After coming home from Dov’s grad, and getting a nap, things started to move again around 7pm. Contractions began to get somewhat regular, though only at about 10 minute intervals. Douglas went to bed, we finished tidying up, and I tried to get a bit of rest but wasn’t able to sleep through anything. We gave the midwife a heads-up that things were happening, and said we’d call when they seemed to be steady at 5 minutes apart.
We filled the pool up around 11:30 or so, but got it too hot to get in thanks to a more than average water-heater! I was more than ready to jump in by 1am, as things had gotten pretty painful and I couldn’t talk thru contractions any more. We called the midwife, and Debbie who was coming to help, and I climbed in. The water was very relaxing and dulled the pain a bit, and every bit helped. The room was quiet except for some Bach playing from Michael’s new LP collection, candles, and a small lamp. Michael played a bit of guitar too, which was wonderful and helped distract me. The midwife and Debbie arrived close together, the sound of the buzzer making me jump. She checked me out and declared that I was 4cm dilated, which I found both good and depressing … having hoped to be much further along by that point. Realistically I was *much* further for the amount of labor than I had been with Douglas, but wished for more :).
I was getting to the “unable to keep silent” point around 2 or so, and things gradually esclated from there. By the time I got in the pool my contractions had shifted to “back labor” which I’d always heard was much worse, and rapidly found myself agreeing. MBV took a bunch of cool photos, but none are quite blog-worthy and we’ll leave it at that. He’d meant to paint me pregnant, but had to settle for photos.
After several hours of increasing pain, distress, and dispair on my part, we tried shifting positions, michael jumped in the pool for a bit to give back support, and God was begged for strength. There was about a 2 hour lull where things slowed down a bit and it felt like no progress was being made.
At 7:15 am, as I was in the bathroom and in the middle of a ‘loud’ contraction, Douglas appeared in the doorway clutching his pink pillow. I managed to say good morning, and then tottered back to the pool. I got out a sentence about the pain making me yell, and his eyes were wide and on alert. Debbie got a break from having her hand clenched by me during each contraction, emptying barf bowls and sponging my forehead, and went to take care of him for the duration. He reappeared periodically, would announce that he “wanted some PEACE!” and retreated to his bedroom and toys again.
The midwife finally suggested around 8am that she check to see how far I was dilated, as I’d felt no urge to push, and the water hadn’t broken yet. She checked, and found I was the requisite 10cm. Just knowing that was enough to give me more energy/incentive, and 15 minutes of pushing broke the water.
Relief, more energy, and 35 minutes of pure agony followed. A huge difference from DOVs birth was that I *had* more energy, and could feel his progress down the birth canal, and knew every time he shifted. His head was slightly bent, and he was a bit twisted, hence the back labor. The midwife put her hand in to create a ‘fake pelvic floor’ as she put it, and helped turn his head with every push. Michael says my whole head/neck turned purple, and that my neck was as big as my head. Given how sore it is 4 days later, I’d believe him. I don’t think I was able to open my eyes more than once in that last stretch, and responded only to the midwife’s voice, punctuated with mutterings of “get OUT, baby, get OUT!” from between clenched teeth.
A head appeared, the final 2-3 pushes, and the indescribable/incredible relief of a whoosh and a plop as he appeared and was placed goopy and wriggling on my chest, yelling as loudly as he could. With that “plop” the name Fynn rang in my head, one of the names we’d discussed weeks ago but never came close to settling on. He’d arrived, and wanted the world to know. The cord had been wrapped around his neck, but I never even noticed as she quickly picked it off before bringing him up out of the water.
The sudden mood change in the room was electric, shared by Michael and the midwife and I, as well as Stephani (who came out of her room at the “he’s coming!” yell by someone), Debbie and Douglas, and were all around the tub.
Slow and easy was the mood, moving me to the bed to deliver the placenta, nursing, cleaning up, stitching (only one thankfully, though I swear she had to poke me 10 times in the process), weighing, and eating for the first time in 12 hours.
This one’s from day 2 … the body language says it all!