I know I only started posting here a few weeks ago, but I thought I'd share the birth story of my sweet Louisa Violet.
Sat, May 28 @ 5:45pm: I thought it would be fun to go to IKEA for dinner (can you say mashed potatoes and meatballs? LOL), and as I got out of the car I felt like I had peed my pants a little bit. I don't have a penchant for losing bladder control, even at 41 weeks of pregnancy, but I thought that maybe my time had come. As we were getting our food, I kept feeling more and more moisture inside my pants. I went to the bathroom and yup! My pants were wet! Not too bad, but a definite trickle. I came back to DH to report my findings, and then I returned to the restroom with $0.25 so I could get a pad. A lady saw me attempt pad retrieval and I said, "I never expected my water to break at IKEA!" and she replied, "Oh honey, don't you think you should be going to the doctor?!?!" I said, "Oh, don't worry. We're having a homebirth." LOL.
We finished our vittles and returned home. I called my midwife to let her know that I was leaking a small amount of fluid, but that I wasn't having any consistent contractions. She told me to call when labor really got started. I tried to tidy up a bit between baths and bedtime, and then DH and I cozied up on the bed to watch a movie. I fell asleep at about 11pm, but then woke up at midnight with a nice big contraction. Yippee!!
Sun, May 29: The contractions came every 2-3 minutes and lasted about 45-60 seconds long. They were totally bearable, but also very consistent. I made the mistake of timing them and keeping a watch on the clock on my dresser, so I was very aware of time passing. (This will be a huge pain later, since I was setting time limits for myself that kept me from getting "in the zone.") DH slept while I labored, and he woke up at around 3am to me moaning a bit. He kept a close ear on me and kept asking if I wanted him to call the midwives since my contractions were so close together. I told him to wait, and finally at 4:45am I told him he could call if it would make him feel better. They said they'd be on their way.
The midwives arrive an hour later at 6am. I labored and labored and labored. And labored. I kept looking at the clock. My contractions were hard to work through, and I was convinced/thinking wishfully that the baby would be coming soon. At 10am, I took a shower and after I got out I asked to be checked to see where I was. I was a bit nervous, because I was pretty sure I wasn't progressing as rapidly as anyone thought, and I knew a low number would be discouraging. My midwife checked me and said, "Well, you're not ready to push." And then we talked about what we could do next. She and the other midwife thought it was best to get some coffee and let us have our own space for awhile. They left and I told DH how upset I was that they left because it meant that the baby wasn't coming any time soon.
About an hour later, at 11am, I had a really hard contraction. After that, I threw up all of the watermelon I had been munching on during the labor. From my previous labors, I knew that this was a good sign that things were really picking up. I started getting shakey, and I asked DH to call the midwives back to the house. They arrived at around 11:30am and shortly after that my water REALLY broke.
The next two hours were hard, hard, work. I could not get on top of the contractions no matter how hard I tried. I was a pretty quiet laborer during my previous two births, and I tried every relaxation technique I could think of to no avail. The only way I could get through the contractions was to yell. I started hyperventilating, and my hands and arms were falling asleep and I was getting so light-headed. This was such a weird thing and it made me feel a bit silly for managing my contractions so poorly. At this point, I was really in "labor land" in between contractions. Sometimes after a contraction I would whine/cry/complain and vocalize that I was scared or that I didn't want to be in labor any more. Sometimes I even shouted, "Come ON baby!" One of the midwives, whom I adored before labor, would talk to me and give me lots of labor-y wisdom during my quiet spells and it annoyed me to no end. I even shushed her at one point. LOL.
Finally, I felt like I had to have a huge bowel movement. I knew this was a sign that the baby was coming, but it wasn't that unmistakable urge to bear down like I felt with my first two. I was feeling self-conscious about pooping on the bed, so after I said, "I think the baby is coming, but I don't want to poop on the bed!" I ran to the toilet. As soon as I sat down, I felt the baby's head descend and THEN came that urge to push. My midwife said, "Well, if it IS the baby then you have to get off the toilet." I couldn't fathom moving from that spot, but I couldn't stop pushing. My DH waited until I could move and then lifted me from the toilet on to the floor outside the bathroom--right next to the bathtub--where got down on one knee. I held on to him so tight and squeezed his arm and side as the baby's head was born. Since I had been laying on my side when my first two were born, I don't remember the feeling of the baby rotating, but I sure felt it in this position! I I yelled loudly, and then the baby was born! My midwife passed the baby through to me and DH and we laughed and cried as we held our new baby. I realized that my hand was in between the babies legs so I looked down at what I was holding--a GIRL! I was convinced she was a boy my entire pregnancy, so I was really surprised. She cried right away, thought she did take awhile to pink up. Eventually, we made our way back to the bed.
After 4 HUGE poops, and 3 good pees, we weighed our little miss. 7 lbs, 10 oz! 19 1/2 inches long! Head circumference: 13.5 inches! She nursed right away, and was kissed and cried over by her daddy and her big brother and big sister.
We waited until the morning to name her officially. When she was born I thought, "I cant' name an old man!" But, we decided on the name that we had loved during the pregnancy: Louisa Violet. Louisa is inspired by Louisa May Alcott, and Violet is just a pretty nature-y name. (My daughter's name is Willa Juniper--inspired by Willa Cather--we wanted to continue with the literature/nature theme). I actually had a dream the night before Louisa was born that I gave birth to a little girl named Louisa.
We are all doing well. She is 72 hours old and is such a sweetie. I have to work hard to keep her brother and sister from loving her a *bit* too much, and my DH steals her from me whenever he can. She loves to nurse and sleep, and she does not like having her diaper or clothes changed.
I'm so happy that we are able to choose homebirth for our family. I love being able to labor on my own terms, and I love that my children can be there to witness the entire process. Ezra and Willa were such sweet little doulas the entire labor. DH was an amazing support (literally and figuratively!). My midwives treated our space with care and were grateful witnesses to our most sacred moments. I love my home--there is no place more sacred to me than where our daily lives take place and I can't imagine having my babies anywhere else.
Ali Mama to Ezra (12/29/05) and Willa (09/19/2008) and Louisa (5/29/2011)
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