Sunday, May 5th I started having some stronger Braxton Hicks contractions that I had to actually stop and breath through. They came that way Monday, Tuesday
and Wednesday, although Tuesday they started to get a little more crampy. Wednesday was my appointment with my midwife Lisa Ellingford, which I was glad so we could see where I was at. My blood pressure was slightly up and I again had a trace of leukocytes in my urine (they had been showing up for the past couple of months at all my appointments). Lisa initially checked me and said I wasn't dialated at all **sigh** and that I had a posterior cervix. Well, we decided to have her pull my cervix forward and hold it there, which would help make my contractions more effective and less crampy. When she went in to pull my cervix forward she said I was easily a 2+ possible a 3 in dilation and was very soft. At this point I passed some of my mucus plug.
I went home and continued contracting most of the evening, but in a very irregular pattern. I was slightly nervous as I suddenly started to realize that labor may come sooner than I had planned. I was still five days out from my due date and I had expected to be at least a week or two late. I got a roast going that evening so I could freeze it and have it ready as a post labor meal. I also cooked up a large pot of homemade chicken and veggie soup and put that in the freezer so I'd have some healthy meals for a couple of days (meals was definitely not my strength in this pregnancy).
Thursday morning the contractions became more regular at about every ten minutes and 1 1/2 – 2 minutes long... they were still pretty crampy too so the whole posterior vs non-posterior cervix didn't really have an impact on me although by this point my cervix had probably slipped back to posterior. I called Lisa at 9:45am and she decided to come over with her daughter Bri. When Lisa arrived I was dilated to a 4... progress. Dirk had left with the kids for awhile so Lisa sent Brianna home and stayed with me so she could prep and get things ready. I was still in shock that I was probably going to have my baby this day (it was Thursday, May 9th). I was so grateful Lisa had stayed with me because my contractions were getting more intense and during each one she would stop doing her preparations and rub my back... this was a lifesaver!
At about 2:30pm she said I was at a 7+ so she called Dirk and said he'd better get back home. He left Eli and Ivy with his dad and sister Heather. My mother-in-law Carol was at work.
When Dirk got home we got me into the birthing tub (this is all happening in my bedroom) which really helped take the edge off of the contractions. I leaned against the tub and he pressed on my back... it was nice. I only stayed in there for about 15 – 20 minutes although I'm not sure why I didn't stay in longer.
Finally, at about 7pm, I was fully dilated to a 10, but baby was not descended. Lisa decided to break my water (which she tried to do like three times and then finally had to use this really sharp thingy to do it), which helped intensify the contractions, but baby seemed to still be high. Lisa then brought in two kitchen chairs and explained that she wanted me to drape my arms over the chairs as they lifted me in a squatting position and also pushed my hips in at the same time. Baby was apparently caught on my pubic bone (or pelvis bone?) which was keeping him from descending (I had this same issue with Ivy, but didn't realize it was my body and not just random) so pressing on my hips would help open up the pathway for baby to come down. Up until this point, I had pretty much not moved from my bed and from my right side except to get into the birthing tub. I was in too much pain and too weak to move. So as Lisa is explaining what she wants me to do I think “Dear Lord, please find another way. Please get me through this without having to move... I cannot move.”
Then, for some reason Dirk rolled me to my back and pulled my left leg up high and Carol my other leg and Lisa says “Maria, you are a 10 so if you feel the urge to push, go ahead and push.” So I thought that on my next contraction, whether or not I felt the urge to push, I was going to push. So I pushed. HARD. Then I told everyone there wasn't baby but I was going to poop all over to which Lisa checked with a gauze pad and there was actually no stool so Lisa says “You're feeling baby so go ahead and keep pushing.” I continued at that point to push HARD on every contraction although I never felt the super urge to push until I had already been pushing for awhile. Finally someone said “Hair” or “head” or something and I thought “Thank you Lord... I can do this!” It took 32 minutes of sheer, utter (pain) to push little Emmitt out. The only relief at this point was in the knowledge that he would be out soon and I would have relief! This was by far the hardest part and I discovered I like to yell during labor. I honestly didn't know if I would live through this part (not meaning to scare anyone... maybe I have a low pain tolerance?).
When Emmitt came out he was quite wrapped in the cord & was black and blue. They immediately laid him on my chest & he started to pink up, but they also had give me oxygen and had some blowing on Emmitt too.
Oh beautiful glorious baby! I was so thankful we did it and were alive! What a beautiful amazing blessing! I felt so close to heaven in that moment in so many ways!
God gave me this blessing. I wanted it this was so very intensly and the Lord knew my heart. He guided me every step of the way and that includes bringing our midwife Lisa Ellingford into our lives. Without her, I'm sure I would not have chosen to go forward with a home birth. She's an amazing midwife!
Dirk did an amazing job supporting me too! At one point Dirk and Lisa asked me if I was tired of the beach and floating on the ocean and I kind of got upset because they asked me right as a contraction was starting and I said “NO... just keep taking me there”! LOL. Dirk was so good about taking me to my special place... my dark sanded beach. He stayed by me and rubbed my back and did whatever I needed him to do. Transition seemed to take over five hours and I'm so grateful for a strong husband.
And that is the story of our successful home birth with Emmitt! :)