short version:

my water broke at 8:30 am at 39 weeks and 3 days. i went for a long walk where surges started. i labored at home for 2 hours where i went through transition. i got to the hospital at 1 pm and delivered my daughter without pain meds at 3:15 pm!

long version:

Friday January 11th: 2-3 am. I woke up because I was so stuffed up that I couldn’t breathe well. I also felt like cramping, etc. was a little different than normal BH but took some nasal spray to clear me up and to get to sleep. I also had a dream she was going to be born the 14th. Felt better about going back to sleep.

Woke up at 8:30 am to walk with my neighbor and her 3 month old. I used the restroom and then sat in my office chair to put my work out pants on when I felt my water break. I called to DH to check it out since he had just had his labor and delivery shift for paramedic school. He was super groggy and thought he did something wrong, but when I told him what happened, he said, yep, smells like the delivery I had last week!

I changed into new work out clothes and let my neighbor know that we still wanted to walk to the local coffee for breakfast since I wasn’t having any surges. My water was still leaking when trying to put on shoes, so I changed again and put on slip on shoes instead.

We walked to the coffee shop (about a mile) where surges started around 9:30. I ate breakfast standing up because sitting didn’t feel good. We walked back home and called our parents to let them know what was going on. We started timing surges on my iphone app. They were between 3-4 minutes apart right away. DH rubbed my back to get through surges. We updated our doula about timing and how I was feeling. At first, I could do other things between surges but I quickly went to needing DH constantly as he tried to cancel his hospital rotations for Saturday and Monday.

All of a sudden, maybe around 12, I had a surge and threw up right into the kitchen sink. DH gagged a bit too. I asked, are you throwing up?! and he quickly got himself together. ☺

I then told our doula that we'd meet her at the hospital. I was trying to wait for her to come to us but I had read enough birth stories and I was pretty sure I went through transition at that point.

DH got the car ready and we took off. I had him stop before we left the driveway for a surge. I had two more surges in the car (the hospital was only 3 miles away) and he stuck his fist under my back so I could make it through them.

We made it to the hospital around 12:45 where I shoved a banana in my mouth before we walked in l&d to make sure I was going to get some food before we got going!

We got right into our room and I had the same nurses that I had when I was in the hospital for the flu the week before.

We didn't call the OB to tell them we were coming in as I just thought they would be there since it was during their on-call hours at the hospital. Our doula arrived shortly after us around 1. I had several surges on the bed with it turned into a chair with my legs spread open and they rubbed my back really hard (I had bruising because of how hard I wanted them to press!). Our doula got warm water bottles to keep on my back, which were amazing. I had picked up this weird humming tune to get myself through surges. DH told me later he was trying not to laugh because it was so random, but I couldn’t help myself from doing it every time!

The nurse checked me about 45 minutes in after running over our birth preferences. I was a 9. I cried with relief that I maybe could actually do this naturally!

The next bit was a blur. It got really intense and I was vocalizing a lot. The nurse told me that I still had a lip when I was feeling a ton of pressure down there so I tried up move on my hands and knees. That was the worst and I quickly went to lying on my left side instead. Besides the fact that the nurse couldn't do a blood draw so the lab tech had to come down and then they wanted me with an IV so the anesthesiologist had to do it. Luckily they got them quickly after the nurse stuck me three times unsuccessfully.

I had a moment or two where the fear set in: the fear of pushing and the pressure and not being able to get rid of the lip. Our doula was so calm and reminded me that it was all normal and my body was doing what it needed to do to bring our daughter to us. DH was great at holding my hand and supporting me.

Those reminders helped. After I flipped, I think her heart rate was dipping a bit so they gave me oxygen and reminded me that I needed to breathe deep for her. Those mental cues helped so much because I was able to focus on her.

I started pushing almost involuntarily before the OB arrived but I was pretty productive right away. I could feel her moving down and once our doula told me to breathe deep and push-push-push through the surge I think she dropped pretty quickly.

The OB showed up sometime in the midst of this (as she had been about 25 minutes away at the office!) and I asked if our daughter's head was there. They said yes, so I reached down and felt it and cried. DH said that was one of his favorite moments. I let her head stay there for a bit because I think I was still afraid that my cervix was swollen but still pushed. I was scared of going too fast and although I wanted her head and body out, I was trying to be okay with her just laboring down into it. My doula’s notes said I pushed for about 45 minutes. I remember her head coming out and then her body shortly after. It was such a relief. I couldn't believe that she was here. She was placed on me for skin to skin but she didn't latch on so we tried nipple stimulation and fundal massage to get the placenta out and then get my uterus to firm up. It wasn't going so they put some pitocin in to firm it up and then I was fine. That was not delightful at all as they pressed and massaged sore places. I was trying to focus on my child, but it was super uncomfortable with all the pressing! The placenta looked good though and we got to see it all. DH cut the cord after it stopped pulsing.

Rowan Eloise was born at 3:15 pm on 1.11.13: 7 lb, 8 oz, 19.5 inches. We're so in love!