After Jade's very fast 16 contraction, 40 minute labor and birth that our doula missed because she simply brushed her teeth... I was a bit nervous how this labor and birth would go. Working as well meant I was paying attention to my body extra much and was checking my cervix every few nights before bed. Monday I was feeling sort of strange when I got home from a great, focused day at work and an hour walk at lunch (that normally was too painful to manage). I didn't feel like watching my regular show with Evan after dinner and just didn't feel settled. Before bed I checked my cervix and instead of the "nothing happening" I usually felt, I felt 2 inches of water bag side to side. Hmmmm. I went and advised Evan "not to freak you out but..." and told him to not stay up really late. I also said I was going to text our doula (who is also a midwife), she was working hard to make sure she would be near and make our birth, and I felt like she'd want to know.
I sent the text to our doula with the return message requesting to come sleep on my couch. Awwww, what a doula! I all of a sudden felt sort of silly though - I had set my clothes out like normal and set my alarm like normal and I just KNEW she was going to come, sleep on our couch and I'd send her home when I woke up with nothing happening. Ack! I agreed though; she assured me it wouldn't bother her if I just sent her home with coffee in the morning. All of a sudden I had a feeling of expectation on me but I tried to push it off and go to sleep... but I was restless and feeling weird. I pulled my cloth sleeping pad on top of my sheets "just in case". Finally I fell asleep around midnight.
At 1:32am a contraction woke me up. I laid there pondering it for a few minutes and felt pee come out, clenching my muscles I prepared to get up and use the restroom *again* but more came out, and more... **gasp** Is this my WATER?? Whaaa??? I've never had this happen, this did not seriously just happen... this is how I was envisioning it starting, this is not seriously happening! I rocked Evan awake, "HON! Hon! My water just broke!"... I lumbered to the bathroom. Yes... vernix! Ohhhhh. Wow. What to do... should I wake my sleeping doula? Fill the tub? No... just stand here and wrap my brain around this for a minute. I put on a cloth pad, changed my underwear and went back to our room to sit on a clean cloth pad. Now and again more and more water would come out, what a strange feeling... no more contractions though, nothing... just quiet, contemplative.
Finally around 2:00am Evan convinced me to wake our doula up, who was laughing with us about this strange labor start (for me). Well look, good thing she DID stay over! 2:17am and my first contraction. They were long, but not insane-crazy like Jade's labor, and I sighed a sigh of relief. 4 minutes later another - and so went the pattern. Lasting a minute and a half they were not too much and I sat on my bed and enjoyed the peace between them and the quiet start to this baby's arrival. As time went on we discussed if I should call our midwife who was a few hours away... I wanted her there but was so worried she'd get 1/2 way and then we'd call because baby was born while she's on her way. Finally I called, and she was shortly on her way.
Contractions got closer together and as the birth tub was filling up when they were two minutes apart it was sounding wonderful and I made my way to FINALLY enjoy my birth tub that I bought for Jade's birth and never was able to use. As I climbed in I felt WONDERFUL. Ohhhhh heavenly warm water!!!! My contractions slowed farther apart but remained strong and rose in intensity some. Evan held my hand, my doula stayed close which was perfectly perfect. My sister-in-law arrived and we had her wake up our oldest three at 4am so they could be there and they held my hand some. They did so well and kept a low-profile and sat quietly (which is not their norm). Contractions were starting to get strong and long, I was no longer listening to conversation around me and I had to move as the contractions threatened to overwhelm me and grab away my grounding. I asked someone to wake up Jade. Three of these contractions, so strong, so long. I found myself alone, unsure where everyone was and as the strongest of my contractions was about to start, I said "Oh I'm getting to the part that is not my favorite" and as the contraction felt twice as long as all the others I whimpered a "help me," needing help to stay grounded...
Next contraction started almost just as this one ended and I started to push. I heard my midwife say, "Oh Honey, I thought Terri was in here" but it didn't matter anymore... I was focused. I pushed as quietly as I could, having to breathe in deep breaths to remain calm between pushes. Baby's water being broken before labor started meant every part passing through felt like every part passing through. I felt immense pressure and put my hand down to feel baby's head start to emerge so I wouldn't tear. Pressure, SO much pressure... and having to focus to push this baby out... this was not easy! I was either silent or sounding like I was hyperventilating (my trade for making noise while pushing)... pushing, gently managing and working with baby... my midwife was quietly giving encouragement and people were talking but I couldn't hear any of it... push... breathe... feel and push again... not much movement... put a leg up... ahhhh... I can't catch... Evan's hands too close... resting... baby's head out... pause, breathe, push... ohhhhhhh! I lifted my leg over baby as I rolled over... Evan says, "What do we have Hon? I didn't look"... oh my gosh it's a BOY!!!!!! Oh my gosh, A BOY! Oh sweet love, sweet baby love!
Truly in love with this sweet little man, he is a good baby and when his tummy isn't hungry, his diaper isn't poopy, he is not tired or has to burp, he is absolutely perfect and mellow. I love him deeply. I could do it again and again and again... I truly had the PERFECT birth in every way I could have asked for, in every way I wanted. Absolutely blessed.
Gavin Bear, 9lb 3oz, 21" long and born February 28, 2012, 5:43am, born at 39 weeks, 0 days.