Not sure, exactly.
Anyway, my midwife broke my water at approx. 9:30AM. My mother and husband were with me.
And then, for the next 7 hours, I waited patiently.
Oh, the contractions came and went; I was in complete control. They were hard, but not hard enough. So, after a good conversation with my midwife and my husband, we agreed to up the pitocin levels by 2 ml every 30-60 minutes. By 3PM, I was at a 20, and I was so frustrated with myself --I swear I was only dilated to a 4, and I felt I would be in labor all night.
However, by 3:30PM, I needed help through the contractions. By 4PM, I was dilated to a 6. Even though the contractions were really hard, I was amazed at my focus --I could feel my cervix opening, and I was able to breathe deeply through the pain. However, by 4:30PM, I was starting to get worried at my ability to breathe. That's usually when my yelling starts, but I found I was only grunting and breathing "loud." I did throw out some swearing, though (I think it was one "dammit"). At 4:30PM, my midwife checked me and I was almost an 8. They prepped the room.
It was also around this time that my SIL showed up to help (she's a nurse and she is awesome!). Between her, Brandon, my mom, the midwife, and the fabulous l&d nurse, I was still breathing deeply through the very painful contractions. When I felt him descend and I knew I needed to push, everyone held my legs for me so I didn't have to, and I focused on my breathing and pushing him out.
This is where the greatest miracle of my life occurred: I was able, in the course of 10 minutes, to not only push out my son, but I did so slowly, with ease (no frantic, head-popping pushing), without yelling, breathing deeply and slowly (not shallow), and without tearing at all. His shoulders were harder to push out, but it only took a few seconds. Then he was placed in my arms, and I cried with joy.
The midwife and nurse (and my SIL) couldn't stop talking about how in control I was --in fact, today, ALL the nurses are still talking about that woman who didn't yell during her unmedicated childbirth. One asked me how I did it --I said I read a HynoBirthing book a few months ago. Plus, all my experiences, thinking, breathing practice, etc. helped. That was pretty much it. I didn't have a lot of prep for it.
And I have to admit, hearing that I'm the "talk of the hospital" does make me feel good. But I have to confess --just because I was in control does not mean it didn't hurt.
It hurt like hell, dear reader. It's definitely not easy!
He weighed 9 lbs 3 oz and was 21 inches long. He has tons of dark hair (although not nearly as much as #1 and #4 had), and he's soooo mellow. He's a good nurser, and sleeps like a rock. I sure love that little guy.
Anyway, this was --by far --the best labor and delivery I've ever had. The outcome isn't the best nor the worst --all the outcomes (my gorgeous 5 kids) are tied for perfect. :) But I can't help but see that this particular birth has given me some miracles:
Miracle One: I no longer believe pitocin is of the devil. Since we had induced me cold (I was a 2, and not thinned out completely), the pitocin is what got the kid out.
Miracle Two: The no yelling thing.
Miracle Three: Realizing I can be in control!
Miracle Four: Not tearing at all; no stitches. Healing is going fast this time...
Sorry for no pictures --I'll post some after I get home...or go here and see if you can see him.