I wrote this down the day after giving birth in order to remember it - and I can't bring myself to re-write it more poetically. My apologies for the blandness.
Baby's Name: Graham
Date of Birth: 10-18-09
Original Due Date: 10-10-09
Weeks Pregnant: 41w1d
Baby’s Weight: 6lbs 12oz (guess he needed that extra time)
Baby’s Height: 21"
Contractions began Saturday at 5pm, were 10 minutes apart. By 4am, they were 6 minutes apart. I wasn't supposed to go to the Birthing Center until 5 minutes apart, so I thought I'd wait it out in my tub. The tub slowed the contractions back down to 10 minutes. Bummer. I waited till my husband and 4 year old woke up at 8am and had them take me in. Contractions were back to 5 minutes apart and I was dilated 5cm. After laboring through stronger and stronger contractions for 4 more hours, I was devastated to learn I hadn't progressed at all.
I was pretty tired by now - I'd been walking around for nearly 15 hours straight (at least a half marathon, right?) and had so much farther to go.
My midwife said, you can take the hard, faster route or the slow, easier route: let me break your water and bounce you on the birthing ball for some intense contractions or wait it out. I broke down crying at the thought of choosing for it to get harder or been seemingly never-ending.
Before labor, I told my husband that there is going to come a time when I'm going to say that I quit and that I can't go on. I asked him to remind me that I'm strong enough and to help me through it. He totally came through.
She broke my water, manually stretched me from 5cm to 7cm. I bounced on the ball for 20 minutes or so through the intense sensations. "Contractions are only 1 minute - I can survive one minute of this" became my mantra. One step at a time. Even with only a 1 minute "break" in between.
I got into the warm tub, labored for 20 more minutes and felt the urge to push. I was only dilated to 8 or so. Again, my midwife helped manually stretch me and move the rest of my cervix. I pushed for about 20 minutes and out he came! What's remarkable is that from the time I had to chose my path until he was born was only 1 hour, and despite the assisted stretching, I didn't tear at all.
I'm very thankful for a knowledgeable midwife and my supportive husband. It was hard, but we did it and I'm so very happy with my decision to go natural.