I had about 9 hours of false labor overnight, July 2, which was consistently six minute contractions, but they stopped when I started my day. I was frustrated at having called the midwife at 5am for nothing. I had a young friend over that morning to keep the kids for me, thinking that was going to be the day, and Chris stayed home from work. We were both very tired from the lack of sleep, so it was wonderful to have some help, anyway.
Then again, early in the morning on July 4, I had a few more hours of the same kind of contractions, which were apparently not doing anything much. This time, I waited to see if they would change once I got up and going, and sure enough, they fizzled out again. I wondered if it was the baby's position that was preventing labor from progressing.
On my due date, Sunday, July 5, we went to church as usual, but came home directly afterward. I didn't want to go into labor there and have to bring home the lunch I'd prepared (a full crockpot of meatballs and a tray full of peanut butter and honey sandwiches would get old quickly). Still thinking baby's position was the issue, I planned to attempt to get her to turn around by using techniques from SpinningBabies.com. I first called my midwife to get her opinion. After talking with her a bit, I decided I'd like to have her come over and do a mini prenatal, and enlist her help with determining the baby's position and possibly trying to change it, if needed. The midwife was soon there, and palpated for how the baby was lying in my womb. From what she could determine, the baby was actually in the optimal position, head down, back almost directly in the front of my belly. I wondered what I'd been feeling to make me think otherwise. We decided to wrap my belly with a Rebozo scarf to help keep her where she needed to be, just in case she decided to move again.
Nothing much happened after that until I went to bed. I had a few pesky contractions overnight, but I started to notice a pattern to them, which woke me up around 4am. They were consistent again, most 7 or 8 minutes apart. When I got up around 7am, they slowed down a bit and became more irregular, but I was so grateful they didn't seem to be stopping. I called my midwife I think around midday to alert her, but to say that I'd call back later when things were moving along a little better. Chris came home from work for lunch and I had him take the kids to our scheduled chiropractor appointment, as I didn't feel like being in a car while contracting. That's one of my big reasons for homebirth, so I don't have to do that! After dropping them back off at home, Chris went back to work to finish up a few things. He called to check on me around 3 or so, at which time I asked that he come home to help with the kids. The contractions were becoming more intense, and I couldn't focus well while dealing with the children. When he got home, I headed up to bed to try to take a nap. I napped from about 4-5pm, and my contractions slowed to 10 minutes apart, but were quite intense. After getting up, I called my midwife and let her know that I'd like for her to come over. Even though things were slower, I thought they could pick up at any moment. I'm glad I did, because it turned out I was right. The midwife arrived around 5:45, and I had been in the pool for about 10-20 minutes. At 6:23, I had a contraction that was soon a push. The contraction continued until her head was all the way out, about three minutes. I had about a 30 second breather, while I wondered aloud what I was feeling against her head, thinking it might be the cord. Turned out it was an ear, which made me laugh. Then the rest of her began to come, but she didn't shoot out like Isaac had. After a couple of minutes, I realized she wasn't moving out, so I asked the midwife to see if she needed some help out. Turns out she had her left hand up next to her left cheek which meant her elbow was making things difficult. The midwife tried to free her hand, but it wasn't moving, so she pushed on one of her shoulders to make the other pop free. What a relief! Once her shoulders were clear, I was able to sit forward, and pull her the rest of the way out at 6:29. I let her float in the water for a few more seconds, admiring her beauty, before pulling her up to my chest. The midwife was ready with a warm receiving blanket to drape over her. It wasn't until I had her wrapped up and just below the water that I realized I hadn't checked to make sure she was a girl. I felt and happily announced that I didn't feel a penis. :D It was then that I noticed how big she looked to me. The midwife noted a double chin, and yes, she was quite chubby!
The children all admired the baby, and Peter especially was enamored with her. They had all been in the room when she was born, except for Isaac, who was in the next room with Aunt Sarah. Peter asked lots of questions and made lots of funny comments about the birth and the baby and the "doctor" taking the baby out of my bottom. We caught everything on video, except for Chloe cutting the cord. The children all took part, videotaping and taking pictures. Kyle decided to sit just outside the room during the actual birth, and my guess is he didn't care to see me hurting at all. He almost wasn't there at all, since he'd been up the street at a friend's house.
The midwife and her assistants cleaned everything up and checked out the baby. The midwife wouldn't tell anyone the baby's weight until she told me first. I came from the bathroom to hear, and she announced that it was 9 lbs. 2.5 ozs! I said, "No way!" I was shocked. No wonder she felt so huge! My second biggest baby was Peter, at 8 lbs. & half an ounce. She was 21 inches long and checked out healthy. The midwife asked the name for her records, and we said "Rebecca." "Middle name?" "We haven't decided yet." Later in the evening, when we were alone as a family, Chris, Chloe and I decided on Rebecca Joie (pronounced Joy), though we had also considered Rebecca Claire.
Chris heated up some dinner, which I had thawed from the freezer that morning. All the children had chances to hold Rebecca and love on her before heading to bed. Chris and I stayed up until midnight, sending out announcements by email and online.
Sweet Becca is much loved by everyone, and so far, Isaac is very loving toward her, showering her with kisses (along with the occasional too-hard love-pat). She nurses well and is very quiet. Even her cry is pleasant, like Isaac's was. She sleeps a lot right now, and even slept 5 hours straight the first night. I'm working through some pretty serious after pains, but I hope that will fade out tomorrow sometime.
We have truly been blessed, yet again. Praise God!