Mason is finally here! I know all of you lovely followers want all the details, as do all my friends and family that read here too. So, here goes! (Some parts are slightly TMI, but don't read it if you can't handle it!) :-)
Last Wednesday, March 2, I called my hubs at work after I went to the bathroom and noticed a ton of my mucous plug was coming out. I assumed it was the rest, since I had lost some already many weeks earlier. I just called him to let him know, because being past my due date as it was, it could have happened hours later, so I wanted him to be on "stand by" and ready to leave work at the last second should it happen. He left soon after to come home, just in case, as he works an hour away and felt better being home should anything else happen. Of course, nothing happened that day or night and he had the next day, Thursday, off. He had to be to work for 5 a.m. Friday, so we called friends of ours, Jenn and Terry, who live 15 minutes from his job as opposed to an hour for us, and asked if we could spend the night there and cut down on the early commute for Frank, and I'd be with Jenn during the day if anything should happen as far as labor was concerned. So we left that night to go to their house, and nothing else happened that night. I noticed during the night though that every time I moved even a little bit, to turn over in bed or something, that I got menstrual crampiness. But that was nothing new for me so I brushed it off. Frank left for work that morning and I went back to bed before the kids woke up for the day. We woke up a few hours later and Jenn's husband left for work and we started getting our kids breakfast and ready for the day. She has an 18 month old daughter. :-) I noticed at 7:30 that I had a contraction. I could talk and function through it, but it was still slightly painful. I didn't pay much attention to it though, as that had been happening for many weeks at this point. By 9 or so I mentioned to Jenn that I thought I had been having contractions from about 7:30. Sometimes they were 10 minutes apart, sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes a little closer, but never longer than 10 minutes apart. I kept moving around because I was a week past my due date, and figured why not let things keep going if things were starting to happen! So I moved as much as possible, chasing the kiddos and going up and down Jenn's stairs for the bathroom or any other reason I could think of. LOL The kids were sleeping around 11 or so and contractions were still coming. Jenn suggested I call my midwife and just see what she thought about coming in or waiting things out. My first labor had gone so quick (4.5 hours!) that she had previously mentioned to me at a regular prenatal appointment to come in when contractions were 5 or 10 minutes apart. She called back and said to eat some lunch, take a nap, and relax because I'd need all of those things if it was real labor. She said to keep an eye on the contractions and call her with any updates and if my water broke, to definitely head in to the hospital. That sounded fine to me, so we hung up with that plan. I hadn't called Frank yet because I didn't want him getting too excited if things weren't really happening yet. I went back into Jenn's room to hang out with her while the kids were napping downstairs, and kept feeling contractions. At one point with a contraction I had a sharp shooting pain shoot down through my vagina, and Jenn jokingly said, "Your water better not break on my bed!" LOL A few minutes after she said that, I felt a little gush and said "Oh my GOD" and jumped off the bed and ran to the bathroom. I told her I thought my water had broke and when I got into the bathroom I knew it was for sure. I sat down on the toilet and a whole bunch more came out. When I wiped though, I noticed it was greenish in color, and amniotic fluid should be clear. I knew he must have had a bowel movement inside me, and I got a little nervous then. Jenn got on the phone to call Frank at work and couldn't get a hold of him on his cell phone or through his work number, which was busy. She called her husband, who works at the same place as Frank, just in a different area, and he called one of Frank's co workers cell phones, to tell them I was in labor and Frank needed to leave asap! They got the message to him and then Jenn helped me by calling my (adopted) mother, who was supposed to take the twins for us, and I called our doula and called my midwife to let her know we were heading to the hospital. Jenn and I decided I should call the birthing center back after a few minutes and see if we had time to drop the kids off or if we should waste no time in getting to the hospital because of the meconium. The birthing center said come right in as quickly as possible, so I texted my (adopted) mom back and told her, and since the kids were already loaded in the van (Frank had arrived by this point), he called his sister, who worked right across the street from the hospital, and had her meet him out there to grab the kids while he got inside with me and got settled, so there was no extra stopping in case there was something wrong with the baby due to the meconium. I was still having contractions at this time, coming about every 1-4 minutes, and seeming slightly more painful. We got checked in to the hospital and got settled up in our labor and delivery room, and our labor nurse, Annie, got me hooked up to the monitor to check on Mason. My midwife, Marj, came in soon after and said the baby had in fact had a bowel movement while inside, and this would mean that we could not have the water birth we had been planning and hoping for. We were a little disappointed, but as long as he looked good on the monitor, we could still labor the way we wanted with walking, sitting in the tub, etc. Marj said she wasn't going to check me because it was still early she felt, and we had requested that cervical checks be kept to a minimum in our birth plan anyway. She changed her mind after she saw a couple contractions on the monitor though, and I was fine with that check, because I was curious myself. I was 2 cm. and 75% effaced and she stretched my cervix out slightly. I stayed on the monitor for a few more minutes to make sure Mason was extra fine and tolerating contractions fine, and I had some toast with peanut butter and some ice chips and juice as I hadn't yet got to have lunch, so I was starving! My birth had arrived in between all this and though we wanted only us in the room for delivery, we didn't mind her or any other extra people being there in the early part of labor. So we sat around and talked for a few minutes in between my contractions, and then they took me off the monitor and said we could take a walk to get things moving more but we had to come back in a half hour to get back on the monitor for a couple contractions to re check on Mason. We walked around the hospital, stopping for me to breathe and work through each contraction. Frank was very helpful and involved in this labor, since it was not twins and therefore, less high risk. Each time I had a contraction he was there rubbing and applying pressure to my lower back, which made them much easier to deal with. We made it back up to our room after a half hour walk and Mason was still fine on the monitor. I sat on the birthing ball for a little bit then and decided to get checked soon after because contractions seemed a little more intense and I had slight pressure with them sometimes. I was 4-5 centimeters by this point, and it had been a few hours since my water had broken. I got in the tub after that, and it felt AMAZING! I was still breathing through contractions but it was getting more difficult to do so as they were MUCH more intense. Frank was still rubbing my back and applying pressure with each one. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn't, since I was getting so close to being fully dilated. The tub was very very helpful though and the water felt amazing! I got really hot soon after though so Frank and Vicki, our doula, were applying cold wash cloths to my forehead, they put a fan pointed toward me, and had be drinking ice cold water. I must have been in the tub for a half hour or maybe even a little less and I had a STRONG contraction. Vicki said it seemed like that one felt different and I said kind of pushy pressure. She said if I had another like that, she'd get the nurse back in there to check. Right after that I had another one and there was a TON of rectal pressure. I could tell it was definitely time to push! Vicki ran to call Annie in and they called Marj, who was over at her office but had been calling every half hour to check in and see how I was doing. My mom had left at this point to go run some errands and it was clear she wouldn't make it back in time for the delivery. Annie came in and said I needed to try hard to get out of the tub. She said if I had to deliver right then that we could, but that it would be great if I could get back in the bed. I got the edge of the tub on my hands and knees and I yelled, "He's coming!" The wheeled the bed next to the tub so I wouldn't have to walk and I did manage to get in the bed. Marj came in right after that and we got ready to push. Before she got there, Vicki and Annie had be breathe away the urge to push just to be safe that Marj would be there to deliver and not just the nurse. Marj started to check me just to be extra sure the cervix was fully dilated, but Mason's head was right there that she couldn't even get up to my cervix anyway. I said, "He's right there, isn't he?" She said, "Yes he is, push your baby out!" I started pushing so incredibly hard, the pressure was so incredibly intense that I couldn't help myself. I knew I was close when Marj asked Frank if he wanted to put on a pair of gloves and help deliver the baby, but he said no, he was too queasy! LOL Seconds later, his head was out and Marj told me to give one last little push and he was on my chest! I pushed for 5 minutes and he was out! They suctioned him nice and good and he let out a good little cry, and Annie wiped him off with a blanket. He stayed on my chest and Marj waited for the cord to stop pulsating before Frank cut it. He cut the cord, and then she checked me for tears and said I had one teeny one that was superficial and then one other really small one that she'd put two small stitches in just so it wouldn't hurt to pee. She numbed me up and did that, and then I felt like I was ready to push the placenta out. I gave a little push and that was out, and finally the hard work was done! :-) I got all cleaned up and then Mason got checked over and weighed while I went pee. Peeing was GREAT and barely hurt at all! After I had the twins, it stung like CRAZY and did for two weeks after wards! And I had only had 3 stitches with them too, but was very swollen and such after their delivery. Annie gave Mason a bath in the room with us, and we just hung out until they were ready to move us to our own room for post partum. I put Mason skin to skin with me and he started nursing soon after birth. We took pictures and texted our friends and family to tell them the news. Mason weighed 8 lbs., 2 oz. and was 20.5 inches long. He didn't swallow any meconium and had excellent Apgar scores! He was born at 3:51 p.m. on March 4, 4.5 hours after my water broke, which is the same amount of time I was in labor with the twins. And, he was born on a Friday, and so were the twins...AND, Connor was born at 3:58 A.M., so that was neat too that the times were so close, just the difference between morning and night.:-)
So, despite the fact that we didn't have an actual water birth, the birth was still everything we wanted. It was just our doula Vicki, hubs and myself, a labor nurse and our midwife in the room, so it was peaceful and small and quiet, not as crazy hectic as the twins' birth was. It was completely natural, intervention and drug free. I could not have asked for a better delivery!
We came home Sunday, a couple days after birth and though things are a little crazy still with getting settled into a routine, things are still going well, regardless. Connor and Merasia LOVE their new baby brother and love to try and pick him up or give him kisses or comfort him. Nursing is still going well, but I'm waiting on my milk to come in and hoping it gets a little easier after that. Mason never went to sleep his first night home until 7 a.m. the next morning! The second night was a little easier than that. Hubs went back to work today after having 3 days off, so this is my first day alone with all three kids. I'm scared out of my mind but we'll see how it goes...hopefully good!
LOTS of pics of baby Mason coming soon, as well as an update on the twins. :-)