The Birth of Our Son

Guess what? We have a new baby! (and my hubby got my laptop to *sort of* work lol).

Monday, April 27th, labor started around 3am-ish. I stayed in bed for as long as I could, then got up and told my hubby we should probably blow up the birthing pool. Ms Piggy woke up, too, and decided to help daddy.

Around 6am I called the midwife and we decided to see how things progressed before she came over. My contractions weren’t coming any closer together, though they were fairly intense. Ms Piggy enjoyed helping the contractions along by nursing, as she said “I’m helping our baby get out of your tummy!”

Contractions were pretty inconsistent, sometimes they would be 2 minutes apart for a good 60 seconds, then they’d disappear altogether for 20 minutes. The midwife and her assistant came to the house around 10 (all times are approximate, I never really looked at the clock). Things kept stalling, so the midwives and I went for a walk around the neighborhood to try to kick things into gear.

No luck. After walking two miles (and having at least ten contractions), things stalled out again as soon as we quit walking. So they had me go up and down the stairs ad nauseum while the hubby took the girls to a park right down the road so I could focus on labor.

Still no luck. At one point, while I was at the bottom of the stairs, I sort of disappeared. I went into the family room, sat in the middle of the floor in a lotus position and just prayed. I was feeling almost the lowest I’ve ever felt. My body wasn’t working the way it had before. By this point, I’d been in labor almost as long as I had with Ms Action (a surprisingly short – for a first labor – ten hours). I massaged my belly, struggled to find my center  and calm, and started talking to baby. I reminded him we needed to work together, that I couldn’t force this on my own, that we were a team.

I felt a lot better after that. I went back up the stairs (to questions of where I’d disappeared to) and shortly after the midwives went for lunch and I managed to do something I’ve never done while in labor – I ate. Most amazingly, considering all the morning sickness I’ve suffered, I kept it down.

After the midwives got back, we re-evaluated. Since nothing seemed to be happening, the midwives left and told me to call if anything changed. I sent the hubby out for McDonald’s (horrible food, I know, but McD’s makes me think of my grandma and I needed comfort just then) and the girls and I watched some Veggie Tales and had dinner. And I had zero contractions.

We did bedtime as usual. Ms Piggy’s nursing brought on a couple uncomfortable contractions, but nothing started back up. I read to Ms Action and tucked her in, then watched some shows on Netflix.

Then I went to sleep sometime around 10-10:30. By 11:30 I was awake with very painful contractions. Within an hour I had to vocalize to get through them. And somehow, I thought it wasn’t labor, just another case of really horrible diarrhea. Another hour passed and I could no longer stay in bed and try to fall asleep between contractions. By 1:30 I finally acknowledged it was labor, but didn’t call the midwife yet for fear that as soon as I did, I would stall out again. I didn’t wake the hubby for  the same reason. I’d felt like the proverbial “watched pot that never boils” earlier and, despite the horrible hip pains, found it rather peaceful to be doing it all on my own, with just the Baby for company. I did promise myself I’d call the midwife at 2 if I had x-amount of contractions. I had them, and then some, but kind of lost track of time.

All of a sudden, I just couldn’t handle it anymore. It was 2:30-2:40 and I *finally* called the midwife. I was on the phone with her for just a couple minutes but managed to have two contractions.From there I woke my hubby and told him he needed to fill the pool ASAP. I went back to bed then because Ms Piggy was stirring. I tried to calm her and get her back to sleep, but another contraction hit and that woke her fully. She thought it was morning because lights were on. Then she was excited when I told her that no, it wasn’t, but the baby was coming. She decided helping daddy fill the pool was more exciting than helping mommy have contractions and ran off.

I trailed behind and stood in the kitchen, watching them fill the pool and feeling more and more pressure on my perineum. Then my water broke and I knew, if I didn’t get horizontal, the baby was going to just fall out. I yelled (at least, it felt like yelling) to hubby to get some chux pads onto the couch and help me get over there. I kept asking him if he saw the head yet.

I laid there on the couch, fighting the urge to push because  – dammit – I wanted to get into the as-yet-not-completely filled pool. And, the midwife was still twenty minutes away. But, Baby had his own plan and there was no keeping him in. As I was pushing, I felt the dreaded “ring of fire” and remembered something I’d read a few days earlier – don’t push through that feeling, because it’s your body telling you it’s not.quite.ready for baby to come through. I think that was one of my loudest vocalizations – fighting the urge to push. But, I successfully resisted, then the baby just glided out. Ms Action was standing there and hubby pointed and said, “Look, it’s the baby’s head!” Ms Action asked me, “Is that my baby?” I moaned out a yes, then had the strangest sensation as the baby’s body just slid out of me. I don’t know how to describe the feeling apart from it sort of felt like he “blobbed” out. It was 2:57am on April 28th, 24 hours after labor had officially started.

And, naturally, he didn’t seem to be breathing (which in retrospect wasn’t actually a huge deal. He was still attached to the placenta, which was attached to me, and still providing everything he needed – including oxygen. Duh! But in the moment, that ability to remember sort of flew out the window). I pulled him up to me and suctioned his mouth and nose with my own mouth, then my hubby, who was on the phone with the midwife, said to turn him upside down and rub his back, as per the midwife’s instructions. I laid him against my chest upside down and rubbed his back and all that combined helped him start breathing.

A few minutes – that felt a lot longer than it was – and I birthed the placenta. Hubby had the fun job of putting it into the bowl we’d set aside for it.

The midwife arrived and checked us both over and we were both doing great. Remember that thing I said about not pushing through the “ring of fire”? Yeah, it worked. For the first time, I didn’t have to get stitches!

Hubby had woken Ms Action by now so she could meet her new baby brother. Both girls were so incredibly excited and bonded immediately with him.

He’s been nursing like a champ and four days later is back up to birth weight. He and Ms Piggy have had several tandem sessions and both big sisters are incredibly proud of their little brother and love him to bits. I’m healing amazingly well (no stitches really does speed things up) and *hopefully* we’ll be able to find our new normal soon.

The unplanned unassisted birth was one of the most empowering and amazing experiences of my life. Baby and I worked together to get him earthside, and it was incredible!


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