On July 11th, I was woken up at about 3:30am. I wasn't sure why, figured I probably just had to use the bathroom - such is life at 40 weeks 6 days. I felt a little hungry so I went to the fridge and grabbed some grapes. Then I felt a contraction. I have had them a few times for hours and then they all went away so I figured I would play the wait and see game a while. I tried to lay down but wasn't comfortable. So I sat on the birth ball and DH woke up so we watch some episodes of a DVD together. I decided I would walk for a few minutes and felt one with a bit of pressure. I knew if I felt that again that I would page my midwife. It happened that my primary midwife was off-call that day. I also had a student midwife involved in my care so I paged her around 6am. She suggested a bath and to call her back in 30 minutes. I didn't want to sit, so I decided I would take a shower. A few minutes in, DH tells me my back up midwife is calling, so I talk to her and she tells me she is on her way. I was probably in the water for about 30 minutes and got out to go to our room. I spent time leaning forward on the bed and that's when the midwife arrived. She did an exam and I was 7cm. This prompted her to quickly get her back up and her equipment set up. I was up and moaning through contractions - just letting them wash over me. The second midwife arrived and she happened to be a midwife I worked with at the last birth I attended as a doula only a few weeks ago. It was wonderful to see her. She chatted with me about the books on my bookshelf, DH played some music I didn't ask for (but was thankful he did play because it was very special to me), and soon it looked like I wasn't even in labour anymore. The contractions still came but I was in this state of ecstacy. I could very well have fallen asleep. We opted to break the membranes and let the pressure build once the student midwife arrived. A few contractions in the bathroom and a few more back in the bedroom...I didn't get on the bed but was squatting facing the bed, making room for baby to descend. DH who obviously listens to all my doula talk was using some counterpressure and that felt quite nice. I pushed for a bit facing the bed, holding hands with the second midwife while the other two were sitting on the floor. Then DH sat on our bed and I squatted facing them while leaning on his legs. He was definately not comfortable but I am glad he stayed there. He kept telling me how wonderful I was doing. Compared to my last birth, I definately had to push harder and there was more stretching but I just let it happen, breathed through it, and 32 minutes of pushing later, we were joined by Cayden Alexander. Due to an issue with my platelets, we had to do some management of the placenta but that all went very smoothly. Cayden latched very quickly and the midwives repaired the smallest ever tear (less than first degree really). Once I was cleaned up, MIL brought in DD and my best friend. Then after a while, we did the newborn exam and weighed him - 9lbs 4oz! DH made me a sandwich and got some juice and we all hung out, took pictures and I nursed a lot for the next two hours. Once Cayden fell asleep, it happened to be time for DD's nap (she seemed tired). So it ends with DD and I napping on my bed, cuddled together.
Just to give this some context, DD was born at 35 weeks, 4 days - weighed 4lbs 8oz and spent 3 weeks in the NICU. This homebirth has given me a great deal of confidence in my own body, especially since in between I have had 2 ectopic pregnancies. Things can change and our bodies are amazing!
Thank you all for sharing your stories and I look forward to reading the rest of the stories to come!