Baby One

   There I was in bed trying to decide if I could go back to sleep or if I wanted to get up and go to the bathroom - neither happened because suddenly there was water coming out involuntarily!  I jumped up and ran into my bathroom and stood in the shower.  I called my doula, Jessica, it was shortly after midnight and she answered,  I told her about the involuntary wetness and she asked "are you having any contractions?"  I had a very minor one and she told me to try and calm down and get some rest, I was going to need it. 

   Nine hours later after 5-6 calls to my doula Jessica, I felt confident I was in the beginning stages of labor.  A short physical  at my midwife's office confirmed it, yep we were in labor!!  But I was not dialated enough to go to the hospital, plus my contractions were about 10 mins apart.  My doula and midwife told me to walk around with hubby one last pre baby time to get my contractions going and within an hour my contractions were at 5 mins apart, by this point it was 1pm and I was ready to head home and labor there till it was time to head to the hospital.

   Back at home my husband was on the phone with my doula, Jessica, and she offered to come to the house but I just wanted my family at the home, she suggested some comfort techniques for me to do at home, luckily my husband and I had gone through her classes so he know what she was talking about and could help me move around.  Our deciding moment to go to the hospital was when I was in the shower and I could not make it through the alphabet due to the intense labor pains, by then it was 8pm and my contractions were 2 mins apart. 

   My husband and I jumped in our car and my parents in another, we made it to the hospital where Jessica was waiting for us.  At the hospital my contractions had slowed down to about 5 mins apart  and we spent the next few hours walking around the halls, sitting in the hot tub, standing in the shower, bouncing on the birth ball and resting in different positions till finally I was at a point when I thought I couldn't make it!  My contractions were right on top of each other and stopped.  Suddenly I had an overwhelming urge to push and less than an hour later I had a beautiful 6.5lb baby girl - just a short 26hours later!

Baby Two

     It was a bright morning at 5am and my husband and I stopped to watch the sunrise in Gettysburg, PA.  I got out of the car, and a small gush of water came out, well since this was baby #2 I wasn't too worried and told huband we had time.  He laughed at me and said "forget the sunrise, lets go" we got back in the car and continued our 2 hour drive back to our house.   Once at the house I called the midwife and she had me go into the hospital, around 8am and get checked, wellI I wasn't in active labor yet and my water hadn't broken completely,i had ony "sprung a leak" so the midwife said to go home, the nurse said we'd "be back in the hospital in less than 12 hours, so get ready".  

     Once home I took a nap and was awoken by stronger contractions around 4pm and started moving around the house and playing with baby #1, who was now 2yrs old.  By 8pm I was crawling around my house and moaning thru my more intense labor pain.  By 10pm I was ready to go to the hospital.  My second doula, Enza, met us at the hospital with her bag of tricks.  

     Well once at the hospital my midwife took 2 hours to arrive!  Enza, my doula, had my husband massaging my feet, my mother pressing a pressure point on the side of my hips to counter the very intense feelings I had during contractions.  Enza was pressing the pressure point in my other hip,  massaging one shoulder, and reminding me to relax my face after each contraction.  

     Finally, the midwife arrived and I was admitted into the hospital, in the 7mins it took to walk to my room I was ready to push!  I told the nurses and they ran around setting the room up and telling me "not to push till they were ready!", my doula, Enza and my husband were by my side and Enza looked me in the eye and said "Elissa you do what you have to."  That was all I needed!  I started to push with my contractions, 3 pushes later my 6lb baby girl was born -   after19 hours of labor.


Baby Three

     It was Sunday afternoon and I could tell from my constant 10 minute contractions that baby #3 would be coming soon, so I called my doula, Kyleen, and warned her we'd be going to the birth center in a few hours.  I continued washing my dishes and played with my two daughters, now 2 and 4 years old and finally decided to head to the birth center that was about 2 hours away.  The midwife met us at the birth center and I was the first patient and had my pick of rooms!  I went with the biggest one!  After an internal check I was deemed in the very early stages of labor and so we commenced, unknowingly at the time, on a 2 day birth process that involved walking, lunges, stairs, 2 dinners at a restaurant and a trip to Walmart!  

     My contractions were very mild during Sunday dinner, then our trip to Walmart.  The contractions continuted to be mild while we had breakfast Monday morning and pretty much all day and well into the evening.  Despite our active movements to get baby out, my body wasn't making much progress and by 10pm on Monday my midwife suggested breaking my bag of water.  I talked it over with my doula and considered the pros and cons and decided to have the midwife try it.  Well my body was super tough and it did not work.  It took me about 30mins to recover from the procedure, I was suprised at how much it hurt!  Once ready, I stood up to pack my bag and ...suprise my water broke.

     We did more walking and I got in and out of the hot tub and shower and was soon ready to push.   I was in a standing position that involved me leaning over my birth ball, my doula, Kyleen, was in front of me massaging my shoulders and reminding me to relax my face and having me move into different positions every few pushes.  I finally found a position that was great for me, a forward lunge with my knee on the floor.  After 30 minutes I had my sweet 7lb baby boy - after 40 hours of labor!