contractions, and around 8:00 pm I thought maybe I should start timing them. They started out very random, at anywhere from 4-10 minutes apart but soon were down to every 4-5 minutes, but I was still able to walk and talk through them. They were stronger than the ones I’d had previously, but still nothing that I thought warranted my leaving and heading to the hospital, but I did start thinking that maybe I actually was in early labor. I remember my midwife telling me that if I am still happy I shouldn’t be coming in. I didn’t want to risk going in too early, having my labor stall, and then having to face the decision of more interventions to get it going again. I wanted to see what was going to happen and let my body do as much of it on it’s own as I could. I knew that I had to go in by 9:00 am anyway, so I might as well wait it out!
We left the fair around 10:30 to take the kids over to Tracy and Michael’s house because they were going to spend the night there so we wouldn’t have to take extra time getting them there in the morning. My mom was going to pick them up from there. When we got there I got the kids in their jammies and read them a few books. It was kind of bittersweet knowing that I wouldn’t get to see them before we left in the morning, so I took a little longer than I usually would putting them to bed. Alaina was really upset when we were saying prayers and kept telling us she just wanted to go home and sleep in her own bed with her horses. For a split second I almost said ok and thought I could call my mom and just have her come over to our house earlier in the morning before we left. There was a little voice in my head telling me that wasn’t a good idea though. We got her as calmed down as we could and told her we wouldn’t leave right away and would come up to check on her in a little while. We stayed at Tracy’s until almost 12:30 chatting and the kids were sound asleep when we left.
When we got home I sat and put some last minute songs on my Ipod that I thought I might want during labor. Steve cleaned up the house some more and we both headed upstairs to bed at about 1:15. At 2:30 I woke up to one really bad menstrual type cramp. I tried to lay in bed and relax through it but it was too uncomfortable so I got up to go to the bathroom. In the bathroom I had another one and got down on the floor in a child’s pose position and breathed through it. When it was over I went to wake up Steve and had another bad one. After those three contractions I knew it was time to head in to the hospital and I was in complete shock that I was actually starting labor on my own.
I sent Steve downstairs to call my midwife while I got dressed and brushed my hair. By the time I got down stairs I needed to sit on my exercise ball and was bouncing up and down on it and timing contractions when my midwife Amy, called me back. I told her what was going on and in the middle of it had another contraction that she helped me breath through. She explained that the car ride over was probably going to be really uncomfortable, so I should take a warm shower while Steve got everything ready. Well, I had had all my bags packed in the car for weeks so there really wasn’t anything else to grab besides the pillows off the bed. I just knew that I did not have time to stay at home any longer.
I sent out a mass text message and we pulled out of the driveway at 3:20 am. Our drive over to Goshen usually takes about 45 minutes-hour depending on traffic. Luckily most of it is highway driving and we made it to the hospital in 30 minutes. When we first got in the van I couldn’t decide how I would be most comfortable. I finally ended up sitting in the front seat. Shortly after we left the contractions just kept picking up strength and getting closer and lasting longer. I kept trying to keep an eye on the clock and when I finally couldn’t concentrate on it any longer my contractions were 3 minutes apart and lasting 1-2 minutes. I was coping really well with the pain, and quiet honestly had I not gone to yoga for 4 weeks before going into labor I don’t think I would have done as well. during each contraction I just focused on my breathing and kept repeating over and over in my head, “I’m strong, I can do this. My body was meant to do this.” I was sitting on my knees in the front seat facing the back of the van. During a contraction I would bend down with my head near the floor of the back seat, sort of like doing a downward dog in yoga. I was trying to keep his head from putting so much pressure on my cervix. This worked great until we turned onto the street that the hospital is on. I was hitting transition and looked at Steve and said, “I don’t know what to do anymore!” He told me we had less than 2 minutes until we got to the hospital. I was excited when I heard that b/c I knew I wouldn’t have to go through any more contractions in the car.
We turned into the parking lot and Steve grabbed the first handicapped spot near the back entrance where we had to go in. I flung the car door open, looked at Steve, and told him I needed to push. The look on his face was priceless! He asked me if I wanted a wheel chair and I told him we didn’t have time to go get a wheel chair. I started walking towards the door and yelled for him to get the bag that had the camera in it. He did and then ran past me to get the elevator open. Once it was open I got in and grabbed on to the bar on the wall and squatted down. The doors opened and Steve ran out and found a nurse. She wanted to get me checked in and I told her I didn’t have time for that. She lead us into a room and I hurried into the bathroom to get undressed. I got on the bed on my hands and knees and tried putting on the hospital gown but it was just getting in the way so I had Steve hand me the bathing suit top I had packed to wear in the birthing tub.
At some point during all this craziness my midwife, Amy, came in. She told me she was going to check me when my contraction was over. I was completely dilated and my water broke. I reached my hand down to see if I could feel Noah’s head and it was already almost out. Two more small pushes and he was laying on the bed behind me at 4:06 am. He was covered in meconium so Amy passed him off to the nurse to be suctioned out and I just leaned forward on the pillow to rest for a second and take in what had just happened. I was in complete shock that I had actually done it. I had been doubting my body’s ability to actually go into labor on it’s own for weeks so I had such a natural high knowing that it did know what to do and I got the natural childbirth I wanted and needed. Even though everything went differently than it was “supposed” to it was still the most perfect experience and I can’t imagine having done it any other way now. The craziness and excitement of it all was just awesome. It usually takes us 45 minutes to get to the hospital, and Noah made his grand entrance 46 minutes after we left the house! Thank God it was the middle of the night!
Amy asked me to turn over so I could deliver the placenta and finally hold Noah. When they gave him to me I couldn’t believe how much he looked like Addison and how squishy his face was! He also felt really heavy to me, so after a couple hours when they weighed and measured him I was shocked to find out he was only 7 lbs 11 oz! Eleven days late and my smallest baby. I also was in awe of how different he was. Without having any medication he was just so alert and not groggy or crying. Just very mellow. We also did not let them give him the eye medication so that made a big difference as well.
Holding him for the first time
That squishy face I fell in love with
There are lots more pics in Noah’s Photobucket Album
Noah is a week old today, so I’ll have a new post up later all about his first week home and some new pics as well. He’s changed so much already and really looks a lot like Alaina now LOL