Around 8:45PM, the “waves” returned and were a little more intense than before, but not much. I decided this was a good time to start practicing my “fingerdrops.” I lay on my side on the floor while we finished watching TV until we went to bed around 9:00PM. I wanted to make sure I got some good sleep, since I was guessing my birthing time would really get going in the middle of the night. So, I listened to the “Deepening” track, which always relaxed me and often put me to sleep, while Matt rubbed my back. At 9:20PM, I had my first intense wave that made me think back to my grandma saying “oh, you’ll know.” We decided we should start timing the waves again; during the next 45 minutes they were 3 to 6 minutes apart lasting for 45 seconds to 1.5 minutes.
At 9:51PM, I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. Once on the toilet, I realized it felt good and decided to stay there for a while, while continuing to do “fingerdrops” (I also still had” Deepening” on my iPod). Matt asked me if he should call in to work and get a substitute teacher for the next day and I kept telling him I wasn’t sure if this was “it.” I got a little cold, so I asked Matt to set up the space heater in the bathroom. I also told Matt to look at the Spinning Babies website I had bookmarked to read the description of a posterior birth (in which birthing can start but then stall and take a longer time).
At 10:15PM after timing the waves for 45 minutes (the midwives recommend timing them for an hour), Matt called the midwife. This took a little while because he had to call the help line and then the midwife had to call us back. Matt talked to her for a little while and then she asked to talk to me. She asked me how intense the waves were and I told her I was managing; I even talked to her though one. She told me I sounded pretty good but that I could come in to the hospital if I wanted but that they would have to send me home if I wasn’t far enough along, otherwise I could take a warm bath and see if the intensity decreases – if it didn’t, then I should come in. I told her I would try the bath. I asked Matt to quickly wash the bathtub, since we never take baths. While he did this, I finally changed the track on my iPod to “Birthing Day Affirmations” (in retrospect, I should have changed it to “Pushing Baby Out”). While he was washing the bathtub, I felt a different sensation (I think it was my first push). I told Matt that I think we should go to the hospital. So Matt quickly, started the car and packed up the suitcases while calling the hospital back to let them know we decided to come in.
While Matt was doing this, I continued to feel “pushy” and was involuntarily making an “ahh” sound. Matt heard this sound from the foyer and recognized it as the “pushing sound” from the videos we watched in Hypnobabies class. He ran up to me in the bathroom to check on me and I told him that I couldn’t not push. He asked me if he should call 9-1-1 and I told him he should. When he reached the dispatcher, he helped Matt prepare to deliver our baby. He asked Matt where I was and when Matt told him I was on the toilet, he told him to get me off of the toilet. Matt looked and could see the very top of Ava’s head. He told me that I when I was done peeing that I had to get off the toilet. I told him that I wasn’t peeing and that it must be my water breaking. Once that was done, Matt helped me off of the toilet, but I couldn’t walk so I kneeled over the bathtub and continued to push during waves (I really couldn’t help but push). Matt put towels in the dryer, gathered blankets and prepared to catch the baby.
He saw the baby’s head crowning but thought it was some sort of plug or something since he was expecting a bald head but what he saw was a lot of black hair mixed with vernix. As the baby’s head was emerging, there was a knock at the door. The police had arrived but our door was locked. So Matt ran down the stairs to unlock the door and rushed up the stairs with the officer. Matt asked her if she had delivered a baby before. She told him she hadn’t but that she knew how (we later found out that it was her first week on her own and that she delivers animals on her hobby farm). She put her gloves on as she was walking up the stairs, walked into the bathroom and caught the baby at 11:24PM. I was then able to hold the baby skin-to-skin and the paramedics arrived. They checked us both over and gave Ava a 9 on the Apgar scale. Once the umbilical cord stopped pulsing, Matt cut the cord. We then had to get into the ambulance and make our way to the hospital. Matt had to carry the baby wrapped in a warming blanket to the ambulance. The paramedics told him he needed to walk fast, but not to fall. They were especially concerned since it was a record-cold night. We all made it safely to the ambulance and safely to the hospital, where everyone we met was shocked by our story and how quickly Ava came into this world.