When I woke up Friday morning, it was the same thing. I felt nothing new, no pain, no twinges, nothing. I was disappointed and discouraged, but got myself out of bed at 6:45AM and got Charlie up, bathed, dressed, packed, and off to school. Chris headed out to a job in Green Bay, WI, and I read a bit more of my book while waiting for the girls to wake up. Around 10:00AM, I started feeling slightly crampy. I tried not to get too excited because I knew that it could just be more of the Braxton Hicks I'd had for weeks.
I went to the bathroom about 10:45AM and had some light pink “show”, I texted Chris that I was in labor. I was secretly terrified I'd be all alone with both girls when the baby came. I walked around the house, straightened up, and prepared everything for the baby's arrival (since I'd planned on a home birth, it was mostly all in my room already). I sat on the birth ball, walked, and breathed calmly and slowly through the early labor discomforts.
Obligatory "in labor" photo courtesy of Chris
Around 11:30AM, I called the midwife. I was definitely in labor, contractions were 5 minutes apart, and I had a lot more red “show”. I called Chris and told him it was definitely time, and that he should come home as soon as possible. He asked if he could stop and get lunch, I said “I don't think so” because I didn't think there was time. My midwife called back and said she was about an hour away and that she was headed my way, and her assistant would also be on her way.
Laboring in the background, Ruthie in front. She was there for me almost all the way through labor, not scared at all!
Chris started to inflate the pool as the girls walked around with me, and we talked about the baby coming and how exciting it was going to be. I swayed my hips through contractions that were now 2 minutes apart and increasingly more intense. I worried the midwife wouldn't make it, and that I would have to call 9-1-1 because I didn't have any cord clamps at home.
About 12:45PM the midwife made it! Her assistant (another midwife) hadn't arrived yet, but she started to fill the pool as she could see I was nearing delivery. Rosy checked James'heartbeat, and he was still about belly-button level and at 142. Good and strong. At this point I could no longer tolerate sitting on the birth ball, I had to either stand and sway, or kneel and sway. I could feel the baby's head moving through my pelvis and kept myself calm by repeating “It's what's best for the baby” over and over in my head. I totally believe that drug and intervention-free is the way to go if you can. There are always extenuating circumstances, but after being through an induction and threatened with a c-section with Charlie I feel that is why my labor with him was so long...my body wasn't ready and I was TERRIFIED. I said that I guessed he would be 8;lbs 14oz when he was born.
At 1:30PM, I entered the pool. It was like a slice of heaven right there in my bedroom. The La Bassine birthing pool is the Cadillac of birthing pools! The warm water was very soothing and I was able to be very relaxed between contractions. I went into my hypnobirthing trances and did not talk during the contractions at all. I could tell the time was near when the 2nd midwife finally arrived. I was so happy to see her as it meant I could finally “let go” and let the baby come. It was a flurry of excitement after that!
Chris had put a movie on for the girls (who were sitting on my bed) but it was distracting me, so I asked him to take them, and it downstairs. He returned about 2:10 and I said that I felt like I was going to need to push soon. Rosy, my midwife, checked and said I was 7. She checked his hearbeat and he was very low in the pelvis and 145. She and Vicki, the other midwife, were discussing how stretchy my cervix was, and how much “lip” was left of it when I said “Oh My God, I have to push!”. Rosy told me not to push too hard, but to grunt and push slowly so that I did not tear my cervix that hadn't completely dilated moments before. I did, but told her I felt like I needed to push harder, and she checked and I was completely dilated and effaced. It was time, my body had guided me right through labor and it was time for my little man to come! I got off of my knees, and into a more comfortable position which neither midwife had seen anyone do before, and said looked “very uncomfortable”, but it worked for me. Chris sat by my side outside of the pool, and I had 1 foot against his dresser and the other against the pool. I pushed for less than 3 minutes when Rosy said “reach down and feel his head” and I did and it was incredible! 2 more pushes and my little boy was born at 2:25PM, he came out swimming in the pool and I was awake and alert for the whole thing! I remember saying “OMG! I did it, he's here and I did it!” - it was a wonderful, awesome experience! He went immediately to my chest where I was able to cuddle him and love on him right away. He looked around and looked at me, and was so alert it was hard to believe he had just been born! Chris called the girls up and they ran in to meet their new little brother. They were both so excited! I held him in the pool until his cord stopped pulsing, then it was clamped, I cut it (Chris didn't want to) and we both headed over to dry off and get into bed. I had labored and given birth in just under 5 hours.
After I was dried off and on the bed, I started to nurse, and shortly after the contractions started again. Rosy came over with a large bowl, and I delivered the placenta without incident. I was able to see the cord, cord insert, shape, size, and structures of the placenta. To think that it nurtured the baby for 9 months is just amazing!
Brand new baby boy!
After James went to sleep, I went into the bathroom for a little shower, and Rosy checked my uterine size and firmness when I got out. I was tucked into bed, and told I'd done very well, only losing about 250cc's of blood (about 1 Cup) which was fabulous considering my Iron count was only 10.5! I clot well, and must have a good platelet count.
Tucked in with Mommy!
Charlie came home from school and ran right up to meet “Jimmy”, his new little brother. He was so proud and excited to see that he had finally arrived!
Our Homebirthing Suite
Rosy and Vicki cleaned up the bedroom while James and I napped and then they weighed and measured him. 8Lbs 12oz and 20.5” with a 14.5” head! They checked him head to toe, twice, and his APGARS were 10, and 10. He is certainly a perfect 10 in our book too!
After taking some information for the birth certificate, and a little more paperwork both midwives were gone and Jimmy and I cuddled in bed. It was a wonderful experience, I had no swelling, tenderness, or pain vaginally right after birth, and only some minor cramping while nursing. I was relaxed, calm, and comfortable in my home, and in my bed.
Happy, Excited, and Relaxed in my own bed, in my own home!
Chris, who was initially unsure of having a home-birth has now become an advocate, and he tells everyone who will listen about our experience. It was amazing, and I'm not sure I'm prepared not to do it again in the future...stay tuned!