On Sunday we were headed out to the national forest to cut firewood. We had had conversations before about labor in the forest, hey, that wouldn’t be too bad, not much to clean up! So we had thought about bringing my birth supplies, but decided not to because my hubby’s brother would be along and I didn’t really want to birth in front of him. So, we went out to cut firewood with the resolve to not go into labor. And we somehow went over every single bumpy road in Montana. They all gave me contractions, but I didn’t think much of it because they had been giving me contractions every time we went over them to get firewood in the past month or so. So we did our thing, I mostly just farted around and attempted to crochet a baby hat.
Monday I was still having contractions, off and on. Not convinced they were real vs false labor yet, so hubby went to work. They weren’t regular, but they picked up when I lay down, so I emailed a few friends to see what they thought. If they picked up when I lay down, then they were likely the real thing! Yay! I tried to work, got about an hour’s worth of work done over a 3 hour period and decided it was not worth it, so I stopped and just putzed around the house. Hubby came home after work and I told him that I think we’ll have a baby sometime and I didn’t think he would be goin to work tomorrow. I just did my normal stuff through contractions, and put the plastic sheet on the bed with another sheet over it. My birth supplies were already ready. We watched Adam Sandler on Saturday Night Live that night, and by then I didn’t want to be sitting though contractions so I sorta danced my way through watching SNL. I knew that when hubby wanted to go to bed, I would not be staying down long! So we did our thing to try and augment labor <wink> and hubby went to bed and I putzed around the house more and got into the tub. The contractions weren’t exactly painful, but they weren’t pleasant either. I got into the tub and tried to do a relaxing technique for painless childbirth. Ha. No such luck. But the water did help even in our tiny tub, so I was in and out of the bath the entire labor.
Tuesday was more of the same. Darin stayed home from work because I was about 4-5 cm dilated and still having contractions often, but not regular. I didn’t exactly time them, but they felt like they weren’t regular. Not the one on top of another like I was expecting. Still in and out of the tub, and putzing around doing laundry and cooking and cleaning and walking around outside. My water broke while I was doing dishes, so I went out to tell my honey. It didn’t seem to pick anything up, though. Darin was chopping firewood by hand, and overall I think he chopped and stacked about 5 cords while I was in labor!
Wednesday was more of the same, no sleeping Tuesday or Monday night really, so I was pretty tired by now. My water broke again while I was sittin on the toilet, it must not have all broken last time. It was a big gush, and I went and told my honey again. About noon I had harder contractions and went to the bedroom and put out a towel on the bed. I wasn’t really in the position to cook any more, so I told Darin about the junk food I had stashed for him in a box in the back room, which he ate. I guess he ate Doritos and Hostess cupcakes for lunch, no real idea! A little after noon I started throwing up. Darin’s in the living room and asks me if I’m throwing up. “Yeah” I replied, “I think I’m in transition.” After that I tried pushing during a contraction. It felt GOOD! I know you’re not supposed to push until you can’t *not* push, but I didn’t care. I checked my dilation sorta and felt a big ol head and couldn’t feel my cervix, so I guess I was close. Asked Darin to check and tell me how many cm, but he wasn’t too up to that task, so I decided it didn’t matter much. I pushed for about 2 hours on the bed, prone, with my butt waving up in the air with the contractions. Gentle pushes that felt good, not the kind of eyeball-popping pushes you see on TV
Then I started to feel her getting close. I called Darin in, her head was right there. He said he had to wash his hands, then he came in. He checked and said ‘it has brown hair’ and I moved to a squat sorta thing on the floor being supported by the port-a-crib in our room. Lots of towels on the floor. I asked him to do perineal support, which was kind of silly. I should have explained it earlier. He sorta poked at my perineum and said, well, it’s tight there. Thanks, sweetie. So I reached back and sorta did my own perineal support while supporting myself on hands and knees now, as that seemed to feel the best to birth. I felt like I was almost ready and asked if he’d catch for me. He said he would, and got a towel. In one big push she slid out! He caught her and unwrapped the cord from her neck instinctively and said it was a girl before I could even see her. That was so special to me, to have her daddy be the first one to touch her and see that she was a girl. I tried to turn around to a sit, and he was holding this squirming pink baby! She was breathing, but it was mucusy, so I said that he could turn her over on her face and let her drain for a while. We talked about how PINK she was! She was all pink except for a little grey on the very tips of her fingers and toes. We looked at her long toes and her hair and rubbed her off a bit. Then we talked about the cord, we wanted to wait til it stopped pulsing to cut it, and it had stopped and she was breathing well, so Darin tied it with some yarn I had braided and cut it with our sterile scissors. He wrapped her up in a blanket, he knew how to swaddle without ever having done it before! He handed her to me and we tried to get her to nurse, she latched on immediately and did pretty well.
So, that was the birth of our Hannah Elizabeth
I am so glad we had a homebirth, it was just wonderful and peaceful. It didn’t seem so much like an ‘event’ as just a continuation of pregnancy and almost a normal occurrence. I never felt panicked or like anything was out of the ordinary, just like this was how God wanted me to be right at the moment.