Disclaimer - I am warning you ahead of time.. this is a birth story. So there will be some pretty detailed information in the post. :)
It was 3 days before Thanksgiving and I was starting to get antsy just thinking about the birth of my sweet girl and how wonderfully exciting yet annoying that I didn’t know when she would be making her debut! I’m a planner you see and planners like things structured and set in stone. HAH if you are having a natural HOME birth you can throw all your plans out the window and learn to just roll with it.
Something else you might would like to know is I had been having this thing called Prodromal labor for a couple of weeks and every night from about 5pm to 9pm I would have consistent contractions, that I thought at the time were intense. HAH. I even had my midwife come over one night to check to see if it was the real deal, to my disappointment it wasn’t. So when labor actually started for me I was not only elated, I was relieved!
|I look thrilled!|
39 weeks 1 day
Morning of Tuesday November 25th - My mucus plug had come out for the second time (first time was 2 weeks prior) **it can grow back after its already been lost once before**And I had thought woah! Is this my water? Without going into too much detail it wasn’t quite like the way my mucus plug had come out the first time. So that morning I had my routine checkup with my midwife Alex. She checked the fluid to see if it was amniotic fluid and it came back negative. She told me it was just probably extra mucus and not to worry about it. She then checked me and told me I was a 2 almost a 3 and 60% effaced.
She asked me if I wanted to have my membranes stripped to maybe get things started but I had decided that I wasn’t going to do any interventions until after I was 40 weeks, so I declined. I went home that day and just had a weird feeling in my gut, almost the butterflies in your tummy feeling. I continued to go on with my day hoping she was coming soon but also wishing she would come after thanksgiving so I could spend the day with my family – thanksgiving is huge on my mom’s side of the family and we have about 30-40 people usually around the dinner table – That night I was getting ready for bed talking to my “best cousin” Ashley ((she’s my cousin but also a best friend… lol it’s a funny we have had since we were teenagers)) and I kept telling her how I just had a weird feeling and I explained the whole mucus thing. I went to the bathroom, yes with her on the phone- haha, and I noticed this mucus was now dripping into the toilet and had a tinge of blood to it. I got off the phone with her and texted my midwife to let her know that my contractions were coming a little more now since the last hour and the fluid seemed to be getting a little heavier with blood. She told me to try and get some sleep and if this is the real deal my contractions will wake me up and to call her then.
Well…. Come on now. This could be the real thing! I took a shower and then laid down and my mind just kept racing with different thoughts. How on earth could I go to sleep if I would be seeing Alivia within the next few days? I could not sleep so I got up and drank some milk and had a banana and watched some TV… next thing I know it’s 2:30 am! So I made myself get back in bed and I fell asleep.
39 weeks 2 days
Wednesday November 26th
4:30 am - I wake up to contractions that were more intense than I had experienced. I woke up Andrew and told him not to plan on going in to work because I was confident we would be having Alivia today. He then calls Alex to let her know and she said she would be over within 30 minutes. I of course start cleaning. Haha I made my bed, I cleaned up some dirty laundry off the floor. We cleared the play room – and Andrew started preparing the birthing pool. All the while we were silent for the most part with HUGE grins on our faces! We were going to see our daughter today!
Alex arrives and checks me to let me know I was only a 3 and 80% effaced. DUN DUN DUN HUGE DISSAPPOINTMENT! I really thought I would be further along than that. She told me I had some options because she knew how eager I was to get things started with all the prodromal labor I had been having. She explained I had 3 things we could try, if my body was ready to start labor then these options would just kick start it into gear, if my body was not ready then the options wouldn’t help at all.
Option 1 – Black/Blue Cohosh (gross)
Option 2 – Strip Membranes (ouch)
Option 3 – Clary Sage Essential Oils rubbed on my belly (pretty painless)
I was very reluctant to do these things because this time around I wanted no interventions I wanted my body to labor and deliver this baby 100% on its own. So I voiced my concerns to her and Andrew and they both reassured me these were natural things and I shouldn’t feel guilty or hesitant to try them. So of course I obliged. LETS GET THIS PARTY STARTED is what my response was. Haha.
Option 1 – Black/ Blue Cohosh was TERRIBLE! Sooooo nasty but I just kept picturing my sweet baby’s arrival and it made it a little bit better to handle.
Option 2 – Strip Membranes – I had this done before with connor and it was uncomfortable for sure but nothing too terrible.
Option 3 – Clary Sage Essential oils was the most delightful one out of the three.
While I was having these things done Andrew went ahead and called my mom to come over and get Connor and head back to her house until it was time to start pushing. He also called my photographer to let her know today was the day and to go ahead and get ready to come over.
As soon as I got up off the bed from having those 3 things done BOOM! I felt the contractions start coming in full force. And I had jumped from 3 centimeters to 5! I started bouncing and swaying on the birth ball with Andrew behind me putting pressure on my lower back, this helped me cope with the contractions the most. Alex advised that I eat something so I had some water and 1 bite of an apple. Haha I was so in tune with what I was doing I couldn’t eat! (now looking back I wish I would have) Alex then checked me again and said that with Alivias position I needed to be in an upright position so I could dilate more. So she advised us to go on a walk. Well walking for me was like all of my insides were being jumbled around on the inside and were busting at the seams wanting to get out (a bit extreme I know but man having to standup during contractions were killer) I made it down a couple of houses then decided ok it’s time to go back in and get on the birthing ball again. Just about that time my photographer Brandi pulls up! It was so nice seeing her calm but excited face! She had been a huge support to me during my pregnancy and her and I both had talked about this day often.
By now it’s about 8am. And my mom and Connor were getting ready to leave. I gave Connor a big hug and during the hug I had a contraction I just clung on to my baby boy and became pretty emotional. I had so many thoughts going thru my head and while holding on to my first born I had flashbacks of his birth and remembering the first time I held him. After that contraction I started back on the ball again but this time I was on my knees and was holding the ball and swaying back and forth. At this time I became more vocal and “sung” thru each of my contractions. I labored on the ball and leaned over the banister up stairs for the next couple of hours. I was offered some peanut butter crackers and ate one but felt like I needed to throw up every time I ate something.
My sweet husband was there for every contraction. He knew I needed him and I think he needed to be near me as well. He had the calmest look on his face and had so much confidence in me that I could do this! Around this time Alex spoke up and suggested she check me again because she could tell there wasn't much progression. As she was checking me she said there was a bulge of water at the opening where Alivia was pushing against it and my water needed to be broken to relieve that bulge so I could keep going. I remember lying in the bed and feeling the most excruciating pain while she was breaking my water. As soon as she was done I went up another centimeter.
At this time she suggested I go ahead and get in the birth pool because it was getting closer to Alivia’s arrival. Getting in the pool was very relaxing, the only thing I suggest to anyone interested in water birth is to get the water level above your belly. I think I would have had even more pain relief if I had it above my belly. I labored in the pool for a few hours and I started feeling an urge to push. Alex reassured me it probably wasn’t time but maybe I try and go to the restroom. So I got up and sat on the toilet, had a few contractions, and then sat on the birthing ball. At this point I am screaming with intense pressure, everyone around me thought “hey maybe she is about to start pushing!” As I was bouncing on the birthing ball I hear a big POP! And out comes a flood of more fluid! Come to find out I had an excessive amount of amniotic fluid and this was the remaining amount after Alex had broke my water. That was a huge relief! For only a couple of minutes then came a strong force of contractions and I felt Alivia move down further.
I got back in the birthing pool and started feeling the urge to push for real this time. I had Andrew behind me helping me pull myself up during every contraction and I had my mom on one side of me helping hold up one leg and my mother in law on the other side holding the other leg (they all arrived in just enough time to see Alivia come out) After 30 minutes of ‘unsuccessful pushing’, Alex suggested we try a certain method to help me push more successfully and when we started doing that I got the hang of pushing and ONE WHOLE HOUR later. Andrew got to catch her and Alivia Brooke arrived at 2:08 pm.
Alivia was sunny side up with her hand by her face while going thru the birthing canal and thankfully thru all the pushing she pulled her hand back down where it was supposed to be. Her shoulders were also in a funky position so it made it VERY difficult to push this little “not so little” 10 pounder out.
When Alivia came out I was very worried and kept asking IS SHE OK! Aww hi baby, thanks for finally coming! IS SHE OK! Look how pretty she is! IS SHE OKKKKK?!?!? Haha and yes she was ok. She was perfect! Sweet Alivia didn’t make much noise and was covered in a heavy amount of cheesy vernix. She was looking around at all her surroundings and would let out a few cries.
We then transferred to the bed because I was not feeling it being in the pool, I had uncontrollable shakes, which is totally normal after delivering and I just wanted to get in my warm bed with my baby. I delivered the placenta after getting into bed and my midwife made the comment that that was one of the biggest she had seen. Haha.
I had a mild 2nd degree tear so while I was being stitched up Andrew went and showed off Alivia to some of the family. After being stitched up Connor had finally woke up from his long nap (he was able to sleep during me pushing.. and screaming) and he came in to meet his new little sister, we had given him a doctors kit so he was more interested in that but was also happy to see his new sister. Alex did the newborn exam. And then Alivia and I took a herbal bath together which was very relaxing and cleansing. Alex then gave us some instructions and told us she would be back in 2 days! And she went home.
Overall I had an amazing home water birth. Pain did take over at times and I felt I couldn't go on much longer. But with the encouragement from my midwife, her assistant, my photographer and awesome husband I was able to push thru the fear and pain and deliver our sweet girl!
*Photography and Video Credit – Brandi Johnson from Kindred Photographer @ http://www.kindredphotographer.com/ I recommend her for all your photography needs. She is patient and so creative! She always blows me away with her shots.
*Midwife – Alexandra Wyatt
*Husband – Andrew Smith – Sorry ladies he is not up for servicing home births
*Birth Facility - Our home in Forney Texas