The morning of June 8th 2021 I woke up around 7 am to a contraction. I continued to have contractions throughout the day that weren’t super consistent or strong. I let Ray know, and had him blow up the yoga ball just to be prepared for when our baby would come. I had heard that sometimes women have practice contractions for days even weeks, so I wasn’t sure if mine would go anywhere.
I was 39 weeks and 2 days pregnant, and all along I had a feeling this baby would come sooner than our last did at 39 weeks and four days. My prediction along with many others was that the baby was a girl also. We were waiting to find out the gender at birth. For some reason it seems that those last few days of pregnancy you feel like the baby will never come, and then when they do the feeling is unreal to finally meet them.
I sent Ray off to work and told him to make sure he answers if I call since the baby could come. I still didn’t mention anything to my mom who came over to play with our son. Throughout the day I did some cooking and cleaning and tried to nap since I felt super tired despite having a good nights rest that I’d prayed for. Ray came home early, and our chiropractor adjusted us at 6:30 pm.
By 7pm our son was asleep. I ate dinner and took a bath to relax. This is when the contractions really started to pick up and get stronger. Ray was downstairs making some tacos, and I messaged him that I was going to start timing the contractions on an app just to see what it says.
I laid in bed and wanted to be sure that I was having a contraction each time before timing on the app. With my previous pregnancy I never felt like I was having contractions close and strong enough until three hours before he was born when I was already 7cm dilated and in active labor. I asked Ray if I should message my mom to let her know what was going on so she could come over and be here in case it progressed to something overnight. We let her know 2.5 hours before our baby was born.
I got the chills which never happened with my other labor. My body was tired, and I wanted to wear something warm like leggings. But, I also knew the baby couldn’t be born in leggings. So, I found a robe and nursing bra to put on.
I wanted to try to labor in the bath tub to see if it helped me relax, but I just kept feeling this pressure like I needed to poop. That’s when I felt like I knew I must be going to have the baby soon, since I remembered that feeling from my previous labor when I was pretty far along. I was so unsure though since every baby is different.
Ray was still doubtful since he said I could still walk and talk through the contractions. I told him that if we didn’t tell them we might end up bringing our baby into the world just the two of us. I sat on the toilet, but couldn’t get comfortable. So, I ended up on the yoga ball for the majority of my active labor leaning onto the bed. It really helped take some of the pressure off, but at the peak of my contractions there wasn’t much I could find for relief.
Another difference I experienced in labor was the lower back pain. At least I don’t remember having that with my previous labor. Ray went to get a belt from our son’s room since he said his pants were falling off, and ended up waking him up. So, I was just laboring by myself for a bit. At this time we had alerted the photographer, doula, and midwife to head our way. I also told Ray he would need to take over all messages on the phone at this point. This was an hour before our baby was born. Our dog was still inside downstairs, and the door was locked. I would not be able to go down there to let them in and put our dog out to ensure she didn’t bark and keep our son awake. My contractions were too close together and strong at this point. Luckily our son fell back asleep pretty quickly.
That last hour felt so much longer, but I was so grateful to have so much support from my doula, family, and the midwives. Transition was brutal as my contraction didn’t seem to come down from its peak, and my water broke. It’s funny, because that’s the one thing my husband was so concerned about. We just got hardwood floors installed in our room, and he didn’t want fluids to ruin them.
I knew I needed to figure out a position to push in, but didn’t want a water birth. My midwife suggested I try my hands and knees on the bed. I was eager to see or feel the baby’s head for motivation. When I felt the urge to push it was hard for me to see back there. My hands/arms got tired, so I had my husband and doula friend help hold me up along with some pillows. It only took a few contractions and pushes for our baby to be born. The head was about three pushes I believe, then the body. I flipped over to my back to grab the baby and found out she was a girl! We waited to deliver the placenta. After doing skin to skin and cutting the cord I let Ray hold her and went to the restroom. Then, I had a super relaxing herbal sitz bath and went to bed in the comfort of my own home with my baby girl.
Ray was shocked at how quickly and smoothly the whole labor and delivery went. Everyone was gone within three hours of the birth. It was a dream experience that I would change absolutely nothing about. All families deserve to be treated with this kind of respect for the natural birthing process. It has been night and day difference from a natural hospital birth. Healing has been amazing with almost zero pain. We are so blessed to get to have such a redemptive experience with an amazing birth team that allows families to make the decisions that are best for them without unnecessary interventions or pushing their beliefs on them.