I had my 40 week midwife appointment and was disappointed to find out that I was only 1 cm dilated with a very long and posterior cervix. I should no better that this doesn't mean a whole lot but I was still a little depressed about it and thinking labor was probably days away. But there was nothing I could do about it so I tried to just relax about it. I stopped by the chiro on the way home to get one more adjustment and then tried to relax for the afternoon. I took the girls to gymnastics and played outside with them feeling pretty good all day. Then later that night around 10pm I lost my mucous plug! Yay! Labor happened 2 days after I lost my plug with DD2 but I suggested to DH we DTD just for good luck (he didn't argue of course). I stayed up late reading and played on my phone feeling NOT remotely birthy at all, resigned to possibly a weekend baby. I finally went to bed at midnight.
At 2:30, I woke up and felt like I really had to pee to the point that I was leaking a little. I was about to get up and the trickle turned into a gush all over the bedroom floor, I couldn't believe it. I woke up DH and called my midwife. DH woke up my MIL to tell her my water broke.The midwives recommended I try to get some sleep until contractions got going but I was still leaking all over the place and excited and couldn't. Contractions started by 3am but weren't very regular. They got up to 7 minutes apart by 6am but then started to stall out. One of the midwives came over at 7am to check on the baby since she hadn't moved a whole lot. Baby was doing great but I wasn't having many contractions. She gave me a passion flower and skullcap tincture to help me relax and I managed to sleep until about 9:30am.
Woke up to some BIG contractions 10 minutes apart. I went downstairs and tried to keep moving to keep the contractions going. My midwives said they would come anytime but contractions were still 8 minutes apart at 10am. They were strong but I didn't feel like they were painful enough for being in labor (stupid comment!). My midwives came over anyway which was a good thing because by 11am they were coming hard and fast. I retreated to my bedroom and my midwives set up my bed, the birthing stool and supplies. DH was great. He rubbed my back, helped with supplies and setup. MIL kept the girls occupied but DD1 was getting a little worried about me. MIL managed to distract them with a movie and headphones which was a good thing as I am a pretty loud birther and it might have scared them.
By 1pm I was having to loudly moan through the contractions and by 1:30pm I am sure I was screaming or crying or something. DH said he thought a 2pm baby would be good and I was in so much pain I thought there is no way, this will never end, I'll be in labor for hours! I started doubting my ability and sense in a homebirth. But by 1:40 I was on the birth stool and had to push. Something about being on the stool seemed to give her enough room to come down and there was no way I couldn't bear down. They hadn't even checked me since 12:30pm and I was only 6cm then but when they took a look they said I was good to push. I couldn't believe it was time already! I got her almost crowned and then I had to wait for everything to stretch and that was so painful I was crying and convinced I couldn't do it, but of course DH, and midwives were nothing but reassuring and encouraging. It was time to push again and in two or three big and loud pushes her head was out and two more and the rest of her was out. I cried the moment I saw her, even covered in goo she was so beautiful and amazing (as I have thought with all my kids) I also couldn't believe the immediate relief of pain after I pushed her out. I got to hold her right away with her chord still attached. After a few minutes they cut the chord and I delivered the placenta. The midwives wiped off Natalie, cut the chord, and put her on me to nurse which she did right away. I could tell she was bigger than my other babies, she had fat rolls and chubby cheeks! She also stayed latched for a good hour after birth which amazed me. My other girls nursed well but Natalie seemed to come out hungry and ready to go! MIL, and the girls came in and saw Natalie and just loved her of course.
Then the midwives shooed everyone out and let DH and Natalie and I bond for a good hour. They then checked me for tears (I only had one small one not even needing stitches), helped me get cleaned up and in the shower, changed the sheets, started laundry and even made sure I got something to eat and drink. They were amazing! Overall, I loved the homebirth experience. After two hospital births (with DD2s being a natural birth and very positive experience) it was like night and day. I loved laboring at home, being surrounded by family, and not being constantly poked, prodded, monitored or on the clock for pitocin or something. I just had to let my body do what it was already doing. I felt like I was really supported through the experience, rather than having someone just look for something to go wrong or trying to keep me to a timeline. I loved being able to be in my own bed and home and not have to have everyone go back and forth to the hospital. I am so glad it actually happened too! I know things can happen and transfers can often be necessary and homebirth doesn't always work out but I am so thrilled it did for us. If we ever have #4 we are definitely going the homebirth route again.
Postpartum I am doing pretty well. Still sore of course. My tailbone and hips hurt when sitting up for awhile so I hope that resolves soon but other than that I am feeling pretty good. Now I just have to get my placenta encapsulated and hopefully speed recovery.