Without reservation, I present to you the raw, uncut story of our second home birth.
On the eve of the 28th (my due date), against my OCD agenda, my hubs and I made love. Like clockwork (and I say this because this is exactly how things started with our previous home birth), I felt my first “crampy” contraction at 3:33a. Annoyed, because it wasn’t the “date” I hoped baby would arrive, I tried to pawn it off as false labor; however, I noticed my vaginal discharge had a pink tinge to it and was seemingly increasing. I texted Jennifer at 5am with this information. My contractions continued to cramp my mood every 10-30 minutes. At 6:30a I ate an egg scramble breakfast with two PB energy bites and a date bar. We called my Mom at 7:30a to ask her to pick up our boys because “baby was on the way”! At 8am, I texted Brooke Collier (my videographer) with an update to allow her time to plan her day for our birth. My mom arrived at our house at 8:30a and we said our goodbyes to the boys, all this while I was still only experiencing minor cramping. Because I am very anal retentive about the tidiness of my home, I began organizing the toys and disposing of clutter. Believe it or not, I find this activity calming; but, my super chill hubs reads it as “being stubborn” and anxious. He texted Jennifer: “I can’t get her to relax” who suggested I take a shower. Begrudgingly, I conceded to his request and withdrew to the shower (9am). I shaved my legs (because the act of “preparing” calms me) and readied my body for baby. From 9:30-10:15am my crampy contractions were 9 minutes apart, 1 minute in duration. This is the most “patterned” my contractions were the entire labor. I was surprised to feel baby moving so much during these contractions that I mentioned it in a text to Jennifer: “I can feel baby in the contractions (I didn’t experience this sensation with the boys). Baby feels like (s)he is moving WHILE I’m contracting. Normal?”
My contractions went from annoyingly crampy to outrageously intense in a matter of 30 minutes and at 10:53am, I texted Brooke: “Okay. I’m not having fun anymore. Texting midwifery team to head over. You’re welcome to come too!”
I labored between the bathroom and living room while anticipating the arrival of my birth team, mostly crouched on my knees by a bench or couch. The intensity was picking up as Jennifer and Jenn arrived (11:50am). I was feeling hungry again, so I asked for a snack, but only managed to take a small bite because the contractions were overwhelming my ability to concentrate on anything other than their intensity.
When Teresa arrived, my midwifery team began filling the pool. Brooke stepped in at 12:15pm and went straight to work on capturing labor/birth journey!
At around 12:45p, I transitioned to laboring in the pool. To my surprise, I experienced a somewhat “pushy” surge which looking back, I feel was baby positioning for birth. At 1:15pm, the urge to poop forced me out of the pool and onto the potty. I relieved my bowels and continued to labor on the potty, bearing down. Jennifer mentioned that I could have the baby in the bathroom if I was comfortable, alerting me to transition back to the pool where I wanted to birth my baby.
At 1:30pm, I returned to the pool and began experiencing strong sensations of bearing down and pushing. Because I chose to comfortably birth in the reclined position for my previous live births, I attempted to recline but was greeted with an “absolutely not” pain in my hips. I returned to the forward leaning position I had been favoring all labor long and in a surge of energy I felt an overwhelming need to push. At 1:40pm, Jennifer offered if I would like to touch the “balloon” of the water bag that was presenting ahead of baby. I reached down and felt the slippery surface of the sac, just inside the birth canal. Things escalated quickly from that moment on. At 1:41pm I could feel the sensation of the water bag ballooning out of my birth canal. At 1:42:30pm, I felt the “pop” of the membranes rupturing and in that gush baby’s head was birthed. At 1:43:15pm, after one more intense surge, baby’s full body was birthed and I reached between my legs to lift baby to my chest and transition to a reclined position.
After coming down from the energy rush I experienced in the pushing stage, my hubs and I decided to peak at baby’s parts. No joke, I swear I stared at those parts for an hour (probably more like a minute) completely taken aback by the missing piece!! It’s a GIRL!!!! We were so convinced we were having a boy that we were both rendered mute. I asked my hubs if we were sticking with the name we had envisioned for a girl, and he said, “oh yeah. Her name is Teia Joëlle”