Wednesday I had a midwife appointment and was so tired of all the prodromal labor. We realized at the appointment why my body was having such a hard time starting labor. His hands were up by his head, making it near impossible to descend much farther down in my pelvis. My midwife was able to kind of push him up, move his hands out of the way one by one, and get him back down there. She stripped my membranes (I was 5 cm when I left) and gave me instructions to go walk around before getting in the car and driving off, while keeping my hands down by where his head was to keep his little hands from going back down so he could settle in head-down. I was supposed to use wide strides. It was very awkward to walk around in public like this.
Apparently, what we did that night did the trick. Around 12:15, I felt my first real contraction. You know, the kind that make your toes curl. Not just crampy or tightness, which all my previous contractions had been. After 15 minutes, I had had three of them and Dave told me that I needed to page the midwife. I did, and told her these ones were different, and she said that we needed to go up to the birth center. I called my sister Leslie, who came over to stay the night with my kids. Since I was laughing and joking between contractions, she was not convinced I was actually in labor. To be honest, I wasn't completely convinced I was in labor, either.
We left and told the midwife we'd meet her up at the birth center. On the way up, the contractions continued to intensify and started getting closer together. We got to the birth center almost exactly at the same time as our midwife, around 2 am. She unlocked the door and let us choose a room, and started filling the tub for us. I got into "birth mode" and changed out of my clothes into my swimming suit. I was in there maybe 10 minutes when the contractions went from me being able to talk between them, joking and laughing, to having to recover from each contraction with another contraction beginning again almost immediately. The pressure was getting intense. Then my water broke in the birth tub. Dave went out to tell the midwife my water broke (she was getting set up with her assistant out of the room- and her assistant had just gotten there maybe about 10 minutes prior to my water breaking) and then I had even more pressure on my perineum!
It only took about 5-10 more minutes before I started feeling "pushy." And, oh my goodness, I have never experienced such an urge to push as I did with this baby. I literally couldn't stop pushing. I was on hands and knees in the birth tub, and his head came out. The midwife ordered me out of the tub because his cord was wrapped around his neck three times and they had to get it untangled. I leaned up against the bed, standing, with both midwives and DH behind me, working on the cord. I said, "He's coming! I can't stop it!" and baby boy shot out into Dave's hand! His other hand was holding cord! He was born at 2:52 am.
The midwife told me this was the longest cord she had ever seen. It was about four feet long. Though Dave would describe it as even longer, and he's probably a better judge of that considering I had just given birth when I saw it. Not only was it wrapped around his neck three times, it was also under BOTH arms, criss-crossing in the back.
After a few seconds, he let out a nice little cry to let us know he was okay. We weighed him a bit later, and he weighed in at 9 lb 1/2 oz, and is 22 inches long. I escaped without needing any perennial repair! I'm pretty happy about that considering how fast he came out!
This whole pregnancy, I've had a strong feeling this labor was going to go by quickly. I still can't believe how fast it all happened! Just over 2 1/2 hours from first real contraction until he was born. WOW! I can hardly believe it. My family does have a history of very fast 3rd labors... my mother, a 3rd child, was born in the hallway of the hospital during the era of twilight sleep- no medications for my grandma because it happened so quickly! I am also a 3rd child, and was born in the labor room after my dad ran frantically down the halls trying to find a doctor to deliver me.
In labor, still filling the tub.
20 minutes later, a baby!
A few hours later, right before heading home. I was a wee bit tired! Sweet little Riah always has his hands up by his face, just like when he was in the womb. Little stinker!