Norah Joy Hunter
We transferred our care at 32 weeks to Morning Star Birth Center in St. Louis Park which was fortunate for us. On Thur. morning at 3:30 a.m. while I was coming back from the bathroom my water broke. It was not a gush but just enough to make me think I had wet my pants. I went back to the bathroom and after confusingly examining my pants decided it couldn't be urine and when I stood up and a little more leaked out I was sure it wasn't. Labor had not yet started so we called Shayna who told us to go back to bed and wait for labor to start. After 8 hours of nothing changing we were scheduled to check back in and she gave us some suggestions for stimulating labor naturally through nipple manipulation and acupuncture. We tried both and nothing worked. I was beginning to get nervous not knowing how long my water could be broken and still be able to give birth at Morning Star (it turns out we have 72 hours). They had me monitoring my temperature every hour and checking in with them.
Finally at 4:00 a.m. I woke up with contractions that were regular enough that I couldn't sleep in between them for very long. I labored at home until 10:00 a.m. at which time the contractions were 5 minutes apart and we were told to head to the birthing center. But by the time Todd got the bags in the car my contractions were right on top of each other. We got to Morning Star and got into the tub which made the contractions more bearable. After about an hour they examined me and I was dialated to 6. It turns out Norah was face up and I continued to have terrible back labor requiring nearly constant counter pressure on my back. Todd was wonderful and barely left my side. I got to a 10 a few hours later but did not have the urge to push. I continued to labor in and out of the tub about another two hours (roughly) before I wanted to push. The hardest and most challenging part was then pushing. I pushed for 5 hours before Norah made her debut. While in the tub I swear I could see Norah turning and moving into position which was quite bizarre. Eventually they wanted the help of gravity and I moved from a lunged standing, squatting, toilet, all fours, laying on my right side, laying on my back, and laying on my left side positions. We were then going to try a hanging sling but when I turned from my left side onto my right side to get up it was what Norah needed to get into the right position and she started making real progress. We think it took another 45 minutes (time is quite fuzzy) and she was out. When they could see her head the first thing everyone exclaimed was "Look at all that hair!"
Morning Star was great. Norah went right onto my stomach (the cord was a bit short) where she stayed while her vitals were checked and everything that needed to be done was done. Todd got to cut the cord after it was done pulsating and later they showed us the placenta and explained what we were seeing. After we had some time to rest, ate a substantial meal, and everybody looked good the midwife followed us home at 4:00 a.m., 24 hours after labor had started, and tucked us into bed. It was wonderful being able to recover in the comfort of our home. On Sunday morning bright and early Angel came back to the house to do another vitals check, answer questions, and make sure we were still comfortable.
All in all it was a wonderful experience, incredibly hard and painful, but wonderful.
Sarah, Todd and Norah