What a roller coaster of a few days. Let's try to sum things up as of now, in a few posts.
I went to work on Wednesday the 7th, and at about 1pm I felt a couple of small gushes which I wasn't sure about - either they were water gushes or they were just watery discharge that had been accompanying my mucus plug. This time it was enough to soak my pad, so I called the OB. The nurse said to hold tight for awhile to see what would happen, and to call them back around 8pm for an update.
Around that same time, I felt what I first thought was indigestion, but I started getting more uncomfortable so Cory and I went home. I slept for maybe an hour, until a painful contraction woke me up, and I went downstairs to labor on the ball.
Over the next five hours (though it didn't feel that long), I labored on my knees draped over the birth ball. I remember being frustrated with Cory for not being able to pack the car and time my contractions at the same time, but that was the only time I was unhappy with him. I threw up a couple of times, once in early labor and once or twice a few hours later.
A little befor 8pm when my contractions were 5 minutes apart (they say to wait until you've had them that far apart for an hour but we didn't wait), Cory called the midwife and she said to come in. Cory threw a towel down on the back seat and I sat backwards on my knees, hugging the seat back.
We checked in at Emergency as it was after hours, and had to wait for several minutes while they figured out how to fit me in upstairs. (Apparently a lot of women were here that night, not necessarily to labor but for other issues.) We went into an admitting room for a few minutes because apparently some ladies in the waiting area came to try to give me advice on how to labor, which annoyed the receptionist. I would have been annoyed too if I knew it was happening. Finally they led me upstairs (I declined a wheelchair) to a triage room, where they checked me and I was at 7cm.
I barely remember taking off my clothes and the midwife saying hello and someone saying "you started to push with that last one, didn't you?" They wheeled the entire bed to the overflow room that we had toured during our birth class when it was so busy a few weeks ago, and I started the delivery process.
I think pushing lasted about four hours. I tried being on my hands and knees, tried the squat bar, and ended up on my back with my feet on the squat bar, pulling on a knotted sheet that the midwife was putting counter pressure on. Ivy was indeed sunny side up, and though I could feel my back hurting it didn't hurt any more than anything else. I was able to feel her head a few times, and when the ring of fire came I remember thinking "I read this only lasts thirty seconds, it's been way longer!" The midwife took a bunch of photos during this time, which are pretty amazing but I won't share them here. Suddenly all the overwhelming pressure was gone as her head emerged, and pretty much immediately the rest of her body followed and they put her on my chest at 12:57 am. Cory got to help, though he couldn't catch her by himself because of her presentation. Watching her being brought up to my chest was the most amazing thing, and when Cory said hello to her she turned her head to find his face. There were almost no tears. It was magical.