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Today started off as usual. Got the older 6 kids off to school then took Kason to preschool. The day was a typical one with just me and Aidyn at home, me often wondering when, where and how I would go into labor and being glad that I made it past the 37 week mark yesterday. At 1:15pm it was time to head out to get Kason from preschool, I got there at 1:30 and when I got out of the van I felt a gush. I wondered for a second if it was my water or if I wet myself, so I forced out a cough and there was another gush…take a step, another gush…….yep it was my water. I go into the preschool to get Kason and ask one of his teachers for a garbage bag to sit on in my van. Once back out to the van I called the elementary school right next door to check out the 3 kids there and asked for them to bring the kids out to me since my pants were soaked by that time. Ms. Fischer (the principal) brought the kids out along with the sign out sheet and was nervously excited, yelling to anyone she saw: “Her water broke!”. I think she was a little scared I might have her right there in the parking lot lol. It was then I called Rich to let him know what was up and so he could leave work and go grab the 2 kids from the high school and 1 from the Jr. High School.
Once I got back home and changed my pants I started getting the pool ready and called Carolyn (our midwife). She was going to rush over but I told her take her time, not much was happening yet. But after that call I decided to time some contractions and found they were 5 minutes apart. She must have sensed something because she called back and said she was on her way. She arrived around 3 p.m. and Natasha (my friend and photographer) arrived shortly after as did the assistant midwife, Jess. It didn’t take long for us to run out of hot water while filling the pool so they had Rich start boiling pots of water to add to it (which he did for the next 2 hours or so). Carolyn checked my progress to see where I was at and I was 4cm’s dilated. I sent Rich out to the store for diapers for our 2yr old and toilet paper, and Natasha and I went for a short walk but stayed close to the house. It was around 4:15 and I noticed the contractions were a minute and a half apart while up walking around and I told Natasha I bet baby would be here by 6pm. We went back inside and once I sat down the contractions were a steady 2 and a half minutes apart. They didn’t hurt but they were a little bit uncomfortable. It was my oldest daughters 18th birthday and people were calling to wish her happy birthday, there was one call in particular from someone I didn’t want to know I was in labor and I managed to talk to her through a contraction without her having the slightest clue anything was even going on.
I spent most of my time sitting on the birthing ball just watching the kids show off and listen to everyone talking. I also enjoyed reading comments on Facebook and texts from people who were watching the live broadcast. Shortly before 5:30 pm things intensified and I had to put on some headphones and listen to music to tune everyone out. I told Carolyn I was ready for the water and asked her to check me first, I was 7cm’s dilated. I got in the pool and it felt great. In my other labors I leaned back and relaxed in the water, but this time I found leaning over the side on my knees to be most comfortable. The contractions were coming fast now and I started crying and couldn’t stop. But it wasn’t the pain, it was because I realized at that point, this would be the last time I ever got to do this and I just wanted everything to slow down. But Addie had other plans. I felt her shift and told Carolyn that she was about to crown. I then told her I wanted Ashlyn to wait to get in to the water until after Addie’s head was out. I had to vocalize through the next several contractions (and tell Rich to stop talking about cars!!) and it took pushing through 2 contractions to deliver her head. I then changed to a sitting position and Ashlyn got into the pool. While waiting on the next contraction I was asking Ashlyn if she was ready, showing her baby’s head, and reassuring her that Carolyn would help her catch the baby. One push later and Addie was in Ashlyn’s hands as she helped Carolyn bring her up to my chest at 5:52p.m. What a wave of emotions!! I was so excited to see Addie for the first time and was so proud of Ashlyn for catching her baby sister. I even yelled out “Oh my god Ashlyn you did it!!”. Meagan, Dylan and Zachary were also in the room at the time but Nate, Gavin, Kason & Aidyn didn’t care to be. I think it was Dylan who ran up and let them know baby was here and they all came downstairs. She wasn’t even above water for 60 seconds before she started rooting around for the breast.
Carolyn had asked who was going to cut the cord and Meagan quickly called dibs since it was her birthday. We waited awhile for the cord to stop pulsating and then Meagan cut it. She was surprised at how hard it was to do and compared it to trying to chew through rubber with your teeth (no she didn’t chew the cord lol). Daddy got to take Adelynn while I got out of pool and delivered the placenta and got situated in bed. Meagan went upstairs and cooked dinner while Addie nursed for the first time and her other siblings couldn’t get enough of her. After awhile, Carolyn checked her out and weighed/measured her then Rich and Natasha got her diapered and dressed while I ate. Shortly after that, Carolyn headed home and her assistant Jess stayed for a couple hours longer. When she checked on Addie again she was a little on the cold side so we got her clothes back off and had her skin to skin with the heating pad on her back. Her temp was back to normal in no time and she was doing perfect.
It was a truly amazing experience. The first time I ever met Carolyn, she asked me “What do you expect from me as your midwife”. And I told her, “I want a birth experience that has an ‘unassisted’ feel but with you there ready to step in if necessary”, and that’s exactly what I got. She only checked me if I asked, through the whole labor she quietly watched and let me do whatever I needed to do. When things got intense she stayed close but distant, never saying a word. Which is exactly how I wanted it. After she was born Carolyn asked before doing anything. She asked me to let her know when I was ready for the cord to be cut, when I was ready to get out of the water, when I was ready for her to weigh her, etc. No doubt, she was made for this work <3
I’m proud of myself, of my husband and all of my kids. Adelynn was my 9th delivery (2nd home birth) and it really amazes me how far I’ve come from the first. How much I’ve come to trust my body and its ability to do what it was made to do. And I’m glad I was able to share the experience with family and friends live. When I first decided to do that, I thought it would just be a cool thing for them to be able to watch. But afterwards, after reading comments and people even sending me pictures of them and their kids watching, I realized how much of a learning experience it was for many of them. Some told me they decided to pursue a homebirth, others thanked me for showing them and their kids what a peaceful, beautiful experience birth truly is. I’m usually the type that doesn’t even like my picture taken lol, but birth is my passion and I’m so happy that Adelynn’s birth inspired people.