This is the birth story of our fourth child, Leeland Thaddeus, July 15, 2010.
At 1am this morning, I was awakened by contractions. They were coming regularly and mild to painful. I decided to take a shower to see if they would stop or continue. While standing in the shower, I found the contractions to be more painful and to gain in strength. I made my way back to the bed to lay down. It was impossible to rest and the contractions kept coming, so I woke up my husband. “I think I am in labor.” He knew after nearly 8 weeks of contractions of various strength, I would know if I was in labor. He immediately got up and got ready. We called his sister and she made her way to our house so we could leave our two older sons asleep in their beds. I called the midwife on call- Titi and spoke with her at 3:25 am. After I explained what I was feeling to her, we agreed to meet at the hospital.
My husband’s sister arrived at our house and we headed out. We arrived at the hospital just after 4am. My midwife checked my cervix at 4:20am and I was dilated 3.5 cm, 80% effaced and the baby was at a -1 station. I was thrilled. This was the first time out of the 4 pregnancies, I had ever arrived to the hospital in labor and been that far along. I knew I was not going to take an epidural. And, I was excited to be able to labor in a completely different way than my previous babies- without constant monitoring, with minimal checking of the cervix and with the freedom to be able to move around.
My midwife gave me an area to walk in the hallway and encouraged me to walk for 30 minutes stopping periodically during a contraction to hold on to the railing, squat a little, moan a lot, and try to relax my muscles and let the baby move down. I tried this for a while and the contractions seemed to get stronger and closer together. I made my way back to my room a few times and after about an hour of laboring this way, I decided I was ready for a change.
My midwife ran the bath water for me and I tried laboring in the tub. It was great. The contractions were still painful and labor was still progressing, but it was so nice to be able to completely relax between contractions. After only 4 contractions, I felt like things had progressed quite a bit and I was nearing the point of needing to push. I got out of the tub and headed toward the bed. I labored there next to the bed for a couple of contractions so they could monitor the baby.
Since I told my midwife I was feeling the desire to push and I sounded like I was feeling this way, she checked my cervix again. This was only the second time for her to check. At this point, I was dilated 8 cm, completely effaced and the baby was at a 0 station. I immediately knew I didn’t have much longer. With my last baby, when I was 8 cm dilated, I actually was 10 cm dilated during a contraction and that meant I could push. I was hoping it was the same with this baby.
My 3 previous babies weighed 8 lbs 5 ounces, 7 lbs 13 ounces, and 8 lbs 10 ounces. When it came time to push with the second 2 babies, it literally took 2 pushes and they were out. It was complete relief from labor. However, this time that didn’t happen. I didn’t know it at the time, but Leeland being 1 lb 10 ounces larger than my previously largest baby made a big difference. I had no idea he was that big. Thank God. Because, that would have been just a little bit intimidating. After considerable effort and a lot of hard prayer, Leeland was born at 6:37am.
He was blue at first because the cord was compressed. But, they put him right to my chest and gave him oxygen and soon he pinked right up and cried loudly. It was a blessed sound!
He weighed 10 lbs, 4 ounces and is 22 inches long. He’s happy and alert.
Today feels like a dream come true. Leeland is perfectly perfect and he arrived at the perfect time he was meant to. I am thankful to all of you for your prayers and for thinking of us during this time. We’ve felt your love and it has meant so much to us. I am also grateful for my loving husband. He was my support today. He trusted my instincts and was there with me every step and moan and grown along the way. Thank you, Love!
Much love from the EL 6.