We arrived at the midwife clinic around 2:15 a.m., and soon learned I was dilated to a two. womp. womp.
I walked, and walked, and walked in an effort to get the ball rolling, but nothing.
Four hours later I received another dose of medicine (I was strep B positive) and was told to go home to labor since my body was not progressing.
We drove the 30 minutes home and did what we could to induce labor on our own.
Four hours later we drove back to the clinic.
This cycle continued a couple more times until the midwives gave me castor oil.
The next few hours were not my favorite. Not my favorite at all. And, it didn't work. I was still having trouble progressing.
At this point, our midwife sat us down and said we need to consider going to a hospital.
For risk of infection they need me to deliver within 18-24 hours of my water breaking and we were currently at hour 14. This news terrified us. Not only did we not want to deliver in a hospital, we couldn't afford it (we don't have maternity health insurance). So we turned to the Lord and asked for help, commissioning friends and family to pray with us.
A few minutes later our midwife came back with an herb concocotion. She said some swear by it, but she can't guarantee it will work. After an hour of taking the herbs, and feeling as though my mouth would burn right off my face, my contractions finally began.
And they never stopped.
In fact, it didn't take long for me to reach transition.
Once in transition, I was moved to the toilet to labor. Weird, I know, but sitting upright allowed gravity to do it's thing.
30 minutes later I moved to the bed to begin pushing.
Thankfully, I only pushed through 5 contractions. I met a woman today who pushed for 5 hours. I'm surprised she lived to tell about it, because I'm positive had the roles been reversed I would have died. Yes, died. I mean those last few contractions were enough to make me crazy (I also back labored), but enduring 5 hours of that burning and stinging would have surely done me in.
But, then Brooks came out and everything changed. Every bit of energy and emotion I had was focused on that little boy and it was magical.
My absolute favorite part of our story is the post delivery.
Not only was it special to welcome Brooks through tears and relief, the clinic did an outstanding job which contributed greatly to our experience. There were minimal interruptions, with all the attention on me and the baby bonding. The nurse of course checked the baby's vitals, but it was all done right there on the bed. Then! Then they prepared an herb bath for me and the babe, which was amazing, all the while they're baking a delicious molten chocolate cake to celebrate, and preparing breakfast. What mama doesn't want that?!
I have been asked if I would do it again. Honestly, that's tough for me to answer.
I'm inclined to say yes. The clinic and the midwives were impressive enough, but what really pulls at my heart is how special it was when Brooks came out. His arrival was by far the most memorable out of the three deliverys and I'm so grateful I got to experience that with him and with Bob (who was a champ by the way). However, I clearly remember thinking during labor that I will never do this again. The pain reached far beyond my expectations and the length of labor was torturous (but really normal). So it's tough for me to give a definite answer.
Good thing this is our last baby so I will never have to decide :)