B was born Friday April 22nd, at 12:32pm, she weighed 8lbs10oz and was 20.5in long. Here is the story of my labor and her birth.
Wednesday (22nd) was our EDD, and when my OB checked me I was 4cm, but not in active labor. My parents and sister got here later that afternoon. Thursday I stayed busy, walked a lot all day, had sex that night, then woke up around 3am having just a few contractions. I had a lot of restless energy, but the contractions weren't very strong or regular, so I got up and decided I would just walk back and forth in our room to see if that would move things along. After just a few minutes they started coming about 5mins apart, and being a little stronger. I would stop and sway through them. R woke at 4am, so I laid down in bed with him and let him nurse to keep the contractions going. From about 4 on, they were 2-4 minutes apart and strong enough to need to breath through. I used a lot of visualization and breathing through this part of my labor. I stayed in bed with him until he fell back asleep at 6:30, occasionally letting him nurse if the contractions started to slow down. I got up and continued walking and moving. I couldn't sit down or be still through the contractions anymore. At 7 I took a shower and called my mom to be on stand by. J got up and we had some breakfast, i knew i needed to eat to keep myself going. I had to stop and lean against the counter or the wall and really focus through each contraction. They weren't especially regular, but at 8 we decided to go on to the hospital before R woke up again. We got there and when I got checked around 9 I was at 6cm. By the time I got all settled in to a room, it was closer to 9:45 or 10. The next hour and a half I labored in the bed, on my side, breathing, vocalizing and squeezing the life out of J's hands through the contractions. J timed them but they were never very regular. some were milder and short, some lasted 2 minutes with multiple peaks. I could feel her descending with those super strong contractions. By 11:30 I was getting tired and losing my ability to focus. nothing was giving me relief. J gave me strength though, I don't think I could have gotten through the final hour without him there. they checked me around 11:45 and I was 9, almost 10cm and bulging. my ob came in at 12 and we decided to break my water since it hadnt broken on its own yet- that was our only 'intervention'. There was meconium in her fluid. they busied about getting ready for the delivery for the next 15 or 20 minutes. i lost track of everything but the contractions and joe when I started to push. He told me afterward that we pushed through 8 or 10 contractions. So maybe 10 minutes at most. Being able to feel her coming out was the most intense, amazing thing i've ever experienced. I got a 2nd degree tear this time, and broke a ton of blood vessels in my face. They got me stitched up quickly and I was able to nurse B for the next hour or so before she went for her exam and they moved me over to postpartum. The rest of our stay at the hospital was uneventful. everyone was really nice, the food was sorta yuck, we didnt get much rest, they sent us home with tons of freebies. B is very easy going so far. She sleeps well, is great at the breast and doesn't fuss much. She'll actually take a nap in her bassinet!!! My milk has come in, and she is a little piggy. Her latch is fabulous, I've had no pain at all and she's so different from nursing R. we're sort of finding our groove here this week as a family of 4.
Everything about my labor and her birth were so, so different from last time. I felt much calmer, more confident, and so did J. Afterward I felt so... triumphant in myself and my body's ability to do such an amazing thing. I have been on this incredible high ever since. It was exactly what I needed it to be and so is she.