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Labor stories, questions, etc

Per mdvegan's suggestion, as not to jack llg's thread anymore :)

Please continue, ladies!  I love hearing the stories, even though they've been getting pretty horrible....I need to be mentally prepared for this shit!

eta:  just for reference, I intend on a natural birth, but am completely open to whatever happens....as you've said, not everything always goes as planned, so I wanna be prepared for any situation.

I'm sure I've told this story before on VW, but...

I had a super easy pregnancy, but at 34 weeks we found out the baby was breech (head up instead of down).  The midwife said it was no big deal...the baby would probably turn over in the next week or 2, but she made an appointment for me to have an ultrasound at 36 weeks to make sure.  Well at 36 weeks he was still breech.  I had the option of trying an External Cephalic Version (which is where the doctor tries to push the baby into the right position...apparently it's about 50% successful, but they try not to do it much before 37 weeks because it runs the risk of inducing labor or detaching the placenta (in which case they'd do an emergency caesarean), and there's a chance that even if they turn the baby, it will turn back).  I decided to try it.  So they did that at 36.5 weeks (a Wednesday).  WORST. IDEA. EVER.  It was soooo painful and traumatic, and I was bruised and nauseous for about 3 days afterwards...and it didn't work.  One of the OBs at my hospital is an expert at natural breech deliveries, so I made an appointment to see him the following Monday.

The Sunday before that appointment, I woke up at 5am, bleeding.  Went to the hospital and they said my mucus plug had dislodged and I was having small contractions, but all that meant was that I'd have the baby within the week.  Then they sent me home.  I tried to sleep but the contractions were keeping me awake (they didn't hurt, but it was like having someone tap you on the shoulder every 5 mins...too distracting to sleep through).  Mid-afternoon they started getting stronger, around 9 pm they started hurting, and around midnight we went back to the hospital.

I don't have much concept of time from here on.  DH and I both tried to sleep some more, they brought in the breech expert and I had another ultrasound to see if the baby was still breech (he was) and whether it was ok to try to deliver him naturally or whether I should go straight for a caesarean (the 3 basic breech positions are: 1. legs straight, feet near the head, 2. sitting cross-legged, 3. legs under the body.  The baby needs to be in one of the first two positions for a natural delivery.  My baby was in the 2nd position).  I refused drugs.  Someone put a canula in my hand "just in case", but did a really bad job of it so someone else took it out and gave me one in my other hand.  I had to poop a bunch of times.  They ruptured the amniotic sac for me because it didn't look like it was going to happen on its own...which started the "active labour".  They brought in a birthing stool (looks a little like a toilet) so I could try to give birth while upright.  They kept trying to get me to eat or drink something besides water to keep my energy up but I threw up after half a piece of candy.  And then...Vincent's foot popped out.  The doctor pushed it back in a few times, hoping Vincent would pull it back up and come out butt-first like a good breech baby, but it wasn't working, so they said the safest option was a caesarean.

They didn't have enough time for an epidural to take effect to I had to be put under a general anesthetic, which was fine with me because all I wanted to do at that point was sleep (this was around 1pm Monday, and I'd been awake since 5am Sunday).  Apparently it was all a lot more serious than I realized at the time.  DH was really worried for a while.  But they got Vincent out at 1:15pm.  I didn't come out of the anesthetic until 3 or 4, then I woke up long enough to find out I'd had a boy and I went back to sleep until 8ish.  I woke up in the maternity ward and ate a piece of toast (first food I'd had in about 48 hours).  I felt like a train wreck that night but by the next morning I was feeling a lot better, and I recovered pretty quickly like I said in the other thread (physically that is...I had a very stressful time getting Vincent to breastfeed, but that story is in the Breastfeeding Q&A thread).

And for the record, I think the ECV was worse than the actual labor, and if I was unlucky enough to have another breech baby (about 4% of babies are breech), I would just plan for a caesarean.

Holy crap, that was a long story.

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And then...Vincent's foot popped out.  The doctor pushed it back in a few times, hoping Vincent would pull it back up and come out butt-first like a good breech baby, but it wasn't working, so they said the safest option was a caesarean.

My husband was born vaginally in this fashion. One leg at a time. One of his legs was broken during the birth and he still walks with his leg a bit twisted inward at the knee. My MIL won't tell me more....I think it was very traumatic for her. Her two subsequent babies were scheduled c-sections.

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Ooh birth stories are fun! hehe Well only when retelling them later!  My daughter was due Jan 2 2010, however I woke up on Sunday Dec 26th at 4am with a loud pop and the gush of my water breaking. I wasn't having any contractions until about 2 hours later, but couldn't go back to sleep I was too nervous and excited! So I showered, ate some breakfast and stuff... We headed up to the hospital a few hours later, around 11am. I was still only having mild contractions but since my water breaking was the first thing that happened, they asked us to head to the hospital. When I got there they triaged me and verified that yes, my water had broken (DUH! LOL). They took me to my room where I would labor and give birth, we got everything set up. Contractions at this point were still about every 7 minutes and pretty minor in terms of pain. I was stuck at 3 cm dilated for a VERY LONG TIME...I had  to have my cervix frozen several years prior due to abnormal cells and this caused scarring on my cervix which was causing difficulty in my cervix opening. However, they let me labor for many hours on my own. I walked around the hospital a lot, watched the Golden Girls on DVD until it got to be too much. Around 7pm my contractions got stronger and harder, coming every 3-4 minutes but I was still only at 3 cm dilated. I got in the shower, spent about 1 hour in there and contractions were getting brutal. I got in bed, crazily this was the most comfortable position, sitting up in bed. Contractions were pretty much on top of each either, my SO was so good, he was massaging my feet for me! At that point my cervix had stretched to it's max and I went from 3 cm to 10 cm in about 5 minutes! Pushing came totally natural, I actually had no control over it and my doctor wasn't even there yet! I had to "hold it in" and try not to push, which was the hardest thing I've ever had to do! 2 pushes later my daughter was born, at 1:13am...only 21 hours after my water broke! hahaha SO very painful, but SO exhilirating and wonderful at the same time. When I had my son I had an epidural, did it without anything with my daughter and would totally do it again!!

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Ah, a good birthing story :)  Thanks, KM!  These other girls were beginning to scare me!!

But at least I now know to opt against the External Cephalic Version if it's offered.

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Mine wasn't bad, either. I got up in the night to pee, and water came out, and I starting feeling contractions, so we went to the hospital around 3am. By the time we filled out the paperwork and got up to the room my contractions were going full force. They were also one right after the other-no 5 min. apart for me-, even the nurses were commenting on how there wasn't a break in between and how crazy that was, but I had my daughter at 10am. I did have painkillers, or whatever they give you in an IV(dilaudid?) but no epidural. There wasn't even time if I had wanted one, they told me later. I will tell you that by the time you get to push it is such a relief. That's the part I was most nervous about. ::) Sorry about the smiley-my daughter insists on picking one every time I type.

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I ordered Ina May's childbirth book on Amazon and requested a copy of the Bradley method book at the library....but Bradley method classes around here are $350 and I'm not sure I should be spending that kind of money right now....even though I'd really like to.
Any birthing methods you guys swear by?

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Which book by Ina May?  Spiritual Midwifery or Ina May's Guide to Childbirth?

The birth stories in the second title are really empowering.  I wish I could have had that kind of birth experience.

On a related note, I have a full homebirth kit that has never been touched, other than the initial gathering of supplies - all of the medical stuff is still in sterile packaging.  Does anyone know of a good home for it?  I'd estimate that the tote weighs at least 35 lbs (because of the crockpot, which I could take out), and is valued at $125-150.  I'd ship, but it would probably cost as much as gathering everything.  I tried to give it to my midwife, but since I chose a 'medicated birth' at the hospital, she stopped talking to me and doesn't want it. 

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Wow, that's not cool that your midwife stopped talking to you because of what kind of birth you chose.  You'd think someone in her position would be more understanding/less judgmental.

Could you contact another midwife to see if they would want the kit?  Otherwise, maybe sell it on ebay or something (either with a high shipping cost or make it pick up only).  Or see if you can advertise it at an OB/GYN office or women's clinic.

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Oh I did do the Bradley Method classes with my son's birth...I loved it, but I don't think it was worth the money. I also didn't get along that well with the teacher, she was very judgmental of my then husband because he had tattoos. Anyways, I did have an epidural with my son as I mentioned, but didn't with my daughter, so...But my hospital offered pretty cheap classes and we did two of them. One general birthing class and one natural childbirth class and that was WAY more helpful than the Bradley classes.

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I took a couple birthing classes at the hospital-but because my daughter was a month early we didn't make it through them all. The breathing/lamaze helped me focus, but everything else was too much for me to pay attention to. Massage, showers etc. just annoyed the shit out of me. I do recommend prenatal yoga-even for just the time you have left. I think it really helped with the labor. You use every single muscle in your body it seems. You will be so sore the next day.

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have any of you mamas heard much about 'hypnobirthing'?
My godmother's oldest daughter is pregnant and is saying she is going to have a pain free birth because she's been going to some hypno birthing classes.
A friend of my cousin is one of the local instructors: http://www.aucklandhypnobirthing.co.nz/?cms=home

kind of sounds too good to be true though, right?

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The extended version  of DS24's birth:  Pretty much uneventful first pregnancy.  2 weeks before my due date, false labor began.  I was having 60-90 sec contractions every 3 minutes like clockwork, some entense enough not to be able to do anything when they happened.  This went on for several hours at a time.  Since they were so intense and regular, I went to the hospital, enough times to hold the record for most visits before delivering. :-[  When I was 2 weeks late, they stopped!  I did a stress test and he was doing ok so we scheduled an induced labor a week later in case he had not arrived by that time.  The night before it was to be at the hospital, I woke up with the most intense muscle spasm in my uterus.  The doctor found nothing to explain it and gave me a shot so I could sleep until morning.  They set me up with the IV line for the induction in the morning and I slept until they started the drip at 7 AM.  Good news, I slept well.  Bad news, I woke up to intense contractions.  It must have been an opiate that they gave me because I now know I am sensitive to them.  I was not able to shake the sleepiness and fell back to sleep between contractions only to wake up at the peek of the next one.  I finally woke up when they threatened a shot to counter it.  Just before 9AM, I was almost 7 cm.  but they would not give me meds until I was 7.  A few minutes later asked the nurse to check again because things felt "different".  She refused, I insisted.  I was 10 CM :o  The doctor was called from his office downstairs and barely made it up in time.  My son's first action was to poop on the doctor.

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have any of you mamas heard much about 'hypnobirthing'?
My godmother's oldest daughter is pregnant and is saying she is going to have a pain free birth because she's been going to some hypno birthing classes.
A friend of my cousin is one of the local instructors: http://www.aucklandhypnobirthing.co.nz/?cms=home

kind of sounds too good to be true though, right?

I've heard a little about hypnobirthing - there's a kit you can buy on Amazon for home training...
But I'd have to do a lot more research on it before I spent the money...I'm fairly skeptical.

My hospital offers a whole slew of classes and I'll probably just stick with them.  They are remodeling the entire maternity ward right now and it should be done in July - I'm hoping that they put in some jacuzzi tubs - not necessarily to deliver in, but for laboring - I think that might be nice.

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My first grandson is 6 months and a few days old.  I went to the birthing classes with my daughter and was in the room when he was born.  Things have changed drasticly from when I had my kids.  They seem to try to avoid the early interventions and all the cascading results from that.  There are so many more options available.  DD was confined to bed laying down because her BP spiked and htey were really concerned about her.  Over all though, it was a good experience for her, in spite of asking for pain meds too late in the process to get them.  They explained that she would need to be motionless for a few minutes and she concluded she could not do that.  The baby was born about 5 min. later :)>>>

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I had a rough pregnancy - broken bones, fainting spells, hyperemesis, etc.  We had planned a homebirth from the beginning, but I had being using the dual-care model (midwife and OB) because of the various problems. 

I was fired from my job in my 7th month of pregnancy (without cause, but I suspect it has something to do with all of the work I was missing due to doctor-mandated bedrest - can't prove it, of course) and was put on full bedrest shortly thereafter. 

When I hit 36 weeks the pain became unbearable in my back and ribs, to the point of causing panic attacks, so the doctor put me on 5 mg percocet as needed for the pain.  As much as I hated to take an opiate-based painkiller while pregnant, the alternative was panic attacks which could cut off the blood flow to the placenta.  Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place!

By 38 weeks, I was taking almost 30 mg per day and was very very worried about my baby being born with respiration problems, or worse, a drug addiction.  I couldn't get out of bed, unless it was to get my husband to help me wash my hair (couldn't lift my arms above my head) and bathe. 

At this point, I had a long, heartfelt conversation with my husband about our homebirthing plans and we both decided that it wasn't going to be a safe option for me or the baby.  I talked to my OB about this, and she suggested scheduling a c-section at 39 weeks in order to avoid the possibility of going into labor naturally with the back problems I was having without contractions!  (I had an order on file for an MRI on my back & ribs as soon as the baby was born.)

Well, that was certainly unexpected!  "Scheduling" your baby?  That's about as far away from a natural birth as you can get!  After lots of careful consideration and LOTS of tears, we decided to take her advice.  In addition to avoiding complications for me, I didn't want to keep the baby on opiates any longer than necessary.

We went in on Friday, around noon for the C/S.  I had been up all night the night before feeling like the worst mother on the planet for scheduling my daughter's birth, particularly a week before my EDD. 

The procedure was pretty simple - lab work before, a spinal for pain relief, and within about 15 minutes, out popped a beautiful, healthy baby girl with a full head of hair.  It took the docs another 45 mins or so to reassemble me, so DH stayed with the baby while I was finishing up.  It was the longest 45 mins of my life! 

I was in recovery for a little over an hour with no complications.  The hospital staff brought her to me as soon as she was cleaned up and checked out by the pediatrician.  (Only about 10 mins after I was in recovery, so she got to nurse within an hour of birth.)

Recovery from the c-section was a BREEZE compared with the back and rib pain I had before she was born (which was caused by her weight on a broken bone, pressing into a spinal nerve - yuck!)  I had no problems at all and the hospital staff were awesome about rooming in (Daddy had his own bed, baby had her own bassinet) and letting one of us stay with her at all times.  They were even super respectful of our vegan diet.  DH wanted fries one night and they called the room to make sure it was okay to fry them in the same oil that had housed non-vegan onion rings.  We definitely didn't get much sleep, though.  Since I refused to let them take DD to the nursery, we had medical staff in every hour.  I had an RN and CNA for me, and DD had an RN and CNA for her.  Each nurse was on a 4-hour schedule, so that meant no sleep for 48 hours for mama!

I was stubborn about receiving pain meds while in the hospital.  I actually felt better after having the baby than I did for the month before she was born!  I had no opiates other than the morphine that was in the spinal injection.

The second day, when I got out of bed for the first time, it hurt like a #*@&#.  It was a weird pain - a really strong burning sensation.  I quickly sat back down, my head spinning.  When the nurse came in, I decided to take 10 mg of Percocet and a dose of Tramadol (IV) before attempting my venture to the shower again.  That was the only time I needed them.  Each time I got up after that, it hurt, but it got easier and easier.  I got in trouble with DH for cleaning the house on my second day home while he was at work, but I felt better than I had in ages. 

(Sadly, the rib/back pain has started flaring up again, presumably from laying the baby on my torso while she nurses, as she's gained weight.  I am learning to work around it, though, by nursing while only sitting upright on the side of the injury.)

Overall, it was a good and bad experience.  It was good because my baby was born healthy, with no drugs in her system, and my pain was alleviated.  Bad because I lost several friends in the local midwifery community because of my decision to schedule a birth, and also because I really feel like I missed out on a once-in-a-lifetime experience by not going through labor.  (I'm sure most moms would be happy to miss it, LOL).  Definitely bittersweet.  I'll never know if I made the right decision or not. 

I'm very glad it's all over. 

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I think you made the right decision.  It's the decision I would have made too.  It irritates me that your midwife won't talk to you because of it though.  You were doing what you thought was best for you and your baby's health.  How can anyone be mad at you for making that type of decision?!?!

Do you plan on having more children?  Would you be willing to attempt a VBAC? 
I can understand the feeling of 'missing out' on a natural childbirth, even though I've never even done it - I want so badly to have a natural birth that I know I'll be disappointed if something happens and that just isn't possible.  But I'll always choose safety first. 

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You know.... I really should NOT be reading these since I am "allegedly" so close.

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Mdv- Any decision that results in a healthy mother and baby is the right decision.  You did the best you could under the circumstances, and that's what parenting is all about.

Erin- I know you didn't ask me, but...I plan on having another child and I will attempt a VBAC as long as my trusted medical staff say it's ok (my hospital offers a class on VBAC, which I plan to take when the time comes).  Unless I have another breech baby, in which case I'll schedule a caesarean.

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I think I have already shared a lot of this in the past, somwhere, but its kinda fun to look back!

I had a rough 1st and 2nd trimester, with hypermesis, to the point I needed some medication and monitoring.  It was pretty miserable, I literally felt sick to my stomach 24/7, and lost a bunch of weight. I also was super constipated, probably from not being able to keep down very much.

By my third trimester, I gained a shit ton of weight! And was more comfortable!
(MD-that sounds pretty horrific~! I had really bad rib pain too-(no back pain though), (not to that extent though) and I have never heard anyone else talk about having it as well! (I also happened to break my ankle in the midst of it all)!

Anyways, I started to dialate really early on, and the doctor always told me he would be "shocked" if I even made it to my due date, until, well I made it 2 weeks past my due date! At this point he told me I would have to be induced, for the health of the placenta and baby decreases after 2 weeks.  So, I showed up, telling the nurse I would be having a natural birth, etc. Then had to get induced with Pitocion (=hell) and he broke my water (= double hell!) I went from no contractions to them happening every 30 seconds. All of that "recovery time inbetween contractions" that the books and classes talked about simply did not exist.

I still managed to sit, groaning and moaning, on a birthing ball at the side of the bed, until it became too hard for them to monitor the baby that way, so I had to lay in the dreaded position of not moving, on my back, in the bed.  At this point it was simply too much, and my moans made their way from "cow-like" to "dying-wild animal-like", and the nurses had to shut the door to my room so I wouldn't continue to disturb the whole floor.  I hung in there naturally for 5-6 hours, I think, and finally, after another dilation check where I was literally not dilated any more than when i walked in the door, I decided to have some meds (not an epidural yet).  The kind they gave me were worse than not having anything (I suspect they were more of a sedative than a pain med, because I still felt the same pain, but was just really out-of-it and groggy.

After a little while of that I demanded an epidural, and couldn't get it done fast enough.  And, there went my natural childbirth I had been prepping for forever. I felt like a total failure, but I just couldn't handle it anymore. 
Immediately after the epidural, I felt better, like NO PAIN AT ALL! I think I even took a nap.  More importantly, I started to dilate and it was only about an hour after the epidural that I started to push.  i honestly think it kind of helped me relax enough to dilate.

But, it also made it really hard to push, my legs had to be propped up, and I remeber I kept slapping them because they felt all rubbery and weird (like your lips after novacaine at the dentist).  I feel like it made it hard to "feel my body" and know what to do, I could feel the urge to push some, but I think naturally it would have been much eaiser.  I was shocked at how exhausting pushing was! I felt like I was falling asleepin between pushes.

And, as I mentioned in another post, I stripped naked, which is not really like me! (especially because my mom and Taj's mom were in the room).

Also, i have a very sweet family, but it was almost more stressful knowing they were all there (aunts, parents, inlaws, etc) in the waiting room....i felt like I was keeping them waiting, and I don't know, it just felt weird, especially afterwards when you just want to rest.  As mean as it sounds, I would try to limit visitors more next time. Even after they are born, its exhausting, and between getting the hang of breast-feeding, doctors, and nurses coming in and out, more people there seemed to make things feel more stressful.

Gosh, this is long, its fun to look back, and even though some of it was a little (lot) painful, it really isn't so bad, not as bad as I expected it to be! If I get a chance to do it again, I would try to be natural, hopefully I wouldn't have to be induced!

Oh, and Erin, I loved Ina May's Guide to Natural Childbirth, the stories were really cool!

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This may be the longest post ever, so only procede if you have a lot of spare time!!

My son was born March 1st, so the birth is (relatively) still fresh in my mind.  We did the Bradley classes, but unfortunately my husband was a horrible student and was basically no help at all.

I woke up around 7:30 two days before my due date to pee yet again.  I was having contractions, but I had been having BH every morning for a few weeks so I didn't think much about it.  I laid in bed waiting for them to stop until around 8:00.  I starting timing them and they were around 3-7 minutes apart.  I went to the bathroom to see if they'd stop and they didn't (Bradley method suggests going to the bathroom, eating, drinking, walking, and taking a nap to see if the contractions stop).  Went back to bed about the time my hubby was waking up.  I told him I thought I could be in labor.  My water broke right after I got back into bed, not a gush but a serious trickle.  I lost my mucous plug with bloody show when I went to clean up so I called my midwife and told her.  

My husband and I remade our bed with a plastic shower curtain between two sets of sheets and stripped everything else off.  I made a green smoothie and basically started puttering around the house.  I had a ton of plans for things I was going to get done during first stage labor, but since my contractions were pretty close together and getting stronger I only accomplished cleaning our bathroom.  I got in the shower for a long time and I remember holding myself up on the door during contractions.  I think I may have even been sitting on the floor of the shower for a while.  I think I started walking laps around our house with my husband after I finally got out of the shower.  By that time I needed him to hold me up each time I had a contraction.  We called the midwife back around 1:30 that afternoon (I think) and her birth assistant arrived around 3:00.  

My contractions were pretty intense by that time but I was still mobile.  The birth assistant did an internal exam after she arrived (that was my first internal exam, I declined during my appts).  I was only 2cm dilated but I was fully effaced.  I think my husband was more upset than I was that I was only 2cm.  I was just happy that I had been doing something, fully effaced meant that all that pain was accomplishing something.  By that time I was moaning with every contractions, but I have no idea how far apart they were.  It does get a little bit hazy after that, but I know that the midwifery student arrived soon after that.

I remember I sat in the glider in our bedroom and to do my Bradley relaxation.  I really got into the 'relaxation zone' because everyone thought my contractions had stopped and I had fallen asleep.  I heard everything everyone said, and my contractions were actually stronger and closer together, I had just relaxed enough that I was riding the pain.  The birth assistant 'woke me up' to listen to the baby's heartbeat with the doppler and made me get up and move some more.  I remember thinking all I wanted to do was sit down and zone out again, but I got up and walked some more.  I think my midwife arrived around 5:00 that night and she did another exam, I was dilated about 4-5 cm.  I remember she suggested I go to the bathroom and while I was moaning on the toilet she asked if it would be ok for the student to do an exam for practice.  I had realized by this time that every exam brought on another contraction, but I let her do it (after all, she had to start somewhere, right?).

It's pretty foggy and jumbled in my mind after that.  I know that my husband filled the birthing tub, but it was too soon to get in so he covered it with a blanket.  When the midwife finally told me to get in my contractions were two minutes apart and they lasted for a minute and a half.  I remember my husband and the midwife adding ice to the tub because it was too hot.  I got in and soon I was draped over the side moaning and screaming with double-peaked contractions that never seemed to let up.  I think I was pretty out of my head by that time, but I remember getting pissed because my husband offered me fried mushrooms because he had ordered a pizza for everyone.  I had eaten a banana earlier but I only had time to take a bite between contractions, I had to wait through a contraction to chew and swallow it.

My midwife told me the relaxing effect of the tub started to wear off after a while (one hour, two hours?) so I got out and went back to the toilet.  I remember she gave me a power-gel type thing that she squeezed into my mouth, it never even occurred to me to ask what was in it.  I had bought a case of all-natural juice pouches and I remember people kept shoving them in my face so I would keep drinking.  I started feeling the urge to push so I got back in the tub.

I remember thinking that the urge wasn't overwhelming, so I wasn't sure in my mind if it was just wishful thinking.  I had long ago abandoned any sense of myself and I was pretty much screaming with every contraction.  When my midwife checked me in the tub, I was fully dilated but the baby wasn't moving down at all so after another hour she wanted me to get out and push on the bed.  Then I really knew what they had meant by the overwhelming urge to push, but it still felt kind of like I was working against my body, like I had to push but my body wasn't really helping me out at all.  We tried quite a few positions on the bed, but I couldn't bring him down.  They could see him, but he wasn't moving.  I remember they started saying things like 'his heart rate is dropping' and 'you need to get this baby out now', so the midwife finally made me go back to the toilet.  That was when I finally felt like my body figured it out, like it was pushing even if I wasn't.  I was shrieking and my husband finally had to leave the bathroom.  I remember hearing the midwife say something about forceps and I realized that I had to get the baby out even if it killed me.  When he started to crown, they moved me back to the bed (I actually got up and walked with his head down).  My midwife wanted me on hands and knees and I remember almost crying because that position hurt the most.

So I got on hands and knees and it occurred to me that last time I had been on elbows and knees so maybe I had been trying to push him 'uphill'.  This time I knew it was almost over so I pushed for maybe another twenty minutes before I head them say ' I see a forehead, I see his eyes'.  After his head was out I gave one more huge push and he dropped onto the bed.  I rolled over and he pooped all over my belly when they laid him on me.

He was born after eighteen hours.  I pushed for three and a half hours, one hour in the tub ineffectively.  I breastfed him within half an hour and everyone left us alone and went home after two hours.  We took the soiled sheet and the shower curtain off the bed, climbed in, and the three of us went to sleep.

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