The birth of our second baby was much anticipated. After our first child was born, almost four years ago, we had trouble conceiving. We started trying shortly after our son turned one and it took us almost two years to get pregnant again. After an uneventful pregnancy I was ready for our baby to be born.
My due date was November 23, 2001. I had scheduled a regular check-up at 11:45 a.m. that day with my O.B. Around 9 a.m. that morning I noticed bloody show after using the bathroom. I started having some mild cramps but wasn't sure yet if this was the real thing. I was glad that I already had a doctor's appointment scheduled so I could get his opinion. Just in case, I did several loads of laundry, vacuumed the house and read my son about 300 books.
At my appointment, my doctor checked me and announced that I was four cm. dilated. Boy, was I excited to hear that! He had plans to be out of town the next day and suggested that we go over to the hospital to break my water. Right before I left his office he stripped my membranes to get my contractions to strengthen.
I went home to have a light lunch, collect my things and take my son to a friend's house. We picked up my best girlfriend who was going to be at the birth with us.
After checking in at the hospital, the doctor broke my water around 2 p.m. I was monitored while most of the fluid leaked out, then was allowed to get up and walk around the hospital halls. I drank lots of water, and walked and walked and walked. The doctor returned to check me at 4:45 p.m., then decided to head home. By then I was 5 cm. dilated and fully effaced. Man, was I disappointed!
It seemed like my contractions were getting really strong and frequent. I worried that I wouldn't be able to have the unmedicated birth I'd wanted.
By then I was ready to get into the jacuzzi. The nurse told me that she would like my contractions to be a bit closer together before I got into the tub. She started filling it while I made a few more rounds of the hallway. At that point, my contractions were only two minutes apart and I was feeling tons of pressure. I got into the tub.
I'm not sure how many contractions I had in there, it seemed like only 4 or 5. I loved the jacuzzi. For me, the pain became much more manageable. The nurse kept a close eye on me during that time. She said that she "didn't trust me". Finally she told me I would have to get out so she could check me again. I didn't want to get out of that tub only to be told I was 5 1/2 centimeters or something! But I dragged myself out of the water.
The nurse was waiting with a blanket that she draped around me. We started walking to the bed but another contraction stopped me. I wanted to wait until it was over. Suddenly, I bent over and started to moan. The nurse called my husband into the bathroom and together they carted me to the bed. She checked me and yelled that she needed someone in there right now. She had my friend push an emergency button. About five people came running into the room, one of whom was the midwife who had delivered my son.
This was right around 5 p.m. As the midwife came running in, she pulled on her gloves and drapes. I told her I needed to push. She said to go ahead and I got started. I pushed three times and the baby's head was out. After suctioning, the midwife had me deliver the rest of my baby.
At 5:07 p.m. I delivered a beautiful baby girl! With a head full of dark, curly hair, Shelby Louise weighed in at eight pounds, eight ounces and was nineteen inches three quarters tall.
My doctor came waltzing in at 5:15 p.m. After nine months of waiting, he had missed the grand finale...
Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for my two wonderful children. I hadn't needed an episiotomy and needed only one stitch to repair a minor tear. What a great ending to a fabulous pregnancy!