O.K., for those of you who don't like these kinds of stories...stop reading. :) For those of you who know me well, you know that I'm not shy about speaking in medical terms in graphic detail, even about my own body. But, this is super tame. So, just use your best judgment.
We got back to East Texas Sept. 9th. We moved into the guest house the 10th. That week we got to work getting everything ready for when the baby came...we just knew that it was going to come any day (esp. me). :) Joel took care of the kids mostly (a big job) while I set up house, made meals to freeze, bought everything needed for the home birth, etc. We were busy, hurrying to get everything done before the baby came.
Around Sept. 15th I started losing some of my mucus plug. Even though I knew that that didn't really mean anything (I knew that some people start doing this weeks before their baby is born sometimes), last time, with Hadley, when this started happening, I was in labor with her within 24 hours. So, I felt sure that it would probably be soon.
Nothing happened and the next weekend is when that horrible headache started...so that put me out from Sept. 22nd - 27th. But, nothing really happened after that...no more mucus plug, no contractions resembling labor, etc. So, we just waited...waited and walked and I was also using some herbs off and on for the last 3 weeks or so (for instance, using Evening Primrose Oil as a vag. supp.). At my 36 week appt. (on the 11th) I didn't have any dilation or anything. At my 37 week appt. I was 60% effaced, but still no dilation. I wasn't checked at my 38 week appt. because I had that horrible headache and such. I skipped my 39 week appt...I was fine and was just so ready to have a baby...I was 4 days away from my due date and just felt sure that I didn't need to go. :) I was supposed to go see my midwife again on Thursday, the 12th...6 days after my due date. But, fortunately, it happened on the morning of the 10th...I went into labor.
I had been losing more of my mucus plug over the weekend. On Tuesday at 2:15 AM I woke up and went to the bathroom. I had lots of bloody show. I went back to bed about 2:30 AM and contractions had started. They were about 3 minutes apart and I knew that this was it. I told Joel and he got up and got everything ready...finished filling the birth pool, etc. I was walking around through the house...during a contraction I would have to stop and lean against the wall and breathe through them. Around 3:30 we decided to go ahead and call the midwife to let her know what was happening. Around 4:15 the contractions got to the point of the need to moan through them (I found out with my last labor that I'm a moaner...it really helps me to moan in a low voice through the hard contractions). Sylyna (my midwife) got to our house around 5 or so. Around 5:35 she checked me and I was 3 cm and 90% effaced...at a -1 station. She checked me again at 7:20 and I was 4-5 cm. At 8:00 the kids woke up and left with a friend. The whole time I was in labor I was sipping water and going to the bathroom probably about every 30 minutes or so. At 8:50 I was checked again and was 6 cm, 100% effaced, and at a 0 station. At this point Sylyna told me that I could get into the birth pool (before this I had been relaxing, per the Bradley method, on the bed). We wanted to wait until just the right time to get in the pool...didn't want to do it too early as that will slow down labor instead of helping things. So, after I was checked at 8:50 I went to the bathroom and then got in the pool...probably about 9 AM. I probably had 1 or 2 contractions and then I started throwing up. With every heave I realized that amniotic fluid was shooting out of me. So, my water broke (although, I had been leaking since I started labor at 2:30). Anyhow, with the next contraction I felt the baby move completely down (it was a weird feeling) and I felt a huge urge to push. It was strange because with my other labors I had never actually felt that strong urge before. But, this was undeniable and I knew that I had that urge that everyone talked about. But, at the same time, I seriously doubted it because I had just been checked and was only 6 cm. I told my midwife that I had to push. She said just to listen to my body. It was 9:20. I asked her, "So, my cervix is out of the way?" She checked and said yes...that the head was just right there and I was complete. So, I started pushing then (at 9:20). At 9:28 the head was born and at 9:29 Asa was completely out and in my arms...all 9 lbs. 14 oz. and 22 1/2 inches of her. I went from 6-10 cm in 30 minutes and pushed for only 9 minutes. I was so happy...and shocked...we had thought I probably had at least 2-3 hours longer when I was only 6 cm at 8:50...it was a great blessing to be done already.
Another great blessing was that I hardly tore at all. With Grady I ended up tearing and having an episiotomy. With Hadley, no episiotomy (my midwife thankfully didn't do those), but I did tear. With Asa, I did tear, but not along my old episiotomy site and I only tore after the head was already out. Her little shoulders got stuck a little bit and when they were coming out I tore a bit on the side...but, only requiring 3 stitches. Amazing though...she's been my biggest baby by far (Grady was 9 lbs. 2 oz., Hadley was 8 lbs. 4 oz.)...and I don't think I would've torn at all if her shoulders wouldn't have gotten stuck. What a blessing, esp. compared to my history in that. So, it was just a great birth all the way around and we are so happy about that.
Also, this was interesting: even though she was due Oct. 6th and wasn't born until the 10th, she didn't show signs of being late at all. In fact, according to my midwife and Asa's appearance, it looked like she was more along the lines of a 39 week birth...Asa was born with a ton of vernix (that white cheesy stuff...babies born early usually have that more) and there were a few more things that made her look early rather than late (things which I'm not sure of enough to explain but that the midwife mentioned).
Asa is doing great by the way. I just clipped her fingernails (which I should've really done the day she was born...she came out with very long fingernails). Another great thing to praise God for ALOT is that my milk came in on Wednesday night. That is another thing that has been a struggle in the past...having enough milk supply. Although I've done nothing differently this time, I seem to have plenty of milk for Asa. Seriously...that is such a PRAISE GOD thing. We are just continuing to pray for this that it stays that way. We are thrilled that it is going so well.
Grady and Hadley continue to do great too...still loving their little sister. They still don't seem to be acting any differently or having any adverse reactions to a new little baby in the house. I think that they are just so busy with each other that a new little baby is just an extra toy or something. Every now and then they will ask about her or go over and lay their head down on her to give her a hug...they like to hold her too. We're all doing really well.
I am still not up and around or anything...spend most of my days on the couch or in the bed...as it should be. :) But, I'm getting more and more active and feeling better every day. Mama is still here too, which is a huge help. Thank God for Mama's. :) And of course Joel continues to be super-husband, so we're all very well taken care of.