It's over. The pregnancy has now exited my body.
When I naturally miscarried at not quite 6 weeks, it was like having a heavy period. There were some cramps involved (nothing major)...and this heavy period. That's all.
This? This today was a birth. I literally LABORED for over two hours and then gave birth in my tub to all evidence of this pregnancy.
It was INTENSE. It hurrrrrrt!! There were no breaks...just constant horrible, horrible cramps. Or I guess it would be more accurate to say 'cramp' (singular). It felt just like all my other labors, except way worse because of the no breaks. It also hurt to get into my normal labor positions...positions that normally help me. I had major back labor, as usual. Well, I'll just tell you how it all happened...
I had started cramping around 2 something. Every day since Thursday, I've cramped every afternoon/evening, so this was normal. But, today the cramping just got worse and worse.
Probably around 4/4:30pm, I knew it was happening. Major cramping. My body started to prepare itself in other ways too. For any of you who have given birth, most times your body cleans out your intestines, at least to a certain extent, before birth. That happened. I couldn't lay down. I had to just walk. And try to not tense up as much as possible. I'm telling you...non-stop cramping/uterine contracting. The placenta had to detach...and it does that with the contracting.
...that thing was holding on for dear life.
It seemed like it was taking forever!! I mean, my labor with Cass was my shortest. It was 3 hours and 20 minutes. This took over 2 hours...and there was no full-term baby in there at all. I love the miracle of labor and birth...your body has all of these things that it does, kind of like little checkpoints. Even in miscarriage, there is purpose to it all. There's no big baby to work its way down, your cervix doesn't dilate to 10cm, etc. But contracting = working on that detachment of the placenta.
Anyway, so I labored and labored here in my room. Joel was outside with the kids and didn't even know it was going on. Finally after about an hour and a half, I walked over to a window. Joel had just walked by that window, so I tapped on it for him to come in. Cass actually came in, but then went to get him. I told him that if something didn't happen soon, he would have to take me to the hospital (that's how bad I was hurting...I've never asked to be taken to a hospital or for pain medicine or anything with my other births at home; just way different as far as the constant contracting, this one).
About 10 minutes after Joel came in, I started throwing up (thankful I had something handy). With every single one of my births, I've thrown up right before my urge to push hit me. So, I was hopeful we were nearing the end.
The contracting continued. And I had an idea. With Eissa's and Cass' births, I had waterbirths. When I was 6cm with Eissa, I got in the wonderful warm water. 29 minutes later, she was born. 6-10 cm & baby born (and Eissa was 9 lbs. 14 oz.) in 29 minutes. I did the same with Cass. Entered the wonderful warm water (ahh) at 6cm. She arrived in my arms 12 minutes later.
So, I asked Joel through my in-so-much-pain moaning to fill the tub with really warm water. Once it was done filling, I got in. Seconds later, I felt the urge to give a little push. And out came the fully intact amniotic sac.
Amazing. Amazing to be done (it was all done a little before 7). But also amazing to be able to examine where my baby lived while he/she was still living. It can be hard to tell what is what at this point, so I didn't see a clearly developing baby body. But, I so loved examining all of the things that had everything to do with my little baby's body which once had a beating heart. It was very special.
A little while later, the placenta part came.
I am such a nurse & educator at heart. I had to take pictures and video as I examined the amniotic sac and all its contents. I will probably be sharing those pictures and video on here soon. I'm sorry if that offends you or grosses you out (you don't have to look). I think it's beautiful. Truly the incredibly amazing miracle of life...and how it's sustained...even if only for a short while in the case of our baby this time.
So, now I start the recovery phase. Not only does it FEEL like I just gave birth. I actually DID just give birth. So, now I'm in postpartum. My midwife said that I might even have milk to come in.
I'm having lots of bleeding now. Just like after my full-term births. So, I'll be watching that and making sure it's the normal amount of bleeding and not too much. I am having significant 'afterbirth pains'...again, normal, just like with a full-term birth. And a great sign that my uterus is doing exactly what it should be doing and contracting back up to normal size again.
So, I rest. I get plenty of fluids, rest, and heal. Praying for and thanking God for a full and complete healing. Thanking God for this process to be complete. Looking forward to the rest.