Just like end of my pregnancy with Moriah, and like many other women, I began to dilate at around 34 weeks. First to 1cm, then to 2cm, then to three, over a period of three or four weeks. During that time, I had a dream that our baby was born on January 6 and it was a boy. My mother predicted (and wished) that our boy or girl would be born on her birthday, December 30. As the end of the year approached I became anxious, wondering whether baby would come at Christmas, on Mama's birthday, in the middle of an ice storm, or on my dream date. Of course all those dates came and went and here I was still waiting!
One thing that was different from my pregnancy with Kitty, is that I had lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions this time. I don't remember having them at all last time, but it's possible that I had them and just did not realize it because I didn't know what a contraction felt like. As we got closer to the due date, I wondered more and more whether the contractions were "real" or not. So much so that I would lay awake at night thinking "Is this gong to be it?" By 39 weeks, I had relaxed and I began to treat any contraction I felt as if it were a Braxton-Hicks (practice contraction). I would take long deep breaths, and continue on about my day (or night). I failed to realize that practice contractions should subside when you increase activity (namely walking).
My due date, Jan. 12, came and went and I was now off work. I took off on Friday, Jan. 9 because I didn't want to be there when my labor started and have to work out getting from work to the birth center and getting Kitty, getting the car seat......... I know that could have happened at any point before that Friday, but I was glad to be able to go ahead and take off. On my off days, I spent part of the time resting and part of the time going on walks and trying to stay active. I walked at the park a couple of times and Jeoff and I walked at the mall one of those evenings.
The last talk I took was very tiring because when I felt discomfort I went ahead and kept walking because I wanted to get in at least 45 minutes or an hour. Also while I was off, I got a very bad cold which went away over the weekend. Thank God baby didn't come then, because I felt pretty wiped out during that time.
(The Birth Day) 9:30 AM
On Tuesday, Jan 13, I took Kitty to school and stayed there for about an hour, watching the children play and listening to story time. Kitty was very clingy because she had been sick too, so she sat on my lap for most of the time. One of her little friends, Chasity, also wanted to sit on my lap so I picked her up as well. While I was doing all this I felt cramps in my stomach but I dismissed them of course. After leaving the school, I went to Wal-Mart and did some shopping and went to Target after that. While I was walking through these stores, I felt more of this cramping feeling but kept going about my business. From Target, I went home and dropped of the items I purchased, ate lunch, and then headed to the birth center for my 40-week appointment.
(Going in for the check-up) 1:30 PM
During the appointment, Cherie, the Midwife, asked me if I had been having contractions. I told her I had had a lot of practice contractions, but that had been going on for weeks and they never became regular. When she checked me I was dilated to five and she told me the baby could come at any time and when he did, it would probably be very quick. So with that said, I asked if I could just stay there instead of going back home. She told me that if I drove home, I would chance having the baby there or in the car trying to travel back to the center. Cherie then asked if I wanted her to break my water and go ahead and get the labor going. I had mixed feelings about that because I had always heard that any intervention like that could make labor stronger and more intense and that would make it very difficult for me to labor without getting anything for the "pain." She told me that the advice I had heard against breaking the water, was related to situations where natural labor is either not encouraged or desired and many types of interventions are the norm. She said in my case, I would only be kicking off what would eventually occur soon, anyway. I called Jeoff and told him about it and we were both were at peace with allowing her to break the water.
(Labor's about to begin) 2:10 PM
Jeoff left work (in Plano) and drove to the birth center. Mama was on her way to get some maintenance done on the car when I called, but I told her that she should go ahead and make her way there because I didn't want her to miss delivery AGAIN. She went and picked up Moriah from school, picked up Mom Thompson from home and they made there way to the birth center, was well.
While they were all on their way, Cherie sent me outside to walk in the park and the surrounding community. It was a beautiful day so I was able to enjoy being outside. I walked around and around, all the time trying to maintain a pretty fast pace so it would be productive for the labor. When I came back in, about 40 minutes later, I was very tired, "almost out of breath" and I had began to sweat! Cherie asked if I was ready for her to break the water, and I told her I wanted to wait until Jeoff arrived.
(The labor begins!) 2:50 PM
When Jeoff arrived, the labor assistant, Debbie, had come in and it was time to get started. They checked me and I was at about six cm and they went ahead and broke the water. Very interesting feeling after that. Cherie, told us both to go for a "brisk walk" this time. We went to the park next door and began to walk. Jeoff brought the video camera and got a tidbit of footage before we began. Walking this time was much more difficult. She told me it would help if I continued walking when I felt a contraction. We walked for about 20 minutes and Jeoff was surprised by the speed as which I was walking. He was thinking about going for a stroll like some of the couples did in the videos we saw. He picked up his pace, though, when he saw what I was doing. I couldn't talk much.
I just tried to maintain focus and get through the contractions. They were now much stronger than before, and closer together. I was glad this wasn't my experience the first time, because it would have been very overwhelming having not experience labor before. Last time, although it was a much longer labor, in the beginning I was able to relax, listen to music, write in my journal......and then as the labor progressed I moved from one phase to the next with a sense of preparation for what was to come. This time it was just down to business, as if Father was saying, 'you've done this before so let's just get this baby here. You already know that, in MY strength, you can do it!!!'
(Time to push?) 4:10PM
We came back into the house and I had a few more contractions, and got through them by leaning over on the bed. I did this while Jeoff finished getting things set up in the room. Eventually, though, I told him not to worry about that because I needed him to come back and be with me. I don't think he realized just how far along in the process I was. Debbie had me sit on the bed so she could check me again, and that became painful because I had to lay back. NOT RECOMMENDED!! I was at 8 or 9 at this point and she asked me if I had that "urge to push." I told her I wasn't sure. She had me go into the restroom and while there, I began to feel the urge to do something, I just wasn't sure what. They asked me if I wanted to get in the tub and I said yes. I knew that would make me feel a lot better. That tub could not fill up fast enough. It felt like for-ever! When I got in, I KNEW it was time. I relaxed for just a half a second and told Cherie how I felt. They asked who we wanted to be in the room for the delivery and then went and got the grandmothers and Kitty. Next, Cherie checked me again and said I was at 10 and the baby was still kind of high. Then she said, "okay Leslie, go ahead and have that baby!"
I was like what do you mean, 'Go ahead and have the baby?' She was about ten feet away from me when she said this. Jeoff was right by my side though, so I heeded her command and pushed. After two or three pushes, I heard the excitement in everyone's voices and I knew our baby was coming out. After the next push, the baby was out!!! I blinked about fifty times, trying to focus and see if we had a boy or a girl and there HE was!!!
After one hour and twenty seven minutes of labor.
Our baby boy weighed 8 pounds and 2 ounces and he measured 19 and 3/4 inches.
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