The midwife explained that we needed to return to the birthing center because "the average woman has fluid levels of 10 to 20." He continued, "We like to see a baseline number of at least 5. You have fluid levels of 3."
In the midwife's office itself, we were told that they wanted me to deliver in the hospital instead of the birthing center because they want to have the right equipment around just in case something really was wrong. They suspected that all was well but that we needed to speed things up a bit because a lack of fluid for too long can possibly dry out the umbilical cord and hurt the baby. Big sigh from me. Midwife or no, I have just about sworn off hospitals for all but the biggest emergency, and I didn't view this as one of those times. But the fact is, the health of the baby comes first regardless of my personal feelings on it, so away we went - stopping at the mall first for some real food at Noodles & Co. for dinner.
The midwife let me decide not to do a Pitocin drip (THANK YOU!), insisted that I take a butterfly IV thing - just in case (GRRRRR....), and largely left me to continue laboring on my own pace but warned that if it took too long she would be looking at more invasive measures. In the end, she stripped my membranes after about an hour and the baby was born fairly naturally after about 4 hours. There wasn't a lot of fluid left, they were correct. But my water had not broken so there was the question of "where did it all go?"
I had been telling myself for weeks, "ONE PUSH" and was working on relaxation methods and visualization techniques that reinforced that idea. As I got closer to his actual delivery, I didn't really tell anyone that the baby was coming. Jeff knew because he was holding my hand, and really just knows me that well. We've been together a long time I suppose. So the midwife was across the room chatting with Beth about knitting (see her awesome blog here) when I pushed the first time. That one broke what water was left. As soon as it became clear what was going on, the midwife raced over (Beth's words - by that point in a delivery I am largely no longer there) to be ready to help if needed. Push two, push three - those were warm ups, I suppose. Push four the baby was coming no matter what.
I did hear the midwife saying, "gentle push.. gentle push..." and pretty well ignored her. I was not going to get the baby part way out and then have to go for a second time. Thank you, no. SO, without further ado...
Young Mr. Magoo was born on April 23rd, 2011 at 0009 a.m. He was a healthy 6 lbs. 15 oz, and 19 inches long with good coloring and great lungs. The missing amniotic fluid made its reappearance over the course of the next 18 + hours when Mr. Magoo slept, did not eat, and spit up amniotic fluid. It appeared (to me anyway - and one of the nurses) that he had swallowed it all.
Welcome to the world, Mr. Magoo - your siblings have been more than loving toward you, even 2 year-old Buttercup - and you fit in well with our growing family. This story is yours for its good and its bad (though the bad is more funny than anything from this Mom's perspective!) I look forward to the joys and the challenges you will bring - I look forward to seeing your personality evolve and to watching you grow!