by Melissa, Germany
The first sign of labor I had was when I lost half my mucous plug on 10/27 at 8pm, the day before my due date. I started getting mild cramps that evening around 11 and had mild cramping every 10 minutes or so all through the night.
By 10 am I was having stronger, but still bearable contractions. I cleaned my house, got on my hands and knees and washed my floors. Did laundry. Went for a 2 mile walk. Called my midwife when I got back, I had a previously scheduled midwife appt at 1pm on my due date, 10/28, so I called her before to give her a heads up that I was fairly certain I was in true labor. Sure enough, when she got there she said I would be having a baby that night! I was 1 cm dilated but my cervix was thin and soft. She went home until I called her to come back.
Donald (my husband) texted me from work, asking about my status. I felt fine, so I told him to stay at work until the contractions got closer and more intense. By 3:30 he was home with me. My contractions were steadily increasing and 5-7 minutes apart. I bounced on my exercise ball, leaned on it and breathed deeply through each contraction.
I got in my bathtub to relax around 5pm. I was getting contractions every 5 minutes or less. They were uncomfortable, but I never really felt like they were unbearable. I had Donald call the midwife while I was in the tub. She arrived at 5:45 and I was having contractions about 2 minutes apart, very intense.
Lisa, my midwife, kinda just observed me from a distance. Donald paced around, wondering how to help me. I just wanted to be in my alone, in my zone. The contractions were right on top of each other. I leaned on my exercise ball and swayed my hips and breathed deeply. I felt shaky, nauseous and very tired. At 6:20 I laid on the couch to rest a moment, had a few contractions there. Lisa told me to push if I felt the urge. I did, and my water burst all over the couch and floor!
Lisa helped me over the bedroom, which Donald had set up for the birth. I pushed from my side w/my right leg hocked up. I wanted to squat but didn't feel like moving! Lisa checked me, I had a contraction during her exam, it was very uncomfortable. She said I was ready to push whenever I wanted. So each contraction I felt the urge, and pushed a little. Lisa held my leg up for a few pushes, then Donald came over to hold it. I pushed for 45 minutes. This was the worst part! Getting the head out was by far the least favorite part!
I felt his head come out more and more each push, then slide back in with each rest. When his head crowned it felt like my crotch was gonna rip open and was on fire! I remember thinking I couldn't do it. I might have even said “I can't!” I was worried about tearing, but Lisa assured me I was soft and not gonna tear.
Finally! his head came out! And he started crying and coughing immediately. I didn't wanna push his body out, but I knew I had to. One more big push and he slid out! What a relief! Lisa placed him on my chest right away. Within 15 minutes we were breast feeding, with the umbilical cord still pulsing. (We waited to cut the cord until it stopped pulsating.) Donald was able to cut the cord. Lisa pushed on my belly to help push the placenta out. It slid out without much effort. I was done! I did it!
My husband and midwife were amazing coaches! I feel like a warrior now! And I have this amazing little prize for all my hard work! My little man, Dean! I'm so in love! Lisa said I had the smoothest, most uncomplicated birth she's ever seen for a first timer. All those walks, squats and hours at the gym paid off!
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