At 39 weeks and five days I started to get very strong and crampy contractions. That night I hardly slept. The same thing happened the next night; though the contractions remained irregular. I had a good feeling that labor was right around the corner. At 40 weeks and one day hubby and I decided to go for a walk at the mall to see if things would progress. I let my midwife, Andrea, know. This was around late morning. The walking really helped, as the contractions got much stronger. We headed home and I tried to go about my day as usual though I did have to stop and deal with each contraction as it came.
At 2:30 pm I noticed my waters had broke after a particularly strong contraction. I texted Andrea and she was here within a half hour. She checked me and it turns out I was 3 centimeters. She hung out for a while and kept her eye on me. She left a bit later and said to call her when I felt I needed her.
So I continued to labor and try to distract myself as much as possible. Around 5:40 pm the contractions came to be consistently a minute long and 5 minutes apart. My hubby let Andrea know and she was here by 6:15 pm. This is when I considered labor to have really begun. No more ignoring contractions! When each one came I had my hubby press on my back. If he was not with me during a contraction, the “pain” was ten times worse. He was my rock through the whole labor. I could not have done it without him.
Around this time Heather, Andrea’s assistant, came.
I labored mostly on my hand and knees. I listened to Enya and tried to relax on the birthing ball. I changed positions a lot. What felt good one minute would not work for me the next. I was by this time completely exhausted, especially since I did not sleep the two previous nights. I asked to be checked again; I believe this was around 8-9 pm. I was completely effaced and 8 centimeters. I was greatly encouraged by this.
The next couple contractions I started to get the pushing sensation. I was still somewhat planning on giving birth in the tub, so I tried a warm bath. This greatly helped with the “pain”, but it also slowed my labor down. Not what I wanted, so out I came.
Twice during labor I had to nurse my 18 month old son back to sleep. I remember being grateful for the break and was able to doze off for a short time, in between contractions.
I labored more on the toilet and started to really have effective pushing contractions. I was being very vocal, though I tried to keep it in low tones. Andrea asked me to come to the delivery area, she checked me and fixed something with my cervix. I was now complete! With each contraction I would bear down and push. Heather was very, very helpful with the breathing techniques, and how to push baby out most effectively. I was on all fours at this point, Andrea was able to see baby’s head and I vaguely remember cussing as I could finally start to feel the ring of fire. Andrea said. “Good! That is what we want to hear”. She suggested a different position for the delivery so she could best support my perineum (best decision ever!). I got on the bed and sat in a semi reclined position with my husband directly behind me. As I stood up, I could feel the baby’s head right there! Incredible feeling.
I had a few contractions where my body literally pushed on its own. I felt like I was just there for the ride! My body was doing it without my brain.
I was very, very happy and excited at this point. I knew the end was near and I couldn’t help but smile between contractions. As the head emerged, Andrea was extremely helpful during this intense time. She encouraged me to slowly ease baby out. I remember Heather squirting olive oil on baby’s head. It all happened so fast! Once the head was out all the “pain” was gone. One more tiny push and out his body came. They immediately placed him right on my stomach. I cannot describe how euphoric everything was from this point on. Natural birthing high is like nothing else I have experienced.
Baby was slow at latching to nurse, so we had a small bleeding scare. Andrea took care of it and also gave me two stitches as I tore slightly on the inside.
Abut 10 minutes after the birth my 18 month old woke up. He came into the birthing area, didn’t even notice the baby because he was so tired. So I tandem nursed my babies for the first time! Shortly after he finally noticed the baby. It was such a sweet, intimate moment for our family.
Hubby got to cut the cord and Andrea did all the newborn tests right next to me. The home birth experience was everything I thought it would be. I would do it again in a heart beat.