At 6:30 am on Thursday morning I had my first contraction. I had just gotten out of bed and was getting ready to get into the shower for work. I was 40 weeks 6 days pregnant and didn’t want to get my hopes up because I was feeling forever pregnant. I took a shower and had a few more, very random, contractions. I told my husband, Andrew, to go ahead and head to work because even if I was in labor this would be a lengthy process. He took our 4 year old to preschool and started working as usual. My sister in law, Leanne, lives in Toledo (3 hours away) so I let her know I was having a few contractions and just be prepared because I might have a baby that evening. I wandered around the house alone, in the peace and quiet having a random contraction about every 15 minutes apart and lasting no more than 30 seconds. Andrew works driving around and his company had been keeping him local since they knew I was so close to having a baby so he stopped by on occasion to bring me food and to check in. I decided around 9:00 to have Leanne leave Toledo. I was really afraid that she was going to get half way here and my contractions would stop completely. I figured I would be having a baby that evening because nothing was picking up but I wanted to be safe rather than sorry.
About 9:30 am my midwife stopped by and blew up the birth pool for me. We decided the hose laying in my backyard probably wasn’t the best option so when Andrew came home about 12:00 pm I told him to go grab me some ice cream and a 50ft hose from the store. I mainly was trying to keep him busy outside of the house because when I had a contraction and he was there he looked at me like a sad little puppy and I knew that seeing me in pain was bothering him. The contractions really weren’t bad. I walked around and moaned through them. I swear something about walking into my kitchen made me have a contraction. I tried to lay down and rest but laying down made my contractions so much more painful. I kept thinking “no wonder women in the hospital think natural birth sucks, LAYING DOWN SUCKS!”
Felicia, my midwife, left to drop her kids off and get some food. Before she left she said “You might want to call your birth photographer.” My photographer lives an hour away and being the cheap-ass that I am I was not ready to call her because she was charging me $50/hour. I told Felicia she was crazy. My contractions were about 9 minutes apart and had been for well over an hour. They were VERY mild as far as I was concerned. I felt like I was barely in labor. I took her advice and text my photographer, although I fully intended to yell at Felicia later when I got a bill for $700.00.
Suddenly at 12:30 pm, alone in my home, I felt incredible pressure. I text Felicia and my husband Andrew and said they needed to hurry back. Andrew replied to tell me they only had 35ft hoses and what should he do. I don’t recall my exact response but I think it said “I don’t care just come!”
I was staring at the pool, empty, with contractions much more painful. I was mentally preparing at this point to have a baby by myself. I wanted to get in the water so bad. I quickly debated filling our bathtub and getting in but I knew if I did that I would use all the hot water and I would not be able to use the birth pool during Chandler’s arrival. I held out, waiting for my husband to get home. Andrew arrived first and I told him to immediately get water running in the pool. I think he started putting ice cream away which made me want to kill him (sorry babe!) Felicia arrived shortly after. Kneeling on the floor I put my arms over my giant birth ball and used that to help relieve contractions. I decided to go ahead and get in the birth pool even though there was only about a foot of water at the time. It was immediate relief.
At 1:00 pm after being in the pool for about 15 minutes my sister in law showed up and started video taping. Minutes later my photographer showed up. Thankfully she was armed and ready to start taking photos. The contractions were much stronger and the pressure was getting very intense. When I contracted I let my body float, holding my arms over the side of the pool and resting my head on the side. Letting my hips and legs float behind me took so much pressure off my body, it made the pain subside enough to focus on my body and feel myself progressing. I really don’t remember too much around me, I kept my eyes closed. I moaned out the pain, I floated, I focused.
At about 1:10 pm I started feeling the need to push. I didn’t even tell anyone I was pushing. Felicia knew, she knew before I did exactly where I was in my birthing process. She sat on the couch and was quiet I barely even knew she was there. Pushing was easy as first, really my body did the work for me. I just gave in and let it and moaned, which seemed to help. When Chandler’s head was half way out is when the pushing got interesting. It felt like my body never wanted to stop pushing but I knew I needed to push with contractions. It was an internal battle to try NOT to push until a contraction hit. At one point I yelped out and I heard Felicia say to moan deep. That was the only piece of advice she gave me during my whole birth. In hindsight I am so grateful, I can truly say I birthed my baby by myself, trusting my body. At one point I started trying to flag Leanne to get behind me to get the money shot, since no one knew I was pushing she was pretty confused but Felicia told her and now I can watch the birth of my gorgeous boy over and over.
Once Chandler’s head was out birthing him was a piece of cake. A push or two more and out he came, into the water. I had been on my hands and knees so I looked down, found him, sat behind him and pulled him out of the water and onto my chest. The pain was gone. I instantly felt fantastic. It was as if this baby just appeared in the water, there was no birthing that occurred. I loved on him for about 20 minutes until I was ready to get out of the water. Andrew cut the cord, wrapped Chandler in a towel, and sat on the couch with him while I birthed the placenta.
Our sweet boy was born at 1:30 pm on Thursday November 7th, 8 lbs 3 oz, pulled from the water by mommy. This birth was so beautiful and so healing. Home birth was everything I ever imagined and more.