Miss A's birth story actually begins weeks ago on Sunday October 6th. I had been up much of the night with contractions. They had started at 20 min apart and had progressed to about every 5 minutes or so. Still I was not quite sure, this was much earlier than I usually have my babies, I was only 37 weeks. We decided it would be best to call and likely go in because all the signs were showing that that was the day. Upon calling I was told that my test (done a couple of days earlier) had come back positive for Group B strep. Yes, I should come in given all that was going on to get a dose of antibiotics. Baby sitter was called, everything was gathered that we needed and off we went. Then we spent the day walking and waiting. Nothing was moving fast, but I was progressing, it did not seem wise to go home given my history of labors going slow at first and then kicking in all of a sudden with a quick birth. By evening though it had become obvious that things had slowed to a stop. We went home a bit discouraged, but at the same time thankful for some extra time to finish a few projects and such.
Two weeks later on October 20th I had been up again all night with contractions. We had worked out a plan for a first dose of antibiotics with one of the mid-wives. My labors usually start at night/early morning. The plan was to just head in to get checked out and get a dose of antibiotics while the kids were all still sleeping and our teen would still be home (she would be going to the birth center for the birth). After that we could go home for a couple/few hours and get the kids settled with the sitter etc. When we arrived we were a bit surprised that I was already 5cm and thinning nicely. We were still going home, but we would be back soon. While my contractions continued through the morning and like last time I made slow progress and we went walking. Miss A's head was high, it really needed to come down to make these contractions more effective. We were starting to wonder if it was really the day, but at the next check I was 6cm, thinning more and her head was lower. The mid-wife was sure we would be having a baby soon. Miss A decided that this was not her day to be born and she removed her head from that good position. We decided to give some herbs a try (that the midwife suggested) and give it another hour or two. I felt her go to transverse and then back again. That was when I knew we should just go home. The midwife checked one more time. Though everything was much higher the head was actually in a better position for breaking my water, that was the only option for moving things along. If I made that choice though I'd be on the clock and have to be transferred to the hospital if things did not make good progress in the next 3 hrs, this would likely lead to interventions and even a c-section that we did not want. I chose to go home for pizza and a movie with my family.
*I'm so blessed to have some very dear friends that were such an encouragement to me while I waited for Miss A to arrive. Sweetly checking in on me, offers of distracting activities, meals, and their prayers all were such a blessing to me.
About a week later I was awakened during the night with contractions, but able to go back to sleep (I can never do that when I'm in labor though) I had a fairly good night's sleep. In the morning when I got up I just felt off, with cramps, and was having some contractions. I went on with my morning. No matter what I did the contractions continued (sitting, standing, walking, even a nap), but with no regularity ranging from 15-5 minutes apart from mild to medium intensity. Because I was just fed up with it and at my last appointment the mid-wife had suggested I call just to see if we could move things along (at 40 weeks they feel better about breaking water etc, and maybe the baby would be in a better position for that). The mid-wife on call agreed that it would be a good idea to at least come in to see what was up. Rob headed home from work. I called a friend; could she watch the kids for a couple of hours? It was probably nothing, but best to go in to get checked out. By 11:30 we had arrived at the birth center and the awesome mid-wife was informing me that she would be moving things along today and I would be having a baby today. First I needed to get those antibiotics though. After finding out that we were planning on going home to settle kids and tie up loose ends she decided that checking me would be a good idea (just in case I was farther along that we thought). Nearly 6cm and bulging bag of waters- this time my contractions seemed to be moving things along!
We went home to get a few things done and met up with the baby sitter who would be going to pick up the kids and bring them home from the friend's house. We had lunch and ran a few errands. From time to time I started to wonder if maybe my body was kicking things into gear on its own, but then again maybe not it still didn't feel like much was happening....
I was ready and waiting at the birth center for the mid-wife, and my water was broken by 4:00. When she broke my water she found that I was nearly 7cm. It seems that now, when I'm finally in labor, I didn't feel like I was. Funny. Good thing I got things moving when I did this morning or we may have had a mad dash at the end there to get Rob home, kids with the sitter and me to the birth center. Things moved along quickly ofter that. The nurse asked if I wanted the tub filled, I said she may as well. By about 4:40 I was thinking that tub sounded like a great idea; the contractions were getting stronger and I was starting to feel that nasty back labor I always get. As soon as I got in the tub the back labor went away and never came back. A few minutes later I could tell things were starting to move along, Rob had Miss E get the mid-wife. We all chatted between contractions until I needed to rest between them. Soon I was feeling like I wanted to push, so I did. My mid-wife could tell I'd started pushing and came to my side. Miss A was born into the water and brought up all clean and pretty onto my chest at 5:15 pm, just 1 hr and 15 minutes after breaking my water. Moments later Miss J was summoned to the room so she could be a part of the birth.
Within about 5 minutes I was cleaned up and in bed. Miss A (as well as her cord and placenta) were all wrapped up and in Daddy's arms ready to receive guests. The rest of the kids joined us so that they could cut the cord, or at least watch. We had three takers on cutting the cord, but one backed out at the last minute. Mr. M and Miss J did a great job cutting the cord.
The kids came with cupcakes and a gift. We had a little birthday party for her.
The kids got the chance to check her out and hold her too, then they headed home with our incredible baby sitter who spent the night with them.
*I was absolutely thrilled with the birth center experience. I loved that they took great care of us, but were as hands off as we wanted them to be. I loved the freedom and flexibility we had. The water birth was amazing, it was the easiest birth I've had yet (and my births have all been quite easy). The kids appreciated being able to be as involved as we would let them be and how excited the mid-wife and nurse were to have them there with us.