Born 2/5/16 at 37+6
8lb 8oz, 21 3/4, 9/9 apgars
2hr12 min labor, born at home into her daddy's hands!
This is my fourth child, third VBAC and second home birth. It was my third precipitous birth with the two previous ones coming in at 2hrs15min and 3hrs30min.
I went to bed after a day of having some on and off contractions that were slightly worth noting but not timing, and a lot of extra braxton hicks. During the night I felt some contractions on and off that were extremely mild and not frequent. At 3:30, I actually woke up to see if something was going on. I went out to the living room and timed a couple right then and it was clear they were labor contractions, though not too painful. They felt "right" though compared to the contractions I had other evenings, so I called my midwife at 3:42 and woke my husband up. We both had in mind that the birth would go quickly and we wanted her to make it. We got some final things ready for our home birth. While standing next to the bed, my contractions became strong quickly with my usual start up pattern of 2-3 minutes apart, but laying in bed, they were more spaced out (5-7 minutes) and not as strong. I felt it prudent to stay in bed until my midwife arrived. I rested and timed contractions until she arrived shortly after 4:30. We discussed breaking my water, because we knew it would be quick and our three other children were sleeping so my thought was, I’d like to have this baby before they all wake up for the day. My midwife attempted to break my water but was unable because I didn’t have strong enough contractions while lying on the bed for her hook to grab anything. She said I was 6-7cm dilated at that point (and had been 4cm for two weeks). So, I said, I might as well stand back up and labor and get this moving along. I positioned myself next to the bed, where I had envisioned laboring as I thought about it during my pregnancy. That’s where I remained, and stacked up some pillows on the bed to lean over and I worked to stay relaxed during contractions. I stopped timing them at that point since it didn’t really matter anymore, and waited for each break I got between them, which didn’t didn’t come often enough. I knew how my body labored though and it was just like previous births as I entered transition. Though I was staying relaxed, I could not yet feel her head, so I realized I needed to embrace the contractions more and start vocalizing and partially squatting during a contraction which resulted in me pushing her down. After about three or four contractions like that, I could feel her head! I knew it was close and boy, was it intense. Just like Neri and Silas’s births. My midwife and her assistant came back in during this time and started getting things ready (this must have been about 5:20-5:30). I asked for a stool to sit on in between and the counter pressure felt good. My midwife offered the birthing stool which I accepted after a few minutes, realizing that would bring her down further. I had to turn around though to do that so the baby could be caught, but I didn’t want to move and lose my pillows! But it worked well to turn around and lean on the first stool I had been using, and tip forward on the birth stool during a contraction. Baby was getting close, and I could feel the stretching and tried my best to avoid blasting her out. I breathed hard between two contractions without pushing, her head about to crown, with encouragement to go slow. I remember praying out loud, Thank you Lord that this is almost over! I know the pain would end soon and I would meet my baby soon. One more contraction and her head was born and her body followed quickly, right into my husband’s hands. The relief was immense, and I praised God that my labor was done! The time was 5:42, just over two hours from when I woke up to time my contractions. Plenty of time before the kids wake up.
We admired her for a few moments and took the opportunity to see if she was a boy or a girl. We rejoiced that she was a girl and that we had a Ruby in our family now. Ryan had long wanted to catch one of our babies and we’re thrilled he finally got to do that.
We chose the name Ruby as a reminder of the heavenly riches we have in Christ and for how Revelation speaks of John’s vision of the throne of God as like being adorned with precious stones, representing the beauty and glory and constancy of God. And Melina (Greek for honey) was the girl name we had in my pregnancy with Ezra, and hadn’t yet used.