Well it all started Saturday morning around 12:30 a.m. when I woke up and the bed was soaked, I knew right then, Oh no, my water had broken!! I didn't want my labor to start by my water breaking because I was Group B Strep Positive which meant I had to go to the Birth Center every 4 hours during my labor to get an IV of antibiotics and that also meant I was on a time clock to get him out or I would have to be transferred to the hospital. So, I called my midwife and let her know my water had broken and we met her at the Birth Center about 3 am. I wasn't having contractions at that point and was only 1 cm. dilated, so I was told to go get a milkshake and mix 4 oz. of Castor Oil in it and take two Benadryl and get some rest. Oh, and by the way, Castor Oil is supposed to be "odorless and tasteless"...yeah, fail. That was SO gross! My midwife told me I had 12 hours to get into active labor (6-7 cm.) So the game was on!
After 4 hours (7 am), my contractions started and we went back to the birth center to get checked again. I was now at 3 cm. The birth center doesn't admit you until you're at 6 cm. so back home we went again. This time my instructions were to walk, use my breast pump, and rest. The contractions were still bearable, I was listening to my hypnobirthing cd trying to relax as much as possible. One thing I always wanted to know when I was pregnant was how were the contractions going to feel. The best way I can explain it is a tightening cramp that lasts for about a minute and goes away. I was also told by a friend to try to sleep between every contraction. That was the very best advice, and I definitely fell asleep in between almost every one! Fast forward to 4 hours later (11 am), we went back to the birth center to get my 3rd round of antibiotics and get re-checked..I was really praying to hear the magic number 6 cm. so we didn't have to drive 30 minutes back home again...but to my horror I was still only 3 cm. :( I was starting to get really discouraged and remember thinking I guess I can't do this...
When I got home we went for a long walk and the contractions started getting stronger and more regular. I laid down and tried to focus on allowing my body to open and relax. Four or so hours later, (4 pm) we went back to the birth center, and all the way there I was praying I was at least 6 cm. When she checked me I was at 7 cm! My husband literally cried in relief! I really don't remember much after this point, besides that my contractions were getting hard and it was definitely getting harder to relax. Once I was checked in and knew I was staying and this was actually going to happen and soon, my endorphins kicked in and I went into "labor land." Soon, my sounds started changing and my midwife came in and filled the pool up. I was so shocked they were filling the pool up, because I knew my midwife didn't use it until I was in transition, so I got super happy that I knew I was getting closer!
My husband got in the tub with me and fed me popsicles, and rubbed my feet and legs. After a while laboring in the pool, I remember telling them I felt like I was going to go to the bathroom in the pool, and at that point they got me out and my midwife came in and checked me on the bed. I was at 10 cm!! I remember telling my husband, "Seriously? That was it? I can do this, if that was the worst part of it!" I was SO relieved that I was ready to push. I instantly got a second wind and started pushing! By this time it was around 6:30 pm. I pushed for 30 min, and he was born at 7:11 pm! When he came out, it was worst and best pain I had ever felt. But it was such a relief and I felt great right after it was over.
Honestly, it was hard, but I thought it was going to be so much worse than it really was. I prayed to God to relieve my pain and relax me throughout the whole entire 17 hours. I truly think that He did give me mercy and helped me deal with the pain. My mom said I was laughing and smiling when I was pushing...The human body is unreal! I was definitely high on my own body's natural hormones!
The reason I was able to have him so easily I think was because I had a phenomenal birth team. My husband was the best coach I could of ever asked for. He was there for every contraction, rubbing my back, holding my hand, putting a heating pad on my back, getting me cold rags for my head and neck, timing my contractions, telling me I was doing great and that I could do it. My mom was also a lifesaver, she drove us back and forth 4 times and put 125 miles on her truck that day. My mom held my legs for all 30 minutes of me pushing! She was front and center with the midwives. The midwives were amazing. I couldn't have done it without them for sure. Amy, stretched me with olive oil and made sure I didn't tear or rip. (I didn't, thank God!)
When Luke came out, they immediately put him on my chest and I have never felt so much love in my whole entire life. My husband and I looked at each other and instantly bursted in tears that we made such a beautiful baby. We began praising God for his safety and health. I just remember looking down at him and feeling such an overwhelming love. It is SO true that you quickly forget all of the pain once you see your baby's sweet face. I truly had my dream birth and I am so glad I didn't listen to all the nay-sayers and negative nancys! Birth is natural and beautiful! I wouldn't change a thing about my birth, I am so glad I chose to have him out of a hospital! If you are interested in why I chose this type of birth read my post on Why I Want a Natural Birth.
We went home 3 hours later and we slept through the whole night and woke up to Luke spitting up very dark brown spit up and working really hard to breathe. I called my midwife and she encouraged us to take him to the hospital since it was Sunday and no pediatricians were in. We took him to Shands in Gainesville, and on the way, he started turning blue in his car seat, so we stopped at the fire station and the EMTs gave him some oxygen and drove us the rest of the way to the ER. This was the scariest moment in my whole life. When we got to Shands, they took him and started doing every test under the sun. Standard procedure if an infant comes in with any breathing problems, they have to stay for 48 hours and test for all infections. So, we spent the next two days in the hospital and were discharged with the diagnosis that it was just acid reflux from him swallowing some of my blood coming out of the birth canal. I am thankful we went to Shands though, because while we were there we found out Luke was tongue-tied and that's why I was having such a hard and painful time breastfeeding. So we got his tongue clipped and he started feeding SO much better since then! It was quite a crazy couple of days, but we are finally home and Luke is doing great! Thank you for all your prayers!
Here are some pictures of the birth! Our photographer was amazing!