I felt cramping all day, and at 4 am on Sunday I started feeling contractions about 8-20 minutes apart. During this time, I could not sleep because of excitement! I sat on a ball, took a 2 hour bath, contracting in the tub, and cleaned up the house a little. I noticed a little blood tinged mucous/bloody show throughout this time. At about 9:30am I decided to go on a walk with my mom and Breckan, hoping it would intensify the contractions. I got three houses away and poof! My water broke. It felt like a golf ball popping in there! I noticed a brown type of amniotic fluid instead of clear fluid...which concerned me. After that, contractions intensified and were about 4-6 minutes apart. At about 10:30 am we decided to pack up and head to the hospital.
Once at the hospital, the midwife checked and I was at 3 cm, 70% effaced. They noticed that the baby had light meconium (he had his first bowel movement in utero)...this would mean I would not be able to do skin to skin until the baby was assessed by neonatal to make sure he was breathing properly and the meconium was not in his lungs.
I labored peacefully for a while, and then contractions started picking up, lasting about 2-5 minutes apart and increasing in intensity, then picking up again, right on top of each other and increasing even further in intensity. The next time that I was checked, I was 5 cm, then was checked again at 6cm. At about this time I could tell that delivery was getting near. My contractions became quite unbearable but I kept reminding myself to completely RELAX my shoulders and entire body so that I would not be tired during the pushing stages. I listened to soft music, and rode the contractions like waves, pictured them as a rainbow, going from cool colors, up to red and back down again. I also pictured steps, walking up to the top, and slowly coming down. I remember wanting to express my needs to Mark (like counting contractions or restart the music, etc etc) but I seemed to be unable to get my words out...as if it took too much energy or I would lose my focus by doing so.
I felt most comfortable in the seated position to labor, and that is where I stayed until one of the nurses suggested I roll to the side to see if just shifting my body would move me out of 6cm. Once I made the shift (which was quite unbearable) I felt a sure fell urge to push. I started grunting to hold back the pushing, since I was only at 8 cm. (6-8 just by shifting positions!) After trying my hardest to hold back for what seemed like an eternity, but probably only a few contractions, I was dilated to 10cm in a matter of minutes. 4 pushes later, with no pain meds or pitocin and with no tearing, our BIG 9lb Cannon was born into this world at 3:49 pm April 28th, with the cord around his neck TWICE and slightly purple. I remember saying,
'We have a boy!!!! Another boy, Mark!!" Then immediately after that, saying, "He is purple, is he okay? He's purple!" The cord was cut immediately and he was handed quickly off to the neonatal doctor in our room for a quick check because of meconium. He was given some suction and oxygen to get his breathing up, then was handed to me at peace and happy. (7/9 apgar). We immediately did skin to skin and Breastfeeding.
Following delivery, I was given pitocin so that my uterus would keep contracting. This was needed due to the fact that I had a 9 lb baby and there was a lot of bleeding. They were concerned about my health at that point!
Birth went according to plan, besides the fact that I could not delay cord clamping or have Mark cut the cord, or have instant skin to skin because of the issues with the meconium and wrapped cord. However, I couldn't have asked for a better birth or delivery considering the circumstances, and I am very lucky I was able to have the natural med-free birth I wanted with results of a beautiful healthy baby boy :).