On February 21st, I'm at 40+4. I'm home alone with my two girls Émilie 3 years old and Chloé 17 months old. Daddy Simon's at work. The day before, I had an appointment with one of my midwives, Maggie, and she gave me a good stretch and sweep and told me I would not pass the weekend. The morning of the 21st I sent an email to my doula, Nelia, to make sure she was available and close if things started (I guess I had a strong feeling). Around 2 pm, I get a really strong contraction, the strongest so far with this pregnancy. I even had tears in my eyes. Of course, my 17 month old decided that in the peak of the contraction, was the best time to have a Mommy-take-me-in-your-arms-right-now-or-i'll-cry-and-scream-for-an-hour..... fit. Then I got another contraction, and another. Ok i'm starting the timer... 3 minutes, 6 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes.. hmmm could it be?
I sent another email to Nelia, told her what was happening, and she called me right away. She thought I was in labor. She asked me if I wanted her to come now, I would get a break with the girls while daddy would be on his way. Ok in about 30 minutes she will be there, I tell Dad on msn come home, I think this is it!
When Nelia arrived, the girls were so excited! Chloé asked to be picked up and stayed in her arms for a long while and Émilie gave her a tour of the house (cutie). We worked through early labor managing the girls, they knew something was happening, Chloé especially wanted lots of extra care.
When Dad arrived, he took over as promised (he was going to be our man servant and caretaker hehe). We went upstairs for some quiet time. I called my midwife and she came in the early evening, as well as the birth photographer.
When my midwife Jaquie checked me, I was at 3 cms (1 more than the day before). So I continued contracting, I felt a lot of pressure on the cervix as well. Émilie was so excited with all the people in the house that she wanted to come and join us. Dad also brought up a platter of fruit, chocolate and doughnuts, as well as water bottles (I had already set up a tea and coffee station in the room). The girls came in and out of the room with innocent curiosity (to use Nelia's words).
At one point though I had to ask that Émilie leave because she was too hyper and it was bothering me a bit, I was not concentrating on my contractions as much, I got distracted.
So it went on, we talked in between contractions, it was very pleasant, we laughed at what I was wearing (white underwear, bright pink tank top and brown bootie slippers). Two hours have passed, Jaquie gives me another check up to see how things are progressing. Nothing changed, still at 3 cms and still thick. So she left to try and get some rest (it was around 8 pm) because it seemed that a couple of other babies were preparing their grand entrance that night as well. The photographer left to get some rest as well.
I was bummed a bit, I did not want things to stop.
So it was just me and Nelia then. We had a relaxing and peaceful time together. I put on some music, a Robert Plant and Alyson Krauss album (Raising Sand) we listened to it 4-5 times I think and baby was moving like a maniac every time the song, "Gone Gone Gone" came on and every time I got a contraction. I also went on Facebook to chat with some friends. I had told them that baby was probably on his way and they were so excited. They loved a belly picture I posted them on the spot HAHA.
At around 10 pm things started to really slow down. Contractions spaced to about every 20 minutes.
My body was tired, and letting me know. After Nelia let me sleep for a little while, she told me that things had slowed, and that we could let them progress in this way or we could try to get back.
So we decided to flip over after each contraction because every time I changed positions, the contractions would come again. That worked and got things closer, but still not at the frequency and intensity needed. She suggested the breast pump and I agreed. I plugged it on the right breast for about 5 minutes and BAM I flung myself on my right side, taking a really strong contraction that took us both by surprise! I took 2 more back-to-back right there. So we called Jaquie again (around 11 pm). The contractions were 6 minutes apart. She returned in the wee hours of the morning. Since no one knew how fast things would progress (this being my third baby) all the midwives were called, as well as the photographer Leeanne.
Jaquie checked me and I was at 5 cm and about 40% effaced. ONLY THAT?! Câlisse! (in other words ..f***), At least I was in active labour now!
The other midwife, Kathleen and her student Meredith arrived then, as well as Leanne.
Kathleen left soon after arriving to go check another mother in early labour not far from my house.
So I started moving through labour. I was very active in my body, went in the tub, sat on the ball, used the birth stool, drank water etc. The best position was squating on my knees (kind of like a frog) but my knees got tired fast, so I had to keep moving around. I went back to the tub and had another check up, I was at 6 cms and 70% effaced, Why is it taking so long? My body is playing tricks on me GRRR!
We discussed breaking my waters, but she wanted to wait for Kathleen to come back and that I get to 7 cms.
I got out of the tub then took a few contractions on the bathroom floor, and a few on the floor in my bedroom (still squating). I remember at this point looking in the room (between two really painful contractions) everybody was sipping tea and chatting, while supporting me. It was such a pleasant birth!
The contractions were really painful now, I mean REALLY painful. I was crying and losing control a bit. Nelia and Jaquie were both helping me throught this part, I needed to come back or I would have lost it! I was tired and losing mental strength.
Kathleen came back then. I was now sitting on the ball and letting a few F***'s out here and there! And the the TABARNACK's came. Oh they all found it funny to ear me swear in french HAHA. I wanted to go in the bed at that point and take some contractions on my side. I knew it could slow the contractions, but I didn't care. I needed a break! Jaquie told me she would examine me between two contractions. I was now at 7 cms so she decided to break my waters (it was 7:06 am). BAM strong contractions (3 I think)! I was screaming my heart out, hitting the pillow and towards the end of the last contraction. "OH I'm pushing, gosh I'm pushing, I feel the baby coming, I feel it really well too!!''
Jaquie checked me and I was at 10 cms and fully effaced, but there was a lip of the cervix that wouldn't move. She told me ''You are going to have to push on your hands and knees we need this lip to move.''
So here we go, I'm on my knees in my bed, holding Nelia's hands so hard (I even broke the skin a bit with my nails, so sorry Nelia =S).
First contraction, crowning.
Second contraction, head born.
Third contraction, shoulders passed and baby's born!
It's 7:18 am
I pick him up, I'm holding him tight. I'm in love again, of course! They are moving me in the bed to get me confortable and take the bloody sheets off the bed, but I'm locked with him, nothing else matters!
He wants the breast. I feel it, so I help him a bit and he latches on (he stayed on for a good hour I think).
It took 12 minutes from breaking my waters to baby being born!! =O
Placenta came out fast and easy and I cut the cord myself!
I was checked to see if I needed stiches (only 3 small ones) and I giggled the whole time (whaaaat?, I'm ticklish!) Everybody thought that was funny haha!
When we were presentable, Simon and the girls came up. Émilie had been asking to come see the baby since 6:30 am! She jump in bed and was amazed by her brother. She wanted to kiss him and hold him. Chloé was more quiet, at first she was more concerned with all the people in the room, but when she saw him, her face lit up and she was very curious. Simon looked proud and happy, his third child, his first boy!
We calmed down and examined baby, he weighed 9.7 pounds and was 53.5 cm (21.1 inches).
After that we slept well. I looked at him for a while with a smile on my face and then slept, he was already fast asleep at the breast. =)
What an adventure!