Enjoy! (And don't forget the birth video at the end!)
In June of 2009, we found out we were expecting baby number two. After much education and research on our birth options; my husband and I decided to have a home birth. This is the story of that special day. It’s a long one I might add, so you may want to dash off to get yourself some popcorn and get cozy for a while.
Spoiler Alert: I end up with a baby.
On February 25th, I had reached my due date. My husband, Andrew was at work training to become an explosive ordinance disposal technician . Sounds fancy and so tough, so manly. Don’t tell him I told you this, but underneath it all, he’s really a fuzzy wuzzy teddy bear. I have really struck gold with the man I chose to make babies with.
Around 11 AM that day, I had noticed I some signs of labor. The more icky, yucky, signs that lets you know some things could be different very soon. I thought to myself, “Ahh, finally. Signs of labor. Sweet, sweet labor. Wait… labor. I’m going into labor!” Taking deep relaxing breaths helped calmed the crazy thoughts and I was able to appreciate the fact I would soon (please be soon, please be soon) meet my little beach baby.
At noon, Andrew called to say he passed an important test in training. I told him I was going into labor. My news was better. He agreed. Today was in fact, going to be a good day.
The afternoon continued with frequent bathroom trips hoping for other signs of labor. I started cleaning the house to make sure it was prepped and ready for the arrival of a new human being. Movement must have helped, I began feeling a little cramping here and there. Each one bringing me more and more excitement that I would soon get to meet this new little person.
Andrew was able to get off work and meet me at the midwife’s clinic around 2 PM. Upon a cervical check, it was determined that I was about 3 centimeters dilated. I was hoping for 5 or 6 centimeters, but I settled with 3. It was after, all progress nonetheless.
After the appointment with my midwife, I ventured to my chiropractor’s office. My pregnant self was in dire need of a “get labor going now” adjustment.
We made a pit stop at home for some down time. That didn’t work out too well; all I wanted to do was move around. I wanted to meet my baby, I had to move around to get things going a bit. So, we decided to go to the grocery store to get some snacks for my labor team that would be arriving when the baby was to make her appearance.
On the way there my cramps picked up in intensity and I now felt safe calling them contractions. I don’t really know if going to the store was a good idea at this point. Andrew turned into protective mode turning into my personal body guard. He wouldn’t let anyone come into a 5 foot radius of me. With the aisles being the size they are and me having been such a wide load, he turned into a big ball of stress and worry. When a contraction came, I would pick up a food product and pretend to read it to look busy when I was focusing. I didn’t want anyone knowing I was in labor. At this point of the pregnancy people would tell me that I shouldn’t have even been driving. I assured them that I was only pregnant, not paralyzed.
Groceries gathered and Andrew officially having a mental break down in fear of someone bumping into me and making the baby fall out, it was time to head home.
By this point, I was ready to relax. I sat on the birth ball a while and made myself go in circles with my hips over and over and over. This brought the contractions on one on top of the other. They were still pretty easy to deal with by relaxing and by the support of Aliana holding my hand. At about 7:40 PM, Andrew and I noticed my voice started changing and I was starting to shake. So, we called my midwife and she decided she would make an appearance. We were wondering when the baby would do the same.
The midwife did another cervical check and found out that I was now 5 centimeters dilated. Things were moving right along.
I had asked three of my church friends to join us in welcoming our daughter. Shortly after 9 PM, they came to support, pray and take pictures. I really appreciated the time they spent here in my home waiting, praying, and being patient for my baby to come.
In efforts to get off the birth ball and quit going in those forsaken circles, I decided it was time to make the “birth” day cake. Andrew was literally behind me every step of the way. He’s a good birth partner. You should be jealous.
Shortly after 11:25 PM, I went into my bedroom to relax. It quickly became my happy place with just me, Andrew and my midwife. I got really calm and the contractions started to come closer together, more intense, and I felt really comfortable. After letting go of the distractions around me (daughter still awake and a movie playing) things started to pick up.
There was lots of sitting on the toilet. I hated having to sit on that toilet. It opened my pelvis up and allowed for things to really become strong and allowed the baby to put pressure on my cervix. I kept having to remind myself that the intensity of the contractions were a good thing but it will go away, the baby was coming. Not only did I hate the toilet, by the end of the night I started to hate Riptide Rush Gatorade. In the efforts to stay hydrated, this was the drink I chose before I went into labor. I stocked up on it on that lovely trip to the grocery store. After a while, I wanted to hurl it across the room. Note to self; variety!
I continued to stay in my bedroom. It just felt like the most comfortable place to be; my safe haven. The lights were dim, I had access to my cozy bed. Of course I was still going back and forth to the toilet. And, I still hated it because it made those contractions back to back. Once again, my chiropractor had my back (har har). She adjusted me right there in my bedroom and it felt oh so good. I had chiropractic care throughout almost my entire pregnancy. I turned to her every time I was in pain and it was so comforting having her there with me when my discomfort was at it’s peak.
Around 2 AM, I was 8 centimeters dilated. I was still in pretty high spirits. The contractions were definitely intense, but the breaks in between were so nice I could almost fall asleep. I was still cracking jokes and laughing and can honestly say I was having fun. The women that were surrounding me were really positive and kept the laughter going with me.
Soon, the contractions got more intense and I felt like I hit a wall. All that was holding me back from meeting my daughter was my bag of water not being broken yet. It could have been easily broken with me pushing but I wasn’t ready to make that leap. The birth team left Andrew and I in the bedroom giving us room to relax alone together (Interesting fact: Andrew took this time to fall asleep. I didn’t hate him for it, it was cute. His repetitious snoring actually helped get me through some contractions.) That’s when things really started to pick up. My midwife came in after a while to check up on me. And then again with the toilet; the position it put me in brought on more intense contractions that I needed to meet our precious girl. But the pains were coming like the plague now. The plague.
I’m not really certain, but somewhere after 5 AM, I noticed my midwife took on the take charge attitude. It was time to meet our baby. I had been avoiding pushing to break my water but I was ready to hold my baby. In my head, I was secretly plotting ways that could get me out of this situation. More crazy woman thoughts welcoming me to transition, I suppose. I had to let go of the fear I had inside me about what it would feel like when my water broke. My memory evades me as to the exact number, but I was told I only pushed three times to try and break my water and voila! My water broke (or you could say gushed, flew, sprayed, soaked others) at 5:24 A.M. My body began to push her out on it’s own. So, I just went with it. And there she was; exactly two minutes later, my second daughter was born into her father’s loving hands. It was bliss.
He laid her on my chest and and I finally got to see her beautiful face. Her ten little fingers and her ten little toes. We were, at last, together. Skin to skin and elated. Our oldest daughter, Aliana was awoke from her sweet slumber and got to meet her little sister. You could see the love beaming from her little brown eyes. She even got to help her daddy cut the umbilical cord.
Baby girl weighed in at 8 pounds, 10 ounces and was 20 inches long and absolutely beautiful.
Thanks for reading. To everyone who commented on my blog during labor, I really appreciate your support. It was nice to go back through and read all the encouraging messages.
You can also view our homebirth video by clicking here.