Baby Olive is here! Wait until you all hear this birth story. I can hardly believe it myself.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had some early or false labor at 36 weeks after having the stomach flu. Once it all subsided, I was checked by my midwife, and I was dilated 5.5cm at 36 weeks, 6 days. Then, on New Year's Eve (38 weeks, 3 days), I had about 4 more hours of contractions. The early labor contractions were mild-to-moderate in intensity by my judgment.
Last night (1/6/13), we went to bed right after Penny did. We had had Penny's birthday party the day before, so I was glad we had made it through that, but I was really hoping baby would be born soon because of my discomfort with walking. I wasn't looking forward to hobbling around all week chasing after Penny. I did have a bit of a feeling that baby would be born last night, but I wasn't sure if it was just because I really wanted that to happen. At 10:45pm, I woke up with a really intense contraction. I had a few right on top of each other, and I thought this must be it. They were definitely more intense than the early labor ones, and there was no way I could lie down through them. I was working hard right from the get-go. I told Josh that I thought I was in labor for real, and I got up to walk around a bit. He got the birth ball out for me and made us some pb&j. I didn't want to call the midwife right away just because I had had so many false starts, but at 11:15, I decided I needed to call her. At that point, I had timed 7 contractions in 30 minutes, ranging from 30-90 sec and between 2.5 and 10 minutes apart. This was the same type of labor I'd had with Penny–no regularity whatsoever, just random intervals and durations. My midwife suggested that I get in the bath and call her back in half an hour just to make sure it was real labor. I was pretty sure it was real labor, but I did what she recommended.
After 20 minutes in the bathtub, I had to get out. I was having a really hard time getting comfortable in our tiny bathtub, and I needed to move around. I told Josh he better start filling the birth tub (sort of wondering why he hadn't started doing that already), and I called my midwife back. I told her that the contractions were still intense. She said she would be right over, and she lives nearby. I had timed 11 contractions between 11:15 and midnight, ranging from 30-90sec and 2-5 min apart.
Josh started filling the birth tub, and I was still working really hard through contractions. I was uncomfortable, but I was trying hard to do what I knew how to do and stay calm and focused. I felt a little bit like nobody was really understanding how uncomfortable I was or how close I felt to having the baby. Josh and the midwife both seemed like they had no sense of urgency. Josh did tell me that he thought I was being a bit dramatic when I said that the baby was coming soon.
At about 12:30, the midwife arrived. I had timed 8 more contractions in that half hour and would have 4 more by 12:40. She walked in and started talking to Josh about parking, and he got on the phone to get the parking situation resolved. I was starting to feel a twinge of needing to push, so I was sitting on the toilet, but I didn't actually push. I went back into the bedroom where the midwife and the birth tub were. The tub was about 1/3 of the way full. I started having another contraction and was leaning on the dresser. My midwife had me lie down on the bed on my side, and I relaxed. That was the last contraction I timed, which was 12:40. When it was over, she told me to get undressed and get in the tub.
Josh was not in the room, and I was like "Where is Josh?". The midwife
didn't answer, but apparently he was about to go move her car. The midwife's assistant wasn't there yet. The midwife was making up the bed, and Josh walked into the room. I started having my first contraction in the pool, and I felt like I needed to push hard. I was like "I need to push. OMG the baby is coming." My midwife stayed calm and told me to go ahead and push. I felt down there and could feel the head. I was like "I feel the head! She's coming!" I pushed a little cautiously because I knew it could cause tearing to push too hard too fast. I tried to push gently, but at the same time, it was totally primal. I just had to listen to my body and do it. But basically, one push and she was out. Her little head came through and then her body, and my midwife told me to reach down and grab my baby as I was doing so. She just slipped right out, and I think being in the tub really helped to make her entrance smooth.
I was in complete shock that she came so quickly. I knew I was close, but I pushed for 40 minutes with Penny. I never dreamed I would push once and have a baby. I just kept laughing and shouting things like "OMG" "She's here!" "I can't believe that just happened!" It was completely unreal. Two hours of labor, one push, the midwife was there 10 minutes before the birth, Josh almost missed it, and the assistant did miss it! She arrived half an hour later.
Olive Viola was born at about 12:45am on 1/7/13. None of us actually looked at the clock right away, so it could have been a minute or two before that. Her middle name was my husband's grandmother's name. I guess my water broke as she came out–I could see the broken membrane in the water, but I never noticed it break. I delivered the placenta a few minutes later in the water and then transferred to the bed shortly afterwards while Josh held her skin-to-skin. Olive screamed for awhile as she tried to latch, but she eventually figured it out. Penny slept soundly and peacefully through the whole thing. Olive is another little peanut at 6lb 13oz and 20" long, almost the exact same stats as Penny. Also, both girls were born on Mondays the first week of January with all odd-numbered birthdates: 1/3/11 and 1/7/13.
The birth team stayed until about 3:30am completing paperwork and monitoring me and Olive. Her first diaper was a cloth one–a Bumgenius newborn lovelace, and her first outfit was the only newborn outfit we had that wasn't a hand-me-down from Penny. They made sure I was able to get up, walk, and use the bathroom before they left, and they checked stats on both of us a few times. It was amazing to be able to sleep in our own bed right away and have all of the comforts of home. It was a good thing I planned a home birth because I think I would have had one either way!
We all got a few hours' sleep. In the morning, Penny came running into our room like she usually does saying "I had a good nap!" We said, "Look who's here, Penny", and she smiled big and said "baby sister! I want to hold her." Baby Olive had a gift for Penny–a new baby doll, which Penny thought was pretty cool. She is a very proud big sister.