She's here!...well, for almost 2.5 weeks now. She was actually due today but decided to surprise us and arrive early (not very Sprague-like if you know me or my family!). We're so happy to have our little M-Bird and get started on life with her along - & I'm pretty happy to have my body back...whew!
The quickie version:
Real labor started around 7:30am
Water broke at 9:50am
Miranda was born at 11:25am
She weighed 6lbs, 9oz. and was 20" long
And here's how things went down - in detail (and LOTS of photos below):
The thursday before... Ugh, that morning was rough. I said bye to Jared around 7:30 then put together some breakfast - usual hard boiled egg and cereal with fruit and yogurt (great for my blood glucose numbers). After an hour or so my system was going kind of haywire and I was in the bathroom every 5 minutes (I'll spare you the details...) and felt more pressure in my pelvis than normal. I basically freaked out a little and in between bathroom breaks I started doing loads of baby clothes laundry! I had all this stuff for Miranda all packed in a trunk, waiting for us to put her room together and find a spot for her clothes. By 11am I started to feel better and went to a friend's for lunch, then hit the drugstore for the last of what we needed in homebirth supplies. I was officially 37 weeks and one day...cleared to have the baby at home.
Sunday the 8th...
5:30am - Woah! Something's not right...I'm either losing control of my bladder (another weird icky thing that comes along with the third trimester?), or there's potentially more going on...but, whatever it is, I'm going back to sleep.
6am - Cramping starts down low in my pelvis. It feels really different from the braxton hicks contractions I was having the last couple of months. It's dawning on me that my body is doing something different than normal.
7am-ish - Those cramps have turned into somewhat regular 'contractions' can I say?? I start to realize that maybe I could be starting labor - wow! I wake up Jared, 'Mmmm, we may not want to go out today, I'm feeling crampy and this could be labor.' Our day was full of outings - church in Menlo Park, then hitting Stacks for pancakes to reward our hard work on the bathroom, then Ikea for last little bathroom vanity elements, and probably an inevitable Home Depot trip too.
7:30am - We devise a plan and roll out of bed. Jared decides he needs to get the bathroom sink fully hooked up and calls a friend to see if he can bring us the part we're missing. Our kind friend obliges and hits the hardware store for us. With the contractions picking up I decide to take a warm bath while Jared buzzes around the house on autopilot.
The bath felt great but the contractions were getting really strong. For each one I would yell out 'another!' and Jared would record it on paper then continue running around the house getting things set up. I started to submerge myself in the water and roll onto my belly in the tub - it seemed to help a tiny bit with the discomfort (lots of back pain for some reason too).
8:15am - Contractions are about 3 to 4 minutes apart and Jared calls our midwife, Rosanna. She's packing up and will be on her way!! I eventually dragged myself out of the tub when it didn't seem to be helping anymore. Between contractions I did my best to pull myself together. Big contraction...ouch ouch ouch...breathe breathe...then fumble my contact lenses into my eyes. Another contraction...ouch ouch OUCH!!...throw on my bathing suit and robe (still planning on water birth in the 'aquadoula' tub at this point).
9am-ish - At some point I hear a bag hit the front porch - it's Mike with the sink parts and Jared gets to work on the hook up while also putting down plastic and blankets and setting up the 'aquadoula'. It's amazing how much he's accomplishing in such little time! Meanwhile I'm pacing the house, and sprawling over whatever I find whenever a contraction comes around - windowsills, ottomans, the sofa, kitchen counter. I cannot sit down and only feel good when I'm moving and bending over things.
9:15am - Things start to get pretty intense...Jared gives up on fixing the sink, and we find ourselves in our bedroom with some big 'ol contractions. I need him to push on my back with each contraction at this point, and when he pushes in the wrong spot I let him know! It feels best to lean on Jared and have him support me (this is very much what we had just done for practice in our birth class 3 nights before!).
Around this time I remembered that, OH NO, we had a lady coming to the house to pick up a piece of furniture she had bought the weekend prior. We HAD to call her and tell her not to come! Unfortunately she didn't quite understand what was going on and got upset with Jared - she thought we were trying to take her money! She called us back and I had Jared give me the phone in between contractions. I tried to explain, 'Rose, I'm having my baby right now! We need you to give us a few days. Yes, right now...uh, oh, I've got to go Rose...I'm sorry, I have to go!!".
And right when I hung up the phone 'whooosh...splash!!' - my water broke! I was sitting on a pillow on the floor and remember saying, "Oooh, the pillow!" and Jared consoling me that it was only a $5 pillow and not to be upset about it ;o)
10am - With no more bag of waters for cushion, the contractions are STRONG - I'm no longer able to walk and crouch my way through them anymore. I need Jared's help BIG TIME. I lean my body on him and he supports all my weight (good thing he's in good shape!). The pain and intensity has really built and I can mostly only just hold on through each contraction that courses through me. I start to breathe out really hard with loud 'shhhhhsssshhh!!' sounds. It was either make the crazy shhh-ing sound and hang on to Jared, or let myself feel petrified by the intensity of the labor. It was like nothing I've ever felt before.
At some point I realized I was standing on my toes through the contractions and then Jared got concerned. "Are you pushing? You shouldn't be doing that - Rosanna's not here yet!" In retrospect I guess I was pushing, but it was the only thing I could do at that point - I needed relief!
10:30-ish - Jared yells "The cavalry's here!!" as our midwife, Rosanna, comes through the door. She looks at me fairly surprised then checks my cervix quickly between contractions. She says 'there's nothing left, you're complete!'. I was somewhat shocked...I had no idea it would go so fast and I was prepared for her to tell me I was only 5 or 6cm dilated. Not that I could imagine going through much more of the labor I was having. Then I overheard Rosanna on the phone with her team, Treesa and Jennifer, saying to them 'hurry...hurry!'. That made me feel SO great - to me that meant there wasn't much time left!
11am-ish - I move to the bed and start to actively push and move the baby down. It strikes me that the contractions have slowed considerably and seem to be available just as momentum in the pushing process (much better!). But, I will say, pushing is hard work and it begins to hurt...especially as the baby moves into the birth canal. I remember reaching down and feeling the baby's head - wow! She was really there...that was total motivation to push really hard and get her out! With lots of encouragement from Rosanna (and Treesa and Jennifer who had just arrived), and of course Jared, I pushed for about 30 minutes...
11:25 - Miranda Bird was born! As her head came through she gave a little cry and then out popped her shoulders and the rest of her. She was put right on my stomach and then Jared and I got quite emotional staring at her and each other - in awe and disbelief. It was an amazing feeling. Then Jared cut the umbilical cord and I continued to hold Miranda as Rosanna and Treesa helped deliver the placenta and check things out. I had a couple of tiny tears inside that I was given sutures for, but nothing all that bad. She just came out so fast!
After the birth...
Jared held Miranda against his chest as I changed from the silly robe and bathing suit I had been wearing (never made it into that 'aquadoula' tub...). I felt surprisingly good, with energy and excitement. I thought I would feel totally wiped and would want to sleep, but I felt the opposite - I felt super alive and just couldn't believe all of that had just happened. It was so surreal, it couldn't be over that fast - but it was, and here was our daughter with us.