Baby Reed's Birth-Day

My water broke at about 1:30 a.m.  I was surprised at how much it gushed.  The thought that ran through my head was, if that much fluid is coming out that must mean that the babies head is not very low and this is going to take a long time.  I wasn’t having any pains and the fluid was clear.  I called Patrice and let her know, she told me to put on one of the adult diapers and go back to bed and try to get some more sleep and call her in the morning.  She told me the contractions should start within a couple of hours. 

I went back to bed but I didn’t sleep.  I let Art sleep until about 2:30 a.m.  He didn’t get any more sleep after that.  About 3 a.m. I started having what felt like mild menstrual cramps about 10 min. apart.  About 3:30 a.m. they were getting stronger and were about 5 min. apart.  We decided to get up and set up the birthing tub.  I wasn’t much help after a little bit, because the contractions were getting a lot stronger and closer together.  Up to this point I had been walking around trying to help with the tub.  Sometimes I would go kneel on the floor in front of the couch and lean onto through the contractions.  I had a lot of pain in the very low back. 
Sometime between 4:00 and 4:30 a.m. the contractions were so strong, I felt nauseated and tried to make it to the bathroom.  I vomited on the way and slipped and fell.  What a mess!  I got in the shower to get cleaned up.  Art called Patrice and my sister Deb.  The contractions were about 2 min. apart and very strong.  I went back to leaning on the couch.  Meanwhile Art was filling the tub but I used too much hot water in the shower and the water heater wasn’t keeping up, so he was boiling pots of water on the stove. 

Deb arrived about 5:00 a.m., I think.  She rubbed my back to try to help with the back pain.  I told her I wasn’t having fun.  That is pretty much where I stayed until Patrice arrived at about 6:00 a.m.  She checked the baby’s heart rate and it was doing good.  At about 6:30 a.m. I told her I didn’t like that position anymore.  She suggested that I go to the bathroom, so I did, then I just stood in the doorway not moving and Patrice suggested that that I just breathe with the contractions.  That felt a little better than wincing with the pain.  I stayed in the bathroom alternating between standing and sitting on the toilet until about 7:00 a.m. when the pains felt different (sharper?) and there was a bloody show.  Patrice asked me if I wanted her to check the dilation.  She told me to come into the living room, on the mattress on the floor, when I felt like I could.  I waited until after the next contraction.  I felt like pushing, but I knew it had to be too soon. 

When Patrice checked me I was fully dilated.  I was very surprised.  Patrice asked me if I wanted to get in the tub because it was ready now, but I didn’t want to move.  Patrice said I could push anytime I wanted.  I pushed with each contraction.  It felt a lot better to be pushing.  When the head started to crown, Patrice told me to blow through the contraction when I felt it burning or if she asked me to.  When the baby was born to the eyebrows it seemed like a long time before I felt the urge to push again. 
When the baby was born, at 7:52 a.m. Patrice put her on my chest immediately.  She didn’t take a breath right away and she was pale.  I wasn’t worried at all, maybe I should have been, but I was confident it was okay because the umbilical cord was still attached.  Patrice and Lori rubbed her and suctioned her nose, because she had a bowel movement as she was being born.  She started breathing without any problems.  Lori said the reason she didn’t breath right away could be because she as born so fast or the cord could have been compressed, it was wrapped around her a couple of times. 

All through the pregnancy I was worried about the labor, but the birth experience was exactly what I had hoped for.  It was perfect.  No rips or tears.  Only about 4 hours of labor and a beautiful baby girl.