This is also about Charlie's birth, so if that seems icky to you (and I was there, it was a bit icky, but also cool) stop reading right now.
Wednesday (and a couple of days overdue), I went to the midwife and had her check my dilation, I was 3-4 centimeters. She helped things a long with a membrane stripping, and asked if I wanted to make an appointment with an acupuncturist to get things moving - you know, in case the fear of taking care of another kid was holding the baby up - something that couldn't possibly be true, by, the way. Anyway, she assured me that if Charlie wasn't ready the membrane stripping and acupuncture wouldn't make a difference.
Well, let's just say, I never make it to the acupuncturist that afternoon at 3. Labor started a bit before 1:30. Nothing concrete enough to know this was the big one. Around 1:30 things were becoming more consistent, and I started timing the length and frequency. I called Mike around 2, and said he might want to come home fairly soon, in case these contractions were the real deal. So, he was freaking when he got home, cleaning and making the bed up with the birthing sheets, and blowing up the birthing pool. I helped out, getting the stuff on our checklist, extra towels, thermometer, a whole sheet. B was really good, playing and not being her usual clingy self. She actually saw me have a couple of contractions (I tried to leave the room as not to scare her) and she told me to stop having them. She didn't like seeing me in pain. Around 4ish, the contractions got harder and came lots closer together, like jumped from 9 minutes apart to 5 and 6 minutes apart. I was not able to sit down at all. It was easier to continue walking around and leaning on the buffet when they hit. It was then, my sister called and I mentioned that drugs sounded a little good. I actually don't remember labor being too painful. With B, I had a longer, back labor, so maybe that spread the pain around instead of concentrating in one place.
Lost my "plug", probably the ickiest part, besides the placenta. Talked to the midwife again and told her things were progressing quickly. Like, by 5ish, the contractions were 4 minutes apart. Karen, the nurse, showed up around 5:45, 6 o'clock. Mike was extremely relived because he thought for sure he was delivering Charlie. And needless to say, Mike is a guy who stays topside of any icky birthing stuff. I was dilated to 8. B went over to Marci's house after 6 (thank you very much!!!!) And maybe it was the nurse showing up, I don't know, but the contractions dropped to less than 2 minutes apart. Karen got all her stuff, thinking she too was making the delivery.
Mike got the tub filled up - both of us very happy about the new hot walter heater they finished installing at 2 the same day. And by the time my midwife arrived, I was ready to hit the water. I was starting to feel like to was time to push. I got in the tub, tried to get comfortable, and it all hit the fan sort to speak. I do have to say, while it still hurt, the tub made everything feel better. The water helped support my stomach, which about reached my knees while standing up. So, less than 6 hours after labor began, at 7:19pm, I had Charlie. Pulled her out myself. And would you believe, I never thought to see if she was a boy or girl? They had to remind me!!! So, I was elated she was girl, of course. I cut the cord myself, sat for awhile in the tub, then got out for the placenta part. Mike held Charlie, while she screamed each time she heard my voice. They eventually weighed and measured her, 8 lbs, 4 ozs and 21 inches long.
I don't know if it comes through or not, but this was the ideal birth for me. Everything was down on my terms and own time. I think labor moved quickly because I walked around the house, doing stuff, helping the baby move down. I was relaxed at home, no mad rush to the hospital. Mike was able to give me all the water I needed, and I pushed how and when I wanted to. Not big, long, hold your breath pushes, but, shorter, harder, and truly easier on me and the baby pushes. I really liked no one barking orders at me, or worrying about questioning everything. Charlie wasn't poked or prodded by strangers right after her birth, nor taken away from me for any reason. And for some reason, I am not sore at all, or bleeding very much. It was nice waking up in my own bed, with my own bathroom and my own food. I totally recommend home birth to anyone who can do it.
We didn't take a lot of pictures. Partly because there wasn't a lot of time, partly because we forgot, and seriously, who wants to see my naked butt?
***KIND OF GROSS PHOTO*** NO NAKEDNESS THOUGH****
Charlie right after she was born. That is a towel
under the water, not body parts.
Big sister B. Marci said B squealed when she
found out Charlie was a girl.
My little T-rex with her little sister.