The baby was “due” June 27, 2006, but Paul and I assumed he or she would be a little late, so we had been telling everyone “late June/early July.” Even though I had convinced myself the baby would come in July, I still hoped for a June delivery. July arrived before the baby did, and I was getting more and more anxious as the days went by. I wasn't really having any signs of labor, which was a little discouraging. Thursday July 6th I lost a lot of mucous plug. I was so excited! I went to the midwife for a non-stress test that afternoon and was having lots of regular contractions; nothing strong, but at least there was SOME sign of labor now. Friday and Saturday I lost more mucous, but still no real contractions.
morning I called the midwife
(Evelyn) to talk to her about taking castor oil to get labor going. She
said that there was another mother in labor, and asked me to
hold off until Sunday so that we wouldn't both be in labor at the
Sunday morning I woke up with a strong contraction, went to the bathroom and noticed some bloody show. I was really excited at this stronger sign of impending labor, and I decided not to take the castor oil. I talked to Evelyn to let her know what was going on, and we were hopeful we would have a baby that day.
Around noon I started having regular contractions. They were strong, but still spaced somewhat far apart. As another hour went by they were getting closer together and around 2:15 Paul and I decided to call Evelyn. In the past I have waited so long in labor to call the midwife, I would get to the birth center and push immediately. Since we were planning a homebirth, and the midwives had a good distance to drive to get there, I wanted to call early enough to give them time. At the same time though I was worried about calling so early in labor.
Maybe it was my fear – or maybe it was something else, but soon after I called, my labor slowed down significantly. The contractions were coming farther apart and weren't as strong. They were still strong when I had them, just not the strong regular contractions I had felt earlier. I was becoming really discouraged. My neighbor and I went out for a walk, and I had a few contractions that stopped me, but these didn't feel like active labor. I went home and cried a bit. I even tried to call Evelyn to tell her not to come, but her cell phone must have been out of range.
Paul decided to send the boys over to a neighbor's house to play for a while. He dropped them off and told the neighbor that we were not sure what was happening. (Claire wanted to be present for the birth, but Owen & Andrew wanted to play at their friend's house instead.)
When Evelyn & Lora arrived they immediately knew something wasn't right. Lora said, “You're not in labor!” I said, “I know. But I was!” I was on the verge of tears. They decided to leave most of their equipment downstairs and come up and check me. I was 5 cm! At least this labor of fits and starts was doing something. But the problem seemed to be that my cervix was very posterior and with each contraction, instead of the baby's head pushing down on my cervix it was just pushing down. There wasn't any direct pressure on the cervix to help speed things along. During a contraction Evelyn helped to tilt my uterus and bring the cervix forward so that the baby's head was pushing on it.
seemed instantaneous. Within minutes my contractions were very close
together and very
strong. This was at about 5:00 PM. (And the equipment seemed to
start appearing from downstairs rather quickly!) I got a dose of
antibiotics because I was GBS+ and I started dealing with the
contractions. I immediately needed help through them, and Paul was
great. We called my friend Susan who was coming to help out with
Claire as needed, and to capture the birth with video and/or photos.
I was managing some contractions on the birth ball, I tried leaning over the birth ball for a while, but my back got tired. I tried lying down, but it wasn't comfortable. I sat on the edge of my bed for a while and that worked OK if Paul squeezed my body, pushing my shoulder and lower back toward eachother. (No idea why that worked). I was chatty throughout labor, up until the very end really.
After a while
I got in the shower, and
that felt good, but I was getting tired. Paul brought the birth ball
in for me to sit on in the shower and that was heavenly. We have a
stall shower and I sat on the ball and leaned back under the spray of
water so that it was hitting my belly – sort of like sitting behind
a water fall. Unfortunately the shower kept filling up and we didn't
want it to flood, so I had to stand up to let it drain every now and
then. Sometime while I was in there Paul started filling up the tub
in case I wanted to use it.
I got out of
the shower and laid on the
bed for a while. I was feeling VERY pushy and was pushing a little
through each of my contractions. It was the only thing that made the
pain manageable. Evelyn checked me and I was 8 cm. I decided to get
in the tub for a little while. I managed several contractions this
way (probably a lot of them) and it was OK. It was nice to feel my
belly float instead of weighing heavily on my back. Paul and I were
alone in the bathroom during all of this and I said to him, “After
the next contraction I want to get out. This isn't working any
more.” So the next contraction came, and I started to gear up for
getting out of the tub, but then I shouted, “The baby is coming!” The
baby was right there... I didn't get out of the tub, instead I
pushed. My water broke with an amazing pop and at 8:08 PM, after
about two minutes of pushing, Margaret was born. Just three hours
after my labor resumed.
I peeked at the baby and exclaimed, “It's a Girl!” Claire screamed! She was SO excited. She later told me that she was sure it would be a girl since I was wearing a pink shirt when labor began.
Claire cut the baby's cord and I was getting ready to get out of the tub when I had another contraction. I stood up and Evelyn caught the placenta in a bowl. I was surprised at how quickly the placenta was delivered. Before moving over to my bed I quickly rinsed off in the shower, put a shirt on and went to the bed.
beautifully from the
start. She was so alert and beautiful, it was amazing to sit and
About an hour of nursing went by. Paul called our neighbor to ask her to bring the boys home. They came in and were thrilled to meet their new baby sister. My friend next door saw extra cars in the driveway and camera flashes through my bedroom window and she came in to meet the baby too. We weighed Maggie and she weighed in at 8lbs 15oz. She is 20 inches long and has a 14 inch head. She is by far the tiniest of our babies and it is so neat to see the 0-3 month size clothes actually be baggy on her!
Leslie took the kids out of
the room to get the boys settled down for bed and shortly thereafter,
things got a little chaotic. I was feeling very hot, and was gushing
a lot of blood. Lora gave me a shot of pitocin to help clamp my
uterus down and after a little while I went to the bathroom to try to
empty my bladder to help the uterus contract. On the toilet I
started feeling faint and Evelyn waved ammonia under my nose. I was
“with-it” enough to try to swat her hand away – boy that stuff
smells bad! She moved me to the bathroom floor to lie down for a
bit. Once I was lying down I felt MUCH better, but I was scared. After
a little bit I crawled over to my bed and Evelyn put in an IV
of pitocin and fluids. Once I had some fluid in me I was feeling
By the time the IV was done I finally had a burst of energy and wanted to call people to tell them about the birth. Unfortunately it was midnight! I did call a few people I knew would be up though.
Evelyn gave me six methergine tablets to take over the next 24 hours to ensure my uterus would stay contracted and it did. Boy did it ever! The midwives went home around 1 in the morning I think and I had such a high I couldn't sleep at all. I slept for about an hour and spent the rest of the time gazing at my cutesie little baby.
The kids are
in love with Margaret. Claire doesn't want to leave her side, loves to
pick out her clothes
and wants to hold her all day long. Owen loves to hold Maggie and
wants to cuddle her at night. Andrew thinks she's neat, holds her
from time to time, but mainly is enjoying his time with Daddy at