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So... I woke up at 4:30 a.m. AGAIN on the morning of April 11th. I had been waking at 4:30 every third day or so for a while, so I didn't think anything of it. I wondered if maybe I was hungry and had a protein bar to see if it would help me go back to sleep. I thought I was having some contractions, but again, this wasn't surprising, since I had been having contractions on and off for about three weeks. I couldn't believe I might actually finally be in real labor. Around 6:00, I woke my husband and told him I think I better call the midwife, because I thought my contractions might be 5 minutes apart or so and that we might want to set up the Aqua Doula (a.k.a. "Aqua Doodle" in our house). He said OK, and jumped in the shower real quick. I called the midwife and asked her if we should start setting the tub up, and she was like, "Uh, yeah!" She said she would call back in an hour to check on me. I also called my doula (Lori) to let her know I thought I was in labor. She was at a birth (!) but, fortunately, they had just finished.
I had planned a birth center birth for my daughter, using Hypnobirthing for relaxation and breathing. She was born via c-section in 2005, only because she was breech and the midwife practice would not deliver a breech baby. Her position was discovered by sonogram at about 41 weeks (every prenatal visit it was, "I THINK that's the head!"), so my visits to the chiropractor, acupuncturist, and even the manual version did nothing to turn her.
After 6 weeks of recovery (for the physical incision) and months of postpartum depression, I knew that I couldn't tolerate another c-section for our second child. I looked into options for VBAC, and someone at my chiropractor's office told me about ICAN. I found my midwife through the ICAN website and after further research, I knew that things would be best with a home birth.
I have been working toward this birth since my first pregnancy. I had hoped for a natural low-intervention birth with my son, Hiro, but I was naive and scared, which ultimately lead to my c-section. Before I was discharged from the hospital with Hiro, I knew I did not want to have another c-section. Josh and I both wanted more kids, but there had to be a better way than an elective repeat c-section. Once we knew everything was OK with Hiro's health, I started to do some research into VBACs (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). Around this time, my sister-in-law, Rachel, had a successful homebirth with her daughter Eva. This was my first introduction to a homebirth. Even though Rachel had a long hard posterior labor, just like I did, she had a skilled midwife who helped turn the baby so she could be born vaginally. I truly appreciated the difference a midwife can make in a birth after hearing her story. This was the better way I was looking for.
At my 40 week appt with my back-up OB, he suggested a non-stress test for the following week. I took the paperwork knowing that I would never schedule the appt. My daughter, now four yrs old, was born at 42 weeks and 3 days and I tend to have long cycles so I knew that this baby just wasn't ready yet. I had another appt at home with my homebirth midwife at 41 weeks, still feeling good and having lots of contractions here and there about every other day. Emotionally I was ready so I was just waiting for a sign from inside. On January 31st I had contractions for 3 hours straight and I really thought this might be "it," but after a big dinner, a glass of wine, and a nice shower the contractions just went away. I guess our Baby Q. just wasn't ready yet, and some wonderful words from my midwife made me feel very positive about the start/stop labor I seemed to be experiencing. She said, "Every contraction you have now is a contraction you don't have to have later." So, I adopted a wait and see attitude and was hoping the full moon on Feb 2nd would jump start things.
My labor started at 10:00 a.m. on February 22, 2007, very slowly. I felt some mild crampiness in my lower abdomen that felt like menstrual cramps. This was exactly how my labor had started with my son Eli. The cramps came irregularly, sometimes every half hour, sometimes with longer intervals. They did not cause me to stop my regular activities. I decided to rest quietly in bed for awhile and to listen to a CD on optimal fetal positioning that my doula had given me. I took this opportunity to talk to my baby, to tell her that I love her and that I would like to work together as a team to make her birth as safe and gentle as possible. I told her that I looked forward to meeting her, and I tried to visualize her in an optimal position for passage through my pelvis and the birth canal. I felt very relaxed after listening to the CD.