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Looking back on Friday night I think I definitely knew on a subconcious level that something was up. I had worked until 7:30 the night before and then gotten up and gone to work at 7:15 Friday morning so my house was a little chaotic. After dinner I told Dh that I needed to do the dishes, sweep and mop the living room and kitchen, vacuum, and fold the load of laundry I had done and then I could go to bed. For the last week I had been having consistent contractions throughout the evening but they would always go away once I soaked in the bath tub, that night they didn't so I decided to shave 'just in case' (because who wants to go into labor with stubby leg hair lol) although I really didn't think anything would come of them. I decided to go to bed and I would see how things were going in the morning.
On Saturday morning I woke up at 6:00 am to a gush and a contraction. I was pretty confident that it wasn't my water breaking but got up to change my underwear and then laid back down. During the next 30 minutes I had 3 more contractions that were pretty hard so I decided to get up and get my morning chores done to see if they stopped. I got up, fed the animals, and emptied the dishwasher. During that 30 minutes I had about 5 more contractions, and when I went to the bathroom I noticed a lot of pink tinged mucous. That was the first time I thought I might want to call the midwives. I told Dh I thought this might be it, he said to wake him up if they said it was real lol.
My midwives two assistants got there at about 8:00 and sat with me through some contractions while we waited for my midwife. I was still able to talk through them at this point and wasn't quite convinced I was really in labor. The assistants just laughed at me. When my midwife got there she checked me and announced I was 5cm dilated, this was really it and I should probably wake up Dh!
During the next few hours we sat around the kitchen and talked, I gradually stopped being able to sit through the contractions and would lean over the counter tops and sway my hips to help me deal with them. My midwife's friend brought us all McDonalds for breakfast and I think it was the best McGriddle I had ever had. My midwives and I mostly sat around and talked during this time while Dh and one of the assistants got the birth supplies laid out and filled up the tub. *Note-if you ever choose to have a home water birth make sure your Dh follows the directions. It tooks us an extra hour because Dh forgot to fill the bottom first and he forgot to put on the liner before he filled it up so my line was crooked and it bugged me during labor lol.
At about 11:30 I got into the tub to hopefully feel some relief. My midwife checked me at my request before I got in and I was about 8-9cm dilated at that point. She suggested I squat during contractions to bring him lower and help me dilate faster. I decided to try and rest for a few contractions first to build up strength.
Now let me take a moment here to say normally I LOVE water, that's why I wanted a water birth in the first place. I have always gone to the tub when I was cramping and stuff to relieve the pain and was hopeful it would help during labor. I am glad I was able to let go of that because it DIDN'T!
I really, really liked the water between contractions, but absolutely hated it during contractions. During contractions I had to stand up and sway my hips to help get myself through it. My midwife also applied pressure to my lower back and hips during contractions to help me out. It wasn't long before I was feeling pressure and she told me I could give 'practice pushes' and squat to help bring him down and get myself fully dilated if I wanted. I could do it for one contraction, but then I had to walk through about 4 more contractions before I could do it again. That stuff hurt!
It was at this point that I think I started to lose it. I always thought transition was a fast part of labor, but for me it wasn't at all. I remember my midwife kept telling me I was in transition for what seemed like hours. Throughout this time I kept going farther and farther into myself. During contractions I would close my eyes, breath, and pray. I also made a lot of primal noises if that makes sense. I don't know where they came from but they were loud. Dh was in and out of the room helping with Dd and then coming to check on me. Eventually after Dd woke up from her nap I must have screamed loud because she ran into the room wondering what was wrong with me. I remember apologizing to Dh and asking him to go stay with her so she wouldn't be scared. He later said he was grateful because he felt useless just watching me be in pain and felt like he was making it easier for me to concentrate on the labor knowing Dd was taken care of.
After he went out with Dd I decided to try and really focus on the pushing. My midwife suggested I try to lay on my side during a contraction but it was awful, it was seriously the worst pain I had ever felt. I got back in the tub and tried squating some but just couldn't handle that. I think at this point I said something along the lines of "All those women who say pushing feels good or is a relief can go suck balls because it doesn't!" It turns out I just hadn't found the right pushing position for me yet.
I then got out of the tub again and got on all fours, while pushing like this pushing did feel better, by no means did it feel good, but it was more tolerable. I was having a hard time focusing on it though because everyone was watching. I just wanted to be alone. It seemed like I was only doing this for about 5 minutes but in reality I was on all fours for about 30-45 minutes according to the timeline my midwives assistant wrote down. I was finally able to get the courage up to tell them I needed to be alone.
The entire time since I got in the tub my midwife had been telling me my brain was all that was in the way of getting him out. I had to choose to push through the pain and get him out. But I was scared of the pain and didn't like having all eyes on me. I knew if I could just be alone for awhile I could work through it though.
I ended up going into the bathroom and closing the door. I walked around the bathroom for a few contractions, closing my eyes during the contraction and opening them in between. I remember thinking it was crazy how bright everything looked right after a contraction. At one point I sat on the toilet to see if it would help and felt down and realized I could feel his head. I scared myself and jumped up lol. Through about two more contractions I had to talk to myself to convince myself that it was okay and I could have this baby. I sat back on the toilet just to see if I felt his head again but it was too late, the pressure got crazy and I knew he was coming. I yelled to my midwife that he was coming and all three of them rushed in, she coached me push slowly so I wouldn't tear and helped me to stand up after his head was born. Two more pushes and he was out. They handed him to me and helped me waddle back to the bed. I remember looking at my bathroom and it looked like a murder scene!
I delivered my placenta and they put it into a gallon size bag to allow us to wait to cut it, then Dh and Dd got to come in. Dd got to see him laying there all gunky while my midwife checked me out (no tears, just a small skidmark on my labia) and clean me up. It was at this point when Dd was talking to him that we finally revealed his name. I told Dd to say hi to Atlas, and asked if she was excited to meet him. She was so cute with him!
After that my midwives really left us alone. They cleaned up and made me a sandwich, gave me some herbs to help with the after pains, and left us to bond for awhile. It wasn't until two hours later or so that we finally cut his cord (Dd cut it with Dh's help) and did his newborn exam. At 38 weeks 5 days gestation he was 7lbs 12oz, 20 inches long, with a 14" head and 14" chest. He is healthy and breastfeeding like a champ.
That's about it, please excuse any spelling and grammar errors. I am exhausted typing this. I will go back and review this story in a few weeks to see if I missed anything lol.
Great birth story! Seems like you powered your way through it even trying to find good positions. I only had one birth where pushing felt good, one out of three. The other two totally sucked! Lol Probably a lot more common for it to suck. Congratulations on your baby boy! Love the pictures!
Oh I'm so excited to see that you posted this story! I was so anxious for any of the home birth mamas to go into labor so I could read the stories!
Your birth sounds great! I'm glad that it all turned out well, sorry about the water not being helpful.. I'm sort of the opposite, I'm going to set up the tub (I think) and I have no idea if I'll use it cause water doesn't usually help me relax much...guess we shall see.
Congrats on your baby boy! Love his name!
Great story! I was also excited to read a home birth story, and am so glad all went well. He's adorable and DD looks happy to have a little brother. Congrats on your healthy baby and successful home birth. Atlas is a great name!
Slmehaffey- I was so dead set on a water birth, but in the end I have no regrets. I am glad I found it within myself to feel comfortable enough to do what felt right in the moment instead of staying in the water because it is what I had always imagined. I say set it up and go for what feels good in the moment, you never know!