You can read Part I here.
So where did I leave off-Oh yeah, I was admitted to L&D around 4:00 and was starting to have more painful contractions that were still about 2 minutes apart. I was still talking and joking while Mike and Bonnie (my doula) were setting up and tub and every time I would have a contraction I would lean over the bed and Bonnie would come press on my hips. Once the tub was finally set up and full enough for me to get in I happily stripped down to my sports bra and got in. The water was warm and felt amazing. It really helped me to relax during contractions.
Around 5:30ish (I honestly lost all sense of time during labor) my midwife came in and checked me and said that I was at 5cm and asked me if I wanted her to break my water. I looked at Bonnie and she told me that it was up to me, and I said that I didn't want them to because I was afraid that things would start to progress too fast and I wouldn't be able to handle the contractions anymore. When I was in labor with Ellie all hell broke loose when the broke my water so I was afraid the same thing would happen again-even though I didn't have any pitocin this time. I had Mike find The Desert Song on his phone and play that on repeat. Bonnie found a Christian worship station and that played in the background for the rest of my labor.
During contractions I tried a few different positions in the tub. I sat with my back against the tub and Mike and Bonnie would push my knees in towards my body, I laid on my side and Bonnie would push my hip down towards the bottom of the tub, and I laid like a frog with my head resting on the side of the tub and Bonnie and Mike would do the hip press during every contraction. The last position was the most comfortable and really let me relax my whole body during a contraction so that was mostly the position I was in. During contractions I would close my eyes and do the "singing the baby down" moaning that instinctively just comes out of you. I never asked for an epidural and I knew it was an option but getting one never crossed my mind. When I was having contractions I would just moan and breathe and tell myself it will end, just wait for the break. And when the contraction was at it's peak and the pressure was so intense I knew that it was almost over.
At 7:00pm there was a shift change and a new midwife came in. I was in the zone and don't remember her introducing herself but she checked me and I was 7-8cm and again asked me if I wanted her to break my water. I declined again since I was handling contractions fine and planned on just letting it break on it's own. At this point I got a little afraid because I knew this meant that I was going to have to push without and epidural and that scared the crap out of me. The midwife-Amy- told me I was doing a great job, and I just remember thinking Lady you just got here, how do you know?? Contractions started getting really intense and I was relaxing my body so much during them that while Mike pressed on my hips, Bonnie and to hold my head above the water because my mouth and nose kept dropping. So in between contractions Mike had to try and bail some of the water out (It was a free standing tub filled by a hose from the shower so it didn't have a drain) and Bonnie gave me apple juice and fed me ice chips. By this point I was just so tired. I told Bonnie "I'm ready to be done; I don't want to do this anymore." She said you don't have to.
Amy checked me again a little bit before 7:30 and I was 9-9 1/2cm and this time I told her she could break my water. She did and there was some meconium in the water so she said that there were going to have to be a few more people in the room to make sure the baby was ok after he was born. I had another contraction and I said I have to push. He's coming. She said "Ok, let's have one more contraction in the tub and we'll see where you are. I had another one and I said (more so groaned/yelled) "My body is pushing. He's coming." And Bonnie said "He really is, he is right there." So Amy said "Ok Michelle it's time to get out of the tub." And I said "No." She said "You have to get out of the tub." Mike (who was pissed and scared that we waited this long to get out of the tub) and Bonnie grabbed my arms and lifted me up and told me to step over the edge. I told them I couldn't-How in the heck was I going to lift my leg when there was a baby coming out? They told me I had to so I got one leg out and then the other and immediately squatted on the ground. Amy said "No, you have to get to the bed." Somehow I walked to the bed and was leaning over it and someone stripped off my sports bra.
There I was in all my glory in front of a room full of strangers-but honestly at that point I didn't even care. They helped me crawl onto and up to the top of the bed facing the back of the bed on my hands and knees and I tried pushing in that position and I looked at Bonnie (with terror in my eyes I'm sure) and told her I couldn't push like that. So after a contraction I laid down on my side and Mike held my one leg while I pushed. I'm not even going to lie pushing hurt like a bitch. Ring of fire my ass-that doesn't even begin to describe it. I felt like I was going to tear every which way. I was grunting/groaning loudly and almost kicked the midwife in the face and was clutching the arm of a nurse I hadn't yet met. I remember thinking there was no way this baby was coming out. There was the typical encouragement, you're doing great, he's almost here, push like you have to poop, etc. Finally he was out and Amy brought him up to me and he had the cord wrapped around his neck and wasn't breathing. I had wanted to have immediate skin to skin and delayed cord clamping but instead the took him over to the warmer to get him breathing and make sure he was ok. His health and safety was obviously the most important thing.
The day seemed long, but I was only really in active labor for about 3.5 hours. I pushed for 10 minutes and thank the Lord didn't need any stitched. Michael James was born at 7:45pm May 15, 2013. He weighed 8lbs and was 21in long.
I had such an amazing labor and there is no way I could have done it without the help of Mike and Bonnie. And the tub! If we have any more kids I will definitely be hiring Bonnie again. She is just amazing!!
And for the record doing my hair and make-up was pointless because I was a hot mess by the time he was born!