Welcome to another birth story Wednesday! I love how birth takes so many different forms, shapes, times and places.
You can read this mama's blog here!
I can say that the birth, besides being very surprising (four weeks early), was an incredibly intense yet empowering experience. I think I was dilating the whole day before and didn't know it, and had lost my mucus plug, but again didn't think anything of the discharge (it wasn't bloody or smell bad so no fuss right?).
Around 4pm exactly two weeks ago I was watching a movie in the bedroom and I felt Oliver slide down in a strange way. A little pee came out (indeed it was urine not water breaking) and I couldn't stop - we called the midwife. She said take a warm bath and drink some Cranberry juice.
By the time Ron was back from the store getting juice, I was having bad period like cramps. We were totally scared, called the midwife again. The cramps were getting worse and worse and I couldn't escape them, all I wanted was a little break to get an emotional grip on this whole thing - I looked at Ron at one point and said, "I'm in labor". I needed to admit it.
We were in the living room, I was on hand and knees - moaning through contractions. Our midwife came in and indeed me being half naked and really into contractions - she was certain I was in labor. She said to us that "we're having a baby today! and all was well because I was a few days away from 36 weeks". I felt so relieved at that point, just to have someone else say it was okay, we were okay to birth at home.
My mom showed up shortly after, I had moved back into the bathroom on the floor (it was nice and warm) still on hands and knees. My first thought was "I need to get to the bedroom, I can't have this baby on the bathroom floor". We went into the bedroom - there I rode out a few more contractions with Ron and our midwife doing counter pressure. At that point our second midwife arrived and my sister (and baby Cora).
The contractions were intense and I had wished the birth ball was inflated (we only had half a birth kit together and I was waiting to blow up the ball until early Jan). I think I was in transition at this point - I can't recall getting to the bedroom and my thoughts were only, "I can't do this - it's too hard".
Suddenly, I felt the need to push - it wasn't a physical feeling exactly, I can only describe that emotionally my body was telling me to push. The midwife checked me (for the first time and oh my god! it hurt, hurt, hurt) I can't imagine having to be checked frequently throughout. I had a small lip left - she suggested I could push around it while she held it back - too painful. I rode out a few more contractions instead. Over the next hour or so - I pushed in various positions, lunging, hands and knees, on the birthing stool (shaped like a big toilet seat), leaning against Ron.
Pushing seemed to take forever, I found solace in watching my progress in a mirror (directing the mirror position while pushing - I was very aware of what was going on around me). My sister, mother, and Ron were doing a great job of telling me that I was doing well. I kept asking if this was all going smoothly - and that it was okay it was taking long. The midwives only said - your baby is the perfect size for you and it is taking as long as you need and that yes, it is all normal. Ollie's heart beat was great, despite being on the perineum for so long.
Pushing was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. It took all of my strength both physically and emotionally to get him out. The thing about pushing is, for the most part, you have control over how hard and long you push. I would only give on big push and then need a rest, finally the midwives said that they were thinking about a small cut - I screamed "no!" and shortly after I pushed little Oliver out.
I think it was just the motivation I needed to give full quality pushes - I didn't want to be cut - emotionally it would have been too hard for me to deal with. But the exact motivation I needed to push his head out. The body seemed to slide right out. Oliver was here - at 9:58 pm 6lbs 6oz. It took about 6 hours of active labor and two pushing. Not too bad.
And today, after two weeks of nursing a lethargic pre term baby, who is still developing his suckling ability, and one full day of dropper feeding and breast pumping (day 3 I believe). We've established a nice nursing routine and he is almost back up to his birth weight. It was been a wild, intense, and emotional experience, but I wouldn't have expected anything less from my son.
This comment was added following initial publication by me, the blogger, not the mother in the story:
(I have received some feedback from midwives and other birth professionals stating that a birth this early is not safely done at home and has risks associated with it. I am not advocating delivering at home prior to being full term. I do not personally know what is considered legal in different states or what is medically safe. As mothers we have a responsibility to carefully choose our care provider, pediatrician, birth place, and educate ourselves also. We also have a responsibility to learn what is safe, legal, and what our midwife is comfortable with.
I am glad that this was a positive birth for this mother and resulted in a healthy baby, as I am with ALL birth stories that I receive, no matter how the birth appears to others. Good luck in your journeys!)