The evening of February 4th I had a feeling so I took the password lock off of my phone so that my doula and my husband could have full access to be able to message the midwife. I took a nice soak in the bathtub around 9:50 pm. I also decided to call the person who is not only one of my best friends but the person who would care for our four year old (my step daughter. I only state this for reference of this being my first birth) to let her know that tonight might be the night. After my bath I began telling my husband, Gabe, that I thought we should get in bed and try and get as much sleep as possible. When I realized this is how I was talking I knew that tonight was the night.
I woke up around 1:30 a.m. and could no longer sleep through the contractions. I spent the next hour on my knees leaning on my medicine ball, little did I know that would be my only comfortable position for the next 4 hours. Gabe gave me great support with pressure on my back to counteract all the pain. This whole time I was so happy that I did not have to get in a car and go to a hospital!! Around 2:30 I decided to call my midwife, Ashley, to let her know that this was the real deal. And then called my doula, Elise, and she headed our way!
She arrived around 3 a.m. and was an exceptional addition of help and support! Elise had all the right tools and expressed an overwhelming amount of love and dedication to helping me through this. Being that this was my husband and my first time to experience birth we both were a little unsure an unclear of how to handle things, but Elise led the way beautifully! I passed my phone off to her to communicate with my midwife and from there on the hours were and blur. There are a few things I do remember. Elise asked for a bowl of water and my husband replied “just an ordinary bowl?” And I instantly had to listen to Vanessa Carlton’s “Ordinary Day”, a song that would feel so much more powerful than I had imagined. The only position that my body seemed to like was on my knees bent over on all fours and any time I even tried to move to another position my body would throw me into another contraction. On one of my breaks I recall looking Elise square in the eye and saying "They need to make legs with holes in them so your belly fits.” This was while I was trying to relax bent over on my knees. Elise and Gabe took turns putting counter pressure on my back which of course put extreme pressure on my knees, but I did not care about the pain on my knees as much as how my body felt going through contractions in that position so I remained there until 5:30 a.m. When I asked if I could get in a warm bath I was of course encouraged to do so.
Once my body hit the water I think it immediately knew that it needed to transition. Within 30 or 40 minutes I knew I had to start pushing. So now it's 6 a.m. and I'm pushing and you're probably wondering “where's her midwife…”. Funny story, there was a bit of a communication mishap. Elise, throughout my labor, texted in my voice... as if she were me. So my midwife was a little confused as to how I was texting her in full sentences but having the contraction patterns that I was having. It made no sense to Ashley how I could text to her that way and have the contractions that she was seeing on the screenshots. So she did not think I was as far into labor as I actually was.
Ashley arrived around 6:45 a.m. and got an amazing heart tone on my baby right away! She took a few of my vitals and then coached me through birthing my baby. I screamed a lot. Like a lot a lot… and somehow our younger one slept through it all! Some key phrases I loved to scream… “there is a baby coming out my vagina!!!!”, “ Ring of fire! Ring of fire!”. Ashley told me not to be afraid of it and to push through it! So instead of taking the most massive painful poop of my life, which it felt like I was doing, a head popped out! Wow! One more contraction and we had a baby by 7:08 a.m.! I had chosen not to find out the gender so the very first thing I did as soon as she was in my arms was take a peek and we had a girl!
I am so lucky to have had what I would consider a fairly easy 9 hour labor. I progressed beautifully with two people who I deeply trust and love. I also attribute my complication free labor to being in my comfort zone, not being watched by strangers, and lack of intervention. I felt safe enough to be physically taken care of and watched while I mentally and emotionally traveled the journey to get my baby. Pictured is my favorite photo taken by my friend who was gonna take care of our 4 year old… my first reaction to Ember, my midwife giving us exceptional care, and My husband and doula giving each other a high five! I'm so in love with my daughter!! I'm so happy to be home for this critical time of recovery. My own bed in by own things naked and exposed as I want to be. Just figuring this mom thing out.
Thankyou to Maghan for sharing your amazing birth story with us!