Water Lily

It was really happening. I was REALLY about to have my 2nd child, and this time without any pain medication. Of course the 9 months leading up to that moment were a pretty good indicator, but when my water broke around 9:30 PM on October 22nd, reality really set in. All I could do was yell for my husband, Ben, in excitment! At this point I was already 9 days past my due date, and had been doing everything I could to try and kickstart labor. This time it worked! I was bouncing on my yoga ball and using a breast pump, stood up to walk to my room, and it happened! I immediately called my doula, Lyric. I had Ben call Shelby, who had been waiting to capture my birth on camera! I knew I needed to try and rest and prepare my body for the journey it was about to go through. My sister in law came and got my (very rambunctious) almost 2 year old so we could have some peace and quiet. I had Ben help me pick up the house and do the dishes, and make sure I had everything packed for the birth center before going to bed. The excitement kept me awake. I tossed and turned, and slept maybe a couple of hours when I woke up around 1 AM having contractions. I used an app on my phone that helped me time the contractions. At this point they were 10 minutes apart and not too bad. Manageable. I didn't wake Ben up yet, I knew he was going to need the energy as well. I tried to get a little more sleep but the contractions were getting more painful. I woke Ben up around 4:30 AM and told him I needed his help. Still 10 minutes apart, but much more intense. We were supposed to head to the birth center once they were 5-6 minutes apart. We laid in my dark bedroom and listened to some music while waiting for it to progress. Around 6:30 AM I called my doula and told her to come over and help me get through the contractions because they were getting extremely powerful, yet still 10 minutes apart. She told me she would be there in 30 minutes. By the time she got there my contractions had jumped from 10 minutes apart to less than 2 minutes apart. I was in a bit of a panic. Ben was in a panic, but Lyric was so calm and ready to go. Thank god for Lyric. I thought I had more time, but Lily had other plans. I honestly felt like I was going to have her in the car on the way there, while Ben drove 90 mph with Lyric right behind. We got to the birth center at 8AM and the midwife hadn't even made it there herself! Lyric helped me get through very extreme contractions on my yoga ball right there in the parking lot while we waited. When we saw the Midwife, Jodie, show up, an instant wave of relief came over me. It was really time to do this. Let's have a baby.

Once we got inside the birth center, I was 5cm dilated and progressing quickly. Shelby had shown up and my best friend Megan was on her way. Waiting for the birth tub to be blown up and filled with water seemed like it took ages. The bathroom was where I went for solitude through this minor delay.

Ah, finally getting water in the tub. I wanted to just go ahead and jump in at that point. I remember Ben looking me in the eye and telling me what a badass I was at that moment as I told him to feel how much Lily was moving around. It was a really crazy feeling. She was ready to come out!

My amazing doula, Lyric. I really don't know if I could have gotten through it without her. Every time I felt like giving up, she was there with encouraging words. She was breathing deeply with me and telling me how great I was doing. I needed to hear it, because I was about to be in the depths of transition.

The warm water hitting me felt amazing. I was in my own world and just trying to internalize the pain. It was the best I could do until the pool was filled. Seeing someone you love be in pain is never easy, and I love that Lyric helped comfort Ben through the process.

That shower was a lifesaver. At this point I questioned my sanity and how much longer it was going to go on until I got to meet my little girl. I kept telling myself that I can do anything for one minute, that I could and would get through each contraction.

Lyric helping me with deep breathing through the contractions, which were constant. The cold shower wall felt so good to lean against, and Lyrics' soft voice and encouraging words got me through the lovely stage known as transition.

It was finally time to get in the pool! I was so relieved. The warm water helped calm so much pressure and I could finally relax. My mind was at ease, knowing my birth was finally going the way I planned. Ben and I had discussed him getting in the birth pool with me in the weeks leading up to that day, but I wasn't sure if I would want him in there. In the moment I NEEDED him to be in there with me, and I'm so glad he was. He was such a great birth partner.

Being able to put all my weight on Ben and let my lower half be weightless was exactly what I needed. The cold towel on my head and his gentle touch on my neck were when I was most at peace. I knew we were meeting our little girl soon.

I was so calm here. I really couldn't have asked for a better birth partner. I could tell all the books, all the articles I asked him to read, all the videos I made him watch, were paying off.

I kept my eyes closed through pretty much my entire labor. It helped me stay focused on breathing and getting through the waves. I was in a world of my own.

The natural high I was experiencing was like nothing I've ever experienced or could have ever imagined. My body just knew what to do. I had a tingling, numbing sensation throughout my entire body. I kept reminding myself that each contraction was bringing me closer to meeting my little girl.

I started feeling "pushy." It was a huge relief that my contractions were finally getting me somewhere. I was beginning to feel like it would last forever.

I love the calmness on Lyrics face. She kept ensuring me that everything was going perfectly and that my body was preparing to birth my baby. I kept saying I felt like I needed to push, but still wasn't positive.

Absolutely loved the support of the nurse and midwife. She was checking Lily's heartbeat, which was great! The midwife Jodie is patiently awaiting Lily's arrival, gloves on and ready for a baby!

The urge to push was no longer in question. It was definitely time.

I seem to be in excruciating pain, but this was in my opinion the easiest part. It felt so good to push! I wanted to see Lily's face!

I could feel her head starting to come out, I was getting so tired and wanted desperately to have her in my arms.

After about 30 minutes of pushing, I finally did it! Her head was out! A couple more pushes and there she was!

The look of pure joy on everyone's face is awesome. I remember being worried that she wasn't crying yet, hence the look on my face. I was in shock that I had really just had a baby!

Finally a cry, all ten fingers and toes, and a sigh of relief. I did it. I really did it.