Seven centimeters?!? I remember thinking. I was shocked that I made it that far at home - and it wasn't too bad. I was also shocked that Nate was able to fall asleep on the couch while I was laboring in the other room, but that's another story.
We settled into our room. It was a little cheesy - the Southwestern room. But I remember being really happy that we didn't have to move into the Victorian room. My body may have rejected that room and slowed labor WAYYYY down. Side note: Why did a birthing center feel the need to have theme rooms anyway? I'll never understand. Nate packed the fridge with the massive amount of food we brought: Popsicles, overpriced bing cherries, frozen pork chop dinners. I ate a total of one thing while in labor - a strawberry popsicle that was GLORIOUS!
Laboring standing up, while swaying my hips, seemed to feel the best. At some point, someone in the room (Nate or the midwife, and I'm guessing the midwife), put the birthing ball on the bed. I leaned on the ball and swayed for what seemed like hours. I can't exactly say what Nate was doing at this point, but I'm sure he was freaked out.
Rosewitha, our midwife from Germany, worked on paperwork while I swayed and had contractions. One of the most interesting things about this labor was how in tune she was to me. Once I started making different noises, her ears perked up and she said, "Something's different." I was progressing and she asked if I'd like to get in the tub to help with the intensity of the contractions. At that point, I was happy to be shepherded through the process, but I knew that I didn't want to give birth in the tub. Don't ask me why, but delivering in the tub kinda grossed me out. I could only visualize all the blood and other after birth stuff.
As Nate helped me walk to the tub (I was completely naked at this point, by the way), I had an incredible urge to take a poop. In natural birthing, that usually means you're ready to push. So I pushed, standing up, and pooped right on Nate's foot. It was my gift to him for going through labor! Still likes to tease me about it.
The tub was great, I'm not going to lie. But I was progressing quickly and couldn't get much traction with my contractions. Rosewitha put the baby monitor on my belly and discovered that Benny's heart rate was high, so she suggested that I get out of the tub and onto the bed to start pushing. As she said, in a thick German accent, "Ve need to get thees baby out!" It was probably about noon at this point. After laboring for about nine hours, I was exhausted and I wanted the baby out too. I was completely out of it - in a different mental space - but when Rosewitha mentioned that the heartbeat was a concern, I snapped out of it and asked if he was OK.
It was time to push. I remember looking at the clock, thinking This will be over soon.
To be continued...