WARNING - This is extremely long, detailed and probably TMI. Well better late then never I guess. This is mostly for my benefit for later on down the road.
Friday I had already decided would be my last day of work. It was my due date so I figured something would happen in the next week anyway. Since I knew when I conceived I felt we were getting pretty close to the end. I figured that I would have some of the next week to finish Cletus' room and get ready for him. Of course everyone knows I was wrong.
Saturday I was really tired and that afternoon started having bloody show. I called my dad to see if he would be available still to dog sit that night. He was leaving on Sunday for Pittsburgh and the dogs would have to be boarded the next day if nothing happened. I started having more contractions that evening but they quit again around 10. So I went to bed.
Around 1:45 am Sunday I started having contractions again. They were stronger but sporadic. Around 4 am they were getting stronger and 5 min apart consistently. I woke Rich up to tell him and he promptly fell back to sleep. I said a few curse words and let him sleep. At this time I made a deal with Cletus that he needed to wait until later that day because we needed to get the dogs to the kennel. He needed to wait until 10 am until they opened. Weird enough that the contractions stopped at 6 am and I got some sleep until about 10:30 when they started again.
We got the dogs ready to go and dropped them off around noon. I was still having contractions pretty consistent at 4-5 min apart but not too bad yet. When we got back home I got on the birth ball we had here and started really feeling the contractions. I told Rich to call the Dr and find out what to do. He called and Dr. G said to come in. This is where I got really nervous. I was afraid we would call the birth center and we wouldn't be able to get in again. I had Rich call again and they said to come on in. I started crying because it was like everything was meant to be. The week before when we went to the hospital and the birth center couldn't take us, it was just meant to be.
So we got everything together including all Rich's snacks and left for the hospital. Rich surprised with a CD of music he had made for us about it being our time now and having a baby. Of course, this made me cry as well.
We parked in the garage at the hospital and went right up to the birth center. We were given the third room at the end. We got there around 2:30pm on Sunday. We got checked in and paperwork was done. They checked me and I was 3-4 and 100% effaced. The nurse suggested we start walking the halls to try and get things going. So we did. We would walk for a 1/2 hr or more and then come back to rest and for monitoring. Every hour they would check Cletus' heart rate to make sure he was handling labor ok. So this went on for hours. I was checked again before the nurse left at 7:00 pm. Still 3-4 cm. A little discouraging but not too bad yet. The next nurse was really nice. She walked with us and showed us some new places to walk to the regular hospital and some different positions to use to try and get the baby down. The contractions were getting more painful and more intense as the night goes on.
At 10:30 pm I was still 3-4 cm and very discouraged. I started talking about induction with pitocin and an epidural. Even though my goal was natural childbirth in the water I felt myself hit that wall. I was exhausted and ready to give in. This is when some friends of ours brought Rich some food and gave me some encouragement. Especially since they brought their little guy and I remembered what all this was for.
I should explain the whole food situation. Rich gets very crabby and grumpy if he doesn't eat. So I was concerned that if he didn't eat he would be a grouch and useless to me. We had packed tons of snacks for him and he was able to order food from the hospital and just pay for it. I was also able to eat during labor which was nice as well.
Around 2:30 am Monday I think the nurse knew it was getting bad for me. I wasn't really walking around or leaving the room anymore. I was just sitting on the birth ball and dealing with contractions that way. She asked me if I wanted her to call Dr. G and see if he would let me have a shot to help me get some rest. I agreed since I was still at 3-4 and was totally exhausted from contractions and walking the halls. I got the shot around 3:00 am and was able to rest some. I wasn't able to rest a ton since the contractions were still there just not as intense and Rich was snoring really loud next to me in the bed. I did feel some what better when Dr. G came to see me at 6:30 am.
Dr. G checked me then and I was 7 cm. That was encouraging since I hadn't moved since getting to the hospital the day before. I think that was just what I needed to motivate me. Dr. G asked if I wanted him to break my water, I declined at that time. This is hilarious as I told him not to break it then since I hadn't eaten since 7:00 the night before and I wanted breakfast.
So I ate some cereal and toast and we started walking again. We ran into Dr. W and he said whenever I was ready he would come down and break my water. I also got new nurses at this time. I got the nurse from yesterday afternoon back and a new nurse from the ER that was training for the birth center. She was annoying at first with her strong perfume and her condescending tone, but she ended up being very good at the end.
At 10:30 am Dr. W came down to check me as I said I as ready to have the water broken. I was 8 cm then and ready to get the show on the road. It had already been 24hrs of contractions and labor.
This part I haven't told very many people as it is the worst part of the labor and the scariest. After Dr. W broke my water they checked for Cletus' heart tones. The first nurse couldn't find them. I wasn't too concerned yet. It was the new nurse and she wasn't very experienced with the monitor. The experienced nurse started looking then. She also had trouble. At this point I am starting to panic. Dr. W was taking my pulse as well since that is what they were picking up on the monitor. I just kept looking at Rich and he wasn't panicked yet, but I certainly was. It seemed like this took forever but was probably just a few minutes. When they finally found it I started bawling hysterically. I just kept saying we waited too long for this to end badly. The nurses kept telling me to calm down but I couldn't. I was so afraid I made the wrong decision letting the Dr break my water and that I would be responsible for whatever happened.
After this my contractions really get intense and on top of each other so I told the nurses I was ready to get in the tub. The filled the huge jacuzzi tub up and finally I was ready to get in. The Dr and nurses had already made a bet that I would have a lunchtime baby considering how my contractions picked up in intensity after breaking my water.
I got in the tub and that was a huge relief. It felt so good in there. It was nice and warm and felt good to get that weight off my stomach. So the nurses left to get things ready for delivery and told me to let them know when I felt the urge to push. They left the room and the next contraction I felt the need to push. I can't describe what it feels like but you just know it. So Rich said what should we do. And he decided to pull the emergency cord by the tub. Evidently this alerts the nurses in the regular maternity ward and 4 nurses came running. Our nurses told them everything was ok and sent them away. Our nurses then told us that one of them would always be in the bathroom or in the room from then on.
At this point they checked me since I kept saying I needed to push. The new nurse said that I must be complete since I had been in control pretty much the entire time and now I was loosing the control. The nurse checked me and said I just had a little lip of cervix left and I couldn't push yet. This was a blow since I felt the need to push. The contractions were on top of each other and very intense at this point. I kept telling Rich and the nurses I needed to push and they kept telling me no.
Then I decided that the water was too cold and I wanted to get out. So I attempted to get out I was halfway out and realized that it sucked to try and get out of the water. It was way more painful outside of the water. So the nurse drained some water and added some more warmer water and turned the Jacuzzi back on. The waves and bubbles were a nice distraction for me. Plus they had this blow up pool toy that was shaped like a ring. It had bright flowers on it and I would stare at that during the contractions.
At this point my body was really telling me to push but the nurses kept checking gme and saying no. They also were checking me during contractions. At one point I had to tell the nurse to stop and get out since it hurt too much.
I was also saying repeatedly I had to push. Rich said at one point I was repeating I have to push but I goofed and said I pushed. But the funny thing is I caught myself and I only said I pus.. then changed it to I have to push. I don't remember this but could see myself doing it. I know that I did push a little bit a few time to relieve some of the pressure.
Finally I got the all clear to push and I just let it go. It felt so much better to push. I got about 2-3 pushes every contraction. Rich had gotten out to go to the bathroom right before I started pushing. He got back in and some point to help me.
I started really pushing once Dr. W got there. He had Rich sit behind me and I guess one time I leaned back into him to far and cut off his oxygen supply. He told me he couldn't breathe then later. Dr. W then had me sit on Rich's lap while he sat Indian style. That helped some and really helped me push. Then Rich put his legs out in front of him and I was sitting on him thighs. I was also gripping them hard. Rich said they still hurt a couple weeks later. Dr. W told me to curl around the baby and push. 2 pushes later Cameron fka Cletus came flying out into the water. Rich said he felt him hit his foot. There was no stopping for the shoulders or anything he just flew out in one shot. Dr. W reached down and put him on my chest. It was so we rid to still feel him connected by the cord inside me and see him on the outside.
They had told us that water babies don't usually cry and don't be alarmed if he doesn't. Cameron just looked around and up at us and didn't make a peep. Rich was crying and all I said was he had Rich's nose. He started crying a little after Rich cut the cord and Dr. W said there is nothing like a baby's cry. I agreed and said it was so worth the 4 yr wait.
They took Cletus to do all the newborn stuff and helped me out of the tub. I got out finally and bright red blood was pouring out of me. I asked the nurse if that was normal and she said yes, but didn't look convincing. Rich later told me the reason this happened is because the placenta was falling out. I don't remember pushing it out at all so it must have just fallen out.
Dr. W checked me to see if I had a tear. I did a 2nd degree on and he pulled out the big needle to numb me. I about fainted at the point since I had just pushed a baby out and it hurt down there. He also didn't get me numb all the way and I felt the last 3 stitches. I just kept looking at Rich and Cletus to not concentrate on the pain.
The birth experience was exactly what I wanted - a natural birth in the water. I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was the most unbelievable experience I have ever had. One thing that still shocks me to this day - I never once cused or said anything mena to Rich or anyone else. I usually have a foul mouth on me, but it didn't happen this time.