In order to understand my journey to birth naturally after two prior c-sections, you have to learn where I've been. You can read about the unnecessary cesarean births of my two older children here.I awoke about 1am on the morning of October 11th with some mild contractions. I could tell these were the real deal because they started at the front and wrapped all the way to the back of my body, and they also did not subside with movement or position change. The contractions were pretty tolerable and irregular so I did my best to sleep through them. I knew that if the baby would be coming in a day or so, the best thing I could do is rest. I woke up that morning around 730 and made my kids waffles for breakfast. I had a few instances where I would have to breathe through a contraction, but they still weren't picking up in frequency or intensity. My mom was here, and I tried to hide it from her because I really didn't want the pressure of a whole lot of people knowing that I could be in labor. I actually didn't tell anyone, even a text message to my closest friends until after the baby was born.
I texted my midwife Sarah to let her know what was going on. She told me to make sure I was eating, drinking, and resting. I took a two hour nap after breakfast. Throughout the rest of the day and afternoon, the contractions had pretty much subsided. I figured I probably still had a few days or so before the baby would make her appearance. I took another nice nap in the afternoon.
About 430 p.m. I lost my mucus plug. I knew that didn't necessarily mean that full-blown labor was imminent, but I couldn't help but be a little bit excited. I made dinner for my family and went about my normal routine.
. We put the kids to bed around 8, and I settled down to watch Netflix while Jeff worked on his homework. By this time, my contractions were about a minute or so long and about 10 minutes apart. They were much more intense, but I was still coping well and tried to sleep between them. We planned to stay home to labor before heading to the birth center. I was keeping Sarah up to date with frequent texts.
By 11pm, the contractions had grown closer together and more intense. I could no longer sleep between them because laying down was absolute agony. The most comforting thing was leaning over and surrendering all my weight on a large exercise ball. I took long deep breaths in through my nose, and then let each breath out slowly through my mouth. The contractions grew more intense still, and I decided to take a shower. The hot water felt so comforting as it trickled over my body. Since the contractions seemed much closer together, I woke Jeff up so he could help me time them. FYI he wasn't being a bum and abandoning me in my time of need. I hadn't awakened him because I was coping well by myself, and I also felt the need to be alone. By now it was about 1am, and my contractions were really intense and 5 minutes or less apart. I decided that I wanted to head to the birth center since it was about a 40 minute drive. I texted Sarah to let her know that we were headed that way so that she and her supervising midwife Emily could meet us there.
Lynsey wanted to be at the birth so we woke her up to let her know it was time to leave. I was really surprised at how alert she was for waking up in the middle of the night. She was so bubbly and chatty, but I'm sure it was because she was so excited. Jackson did not wish to go to the birth so he stayed home with my mom.
The car ride was horrible. It was the longest 40 minutes of my life. It was during this drive that I really regretted that we weren't having a home birth. Unfortunately, I did not want to commit to that because I was unsure if the movers would bring our stuff in time for our house to be set up. At one point during the height of a contraction, I demanded that Jeff run a stop sign. This is Mr. Law Abiding Citizen, and I could see the look of horror on his face when I said that. I blurted out, "It's 2 in the morning! No one is around!" So he honored my request and broke the law.
We finally arrived at the birth center, and the birth assistant Sterling took my vitals. Sarah asked me if I wanted to have my cervix checked. I was really conflicted about this. On one hand, I was really curious to see how far along I was, but on the other I was scared that I would be disappointed if I wasn't as far along as I thought I was, especially after dealing with such intense contractions. Emily and Sarah said it was my choice. They could check me and just not tell me how far along I was or I could just commit to not being disappointed if it wasn't what I expected. I decided to go ahead and let them check. I could tell by the look on their faces that it was favorable news so I wanted to know. They told me I was already dilated to 7cm! I couldn't believe I was that far along already. It was exciting to think that I could have the baby fairly soon. I mentioned that I may want to get in the shower, and Sarah told me that I was far enough along to labor in the birthing tub if I wanted.
The warm water of the tub was so soothing. I can definitely see why it is referred to as the midwife's epidural. The room was so calm and was dimly lit with candles. I continued breathing through each contraction. Soon, the room was more illuminated as the sun started to peek over the horizon.
|Trying to relax through a contraction|
|Letting the contraction do its job|
|In the zone as I work hard to bring baby earthside|
|Lynsey and Jeff waiting patiently for the baby to emerge|
Emmalyn Faith arrived at 3:40 pm on Sunday, October 12th. 8lbs 2oz and 19in long.
|Hello, sweet baby!|
|"I actually did it!"|
|It was love at first sight|