Around 2 am on Sunday morning (October 28th) I went to the restroom and discovered that I had begun to have what they call the bloody show. There wasn’t a lot of blood but I hadn’t had anything but mucus come out before so I new that my cervix was beginning to dilate and that our little one would be coming soon. My stomach began to feel upset and I felt a little crampy. I was also very excited. I went into the living room and sat for a bit. I uploaded all of my 40 week pregnancy photos onto myspace and sent out an e-mail letting everyone know that I was still pregnant but happy. I then decided that it was late so I should try to get some sleep in case this was the beginning of labor. I didn’t have any contractions through the night. Sunday morning, I told Damon about the blood and told him how excited I was but that it could still be a couple of weeks even though we had just passed the window of when I thought my due date was (October 24th-27th).
We stayed at home all Sunday and it was wonderful. We made breaded pork tenderloins, green bean casserole and stuffing for lunch and I made homemade sugar cookies with a cream cheese frosting (in blue). I had told everyone at work that I would bring cookies on Monday for my birthday if I hadn’t had the baby. Damon and I relaxed all day long. We took Greta, our dog, for two walks, one right after we ate lunch but while the cookie dough was setting up, and another early evening. That night I cleaned up the kitchen, had the cookies ready to take to work and had laid out my work clothes for the next day.
Again around 2 am, Monday morning (October 29th) I went to the bathroom and discovered a great deal more blood coming out. I stayed on the toilet for quite a while emptying my bowels and getting more excited. After a bit of time in the bathroom I came back into the bedroom and tried to lay down but I was starting to have contractions. I decided to get up and take a shower because my hair felt greasy plus I wanted my hair to be clean when I gave birth. I stayed in the shower for probably 10 minutes, breathing through the contractions that I had. I got out of the shower and decided to lay down. I felt them in my lower back. I breathed through them and rocked my hips back in forth to relieve the pressure. I tried to time them, but it was hard because I would forget what the previous time was. During them I counted aloud to try and figure out how long they were lasting. They were about 7-10 minutes apart and only lasting around 20-30 seconds. I got my iPod and listened to Beulah’s relaxation hypnobirthing script. I had about 3 irregular contractions during the 16 minutes that I listened to it. Around 3 am I decided to give Carolyn (our midwife) a call to let her know that I was in labor. I went down to Liam’s room to call so that I wouldn’t wake Damon. I tried two of her phone numbers and then I called Andie, the apprentice but didn’t get through on any number. I didn’t panic though. I thought it was a bit funny, but I figured I would eventually get through. I went back upstairs and tried the number that I normally call Carolyn on. She answered after a couple of rings and asked me how I was doing. I didn’t quite know what to say at first. I was pretty sure I was in labor but didn’t know what information she would need to know. She asked me how far apart the contractions were, I said, “I’m not exactly sure, ohh, here is one.” I was still able to talk through them but they were getting stronger and starting to make it difficult to focus on a conversation. When it was through she said that I needed to start timing them, eat something, I asked if yogurt was good, she suggested cheese or bread. I told her that I would have some string cheese. She then said to call her back when the contractions were 5 minutes apart and lasting a minute long. In the meantime I was to try and lay down and get some rest.
I ate my string cheese and climbed back into bed. The contractions were getting stronger and I had a hard time staying relaxed because I just wanted to get up and rock my hips back and forth during the contractions. I woke Damon up around 4 am and asked him to help me time the contractions. I would tell him that they were starting and then I would moan and rock through them and when he heard the moaning stop, he would record. I decided that I wanted to have one more photo of my pregnant belly so I got the camera and went into the living room. I let Greta outside and had the front door open. I was setting up the timer on the camera when Damon walked into the living room completely naked. I started to laugh because he almost got in the photo and the front door was open for all to see if anyone happened to be awake in those early hours. I took my photo and kept breathing through my contractions. Damon got dressed. He started getting things together, putting in his contacts, brushing his teeth. I was moving around the house. Leaning against either the bed or the bathroom counter during a contraction and doing my low moaning. Damon would move over at the bathroom counter whenever I started one. Damon loaded up the Envoy and pulled the car into the front yard so that I wouldn’t have to walk downstairs. The contractions still weren’t a full minute long but I was worried that I was going to have to throw up. I sat on the bathroom floor. I asked Damon to call Carolyn and see if we could go ahead and come because I didn’t want to get sick in the car. He told here that my contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart but only lasting 45 seconds. She told us to come over.
I kind of dreaded getting into the car because I wasn’t going to be able to move as much during the contractions. I got into the front seat and before Damon could pull away, I had another contraction, so I hopped out of the car and leaned against the front seat. I got back in and Damon had the big blue bucket in the center console for just in case I got sick. I kept drinking from my pink Nalgene bottle throughout the car ride as I had been doing at home. I did not want to get dehydrated because I knew that would make the contractions even stronger. We went the slower way to Carolyn’s, taking Hixson Pike, to 153, to Bonny Oaks, to Moore Rd and then to Belvoir. Damon was great driving, very smooth and gentle. In the 30 minute car ride I probably had six contractions but I just breathed through them and they weren’t too bad.
We got to Carolyn’s and she greeted us at the door. Damon brought in our stuff and I talked with Carolyn and Andie. They checked me after a couple of minutes. Carolyn was about to say how dilated I was and I told her that I didn’t want to know. She could mouth to Andie what it was. I didn’t really like having my cervix checked, it was quite uncomfortable. I did hear hear say that I was at +1 station, which I thought was probably pretty good, but I couldn’t remember. She said that I was doing great but I should try and lay down a little bit and get some rest if I wanted. Damon and I laid in the bed but I couldn’t get comfortable. I tried sitting on the exercise ball and that wasn’t comfortable either. The only thing that felt good was to sway from side to side between the contractions and then during a contraction to lean against the bed. Andie showed Damon how to push on my hips during a contraction to help open them up. It took him a couple of tries to get the right pressure, I think that he didn’t want to cause any extra pain but eventually he figured out that he could press a lot harder and it felt a lot better for me. Around 7 am, during a contraction, I demanded that I get into the bathtub. While the water was running Andie got me a glass of cheap red wine that wasn’t too bad but I couldn’t drink very much of it because I knew that it was going to dehydrate me.
Once the tub was almost finished filling up, I got into it. They were worried that it was too hot but it felt wonderful to me. During a contraction, I would get onto my hands and knees and moan loudly and deeply while rocking my hips. Andie and Damon would take turns putting counter-pressure on my hips all the while trying to make sure that I kept my moaning deep and breathing slow. They got me a towel that I used as a pillow against the side of the tub for between contractions. They poured water over my back to help soothe me. Damon would try and do light touches on my back but I didn’t always enjoy it. As the contractions got stronger the less I wanted to be touched. Any extra sensations were hard for my mind and body to handle. Some of the contractions were not that strong but others were building very strongly. I could feel Liam moving down more and more and whenever they put counter-pressure on my hips, there hands would be lower and lower.
Carolyn decided to check me again and she said I was seven centimeters. It was 8:30 am. Only two hours before I was 3 centimeters. Things were moving quickly. The contractions were more frequent and they were checking Liam’s heart tones with the Doppler a bit more. I still didn’t really like them having to touch my abdominal region with anything but I was happy to hear that his heart rate was fantastic, staying consistenly around 140. The noises that started to come out of me were getting more and more un-natural. I had no sense of time at all. In between contractions, I would rest my head on a blue bath cushion. It was so comfortable. Damon said that I looked like I was asleep during these periods but I was just trying to conserve energy. Carolyn asked me if I wanted to feel how far down he was my putting my fingers inside. I told her that I didn’t want to because it would hurt. I would feel a contraction coming on and flip onto my hands and knees. I would start to moan as deeply as I could, or roar like a lion or start saying ne-ne-ne-ne over and over again. I would also say, “open” really slowly or “breath”. Damon told me once to breath and I remember just holding up one finger to get him to stop. I knew that he was trying to help but I knew that I was breathing and him saying it wasn’t going to make it better. At one point I turned to Damon and told him after a contraction that I loved him. I kissed him gently and slipped back down in the water.
The contractions started to feel like my butt was about to fall out. I told them that I thought I might have to poop. They got me out of the tub and I tried to go to the bathroom but it didn’t work. I got back in the bathtub and started to have really strong contractions. The noises coming out of me were almost starting to scare me. Carolyn checked me again and she said that I was complete with a little bit of cervical lip. To me that meant that when I was pushing that I needed to mentally push that lip back out of the way. Pushing was hard. They had me get into some different positions, some so that they could see and some just to relieve some of my pressure. I was on my back a little bit, then back on my hands and knees. I thought that this was going to take a very long time to get his head out of there. They told me to feel down there because you could see the sac bulging. That was a weird sensation. When I really started to push, my perineum started to burn and I was yelling, “it’s burning, it’s burning. Ohh, God.” Carolyn put her fingers on my perineum while I pushed during one contraction. I was pushing really hard and then I felt a little slip. My eyes popped open and I looked at her I think that was when I had most of my little tears occurred. I was roaring with everything I had in me during a contraction. In between I just laid limp, resting in Damon’s arms. I don’t really remember but in between these pushing contractions they said that I was still joking and laughing a bit. I was on my back at this point. They were checking Liam’s heart tones more frequently at this point. It was only a couple of minutes before he was to appear. I didn’t notice that they were using the Doppler more frequently but Carolyn told me at my first checkup the other day that it was because a burst of blood came out while I was pushing. They thought that my placenta might have abrupted. I didn’t notice any of this. The blood didn’t keep gushing though, so they became less worried. Jane asked Damon if he wanted to switch positions. He didn’t want to at first and then he realized that they baby was about to come out. Jane got her hands behind my back like Damon had been doing and then Damon came to were he could see the baby crowning. I got his head out and then had to take a break. I felt his head there. That was pretty amazing. I waited for the next contraction and pushed and I felt his body slip out. Damon caught him. They brought him up to my chest and I was so happy. Any discomfort or pain that I was feeling went away completely. I could feel a little bit of burning in my vagina, I guess from where I had torn some. They left him attached to his cord while he was on my stomach. We touched him all over. Damon had tears in his eyes for a while because he was so overwhelmed and excited. I was so happy. I knew that I would do this again in an instant. We kept taking water and pouring it over him to keep him warm. He was a bit purple-blue when they handed him to me but he became pink very quickly. His head was a lot rounder than I was expecting. His fingers were so little, his nails blue. They said have you checked to make sure he was a boy and Damon and I both said yes, he is a boy. He was born at 10 am. At 10:17 am the umbilical cord had stopped pulsing, even though Andie said there was still energy in it. Carolyn clamped the cord and Damon cut it. I was amazed that he had been in my arms for 17 minutes already. Soon after they took Liam out of the tub and dried him off and then handed him to Damon. They said that he was really healthy. Then they helped me get out of the tub. I asked whether I had torn. They checked and decided that I had some 2nd degree tearing. They laid me in the lounge chair and began sewing me up. Damon was such a proud daddy. He had him in his arms for the hour that it took them to sew me up. They injected the vaginal area with multiple shots of Lidocane. Jane and Andie stayed there and learned from Carolyn on how to sew me up. She did a lot of little stitches. A couple of them I could feel her sewing, it was very weird to feel the thread going through those parts of my body. The stitches that I could feel were a bit painful but nothing that I couldn’t handle. Once they got done, they drew another shallower bath with some herbs in it. They told me to get completely undressed, during labor I was wearing my blue sports bra. Then they handed Liam to me. I hadn’t told them Liam’s name until they began to stitch me up. It was harder to get back in the bathtub because I had to keep my legs together and the tub is pretty high. With Liam in the tub, Carolyn dropped some pink and white daisies into the water that her husband had purchased for me. They took a bunch of beautiful photos. I wasn’t expecting to have completely naked photos of me taken but I’m really glad they did. Liam is beautiful in them.
After a bit of time we got out of the tub and they helped get me into some disposable underwear and a pad and then Damon, Liam and I got into bed. We hung out there for awhile and then Damon decided that he should go get us some food. I suggested Krispy Kreme, since we were so close to them at Carolyn’s house. He came back with the birthday donuts, since it was Liam and my birthday. We ate the wonderful donuts. My mom got there after Liam was born and she wasn’t able to touch him though because she was sick so she came in with a mask on.
Around noon they decided to examine Liam and weigh him. He was 8 lbs. 12 oz. and 21.5 inches long. His head circumference was 13.5 inches. His lungs were clear and he was very healthy.
My mom left about an hour or two after she got there and went to our house. We took a nap on the bed with the baby between us. I was to the right of him and Damon was to the left. I felt a little bad because I turned my back from the baby but I did it because it was more comfortable. We slept for over an hour. Around 5 pm is when we left Carolyn’s. We got just a little ways down the road and we heard a big burp. He vomited brown mucousy stuff.
He was fine and we got home. My grandmother, Grammy, was waiting at the door. Damon pulled the Envoy into the front yard again. I handed Liam to Grammy and let her walk him inside the house. She was so happy.