Saturday, October 17: We worked a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. We ate fried chicken for lunch. Tim's parents went home, as planned, and my mom helped me with chores while Tim finished up some tasks for work.
Sunday, October 18: Contractions started around 3 AM. We stayed home from church. I texted my friends that Today was the day! After all, I was in labor with my first for only 13 hours, and we all know the second baby comes faster [NOPE] and easier [HA HA] than the first! We contacted our doula and tried to relax as we waited. My contractions were very irregular. No two were the same duration, and there was no pattern in frequency. I bounced on the yoga ball. We kept calm and continued to wait.
Monday, October 19: My 40-week check-up. After weeks of my doctor asking if I had felt any contractions, I was excited to report that I finally HAD! She checked me and I was 4 cm dilated, 75% effaced. But I was miserable! I hadn't been sleeping well between my irregular contractions, back pain, hip pain, and getting up to use the bathroom. My doctor told us that if we wanted, she could break my water, have me walk around the hospital for 30-45 minutes, bounce on a birth ball, and the baby should be here quickly. This was very tempting. We had all our bags packed and in the van with us just in case. My mom was also with us to watch Diana. My doctor added that either way, she wanted us to schedule an induction for Friday (my 41-week mark). We left her office and weighed our options. We called our doula -- she doesn't tell us what to do but supports our consideration. We're already in town, we could have this baby today and be done! I am so bleary-eyed and sore, I cry. We decide not to rush it, though. We schedule the induction for Friday and try to enjoy our time in the city as a family of three (plus Nana!). My mom treats us all to Starbucks, which we enjoy together outside. The fresh air does us good. As more time passes, we are more at peace with our decision to wait. I have a few more contractions, through which my family is supportive and calm.
|laboring at 9:10 am|
|laboring at 9:41 am|
The nurses leave and I get to labor in peace with my husband and our amazing doula, Teresa. She pulled my hair back, sponged my skin, spoke soothingly, got me into my bumblebee socks, (and washed them afterward -- jewels in her crown!) and basically helped us with everything.
After being in the hospital for over an hour of excruciating pain, I decided to change things up. I didn't think I was having the "pushing contractions" I had felt with our firstborn, but nothing about this pregnancy or labor was like my first, and I had to DO SOMETHING, so I started pushing with every contraction. I was sitting up at a 45° angle but baby's position and my back pain would not permit me to sit up in my desired squat position.
I asked Teresa to coach my breathing and tell me when to tuck my chin and bear down to make my pushes effective. It took a couple of pushes before I could follow the pattern. MY WATER BROKE! I was like an animal. I rolled forward into a flat foot squat and pushed. Baby was finally positioned so I could sit up. Nurses called my doctor in. I'm crowning! I'm squatting in a mess. I'm screaming in a growl. My throat hurt but it was the only way to go with the pushes.
I pushed her head out and thought I was done. I allowed my legs to relax. "Not yet! Not yet! Not yet!" People were shouting at me. "Sit back up, Mom, you're going to sit on her head!" I was hanging on to the birth bars and leaning to the side, I could not bring myself to squat again after releasing those muscles. I gave another mighty push and felt empty as her warm slippery body exited my own. There she was on the delivery bed.
After 55 hours of labor (only two of which were in the hospital), Zelda Ripley Mitchell was born October 20, 2015 at 10:48 AM. She measured 8 lbs, 0.6 oz; and was 20" long.I couldn't believe it. I simply couldn't believe I had done it.
After ... a long time ... of pain -- I did it. I birthed our daughter. She was healthy and whole. "Oh my gosh, Tim, she looks just like you." I picked her up and held her close. I had been fearful of this moment for 10 months. I smelled my daughter's head and marveled at my miraculous body. At my cervix which will remain closed my entire life except these few moments when it opens 10 centimeters to permit life to pass through. At my breasts which reside idly on my torso for a lifetime except for several months when they fill with life-giving nourishment for my baby.
The nurse attached a line to my IV to start pitocin. We stopped her and reminded her that I didn't need it. She was confounded. She looked at our doctor, who confirmed that we were going to try uterine massage, breastfeeding, and latency to give me some time to deliver Zelda's placenta on my own. Several minutes passed and it was still inside me, though no one was alarmed. I said, "Wait, let me try. I think I can--" and tucked my chin and gave a little push.
|our 3 pregnant friends visited us!|
We were discharged the next day. We spent a little over 24 hours in the hospital.
|going home as a family of four!|