by S. Bower
I’m finally writing my birth story, almost twelve weeks later! I meant to since the week after Lucia was born, but more went into it than I expected! But I am so excited that I finally got my home water birth!
I woke up on July 3rd feeling a bit miserable. I had another night of pain in my pelvis, backache, and needing to pee every few minutes, and mild waves that I’d been having for over two weeks! I was planning to take my son to the zoo that day, but I was so tired. My mom came over to visit and brought us breakfast, and I ate almost a whole box of kolaches myself! We took for a walk and joked about how I would probably birth that day since I was already exhausted. But the waves stopped while I was up and moving and the rest of the walk was calm except all the kolaches gave me really bad heartburn. I got really grumpy as the day went, and guessed I was just tired from not sleeping great for several days. I needed to do some paperwork that was already over due, so after mom left and I put my son down for a nap I sat down to fill it all out. I couldn’t focus on anything at all! I gave up after a few tries and laid down to take a nap instead.
I woke up to waves that I couldn’t sleep through. I didn’t want to say to the hubby or mom that this was it because I though it was still early and I knew they would both want to come back to the house right then. I started getting the pool ready and moving some birth supplied around. My midwife had suggested we keep the birth kit together with some towels, extra sheets, and other stuff on her supply list, but it had all gotten scattered and now I couldn’t remember where I put everything. I was still so tired, but I couldn’t sleep and laying down was miserable. Finally, I stopped messing with the birth stuff, and sat on my knees by my bed so I could rest against it and lay my head down. I put my a Hypnobirthing affirmation track on and tried to breath through rushes that were really intense. I tried to lay on my side, but it was too intense. I really wanted to be in water, but wasn’t sure if I was really in labor. When I felt like this when I was having my son, the hospital had sent me home and I didn’t birth him for another week. I expected this labor to be long and slow like his! I think I woke him up from his nap at some point by being a bit noisy, and he came in wanting a cuddle. I really couldn’t cope with the rushes I was feeling and him wanting me at the same time, and I finally called someone. I only told my mom that anything was going on, but I guess she told my husband, because he got there before she did. He took our son out of the room to play, but told me he thought I should call my midwife.
I texted my midwife and asked her if she thought jumping in the pool would help, and told her a little of what I felt. I didn’t want to get in too early. She then texted back asking me if she could call me. I called her back, but told her I didn’t want to call her over because I’d only had more intense rushes for about an hour and knew it was probably still early. She had told me during the pregnancy that second births can be really different from first babies, but I still expected this one to be really long too. I guess she heard something in my voice, because she said she would really like to stop by and at least check on me, but she didn’t have to stay if it was early. She was about an hour away and I really didn’t want her to have to drive to me and then home again! She asked me to time just a few rushes and see what that looked like and then we could decided what to do. I was okay with that, and I downloaded a contraction timer. I called her back after timing two and realizing they were less than three minutes apart and lasting about a minute and a half. I called Jen, my midwife, back and told her that she probably she should come now. She agreed, but also told me that she would like to go ahead and call her assistant to head to me too. Jen had told me at our homevisit that normally she goes to a birth once labor starts, and then her assistant comes closer to the end, and I realized that if she wanted to go ahead and have her assistant come with her I was probably going to have the baby soon.
I put my affirmation track back on after we talked, and leaned on a yoga ball so I could rock back and forth. That felt a lot better, but I kept dozing off between rushes and almost falling off. I got really nauseous and the affirmation track was getting very annoying. I really needed something else. I stood up and thought I would walk around, but I was still so tired. I walked out of my bedroom and found hubby had gone ahead and started filling the pool, and mom was back keeping my son. My son was so sweet and mom must have told him what was happening because he wanted to hug me and ask me if I was having the baby. I didn’t want to be touched, and I asked mom to take him for another walk. The rushes were so much stronger when I was standing! I felt so much pressure in my crotch and I really wanted to get in the pool, but was still worried it might be too early. I decided to do some lunges instead, but after about two my water broke and went everywhere!
Jen arrived right as this was happening, or I realized she had arrived right as this was happening. I expected her to check my cervix and do that kind of stuff before anything else, but she just said that if I want a water birth I should probably get in the pool. Hubby helped me into the water and Jen listened to baby’s heart. I saw her put on gloves and asked if I had to get back out for her to check me. I was really confused about why she’d tell me to get in the pool and then have me get back out immediately. She smiled at me and told me that she could check me if I wanted, but these gloves were for catching baby. I still didn’t believe it. I insisted on being checked and she suggested I try to check myself first and just see if I felt baby’s head. She was really calm and confident about it, but I really thought I was going to feel nothing. I reached down and put a fingertip barely in my vagina and there was baby’s head. I told her and she asked how far in and pointed at different spots on her finger. I pointed at the tip of my finger and she looked surprised, but smiled and asked if I wanted my son to come back for the birth because I had said in my birth plan that I wanted him there. I decided to let him come back after baby arrived. She asked to take my blood pressure and a couple of other things, but I had another rush starting and asked her to wait. My whole crotch felt like fire as soon as this rush started and I didn’t think about it and reached down to see if I could feel baby’s head again. I don’t know what I expected to feel, but it wasn’t that! I wasn’t feeling that little hard bump inside anymore, but the top of baby’s head sticking out of my vagina! I cupped my hand over her tiny little head and felt her sliding out into it!
I told my midwife that baby was coming out and realized her assistant wasn’t there yet and asked her if that was okay. I think I expected her to tell me to stop pushing until everyone was there like the hospital had with my son, but she told me it was fine and baby doesn’t need to wait. I felt baby slide out as she answered me and laughed. I told her baby was coming out, and she asked if the head was out now, and I told her no, baby is out. She looked a little surprised again, but reached down and helped me lift baby up. I had all but forgotten my hubby was even in the room, but he came over and helped me get in a more comfortable position so I could sit and hold baby. I couldn’t believe she was finally here! And it was so fast! I didn’t hear her cry at first and I started asking if she was okay, but Jen was already leaning in to check on her, and reassured me she was fine. Baby opened her little eyes almost immediately and started looking at us and grabbed hubby’s finger! I started rubbing her back and she had the tiniest little sneeze and looked so surprised. We called her Rody, which was what we had planned to name her since we were expecting a boy, but Jen suggested we check the sex for ourselves and I rolled her over to look. She was a little girl! I’m sure I would have been happy either way, but it was great getting to discover our baby for ourselves!
I had talked to my midwife a lot during prenatal care about what to expect right after the birth, but I still kept expecting that she was going to take my baby away at any time. Jen was so patient with me and kept reassuring me every time I asked if we could have just a little longer with her that baby was fine and I was fine, and we didn’t need to do anything else until I was ready. I have no idea when her assistant got there, but when I started cramping again and the placenta slid out, she was there ready with a bowl for it. I didn’t really want to cut the cord or do anything else yet, so I asked to just leave it and we spent most of the first hour with the placenta bowl floating next to me while baby nursed and Jen sat on the other side of the pool, listening to baby occasionally. Finally I decided I was ready, and hubby cut the cord. I wanted to shower off before climbing in bed, so Jen and her assistant helped me out and to the bathroom while hubby held baby. Hubby sat in the bathroom beside the shower with baby and we talked about how amazing this all was while I cleaned up. We realized while we were talking that we didn’t have a girl name because I had been so sure she was a boy. She looked so much like my grandmother, and I suggested Lucia. Hubby liked it and we went with it!
Lucia was born at 4:18pm after less than two hours of labor in a birth pool in the middle of my living room, and I never want to give birth any other way again.