Hope the tongue tie gets resolved quickly and easily. She is perfect!
Baby haurelia! Now with extra-long detailed birth story in post #27! - Page 2
I wanted to include Matilda's birth story in this thread. I was happy to read the birth stories of my fellow DDC members, so thought I'd share.
On Tuesday, the 17th, it was a gorgeous, golden autumn morning. I went to a reflexology appointment first thing in the morning after dropping Henry off at a friend's to play; I was ready to meet my baby and my massage therapist thought that reflexology would help line everything up in my body for a smooth labor and birth. It was a great session, and we just chatted and I felt really dreamy when I left her office an hour later. I did a few errands and went home. My friend Carrie dropped Henry off and we had lunch. I let him watch some Netflix while I napped on the couch after lunch. I was passing a little mucous when I got up to the bathroom after my nap, but thought nothing of it (since I'm a birth worker, I tend to think that passing mucous is not a really meaningful sign of imminent labor...usually days away). Later in the afternoon, Henry and I walked back over to Carrie's...we had planned to do another belly cast, since I'd grown so much since my 35 week blessingway where we'd casted my belly. My friend Heidi was there with her daughter (both Carrie and Heidi were planning to attend my birthing) and the kids played while we did the cast. We all ate some pizza together and Henry and I walked home around 7. My husband, Paul, had come home from work, mowed the lawn and pulled a bad starter out of his truck, so he was just eating supper and needed to get cleaned up, so I helped Henry with his bedtime routine and did stories and songs. I had a few toning contractions during the bedtime routine, but nothing that made me stop what I was doing.
Paul and I watched a couple of episodes of Lost, and I knitted some on Henry's sweater. I felt like I needed to stretch out my lower back, and so knelt for a while with my chest on the birth ball. That felt good, and we soon headed upstairs to bed around 10. I got a text from another friend saying she was looking at the full moon and wondered if I had anything going on. I replied that I was just noticing the moon, and the wind really picking up, but no labor action. This was at around 10:15pm. I got changed into PJs and got into bed. Paul fell asleep almost instantly, and I was reading some birth stories in Spiritual Midwifery. Shortly after I laid down, I noticed crampy feelings coming and going...I decided to time them, and realized they were every 5 minutes or so. I didn't need to breathe through them yet, but they felt kind of yucky. I decided to get up to pee and see what was going on when I wasn't laying down. They immediately felt stronger when I was upright, so I peed then woke Paul up to tell him labor was starting. It was around 11:15 by now, and I decided to call my birth team to ask them to come my way.
When I called my midwife, Sandy, she was almost home to her place after a birth in a neighboring state. She lives about 2.5 hours away from us; she planned to stop briefly at home to exchange some supplies and head our way. I told her I was getting uncomfortable but coping well. She knew I had a fast labor the first time (6 hours with 2 of that being pushing). My doula, Erica answered right away, as did Carrie and Heidi. Paul started setting up birthing supplies and the pool in our dining room. I wandered around, changed into a light robe and spent a little time in Henry's room, kissing his sleeping face and feeling a little poignant about shifting to a family of 4.
Around midnight, Carrie and Erica arrived, and my contractions had changed to every 3 minutes or so, coming strong and requiring deep breathing and some low moans and movement to cope with. I felt best standing while leaning forward, or rocking from foot to foot. Paul was giving me lots of love and we did some slow dance moves between contractions. I felt really strong, but a little worried about how fast things were going...it felt very big, like I wasn't able to keep up with my labor. Heidi rolled in around 12:30, and she added a lot of reassurance to what everyone else was already putting out. Carrie was bustling in the kitchen doing more hot water for the pool and getting the postpartum herbal bath brewing, and Erica was keeping notes, listened to the baby with our borrowed Doppler, and giving me lots of verbal guidance. Paul and Heidi were hands-on with me. I needed to start kneeling and resting my chest on the ball again as things shifted to a heavier feeling contraction every 2 mintues. Moans got louder and longer, and I needed lots of pressure on my hips and sacrum from my supports. I kept drinking and peeing, and around 1am, I sat on the toilet to pee and felt a contraction shift to almost pushy. Erica called Sandy the midwife, and she was still about an hour out. She updated her and hung up.
I wanted in that pool, so I asked Erica to check me (she has functioned as a primary home birth midwife in her past, but hasn't had a practice in 5 years or so because she had a set of twins, and a couple of moves). She didn't feel any cervix left, just a bulgy bag. My mind reeled a little bit...everything was going so fast and intense. I hopped in the pool, and Erica called Sandy again to update her. She was a bit scoldy over the phone, and said that I should try to not have the baby before she arrived. That really pissed me off and I said so. Like I could help it at that point?? Erica saw the writing on the wall, so she put on some shorts and got in the pool to help me catch my baby if Sandy didn't make it. I love her for that; stepping into a midwife role and remaining utterly calm and confident about the situation and my ability to birth this baby.
After about 20 minutes in the pool and some pushy-feeling contractions that my team coached me through with lots of focused love and attention, I felt my water bag release. Lots of vernix flecks appeared in the pool. Heidi listened with the Doppler again, and all was well with baby. With the next contraction, I had an undeniable urge to bear down. I tried really hard to pant and blow but I couldn't not push, no matter what. I turned to my side to try to lessen the urge, but she was coming down whether I pushed or not. My butt was hurting a lot from all the pressure, and Heidi reminded me that I could go on my knees to help with that. I did, and draped my top half onto Paul's chest and shoulders. Erica was at my side, and Carrie and Heidi on the other. Heidi kept up her emotional support, and Carrie stayed present and practical, noting times and being ready to call for help if needed.
A few big pushes and lots of self-talk ("I'm okay, stretch, relax, I'm okay" on repeat) and love from my team...and then I felt my baby's head crowning. The next two contractions brought her perfect head into my right hand. This magical feeling is one I hope to never forget. I got up tall on my left knee and stretched my right leg out, and Erica helped me catch her body (what an awesome feeling!). I brought her right up to my chest and someone plopped a towel on her. She cried and looked right straight into my eyes. I felt her cord pulsing (always a nurse, even then) and knew her heart rate was great. I was whooping and laughing and crying, as was Paul. Everyone beamed love at us, and Carrie called Sandy to let her know baby was born and we were both okay. She was about 5 minutes away.
Paul ran upstairs to wake Henry because we wanted him to be a part of seeing the baby's sex and cutting the cord. He was really eager and excited and super sweet. Sandy came in about 5 minutes after birth, and quickly checked baby while she was still attached and on my chest. Cord got clamped and cut and I got out of the pool while Paul held our girl skin to skin for a few minutes. I got on the birth stool to birth the placenta, and had a few membrane shreds that wanted to stay behind. I put our girl to breast, where she eagerly sucked and I had a few big cramps. Sandy got the membranes out without a problem, and saw that I had just a tiny first degree tear that didn't need a stitch. Someone stuck a piece of leftover pizza in my hand, which made me laugh but I snarfed it down. We went upstairs for our herbal sitz bath, which the baby loved. Sandy did her assessment in the bathroom and snuggled her up with Paul while I got dried off and dressed. The ladies were bustling around cleaning up and making us some oatmeal and tea, and we all got into the big bed as a family to admire our new little girl. Everyone headed home around 4:30am, and Sandy stayed in our guest room to sleep a bit before heading out at 8ish. Paul cooked a big breakfast and we just kind of hung out in bed all day, nursing and snoozing and loving each other.
I have no regrets about the way anything went. My birthing was powerful, magical and huge for me. We are overjoyed to have our Matilda earthside with us, and are enjoying a wonderful autumn babymoon as a family of four.