Story told by Amanda (not sure why it is blue!)
Sunday afternoon, while Mitch and Luke took a nap, I did half an hour of hypnobabies preparation for childbirth and then half an hour of a pregnancy yoga routine that I found on YouTube. I had been doing both of those every day for a couple of weeks. After bouncing around on my birth ball for a while and eating some more pineapple, I decided that the baby wasn’t coming any time soon even though it was already 5 days after her estimated due date and I might as well make a big to-do list for the next day so I could at least be productive while I waited. I planned on going to the DI, picking up a belated Christmas gift, scheduling a pregnancy massage, going to the bank, and making a few phone calls. Unfortunately, or rather, fortunately, none of that happened because I had our baby the next day!
I woke up with a contraction at 2:30 Monday morning and felt a flutter of excitement, but stayed in bed and went back to sleep. I woke up with contractions off and on throughout the night, some of which required me to concentrate and breathe through them, but I was always able to get back to sleep. I got a decent amount of rest, despite being woken up several times during the night. I didn’t turn the light on or time any of them, because I knew it was still early labor and I wanted to get as much sleep as I could.
I got up around 8 am per usual and started eating the breakfast Mitch made me while he continued to get ready for work. I told him I had been having sporadic contractions during the night, but that he should go ahead and go to work and I would call him when I needed him to come back. He convinced me that I should at least call my midwife, photographer, and both of our moms to give them a heads up. I did so and let them know I would call them later when it got more serious. At this point I was still planning on going on my errands with Luke and trying to ignore the contractions for as long as possible. During breakfast I timed a few of them and they were only about 2 minutes apart and lasting 30 seconds long. I was still feeling excited and pretty relaxed between contractions so we were blasting “The Circle of Life” from the Lion King, which was currently Luke’s favorite song to listen to and Mitch and Luke were dancing around the living room. Mitch started watching me closer when I told him they were that close and he realized that I was having to give them my full concentration and didn’t want to talk to him or watch Luke at all during a contraction. He said that I should probably just plan on doing two errands – eating breakfast and taking a shower. Pretty soon after breakfast he decided that he wasn’t going to go in to work at all. He took it upon himself to text everyone and tell them that actually, we’re going to go in now, not this afternoon.
Mitch’s mom and sister showed up at our house a little before 10:30 to take Luke as we had previously planned and we left right after she showed up to go to the birth center. My midwife and photographer were already there when we arrived and my mom and sisters showed up a few minutes later.
My midwife checked me for the first and only time during my whole pregnancy and labor and said that I was almost at a 6 dilated and that she was at a +2 station, which is very low. When Luke was born I was at a 5 when I got to the birth center and he was born about 6 hours later, so that was the sort of time frame I was expecting.
I sat on the birth ball for a while and leaned into Mitch during the contractions while my mom pressed a hot bean bag to my lower back, but then decided to move to the pool pretty quickly.
The water felt so good! I knelt in the water facing the side of the pool. Mitch sat outside the pool so I could lean on him during contractions. It was very comfortable and I was able to fully relax in between contractions. At one point I had to get out to go to the bathroom and that was hard. I had several contractions trying to walk there and back. I just wanted to get back to the water as fast as I could.
Pretty soon after I got back into the water I felt my water break and then I started to feel the need to make some noises during the contractions. Up until then I was completely quiet throughout everything. The midwives didn’t actually know when I was between contractions or in the middle of one because I looked and sounded the same whether I was in the middle of one or not. Mitch always knew though. He said I breathed differently during contractions.
I started having little sighs and moans but quickly changed to grunting and louder moans and pushing sounds. I involuntarily pushed for about 20 minutes, just going along with what my body was doing until one of the assistant midwives asked me after a contraction if I felt a “little pushy” at all on that one. Chris, our main midwife, responded that I had been pushing for a while now. When I heard that I realized that my body had indeed been pushing, and that I should go ahead and actively push when I felt the urge to do so.
I pushed hard for about 10 minutes and she was born at 12:30 pm! I was kneeling in the pool so our midwife helped catch her and quickly handed her to me and I brought her up out of the water and then flipped myself over so I was sitting on the floor of the pool with my back resting on the side of the pool.
I patted and rubbed her back a little and talked to her and she quickly pinked up and gave a hearty cry for just a few seconds before she calmed down and lay quietly and contentedly on my chest. She didn’t even need to get suctioned out at all.
After a few minutes I held her up to verify that she was indeed a girl. She didn’t like being held at arm’s reach and cried a lot about that although she quieted down again pretty quickly after I tucked her into me again on my chest. After the cord stopped pulsing Mitch cut the cord and then held her skin to skin with her while I delivered the placenta and then got out of the pool and into bed.
After about an hour, Mitch’s mom and sister got there with Luke and he was very excited to see the baby. Mitch brought him into the big king size bed with us and he gently touched her toes and fingers and gave her a kiss on her head. We told him what happened and how mama pushed the baby out so we can hold her. He loves telling everyone the story now about how we got our baby, complete with sound effects.
After cheering Melina’s birth with a bottle of Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider, and eating some crackers, cheese sticks and mini oranges, I was feeling pretty good so I took a shower and got dressed and we all went home.
We went through Taco Bell’s drive through on the way home because some bean burritos sounded pretty great to me right about then. We got home about 4:30 pm and tucked into our own bed.
Melina was born on Monday, January 4th, at 12:30 pm, 6 days after her estimated due date. She weighed 8 lbs 2 oz and is perfect in every way.