It was another day like any other. I had been contracting for weeks off and on. I had several false starts, hours of contractions that seemed to lead to nowhere. I was becoming more and more tired each passing day. I figured I would go past my due date, as I had with two of my three children. On September 10, around 430pm in the afternoon, I thought perhaps that I had a small water leak. It turned out to be no. But, I called my midwife anyway so I could let her know of what was going on. This is when contractions began to become regular. But I didn’t notice them because I have them all the time anyway!
She checked my cervix at my request and I was 5-6 centimeters when she came by our home at about 830pm. I still couldn’t believe I was actually in labor. But, Lorna(my midwife) decided to stay and we let things progress on their own. I was having regular contractions about 5 minutes apart, and these were very slowly and gradually becoming more intense. Around 9pm, I decided to call my doula and my two friends who were coming too. The other midwife and midwife in training came to my home as well at this point. I had 7 women surrounding me with love and support! My mom was number 7.
Chris set up the birthing pool so it would be hot and ready for me. My contractions continued at their rhythm of every 5 minutes for the next 8 hours or so. I was so tired. I started crying several times because I was just exhausted trying to manage them all night. When I would think I couldn’t go any longer, my mom and my friends and doula would pray with me, reminding me I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me. At about 430am I had the midwife check my progress, though I knew in my heart that I wasn’t near delivery time yet. She confirmed my thoughts and told me I was still 5-6 centimeters, but that I HAD thinned out almost completely. We talked about what my options were. At this point, I began to cry and say how I wanted to go to the hospital because I couldn’t manage this anymore. They all encouraged me and told me I really could do it. I didn’t believe them, but I stayed. It was because of one person, my husband. Everyone there had been praying with me but this time, I needed more. All of a sudden I heard his voice whisper in my ear,”Baby, you can do this.” And then he prayed. A simple quiet prayer reminding me that God would give me the strength to do what must be done. He asked God to fill me with strength and help me finish this work. While I’d heard those same words many times that night, hearing my other half say them, my one flesh, was more powerful than 20 women’s empowering speeches. His spirit spoke to mine in a way that no one else did, and I knew in that moment, I could do it, I WOULD do it. There would be no hospital trips for me!
Lorna and I talked and decided to break my water. At 515am, my membranes were ruptured. And thats when things got going big time!
My first contraction was in the birthing tub and it took my breath away. My second and third were so strong I could barely move. I got out of the tub and they helped me get on the birthing stool. Mid-contraction, I felt myself bear down. I had no urge or pressure, I just DID it. I could feel her coming down and the sting of my canal opening for her was quite intense. About three contractions later, her head crowned. The midwives thought they had more time. lol! Her shoulder got stuck, so Lorna told me, “ok, hunny, lets get you on all fours and give baby more room to come out. Its time to welcome your baby into the world.” The pain was the most intense I have ever felt in my life. This wasn’t the peaceful calm quiet home birth I imagined. It was primal, intense, and stunning all at the same time. I was helped to my hands and knees, and pushed and for the first time of all my deliveries I did not have the bad nerve pain I have always had in my back during pushing. I actually felt like I could WORK with my contractions and it was great. Once I was on my knees, it was only one or two contractions and she turned, Lorna assisted her shoulder from dislodging from my pelvic bone. Then they helped me move back to my knees. I pushed one more time and my little “big” girl was born! I couldn’t believe it!! I did it!!! I gave birth naturally, normally, in my own home. No one poked me, prodded me, rushed me, or hurried the process. They just helped me love her into the world. I picked her up immediately, I saw that indeed I delivered a healthy fat little GIRL!!
She pooped on her way out, I suppose it was a bit stressful coming out of a hole the size of a lemon when you are the size of a bowling ball lol. When we weighed her and saw that she was 10lbs 15 oz, the midwives laughed because her scale only went to 11 pounds! She said, had she not pooped on her way out, she would have been about 11lbs3oz!
I was very sore. I felt as if I had been beaten up from the inside out! But, I didn’t care…the disbelief that I had really done it, really done what I wanted and had this baby at home was so great! It was the most intense thing I have ever experienced.
Was it quiet? Was it peaceful? No, it was like war…I felt like I was in battle, against my fears, against my self doubt, against my body’s desire to give up, against everything. Reaching transition and knowing I HAD to let go and let it happen was so hard, but having her out of me, holding her, hormones rushing through me, it was incredible. It was astonishing. I wish for all women to know what it is like. It was unexplainable.