On Tuesday morning, July 30, I woke up and was sitting on the sofa doing my devotions. I had a contraction & it felt a little stronger than some braxton hicks I'd had (I'd been having braxton hicks since I was 14 weeks along!) & when I went to the bathroom I had some bloody show. That is always my sign that labor is beginning for me. Ray was walking out the door to work when it happened so I rushed to catch him before he left & let him know I was going into labor. He asked if her had time to go to work for a few hours. I told him it was fine, just to be on the look out for my call.
I spent the morning half-heartedly seeing if I could get labor to start, but, mostly rushing around the house trying to get my "last-minute-list" complete. My thoughts were, "Just let me vacuum before I go into labor. Oh, if I can just wash the dishes than I'll be ready to go into labor...." By the time I felt like I got everything done that I wanted it was noon & I sat down to rest a bit.
I would have a few minor but stronger than normal contractions throughout the day, but, nothing established.
Ray was sweet & kept contacting me all day to see how I was doing.
I finally called him around 3 as the normal neediness of the kids was getting to be too much during the few contractions I was having & I told Ray I needed him to come home just to take care of the kids, not because I was in labor yet. Ray called me back at 3:30 to tell me he had just left work & wanted to know if I needed anything.
Turns out, yes, yes I did. Apparently right before labor I decided I needed Breyers Vanilla ice cream. The good kind, you know, with the black vanilla bean specks in it.
The kids had VBS in the evening so at 4:00 I sat down on the sofa in order to work on verses with them. And, that's when I started needing to breathe & relax through a contraction. Three minutes later I had to do it again. And, three minutes after that.
Here's the thing, if there's no traffic it takes Ray about 30-40 minutes to get home, which would have put him home right around 4:00. (if I hadn't had him stop for ice cream!) I've discovered with these last few pregnancies that I can mentally stall labor if I'm not quite ready for it to start yet. I definitely did it this time & I definitely let it go knowing that Ray was almost home. I find even that amazing!
I called the birth center to find out the midwife on call at 4:30. I called the midwife, Michelle, & told her I'd been having contractions every three minutes, 30-45 seconds long, but only for the last 30 minutes. I know the drill! I also knew that wasn't long at all. While I was on the phone with the midwife Ray walked in the door. (I didn't want ice cream by that point!) Michelle told me that she needed to make sure that she wasn't needed at the birth center (if she was I'd need to go there to have Jackson) & she'd call me back.
15 minutes later I was laying in bed when Michelle called me to say that she & Katie, the student midwife, would be able to come to my house and they were going to come check on me. I was surprised they were coming so soon & asked, "Really?" Michelle said they wouldn't come yet if I didn't want them to but I started having a contraction and couldn't talk anymore. She could tell my labor was quickly progressing so just told me they were coming over now & would be there soon.
I believe Michelle arrived at our house around 5:15 while I was laboring in the tub.
After awhile I got out & laid in the bed for a bit to labor there. I also had them check me & I was dilated 6cm & my bag of waters was bulging.
I asked about breaking my water & they told me it should speed things up but it would also make the contractions more intense. It was a little after 6:00 & the kids were getting ready to go to VBS (Rays' mom took them for us) so I said to wait until they left before breaking my water.
My contractions were definitely intense & felt so different than my other labors! I still relaxed quietly through them, but, internally the pain was much worse than previous times.
I had them refill the bath tub & got in there again. Around 6:50-something Katie broke my water while I was in the tub in the middle of a contraction. The pain instantly changed and became so much worse and moved to my back.
It became so much more difficult to relax through the contractions as they became so intense, so quickly. It didn't take long before I realized I felt better if I gave a little push during the contractions so I asked to be checked to see if I was to 10 cm yet.
I kind of couldn't believe that I was already there! Ray got ready to catch the baby with Katie next to him & Michele filmed for us.
I began to push & almost immediately could feel the baby descend. Even this felt more painful than previous labors (of course, maybe I just forgot after 3 years!). I believe I pushed around 4 times (they had to make me slow down for a bit so I wouldn't tear - I didn't! - & to unwrap the cord from around his neck) & I actually gave a small scream once. Even Ray noticed & told me, "You never scream...." This also hurt more than the other times!
Jackson was born at 7:27 pm & was quite blue & very quiet. Thankfully, all was fine, though! We let the cord finish pulsing & then Ray cut it. We drained the tub, I pushed the placenta out & then got in the shower. Everything went just beautifully!
I just love the time right after having a baby, getting to meet this tiny, new, little person. Ray put his first diaper on, we weighed him (9 lbs. 13 oz. - my biggest baby yet!). I get checked as well & I was very happy to find that I didn't tear! My midwives do an amazing job to help moms not tear & I never have with any of my births.
After a baby I always get a Publix sub so Michelle, Katie & I gave Ray our orders & he went out for us. While he was gone Jackson had his newborn exam (21 inches long) I called up my family in NC so that we could video chat. Ray happened to get home right around when the kids did from VBS so my parents got to watch them meet the baby for the first time on video chat. My mom even captured a photo! It was all so fun & the kids were incredibly excited!
It was another amazing birth experience!