37 week prenatal appointment in our home.
Monday had come and I was 41 weeks plus 2 days pregnant. The boys had spent the night at their grandparents and I was up and off to my NST to monitor the baby at 9:30. It was a pretty day! The sun was out and I was feeling good but somewhat tired, the last few nights had been a tossing and turning contest between my hips and my back.The NST was done and as baby and pregnancy would have it, the stubborness was in full swing so they sent me to get a BPP done at the hospital since baby was napping most of the time they were doing the NST. I grumbled but snagged my bag and headed off, stopping for a sub sandwich..and two chocolate chip cookies of course! I ate a full 6 inches before getting into a room and polished off both cookies while being monitored. How did I still have so much ROOM!? The BPP was perfect and I asked the nurse to check my dilation because I had been stuck at 1cm for 4 weeks due to Little Stinker’s position(and that is probably why this pregnancy went as long as it had also). He was completely posterior for 2 weeks and his head was OP for about 4.She said I was a stretchy 2.5 or a tight 3, “finally some change!” I thought to myself.
I headed to do some walking and a bit of shopping at SAM’s, it was already 2pm when I finally got out of the hospital. I ate that other six inches of sub on the way home around 4pm, don’t judge! Chores had to be done at home before the boys came back so I cleaned and cleaned(I was on a roll! even the bedding got washed and dried) and when Jesse got off work he went and got the boys. I tried waiting for them to get home but I wasn’t so hungry after that sub so I ate an apple with PB and a banana. Jesse gets home “Do you want dinner?” haha.. he gave me an amusing look after I told him what I had munched on. Eli and Jace were both having a hard evening so it was bath and bed for them pretty quickly after supper time.
I was feeling a little crampy around 8ish but had experienced regular and irregular contractions for weeks, it all felt the same, with no pain, so I just did a few exercises for comfort and headed on to bed before Jesse. Sleep was hard to fall into at this stage of pregnancy and I couldn’t find a comfy position so I just settled on my left side like normal and drifted off. I woke when Jesse laid down, and of course had to go to the bathroom! Story of my life! I got back in bed and was frustrated that I couldn’t sleep. 10pm and regular contractions were making it impossible to sleep but I tried ignoring them and just kept laying in bed.
11:30pm came around and there was NO MORE laying for this mama, denial was in full swing. I turned the TV on to a late night show with that dude off of SNL and laid my round self on the couch with a blanket. It sure felt good to be out of bed, laying on the cool couch. A contraction hit me in a wave of heat to my back and had me up off the couch just as if it had caught fire and with my front half on my birth ball and my knees on the floor, I rode it out and thought “boy was that surprising’. The contractions weren’t bad to walk around with or move with so thats what I did, I moved to the ball, to the bathroom, on my hands and knees. Even though I wasn’t able to sit still I didn’t believe anything would come of it because discomfort was low, more of an annoyance. I chatted with a friend of mine on facebook from my phone, it was nice to have the distraction! By 11:40 I was wishing the birth pool had water in it but was hoping not to waste the liner, as we only had one. Poor Jesse had gone to sleep with a nasty headache and I just hated the thought of waking him up after just a couple hours of sleep.
12am, 65 degrees in the house and I am one HOT mama! What was wrong with me? These were hurting and I had just started! The robe was stripped off and boy was that a relief! I went and put my special bra on, the one I had purchased just for this! Leaning on the birth ball felt great but I still was trying to push myself to lay down so I would be rested when active labor hit. Fear trickled in that it would be like Eli’s birth, no sleep all day and then no sleep all night and that was tough. Resting was top priority at this point.
12:30am was easing in and finally convincing me that this was real labor and that I could assume a baby would pop out of me as some point. Bloody show had come and I had never been more happy to see blood and mucus on tissue paper in my life! I woke Jesse up to turn the water heater up so we, and when i say we i mean HE, could fill up the pool later. At this point I was still chatting with my buddy and she asked me if Jesse was excited..it made me chuckle as he had laid back down after turning the heat up. He needed his rest too! Although, I am pretty sure I was in there about 15 minutes after he laid back down, asking him to go ahead and get up because i wanted him. I text my birth attendant and we went back and forth for about 15 minutes and both agreed to wait an hour and check again. As the minutes fell off the clock my contractions grew closer rather rapidly and I text her again “They are staying around 3 minutes apart now and I am shakey with them. I think i would feel better if you were here”. THe robe I had shed earlier was on and off several times because the shakes were coming and going and I couldn’t tell if I was chilled or burning up!
12:54pm Nancy text: “Im headed your way, bless you”. Jesse was busying himself with the tub and I believe he was getting pots ready to boil on the stove. That made me smile because he was remembering things from last time that we had never even mentioned this time yet. 1am rolled in and i laid on Jesse chest and just teared up, it was hurting pretty badly and I was just at the beginning of my labor, that was really stressing me mentally. My body was shaking but I was hot. 1:15am and my body starts clearing itself out in preparation for making room for baby to come though. Contractions waved in and moaning with a slight pushy feeling was pushing me through the peak. The breaks were nice but not nearly long enough. Ahhh the pool was half full and waiting for more water to warm, but I wasn’t waiting! Any little bit should help right?! I sat in the pool and Jesse sat on the couch next to me to see if I was comfortable and if the water helped. “We will have to see once that next contraction comes on”, the wave rolled in and I was still finding it very hard to cope with. Outloud, to Jesse, I questioned myself as Nancy was pulling into the driveway. “Why is this hurting so badly, I’ve just barely started, I really don’t think I am going to be able to cope with this this time. I don’t want to, I just can’t do it” *all while saying these things it reminded me of what is thought and said in transition, a couple of those things I even said with Jace’s birth, but not until I was 8cm*
2am Nancy comes in the door, she is smiling and so happy to be seeing us finally having a baby! Her bags were put down and she came and sat with us to talk for a minute. I laid it on her on how I felt and she assured me that all would be okay, when I wanted to get out of the pool she would check me. After working through another contraction and Nancy pulling a couple more bags out of her car, they helped me dry off and we headed to the bed to check. I knew I would be at around a 5cm. It had only been a couple of hours at the most. Making it no further than the hall and I had to stop and lean to keep from collapsing on the floor in a pile of contraction. Eventually laying down, she checked for dilation. “Honey, you’re going to have a baby”, Nancy said with a big smile and I am not sure I smiled with my “I know” response or not(fairly certain there was no smile) but Jesse giggled a bit and Nancy told me “you are at a 9, maybe even a 10 and super stretchy! No wonder you are having a hard time with these, you were in transition”. Tears of I’m-not-sure-what filled up my eyes and dropped out down my checks, falling into a pool into my ears. Mixed emotion between joy of being completely open, excitement to finally meet our baby, and fear that I would be stuck with a lip of cervix for hours like I was with Eli all flowed in and hit at once. Worries such as these should never be allowed in labor, its too bad they are so naggy sometimes. Talking to God helped push the worry of the unknown away.
2:20am I hit the bathroom again before hopping back into the pool(which was nice and full now) for some more back relief, Nancy goes into the kitchen to boil her instruments and Jesse and I are marveling in the idea that we are about to welcome another little one into our home. A strong contraction hit me as i sat there and as I’m rising and falling over the peak, just over the edge of the peak POW! The water breaks, no, it doesn’t gush into the bowl like you hear in the stories, nope, it shoots out in front of me like a water cannon onto the wall directly in front of the toilet. I screamed in surprise, and loud too! Jesse jumped back and then returned quickly and we both started laughing to where we couldn’t talk, what a funny and much needed break from the strong labor pains. It is so neat how we can laugh in such intense moments. I’ll say, for a spit second there I couldn’t tell what had happened, I had even questioned if I vomited because the force was magnificant! Nancy had told us later that when she heard the scream she thought “her water broke” but then when she heard nothing else she thought she should come and see if baby was out already!
2:30am-ish and it’s back into the pool I go. The warm water feels good and I am zoning out, entering into the birth mind that we get lost in during the last few minutes of laboring. Two contractions in, a shoulder rub, and one “stop rubbing me please” later, our baby is about to crown. The movement past my cervix was swift and good. From opening to rib cage I feel completely full, the pressure is too great to consciously handle and I slipped further into the birthing mind. A pushing contraction comes and it’s go time, nothing can stop my body or baby from doing what it’s doing. Our baby crowns and, with my hand, I feel this wonderfully soft head peek out and then slowly move back into my body in preparation for the next wave. My vocals are in, full volume now as the pain of crowning and the intensity of the push overcomes me. Nancy is able to quiet me for a short time by reminding me to breathe baby out. Baby’s head emerges into the water. Perfectly rounded, silky, smooth( if only I could find a word to discribe what a new babes head feels like in the water–creamy? velvety?). The joy cascades into my heart during my rest between waves as I hold my baby’s head for the first time. Before the next contraction could come, we discover a nuchal cord that we couldn’t get off so Nancy pulled gently to induce another contraction to come sooner. The small head wiggled and warm body rotated in my hands, a fairly easy push and out came a very slippery body! The most beautiful noise of a baby’s first cry came soon after and peace and love covered me like a blanket. Jesse held his body with me as Nancy worked on the cord(which was wrapped around neck and under armpits), I couldn’t stop hugging him tightly and the words “I love you” and “thank you” flowed out of me like a waterfall. He was a BOY, I am surrounded by men now and I couldn’t be happier. He was out at 2:45am, he was healthy, he was perfectly made.
I felt incredible, they stood me up to deliver the placenta outside of the pool and as we were walking over the carpet to the tile it detached and the blood just poured…right. onto. our carpet! We made a run for the tile at that point. Birth is messy, chaotic, and beautiful! About the time of the bloody mess, our birth photographer arrives in the middle of the fun! Things happened too quickly for her to make the birth but she came in like a pro and took the pictures that were left to take, not missing one beat!
Sitting on my kitchen floor, I gazed at our new little man. His cord was in a perfect knot near his tummy.
He was quiet, content, and marvelously pink! Nancy prepped and gave me a shot to keep away too much bleeding from the fast delivery of Owen and placenta. Daddy helped clamp and cut his cord, cleaned my legs, and held his new son for the first time. Jesse was a rockstar in every single way, his calm presence made me feel loved and safe. I’m not sure of all he did behind the scenes when I was busy but I know he was amazing and took care of everything that was needed and wanted. Before I knew it, I was cleaned up and in our comfy bed, nursing my little one for the first time. He takes champion status for his first nursing lasting 15-20min on one side alone! The measuring and weighing happened next and he came in at 9 pounds 2 ounces and 22 inches tall. His head was 14.5 inches. We all snuggled in on the bed and Nancy made some eggs, toast, and a smoothie for me before she left our home.
It was finally time to rest, until the boys woke up anyway! Mama couldn’t sleep, ahh the adrenaline rush. I studied the sweet new face beside me and loved on my sleeping husband. God took care of us and we are blessed.
<<Read “Jessica’s Birth Story of Eli” here>>