Let's start out with saying back labor is horrible. Absolutely horrible.
I woke up at 4am on Friday morning with contractions 5 minutes apart. I wasn't able to sleep through them at all despite trying. I took a shower at 7:30 am. At this point, I wasn't thinking I was in labor yet. An hour later, I was convinced. Jared got up at 8:30. Ctx were timing at 4 mins sitting down and 2 mins standing up. Called my midwife at 8:45am. Arrived at the birth center at 10 am.
After getting initial vitals done, I pretty much just labored for a while there. They brought in a sandwich and chips for me to eat around lunch time which I threw up because a contraction hit while I still had a bit in my mouth. After that, the tub was full so I was able to get in. What a relief! Things still hurt, but having that weight off my back was so nice.
I got out of the tub around 2pm for a check. At my Wednesday appointment, I was 1.5 centimeters. At this check, I was 7 cm. Good news, right? Right...
Got back in the tub for another few hours. Drank a glass of electrolyte stuff. I got out of the water for another check because my midwife wanted to know what was going on. As I got out, my water broke. There was meconium there too. Not bad, but still there. So I get on the bed for a check. Ctxs have now stepped up a notch since my water broke. I had a ctx right when my midwife put her hand in. Painful! I threw up the electrolyte drink. I was probably crying because my midwife kept her hand up there for a little while and I had a few more ctxs. I was fully dilated on the back but still had 2 cm to go on the front. Baby's head wasn't quite evenly down.
I stayed out of the tub for a long time now. I was in several different positions trying to help baby's head in the right place. I knew it was when I had a lot of amniotic fluid/meconium gunk go out of me for 3 or 4 ctxs. I started getting more vocal now. Before I was focusing on breathing through each ctx, but breathing wasn't enough anymore. So I started with some low moans. At this point, I have no idea what time it is or when anything is happening. I was in a ton of pain because I was having back labor this whole time and it wasn't going away.
I got into the shower because I thought the warm water would help my back. It did, but you can only do so much for back labor pain. I stayed in there for a while. I started getting even more vocal by grunting through ctxs. My midwife assistant asked if I was getting the urge to push because that's what it was sound like to them - the answer was no. Things were just really intense and grunting was helping me get through it. She said to try lightly bearing down through a few ctx and see how that goes. It was painful. I couldn't handle it.
When I got out, I leaned my back against my husband and when ctxs hit, I would bend my knees through it like I was pushing but I wasn't because it still hurt to do it.
They wanted to do another check to see where I was and to be able to make better suggestions on things I could do. I just about cried. They had to do a lot of convincing to get me to have another check. They let me do it on my hands and knees. And they had to talk me through breathing the whole time. It helped that they told me it would be short unlike the last time. This time I was fully dilated except for a very tiny lip on the front. My guess is this was around midnight. Maybe 12:30.
They had started refilling the tub while I was in the shower and my husband kept telling me that when that tub was filled, I would have the baby. They said I could get in the tub then but sitting on the toilet would be better so gravity could help that lip go away. I knew I didn't want to sit because everything hurt more. But I also really wanted to be done. So I sat. And immediately stood up because a ctx hit and it was sooooo painful. DH was right in front of me and held me and talked to me. I really cried then because it hurt so bad. After a few ctx of me standing and crying, I got into the tub.
As soon as I got into the tub, I was ready to push. I pushed through I don't know how many ctx. There was one time when I got really panicked because of the pain and Jared said I was really wide-eyed and looking for a way away from the pain. I was extremely vocal. Everyone kept trying to get me to breathe through things. Afterwards, they told me they were trying to help me not be so vocal. Yeah... totally didn't work. It was the only way I could get through. At one point they gave me a little bit of oxygen. Mostly to encourage me to breathe rather than an actual need for it.
Soon I could reach down and feel something. They said it should be hard but it just felt like a smooth hairy muscle. Didn't take me long to figure out I was feeling the hair on her head. Once I figured that out, I knew I was finally almost finished. I could see my progress in the large knob that opens the tub drain. They gave me suggestions on positions to help ease the way for baby.
She was born at 2:42 am, just three minutes after her head came out. They put her immediately on my chest and I could see her and hold her and talk to her. They gave her a little bit of oxygen. The placenta came out just a little bit later. Jared took baby to the bed while I got out of the tub. I didn't realize that every shred of energy would just leave as soon as labor was over! I got into the bed. Longest 7 steps of my life.
Over the next two hours, they checked me and how my bleeding was doing. I tore just a little bit and they asked if I wanted stitches - it would have been 2. I declined. Jared cut the umbilical cord. I had to go to the bathroom. Another long journey! My voice was absolutely shot after all the hours of vocalizing! It took at least 24 hours for it to sound normal and stop being so sore.
Kaelyn Faye weighed in at 7 lbs, 12 oz. It surprised them because I guess she doesn't look that heavy. She was 19 inches long. Head was 13. She didn't have a cone head. She has dark skin and dark hair. She is adorable!