The birth story of Elijah Mercury

On July 5th at around 6:00am I noticed a contraction that felt different than any other contraction I had had before. I kind of brushed it off, still convinced it was going to be a while before labor started. Then I got another one, and another, and another. I woke DH up and let him know I was having painful contractions and he timed a few, they were about 6-7 min. apart. The pain was so weird, it was like someone was reaching up inside of me and pulling down. I stayed in bed a it longer, although I didn't sleep and timed the contractions on and off. Eventually I got up and ate some breakfast, did some stuff online and timed some more contractions. I finally gave the midwife a call at 9am when they were 5-6 minutes apart.
Jenny (the midwife) told me to call back when they were around 3 minutes apart, or if I needed her for any other reason.
At this point I knew I was in early labor, they weren't letting up and they were getting closer together.
We called our friends whose car we were going to borrow to come home in and let them know that it had started and there would probably be a baby in a day or two. They were excited and stopped by our house and brought some ice cream and hung out for a few. At this point I had started spotting and it wasn't giving up and my contrax were anywhere between 3 and 5 minutes apart. She decided to have me come in so she could check me.
We got our bags all ready and packed, even though I was convinced she was just going to send us home for a few more hours because I didn't feel like I was in active labor yet. We got to the birth center around 2pm. Jenny checked me and I was 5cm wit bulging waters and the baby was at 0 station! I was there to stay!
She set us up in the "Windsor room" at the birth center, it was really nice with a queen sized bed, jacuzzi tub in the middle of the room, a nice shower and some comfy chairs. She told us to walk around, eat some snacks, try to get things going. DH and I went outside and walked around the grounds for a few minutes but it was really hot so we went back inside. I had some light snacks and juice, got all my stuff situated, and kind of just walked around the room a bunch to get things going. I started having to pee what seemed like every 3 minutes, and as the contractions got stronger sitting on the toilet really helped.
I was started to feel some more pain so Jenny told me I could take a shower or get in the tub if I wanted. I decided to get in the tub. It felt wonderful! It was like all the pain had just disappeared for a while. I definitely said to DH: "I am probably going to eat my words later, but this all seems really easy". I definitely ate my words later
As I labored in the tub the contractions got stronger and I was starting to actually feel pain while in the water. I got more serious and focused on breath through them and rocking back and forth in the water to work through the pain. This definite;y helped a lot for a while. They started getting closer and closer together and more painful and Jenny suggested that we check to see where I was at. Getting out of the tub was so hard! As soon as I stood up I had a contraction, and they just kept coming and coming! Finally I made it to the bed and I was at 8cm. Jenny told me we could break my bag of waters if I wanted and I would probably start progressing a lot faster. I decided to have her break them, and it definitely worked in getting things going! After she broke my water the contrax started coming even faster, it felt like they were just on top of each other. I finally decided I wanted to get back in the tub because it was really helping with the pain before. The trip back to the tub was so hard! I had to stop about 4 times to have a contraction, and when I got to the tub it took all I had to lift each leg to actually get in. At this point my lower back had been hurting a lot, it was really almost unbearable. I found that having the hot water running in the tub and putting my lower back under the stream was really helping, so the midwives assistants had to keep emptying some water and running the faucet for me. At some point Jenny had me push some times in the tub, it was really hard and painful and I couldn't get it down. I was also extremely exhausted by this point and I felt like I was going to pass out. All I wanted was to rest, but all I could think about how it was going to be so much longer until I could actually rest. I was feeling defeated! I wanted to go completely natural, and for the most part I did, but at that point I begged Jenny to give me a shot of Nubain. Finally she told me we could do it and I somehow managed to get out of the tub in the throes of labor and get to the bed. She also did the saline papules on my back to help with the back pain, and they did help some! Once I got the Nubain I was able to lay on the bed and "relax" between contractions. It didn't take away any pain, but I could close my eyes and just really mentally and physically prepare myself for the last stage of labor. After what seemed like forever Jenny decided to have me start pushing. I started on the bed and it was so uncomfortable and I wasn't getting anywhere so she suggested we move to the birth stool. I got on the birth stool and started pushing. It was really hard to hold my breath for 10 seconds, and it was really hard for me to do it 3 times in a row, so I started off small, but I was getting so discouraged because it felt like nothing was happening and both pushing AND my contractions were so painful. I finally was able to get into a rhythm, and a mindset, and I was started to push very effectively, and it was starting to feel like almost a relief!
The sensation of my baby's head moving down the birth canal is indescribable! There was just so much pressure that I had never felt before, and I felt like the ring of fire was lasting forever. Jenny told me that I had a good risk of tearing if I stayed on the birth stool to push the baby out but I pretty much told her that I didn't care and wasn't moving. I was determined to get that baby out, I felt like I had been pushing way too long and I wanted to rest! Finally, after a lot of very strong pushes his head came out, and his body soon after. I didn't even know what to think! He was born at 10:52pm, 7lbs 8oz and 19 3/4" long.
It was a little scary a first, he needed some oxygen and a little bit of rubbing and stimulating to get him going, and he was a little bit blue and sleepy, but everything turned out ok! He was breathing and moving around.
I delivered the placenta about 15 minutes later and Jenny got all the clots out, which felt terrible to me, just the pushing on my stomach, it gives me the chills!
Elijah was very sleepy, so he didn't really nurse in the first few hours or so. They decided to have me stay longer than the regular 6-8 hours so we could get some nursing in and make sure his vitals stayed ok. He finally was able to nurse at around 4am and he stayed latched on like a pro for a good 20 minutes. We were able to get two more good nursings out of him before we left at 11am the next day.
It was all such a surreal experience! I can't stop staring at my little guy and being amazed that I made him! This is who I made and carried for the past 9+ months!

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