Saturday night, I was three days late, going on four, and I was at the point of tears because I didn't know what I would do the next day if Amy didn't come. The thought of another week was too overwhelming.
That night (or Sunday morning) at 1:30am, I woke up with a pretty strong contraction. It woke me out of a dream where I had post-it notes all over my belly. I got up, peed, and had another pretty painful contraction. I started timing at 1:41am, and by 1:53am, I had already had two, and they were both more painful than all my contractions the weeks leading up to that point.
I woke Zane, "I think this is it." We started timing them. Pretty consistent, coming 2-4 minutes apart. I called the midwife, and she said to take a shower and see if they don't slow down. She also said, "Your doula is here, because her other client just had her baby at midnight. Your whole team's waiting for you!" Pretty convenient for everyone.
Zane and I started getting things together, packing bags. I labored through packing, on the toilet, on the bed, on the couch. By 3:00am, I was unable to help anymore. I laid on the bed and started moaning through my contractions. Zane called the midwife back and said we'd leave the house by 3:30am. She said they'd have the bathtub ready for me at 4:00am.
Zane packed the car and got Daisy up. She asked what that noise was (my moaning), and Zane told her mommy was working really hard, because Amy was coming.
We got in the car and Zane made a 40-minute trip in 23 minutes. Thank God for middle-of-the-night traffic. He ran one stop light.
I had about six or so contractions in the car, still moaning, clutching my pillow, lying on my side as much as I could in the front seat. I looked up at Daisy between them and waved. She smiled and waved back, totally un-fazed, just watching mommy.
We arrived at the birth center, and I went straight to the couch to get through a contraction. Then I hit up the bathroom again. When I came out, Angie, my sweet doula, gave me a big hug, and I remember feeling my muscles relax a little more.
Bea, the midwife, got my information. We discussed how I probably can't do the GBS antibiotics at this point, since I'm so far along, it wouldn't matter. Angie did counter-pressure on my back throughout my contractions. She also gave me relaxing essential oils to smell, like orange, lavender, and I don't even remember what else because I was in labor.
I had three contractions in a row without any break on that couch. I heard Angie tell that to Bea. Bea said something about bringing a pad out there.
Then I had a break, and I said, "If I'm going to get in the tub, I better do it now." So I did.
Daisy followed me into the bedroom to the birthing tub. I stepped in and had a majorly painful contraction. My face was all crunched up as I clenched the side of the tub and moaned through it. As soon as it ended, I shook out my face muscles, and Angie suggested I lie down on my side. She poured warm water over the part of my body that was exposed.
The water felt awesome. It definitely helped calm me and distract me from the pain of contractions.
Bea stepped in and said she was going to check on the other girl who had had her baby a few hours earlier, then come back and check my cervix. I asked her to check my cervix now, because I was between contractions, so she did. I was 9-10 cm dilated.
I think I said, "Praise the Lord." But maybe I just thought it.
As soon as she walked out of the room, my body started pushing. I said, "There's the push!" Another "Praise the Lord" in my head. But I was also like, "Oh crap, this part is hard."
I had a few pushing contractions on my side, and Bea suggested I get on my hands and knees to have more control over the pushing. I was really grunting and groaning, so Angie told me not to groan like that or I'd hurt my throat (She was right. My throat hurt later on). I tried to silently push, but it was hard, because the change of position and the pushing in general made me lose my concentration.
Two good pushes, and I felt the stinging "ring of fire" and Amy's head. I was thinking, "There's no way. That was so fast."
One more push and her head was out. SUCH relief! Another "Praise the Lord!"
At this point, I heard Daisy and Bea talking about the baby's head. Daisy was watching from behind. I found out later that Zane was taking a video. I heard the birth assistant say, "2 minutes" (meaning the baby's head was exposed that long). I tried to push without a contraction, but it wasn't going to happen. A few seconds later, the contraction came, and I pushed out her body.
Bea quickly passed her through my legs. I pulled Amy up out of the water and sat down against the side of the tub. I was crying and saying, "Oh my God!" over and over just like when Daisy was born. So much euphoria! I said, "Thank God" so many times over, because the labor was done and because it was so fast.
Amy was born at 4:43am, just about three hours from the time I woke up with contractions. I only had to push for 13 minutes. It was insanely quick, Praise the Lord.
I held Amy for a short period right there in the tub. But soon, Bea said something like, "She needs oxygen. Cut the cord." So they quickly cut the cord and took Amy over to the bed to put the little oxygen mask on her. Zane and the birth assistant went over there, and Angie stayed with me next to the tub. Angie kept telling me it would be okay. I prayed aloud that God would let Amy live. I wasn't anxious or worried, but I had this thought: "I don't want Amy's story to be that she only lived a few minutes."
Daisy asked me questions, which kept my mind busy too, like, "Mommy, are you in the bathtub?" "What is that red?" "Is your hair wet?"
Very quickly, I heard Amy crying, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Bea asked if she could call the chiropractor to adjust Amy, and I said yes. They weren't sure why she was so lethargic - possibly the quick labor - but they wanted to make sure her spine was adjusted and that there was nothing blocking her neurological pathways.
By that point, I had another contraction and delivered the placenta in the tub. That's when the tub got really gross, but they drained it and sprayed me down.
|Angie, my wonderful doula!|
Angie and the birth assistant, Nicole, helped me to the bed, and I held my sweet little Amy on my chest. Within about 20 minutes she was breastfeeding.
The next hours were basically spent resting with Amy on my chest and eating food. Daisy watched movies and played with her toys in the living room. She had the ladies laughing at her when she was watching The Little Mermaid and saying the lines along with the movie. She came in and said hi to me every once in a while, but she wasn't that interested, now that Amy had arrived.
|Zane got to trim the cord later, since they first cut it in the tub.|
They rubbed my belly to get my uterus down and checked me for tearing (one teeny tiny tear that didn't require stitches. For the win!). The chiropractor came and adjusted Amy, which basically meant she strategically pressed Amy's neck gently with her fingers. There were no crazy back cracks or anything like that. I took a shower on a shower chair with help from Nicole. That was awesome too, though I did get a little too hot in the shower and had to sit on the floor until I felt less light-headed.
|My awesome team!|
Hours after her birth, they weighed Amy at 8 pounds 14 oz. and measured her at 22 inches long. They tested her reflexes, etc. We rested a little longer before I changed clothes, and we went through discharge papers.
We headed home around 9:00am. We had visitors all day, but I was high on adrenaline and oxytocin. It was fun to celebrate and share baby Amy news with friends and family.
Welcome to the world, Amy Jubilee!
If you live in the Tampa area and are interested in the birth center or my doula, here's links for more information on both. I really loved my delivery. I believe the care I received was much more caring and personal than I would have had at a hospital. (I'm not being compensated; I just love them!)