My pregnancy with Judah was a tough one. I had severe morning sickness until 26 weeks (as in not HG, but still lost 15 lbs before starting medication and throwing up about 3-5x/day most days). I had strep, 2 sinus infections, a respiratory infection, and a couple of colds to top it off. I had a ton of relaxin which made it so I was in a lot of pain in my pelvis the last couple of months, almost not being able to walk at times. And I had bad sinus issues causing lots of bad headaches. Most likely some of this was because of too many hormones due to a miscarriage literally 2 weeks before I got pregnant again. Needless to say, I was so happy to see my due date (Tuesday, December 18th) approaching so I could have this baby and start healing from this pregnancy.
The question was, WHEN would I have this baby?
Mika was born at 41 weeks (although through emergency induction/c-section, so we don't know when she would have come on her own)
Urijah came at 39 weeks 6 days.
Ezekiah came at 42 weeks 2 days.
So I have a big range of what is normal for me! At first I was telling people "Christmas" as a "due time" so I wouldn't get myself too excited about when he could come. Then around 30 weeks I had some weird contractions and we discovered I was already slightly dilated. Suddenly it was "let's get to at least 37 weeks, hopefully your due date!" We were still a little wary, knowing I could go past, but I know I was hoping he'd come just a little early.
My labor pattern with my last 2 births involved 2-3 days of prodromal labor. That's a nasty word for lots of contractions that drive you nuts but don't mean you're in labor. Then a "shift" happens, and I'm in active labor. With Urijah I had a baby 10 hours after the shift, with Ezekiah, 2 hours after!
Sure enough, when I was 39 weeks I started having the prodromal stuff. Each day the contractions would get a little worse and a little worse. Thursday I saw my chiropractor. Friday Zarik and I saw our awesome midwife, Desirre, then went to see the Hobbit - one last date we were hoping! - then met up with my sister and brother in law, my mom, and our kiddos for dinner at the Outback. I'd been craving it so bad!
Saturday, at midnight, I threw all that up. I had a bunch of contractions for about an hour that scared me because usually for me throwing up means transition. I decided to try to sleep and they spaced back out to every 20 minutes or so, but I woke up with each one. All of Saturday was pretty much like this. I got to the point about halfway through the day where I needed help through them and either Zarik or my mom would do counter pressure on my lower back through them. We spent the day at home. I tried baking (pumpkin cupcakes and eggnog cupcakes!), napping, waking up and down the stairs, and other little things, but it was hard contracting so much. By the kids bedtime I was exhausted, frustrated, and in pain. Baby started literally rotating his head around in my pelvis, back and forth, and it did NOT feel good at ALL! I called Desirre to check in, did some knee-chest and pelvic rocks to try to get baby in a better position, then had a small glass of wine and went to bed.
I slept in 20-30 minute intervals between contractions, and then at 1am on the 16th, I got up to go to the bathroom and take a shower. I started feeling completely out of control. Zarik got up and helped me through some contractions and I finally looked at him and said "Call the birth team or take me to the hospital. I can't do this anymore". Wise man that he is, he called the birth team. As they got there it calmed me enough so that I wasn't yelling at them all to take me to the hospital. These were the contractions from HELL. This was my third natural birth, second homebirth, and I couldn't believe how much pain I was in. I've never felt anything like them and hope to never again! My doula, Kim, was amazing and with little cues from both her and Desirre I made it through another hours worth of contractions without losing it. I was sitting on the ball leaning on Kim for that hour. Inside I felt completely out of control. Zarik was going back and forth between helping Desirre, another midwife and an assistant set up the pool and helping me through contractions with Kim. Both Kim and Desirre commented later on how calm I seemed. I was amazed I came off that way because inside I was FREAKING OUT!!
It started feeling better to bare down a little with them, so I did. I was a little worried it was too early, but was told to go with it, so I did. Suddenly with one I gave a full on push! I felt baby move down, but was unsure it had really just happened because I though I was probably just a 6 or 8 or something! I had one more contraction that that happened again, and I peed a little, so I figured I'd better go to the bathroom, and maybe then I could get in the pool. I stand up and we see a little bloody show, yay! I guess at this point the midwives decided to go down to our living room to give us some space to labor in.
I get in the bathroom and sit down backwards to pee and another contraction started. I almost freaked out because I didn't have the safety of Kim's shoulder, and just started baring down. Wait, baring down? No, this is pushing!!! At this point I was pretty much having an out of body experience. When I started pushing the midwives heard and ran back up. Des checked me, felt the head and yelled "Zarik, if you wanna catch this baby you'd better come now!" He ran into our (very tiny) bathroom too, and got into position right as I pushed the head out. With his head my water broke and Zarik got "baptized" in it, haha! One more push and baby was in his hands. I was in such shock that I just stood there breathing for a minute. Then we did a pass through and I sat on the toilet holding Judah while they finished getting the bed ready. He was born at 3:56 am.
While all that was going on I was having a gazillion thoughts run through my head. Basically for me this is how those 2 minutes (or less) went:
Pushing? Isn't it too early to push? Can I push? Is that the ring of fire? It can't be! Des is here. I need to stand up. She's checking for a HEAD?? IT'S RIGHT THERE??!! I guess I can push then! Ring of firrrrrreeeee! Head's out! This is the first time a baby didn't come out all at once. One more. He's OUT!! Wait. He's out? Already? Seriously? Did that just happen? You mean it's all over? Oh my gosh, it's all over! Did that REALLY just happen?
I vaguely noticed that my photographer had hopped up on our bathroom counter, and was amazed so many people were in the bathroom with us. When we got to the bed I realized Zarik was changing clothes and was told he'd gotten the full blast of my water breaking, haha! I was still kinda in shock and couldn't believe it was over. Judah was definitely letting us know that he didn't like coming out that fast too! Desirre put a little Rescue Remedy on his temples and he calmed down in just a couple minutes and was able to latch on and nurse after that. Mika woke up just a few minutes after he was born and she and Zarik came to cuddle with Judah and I. I think it took about 15 minutes for my placenta to come, and I was shaking because of the adrenaline and because it was just a little chilly at 4 am! While Desirre and the other midwife, Sharon watched over me, everyone else was taking the tub back down and starting to clean up. I ended up having just a small tear on my perineum, right where I'd torn with the other two boys, so no big deal. Just need to keep my legs together for a couple weeks as much as possible.
About 45ish minutes after the birth I got cleaned up while my mom held Judah, then we did the newborn assessment. My mom got to cut the cord this time! She loved it. Little Judah weighted in at 6lbs1oz, was 19 inches long, and had a 13 inch head. I thanked him for not having as big a head as Eze, haha (who had a 14 inch head)! Speaking of, he woke up around 6, as everyone was wrapping up, and got to meet his little brother before Grandma took him and Mika downstairs while Zarik, Judah and I snuggled in to sleep.
I do have to say, that after this birth, I am very glad that we are done! It is definitely the right decision and our family is finally complete. Zarik always joked that I really didn't want another baby, just another birth, and after this birth I can honestly say I don't want to do that again! Even after Eze, when he was just a couple weeks old I was wanting to do it again, so this is my sign that we are done, ha! Welcome Judah! We are very glad you are here! And very glad you came before your due date! ;-)