I woke up around 9am and nursed my 3 yr 5 mo old Josiah, and started feeling a bit crampy instead of the usual painless Braxton Hicks that I was getting for a few months. They started to feel like real contractions so I timed them and they were about 10-12 minutes apart. I could sense that today would be the day, and probably much faster than with Josiah. After a couple hours they became closer and stronger, and when I would nurse I had to breath through a couple! I told Ryan to come home from work around 1pm and we immediately left for the birth center so I could labor more freely there. The car ride was not fun, but it was only a 10 minute drive.
When we got there I was asked how far along I thought I was and all I could say was that I was definitely having to breath through the contractions and that they were still about 4-5 minutes apart. I got settled in the room and the midwife checked me to make sure I was actually progressing (as if I couldn't already tell!) she said I was 6cm. I knew I might have a couple hours to go but wanted to get in the tub because the contractions were pretty painful. It felt good and I definitely did not want to get out! Ryan was still keeping track of how far apart they were to see where I was at, but I thought that was pointless because I knew he was coming and that it didn't matter how far apart they were! But he was right there with me the whole time and made sure I knew I was doing a good job and that it would be over soon. They started getting really intense and I found myself moaning through most of them until I really had to give everything I had to get through them. I had a bit of back labor that I had no idea what to do about besides slouch down in the water and try to focus on getting through it. I kept thinking why is this so hard?! It was much easier for Josiah's birth.
Josiah was right there playing in the room while I was laboring, he came over a couple times and touched me with his cold hands, and said a few things to me that I can't remember. It wasn't long before I had to try bearing down while leaning over the edge of the tub. This was when I felt like I was doing a lot to bring him out and boy did it hurt! My water broke sometime during this and the nurse needed to take my temperature, which I thought was annoying and a distraction to the intensity of my labor. With another contraction and push I felt the ring of fire and the midwife told me to ease up which was so hard! Then I felt his head pop through and in one final push he was out and I reached down for him! He didn't breath immediately until we cleared some fluid and after about 10 minutes the midwife tied the cord with string and Ryan cut it. It was roughly a 7.5 hr labor with only about 4-5 contractions of pushing.
I then got out of the tub and up onto the bed and immediately felt the contraction for the placenta to come out, while the midwife gently pulled it came out, what a relief to not need any management for third stage. I also did not tear! It sure felt like it, so I was surprised but so relieved again! I then tried breastfeeding, Adlai latched on so well!! He nursed for a long time while we were there which was about 4-5 hrs. His cord looked like it was oozing a bit so we had to use the plastic clamp. He also needed his heel pricked before we left, which I wasn't too thrilled about! Especially since he had it again at his appointment a couple days later. We noticed fairly quickly that he looks different than Josiah, he has my Grandma's nose, has my long fingers, and Ryan's crooked 2nd toe! But he is beautiful in every way. Recovery for me has been very smooth, even though this time around I had some pretty bad afterbirth pains, I'll take those over everything I went through with Josiah!
Overall, I got a natural waterbirth with the care of a wonderful midwife and nurse who didn't try to intervene on anything, it was a wonderful experience!