My daughter, Amara, had an expected due date of 10/20/08. She came eleven days after that (the pity I feel now for overdue-mothers...) in a very peaceful and beautiful way. We used HypnoBirthing as our chosen childbirth-education and loved the relaxation and alertness that it allowed me to experience during the birthing. If you haven't already read it, check out more information about HypnoBirthing and enter the contest for a HypnoBirthing package before the end of May, 2009. Want an extra entry? For people who subscribe to or follow this blog, post your birth story here (if you're already a mama) or comment on the questions, fears, and things you're looking forward to when you do experience giving birth for the first time (if you've never given birth before). Be sure to include an email address! Not a follower? Become one and then enter here for an extra entry!
Thursday, 10/30/08, 1200 hours Serious lower back pain began as I was talking to my friend and coworker, Rachael. This seemed to coincide with most of the BH (or so I assumed them to be) contractions I'd been having on and off all week. I didn't pay much attention to the pain, though, as I was sick of getting my hopes up and then being disappointed when I didn't go into labor. I stayed at work until a little after my workday was over and then taught an hour's worth of piano lessons at home. During the lessons, I sat on a birthing ball which helped some with the back pain.
Friday, 10/31/08, 0130 hours I woke up with such bad pain in my lower back coinciding with contractions that I got out of bed and went downstairs so I didn't bother Ron. I watched a little bit of a late night TV show while rocking on the birthing ball. I also ate a piece of apple cake before retiring to the couch and falling asleep. Though I could tell the back pain was different this time, I still didn't want to get my hopes up and so didn't get excited as I fell asleep.
Friday, 10/31/08, 0400 hours This time, I woke up with contractions and back pain that radiated around to the front. As this was the first time I had experienced front pain, I thought that maybe I should pay attention. For 45 minutes, my contractions were 5 minutes apart. I decided that I'd better get up and get doing some things. As soon as I got up though, they were all less than 5 minutes apart although they weren't as regular. I went and woke up Ron. He said to wake him up after I spoke to Deb.
Friday, 0500 hours I called my midwife, Deb, and told her what was going on. She said to get into the bathtub, time my contractions, and report back to her to decide whether this was real labor or not. I could have told her right then that this was real labor. Instead, I got into the tub. Before that, I woke up Ron again who again told me to wake him up later. At this point, my contractions were 3 minutes apart and lasting for 1 minute each. I was also feeling a great urgency to get to the hospital.
Friday, 0540 hours After getting out of the tub, I called Deb again and reported to her. She told me that someone else had birthed her baby during the night and had the suite but that if I could hold out until later in the morning then we could try to move her out of the suite so I could have it. She encouraged me to stay home as long as possible. I wanted to tell her that really, I needed to be at the hospital right now, but instead I told her that I'd just call her when I was leaving for the hospital.
Friday, 0550 hours Upon waking up Ron again, he asked if I was really in labor or not. I told him that I didn't know if it was really happening or not, but that I needed to go to the hospital so he'd better get up this time. We spent the next hour trying to get everything together. I felt like my contractions were about a minute apart, so for 50% of the time I couldn't talk, walk, or do anything else. Not very helpful, but we survived.
Friday, 0700 hours We left for Schuyler Hospital, called Deb, and then got a hold of our mothers so they could get to the hospital. Ron wanted to stop for coffee and was put out when I told him that we had no time for coffee and he should've gotten up earlier.
Friday, 0745 hours I had planned to leave the luggage in the van, but I changed my mind and told Ron to bring the suitcase into the hospital because we were definitely going to be staying. It took a while to get from the parking lot to the birthing center, but we checked into the birthing center at 0745. Immediately, I was taken into the birthing room (not the suite; I guess they didn't want to wake up the other woman) and my blood pressure and pulse were taken. The nurse declared that I was 4cm dilated and 100% effaced at this point. I got right into the tub and WHOLA my body was pushing. I asked the nurse if this was supposed to happen so early who then responded by saying "maybe you're moving along a lot faster than we thought...I think we'd better call Deb and get her here." I thought this was a good idea. Thankfully, I had a few more contractions without the need to push.
Deb arrived a few minutes later and then declared that I was now at 8cm. My mother arrived and though I had not planned on her being in the birthing room, I ended up allowing it and it turned out to be a really nice thing. She was able to help hold me up (Ron was holding my legs back) so I didn't slip down into the tub during the birth, and she also spent some time reading some Bible passages I had previously typed out to be read to me during such a time as this.
Friday, 0850 hours Things went pretty quickly after Deb's arrival. Someone dimmed the lights when I got into the tub and so I was able to have a very peaceful environment in which to bring my child into the world. I was able to feel my daughter as she moved out of me and bring her right up onto my chest. Catching my baby was by far the most amazing and incredible thing I've ever felt in my entire life. She was very peaceful after coming out. It took her a minute to start crying, which immediately stopped when I began singing to her a song that I often sang to her while she was still in my womb. She remained very alert and awake for the next few hours, nursing well and visiting her family.
Ron's mom still hadn't arrived by 0850 when Amara was born, so he called her to ask where she was. She said that she was just about ready to leave her house to which Ron informed her that the baby was already here. There were a few more phone calls like that which were made. Deb said that this was the fastest birth she's had in quite a while, and also that I'm only the second woman she's ever had who was actually able (mind wise) to catch her own baby. I was really pleased with how things went, and especially that I barely tore (that was my biggest worry...the thought of tearing horrifies me).
So all in all, my daughter was born an hour and five minutes after checking into the hospital. She measured at 20 inches long and 6 lbs 15 ozs...Not to mention she's the most BEAUTIFUL baby ever born with darker skin and curly hair like her daddy, and eyes and lips like her mommy. We checked out of Schuyler at 1pm on Saturday and took our baby home. Love, love, love!