My due date was August 7th. Three-fourths of my other children were born exactly 10 days before their expected due date. Elsa was thirteen days early . So, it's wasn't quite a shock when at 7:00 AM on the morning of July 28th (10 days early) that my water broke.
My husband had a job interview that morning. So, all along, while I suspected the baby might be born that day, I was really, really, really hoping she would hold off until after the job interview. In fact that night was pretty stressful. I kept waking up and thinking "we need to make it 6 more hours." "Only four more hours."
And then my water broke, but contractions still hadn't started yet, so off he went.
July 28th also happens to be the birthday of my dear, departed grandmother. The name we were originally thinking of was Annika Rose. Except, my mother was pushing us to name her Annika Amelia if she happened to be born on July 28th since Amelia is my grandmother's name and the person for whom I was named.
So much of that day was spent arguing over if it was going to be Annika Rose, Annika Amelia or Annika Rose Amelia. I know lots of Catholics do it, but I am personally not a fan of the whole three names thing. Even when we left for the hospital, we still weren't sure. It wasn't until she was born, that we were sure.
I had barely any contractions most of the day. We even went into the OB/midwife office to be checked and confirm if my water had indeed broke. Their tests were inconclusive (2 were negative, 1 was positive), but I KNEW it had broken. You don't get that many gushes for nothing. Since I still wasn't in labor, we went home, with instructions to come in again the next morning if still no labor and to eat and rest that night.
I ended up not getting much rest that night.
Around, 4:30 PM, I started to feel contractions. By 5:00 PM, I could no longer just sit through them and had to walk around. I retreated to our dark bedroom with all kids banished away, and was more than happy to labor by myself and walk through all the contraction in the peace and quite. It was super nice and made me really, really wish I had chosen homebirth again this time. (Read about why not.) In fact, I was kinda wondering if there were any midwives I could call at the last minute to come. But, I didn't think that was too likely so instead I kept evaluating in my mind when we should head to the hospital. Did I mention that the hospital was 25 minutes away and I was having the kind of contractions where sitting down in the car for 25 minutes sounded like just about the most horrible thing ever. I wanted to do nothing more than walk around (and around and around) through all of them.
Around 6:00 I decided we needed to leave soon, or I wasn't going to make it. We left around 6:35 and got to the hospital around 7:00 PM The car ride was pretty uncomfortable, although I still didn't think I was that close. I don't think of myself as the kind of person who has quick births.....although my last birth was quick, the first three were NOT quick. In fact, when I called the midwife on call, I even told her not to rush.
THAT was a mistake.
Going through all the intake stuff, and being checked and going through registration while having really strong contractions really close together was absolutely miserable.
I was really missing the peace of my last homebirth.
Around 7:15 we got into the labor and delivery room and the nurse checked me. She said I was a 5. I was all thinking "no way, these contractions are way too strong for a 5. I feel way past that."
For the next 30 minutes of labor, that little 5 haunted me. I thought I had hours and hours of excrutiating labor ahead of me. It was terrifying.
At one point I had to go to the bathroom and came out and said.
"I think I want the epidural". Crazy thing #1. Not that having an epidural is crazy. But, if she hadn't told me about that I was only a 5, I probably would have realized how close I was. I was actually thinking about an epidural even before I went into labor. I suspect this may be my last birth and I've only had natural births. I sorta wanted to see how the other half births. I still don't know.
The nurse said that would take about 30 minutes because they have to give you IV fluids and put an IV in. The thought of lying down on the bed for 30 minutes was incomprehensible to me, so I was all "oh forget it."
I HAD to be on my feet and walking around. It was REALLY painful. I think because my water had already broken, it was more painful than previous labors. My least painful birth was the one where my water broke right before pushing.
Then I started to feel lots of pressure. Lots of urges to push. I couldn't tell if it was poop or baby.
Turns out it was both.
I squatted down next to the bed and started pushing.
Then I said "Dude, I'm like pooping on the floor." Crazy thing #2. Yes, I actually said "dude" and "like."
Ben was really good and actually helped clean me up, while the nurse was just all "Do you feel like pushing, you need to get into the bed, so I can check you."
No way was I getting into the bed. I just ignored her and kept pushing.
After just a few pushes, I had that baby's head is right there feeling and just said.
The nurse was all "If baby is coming, you need to get into bed, and I'll get Lindsay (midwife). Don't push."
Plus, I was kinda ticked off because "they" said I could birth in whatever position I wanted. Apparently the nurse hadn't gotten the memo.
No way was getting into bed or not pushing. NO WAY.
Birth waits for neither man nor midwife.
I've been through this rodeo enough times to know that the only way out is through, and once you get to the pushing part, it's almost over. I was NOT about to prolong the agony any longer.
At that point, the nurse must have called some code, because the next thing I knew there were a ton of nurses in the room and they told me that the head was out, but they saw a cord, so I needed to lie down.
So, I just lied back on the floor, they slipped the cord off her neck and she was born the rest of the way.
Official time of birth was 7:46 PM . Just 30 minutes after I was only a 5.
THEN I got into bed and the midwife was there to help deliver the placenta and rather apologetic for missing the actual birth. I didn't care. She came out, just fine.
And here she is!
It was a hard pregnancy and hard birth, but she's worth it!
Even though the hospital was a major pain and the made us CARRY THE CONVERTIBLE CAR SEAT UP TO THE ROOM AND CARRY THE BABY OUT IN THE CONVERTIBLE CAR SEAT. Ridiculous!! At least we got to leave after 24 hours. Hospitals always feel a little like jail to me. Except the food is probably better. And you get to leave sooner.
So that's her story!