Saturday, January 28, 42 weeks and 2 days from LMP, I was getting more than a little tired of being pregnant. Actually, I'd been more than tired of it for months, since it was really hard on my pelvis and I was barely mobile.
I finally started getting some contractions after doing some pumping for nipple stimulation on Friday, but they didn't last long. All day Saturday I had very mild contractions which were barely noticeable. I didn't want to get excited that it might finally be labour, but I posted a few places that I'd been having mild contractions for hours.
After my 2 older kids went to sleep, around 11pm, things picked up a little bit, but they were still easy to walk and talk through. Around 1 we went up to bed. Lying down made them a bit harder to cope with, but I was able get my toddler to sleep and then listened to the First Stage track for Hypnobabies. By the time it was over, there was no way I could continue lying there, the contractions were getting too hard to handle.
I got up without disturbing dh or 2 year old N and went downstairs where I decided to try timing a few contractions. They were over a minute long and about 3 1/2 minutes apart. I decided I really wanted to start getting the pool going, since it was going to take at least half an hour.
I tried hooking up the hose to the sink, but had completely forgotten how, so I had a little debate with myself about whether to leave dh to sleep or disturb him to start filling the pool. I finally couldn't take it anymore, I really wanted the pool, so I woke him even though I felt guilty.
By the time the pool was full enough, the contractions were coming one right after the other. I'd have one, take a couple of steps and have another. They didn't really hurt, but I had to stop and lean on something and breathe through them.
I got in the pool around 4:30am and it was wonderful. The contractions spaced out a bit and the warmth was just what I needed. After about 2 minutes sitting in the pool I felt a pop and then a gush. I'm pretty sure that was my water breaking.
First time I've ever actually felt it despite having it break before labour with my other 3 kids.
I started pushing a little bit with the contractions around 5:30. It helped me cope as they were getting harder and harder to deal with. Around this same time, N woke up and dh went to try to calm him and hopefully get him back to sleep. No luck and N's freaking out woke our eldest, B. So they both went downstairs to watch cartoons while dh came back down to the basement to be with me.
I can't even begin to describe how awful things were at this point. I was literally screaming through the contractions. I'd feel one coming on and start begging "no more" over and over until they were so bad I'd just scream. I eventually found that anything other than leaning back or sitting were the worst positions to be in. At one point I was trying hands and knees again and flipped onto my back in the middle of a contraction because it was so awful. It wasn't the contractions so much as the pain in my pelvis and feeling like it was splitting apart.
I can't help wondering if I would have had less pain if I'd been able to afford a chiropractor.
I vaguely remembered about high pitches making it hurt more, so I tried to force myself to just yell "get out" over and over as low as I could. When I was able to remember, it seemed to help a little. During all this, I was also doing some pushing, but was scared to push too hard.
Somewhere in here I had dh put on the Hypnobabies pushing track. It was so opposite of what was happening, I had to turn it off.
At some point, dh checked me & could feel the head. He thought I was fully dilated, but wasn't completely sure. I was really not coping well and he eventually asked my new friend, K, who is a midwife, to come over to see if things were going normally.
Nearly the entire time before she got here, I was sure she was going to say the baby was stuck, that's how long it had been going and how horrible it felt.
Shortly before K arrived, I realized that the pain was a bit less and I was pushing more. When she got there, I was able to get through the contractions without screaming anymore, but I asked her to check me anyway. I wish I'd tried checking myself again first (I'd tried at least 4 or 5 times to feel the head, I knew if I could, it would be a sign of progress and it would have been easier to keep going).
She quickly checked and said that the head was nearly there. I was so relieved. The agony was over and not only was I making progress, the baby was nearly here. I pushed through a few more contractions, then called for dh and the kids to come down. I was expecting crowning and the last bit of pushing to be similar to the last 2 babies; 2 or 3 pushes for crowning, then 1 for the body. Boy, was I wrong.
It took another 10 or 15 minutes of pushing just to start feeling the ring of fire and it was a lot more painful than the others. I had to keep stopping pushing because it hurt so much and I was so sure I was tearing really badly. It took several contractions to get most of his head out and I still hadn't felt the relief of the head being out when I felt a kick.
Seriously, he kicked me. I pushed some more and he didn't seem to be moving out anymore, so I asked K to make sure he wasn't stuck. She said he was just rotating; something the others hadn't had to do. And then I felt more kicking and squirming from him. I can't even describe the sensation besides weird and uncomfortable.
I finally got him out, then had to move to grab him from the other side of the pool.
He was born at 8:29am.
He started a tiny little cry as soon as he was out of the water and didn't really stop for the next hour or so. I cuddled him and checked to find we had a 4th son. He definitely looked heavier than my others, he had a little bit of fat on him. I was curious to see how much he weighed.
The placenta came out after about 20 minutes and was really nice looking. I sadly forgot to take a picture of it, but hopefully there's some video. I got out of the pool after that and we all sat upstairs for a bit. I finally tied and cut the cord after about an hour since I was tired of dealing with baby, placenta & bowl.
Shortly after K left, we finally weighed him. He was 9lbs 3oz. Over a pound bigger than my eldest and nearly 3lbs bigger than my toddler had been. Bear in mind, my eldest was delivered by cesarean because, according to the doctor, I was "too small to ever give birth". When we measured him on Monday, he turned out to have a 15 inch head and be about 19 inches long. He is very tightly curled up, so getting an accurate length is tough. We also double checked his weight and still got over 9lbs.
I'm definitely done having kids, but I do wish I could get a do-over on this birth. It was nearly the opposite of what I was hoping for. Hopefully one day I can come to terms with it and with never having a daughter.