To mash everything up together Weeks 38-41 were so boring, just like the rest of my pregnancy (which is a good thing!). As soon as I hit the 40 mark, my attitude changed from, "when she gets here, she gets here." to "For the love of God, get this baby out." I think at that point I had gone through a million bottles of Tums, a billion rolls of toilet paper, and stretched out every single pair of underwear I had. I was done, done, done.
I’ve attempted to write my birth story about 80 times. I wrote it twice and I realized I kept forgetting key events that happened that I found important or super funny. Mostly, I thought they were funny and I wanted to share. So here is goes, number 81, and I think this might be the winner.
I always planned to have my first baby in a hospital, but that quickly changed after my husband and I watched the documentary “The Business of Being Born”. Needless to say, even though it was very biased, it opened our eyes to the idea of a home birth. After some prayer and a terrible meeting at my OB’s office, we officially decided that we would go with having our little one at home
We didn’t plan on getting pregnant so quickly, and we were surprised that it didn’t take very long. We knew we wanted kids right away after we got married, but we were leaving it in God’s hands. My pregnancy was really uneventful and freakishly average. I had morning sickness, I was fatigued the entire pregnancy, and my hormones were raging. During my pregnancy I saw and OB once at week 10. I told her I wanted a natural child birth and she did the whole “Oh yeah, uh, no problem.” Then at week 14, I wanted to talk to my OB but they just wanted to pass me off to a doctor who was free that day, who also worked for the practice. When I mentioned home birth the receptionists (who do not have any degree in a medical field what so ever) told me that midwives are not trained as well as an OB and I could not have a home birth and they know so many women who’s babies had died during home birth. Cue hormones. Needless to say, we left and sought out our wonderful midwife Barb.
My experience with my midwife was so much different than my OB. Barb took her time with me. Instead of 5 minute appointments and moody nurses, I had a sweet natured woman who took her time to get to know me. I enjoyed my appointments, and felt so relaxed. I never felt rushed unlike at my OB who would send me off to a nurse, then the nurse would shove a cup in my face and tell me to pee in it. 5 minutes later my OB comes in and asks, “Any questions? No? Good.” As she plants her face into my file to even remember my name. Now I know other women have had amazing experiences with their OB and natural hospital births, so I wondered why mine was so snotty. In other words, we just didn’t mesh well and I craved a different experience than what I was experiencing. OK, enough about that. Let’s get to the good stuff.
Fast forward through pregnancy to 41 weeks, I had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little girl. We had a name, the clothes, and great baby gear, but I had given up hope that the child was ever going to exit my body. 41 weeks to the day I walked down to the front door of our townhouse around 11:50am to grab a package, and I felt a small gush as I coughed and walked back up the stairs. I didn’t think much of it because, let’s get real, gushing during a cough in pregnancy is pretty common. I’m talking about peeing of course. However, I felt another small gush about 3 minutes later. After 3 pairs of underwear in 15 minutes I called my midwife and my husband. Mike brought me lunch and we decided to run to the store really quickly to get snacks and some more food. At this point I’m only having contractions 20 minutes apart at the most and they get as close as 10 minutes. We walk into Jewel and I feel a huge gush, luckily I was close to the bathroom and ta-da! My bloody show. So we hurry through the store and then my husband has a bright idea. “Hunny, I think I need a haircut.” He says. “You need a what? Are you serious? I’m in labor right now, and the next thing on your mind is a haircut?” I basically shouted. “Fine, let’s go get your hair cut, but I’m sitting in the car and not going in with you.” I still wonder what the woman who cut his hair thought when he told her his wife was in labor. In Mike’s defense, the hair place was very close and it only took 6 minutes, and I enjoyed a nice phone conversation while waiting.
My labor had pretty much stalled by the evening. Barb told me to call her when the contractions were more consistent and closer together. Around 4am Saturday morning, I called her when they were about 6 minutes apart. She came by and I was laboring trying to rest. She brought Becky with her, (another midwife) and they waited patiently while I rested. During the day Barb had another labor and Becky left because yet again, my labor had stalled in the afternoon. I labored with contractions 10-20 minutes apart all day, some of which I labored in the birthing tub set up in our bedroom. It was exhausting and I began getting no rest. The early evening came and Becky came back. She recommended that we take a walk or two to get things moving and it definitely worked. They were closer together, finally. I tried to lie down during the evening but the contractions were getting more intense and I began to feel them in my hips the most. I felt like someone had been pulling each side of my pelvis and tugging on them violently.
By Sunday at about 3am, my contractions were about 2-3 minutes a part and so painful. I walked up and down the hallway through each contraction for about 2-3 hours. I remember crying to my husband, that I couldn’t do it anymore. I was so tired. My husband said, “Yes, you can do it. Your body is made for this. You’re almost there babe.” Unlike in the movies where the women just want to yell at their husbands, I wanted mine to hold me and love on me. Finally, around 8am, I felt the urge to push. I got back in the tub and asked my Mike to come in with me. Just having him there next to me is what I really needed. With every muscle in my body I began to push to get that baby out. I went from pushing on the toilet to the tub a few times, going between being on all fours to squatting. I was getting so tired, but I was on an adrenaline high. I needed to get this baby out and she was so close. Mike got in and held me up as I squatted and finally I could feel her moving down and I began to tear, which really put me in a panic. I gave myself a tiny pep talk in my head. “You can do this. If you tear, you tear, just get this baby out.” I leaned back and pushed. I remember hearing Barb tell me to get ready to grab my baby. I pushed the last push and then came sweet relief.
At 11am on May 20th, 2012, after 48 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing, came this beautiful little girl at a whopping 9 pounds 2 ounces and 22 inches long. I was in awe of her beauty and of God’s miracle. This little girl was given to Mike and I, and I felt such a strong love that I never have felt before.
(Tired and happy momma)
*This is purely my experience through home birth and my experience through my OB.