2.19.20 I woke up that morning and went to brunch with Some friends at Restoration Hardware, then I was treated to a pedicure. I thought I had a midwife apt the next day so when I got home I vacuumed my floors and tidied up a bit. Then my friend Val came over we made Mexican casserole for dinner and our husbands came home to eat with us and we all started watching the democratic debate. The boys left back to their studio to finish something and I fell asleep on the couch with the debate still on and Val next to me.
At around 9:45pm while I was snoozing away I felt a little pop, and I woke up very suddenly sure that I had just peed my pants. I went to the bathroom, peed and pooped and inspected my underwear, it looked like clear fluid with white flecks in it. I drink so much water that my pee is usually clear anyway so I was not convinced this was amniotic fluid. But when I stood up from the toilet more fluid came out and dripped down my leg and that’s when I knew it was my water that had broken.
There were a lot of emotions racing at that moment. It was a week before my due date and I was so convinced I would go late, with it being my first baby, and because I’m generally an impatient person I expected God would use this opportunity to teach me patience. I was shocked and excited, I was scared and nervous. I felt so peaceful and calm for all that was happening, I was so sad my mom and Michaela weren’t there and knew there was no way they could make it. We facetimed my mom and saw the disappointment on her face as I told her the time had came and she realized she was going to miss the birth. The same thing happened on our FaceTime with Michaela. There were so many things I was going to do before I went into labor! Padsicles and affirmation cards and labor aid and snacks for the midwives and I really wanted banana bread. I was so thankful Val was there. Daniel had a friend flying in that he was supposed to have some writing sessions with the next three days. I wanted to clean our bathroom it was so dirty.
I had been having contractions in the evenings for quite a few days and I wasn’t having more than normal at this point. I knew it could be a loonnggg journey ahead of us so I hopped in the shower and had Daniel clean our bathroom and Val drove James back to their house. I decided to try to rest and get some sleep. Val came back from dropping James off at some point during my rest and began helping Daniel prepare things. I tried to rest for probably 2 hours but the contractions were pretty regular, so after a while I had to find a new position because I was really uncomfortable. I went into the living room and alternated leaning over the birthing ball and the couch.
The midwives arrived while I was in the living room, I remember answering a call from Mary Anne (I don’t know why I answered the phone) and her asking to have one of our cars moved and I had a contraction and basically threw the phone. When they came in they used the Doppler and took heart tones for probably 10 mins, honestly throughout my entire labor the times they needed to use the Doppler were the most uncomfortable and frustrating for me. I remember asking her “when is this going to be over?” She thought I was talking about labor but I was just ready to not have the Doppler on me anymore, later on I remember looking at the other midwife taking the tones and saying “I REALLY HATE THIS!” they were so kind and gentle about the Doppler, I think it was just the only times during labor that I was kind of pulled out of my zone and focused on the contraction and not my breath.
When the midwives got to the house I think they sensed things were happening kind of quickly and they got Daniel and Val busy doing all the things to do to get ready. Daniel was in charge of filling up the birthing tub and Val was running around getting everything else ready. I was pretty oblivious to all this as I focused on each wave as they grew more and more intense.
As soon as the tub was almost full Mary Anne said I could get in and I remember being so relieved that I didn’t have to wait! I got in and felt some sweet sweet relief. The contractions were still tough but the water was sooooooo helpful. Val held one of my hands and Daniel held the other and a midwife would sometimes pour water on my back or hold my hand while Daniel was behind me and encouraged me. Things really started to heat up, I felt the waves getting stronger and more serious. Daniel answered a phone call from my mom and put her on speaker phone, the labor felt really really intense right then. My mom prayed for me and said the most encouraging beautiful words at the most perfect time. I wept and I think everyone in the room did too. It was exactly what I needed in that moment, to have that encouragement from my mom and then the release of a good cry.
After a while they asked me get out to pee and just as I was about to get out I got a big contraction and felt a wave of nausea. Val furiously scooted the garbage can over just as I started puking. (Val told me later that Holly, one of the midwives could sense I was going through transition and had literally just said to her “she’s going to vomit soon and went t find a proper bowl for me to throw up into) Then they had me go to the bathroom and tested my pee. They said my ketones were high and I was dehydrated, so Val handed me my water or a glass of orange “recharge” after every contraction and they fed me some of the date bar I had made. I remember Mary Anne being very adamant about getting food and drink in and saying if I didn’t get hydrated I would need an IV, which sounded terrible so I gulped and gulped and forced myself to eat the date bar that I did NOT want and some pieces of pineapple I think too.
They asked me if I was starting to feel pushy with my contractions and I said I thought so. They said I could try pushing if I felt like it with the next contraction. I was shocked at how hard it was to push. One of the midwives, Jessica asked if I felt any pinching or anything like that and I said I thought it might have been feeling some pinching. She asked if I wanted to be checked and I said yes. They hadn’t done any checks or anything aside from the Doppler up till now. She said I was 9.5cm with just a little cervical lip left. She said she could push the cervix out of the way with the next contraction if I wanted her to, and I said yes. So she did, that wasn’t really the most fun but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I had been on my hands and knees a lot in the water and swinging my hips in a figure 8 motion. They said I needed to turn over onto my butt/back so baby wouldn’t push on my cervix anymore. I flipped over and with each contraction I planted my hands on the bottom of the pool and pushed my belly and butt up onto the air and breathed deeply, these were a new kind of contraction and I could tell we were getting close.
I remember vividly having one moment of frustration, I thought it still felt pinchy and gave myself over to worry for a moment that maybe I was pushing on my cervix and it was going to swell up. It felt like I was fighting my body for a moment like my whole pelvic floor was so tight. I said no no no way. But then with the next couple of contractions I felt the peace again and got back into my breath and breathed through the pushing and the burning. I’m pretty sure my eyes were closed for almost the entirety of my labor. The contractions started to slow down a little bit here giving me a bit of time in between them. I was still arching my whole torso and butt into the air with every wave.
Jessica asked if I wanted her to put pressure to direct where I needed to push with her fingers and I said yes. It was a pressure that I didn’t love but did feel helpful. She reached in and felt baby’s head and told me and I felt a rush of electricity. I knew I was about to meet my baby. That gave me a burst of energy that I channeled into the next push and his head moved down further. They put the Doppler on my belly again though this time I didn’t even notice. They said baby’s heart was dipping a little and wanted to give me some oxygen while I pushed. So they put the hose in my nose then the next wave came and I pushed with everything in me, there came his head with his hand held next to his cheek so sweetly.
The midwife said “push the rest of your baby out!”, and Daniel quickly moved from behind me to the other side of the birth pool and reached down into the water and pulled out our sweet boy and handed him to me.
He was born at 7:20am on 2/20/2020 and was 20” long, a little mystic for sure.
I said “oh my God! Oh my God oh my God we did it baby! We did it!”! The Daniel came back to my side and said, “is it a little boy?” I said “I think so, as I checked between his legs and confirmed, boy”
The midwives gave us warm towels to wrap baby in and we just stared at him. They asked if I wanted to stay in the tub to deliver my placenta or if I wanted to move to our bed, I said I didn’t care so we got ready to move to the bed but then I felt a pushy contraction and delivered the placenta in the birth tub.
Then we moved to our bed and the midwives palpated my belly which sounds like as much fun as it was. They checked to see if I tore and found one spot that was maybe tiny tear and we all debated if it was worth it to stitch it up or not. We decided not to. Then My friend Steff arrived with breakfast burritos that were the best thing I’ve ever eaten and the midwives gave her so much information and they weighed baby and measured him. 7lbs 6oz. And 20 inches long.
We all got to have a nap in our bed and it was quiet and calm and so peaceful.