First baby Sylas decided to wait 2 weeks past his due date before he wanted to appear. I had an appt with my midwife 6 days before he was born and I was 2cm dilated. After the exam I started having cramps very similar to menstrual pain. They were not too painful although by day 4 & 5 my muscles just felt tired. I also started having pretty heavy clear discharge.
So on Monday I went to work like normal and at lunch I thought the cramps were feeling a little different. By 3 I thought they were feeling a little consistent so I started timing them. They were coming on between 5-7 min apart but only lasting about 10-30 seconds. I gave an hour massage at 4:30 and tried to glance at the clock during but mostly lost track of the timing. I got home around 6:30pm and went for about a 40 min walk, ate dinner, took a shower, and then went to bed at about 9pm. I'm pretty sure I never did fall asleep but I tried. At about midnight I woke Ryan because the contractions were about 2-3 min apart but only about 30 seconds long but they were feeling intense. We called our midwife and she said let's get to the birth center.
We got to the center at about 12:45am and Toni ushered us in to her office. She performed an exam and found I was only 3cm dilated. Since both parties live about 45min away we decided to all go ahead and stay at the birth center and try to get some rest. We all tried to get some sleep and I think because I wasn’t anxious about not being able to get to the birth center in time I was able to relax enough to rest. I labored in bed mostly leeping sitting up with lots of pillows and leaning forward onto an exercise ball. By 7am I was still only 5cm dilated. The labor felt very intense to me and every time I had to move I usually ended losing anything I had eaten or tried to drink. Toni and her assistant checked my vitals and the baby's heartbeat about every hour and we were still getting great numbers so it was time to just keep waiting.
I tried to get into the bath at one point but during the bath the contractions felt more intense so I stayed in probably only about 20-30 min. I got out thinking I was more comfortable on the bed but when I got back to the bed I realized it really was just more intense than earlier. After dinner the night before I was not able to eat anything and had thrown up each time I tried to drink water so eventually Toni had Ryan stick a straw in my face making me drink an electrolyte drink about every 3-5 min so I would not get dehydrated.
At about 1:30pm I felt a little bit like I needed to go to the bathroom so we decided It was time to try to push. When I first started to push I was very tired from laboring for almost 24hrs and I would only give 2 pushes per contraction. Also I had to feel my abdomen to know when a contraction was coming because the pain was so constant I physically could not tell when I was having a contraction and when I wasn't. Toni told me to try to give 3 pushes per contraction and that seemed to spark a new energy in me and I finally started getting into the rhythm of pushing. While it was a new pain to push it definitely felt good to be doing something with the pain rather than trying to resist giving into the pain of labor and not letting it take over.
It seemed like his head took forever to finally come all the way out but as soon as it did he shot out like a cannon. There was not a pause for his shoulders he just shot all the way out it one quick motion. Toni took great care of me and prevented me from tearing any I just had a couple of "cracks". The pushing took a total of 1hr and 45min and the 3rd stage took 11 min.
Ryan says the hardest part of the 24hr labor was that I did not speak to anyone. I was afraid if I spoke I would lose my composure and the pain would take over. I will say the thought of medication crossed my mind and I was very happy that I was in a place where I could not get it so it was easier to resist.
When Sylas came out Ryan caught him and placed him on my chest as we let the cord finish doing its thing. It was so amazing to finally hold our baby (as he was 15 days over his due date). Ryan ran out and told our families that we had a beautiful baby boy. After resting for a about 20 min Toni prepared our first bath and I got to bathe with Sylas and clean us both up. It was such a magical and amazing time.
Toni took such good care of us and always had just the right things to say. Rachel also prepared us very well, Ryan was an amazing coach and every time I started to have major shivers from the contractions he would calm me back down and helped me relax into the contraction. It was very special being able to labor with just the two of us and an occasional visit from the midwife and her assistant. I could not have been happier with our choice of using Toni as our midwife and her wonderful birthing center. Sylas was 7lbs 2oz and 21" long born on 10/30/12 at 3:12pm.