June 15th was his estimated due date. I had been seeing both an OB and a midwife for my prenatal care. Monday the 11th was the appt with my OB in the afternoon. So I went to that and got an NST because my fluid level had dropped pretty low a couple weeks prior and I went on bed rest for a week. Everything looked great and since my fluid level wasn’t up to the best level still i consented to have a membrane sweep to see if we could get the ball rolling a bit faster just incase my placenta was aging more quickly then it should. I started the cervical exam at a 2.5 cm and ended at almost a 3 and it felt bad as he was doing it. He stretched the cervix and stripped my membranes. -Note- I got my membranes stripped with Jace at 2 days post due date and had a very smooth, nine hour labor and delivery-
Since this was a Monday and Jesse was at work, I drove out to a park that had a walking track near where my son was being cared for. I was kind of a weird sore up inside that I had not felt before, not even with Jace but i was determined to go ahead and walk so I walked an hour(about a mile and a half). By the time I decided i was done walking and made my way to the Jeep I was struggling to get there. My stomach was tight and my insides were sore and I was feeling off. Ready to see my sweet toddler, I headed to Mammo’s to pick him up and head home.
We arrived home and got dinner set out just in time to see Daddy pulling up in the drive. I sat down to eat, my appetite not completely up like it normally was. Getting up, I mentioned to Jesse that this might be the night because contractions were coming but fairly far apart. They were only uncomfortable right at my cervix. We got Jace cleaned up and into bed and Jesse left to play softball while I sat and watched G. Anatomy on Netflix and welcomed him back home around 10;30pm. I was worried I would be woken up to contractions early in the AM with barely any sleep like I did for Jace’s labor so off to bed I went!
I laid there… and laid there.. Jesse came to bed.. he fell asleep.. and I was still awake. These contractions weren’t going away and the weren’t comfortable enough to sleep through, which is saying a lot because relaxation was a wonderful tool I was able to use and make work well for me. So around midnight I gave in and headed to the bathroom to sit on the toilet, a place I fondly look back on as a wonderfully perfect place to labor. As the morning progressed, bloody show appeared and sky was turning a dark deep blue. Ah the sun was going to come soon. It was very nice to have the window right beside me, facing out to all the stars and the blowing leaves on the trees.
3:20AM I wake my slumbering hubby up to time contractions. “Will you time the contractions babe?” “hmm, yes sure, ok, tell me when to start” “what are you going to time them on?” HA! He had nothing to time them on, obviously still out of it.. it gave us a nice giggle. He crawled to the edge of our king size bed and by this time I was having a rough time talking through the contraction. He timed 3 of them and they were steady at two minutes apart. We made jokes about him not going to work that day and then he busied himself setting up the birth pool in our living room.
I, of course, went back to my resting place… dear old john. I pulled my phone up between contractions and wondered if this was the right time to contact our midwife, so I sent a text to her instead of a phone call. She called me back almost immediately! As I explained the length of time between contractions and how I felt, she decided to have me call back in about an hour but earlier if things changed. We all knew that this baby could and probably would come faster then my son and since that was a short labor she wanted to make sure she would be here in time. We hung up and the next contraction hit me like a brick wall, so I called her back and she said she was headed my way(3:40am).
4:50AM arrived and the sky was a nice lighter blue color and the sun was making an appearance, something I had hoped for for pictures sake. Our midwife(Nancy) had just let herself in the front door and my hubby had the pool set up, and the hot water flowing, and was preparing the bed for if delivery happened in our room. As soon as I was comfortable on the bed, Nancy did a cervical exam and it stung(we are thinking this was due to the sweeping on Monday). I was at a very open 7.5-almost 8cm. At this point I was loosing modesty and when the water was just right I climbed on in with just my sleep/nursing bra, boy I was ready to nurse that baby right when he came out!! Nancy opened her goodies up on the counter and went to boiling some instruments so they would be sanitized for cord clamping and other things.
Laboring in the pool was nice. I was in transition and these contractions were feeling a bit odd considering our baby boy was facing the proper way(I found it very comforting to know that Nancy could feel the position but from the bones on our son’s head). For some reason, unknown at the time, I was having back labor as well with the contractions. The would start low in my pelvic area, pull my uterus tight and then wrap around my lower back like muscles pulling. Definitely a new one for me! Jesse kept that cup filled up with water for me and eventually I was back up out of the water and on the toilet, backwards. Our midwife’s assistant came sometime around 6 or 7am and by that point my body was being pushy.
7:30AM Our son woke up in a beautifully happy mood, we were able to watch him from the pool because Jesse had brought the video monitor in. Jace was meowing like a kitty just sitting on his bed reading a book. He brings me so much joy! We let him out and of course that water was flowing through me so when I got back I labored outside of the tub for a bit with Jace and Jesse.
My body was really starting feel even more pushy at this point to they set up chux pads on the floor and check baby’s heart rate as I laid against my husbands warm chest. He was such a comfort and my strong lean to, he held a cold wet washcloth to my head during contractions. Working through my contractions sitting on the floor, Jace came and sat on my lap just to talk and be close to us as he sipped on his morning milk.
The intensity grew and I knew, unfortunately, that our little guy was going to be too much of a distraction so we called Mammo to come and get him. My hope was to have him stay and see the birth of his baby brother, but on the cervical check i was only at an 8cm and had been stuck there for over an hour. Things weren’t progressing as we had thought they would. Thank goodness she was able to come get him.. the next hours were pretty rough. I will say though that I missed him terribly once he left! He is such a well behaved little person!
This next part gets a little hazy for me, I started getting lost in the pain of that darn back labor but I will do my best to pull together the details.
Our midwifes assistant(Teresa, who was also our Bradley instructor for Jace’s birth), made me a fantastic smoothie because I was having a hard time eating much and I was running out of steam. It had frozen fruit, white grape juice, vanilla greek yogurt, honey, and Vit C, she called it a labor smoothie. It helped give me a boost that’s for sure, it was easier to drink my protein rather then eat it at this point. Contractions came strong and hard, as transition contractions naturally do. I would labor on the toilet and in the pool but not very long in the pool, just enough to take the edge off and then I would hop back out. My sweet hubby would follow me room to room with a cool rag and when I needed him he would stand as still as could be so I could wrap my arms around his shoulders and breathe through the contractions or slow dance with him. Time for another cervical check and I was at a 9. Whew! It felt good to hear the number had changed and my body was opening more. Nancy gave me a dropper of B & B tincture to help my contractions get stronger and closer together because they were rather spaced out and they weren’t lasting as long as they should to really make a difference.
An hour had past quickly and my body was pushing yet again so I asked to get checked. We had walked outside in hopes to push things into motion, and oh what a gorgeous day it had turned into! This day was made perfectly for us, it was warm but not to hot and there was a lovely breeze that made walking tolerable and even pleasant. As we walked and talked about the birth and about random silly things, I kept having to go to the bathroom because of all the water I was taking in. We live on a dirt road, no one was going to see right??? Cows would see but they do it too, so i decided to just let go there in the grass(I hear people do this when they are drinking but that obviously wasn’t the case here). Well what do ya know? A truck decides to drive by about that time, and in all honesty.. I didn’t care what that person thought! I’m sure it was humorous though. Hubby and I laughed and it felt so good! Back to the cervical check, much to my upset I was only dilated to a 9.5. There was a lip of cervix that did not want to melt away. Jesse and I retreated to the bedroom for a little bit of intimate time. We only got a few minutes of nip stim in when we decided to curl up and try to rest. His body was warm against my back, like a heating pad. It helped me to relax and I was actually able to fall asleep in the midst of my transitional stage. At this point the cervix had been stuck at a 9 for a couple of hours and I was getting frustrated and discouraged. Teresa asked me if I was not letting go of something emotionally. She asked if I was scared. These questions I had pushed into already and wondered about myself. I came to the honest conclusion that none of this was the case and asked my main midwife Nancy what she thought. She had been hands off this whole time and let us do what we felt was right. She let me know, once I asked, that my cervix was anterior and that meant that it was pointing the wrong way possibly causing Eli’s head to not be perfectly in place to open it up to the full 10cm. This made sense and explained the back labor, oh my the back labor!! Nancy was peaceful and didn’t seem worried. Comforted by her nature, it helped reassure me that this can happen and it was just something we had to work though. I was given another dose of B&B tincture and sent back outside.
We(Jesse and I) walked out towards the road to grab the diminishing shade. At this point it was past noon and high sun was casting shadows in a different direction then before. Just the walk to the shade had made us perspire. We started our paces from the gravel drive to the fence line of the pasture where I got to see the calves playing. I hoped to see my little one soon. I was losing steam and told Jesse I didn’t know if I could last much longer. I never once thought about the hospital or going there for help, I just thought I would stop working and go lay down in hopes the baby would come on his own. We walked quickly and with a purpose of bringing contractions closer together and with more length. They were so painful and we would walk until my body was forced to stop and then I would lean and wrap my arms around his waist and he would hold me up. I stopped him in the middle of our yard and leaned my head on his broad chest. “I can barely breathe, but can we pray?” (this was not something we do together, he is not a Christian and I am. He isn’t completely in disbelief but he is not a believer either). He said yes. I draped my arms around his shoulders in an attempt to keep myself close to his face and he held me. I cried. I thanked God for the beautiful day and for the blessing that He was giving to us. I asked for a healthy delivery and told him .. pleaded with Him to let us see our son soon. I spilled out to Him about how tired I was and asked for strength to make it though. And then I thanked him for the breezy day. I cried so hard afterwards but it didn’t even last a minute and we were walking back towards the gravel drive. Hit with a contraction that almost knocked me to my knees even with Jesse right there, we made our way quickly back to our home.
Inside now, I had made a trip to the bathroom and upon coming back into the living room another contraction hit and pushed me to my knees, face flat on the floor. The intensity was amazing and I didn’t know how long I could take those. As I worked on recovering from that one, I heard in the background “Praise God, she is close, so beautiful, look at her tail bone pushing up from her back. This baby is on his way down.” Standing up again, I went to the kitchen for some more water and was struck with another that forced me to my face, this time my body pushed hard and every groan that came out of my mouth proved it. I got back up panting and was asked to come over and sit on the chux pads and that it was time if I was ready. Something inside didn’t feel quite ready but I went and sat down and leaned back on Jesse. Nancy checked my cervix and it still wasn’t a 10 but it was a bit swollen. She gently gave me the down low on what she felt needed to happen to get baby down and so it was.
Every contraction that hit, she would reach in and pull the cervix forward while I pushed(or let my body push). During a push the most wonderful thing happened! I felt a bubble sensation and then POP and water came flowing out. I was beyond excited and said silly things like “Oh my gosh! That was my WATER!! Was that my water?!?!” It really doesn’t matter how much of a struggle you are in during labor because contractions to have rest periods in between and that gives you a place to laugh and loosen up for the next one. The sitting position I was in wasn’t helping so I moved to hands and knees. After my water broke the contractions were harder then ever and my body was pushing full force. Nancy was still pulling the cervix into position during contractions. At a certain point I exclaimed “My butt hole is falling out!!”, it really did feel like it was and then she confirmed it. Haha! Nancy said “It is sweetie but don’t worry, its normal. I’m just putting a warm wash cloth on it”. (Later I find out that I was pooping a bit and that’s why it felt like my “butt hole was falling out”). Continuing on…
This mama completely lost all reality at this point. It really is true what they say about being in your own birthing world when it gets real. I was able to hear sounds but had a very fuzzy idea of what they were or what was being said. One contraction came and Nancy removed her fingers and it felt like Eli’s head fell straight down out of the cervix during that one contraction, like it just broke through. The pressure was overwhelming and it literally felt like a hard bowling ball had dropped onto my bones. Someone had suggested for me to roll into a sitting position(I suppose for catching purposes). There was absolutely no way I was moving! My whole body was pushing down, I was lost in my birthing mind and I didn’t even have a clue where my husband was or what he was doing(although he was right by me the entire time). Seemed there was no breaks between pushing at this point and his head was coming out. Holding my self up with one arm, I reached between my legs as a complete instinct and pushed and supported the top of my vagina towards my bottom because that’s what felt like needed to happen. I felt his head immerging between my pointer and middle finger as it opened me up. Jesse’s hand reached towards mine and he asked what I was doing. I think I said “I don’t know” but I did know..or at least something knew. My hand moved and cupped his head, I was guiding my son out into the world all while pushing ferociously and roaring something along the lines of “Oh my God, Please! I want to meet him! Please!!” His shoulders came out and then all the need to push vanished completely! And I heard a sweet short cry..more like a hello. He took his first breath, still halfway part of me. Nancy advised me to go ahead and give a push, I told her there was no contraction but she said that was fine and to just go ahead and push so I did. Out Eli came, the relief my body felt at that moment was insane and took my breath completely out of me. I was panting to catch my breath.
She pushed Eli between my legs and up to me and then they helped me get into a sitting position and I just collapsed against Jesse. I wept with joy, holding our new baby. I rubbed his back and he was turning pink but was so quiet. I wondered if that was okay because those babies are always squealing at the hospital once they are born. His head was shaped so nicely and he had his daddy’s nose! But what is this? Black hair?! That was a fun surprise, since our first had blondish red hair 🙂 Every time I moved a bit I could feel his life line still attached to me. I sunk into my husband’s body and looked up to kiss him, his face.. his smell.. his breathing was just gorgeous, warm, loving. We reached down together and felt Eli’s cord pulsing, pushing the last of his blood to his body, indescribable. Finally it was time to cut the cord and clamp it. During all of this I was drinking a huge jar of Shephards Purse tea(helps with bleeding and other things), and probably sweating it out just as quickly as I was putting it in.
After I delivered the placenta and we made sure I wasn’t bleeding too badly(I hemorrhaged at the hospital with Jace), they helped me to our bedroom and onto our bed. Eli went straight to my breast nursed skin to skin while Nancy climbed up on the bed and measured his head circumference.
Everything was done on our bed. She weighed him and measured his length, check his heart rate and hung him upside down(for back alignment reasons of course, he didn’t like that part!).
He was handed straight back to me to nurse and cuddle before diapering. Nancy checked my vitals and made sure we were comfortable. they cleaned up the mess(which she said was minimal), did some laundry and dished, and oddly enough..cleaned the top of our stove just because it was dirty.. ha oops! Then they left about 3 hours after the birth. I will totally admit that that made me nervous for myself(because of my bleeding history) and for my son for obvious reasons. But everything went well, bleeding was very light and Eli was totally healthy! He was born at 2:36pm and was 8lbs14oz 22in tall. 14.5in head. His brother got to meet him later that evening and loved on him and made his face wet with kisses.
Milk Drunk for fun
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