On 4/27 I woke up feeling different. I knew she would be here soon. I texted a few friends asking for prayers that she stay in! It was a big day for Preston at school. The prayers worked, we did not meet our baby girl that day. I went to sleep for a few hours, but woke up to strong surges around 3am on Thursday the 28th. I began timing them. They were about 6-7 minutes apart and lasting for about a minute and a half. I tried to rest, I paced, I swayed. I woke Preston up around 4:45. I wanted to wait longer before waking him, but I just needed to tell someone! He stayed up late that night writing a paper, so he had only recently fallen asleep. When I went to wake him up, he was very confused and had no idea what I wanted. It was hysterical! When I finally said “I think I'm in labor.” His eyes lit up and he started asking questions about what had been happening so far. After we labored together for while, we agreed that we should call our midwife, Rebekah, and give her a heads up. She asked some questions and agreed that I was in early labor! She told me to rest and let her know when things started picking up. At this time I texted the rest of the birth team just so they'd be aware that it was the day! My mom came over around 8 to help get the house ready and wrangle Caden so Preston could be with me. I labored on my own and napped in between surges for a while. My doula, Ashley, arrived next, I'm not sure of the time. Maybe 10 or 11? The photographer, Shelby, arrived shortly after her and Rachel and Rebekah, the midwives, arrived around noon.
The day was here! I felt so excited and so loved; so powerful and so much at peace. My brain was constantly shifting from riding the waves as they came to dreaming about how things would unfold.
Easy labor was all about trying to find my rhythm. Baby girl was facing the wrong way, so it was important to let gravity do its job, but I just couldn't get comfortable. Luckily, things weren't too intense yet. I was doing pretty well internalizing. My husband, mom, and doula were there for support.
Ahhh. The sweet spot. Exercise ball + my fuzzy blanket I made when I was in middle school + counter pressure during surges from my doula = labor bliss. I needed Ashley's strength during surges and I loved Preston's gentle touch.
Things were progressing as quickly as I would have liked them too. I was stuck in the same sequence for hours. I couldn't help but wonder.. When will things pick up? Why is it taking so long? Can i really do this? Why aren't I progressing?
My baby boy. As much as I looked forward to meeting his sister, I was battling mom guilt. How will this effect him? In my last hours as a mom of one, I watched my baby boy grow in front of my eyes. He looked taller, older, more mature. His little hands weren't so little anymore. I tried to soak in every minute with him and give him all of my attention whenever possible.
Wow. That belly. Although I could feel her movements and hear her heartbeat, the mysteriousness of pregnancy was in full swing. Even though she was on her way, I was still wondering what she'd look like, how she'd act, and when she would arrive.
I think my mom was more affected by this experience than anyone. As a naturally nervous person, you can imagine how she felt when I decided on home birth. She completely respected our decision and was such a great support. She was SO excited to meet her first granddaughter. During labor and birth she tried her best to hide her nervousness, My midwives and doula did amazing at keeping her through this as well. I'll never forget how proud of me my momma was that day.
Y'all. I seriously could NOT have done this without my doula. She was there with counter pressure during. every. single. contraction. I used hypnobirthing, so my main focus was breathing. I didn't talk, moan, or clinch up. I simply went inside myself and waited for each surge to pass. She somehow was able to recognize exactly what I needed throughout my entire labor. I would start to get thirsty and she'd be there with water. I would start to doubt myself and she'd tell me what a badass I was. I would start to focus on the pain instead of my breathing and she'd explain what I was feeling- "This means her head is coming down. Thats's great! You're getting loser." She helped Preston be super involved and she took over when he was having trouble keeping up.
Preston was exactly what I wanted him to be during labor, my birth partner. He truly was there for me. Ashley showed him things to do to help me through surges and he gave it his all every time. We worked together or make this baby and we worked together to birth her. Experiencing a home birth together is something I'll always cherish.
Things were getting intense. I was internalizing so well that I don't think everyone else realized how intense they actually were. I was starting to think that we may actually be getting somewhere! I think this was when I first thought "okay. This can be over now."
Waiting for the midwives to fill the tub was excruciating. I'm quite sure I was complete by this point, but I was afraid to say anything. Home birth midwives don't check for dilation and I was afraid I'd say something about being complete and be wrong. I actually went back to the tub before it was full and started trying to get in. I needed to be in.
One last listen before I got in the birth pool.
The one thought I had while stepping into the water was "God PLEASE let this make things better. If this doesn't help I may actually die." Also known as- transition!
Ahh. Sweet relief. The water took so much pressure off which was exactly what I needed.
The warm water felt so good. It was so quiet and peaceful.
After a brief moment of relief, reality set back in. This baby was coming. I tried different positions. I started feeling "pushy" but still didn't want to say anything. What if I was wrong?