Well, this one was definitely a new and different birthing experience! Malachi decided to be prompt and arrive on his due date (my other two were each at least a week passed their dates).
It was funny, because while we were putting the kids to bed, I joked with my hubby that tonight was probably the night because I was irritable and didn’t want anyone touching me—just like I wanted to go be alone somewhere. We decided to watch a movie until bed. I was feeling kind of sick-ish by bedtime and thought I’d had too much to eat earlier and was in for a night of heartburn. I went to the bathroom before bed and then as I was heading upstairs, my water broke. That completely shocked me because my first birth, they ruptured my waters, and the second time, we aren’t sure when my water broke, but it was intact when we arrived at the hospital and I was well into labor. I had been having some pressure waves, but they were spaced between 8 and 12 minutes apart, so I figured it was just more warm-ups. I was a little concerned that things might not pick up the way I would like once my water broke and I wasn’t already in a good active pattern.
Our ride to the hospital was comfortable, and my waves were between 4 and 8 minutes apart by the time we arrived at about 12:45. I was measured at 3-4cm and 80% effaced. We found out that Baby Thumper had moved and was occiput posterior again, despite my earlier spinning babies success, and we needed to do some work to get the baby to move down and into position. So we started walking, and walked until around 3am. We ran into a granddaddy in the hall who asked how we were doing and we chatted a bit only to find that he was there to support his daughter who is 5 months pregnant and was pretty sure she was miscarrying. He was so kind to us in spite of his own trauma, and I promised to pray for them. When we finished walking, my waves were increasing in intensity, so I decided I would like to try sitting on a birthing ball for a bit and putting on my relaxation tracks. Our midwife, Kim, had arrived at the hospital by this point and was so sweet to get the ball ready for me and find me some snacks.
Ben was able to catch about a 2 hour nap at this point and I worked on squatting as deeply as I could, circling my hips, trying to breathe the baby down. In between surges, I was praying for the family we met in the hallway, as well as for our birthing.
Around 5 ish I felt like resting, so I hopped up in bed and my midwife put me in the Texas Roll position on my side to try to get the baby to rotate. I was at a 6 at this point and really focusing. The nurses came in twice to try to get a Hep Lock placed during this time for pitocin after birth (I have had big babies in the past, and since this was #3 they were concerned about the possibility of hemorrhage). This was incredibly painful, because my veins were rolling all over the place and they could not get one in. It took me out of my relaxation something fierce, and it took me a good couple of minutes of intentional focus to get back to close to on-track. The waves were still pretty intense in my back, so my midwife had me get up in hands and knees position, which really moved things along. I wasn’t quite prepared for how much it would change the game, but I was able to view it as progress, so even though the intensity was greater, I could tell more work was being accomplished, and for that, I was grateful.
I found that this birthing was not really what I visualized at all, and I got a bit discouraged as the sun came up and my baby was not yet in my arms. I had envisioned it being as speedy as my last birthing. What really helped me get beyond that was recognizing benchmarks and internally reminding myself. I thought to myself that I was getting to a place where I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore, and I knew enough to tell myself that I didn’t have to for much longer, because I must be really close to transition/transformation. Sure enough with my next big wave, I started to throw up, surprising everyone else who thought I had farther to go than that because of my calm.
It was about now that they tried the 2nd time for the Hep Lock—not fun! But I got through it. Decided I needed to go to the restroom; the walk there and back felt pretty productive, and by the time I got back to the bed, I wanted to get back on my side to get ready to push.
I started for the bed and a wave hit me, so I grabbed onto the side of the bed and tried to climb on, only it is a bed that breaks down, and somehow, I broke it down in the process, so mid-wave, half of my bed fell to the floor. Looking back it was pretty hilarious—definitely unexpected! Everyone rushed around putting it back together, and then it was pretty much time that my body started pushing. My midwife was great; continually reminding me to “blow baby down and into my arms.” That really worked for me when I focused on it.
And soon, little Malachi Benaiah came yelling into the world just as beautiful as could be, we snuggled, nursed, and I ordered breakfast! It was pretty glorious in the end. They did have to give me a short of Pitocin in my leg and another anti clotting med, because my bleeding wasn’t exactly what they wanted. Not as quick and easy as my last birth, but beautiful in other ways. I learned about myself that I can do hard things, and do them well even with hiccups in the road and expectations that aren’t realized. And in the end, I don’t think I would have had it any other way, except maybe a better positioned baby from the get-go. ;) I’m in deep smit, and likely to remain so!