I wouldn’t change a thing, and I hope to do it over again!!

Neal was about a week overdue, and I was getting very determined to meet this baby boy of mine. That afternoon we got a great Sunday afternoon nap after church and decided to just start going down the list of things to try that MaryAnn gave us to get labor started and prepped our home as if he was coming that night for certain. Looking back, I really think that me getting in the “head space” to have this baby and feeling prepared made a world of difference for my body knowing it was ok and time for the baby to come.

About 10:30pm I noticed contractions started like they had been doing on and off for about a week and were uncomfortable again (which aided to the “I’m so ready to have this baby” feeling) so I got in a warm bath to try to relax and then get some sleep. I relaxed and was drowsy, but the contractions just kept coming and seemed infrequent to me….not consistent, but definitely persistent, so I reluctantly called Mary Ann about 11:30pm and asked if it was true labor or not since my first was an induction and I had not been through going into labor naturally before. I could not give her concrete answers and was very unsure if it was true labor, so she had me time them for an hour and call her back to let her know.

They were about 4.5-5 minutes apart! It was now about 1:00 and she was on her way, and we were having a baby!!!! When she arrived, I was walking around and just working on relaxing and bending or squatting through each contraction and then preparing things between or answering any questions. Soon after, the contractions got a little more intense, so I got in the shower and let the warm water run over my back and “woa” through each contraction. Since it was early in the morning, I was getting a little fatigued, so I got out and sat on the birth ball and leaned/laid over onto the side of our mattress and almost “napped” between contractions.

When those just got too intense for me to rest between, I made my way back to the shower to help with calming my body to be able to work through the labor. I was in the shower when I really started that feeling of, I need to go #2 and involuntarily started a short push! I heard MaryAnn tell my husband and Holly ” That sounded like a push…was that a push? Yea she is pushing…we need to get her in the tub.”

I had already asked to get in the tub a few minutes earlier, so it was already prepped for me, and I made my way into the tub! *RELIEF* (I HIGHLY recommend a birthing tub – while in a big warm bath, you don’t have to use any energy to support your body. You can work on nothing but relaxing your body and your body pushes the baby out) I already had two short pushes in the shower and my body kept wanting to push in the tub, so I just followed it and pushed when my body wanted to and worked on relaxing in between.

About 7am and in just a matter of minutes, my water broke, and baby Neal was out and laying on my chest. I kept hearing “you made it look easy,” but I promise you it was not me at all. My body took over the labor and I just used my mind to calm myself, listen to my body, and listen to my husband, Holly, or Mary Anne to coach me through. Oftentimes you’ll hear “I wish I would have” or “next time I will” with birth stories, but with this home water birth with Mary Anne and Holly, it was beautiful. I wouldn’t change a thing and I hope to do it over again as many times as the Lord allows me to.