So about 5:00 pm on Saturday, the 20th, we headed off to the Bella Vie. I loved the fact that when we got there, we simply just went into the room and got comfortable. No forms to fill out, no hospital gown to put on, no IV's to get stuck with, no monitors to get strapped on. The room was beautiful and cozy, with a huge tub in a pretty bathroom. It even had a chandelier over it! I hung out on the bed some and also in the bathroom as well. Deseree our midwife suggested to keep using the breast pump. So we continued that and by about 7:00 contractions were very consistent. Each position change I would make would bring on a contraction and they were pretty much right on top of each other. I did throw up a few times and my poor husband had to clean it up the one time I didn't quite make it to the toiled! I used my hypnobabies breathing through every contraction and just focused through them. Matt would stay near me and at most times would put his hand on my back or shoulder to reassure me and help me focus. It was pretty much just us alone in the room the whole time, but one of the midwives would come in about every 1/2 hour and listen to Ellie with the doppler to make sure she was doing good.
About 10:30 I got in the tub! It was amazing!!! That was also about the time that my step mom Robin showed up to be there as well. I think I spent about 2 hours in the tub but I'm not totally sure. I loved just floating and relaxing in the hot water. It felt so good. The pressure of the contractions didn't lessen but the whole time they were never painful, I truly just felt pressure. I definitely credit that to the Hypnobabies program. While I was also in the tub, I listened to my birth mix which had a combination of favorite worship songs and special songs to Matt and I. I was sorta hungry, since I had thrown up! and they brought me cheese and crackers and Recharge (a sort of healthy gatorade). Unfortunately, I couldn't really eat since the contractions were still right on top of one another but I loved the Recharge since it was sweet! It reminded me of Hawaiian Punch!
So after those few hours in the tub, I was beginning to get a little curious about where I was at dilation wise and ready for a little change, so I got out and took advantage of moving around the room a bit. I mostly laid on the bed, but also leaned over it, leaned up against the post of the bed (it was a 4 poster bed), walked around a tiny bit and sat on the toilet quite a bit too. I also threw up some more but was encouraged by my midwife that was a good sign! The midwives also suggested walking around the birth center a little bit or even going up the stairs, but I only made it from one side of the bed to the other! Stairs, yeah right!! Like I said before, every single position change seemed to bring on another contraction. When they checked me, I was at 7 cm (and that was the last check I got).
I think about 3:30ish I decided I was ready to get back in the tub. I felt like things were getting closer. When I did get back in the tub, the contractions seemed to change, they were lower in my belly and seemed to be not as intense (for a little while). They also became shorter and with longer breaks in between them. I actually fell asleep in between some of them. Then they were feeling more pushy and could tell my body was beginning to open. At times I would say to myself or out loud "open, open" or "release". (More hypnobabies training). Then for the last hour? (Time was truly relative at that point) The last hour-ish I got vocal, very vocal! "Aaahing and O-ing" through the contractions. I don't know if that would have been considered the "transition" part of my labor, but never did I have that feeling of wanting to give up, or being desperate for relief or feeling like I wanted pain medication or an epidural (looking back those thoughts NEVER entered my mind) I stayed focused and felt confident that even thought it was definitely not an easy thing, I could do it. I stayed confident and felt strong. I surrendered to everything I was feeling because I knew my body was doing the work it was supposed to. The being vocal part sure didn't hurt that either! I was LOUD! (Though my husband says I wasn't that loud, so maybe it just felt that way)
Then it was finally pushing time and I could tell! My "Ohh's and Ahh's" started to get a little higher pitched and I could feel major pressure on my butt, like that constipated pooping feeling. I was sitting "spread eagle" in the tub and Matt and the midwives both told me that things were progressing to the point that now it really was close. I could feel it too! By that time (maybe just about 5:00am) I started to feel a different kind of pushy-ness so I began to do just that. I could feel her head come out some and go back in. I knew this and the water was helping to slowly stretch me and (hopefully) prevent tearing so I just went with it. I experience the "ring of fire" recognizing it and just going with it, knowing it was sooo close at that point! So then by that 5th or 6th push, I knew I had to "hold" her there, take another breath, and push her the rest of the way out!
Her head came all the way out and since my water NEVER broke, my midwife opened the sac with her finger and then had Matt put his hands down to her to help lift her out. We both lifted her out and up to my chest. It was amazing. She was calm and alert. After a few seconds she cried out just a little as she took that first big breath. It was so beautiful! She was very clean since she had been in the caul, and her hands and feet were so wrinkly for being 3 weeks late.
The placenta came out about 10 minutes later and with in about another 10 minutes we got out of the tub and moved to the bed. She was born at 5:34 AM and I don't think they cut the cord until about at least 8:00am. In fact, she was never taken out of our arms until they weighed her (7lbs 14 oz and 21 inches long) which was about that same time. Matt had her on his chest, skin to skin while they checked me out and made sure I was taken care of. I had no significant tears, just a few abrasions that didn't even warrant having one stitch the midwife informed me. I think that had a lot to do with the combination of being in the water and letting her crown and go back in those few times, to slowly stretch me.
We then just got to rest in bed and they brought us a wonderful breakfast in bed of bacon, eggs, toast, and orange juice! It was a beautiful day and the light just streamed through the window landing on my beautiful new family as I held Ellie in my arms and Matt rested next to me! I couldn't have asked for a more perfect birth!