Hi mommas! I've been thinking of you all this week- thank you for all the support and congrats you've posted!! We've been resting the last few days and adjusting to having our new little one here! I'm feeling pretty good today and ready to share her birth story!
So I hit 38 weeks on Monday, and I was REALLY feeling the pressure to have everything ready for the baby's arrival. I know I posted here a little about how much I was experiencing prodromal labor and how ready I was to just be done. It was a rough pregnancy overall, dealing with a lot of life change, stress, and ultimately being on modified bed rest since November with a heart arrhythmia.
Anyway- I wanted her to just be here already!! Well, on Tuesday, the last major item that I was waiting for arrived- the waterproof cover for our mattress. I put it on the bed during DD's nap in the afternoon, and thought to myself "Now, I'm going to have this baby." Haha.
On through the day, I wasn't even experiencing any prodromal labor, so I didn't think I was actually anywhere close. I took a shower before bed, and as I was standing in there, I realized something that made me feel really sad. I had been so focused on my annoyance with this pregnancy, that I hadn't even been "speaking to" the baby at all! With DD1, I did prenatal yoga, and we always made sure to communicate with the baby our love for them and desire to meet them. I realized that all I'd been sending her was messages that I was annoyed and inconvenienced by her presence in my body! Of course, I totally started crying when I thought about it- and took some time before bed to let her know that my frustration was with my body, and not her in any way. I had a fleeting thought that she'd been trying to come already but this had held her back, and felt like now we were finally both ready. Then I went to bed.
I woke up around 11 or 11:30pm to a strong contraction. I laid in bed til it passed and then got up to pee. As I was walking to the bathroom, I felt a bit of liquid start running down my legs. My first thought was "Am I peeing myself?!" so I squeezed the muscles to see. Definitely not peeing... my water broke! I couldn't believe it (since I was sure I would be pregnant until the end of time...). I woke my husband up to help me clean up, stuck a newborn prefold in my underwear because it was a slow trickle, and called my midwife. She agreed that I should eat something, drink some coconut water, and go back to bed if nothing was happening yet. At this point, I hadn't had another contraction since the one that woke me up and it had been about 20 mins. So I sent DH back to bed, ate, and then headed back to bed myself.
I'd been dealing with a lot of insomnia already, so between that and the excitement, I really didn't get back to sleep. I dozed a bit here and there, had a few totally irregular, weak contractions. I finally got up again to make some third trimester tea and sit on the birth ball. I was worried that perhaps her positioning wasn't quite right and wanted to get into a good spot. I drank my tea down quickly, and suddenly got hit with a fairly decent contraction around 2 or 2:30am. A little while later, another one came. I timed 4 total and then woke up DH. They were 9 minutes apart and feeling relatively strong. With DD1, my labor had been 4 1/2 hours long, so my midwife and I had discussed getting to the birth center quickly this time around. I was worried, though, that we would call my MIL to come be with DD1 and then things would stall out. However, I realized in that moment that I needed DD1 to be all set before I could stop worrying and focus on labor. So we timed two more contractions (which had already shifted to 7-8 mins apart) and made the call for MIL to come. I put DH to work with my list for the birth bag, tossing in the few things that hadn't already been packed. I moved around between contractions to help, but when they hit, I just leaned on whatever was nearby and swayed while DH rubbed my low back.
Finally, MIL arrived and we were on our way. I think we left the house around 4 with a 30 minute drive to the birth center. Of course, it was pouring rain (unusual in the desert) but thankfully the roads were pretty empty. I had a few contractions in the car that weren't too strong, and thought for a moment that perhaps we had jumped the gun. I kept asking DH how I was doing, haha. We finally arrived and I stood up, had a contraction in the parking lot, walked in the door, and had another one right away. They were suddenly getting much more intense and coming much quicker. I had to start vocalizing through them at this point, it felt so good to just make some low groaning sounds with each breath! My midwife started filling the tub and we got in- only it was too cold! They have two birthing suites there and another mom had arrived just before us in the other one. It's not common that they have two clients come at the same time, so apparently there wasn't enough hot water! Well, I stayed in the tub on hands and knees as they boiled water and added it in! This was the same tub in the same room that DD1 had been born in, only this time it felt way too cramped! I kept switching positions in the short breaks between contractions, trying to find a good spot. Nothing felt right. I ended up kneeling at the side of the tub with my forehead resting on the edge, during what I later realized was transition. I was pressing down all my weight on my forehead, breathing and moaning through the pain. (Later in the day, I was like "How did I get this bruise on my forehead?!") I had a moment where I actually found my voice and squeaked out "I'm scared!". My midwife's voice came through as I was totally in my own little world, and I heard her say "It's only been an hour since DH called me. That's how quick this is going. You're doing great!". To which I replied, "I need to get out of this tub!!".
I got on the toilet at their suggestion (DH later told me there were 5 other people in the room, I had no concept of anyone but myself, DH, and sometimes the voice of my midwife.) As soon as I sat down, I started pushing. I think I pushed twice on the toilet as they prepped the birthing stool for me. Moving from one seat to the other was SO tough at that moment, but I managed to awkwardly land on the birthing stool. I don't know why, but I felt the urge to push this baby out quick. In two more pushes, that were much more strained than when I pushed with DD1, she was out! Oh sweet relief, and such an amazing moment! It turns out that she was pretty tangled in the cord, which looking back at, I think was why I felt such a strong urgency to get her out fast. She was born at 5:36am, and we rested for a few hours together before she was weighed and measured- 7lbs14oz and 20 inches long.
She didn't have a name until Friday, when we decided on Evangeline Grace. We are calling her Evie (ee-vie) for short. DD1 (20 months) is already getting the hang of her name, and loving having her around! To see her give the baby the softest little kisses is just about the best thing in the whole world!
Here she is:
And here is a picture of her sleeping on DH as I was being stitched up (two superficial tears- nothing bad, but probably from pushing hard and fast):
We came home later the same day (after I ate a giant, delicious, double decker veggie burger from my favorite restaurant!). So far, Evie is such a mellow baby compared to my first! She's sleeping in 3-4 hour stretches at night and nursing well.
It's just such a joy to finally have her here! I can't wait for everyone else's babies to arrive too!! Sending you all so much love in these last few days/weeks of your pregnancies!!!