When baby girl’s due date came and went I was really upset. I was getting very uncomfortable and was confused as to why I would have WEEKS of contractions and she still not be here. On Saturday the 12th, I started having very regular contractions and by the middle of the night they were painful enough that I had to get up out of bed. I went downstairs and sat on the birth ball and timed the contractions. They were about 3-5 minutes apart and 45-60 seconds long. I KNEW this was it! I called Suzanne and told her we probably had a long time (judging from Chloe’s 21 hour birth), but that things were starting. Suzanne, having about a 45 minute drive, decided to come to the house and said that if things took a long time she would just sleep on the couch and if we still had a long time in the morning she would just go shopping – ha! She got to the house and put the tens unit on me and told me to go see if I could rest. I went back up to bed and the contractions completely STOPPED. By morning I was extremely discouraged and feeling like this child was never coming!
The next few days brought more contractions, but nothing to “write home about”. After the false alarm on Saturday night I decided I was not making a big deal of anything until I knew for sure that I was in labor. So, in other words, until I couldn’t really function through contractions. Suzanne told me from the beginning that she thought my labor would be fast and to not “wait too long” to let her know things were happening, but I never believed her that it would be fast since my labor with Chloe was so long and at this point I definitely wasn’t calling in anymore false alarms!
On Tuesday November 15th, Chloe and I went about our day just like any other. It was gorgeous outside so we spent a lot of time outside. I of course was having contractions all day, but didn’t pay any attention to them. I lost my mucous plug about 3:00 that day and was SO excited because I felt like at least I knew my body was making progress in some ways and Lydia might really actually come!
The next order of events will probably be best told by a timeline. So here goes:
5:00pm: Justin called to say he was on his way home and asked if there was anything I wanted him to pick up for dinner. I told him I really wanted steak and mashed potatoes.
6:00pm: Justin got home and started dinner. Around that same time I began to notice that contractions were getting a little harder, but I still didn’t pay much attention to them.
6:30pm: My contractions were starting to get very uncomfortable and so I decided to time them. Justin was just finishing up dinner and sat down to eat. I told him I wasn’t going to be able to eat as my contractions were getting too hard and I needed to focus through them. I quit timing them about 20 minutes into it because they were getting too intense and I didn’t want to mess with it anymore. As the contractions came I leaned over whatever was close (the couch, bathroom sink, stair railing, etc), rocked my hips and breathed through them. They still weren’t completely unbearable, but they weren’t easy either. I called my mom to let her know that I would probably need Chloe to come over there at some point that night since I thought I was probably in labor now. During the conversation I had to put the phone down to get through one of my contractions. My littlest sister was leaving for volleyball practice and had told my mom to call if she needed to come home. I informed my mom that there was no way we would have a baby by 10pm when Kailey would be home from practice so not to worry about calling her.
7:00pm: I texted our midwife, Suzanne, to let her know that she should probably come to the house since contractions were getting longer, stronger, and closer together; although I thought we still had a lot of time left. She told me to have Justin get the birth tub set up and other supplies out. I also called the birth photographer as well as my friend Andrea who I had asked to be at the birth. As Justin finished eating his dinner he got everything set up.
7:30pm: During labor I need it extremely quiet and at this point Chloe was really starting to get on my nerves so I had my sister take her over to my mom’s house. Once she left I was able to really start focusing on breathing through my contractions and relaxing.
7:45pm: The birth assistant, Nicole, showed up at the house. At this point my contractions were becoming very uncomfortable and I was starting to have a hard time really relaxing. Nicole did counter pressure on my back and it felt SO good!
8:00pm: Suzanne got to the house and made sure everything was set up and ready to go. I had a few contractions and then she suggested I sit on the toilet and she would press on my knees to try to move baby down and see where we were at. I had about 5 contractions on the toilet and they HURT. I was really beginning to think that if this lasted much longer I was not going to be able to do it.
8:30pm: Suzanne could see that I was struggling and so asked if I wanted to get in the water. I thought that sounded great and we moved into the bedroom and I got into the tub. As I got back into the bedroom, I saw that our doula, Kay had arrived. I *very* vaguely remember telling her hello as I was kind of just “in the zone” at that point. As I was squatting down into the water I had an enormous amount of pressure and yelled “I’m pushing!!” and then my water burst. OH RELIEF!! I had about 2 more contractions and then the intense pressure returned. I really was pushing at this point! Suzanne told me to reach down and feel for the baby’s head, but I was so comfortable in the position I was in and did not want to move. I told her I couldn’t do it and that I really didn’t think we were that close anyway. I had one more contraction that I pushed through and she really urged me to feel for the baby’s head in order to help guide her out. I really was not convinced that the baby was coming yet, but felt for her anyway and I felt her head!! I could not believe she was almost here! I was seriously in shock that I was that far along.
8:49pm: I had a couple more contractions and she was HERE!! The pushing part of labor was SO much different this time. With Chloe I was on my back with people telling me when and how to push. This time my body just took over and did it. Seriously. It was somewhat of an out of body experience for me this time. With Chloe I also don’t remember feeling the “ring of fire” that everyone talks about. This time, I definitely felt it! Luckily, baby girl was quick to relieve me of that feeling. She made her entrance first into the water and then into my arms. It was so amazing! Her cord was very short so I wasn’t able to bring her all the way to my chest, but I held her lower in the water and we just gazed at each other. She was so content and alert and barely cried. When Justin came over to meet her he spoke and she immediately turned her head to his voice as if to say, “I hear my daddy!”. It was so sweet.
Miss Lydia Hope was here and we could not have been more excited and in love!!!
The birth was so fast that my mom, my sister (who was sitting on our living room couch), Andrea, and the birth photographer all missed it. I can’t believe how in denial I was the whole time that I was actually in labor and things were progressing. I guess my nonchalant attitude threw everyone off. Luckily our midwife has done this a time or two and knew to get to our house quickly!
Not long after Lydia made her entrance my dad brought Chloe over to meet her new baby sister. They rushed over so quickly that Chloe still had pudding on her face from a snack she was eating at my parent’s house. Haha! Chloe was very unsure about the whole thing and had quite the little meltdown. Her sister didn’t look like her and was bald and she was “so disappointed!!” LOL! I just had to laugh. Chloe slowly came around to her new sister and now loves her very much, although she still thinks she’s boring!
The whole experience was so incredible and having her at home was one of the best decisions we could have made! It was so peaceful and beautiful. I am so grateful to have the amazing midwife I do and felt so safe and well taken care of in her hands.
We waited so long for Lydia and she did not disappoint!! ;)
I will do a post about our time after the birth and of pictures soon!
Oh! And just for the record, I *did* get my steak and mashed potatoes that night and even better: my sister fed them to me! ;)
You can read about our first moments together and a big reason why I chose home birth here: http://lovejoyandlaughter.blogspot.com/2012/02/our-first-moments-together.html