Before another week passes by, here is W's birth story:
First of all, we made it to 38 weeks! By a whopping 40 minutes :) I could feel that Baby had dropped at 37 weeks and was sitting head-down, but I didn't realize this would be my last "baby bump" picture:
Thursday, May 21:E and I started our morning with bread-baking and playing in the backyard. No running that day as I planned on doing prenatal yoga in the evening.
12 NOON - We had our last appointment with our midwife and she dropped off the birthing pool. Talk about perfect timing.
While E was down for his nap, our neighbor stopped over and gave me a before-baby mani/pedi. That was a first for me and it was really sweet. She is really gifted. I can hardly stand the thought of touching other people's feet!
I started having contractions but I couldn't tell if they were strong Braxton Hicks or the real deal. E woke up from his nap shortly after my neighbor left. We picked up the house and headed outside for more play time.
The contractions continued through the afternoon and by the early evening they had formed a pattern of every 5 minutes, about 30 seconds in length. They weren't super intense so I didn't know if Baby was coming soon or in a couple weeks. Our midwife was at a birth 3 hours away so we definitely didn't want to have the baby that night!
8:00 PM - E went down for bed. Leo and I kept our midwife updated and after drinking some water, using lavender oil and just laying down, I was able to sleep through the contractions.
Praise God for the rest and labor not progressing at that time! (Don't worry, if labor had progressed, we did have a back-up plan.)
Friday, May 22:Right away that morning the contractions were much stronger. Leo left for work and E and I cleaned up the house.
9:30 AM - The contractions were strong enough that I couldn't keep up with E anymore. A friend kindly offered to watch E if this situation came up and now was the time to call her! E had a fun time playing with his toddler friends and I got in some last minute power-nesting.
12 NOON - Leo came home for lunch and, by that time, I was really uncomfortable. My emotions were a bit haywire and it was hard to see him leave again while I was at home laboring by myself. The toddler-free house was way too quiet for me!
Another friend stopped over after lunch and she basically became my "doula" that afternoon. She was a great help because we know each other well, she is so calm and has been through birth many times herself - including two homebirths with the same midwife that worked with me.
We walked laps around the neighborhood and visited all afternoon. I took some rest breaks but tried to stay moving for much of the time by doing labor lunges, swaying back and forth or walking around. The movement made contractions much easier to work through.
5:00 PM - Leo came home just before supper and brought E with him. We all had supper together and our midwife arrived soon after. I was dilated nearly halfway that point, so we were making progress! After supper, Leo had to go back to work for a couple more hours and my doula-friend went home to her family. Our midwife caught a nap on the couch, as she was up the whole night before at another birth, while I got E ready for bed.
7:00 PM - We did the usual bedtime routine and I struggled to read the bedtime books during contractions. I told E, "Hold on, mommy needs to rest" just before the contraction came. He told me, "No rest, mommy!" Oh, if only he knew what was going on...
After E was in bed, I laid down in our bedroom attempting to get some rest. His door cracked open a few minutes later and he exclaimed, "Potty, potty!". We hurried to the potty, he did his business and then went to bed. For real this time.
9:30 PM - By the time Leo made it home, active labor was in progress. Laboring with his company was much better and he was able to put counter-pressure on my lower back and hips during the contractions. He tried to close his eyes in between contractions to rest a little but neither of us got any sleep. The baby was coming soon!
Through the contractions, I focused on laboring efficiently rather than on the pain itself. Each contraction was one step closer to meeting our baby. I did my best to listen to my body and move around to whatever was comfortable, working with the labor instead of against it. Most importantly, staying relaxed. Being afraid of the pain in labor only slows things down and makes labor more painful.
|The Christian Childbirth Handbook|
11:00 PM - Contractions became VERY intense and labor was moving fast. I was back and forth between the restroom and the bedroom. Finally I decided to just stay in the restroom. The mucus plug passed and it hit me that there is no going back - we are meeting our Baby #2 tonight!
Our midwife and Leo rushed to get the birthing pool set up and filled with just enough water. Not too long after they finished filling it, the urge to push came and there really wasn't any stopping it.
Labor felt so fast that I wasn't sure if I was fully dilated and ready to push. Our midwife reassured me to listen to my body and push.
Saturday, May 23:12:00 AM - The contractions maintained intensity but the warm water helped me to relax in between each one. Because beginning and end of the contractions were more relaxed, I had little rest time even in the peak of labor.
Shortly after pushing started, we heard a loud "pop" that meant my water broke. That really surprised me, as it was something I didn't experience with my first delivery (because they broke my water for me).
After 35 minutes of pushing, our baby was out! Baby laid on my chest for a while and, finally, after guessing this whole pregnancy, we had to find out...
We had a baby BOY!
Baby boy weighed in at 7 lbs and measured 20 inches long.
He remained nameless for the next hour or so as we tried different names from our list to see what fit him best.
My Thoughts on Home Birth:Having a home birth seems crazy to most people. It isn't very common around here and the unfamiliar tends to make people freak out. Some have home birth horror stories that they heard from a friend of a friend of a friend or they have their own stories about how their baby would have died if they had been born at home.
Personally, I'm not interested in persuading anyone to have a home birth. It's not a good fit for everyone or for every pregnancy and that's okay. The women that I know who have had home births had positive experiences and all I want to do is share my experience with our first home birth. Having our baby at home was a great fit for us as we wanted a natural, non-medicated water birth and I had a low-risk pregnancy.
Our decision to have a home birth was not a hasty one. I did my research by reading books and articles on home birth, watching a couple documentaries and finding one awesome midwife! We prayed a lot about having our baby at home and God gave us peace in this decision.
There isn't one thing I would change about Baby W's home birth. It was beautiful. God blessed me with a great pregnancy, labor and delivery and I am so thankful for that. Our midwife was absolutely wonderful and Baby W was the 456th baby she has delivered. Now that's a lot of babies!
If we are blessed with another baby in the future, I'm not sure if we would go with a home birth again or if we would try a birthing center. It all depends on the pregnancy and what God has planned for us. I DO know that I would love to work with our same midwife, have a waterbirth again and have the freedom to move around throughout the entire labor and delivery process. Being able to move freely is really important to me in labor and it sure makes things move smoother!
One Week Later:Eleven days into life as a family of four and we're all tired yet feeling so blessed at the same time. I'm so thankful to be the mom of two sweet boys and I can't wait to see them playing together (and likely fighting at times). Big brother E is so proud of Baby W!
In the future, I will be sharing our experience adjusting as a family of four and also training for my first race after Baby #2!
Home Birth/Natural Birth Resources:The Business of Being Born (free to watch on YouTube)
More Business of Being Born
The Christian Childbirth Handbook
What were the best resources that helped to prepare you for childbirth?
Linking up with Mommy Moments.