Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Noah's Birth Story - Part 2

Birth Story - Part 1

So it's Saturday morning.  I called my mom at 6:30am to let her know we were having a baby that day, she and my dad came by to be around when Jett woke up and get him all packed up to spend a few nights at Grandma's house.

We basically spent the morning getting ready, I texted my midwife to let her know today was the day, we made the bed with the birth sheets and a plastic liner and another set of birth sheets, we got the birth tub up and started filling it, I had a big protein packed breakfast, Dom went to the store to pick up last minute things, I finished laundry, we did a belly cast etc etc.  Contractions were pretty frequent, ranging anywhere from 4-9 minutes apart but had eased up in intensity and duration lasting only about 30 seconds.  I was completely fine to wander around and "do" things and felt no rush whatsoever, everything was very calm and relaxed...except my dad who was a big ball of anxious energy and kept asking me when my midwife would be coming...oh dad.

Somewhere around noon, after we'd all had lunch (I learned my lesson from Jett's labor on eating at least, I ate and drank a ton before things picked up!) the grandparents left with Jett and I retired to bed.  Since I'd had 2 crap nights sleep I wanted to rest before labor picked up (again, learned my lesson) as it seemed like I was in for another long labor.  We were 9 hours in and I was still very clearly only in early labor.

As soon as I laid down to relax and try to nap the contractions picked back up again.  They were now over a minute and more intense but coming only every 10-15 minutes.  This felt so weird to me because I've read and been told over and over again how moving and walking and changing positions etc etc are all ways to keep labor moving but for me it seemed like as soon as I stopped moving, laid down and relaxed labor would pick up.  Totally the opposite of everything I know about labor.  I texted my midwife and she said it made complete sense.  Labor was picking up as I relaxed.  Ok...fair enough.  Amusingly I tested this theory and decided about 1:30pm to take a walk down and back up my very long, very steep driveway.  I believe it's a 1/4 mile, we walked all the way down and all the way back up with only 2 contractions!  My midwife's theory seemed to hold water, walking was NOT progressing labor.

So I did what any rational person would do...I went to bed =)  Dom and I found some crap movies to watch and I just hung out in bed.  For posterity sake and because it's amusing we watched Broken Arrow and then National Treasure, I imagined myself wanting calm serene music playing as I labored but no...I apparently wanted to watch crappy action movies to take my mind of what was happening.  Somewhere in here I finally started to lose my mucus plug so even though contractions felt irregular it was clear cervical change was happening.

Then without warning after 13 hours of early labor things picked up.  I went from being able to breathe through contractions while lying in bed to suddenly needing to be on the floor on my hands and knees to get through them.  I was in contact with my midwife throughout all this and was trying to hold out on getting into the tub knowing that a) the tub can slow or even stall labor if you get in too early and b) it can dehydrate the shit out of you (another lesson learned from Jett's birth) but she said feel free to get in whenever and just get back out if things slow down.  So after a particularly painful contraction in which I just started balling my eyes out while on my hands and knees next to my bed I knew I needed to get in that tub.  So I did.
 Still smiling between contractions!

Things were so much better in the tub!

Things happened pretty quick once I was in the tub.  Contractions went from 8 minutes apart down to just 2-3 minutes apart and were about 75 seconds long.  At roughly 4:30pm, 13.5 hours after labor began Dom was finally feeling uncomfortable enough to tell the midwife it was time to head over (yes Dom, not me, I think I would have held out a bit longer...and it might have been too late!)  Had I been going to the hospital I think this is when I would have gone and OMG it would have been a painful 20 minute drive to the hospital!!!

Midwives got there roughly an hour later at 5:30pm, got themselves all set up and started listening to baby between contractions.  I was now very uncomfortable and was definitely crying during some of the contractions.  I was having the dreaded back labor and no amount of counter pressure or change of position was helping.  I was even tempted to get out of the tub at one point to see if I could find a better position but decided the tub was way to wonderful to leave so I stuck it out.  Turns out I didn't have to stick it out for long!

At 6:15pm my water finally broke (for the record you can totally tell that your water has broken even in the tub) and about 2 minutes later I had the urge to push.  My midwife knew exactly what was going on and just from listening to me breathe and moan through contractions (and grunt as the urge to push took over) came over to let me know that my baby would be born soon without every putting a hand inside me.  But here at the time to push, for me, this was the hardest part.  With Jett's birth I had the urge to push WAY prematurely and had been dealing with rectal pressure and an involuntary pushing sensation during contractions for HOURS, so much so that I wasn't even feeling contractions in my uterus anymore they were all pressure sensations in my bum!  All the premature pushing started to swell my cervix and I only made it to 6cm before getting the epidural with Jett.  So the pushing sensation sort of scared me.  I had no idea if I was 10cm dilated because I hadn't been checked and I was nervous about swelling my cervix if it wasn't in fact time to push.  But I needn't have worried because with the next few contractions came an urge to push so strong that there would have been no stopping it even if I were so inclined.

BUT at some point in here I asked my midwife to check me to make sure it was ok to push and she barely had her fingers in there and she could already feel the head...so baby was already through my cervix and I was most definitely fully dilated!!! After that confirmation and a little experimenting I finally started pushing along with the contractions and all I can say is HOLY SHIT IT HURT.  In my head I had decided that once you got to the pushing stage contractions were no longer painful and that they became just a pushing sensation and you could calmly and painlessly push your baby out.  Clearly I underestimated THE INTENSITY of that pushing sensation and obviously all those women in all those natural birth videos I've seen are robots...I'm looking at you Ricki Lake.

As we got closer to crowning I was WRITHING in pain, screaming, crying, several times I was like OMG I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE!!!  Crowning was particularly painful.  I guess they don't call it the Ring of Fire for nothing.  The pressure and pain I felt not only on my perineum in the back (which I expected) but my clitoris in the front (which I did NOT) was pretty excrutiating...not gonna lie.  After the longest 2 minutes of my life with baby's head crowning, waiting on the next contraction with the next push, where i actually screamed GET OUT! baby's head was finally born.   Then once his head came out THE BABY TURNS to get his shoulders out and he's half inside you and half out of you and ACK! SO WEIRD, I could feel him turning and watch him turning at the same time, such a strange sensation.  This was all the stuff I felt like I missed out on with Jett's birth because I was so numb from my epidural...it was all very painful and weird...I'm not so sure I should have been upset for missing out on it the first time.  But one more push and out pops Baby Noah at 7pm.  Only 45 minutes of pushing.  No tearing other than labial "skid marks", same thing I had with Jett.  And only 4 hours of active "painful" labor.  Total labor was 17 hours but WHAT A DIFFERENCE from Jett's marathon 29 hour labor.

My initial thoughts upon baby being put on my chest AFTER discovering it was a boy was "that's it, I"m done, no more babies, 2 boys is enough."  I was so relieved to be done. 

I am beyond grateful that I finally got my very longed for homebirth but I have to say...the experience was very different than what I imagined.  After having a hospital birth and having a homebirth I can actually say there are advantages and disadvantages to both.  My birth itself  went off without a hitch, quick, complication free but some of the aftermath was a little scary in a homebirth setting.  Up next I'll tell you all about the next few hours after Noah was born!


  1. Wow. I'm in awe of you... all the pain... you are a strong amazing woman!!!! And I love that your decoupage table was there at the birth... that thing has seen some amazing things! :-)
    I'm so glad you got your home birth and that it went smoothly!!! xoxo

  2. I'm all choked up. This was beautiful, and reminded me so much of Venture's birth.

    You looked great through it all! So glad you got the experience you wanted and also have had two different experiences!

  3. LOL, oh man, the ring of fire. It's one of those things I know I felt and yelled something very similar about, but for the life of me I cannot remember it anymore. Nature's way of getting us to keep procreating. :)

    I'm so glad you got the home birth experience you had hoped for! I loved reading about how the midwife just knew from your breathing that you were close and how awesome that you got to be in the water. I swear the water made the difference for me between the two births.

    What a gorgeous story - thank you for sharing it with us!