Pretty much all day Friday I was having contractions, usually about 10 or so minutes apart. This wasn't really unusual (as I've said I've been having several contractions a day for a while) but they were a little more regular. They still didn't hurt and never got closer together. They would die away for a while and then return, so nothing to really let me know anything was imminent.
When I went to bed, they picked back up for a while, keeping me awake. They finally went away again, so I got to sleep about 1:00 or so. About 4:20 or so I woke up needing to go to the bathroom. I got back in bed and was just getting drowsy when I had a contraction that was stronger than the others. I glanced at the clock - 4:30. I didn't think too much of it and tried to go back to sleep. Then I had another one not too long later. I looked at the clock and it had only been 5 minutes since the last one. That's weird, I thought. I still tried to go back to sleep, until I had another one. It was about 4-5 minutes later. OK, I am not going to get back to sleep now until I know for sure if this is going to lead to anything. So I got up.
I went into the living room and just puttered around a little, but the contractions kept coming about 4-5 minutes apart and were getting stronger. I went to the bathroom again, and let's just say I had more evidence that this was it. So at 4:50 I called Janet, the midwife. All I said was "It's time for you come." She said she would head out right then. She knew better than to waste time asking questions. I then posted the blog entry, and then went to wake up Kelly.
Of course as soon as I said that I had just called Janet, he popped out of bed and got to moving quickly. Which was a good thing, as I was having to stop more and more frequently for the contractions. Kelly cleaned the bathroom, and changed the sheets on the bed. I helped when I could. He also got himself something to eat and brought me some toast and water as well. I tell you, my husband is the BEST labor partner EVER.
By this time I had changed into a gown and was sitting on my birthing ball. My water had broken at some point but I don't really know when. I guess it just started out as a leak that grew with successive contractions. About 5:30, Kelly begins to wonder where the midwife was, so he calls her cell phone. She was at a nearby intersection, so we figured she'd be here soon. Ten minutes later we still hadn't seen her. So he called her again. She had had to make a stop at CVS, but was now on her way. She asked Kelly how I was doing. Kelly said good, that they were getting closer together but still irregular.
By this he meant that my contractions weren't as long as either one of us remembered. They were intense, and by this point were 2-3 minutes apart, but they weren't the extremely long ones like you can sometimes have. The best thing was that I had not had a bit of back labor. I kept waiting for my back to start hurting like it had with Lauryn, but it never happened. Praise the Lord. The baby had been very active Friday night, so Kelly and I think the contractions on Friday helped her turn to the correct position.
Janet calls back just a couple of minutes later, saying she thinks she passed our house. So Kelly is directing her back to the right spot when I start feeling alot of pressure. Now I'm starting to wonder if the midwife will make it.
Finally just before 6, Janet's assistant midwife arrives, saying Janet is just around the corner and will be here in two minutes. And she was, right at 6 am. The first thing they do is to help me get up on the bed, as the ball is no longer comfortable. Besides I knew I was close and wanted in my bed for the delivery.
By now the contractions were 2 minutes apart or less, and had finally lengthened out to about a minute. I was starting to really have to concentrate and force myself to relax during them. And I had gotten the shakes, so we all knew it was a matter of minutes. Once I was up on the bed, the midwives had time to do one thing between each contraction. They checked the baby's heart rate, contraction, my blood pressure, contraction, etc. She did get one chance to check me, and said, "Oh yeah, we're having a baby in a couple of minutes - dilation 9, completely effaced, plus 2 station." Meanwhile, they are getting out all the equipment they'll need, and Kelly is holding my hands, encouraging me during each contraction. The midwife apprentice gets there around 6:15, about the time Kelly goes to wash his hands.
When he got back to the bed, I told him, "I've changed my mind." For some reason, they all thought that was funny. Two contractions later, I had to push. I tried to say "It's coming" but I think Kelly only heard "coming" thinking I meant the contraction. But I meant the baby. It was great, as it was one of those your body takes over things, and I had nothing to do with it. I heard Janet say "The head's out." So I geared up for the shoulders, thinking I'd have to push those out like I had Lauryn's. But the next thing I know, Kelly was laying our daughter on my stomach. She had come out in one push. Janet later said it was one of the smoothest deliveries she'd ever seen in over 20 years of midwifery.
They immediately start toweling her off and Janet asks Kelly what it is. To no one's surprise he looks and says "another daughter." We were both so excited that he FINALLY got to deliver a baby! We've been trying for him to deliver the last 4, but something has always come up.
Kelly had woken Kora up at about 5:30 to tell her that I was having the baby, so she and Aubrey had been upstairs awake waiting for the news. So as soon as I was cleaned up and presentable, he went to get them. So they were in with us when she was weighed and measured, etc.
I can't express how thankful I am that she turned and I didn't have to face the back labor I had so dreaded. I know that that, and the mercifully short and smooth labor and delivery were gifts from God, just like Ashlynn is. She is also a very good baby so far. A great nurser, and very content. I've only heard her cry twice so far - right after birth, and during her first bath. I am also so thankful for my husband, who is such a rock during labor - and I mean that in the best possible way. He is so calm and supportive, caring and strong. And taken, so the rest of you just have to put up with second best. :-)
Blogger is not letting me post pictures, so I'll have to come back later with more pics. Thanks so much to everyone who prayed for us!