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I woke up at exactly 5AM on 3/24 with a pretty strong contraction. Ten minutes later I had another one and by 6AM they were coming 5-7 minutes apart lasting for about 45 seconds. I decided to call one of my midwives (they work as a team of 2) and let them know.
The midwives arrived at my house at 7:30ish and the contractions had started coming about every 3-5 minutes by then, but still not lasting more than 45 seconds and not that intense. We decided to have an internal check done and I was super nervous that they were going to say I wasn’t dilated/effaced yet or something, but I was 5cm dilated and 100% effaced at that point.
Dae and I went for a little walk around the neighborhood to try to get things going more. We walked for about 30 minutes and went back home. I took a shower and then sat and rocked on the birthing ball for a while. By now it was close to 10AM and contractions were coming almost every minute and starting to last for a minute. Everyone felt sure that I was getting really close to the end already.
Around 11AM I had a really major contraction and I remember saying that I needed to push. The midwives were fine with me trusting my body and said for me to go ahead and push if I needed. So, the next few contractions I pushed when I felt the urge. I kept saying that it really intensified the pressure when I pushed and I felt like it should be relieving it more. So, they checked me again and I still had what they thought was just a lip of cervix that was probably getting irritated. They had me lie on my side and just breathe through the next few contractions in hopes of the lip going away and I’d be fully dilated. It was so hard for me to *not* push during those contractions. My body just wanted to push so badly.
After a few contractions I switched positions so that I was standing with one foot on the bed and one on the floor and kind of hanging off of DH. When a contraction would hit I would squat a bit and I had to push. One of the midwives checked me while I was pushing and she felt no more cervix, so again they were fine with me pushing. By about 1230PM we had tried quite a few different positions (all fours, full squat, semi-recline, semi-squat, etc) and nothing seemed to be bringing the baby down further. Also, the midwives were noticing that they could still feel some cervix around the baby’s head in certain positions. We figured out that her head was turned a bit sideways so in certain positions she was getting stuck on my pelvic bones and couldn’t get under. Every time I pushed it was irritating that little piece of cervix that was left and making it get more swollen.
I was getting really frustrated at this point because I felt like I wasn’t doing what I needed to do. My body was pushing on its own and the midwives wanted me to really try to not push for a few contractions. That was really difficult for me. The midwives also started directing me into various positions, which made me a bit nervous because at all my pre-natal appointments they said the only time they would direct me is if they felt there could possibly be an issue and at that point I would really need to listen to them. Also, they tried a few times to manipulate the last piece of cervix over her head and that really hurt. The rest of the labor was just intense pressure, but that manipulation hurt! My water broke around 1PM and it was stained with some light meconium.
Finally, around 2PM one of the midwives was able to get the last piece of cervix over her head and I could feel her move down even more. She finally got her head under my pelvic bone, but her heart rate started to drop into the low 100s/high 90s. I was getting a bit nervous again because of that, but my midwives were so great about getting me to look at them and breathe and listen to their positive thoughts. They did want me to really push with everything I had though because we all felt she definitely needed to come out now just in case. 3 pushes later and she was born! I was squatting and kind of leaning back onto Dae. He was holding a mirror so I could see her being born and I was able to catch her. She came out not only sunny side up (face up) but with her head at a diagonal and her chin pointed straight upwards. It was really strange positioning.
Violet Marie was born at 2:16pm on 3/24, which happens to be my father’s birthday. He died when I was 9, so it’s definitely bittersweet having her born on his birthday. She weighed in at 8lbs, 5oz and measured 19.25 inches. She has a bit of a conehead and head bruising from hitting my pelvic bones so much and because of how her head came out at the end. I had a minor tear (2 stitches).
All in all, it was a great birth. It lasted 9 hours, 16 minutes from first contraction to delivery. I pushed for about 3 hours off and on, which was a lot for me compared to only pushing for about 30 minutes during Lily‘s birth. I felt really sad after the birth because I had been so frustrated during it with wondering why she wasn’t coming down the birth canal, etc. My midwives went over the birth with me though and said that her presentation was really strange and not just a typical sunny side up positioning. They thought I handled the entire labor really well and that made me feel a lot better. We’re pretty sure she twisted at some point during labor since she wasn’t posterior throughout the rest of the pregnancy. I had no back labor or any other signs of her being posterior either. I’m so glad I did it at home and that Dae and the midwives were such great support. I’m also glad that it was a fairly short labor still, especially for a posterior birth and I’m feeling so great about things now!
It sounds like you did great! I completely understand the frustrated feeling! I think because we are choosing home birth we have this idea we have to be so serene and "in-sync" with our bodies. But that's just not the reality! You did great and at the end you gave birth to a beautiful baby girl! And as someone mentioned above me, because you did it at home you were able to achieve a NCB where if you were at the hospital you would have definitely felt pressure to do things you wouldn't have wanted!