I was a week overdue and cranky. I had really felt through my whole pregnancy that this baby would come a little early. Yet here I was, overdue again. I was doing better than I expected, my spirits were up for the most part, and I didn’t feel *too* badly…but I was DONE.
Sunday 10/24, I decided to go to church. I felt like I needed it and really hoped no one would say anything stupid. I just knew I’d be in labor that night. I had contractions all day. I figured they would pick up and really be labor after the kids went to bed. The kids went to bed…and nothing.
I cried, and cried, and cried some more. I felt utterly defeated. I could feel all of my hopes and dreams for this birth slipping away. I did 100 pelvic tilts while sobbing and praying, then went to bed. I thought I should at least attempt the natural induction method involving my husband, but that didn’t really work out because…well…I was crying. So I tried to go to sleep. Then I started contracting.
I tried my best to ignore them, this had happened way too many times and I wasn’t getting my hopes up again. It was 11pm. They didn’t go away. I think I woke Jake up around 2. At 3, we decided to give Andrea a heads up. At 4, we called my Mom. By this time, I needed to hold Jake’s hand and breathe through the contractions. I alternated between standing and swaying and sitting on the ball between frequent bathroom trips. At 6, we called Andrea to have her and Evelyn (birth assistant/doula extraordinaire) head our way. When they arrived at 7, I was very nauseated and lying in bed trying to rest.
The whole experience felt surreal. Was I even in labor? Was it really happening? I had just started to believe I was, in fact, pregnant. I wouldn’t believe I was in labor until there was a baby in my arms. At 8:30, what I knew was coming from my previous labors yet dreaded so badly, happened. I threw up. I HATE throwing up. It’s my biggest fear. However, I knew things were progressing at that point, and I also started feeling much better between contractions. I got out of bed and alternated between standing and the ball again. I needed to hold on to someone during each contraction. It kept me grounded. I felt safe. I was eyeing the tub, and felt like it might feel really good. I didn’t want to get in too early, so around 9:45, Andrea checked me. 7cm and stretchy! Wow! I really was going to have a baby today!The water felt sooooo nice. The tub was incredibly comfortable. The bottom and sides were so squishy I felt no pressure anywhere. I sat there laying back for quite a while, and then things got a bit more intense. I switched to hands and knees for a while. Things got STRONG. I had been moaning during contractions for a while, but now I was really *needing* to vocalize. Around noon, I suddenly felt a little pop and lots of gushing. My water broke! Amazing! The feeling of the waters around my baby releasing into the water is not one I’ll forget. What an experience! I started to get really hot in the tub. I stood for a while to cool off a bit, and WOW things got more intense. I decided to get out of the tub and try to pee. The toilet was the most uncomfortable thing in the world.
I decided I didn’t want to be back in the tub yet. I was still too hot and feeling nauseated again. I got back on the ball. I had to sit waaaay forward on it almost falling off to be able to tolerate it. Jake was sitting on the bed with his knees supporting me. I was holding on to him, I needed all the support he had. I’m pretty sure Evelyn and Andrea took turns rubbing my back. Evelyn was talking to me, telling me what to relax. My body responded to her voice immediately every time. I didn’t even have to try, my tension just melted as she spoke. Good thing, because things were seriously PAINFUL at this point. I remember saying at least a few times that I didn’t want to do this anymore! I just wanted to be done! I was getting really tired now, and just wanted to lay my head down between contractions. So I got back in bed. It was 12:49.
I was only in bed for a few contractions when…whoah… I’m going to have to push soon. Then, uhh yeah… I’m totally pushing. It was involuntary at first, I just let my body do it’s thing. Then after a bit longer I needed baby OUT! I was on my left side, and my right leg was being held up. At this point I don’t know who was where or doing what or who else was even in the room. I felt like I was so much more efficient at pushing than I had been with my other kids. I could actually feel the baby moving down every time. The feeling of my baby's head crowning is forever ingrained in my memory. It's a double memory. As I was pushing, Andrea said, "Rosalie, put your hand down here!" I reached down and felt my baby's head. It was soft, warm, wrinkly, squishy. It's a texture you'll never feel anywhere else. As I was feeling the head with my fingers, I was also feeling the glorious burn of my body stretching. What a moment! That was all I needed. I pushed with everything I had. Then suddenly the head was coming out! Jake called for Lily to come in, and I reminded everyone to not announce the gender. I was finding this out for myself! His head was fully out , and then the rest of him very quickly followed. My baby was born (face up!) at 1:36 into a room full of love. Truly, full! In the room to witness this sacred miracle were Jake, Lily, Nolan, my mother, my father, my grandmother, and my extraordinary midwife team of Andrea and Evelyn. I pulled the slippery new being up to my chest, and made the long awaited discovery- It was a BOY! We heard his first cries and were instantly in love. He was 9lbs 10oz and 21.5 inches long. I did it! I gave birth…at HOME!
His birth changed me. I learned how truly magnificent my body is. *I* gave birth to my baby. No pitocin, no pain meds, no wires, no IV, no annoying monitors, no poking or prodding, no impatient glances at the clock. My own body worked with itself to perform a miracle. It moved the way it needed to, not for someone else's convenience. I'm so thankful that I had such an amazing midwife team to make this experience possible, and a supportive family to help me realize my dream.