I can't believe that my baby is 5 years old today! Hard to believe that at this time 5 years ago I was just settling in to very active labor (according to EST it would be about 6pm).
My "due date" was march 23 but I had come to believe that my pregnancies with girls tended to go a bit past that EDD while my boys were like clockwork. I had dealt with a lot of prodromal labor with Pixie, 3 weeks worth to be exact. Each time I would think this could be it but it doesn't feel quite right, and I'd be right.
The morning of March 26 rolled around and I felt the quickening in my back early that morning and knew this was it. Not wanting to jinx it I didn't say anything yet. Just got up and took a hot shower to help alleviate some of the low dull back ache. As per my MO I would of course be having back labor. Every other birth was the same way. From what I have been told my pelvis is slightly odd shaped just enough that the baby can't seem to turn face down but rather the only way they can come down through the pelvis is sunny side up, which puts pressure on the back. Yay me.
I don't remember much more about my morning, it was probably boring and uneventful. Afternoon came along and I decided to go walk around the neighborhood. My neighbor & friend Patrice saw me and the APB was put out to our playgroup moms that I was in labor. I had invited 3 friends from the group to experience the birth with me, Patrice, Monica & Kelly. It wasn't long before Monica was there walking with me! Back at the house Nate was filling up our birth pool and getting it ready for the impending delivery.
The rest of the afternoon is kind of blurry, we kept a not to close eye on the contractions, tried to keep busy and just not think too much about what was going on. We put a call in to the midwives to let them know labor had begun but we still had a while to go yet. Then just like that the contractions were 5 minutes apart. I used the exercise ball, walked, squated, and eventually got in to the tub. It was so warm and relaxing and while it got rid of all of my pain it also slowed the contractions down. Back out of the tub was I but ooooh back labor hurts like a bitch!
When the contractions had reached 2 minutes apart I was back in the tub, the lights were dimmed, candles lit (I don't remember exactly when all this happened but I know it was between 5 & 6), Patrice & Monica were both there and unfortunately Kelly couldn't make it as it as her husband's birthday. The midwives had about an hour drive and I had hoped they would walk in just a moment to late for the birth but that darn tub had slowed my labor down again. Still I couldn't complain too much since it was such a great pain reliever. I hated having to get out of it to walk down the hall and use the bathroom.
The midwives kept themselves mostly out of my way which was what I wanted. The started herbs cooking on the stove for my after perineum care chatted with girls chatted with the husband and I. It was very relaxed. I do remember I kept cracking jokes and just having a nice time. Even with all of the kids there and 6 adults it was still peaceful and intimate.
And then transition hit. I have to say no matter how many births you have been through transition has a way of surprising you every time. You really turn deep in to your self, it's very much out of body experience like. This was the point were I started getting too hot in the tub causing me to become nauseous. Thankfully I had prepared some labor aid (home made of course!) ahead of time putting some in the fridge and freezing some in ice cube trays. This helped keep me very hydrated and cool. The midwife assistant was very helpful as well keeping a bowl of ice water nearby with a rag to put on my neck. I loved her and I know she is one great midwife now. Because I was drinking so much I was up and down from the tub frequently. On my last trip (I am going to say this was about 9pm) my water broke finally! This did however intensify the labor and make it hard to pull myself up off the toilet. The midwife & her assistant and & husband all gathered around to get me back to the tub when part way down the hall I was hit by a powerful contraction and could feel her moving down. The midwife asked what I wanted to do, head to the tub or to bed, which was much closer. I hadn't prepared the bed for birth and I was deadset on a waterbirth. I remember putting my hand between my legs and saying I didn't think she was going to give me a choice in the matter. But the contraction passed and we quickly shuffled back to the tub.
It seems like it took forever to get from the hall to the tub but reality was it didn't take very long at all. As soon as we were back to it I dropped my towel climbed in and before I could finish kneeling down another contraction hit and my Pixie was born with no pushing! I yelled out she is coming quick catch her and Nate reached down lickety split and caught our second daughter just as effortlessly as he had caught our first daughter.
The birth happened so fast that it took everyone by surprise. My 2 friends never saw anything and the other midwife (there were two midwives plus the assistant) had no idea I had given birth until the head mw called out the time of birth. MW #2 looked up in surprise and said "What?! when did that happen?" Priceless!
I laid back in the tub and held my sweet baby to my chest. Everyone was trying to get a peak at the gender. The kids thought it was a boy with a very big penis, I had to show them it was the umbilical cord and we had in fact had a girl just as I knew we would. There was a lot of hustle and bustle now and I was holding out on cutting the cord until the placenta delivered but it was just taking too long so after I guess 20 minutes or so I had the cord cut, passed the baby off to Nate, stood up so I could give the cord a gentle tug and out came the placenta. I won't tell you guys what I did with that later ;-)
Everything else that night is pretty vague. I just remember climbing in to bed with my precious newborn, fighting to get the stinker to nurse correctly and curling up to sleep with her and wonderful husband. I hope one day he will write his version of this story since I with my failing memory and labor induced fog know I am missing a lot from it.