Birth of Meredith Elise By Nichole Hackney

Saturday the 5th of Feb, I had some contractions that got my attention, but when I laid down, they went away and I slept that night to wake up to nothing. I had my appointment with my midwife Feb 9. No change. At that appt, my midwife decided to make my next appt for the 14th, which was my due date. I had contractions all week, but they were the same thing as before when my cervix was just a fingertip and still long (big surprise to my midwife). She wanted to see if things had progressed so that we could kick start them while we were there. We were just going to use nipple stimulation and walking and stuff that will either work or not and we all thought this might be a good idea since it was my third child and we live an hour from the center. My first two births had only been about 7.5hrs start to finish and actually, once my water broke with my second, took about an hour to get from 4cm to complete!

I was really afraid of my water breaking before I was able to get to the Birth Center. My water breaking causes me an uncontrolable urge to push! But, I was prepared with a new shower curtain in the trunk of the car just in case.

I was helping my father-in-law get his tax stuff together, so we went to their house which is also an hour from the birth center on Saturday, the 12th. I worked on the tax stuff at the computer all afternoon and evening. Toward the end of the evening, I noticed that I had to go to the bathroom every five minutes. I also had a pretty decent backache, which I attributed to sitting at the computer for so long. I ignored it all, even the contractions. I had given up on the baby coming early, even a day.

My brother-in-law and my husband, Scott, were having a sing-a-long (they video themselves—tons of fun to watch later) and my bil wanted me to act the part of a woman in a bar being approached by this really smooth?? (or should I say sleezy?) lounge lizzard type. He used the fedora style hat, gold chains, shirt unbuttoned….whole nine-yards. I laughed myself into a ball on the floor…he said I’m a horrible actor ๐Ÿ™‚ I gave myself a headache laughing so hard. I could hardly breathe. It was sooo funny. Oh, in case you’re wondering, I stood behind a chair to hide the belly ๐Ÿ™‚

(now the big joke is that it was either a good laugh or doing taxes that sent me into real labor???? )

I went to bed about 10:30 or 11, still ignoring everything. I slept pretty fitfully all night (I realize this now) and from about 3 on, I had to keep getting up because I was waking myself up moaning ๐Ÿ™‚ Duh?? I wonder why?? At some point, Scott even tried rubbing my back (in his sleep). I guess I was bugging him too. Every time I got up, I had to go to the bathroom.

Finally, at 6am, I went to the bathroom again and just happened to turn on the light …. what do you know, bloody show!! I woke Scott and told him that I now recognized consistent contractions and had a bloody show. I told him I wanted to time contractions. Sure enough, they were a regular 3 minutes apart and a little over a minute long….

I called the Birth Center. Cherie was on call which was great since she knew my history for the past couple of weeks. Called her at home and she said “well, you can still talk pretty well through them, but you still better come in. Can you be here at 7:30?” You bet!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Even at my in-laws, the drive was about 45 minutes, if there wasn’t traffic. Thank God it was Sunday ๐Ÿ™‚ The drive was quick with minimal traffic, but still a major pain amplifier. I was sooo glad to be at the Center finally. Cherie wasn’t there yet, so Scott and I walked around the park next door. It was actually a little difficult to walk through a contraction and they were now 2.5min apart.

Cherie got there and checked me…2cm and 80%. My water promptly broke (I think she called it AROM in the chart, but it was unintentional, IMO) and had a little meconium. She just kept listening to the baby every 5min for a while to make sure everything was ok. She said he/she was a happy camper. Cherie encouraged me to try to walk through a contraction even when I didn’t think I could. She said that eventually my body would let me do it and she was right. We puttered around for about an hour, stopping to deal with a contraction when it happened. Spent some of it outside, but it didn’t take me long to want to be inside and close to Cherie and ‘the end’ ๐Ÿ™‚ Scott was great, following me around and such, but he finally started putting up the video camera. Guess he figured it was going to be soon. I hoped so.

My mom and sister arrived just before 9am. They had a 2.5 hour drive to get there. They both helped me deal with contractions while Scott got cameras and things ready. I labored about 5 minutes (I think) sitting backward on the toilet. I started to have a hard time keeping from pushing, so I had to use the panting and hee hee hoo breathing. I was starting to grunt, which I knew meant I was pushing some. It had been about an hour or hour and a half since Cherie checked me. She said that the way I sounded, I was probably 9 or 9.5 cm…(I really knew better since the same thing happened at my first two births).

Sure enough, she checked again and I was only 5cm…. I was not really surprised, but I still had to push..

Cherie maintained her position through a contraction and seemed really surprised that during it, the baby moved down 2 stations. She told me that’s why I had to push and if I wanted to, go for it….so I did. My cervix went from 5cm to complete (tiny lip) in ONE contraction. YEAH!!

I cannot explain how motivating that was. I got down to the business of pushing… Once I remembered to push down and into my rear things went really quickly. I just told myself that it burned and I was making myself nervous and dragging things out unnecessarily by hesitating. Funny that it took three births before I felt the ‘ring of fire’. I pushed 3 or 4 times (my records say 8 minutes) and her head was through. Another one and her shoulders and body were born…Meredith Elise Hackney was born at 9:18am on Sunday February 13, 2000. She was 7lbs 10ozs and 21″ long. My biggest baby by almost a full pound! Came out screaming her head off ๐Ÿ™‚ It took just over three hours from when I noticed the show and barely over an hour from when my water broke!!

I got to tell everyone “She’s a girl!” Scott put her on my belly and cut the cord fairly quickly. She was fine, but Cherie said most cords are 3 times longer than hers ๐Ÿ™‚ One little push a few minutes later and the placenta was out. After inspecting the placenta, while showing it to us, Cherie said the meconium was old…probably from when I was sick the week before. I guess she figured that this was the case since the cord was stained with it.

I had no tears or bruising or anything. While I was pushing, the brought over a mirror and let me look and made me feel her head…very cool experience. Scott says I did that with my older daughter, but I don’t remember it? I’ll remember this one, that’s for sure. She nursed right away.

I was a little stiff in the tailbone for a couple hours, but by 2pm I was feeling great and we were headed home by 3pm.

As I write this, she’s now 6wks old and weighs 11 pounds ๐Ÿ™‚ She’s so beautiful and a very calm baby. I am enjoying myself so much. I really wish I had been this relaxed with my first two babies. Things went and are going just swimmingly and I thank God for it.