I went to bed earlier that night, September 29th, after rubbing my belly clockwise under the full moon for a few minutes. I was desperate to go into labor at 41 weeks 2 days pregnant. I woke up around 1:45am when my 23 month old daughter came in, I went and rocked her back to sleep and laid down again around 2am. At this time I remember feeling small pressures/cramps every few minutes. Very lightly, I wasn't sure what it was. At 2:11 however I started timing them because they were pretty regular, and I was just hopeful. At 2:30, after continuing to have them 30-50 seconds at less than 5 minutes apart, I woke Mike up, telling him I was timing contractions but wasn't sure if this was it because they were already less than 5 minutes apart, which is not how they are supposed to start, I was expecting them to start 15 minutes apart or so...
Around 3am we were discussing calling my mom as the contractions had just gotten stronger, and remained about 3-4 minutes apart. When I felt a little bit of wetness between my legs, I reached down assuming my water had broken, and saw that it was dark red blood instead. I kind of panicked a bit, as it was not what I was expecting to see, so I thought, "Okay this must be my bloody show". Even though there was no mucus to the blood. I called my mom around 3:15 and told her to come pick Emerald up because this was it! I went and wiped, and saw quite a bit more blood. So I started doing some research in between contractions on this kind of thing happening. I didn't have any bad feelings, baby was moving, I was just curious as to what the bleeding could be. I saw several places saying it could be rapid dilation, and with how fast my labor was going I assumed this is what it was. I vomited about 3 times. I had Mike run a warm bath for me. I climbed in and went through a few contractions. Got out, dried off and we woke my daughter up. I cuddled her and went through a few more contractions until my mom got to the house around 4:30am. My younger brother was with her, and she asked if we wanted her to stay or if we wanted her to take Em and go spend the night and come back after the baby was born, and so we told her we'd like to be alone together for the labor and birth. Mike went out to switch the car seat into my mom's car, and I held onto my mom through another contraction. Then a few minutes later Mike came back in and I had another. Then gave our hugs and kisses goodbye, I told my mom it would be crazy if he came out in the caul, since my water hadn't broken yet. Then they left.
After they drove away we climbed in the tub together for like 20 minutes. Then I wanted to get out, I wiped again, just checking to see if there was anymore blood, and there was. At this point I was wanting some reassurance that everything was going okay, that the placenta was still doing good and everything. I called L&D and asked if we could come in for ONLY monitoring, that I was in labor and we wanted to give birth at home but wanted to make sure the baby was doing good still, and they said "yes of course". So I told Mike I wanted to go to the hospital to check on the baby, and see if he was stressed or anything. I got dressed in the first comfortable thing I saw, which looking back was ridiculous, but I wore a knee legnth flowery skirt with a 1-up mushroom t-shirt. I was still feeling nauseous, so we brought a small garbage can and my body pillow and headed there. It was 5am on a Sunday morning and NO ONE was on the road. Mike was speeding pretty fast because my contractions were still about 4 minutes apart.
Once we got to the hospital he let me out at the front door while he parked, I just clung to one of their concrete columns with my pillow on my face and moaned loudly through contractions. We finally went inside and up to L&D, they told me immediately I'd need to register yada yada... Mike went downstairs again to get my ID out of the car and sign in. So they told me to get in a gown and give them a pee sample to check for protein etc, and I reminded them I was only here to check the baby out, not to give birth here. So I just switched into my gown real quick, had a couple more contractions from the time I got there until I laid down on the bed, where the nurse put the NST straps on my belly, to monitor his heartbeat and my contractions. I allowed her to check how far dilated I was, and she said I was 7cm and that the bleeding was from rapid dilation. She started discussing why I wanted a home birth, and how could she convince us to stay, what did we want. To keep her busy I told her I wanted delayed cord clamping, keeping the placenta, no vitamin k shot, leaving the vernix on, etc.... At which point my husband came back into the room with some guy and said he hadn't signed me in, and asked if we were ready to leave. I told him she wanted to check for 20 minutes, and so he waited until 20 minutes was up, and she came back in the room. We told her we wanted to go home, so she unhooked us from the nst/contraction machine and made me sign a "leaving against medical advice" form, with a disapproving look. Telling us she would not advise a woman 7cm dilated and in active labor to go back home and give birth. But we did anyway.
The drive home was intense. I was unable to talk or breathe through these contractions. They were probably 2 minutes apart at this point, 60 seconds long and very painful. It was about 6:30 when we left the hospital. My entire labor had been back labor, I knew he was most likely still posterior, it sure felt like it anyway. During my contractions my eyes were closed the entire time. If Mike talked, it would infuriate me SO badly. By the time we pulled up next to the house, my body was pushing involuntarily during some contractions. I felt like I was frozen in the seat when we pulled up, I could not get out, I said I felt like I was gonna have him in the car. Mike said he was gonna go run the bath for me and make sure it was the right temperature. I had another contraction and then got out of the car and went inside and laid myself over our bed. I climbed up on it and was on all fours. Mike came in after he finished the bath and I was still contracting and sometimes involuntarily pushing. He rubbed my back and told me I should really get in the tub. I told him I couldn't move, and that I wanted to have him on the bed. He put something underneath me, but continued to tell me that it had been our plan for months to have him in the tub, that that is what I really wanted, and I finally agreed and got in the tub, with my body pillow.
At first I leaned over the tub on my knees in the water, and went through a couple contractions/pushes that way. The radio was on, and Mike asked if I was okay with the station it was on. I said it was fine, just to get in the tub with me. I began pushing even when I wasn't contracting (even though they were so close together now it was all very blurry), just because the pushing was such a relief to the pain. He asked if I wanted to change positions and I laid my body pillow over the side of the tub and sat down on my left butt cheek, with my legs spread, and my head in my pillow to the left of me. My eyes were closed for the rest of the time and I was very very quiet between contractions, almost sleeping. Mike told me how close I was, said he could feel the start of his head coming, and told me he thought his hair was black. He asked me if I wanted to feel, and I said no, but then thought about if I missed the chance and I stuck my hand down there and felt anyway. At this point I just started pushing, the contractions were right on top of each other, and I just pushed and pushed, and it felt amazing. Mike was there excitedly encouraging me, although I don't remember exactly what he said, other than "You're doing so good, you're almost there, his head is right there, you can do it!" all the other things that one would say... And as I pushed him out further, Mike had his hands down there stretching the skin around the baby's head. (I am almost certain this helped me not tear, along with the water.) I pushed a couple more times just as hard as I could, while he was crowning and I was shouting "Ring of fire! Ring of fire!", his head came out, and then the rest of him came out pretty much with ease. Mike lifted him and said "He's in the sac!" And he was COMPLETELY in the sac still, it was DARK red and now I could see why he thought he had black hair. Mike peeled the sac off while I held him and then we saw that the cord was wrapped all around his body. It wrapped under his right arm, around the back of his neck and over the left arm. So I had to kind of flip him around and unwrap him. He was fussing the whole time, but was a good pink color and so I unwrapped the cord and set him next to my right breast, and he latched immediately!! He was born at 7:40am, September 30th, 2012. Mike gave me a recieving blanket and I draped it over him as I held him skin to skin. His eyes were still closed, and I just let him suckle for 5 minutes (while Mike made announcement phone calls) and then the placenta came out. I told Mike to go get the strainer and we put the placenta in, and then climbed out of the tub. We weighed him, and he was 7lbs 3.5oz. Later on we measured him and he was 19.5 inches. I dried off and put a comfy loose shirt on, and laid down in bed with him, wrapped in a blanket loosely and just let him suckle on me and cuddled in bed with him and my husband for a few hours.
I'm so glad that I got my healing, peaceful, unassisted home water birth. It was amazing, and my son has such a calm manner about him. My grandmother thinks the way I gave birth has something to do with that. I could have never done it without the outstanding support from my husband, who never did anything but encourage me, and do everything he could to make this labor and birth everything I wanted it to be.