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The Miracle of Waterbirth Part II
June Lily Cox
Here we go again!
When I found out I was pregnant in October 2007, I was VERY excited. I had been using an IUD as our chosen form of contraceptive and we had decided that that we were ready to try for another baby in August. So I went straight to the doctor the next possible day to have it taken out (before my husband changed his mind!).
I knew the day I concieved. On October 4, I was at work, and it had been just over 2 weeks since my LMP. I got this wave that came over me, like a hot flash. But it lasted for about half an hour! I had to just sit down at my desk and not move. It was the strangest thing! It wasn't until about a week later that I got the confirmation. I started taking home pregnancy tests on October 8, and took one every other day or so. I KNEW I was pregnant, but I needed a positive home test before I could make any appointments at the doctor's office. I took a test on the 10th, and it was negative. Then, finally on October 12 (my oldest daughter's 7th birthday) I took a test again. It was about 10pm, and I was getting ready to go to bed, and I thought that I might as well take one. What the heck. So I did and it was POSITIVE! I went in the bedroom where my husband was laying down falling asleep and said "Guess what?" It was all over from there. I started planning the next 9 months.
The pregnancy was, for the most part, uneventful. I gained weight, my back hurt, I enjoyed all of the glorious experiences that comes with pregnancy, and I loved every second of it. We found out that it was a girl at our 20 week ultrasound, but I already knew that. I always intuitively know what gender the baby is going to be. But the confirmation was good to have. When I was pregnant with our first daughter, I didn't find out the sex, and wasn't sure of my intuition, so we went with neutral tones. So I was excited this time to get to plan for a girl. Bring on the PINK!
At 34 weeks I started to dilate, as I had with my son 4 years earlier, so the midwives put me on bedrest again to get me to 37 weeks and help increase my chances of having another waterbirth. I had frequent braxton-hicks contractions, and was pretty much just uncomfortable in my final weeks of pregnancy. But I was happy to know that every day I was pregnant was 1 day closer to me having my waterbirth.
The Big Day
I woke up at 6:30am on Friday, June 6 and was having contractions about every 2 minutes apart. They weren't strong, but they were certainly consistent. After about 2 hours of counting, I called the midwives and they said to come on in to the Birthing Center around 9am... no hurry (unless my water broke). Historically, I have fast labors, so the midwives wanted to err on the side of caution and check me out. So we got the kids up and dressed, took our son to daycare and dropped our daughter off with a neighbor and headed to the birthing center.
I was 37 weeks and 1 day, and was blissfully happy that I didn't have to worry about going to the hospital by this point. We were met by the midwife at the center and were taken in to be checked out. It turned out that I was only about 4cm, so she decided to have us hang out there for a while to see if the contractions would speed up and I would dilate further. After about an hour, I hadn't changed much, but since I had tested positive for Group B Strep earlier in the pregnancy, they went ahead and gave me a round of antibiotics just to be on the safe side.
The Waiting Game
We hung around the birthing center. I walked, ate and just tried to help things move along as much as I could. By 12pm I still hadn't dilated much, so they gave me a homeopathic granule to help the contractions get stronger. It didn't do much... But Joanne, my midwife, said that if I hadn't progressed much by 2pm that they would give me another round of antibiotics (have to have it every 4 hours when in labor in order for it to be effective during birth...) and then they would break my water.
So we waited.
The Action Begins
I was pretty excited about that, because I know that once my water breaks, it's all over! So I got the 2nd round of antibiotics, and they broke my water at about 2:30pm. Now we were in business! Within about an hour, the contractions got serious and I knew that had done the trick. I was dilating, and fast!
The midwife could tell that I was progressing by my actions and contractions, so she started filling up the tub for my waterbirth. I got in the tub when I was about 7cm... I have no idea what time it was...
Finally in the Tub
The labor and delivery in the water was amazing. It was different than I remembered with my son's waterbirth. This time, I felt more comfortable and moved around some. I could feel the contractions moving her down, and when I started to feel the urge to push, I just let my body do the work for me. What a great feeling it was to push!! When she started crowning, I remember consciously thinking that I needed to slow down so I didn't tear too badly, so I took that part slowly, even though I just felt like pushing her out fast because it was so uncomfortable!! But I stayed in control and let my body stretch to accommodate her, and it was all worth it.
In the Water
The Wait Is Over
She came out with the cord wrapped 1 full time around her neck, but no knots, so no worries. I remember thinking how relieved I was that she was finally here, and that I was NOT planning on doing this again! I was waiting to get that feeling that I was done having babies and that our family was complete, and I got it with June.
All in all, the labor lasted about 11 hours. But only the last 2 or 3 were really intense, so I don't count the other 8 as real labor! :)
June Lily Cox was born at 5:36pm on June 6, 2008 weing 7lbs 5oz and was 19 inches long.