So 2 weeks AFTER my due date and 3 weeks AFTER early labor contractions...Josiah Daniel was finally born! Here is his birth story:
It took me a while to realize that I was in REAL labor. I had been experiencing painful contractions for 3 weeks. Not Braxton Hicks. Not whimpy little contractions. Ones that were bad enough they kept me up at night. Ones that were bad enough that I was pretty much a hermit for the last 3 weeks. So when I woke up with contractions on Saturday morning it just seemed like any other day. I was planning on pushing through the pain and going with Doug and the kids to Logan's soccer game. I decided to take a bath to slow the contractions down but instead of slowing down they seemed to get stronger. By the time I got out of the bath I had decided that I wouldn't be able to go to Logan's soccer game. Doug and the kids would go and I would continue in my hermit ways of laying on the couch until the pains subsided. That was around 8:45 am.
Fast forward just 30 minutes to 9:15 when Doug was about to leave with all the kids to Logan's soccer game and the contractions were becoming very intense. I didn't want Logan to miss his game, especially if this was not real labor but the contractions were really strong and they felt different so I made a last second decision that it would probably be better to be safe than sorry and have Doug stay home and for us to get ready...just in case.
For the next 30 minutes we picked up around the house. I swept and stayed on the hard floor because I was afraid my water was going to break at any second. I texted my midwife to let her know that I thought I was going into active labor and that I would call her when I could no longer talk through a contraction. I thought that I would be making that phone call in a couple of hours...boy was I wrong.
About 10 minutes later the contractions became so intense I could no longer talk or walk through them. I couldn't even stand straight. I had to bend over and lean on our table for support. Doug sent out a text to see if any friends would be willing to watch our kiddos because a couple of people had offered and said to contact them when I went into labor. Fortunately our friend Fanny responded and was able to come pick up our kids. She lives only 5 minutes away and it was such a HUGE blessing. I am still thanking God for her help!
At 10 am I called the midwife and told her it was time to come and that things were moving quickly. Doug got the birthing pool all set up. I don't really know what I did. I kept going to the restroom because I felt like I had to with every contraction. I started to worry that I was going to have the baby in the bathroom before the midwife got there. At about 10:30 the midwife arrived with her assistant. They started setting up immediately. The midwife then checked me and told me it was time to get in the pool already! I was shocked. I was in the pool by 11. The contractions felt so much better in the water...at first. We had worship music playing and I was trying to drink between contractions. They kept checking with the heart monitor and saying the baby sounded good. I got really nauseous...which I knew for me meant that it was almost time to push. I asked for the trash can and began vomiting. Gross. I know. And believe me it is not fun to have a contraction AND be throwing up on top of that. It was probably about 12 now, although to be honest I was not keeping track of time. Every contraction felt like an eternity. I kept rocking in the water and I could feel my body start pushing. The midwife checked me and told me that I still had a hairline of cervix left to dialate and that I should try not to push and breath through each contraction. But it felt so much worse not pushing. She offered to break my water to see if that would enable me to push. I said, actually I probably yelled, "Yes! Anything to help get this baby out!" (Dramatic? Yes. But you can't judge a woman in labor!) She broke my water and we could immediately see that there was meconium in the fluid. Of course I started to worry. We asked the midwife if it was going to be a problem and she said not to worry. She had her assistant get tools ready to be able to suction the baby's mouth and nose out so that he wouldn't inhale any. She said that having the baby in the water would actually help.
But this baby did not want to be born in the water. About 5 minutes later my body kept pushing but the baby felt stuck. I have never experienced this before. Usually they tell me to "practice" pushing and the baby comes flying out. The midwife decided I should get out of the pool and on the bed so that she could see how the baby was positioned and to try to help maneuver him. It was so much easier for me to push in the bed and it turned out I did need her help. Josiah came out with his hand on his head...which means I delivered head AND shoulder. She was suctioning him like crazy and I kept saying he feels stuck. She told me about his arm and it made sense. On the next push I was able to get his other arm out. Then another for his chest and the FINALLY he was out at 12:28 p.m.. They put him on my chest and I was so relieved. The baby was very blue though so they gave him some oxygen and thankfully he turned pink. He was breathing fast so my midwife thought we might have to take him to the hospital but Doug and the midwife prayed over him and she gave him some homeopathic medicine under his tongue and his breathing slowed down and he started to nurse. He was in the clear!
While he was nursing I delivered the placenta, which was huge! And then the midwife took Josiah to weigh him. She told me that he was a very big baby and for the first time I noticed his size. No wonder he was so hard to push out! She put him on a baby scale on our bathroom floor and told me he weighed 9 lbs 1.5 oz. She then measured his head, chest, and length which were also very big. Amazingly, I did not tear at all. I have been fortunate in my previous deliveries never to have torn but we always assumed it was because I had little babies. I was worried that with this larger baby, plus the fact that he came out head and hand, that I probably did tear this time...But no!
After measuring everything the assistant had prepared an herbal bath for me and Josiah. It was so awesome to be the one to give Josiah his first bath. He loved floating in the water on my lap and I got to gently scrub him. The nurses bathe the babies in the hospital so fast and with such rigor that the baby is always crying. This was so different. Serene. Josiah had a lot of dead skin on him. It almost looked like he had a sunburn he was peeling from. The midwife said it was because he was loosing his newborn skin. I guess that is what happens when you cook for 2 extra weeks.
After the bath they taught us how to check our vitals, mine and the baby's. Then they tucked us in bed and left us to sleep. They cleaned up the linens, packed my placenta into a cooler for encapsulation, and went on their way. And that was it. We were left to just rest and enjoy our baby.