Tuesday, July 20th was my estimated due date, but I had no signs of imminent labor, and aside from being anxious to meet my baby and wanting my mom to be around for the birth, I was actually content to still be pregnant. I went to the chiropractor that morning and had my back adjusted, but my chiropractor also performed some labor inducing acupressure on my palms and legs. My mom and sister also periodically did some acupressure techniques that we found. Other than some crampiness that seemed normal these days, nothing appeared to be happening.
After we picked my daughter up from daycare, I was going into the kitchen to fix her a plate for dinner. It was a little after 5:30. I felt a gush when I went to lift my leg over the child gate. My brother and sister asked "what was that?" because apparently there was an audible "pop," but I didn't hear it. I called my midwife's apprentice and let her know. Since the water was clear and I hadn't had any contractions, she suggested that I eat and rest and let them know when contractions started, otherwise they'd call me in the morning to check in.
I ate, but I felt pretty excitable so I tried listening to my birthing day affirmations to relax. Well, between the dvd player skipping on the cd and intermittent gushes of fluid, I couldn't relax too well. I did have a couple contractions while listening though. I came downstairs, deciding to just watch TV and time any contractions that came. They did start, and were pretty intense but totally erratic. 8min, 14min, 5min, 30min! I decided to call Allyson (the midwifery apprentice) back because with the broken water variable, I didn't really have a clue about when I should call them to come. She and the midwife, April, decided that she would stop by to listen to the baby before I tried to go to bed and come up with a plan from there. I helped get my daughter ready for bed, and while I was standing moving around, the pressure waves became consistently closer together, but less intense. I wasn't sure which was better, and did a combination of sitting on the birth ball and pacing. By the time Allyson arrived just after nine, it felt real and like it was going to happen tonight, that there would be no going to bed for me. She listened to the baby through a contraction, watched me, and decided she wouldn't be going home and would call April. I felt like I needed to get upstairs and sit on the toilet before the intensity found me stuck downstairs! I found toilet really effective for laboring with my daughter.
So I propped my pillow up on the back of the toilet and sat down backwards. I had my husband put my "Deepening" cd in and I began moaning low through the contractions, thinking "relax, release, open," being conscious of relaxing my jaw and shoulders. I don't know when April arrived, but soon Allyson, April and my husband were offering me sips of water, wiping my brow and neck and fanning me. Then a pressure wave hit me where I could really feel the baby's head coming down. I didn't say anything though, because I felt like it was too soon and that I was imagining it. But then the next pressure wave made me push at the end. I told April. She said to just listen to my body, and said if I wanted, I could reach down and see if I could feel anything. They hadn't checked me at all, so I was curious. I went ahead and felt around and there was something immediately inside my birth canal. It felt too squishy to be a head, but since my water was broken, I thought it must be the baby. I went through one more pushy wave on the toilet and as soon as it subsided, I immediately moved to the chux-pad draped area set up for me in front of our bed. I would push just enough to feel relief during the beginning of a pressure wave, but by the end, my body was almost in spasm forcing me to push harder. My hypnobabies was really helping with my perception of the birth canal hugging and stretching over the baby's head, rather than focusing on the size disparity between a baby's head and a vagina. And then there was another pop! I guess there was still a bit of sac in front that burst, and that was what I had touched earlier. I felt an intense stretching feeling and had to kind of pant to keep from pushing really hard. Out came the head, which was relieving, but I remembered my daughter sliding on out with barely a push at that point, and this baby was still in there pretty good. This ended up giving my sister enough time to wake up my daughter. Next pressure wave, I birthed the shoulders and baby had a fist curled up by the neck, so that's why the rest of the body didn't just slide out. Damon caught the baby and announced that we had a boy! Happy Birthday! He was born less than 5hrs from my water breaking, 3.5hrs from the onset of contractions, and 24min after that first "pushy" pressure wave. I didn't tear at all, but did get an abrasion, likely from the fist curled up under his chin. I sat back and we just rubbed and kissed on him. He built into a good cry since he was still attached. Big sister wanted to touch and kiss him but was taken aback by the newborn slime LOL She also took a little convincing that it was in fact a brother, not a sister, but she was excited and happy none-the-less. Within 10min, I had delivered the placenta and I took a shower while they did all the measuring and wiped him down. Then we climbed into bed and Bauer latched on and nursed like a champ practically all night! So in love with our new little man!
My only complaint about my 2nd wonderful birth experience is the afterpains. The cramping is intense, even with staggering tylenol and ibuprofen. I heard that it's worse with each subsequent birth, but I was still surprised.