I had my check up with Angela Tuesday morning and she asked about any change in discharge and I flippantly told her I've never seen my mucus plugs, so I didn't expect to this time either. But lo and behold what should I discover that evening, at the family Christmas party that evening? Yup, snot, pretty gross. Also, I was sweating hot (in my t-Shirt while everyone else was bundled in sweaters) and having a lot of Braxton hicks, so I was feeling kind of grouchy and in a hurry to get the kids, and me, home to bed.
On the way home I texted Angela that I had been passing mucus, she thanked me. I inflated the birth pool, just in case, while Jeremy put the kids to bed, and we were all settled to bed by about 10. At 11ish, 12ish, 1ish, 2ish, and 3ish, I was awoken by contractions that hurt, but not super bad, so I tried to sleep some. Then from about3:50 on they were about every 10 minutes. About 45-60 second long and painful, but totally cope-able. I wasn't sure what to do, because that had never happened to me before. (All I knew of going into labor on my own was extreme intense full-blown contractions going from 10/15 mins apart to less than 2 apart in under an hour.) After 5 of those, I figured, well I better call at least, because I have no idea what to expect. Angela said she and Kai would head over. To call, I stood up and the contractions came more often. So I told her that too. She said to start filling the pool with water.
I called Mom, to give her a heads up that we probably would be needing her to take the kids.
Once we got the shower curtain on the bed and the pool filling, I felt tired, so I figured I'd lay down. I'd still been having lots of contractions, but was still talking through them fine. As soon as I laid down the contractions went back to 10 mins apart, so then I started feeling dumb like I was giving a false alarm blah blah blah.
Angela and Kai got to the house about 5:15/5:30 and were all pumped about baby coming and I was like "I dunno, this might not be real." Since seriously every single time I laid down, things all but stopped.
Jeremy made some breakfast, we all ate, I took a shower, the kids got up and ate. Then I asked them to check me, before having Mom get the kids, because I felt like maybe I was just being a baby. They chuckled at that and checked. I was at 4cm, but baby was still really high. So they said that baby's definitely on its way, I'm not being a baby, not wasting their time, etc, etc. That was about 7:30.
So, Mom picked up the kids about 8:00, Jeremy went to haul a load of gravel for the driveway he's building to the back of our shop, and I went for a nap. Dunno what the MWs did, I think mostly visited. Oh and by then Alexandra had arrived as well.
After resting and dozing for about an hour, during which I had all of like 5 contractions, a little more intense, but still not horrible, I went out to the kitchen to check my texts that I kept hearing and stand leaning with elbows on the counter. Contractions immediately increased to every few mins, Angela massaged my back and supported my belly with a wrap thing. I decided to get in the pool. And they slowed down again. I hung out in the pool, visited with Jeremy, played candy crush on my phone, and dealt with the occasional marginally more intense contractions, for about 2 hours, 'til 11ish. Then I was starting to feel like having some lunch and Kai asked if she could check me again while I was out and suggested that after eating I try being more upright again for awhile to utilize gravity.
I was at 6, baby still high. So progress, but not huge.
Jeremy made me a tuna sandwich and I ate most of it sitting out in the living room, but had 2 or three pretty intense contractions and abandoned the last few bites for rocking on my hands and knees with Alexandra doing counter pressure. There was definitely a turn in the action at that point, because I couldn't talk much at all anymore, they were coming much faster, and I needed Jeremy right there, not doing anything else. And the sun shining in the window was too stinking hot. I stripped down to my bra and maxi skirt/dress and they took turns fanning me and applying counter pressure, while I braced myself against the wall and rocked and swayed through several contractions. They suggested the pool again, but I felt like I had to stand now. I went pee, and they said try a couple contractions on the toilet, but I couldn't handle them sitting down, so up I got. Back to bracing, rocking, and swaying. And getting after Jeremy for not putting enough pressure and/or getting in the way of my sway (lol). After a awhile my arms were getting really tired of holding me up, so they suggested leaning on the counter again. Back out to the kitchen, by then it was about noon. Same stuff, different place, definitely easier to support with my elbows on counter than hands on wall. After about 45 mins, I realized I kind of felt like maybe pushing a little, but couldn't let myself try at all because I didn't want to poop the kitchen floor, plus I felt like I needed to lean back, not forward and be able to rest in the gaps, little though they were. So I went back in the tub. Slowed the contractions way way down, freaking me out, because I wanted that baby out soooo bad. The MWs said I was far enough, the water wasn't going to cause a stall, just relax and enjoy the breaks. Oh and were the breaks ever nice! It was such a luxury to be able to just flop between contractions. First, I kind of sat/reclined, then I went on my knees and hung my head and arms over the side. After a while (time was now completely irrelevant and I couldn't see a clock), I got the shakes so bad my teeth were chattering, so they put hot washcloths on my back and assured me that it was a good sign: hormones shifting. I started feeling like pushing some at the end of each contraction, and the MWs said to try being more upright again. The contractions were more often again, but never returned to back-to-back the way they were just before I got in the pool. So I sat back on my knees, but that hurt my legs after a couple contractions, so I went to reclined-ish with my back against the side. I pushed through a couple contractions, one of which really felt like progress. Then they had me shift a little, and I pushed through a few more, but felt like I was getting nowhere. Alexandra asked if I minded if she checked if maybe things were hung up by a "big ol' bag of waters." She felt with a finger, said yup and my water broke, and I HAD to push for real. It hurt, but it felt so good to feel progress! As baby crowned, they told me to pant for a bit to let myself stretch, then I pushed the rest of the way and as they lifted baby up, they realized the cord had busted! So they grabbed the ends, put baby on my chest, and clamped the cord ends as fast as they could. Then we realized we didn't know yet boy or girl so Jeremy checked and it's a girl!
Since the cord had bled out a bit, there was enough blood in the water that they couldn't tell for sure if I was still bleeding or if it was just from the cord. So I passed Mallory to Jeremy, squatted to push the placenta out a.s.a.p. and they gave me some herbs and a shot of pitocin while helping me up to the bed. Turns out I was fine, it was mainly just from the cord, so still from me, but stopped.
So we found out why she was so high every time they checked; she was wrapped in the cord. It wasn't tight or around her neck, but it was holding her up. And the joint force of the water breaking and me pushing, broke it. In not one, but two, places! So crazy amazing how God kept her and that cord protected to the very last second. That's why the whole labor was so different and slowed so much every time gravity wasn't helping. Also, with the panting and water, I only a tiny bit re-tore, no stitches needed!