Friday night I went to bed, tossing and turning trying to find a way to sleep with a pinched nerve in my shoulder. When you're at the end of a pregnancy you're already a tad bit uncomfortable, but throw in something like a pinched nerve and it's enough to drive you crazy. When my Handsome Husband came to bed at 1am, I switched to the couch where I could sleep sitting up with my arm propped on pillows, which brought much needed rest and relief. And then 3:30 rolled around and my eyes pinged open. I have been having false labor off and on for the past three weeks, so I tried to just relax as the contraction that had woken me ended. My goal was to just get back to sleep so I could be half way useful in the morning at the very least. But then another one hit. And another. I went to the bedroom, grabbed my phone and opened my gym timer. Setting it in interval mode so I could time the duration of each contraction, as well as the length in between them, I alternating between reclining in my spot on the couch, and rocking on all fours to ease through the waves. After an hour of timing and finding an average length of 7 minutes apart and 1 minute long, I called my midwife Savanna to check in at 4:45am. Savanna arrived at my home at 5:45am, watched me through a couple of contractions, then checked me at 6am. She found that I was already at 6cm dilation [which was very welcome news as I was still unsure if this was real or false labor up to that point] and that the contractions were regular, but not yet too intense. We started running the tub, and Savanna called Toby [the support midwife, as there are always two at each birth, whether in hospital or at home] to come over. Toby arrived at 6:15, meanwhile the contractions had started to pick up between Savanna's call and Toby's arrival. Through each contraction I knelt in front of an exercise ball, leaned my body forward and rocked.
As I breathed, I would tell myself that this was my body hugging my baby and bringing her to my arms. Relaxing my shoulders, neck and jaw, I really focused on letting my body work and not resisting it. My Hottie Husband would massage my lower back with a hard ball [similar to a tennis ball in size, but used for pressure point release] or my midwife would massage my lower back in a really wonderful she-done-this-before sort of way. As I rocked on the ball, talking myself through one of the waves, I suddenly felt the urge to throw up all the water I had been drinking since I had awoken at 3:30am. I lunged for the bucket during the contraction, and had it right at my side when my body relaxed completely and began to empty my stomach. Glamorous I know ha! At that point I looked up and asked if I could get in the tub, and I got the green light. Just as I reached the tub however, another wave began and I had the unmistakable urge to push. When I told the midwives this Savanna calmly said,"okay just breath. Lets get you in the tub as soon as this is one is done; just breath through this one for me." I breathed, trying to relax, but also trying to ignore that unmistakable clenching down of muscle trying to push my baby out while I was still fully clothed. Once the contraction ended I climbed fast and furiously into the tub, and announced to the surprised midwives,"okay, she's crowning!" One minute later my baby girl, cord wrapped twice around her neck and once around her body, was in the water being carefully and expertly untangled by Savanna. She surfaced blue as can be, eyes wide open - in as much shock as the rest of us. Her lusty cry soon rang out, and her coloring went from a dusty blue to a sweet pink very quickly. Baby girl was born at 6:28, a mere 28 minutes after reaching 6cm, and 13 minutes after the second midwife arrived. While it was an incredibly fast labor and delivery, the speed and shock did not set in until baby girl was in my arms and I had a moment to breath. All I could say was,"wow, it's over," and cry of course. Because of the sudden pick up in speed, the photographer [Elizabeth Cranmer of Lizzy Anne Photography] whom we had lined up for recording our birth story for us was not contacted a second time to let her know it was time to come over. I had sent her a text at 4:45 letting her know I thought I was in real labor this time, but would let her know when the midwife arrived and confirmed it, and things were progressing. And well, the time between having labor confirmed and labor progressing is pretty much indiscernible. As I was laying in bed afterwards, my phone lite up with a message from Elizabeth asking how things were going. Yeah, it was a bummer to miss out on the birth story [because I was really looking forward to having a beautiful record of babes arrival...] but we did schedule a Welcome Baby Session [which we had Monday morning] instead which eased my disappointment.
My Hottie Husband must have sensed that labor was nearing the end, and got all of two photos of the labor before it was over, and then snapped a couple after baby arrived. So, instead of the gorgeous birth stories that you'll find over on Elizabeth's site, I have a slightly less artistic and awe inspiring collection of photos - but none the less, they tell the story of the ridiculously fast arrival of my adorably sweet baby girl.
Baby Girl, 7lbs1oz 20" long 34cm head