On 5/19, 9 days before my due date [and Cohen's 18 months], I woke up praying I'd go into labor that day. If I did, Darren would be home with us that weekend, that week, and the 3 day weekend following. Darren and I both had a feeling it would be that day, even though part of me also thought I'd reach my due date. We went on a long walk that afternoon with Cohen and the dogs. I was having contractions but frankly I was having them anytime I was somewhat active, so I ignored them. We went home and during Cohen's nap tried another method of trying to naturally go into labor ;) ;) After Cohen woke up we got ready and went to the Ash Kicker; a big, muddy marathon hosted at the RV park. We met up with some friends and walked around a bit. I was having contractions while we were sitting on a bench, and the thought occurred to me that I had not felt any contractions while sitting in a while, and that could mean good things. On our way home (about 4:30) I mentioned that I was still feeling some, and maybe I'd time them after dinner. Well not even an hour later I was having them every 5-8 minutes as I made dinner. I wrote down some times but none of them had become more intense than another, so I wasn't sure what to think.
I made a bad habit of comparing every detail of this labor to my labor with Cohen. With him, just 18 months prior to that very day, I had timeable contractions for only a couple hours before I couldn't walk through them. I was writing down contraction times around 2 o'clock, we were at the hospital by 6, and I had him at 9. I figured this time around would be faster, and we had a bit of a longer drive to the midwife's, so I wanted to leave as soon as I knew it was the real deal. At about 6:30, Darren's parents picked up Cohen so we could focus on the timing of the contractions. Darren cleaned the whole house while I walked around timing contractions. They were still coming, but none had really hurt, yet. I was feeling slightly discouraged. My midwife said to take a bath as that can speed up the process if it's true labor. I took a bath as well as walked up and down the driveway for half an hour. A few had been more intense, but then they'd just go back to bothersome. Darren suggested we take a drive because the car always makes it way worse! I decided I wanted a brownie sundae from BK so we drove there and then drove around town a bit. It was about 8PM at this point, and I had finally had a really good contraction that made me stop what I was saying. Darren looked me and said, "We're going!" But the rest of the drive there didn't do much. I was hoping for some intense contractions in the car, but I got nothin :[
We got there at 9 and I was feeling discouraged that I hadn't had any good ones. It had been 4 hours since I noticed contractions, and by this point with Cohen we were headed to the hospital and I was moaning in pain. I walked and walked and walked, and she checked me at 10 or so. I hadn't changed since my appt 4 days prior [3cm 50% effaced]. I wanted to cry. I got in the jetted tub, as relaxing can sometimes help you dilate. It was too relaxing! I didn't feel one contraction the whole time and I was falling asleep in there. At 11, Laura told us we could go home and sleep and maybe I'd wake up to more intense contractions, or we could sleep there in the birth suite and see what happens. She said she would be surprised if I didn't have the baby in the next 24 hours. I was so exhausted, as was Darren, so we decided to go to sleep there.
I was passed out by 11:30 but only got one lousy hour of sleep because I woke up to back pain. I got up and walked around and they were definitely coming every 2-3 minutes and hurting me. I didn't want to call the MW right away as she was probably sleeping [her house is connected to the birth suite/her office]. Darren woke up to me walking around and helped me time them and at 1:30 he called Laura [MW] because I was feeling uncomfortable. She came over looking like she had been up and ready for the call. She said she figured the sleep would relax me enough to send me into labor, and sure enough it had. I got in the tub and could still feel the back pain coming so that was a good sign! I enjoyed maybe half an hour of uncomfortable contractions in the tub, and then the real show began.
At 2, I was moaning in pain, yelling for Darren to jam his fist into my lower back where the pain was. This back labor was 1000x worse than with Cohen. The jets in the tub helped, but I still hated every second of this labor. The nice thing was having a minute in between contractions. With Cohen, they were right on top of each other. I would moan and visualize and rock for a minute, then have maybe a few seconds of relief before doing it all again. This time around, I would yell and visualize and swear for one minute, then have almost a whole minute of breathing and pep-talking that it was only temporary and soon I would have my baby. Darren was such a wonderful coach. He crammed his fist into my back for the entire minute as I was yelling at him to do it harder. He reminded me to breathe, told me how good I was doing, and repeated to me that soon we'd meet our new baby boy. After 40 minutes of hearing me like this, Laura checked me at about 2:45 AM. I was 6CM and almost completely effaced. I told Darren to text my mom and sister because they wanted to be there, and it could be sooner rather than later. I tried a few other positions for one contraction each--hands and knees in the tub, on the bed, hula hooping against the counter, & sitting on the toilet. The toilet was the only other place I liked aside from the tub. The sitting position and having Darren to cry into was comforting.
I was back in the tub when I mom and sister got there a little after 3. I was in the tub, on the toilet, in the tub, on the toilet for about 45 minutes. Laura asked me if I felt like I had to push, and I told her I had been pushing a little bit with the last few contractions because it felt a little better. But nothing like the pressure to push that I felt with Cohen. I knew exactly when I had to push with him, and I also felt relief. Pushing contractions with him were amazing--no more back pain, just my body completely taking over to push him out. I didn't feel any relief at all this time, so I thought I was far from needing to push. Laura decided to check me and said to push with that contraction. The rest was such a blur. My sister has a video that is 3 minutes and 6 seconds long. The first 30 seconds is of me in the tub with Darren at my side and Laura waiting for me to have a contraction as she wanted to check me. Then 10 seconds of me screaming "GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT!" because her checking me was excruciating! Then she's telling me to push. I was so confused. It wasn't time to push yet, was it? I hear her ask Darren if he sees the head. What?! I felt his head come out and it was so relieving, I threw my head back panting. Laura yelled at me that she needed my air to get the body out. My sister, mom, Darren, and Laura were all encouraging me to push, so with one huge push, I felt his entire body just pop out! Cohen wiggled out slowly, but Oslo was just so so fast! Suddenly he was on my chest and I was staring at the face of my new little boy. Darren and I were both crying as he gave me a kiss and told me how great I did. After the cord stopped pulsing, he cut it and I tried nursing my new baby. I sat in the tub with him for maybe 5-10 minutes as I delivered the placenta. Then she took the baby to clean him up and weigh him and pass him off to Darren. I stood up and showered which felt amazing. The pain was gone, I had a new bundle, and I felt euphoric. He was born at 3:58 AM. 8lbs 4 oz, 21 inches long. On 5/20--my parent's anniversary :) Intense labor started at 2, so I'd say not too shabby! 2 hours of hard labor, 90 seconds of pushing.
Afterward I got in bed and nursed him-he latched on like a pro. My mom went and got us Subway as we tried to pick a name for our new baby. We could not decide for a while. I had decided on Ephram and Darren agreed. Then we tried to pick a middle name and as Darren said Ephram out loud more and more, he decided he didn't like it anymore, lol. I had suggested Oslo [the capital of Norway... I heard it on the news once] during my 1st tri and Darren shot it down. He eventually warmed up to it a few months later, so it had been on our list along with Ephram, Kingston, Keaton, Abel, & Abram. We both decided we liked it, and chose Ryan for his middle name. Ryan is his best friend's last name, who is marrying one of my best friends so it will soon be her last name, too :] We left Laura's at almost 7AM, and I was home in my bed with Oslo and I couldn't have been happier. I had an amazing experience with my midwife, and I was so so happy to not be in the hospital. I encourage every woman to attempt a natural labor and delivery. Both of mine were the best experiences of my life. Our bodies were meant to do it! It's incredible.
We love our new addition <3