Well, it didn’t go quite as expected. Not quite sure what I expected, but it wasn’t this.

My first, born at 39+5weeks, was a long (35 hour), drawn-out process that involved waters breaking, contractions stopping, pitocin drips, 13 hours of hard labour, Dr talking c-section, and about a half hour of active pushing.

This one… just a wee bit different.

The prior Saturday, started feeling contractions that were rather strange. There wasn’t so much any tightening, as just a surge of energy that started in my belly, and flowed up into my sinuses making me light-headed.

That night, during my many trips to the potty, I lost my mucus plug. Figured things should really get going soon.

Not so much.

Nothing really changed before my midwife appointment on Tuesday finally arrived. She did an internal, and found I was 3cm, and she could stretch that to 5. She stripped my membranes while she was in there. Not a comfortable procedure, but not the worst. She set me up for a Verbena induction on Sunday, but honestly didn’t think I’d even make it thru the night.

5am Wednesday morning. Woke up to a small puddle between my legs. Assuming it was my water having sprung a leak (as was how my first started), went and cleaned up the small mess, and went back to bed. About 10 minutes later, the contractions started. Not overly painful, though it was concentrated down at the bottom, and it was like bad (at least for me) menstrual pains, not really anything resembling the full-belly tightening I had with #1.

They were about 5 minutes apart at first. Laid there debating whether to let DH go to work, or just have him stay home. By the time it was time for him to leave, they were down to 2-3 minutes, and getting painful, so he stayed home.

I finally managed to get myself something to drink, and quickly realized my thirst had been aggravating the contractions, as they slowed down.

Nothing really progressed throughout the day, contractions stayed about the same intensity, and went from 5 minutes, to 2, to 8 or longer. And I realized that I hadn’t really been leaking anymore, though there was an inordinate amount of mucus. Just after 4pm, decided to call the clinic to see what they thought I should do.

The on-staff Doula suggested I give it till after rush-hour, and if there’s still no change, to head to the centre, and get checked out. Worst they could do is send me home, right? She figured my “puddle” that morning was possibly a small leak that had quickly healed over. Or it might have just been a build-up of vaginal fluid coming out. Hard to tell.

As I was talking to her, my husband was kindly providing me with some nipple stimulation (he’s a boob guy), and it was causing the contractions to suddenly come harder, and as it turned out, faster too. By the time I got off the phone, they were down to 2 minutes again, and kinda painful.

Decided to have another bath, as the one I’d had earlier had provided quite a bit of relief. Went into the bathroom, sat down to pee, (which was tough thru the contractions) and as I was sitting there, feeling like I needed to poop too, I felt what to me felt like a bubble of gas popping thru (I’m sure we all know what I’m talking about), though I wasn’t 100% convinced.

Finally got into the tub, and had barely got myself seated when I started to feel a good gush. Because of they way I was sitting, it kinda felt like I was peeing, but it very quickly became evident that it was not pee. My water had burst, and I was flooding into the tub (thank the gods there, and not somewhere it would have to be cleaned up). This was shortly after 5pm.

Debated whether to hang around at home for a while more, but the 3 minute apart contractions, and the 40 minute drive to the centre quickly changed my mind.

When I got there a little after 6pm, we were down to 2 minutes, and painful, and turned out I was already 7cm. Could barely tolerate laying there for the 15 minutes they needed to take a strip, especially when they wanted me to move onto my sides. Moving at all was bringing on contractions at this point.

Finally got the clearance to get into the tub. I had a hard time getting over there, but managed alright. I wasn’t in there very long when the contractions were starting to make me push a little too. It also wasn’t long before the contractions were all but non-stop. I’d barely finish one when the next would start.

Seemed like it took forever, but the midwife finally arrived, and when she checked, I was easily 10cm.

It was about 7:30 when I finally admitted that the contractions were making me push. I wasn’t really sure at first, cuz with #1 the pushing was a relief… it actually felt good to push. But this time, it hurt like hell. I decided that it wasn’t gonna get any better, so I started to just go with it, and started letting the pushes do their job.

It wasn’t till he was crowning that reality finally set in. Up to this point, even though I knew that I was having a baby, I still couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that in a few days (/hours/minutes) there would be a BABY there, and that our lives would suddenly be completely changed forever.

But, a few LOOOONNGGGGG pushes later, at 7:52pm, he was finally there. All 10 pounds of him, with his 39.5cm head. And though it was at 40+6weeks (we think), he apparently didn’t show any signs of being overdue.

I ended up with a 2nd degree tear. Better than the 3rd degree I had with #1, but sitting is still not comfortable.

The placenta was delivered a few minutes later. The midwives and nurses were amazed at the size of both it and the cord. It was apparently the largest placenta most of them had ever seen. They weighed it. 2lb 9oz. Most are around 1lb. And the cord was a rather large neatly wound spiral that they marveled over as well.

The part that took me by surprise the most, was the fact that I actually delivered in the tub. I never could figure that one out. We’re human, not cetaceans. It’s just not natural to me. But, being in there, knowing the kind of relief it had been providing earlier, and the pain I was in while in there, getting out was just not an option. Add to that the fact that there wasn’t time to get out, thanks to the constant contractions, I didn’t have much choice. And honestly, by that point, I just didn’t care. I put my trust in the midwives, and went with it.

All-in-all, I would say a good experience. It definitely hurt more than what I remember the first to be, notwithstanding the pitocin the first time. And it would have been nice to have had the chance to use the music I had ready, and the tea, and all the other stuff, but I did get to do most of the time-consuming work at home, and didn’t have enough time at the centre to really think about things. And I’m pretty sure nothing happened/didn’t happen that was contrary to my birth plan. YAY!

So, welcome to the world Calum. We’re happy to have you here.