It took awhile, but I finally finished it. :)
Darcy Jean’s Birth Story
February 23rd started was basically like any other day – I got my son up and ready for the day, sat around relishing in a lazy Saturday morning, and started planning my next week. I had some mild cramping – like period cramps – going on, but didn’t pay them much attention as I’d been experiencing them all week. I wanted to run out and get some nursing bras, so that was on my priority list for the day. Other than that, I was just planning on another two weeks of being pregnant and preparing for our daughter’s birth. Before I left for my errands, I hit the bathroom (a must for every pregnant mama) and noticed the tiniest amount of blood on the toilet paper after I wiped (because we all check out our post-wipe paper when we’re getting close, right? Admit it, you did it too). The rest of the day was uneventful – napping, playing, cooking dinner – but things began to change that evening.
DH and I had a late dinner and I started feeling some really intense pressure. I kept telling him that I felt like if I could only go to the bathroom, that I’d feel better. At one point I yelped as I felt a sharp job to my cervix. I remember DH asking if I thought I was going into labor, and I really didn’t think so. It was all so different than what I’d experienced with Liam. Eventually we decided to head to be. The pressure seemed to be subsiding, and I was feeling better. DH decided to sleep in the guest room that night, and I told him I’d come get him if anything seemed to be happening. I still didn’t think I was in labor.
The cramping continued through the night. I rested on my side and decided to “practice” my Hypnobirthing relaxation and surge breathing. And you guessed it – I was still in denial. I also decided to listen to a few of my meditations in the hope that they would lull me to sleep. No such luck. At some point I got the contraction counter out and it showed that I was having cramps about 8-10 minutes apart. Still, I was in denial about it being true labor. I had hardly any show, hadn’t lost my mucous plug, and everything just felt different than it had with Liam.
Finally around 5 am, I was ready to admit that I was in labor. The contractions (still really cramps & pressure)were really becoming intense, so my husband got up to help me. I texted my midwife & my husband called our doula. At that point I realized that the contractions were about 3 minutes apart! Holy cow, I guess I waited a little too long to call my people. My husband set up the pool and we started filling it so it would be ready for me. Did I mention that there was a snow storm going on all this time. Yep. I picked a winner of a day to go into labor. Both the midwife & doula arrived about 6:30 am, and my midwife checked me. I was expecting to be about 6 cm or so, but got a huge surprise when she announced that I was 9.5 cm with a bit of a lip left. What!! So different from my son’s labor. So I hopped in the pool, which was such a relief. I labored in there for about an hour or so and then felt the urge to push. I had decided to try to just use passive pushing (where you don’t actively force yourself to push, but instead push along with the automatic response from your body). My doula reminded me to use me “J-breathing”to bring her down. It was amazing how I could actually feel her moving through the birth canal. At the last minute my husband asked if he could catch her, so I shifted around to make it easier for him. I remember actually being able to feel each stage that she went through on her entrance to the world. At some point it dawned on me that I was feeling the “ring of fire” and that she was almost here. My midwife reminded me to slowdown, and I finally birthed my beautiful little girl into the world. My husband caught her like a champ, although he evidently asked our midwife what he was supposed to do after she came out. To which the midwife calmly replied, “bring her out of the water”. She was also born in “the caul”, as my water sac didn’t break until after she was born. Some people consider this a blessing to the baby, and I am all for that. She is definitely a blessing to me. She was born at 8:25 am - about 2 hours after I called the midwife and with only about 15 minutes of pushing. Sure beats the 27 hour labor I had with Liam.
After her birth we all, my son included, spent the next hours bonding with our new addition and just relaxing. Yes, my son was in the room the entire time and was great! Our midwife checked the placenta and cord, and it turns out that Darcy did have a 2-vessel cord after all. But, there appear to be no adverse side-effects from this, just as I expected.
The birth was just so smooth and uneventful — so unlike our birth with my son. This will be our last child, and I am so grateful that I got to experience the birth of my dreams. We are so overcome with happiness that our family is complete. I can’t wait to see what the future will bring and who this little girl will become!