The baby was due on December 15th, and that day came and left. In hindsight, I had labor off and on for four days before Talia was born. The contractions would last two or three hours, and get three to five minutes apart before they just stopped. On December 23, we decided to take the kids to look at Christmas lights around the town. When we got home, I headed to my room to finish knitting a pirate doll I was making as a present, but found myself pacing as I was attaching the head to the body. Looking at it now, it's pretty wonky! My husband put the kids to bed. I didn't realize it at the time, but my contractions were three minutes apart and lasting 45 to 60 seconds long. When I realized I was having contractions, I started timing them and was shocked at how close they were to each other. I called our midwife, and we agreed to wait an hour to see if they died out as they had the past few days.
After I hung up, I was shocked to feel water. My water has never broken on its own, and I was not sure if I was feeling amniotic fluid or something else. I went to the bathroom, and I was big-eyed to realize that my water HAD broken, and there was much more following the initial break. After half an hour, I realized two things: one, on the day before Christmas Eve, the midwife was too far away to quickly help, and two, the amniotic sac is a great help in buffering contractions. There was pain beyond just contractions. After a few more contractions, I told my husband that if I could get pants on, we were heading to the hospital. I got dressed and we headed across town.
Once at the hospital, it took some time to get signed in, as I was not preregistered. After a few blood draws and an IV, I asked for an epidural. I was tired from days of no sleep and the pain was more than I wanted to deal with. After that, the birth was fairly textbook. Without any pushing, she took about two hours to crown. Talia was born with her arm over her face, the malpresentation explaining the unexpected pain. For the first time ever, I had a mirror, so I could watch her being born. She was placed on my abdomen immediately, her cord too short to reach any higher than that. It was a very sweet hospital birth. The OB on call was the same doctor who delivered several of my other children. The night nurses were all sweet, friendly and humorous ladies.
Talia Nicole was born twenty minutes after midnight, on Christmas eve. She weighed nine pounds and four ounces, and was twenty and a half inches long. She was born with a tongue tie, which has made nursing difficult. She lost a pound in the hospital, and more once she came home. At two weeks postpartum, she's finally back up to birth weight, although she's still struggling a bit with nursing.