On the night of January 2nd I noticed contractions starting around 9:30 p.m. They were 6-8 minutes apart and fairly mild. I decided to go to bed at 11:00 p.m., and contractions woke me up around 1:15 a.m. I got up and walked around a bit, trying to be quiet. I decided to take a shower around 1:45 a.m. Contractions were 4-5 minutes apart and getting more intense but still very manageable. By 2:00 a.m. I starting leaking amniotic fluid and Jason started loading the car. I called Kim, our midwife, at 3:30 a.m. and she advised we head for the hospital. Since I had tested positive for Group B Strep, they needed time to get antibiotics administered. Additionally, we suspected meconium in the fluid.
We checked into the hospital at 4:00 a.m. First stop was the triage room where it was quickly determined that my water had indeed broken and meconium was present. We headed to our room and Jason went out to get the remainder of the bags from the car. From about 4:00 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. contractions were very manageable and coming every 3 minutes or so. We sat in the room and chatted, texted with my mom, walked the halls, and generally waited for baby. Kim arrived at the hospital around 6:30 a.m. and we met her while out walking the halls. By this point contractions were intense enough that we had to stop walking and focus during each contraction.
Once we got back to the room a little before 7:00 a.m., we stayed in the room from that point onward. I sat on the birth ball eating toast with peanut butter while we all chatted. I would stop and concentrate during each contraction. Rocking on the birthing ball felt right, so I did a lot of that. During this time I also stood leaning on Jason and was in various positions on the bed. I spent quite a bit of time on hands and knees on the bed, sometimes using the half ball and the peanut. A little after 8:00 a.m. I decided to try sitting backwards on the toilet through contractions, as this had been effective during labor with my first baby. I had requested intermittent monitoring using a doppler, and wireless external monitoring as a second choice. I was able to move freely and get into whatever position felt right to me at the time.
Due to a known drug allergy, the antibiotic they used for me (for Group B Strep) was one that is slower to administer. I needed two bags of antibiotic during labor, and each took an hour to administer. Per my request, my IV was locked in between times so that I wasn't tethered to anything. The timing worked out that I was receiving the second bag during active labor - shortly before transition. I wanted to flip over in the bed between contractions that were coming pretty close together. The IV cord was not long enough to move around the end of the bed like we needed it to. Luckily, my birth team worked with me to stretch the tubing (while Kim secured the IV end to be sure it didn't get pulled out!) around the end of the bed to allow this position change. This experience illustrated very clearly for me how much being tethered to tubes and wires can inhibit a woman in labor!
Around 9:30 a.m. Kim suggested running a bath - this was something that had felt good during my first labor. She ran the bath, but I never ended up using it. Shortly after she ran the bath I went through transition. I don't recall having feelings of doubt this time, but I do recall thinking that I was very ready to be done with first stage labor and move into pushing! At this point, I was feeling pushy. At my request, Kim checked me around 10:15 a.m. and said that I was "almost complete." She ran to the bathroom knowing that birth was near - she was right! I remember her rushing back to me as I was having involuntary pushes.
During second stage, I felt contractions strongly and was able to push effectively with them. Contractions had spaced out to about 5 minutes in between. I rested during this time to conserve energy. I was on my right side when I got the strong urge to push. Kim was helpful in guiding me to ease baby out - even asking me to stop pushing once. I appreciated this as I avoided any large tears and it allowed baby a gentler birth. After 30 minutes of pushing, Delaney was born at 10:51 a.m. with the cord wrapped around her neck once, but Kim handled it with no issues. The cord was very short - it got tight when they put Delaney on my stomach. As a result of the short cord, we allowed the cord to pulse for a time, but Jason cut it shortly after birth to allow Delaney and I to cuddle and nurse. She was 8 lbs. and 20.5 inches long.