(should say 39 weeks for that last picture)
Let me start at the beginning...
So it was a Monday evening and I was ready to have this baby so I finally took the advice of my midwives and went....SWIMMING! :) We have a pool in our townhome complex and headed there as a family. I don't usually like swimming especially when I am many, many pounds heavier than normal and don't even have a swimsuit to wear. But I put on a shirt and shorts and away we headed with two very excited children!
I casually swam around with the kids and did a lap or two and then we got out. And I have to admit - it is now the FIRST thing I recommend to women who are ready to have their babies! It was super relaxing and I believe it really kick started my labor!
So we headed back to the house feeling no different. After the kids were in bed, I bounced on the birthing ball for an hour or so like I had the last week or so as we watched TV. This time things felt a little different. I was having a little achiness down there and things started to feel like they were starting to happen. But as I had several times in the last couple weeks, I didn't want to get my hopes up. So we headed to bed after awhile like normal making me officially a week and a half overdue!
At about 1 AM, I woke up feeling some small contractions. Nothing truly painful but they were about 5 minutes apart and were lasting for 30 seconds or so. I started to get excited -
"Was it finally time??"
So I put on my birthing CD that I had made especially to keep me calm and relaxed through labor and we laid down again together - my husband immediately sound asleep, of course and me listening to my CD and dozing here and there in between contractions. They were about 10 minutes apart at this point but for the next 5 hours they slowly got a little more intense. I eventually had to go on my hands and knees on the bed with each contraction but they still stayed about 10-20 minutes apart. It was actually really relaxing to rest in between, listen to my CD and cuddle my husband!
But my biggest thought through the whole morning of resting was...
I have a LONG day ahead of me.
From my previous births, I knew it takes me a long time to get dilated to even 3 so I knew this labor was way to easy for me! :)
But finally I woke at 6 AM with much more intense contractions and decided to get this thing going! It is at around this time that I consider active labor began! I started by taking a shower while my husband set up the birthing tub. After the shower, I was in much more pain and decided to call my mom to come get the two kids. I hated to wake them up so early but labor was really progressing where I couldn't talk through my contractions and I didn't want to scare the kids by waiting any longer.
When my mom arrived, she saw me in labor and immediately said I better call the midwife because she thought I was farther along than what I thought. We did call the midwife soon after but we were still almost in denial that this was all happening or happening this fast -
my labors NEVER progressed fast!
I thought I had at least another 8 hours of active labor....why call the midwife this early!
"Please be at least at 5, please be at 5, please be at least at 5".
She got done and asked if I wanted to know where I was at. I hesitantly said yes and she she told me I was at......EIGHT! Almost nine she told me! I started crying tears of joy because I knew I would be meeting my little son soon! After only 3 hours I was going to have this baby and I couldn't believe it!!!
I then started getting serious because I knew pushing was coming soon! I usually progress from 7 to 10 in a matter of minutes so I knew I would be pushing within the next couple of minutes.
I also started wondering if my other midwife would make it in time! :)
So I began pushing and suddenly felt a little pop and a gust of water - my water had broke! That was such a unique experience because I had always had to have my water broken for me and never in water! I then knew this was really serious and got even more excited because my baby would be here soon!
Then began the hard, hard journey of pushing. I don't know if I was just exhausted, couldn't get a good position in the tub or was just expecting things to be easier, but I COULD NOT push this baby out all the way. The contractions had stopped and I could feel the baby's head out, but I was so exhausted and just couldn't push anymore. I remember saying, "I just can't do it! I don't think I can do this!".
My midwife finally looked me in the eye and said
"Marissa, it is time to push this baby out.
Exhaustion, happiness, overwhelming accomplishment and pride washed over me!
I had done it.
I had fulfilled my dream of a home birth AND water birth! I had a labor in under 3 hours! I had my beautiful baby boy in my arms! I had accomplished my dreams and I was so proud!
I held my beautiful son in my arms for minutes just resting and thanking God for such a blessing and that labor was over! I thanked my husband and midwives over and over because I was so happy it was over.
Finally, I decided to come out of the tub because my pain increased from being in the same positions the whole labor and from pushing a bigger head out than I was used to. I moved to the bed and continued to hold my beautiful son in my arms! I love that I got to bond with my son from the moment he was born until many hours after the birth! It is some of my favorite moments!
After a couple hours of resting, they weighed my son at 9 lbs! Way bigger than any of us were expecting and almost a pound over my other two children! No wonder I had such a hard time pushing! :) He was also 21 inches which is 3 inches longer than my other children too!
I am so proud to say that my third birth was my quickest, heaviest and longest baby and he had the most hair! :)