Sheila Faith was born at 2:07 am on February 1, 2011. She weighed 8 lbs 5 oz and was 20″ long. Sheila is beautiful and sweet in spirit and fits in with her family as if she's always been here! She was greeted at birth by her Daddy, who delivered her and handed her to Mommy, who cut her cord. Big Sister Isabelle was watching and cheering with her Aunt Joy and, she was immediately greeted by her Aunt Betty. Sheila is loved and adored and sleeping now beside me as I write this; forever her story.
My contractions started rather randomly and not very strong, but noticeable, on Sunday night, January 30th and I smiled as I told Daddy I thought she would be here on Monday, the 31st. I slept between contractions until I woke at 3 am without any. I went to my scheduled appointment on Monday and after a little debate, decided to be checked. I was quite surprised to learn I was at 4 cm and the midwife didn't think it would be long, maybe that day or the next.
I had a few small contractions throughout the day but nothing that made me take any notice. My sister and Shane both were convinced I was in labor as each one would make me pause a minute; but they were only breath-taking, not painful. I refused to believe the baby was coming. It just didn't feel strong enough or consistent, and nothing like my previous birth.
At 4 pm they started to be consistent and came with a few sharp pains that lasted a few seconds. The contraction itself was 4 minutes long and coming every 2 – 4 minutes. I cooked supper, picked up the house, and got the bags out so Shane could load them. An ice storm was predicted to come in that night, followed by 2 feet of snow, so he was wanting to go in to the birth center right away to beat the storm.
I still didn't believe I was in labor and didn't want to go too early, but at 5 pm I lost my plug, and at 7 the contractions were making me stop in my tracks. Still not painful, but highly uncomfortable. After a call to the midwife, we headed in.
At 8 we arrived and settled in. I was dilated to 6 cm and decided to walk while I drank my red raspberry leaf tea. I walked and walked and walked stopping only every hour to listen to the baby's heartbeat. It was always good. She was a very calm baby. I tried laboring on the ball, but felt my contractions slow down, and rested a bit in bed, but also felt they would stop there. Ultimately, I just walked, and kept drinking red raspberry leaf tea and water. I told the midwife I didn't think it was time, but she assured me I was progressing and very much “in labor”.
Around 10 pm I thought my water may have broken during a strong contraction, so was checked again. I was close to 7 cm, but the bag was still unbroken. At 11 pm I decided to have them break it so things would start happening. Not my original plan, but sounded good to me then. After it broke, I labored on the ball, trying to get her lower in my pelvis. That became uncomfortable as they started to be stronger and I labored on the bed on all fours; my favorite position when I had tried flipping her from breech during pregnancy. Shane rubbed my back and we would talk between contractions. They started filling the tub for me, but I still didn't think that I was “enough” in labor to get in. I had to pee, and while on the toilet, the contractions got painful and I requested to get in the water.
Shane and I changed into our swim clothes and got in the water, it was close to 12 am when all was said and done and we were in. The warmth instantly eased my pains and I labored happily, talking, staring in Shane's eyes and laughing in between contractions.
During contractions I was breathing deeply, listening to Shane's voice as he talked me through them or just tuning every one out. We turned on the jets and the tub lights and just relaxed. The contractions were more and more painful, but I breathed through some and vomited through the others. Vomiting is great distraction from the pain! I actually really liked even just thinking I was going to vomit, as I wasn't thinking about the pain.(NOTE: Want Real Mom Tested Techniques for Handling Labor Pain? Use these 11 proven natural childbirth techniques to handle labor and keep things moving right along. Get them here.)
Close to 2 am I started feeling the pushy feeling, and breathed through a few more contractions just to make sure I would be dilated enough. When I couldn't control the urge anymore my midwife double checked and gave me the go ahead. Another woman had recently come into the birth center and a nurse came in to tell the midwife she was 8 cm, effaced and wanting to push. My midwife just kind of nodded and the head Dr of the midwife team was called in for the other woman. I later found out she had hers at 2:27 am.
The pain intensified and I tried to think about pushing but could feel my back splitting and feared I was getting back labor like last time. I was starting to lose control of my breathing and focusing on too many thoughts and fears to be effective in laboring. I felt the water as a heavy burden on my chest and couldn't breathe. I moved around and around trying to get comfortable, and Shane was moving, too, to get into position to catch the baby. I wanted to get on all fours, head down on the bed and started climbing out.
Shane saw I was losing focus and kept talking me through it, telling me I was almost done and trying to get me to breathe. He was surprised I wanted out and as I climbed on my knees and put my arms on the ledge, I changed my mind and stayed right there, kneeling. The pain I had before wasn't as noticeable, I was breathing calmly again, and the water wasn't closing me off.
The midwife said to wait because I was standing partly out of the water and the baby would of been born into air then hit water, so she scrambled to add more. It was hot, and I started to sweat and wanted out again, but I laid my head on the ledge and just breathed. I was starting to fear the pushing where a minute ago I couldn't control the urge, now I wanted to hold it forever. I just kept remembering that I pushed 5 hours with my other birth, and I didn't want to do it anymore. I said that I can't do this, and kept hearing Shane telling me I could and was, and that I needed to push.
I held her in a couple contractions more while I went over and over in my head that some women push their babies right out. Shane kept saying the baby was right there and I reached down and felt her head. She was SO close! I thought cautiously that maybe I could, then, more positively that I would and on the next contraction, started pushing softly, where I felt her move; then, just a little more, where I felt the burn and said I really couldn't and the midwife told me it was just the ring of fire, to keep going.
I realized then she would never come out if I didn't push and I gave it all I had before the contraction ended. She slid out between my fingers into Shane's hands, up out of the water into my arms. I held her and talked to her and showed her to Shane and Isabelle, before I cut the cord and handed her to Shane while I climbed out to deliver the placenta.
Once in the bed I held her and tried to nurse, but had trouble while they did my stitches, so I gave her back to her Daddy. I nursed her immediately after that and she was such a little trooper, latching right on and going for it! She nursed, then I held Isabelle and talked to her and showed her her sister. She loves her and loves being a big sister and can't stop talking about the “Baby”! It has been a whirlwind, but is the greatest blessing having two beautiful girls. I am so happy and feel great. Sheila is wonderful!
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