This is the story of my most brave moment. I don’t mean to honk my own horn but… HONK! HONK! Seriously though, I am so proud of myself.
Now, the time frame of this story is very fuzzy in my head. During my birth, time both sped by and stood still. I wasn’t watching the clock. I actually didn’t even realize I had my son in the afternoon until my midwife’s assistant called out the time of birth. What I do know is that from the time my contractions started to the time he popped out was 32 hours! It was SO long.
The story starts around 3 or 4 in the morning on November 10th, 2016. I woke up to use the restroom and well…my mucus plug fell right out! (This is a birth story so read no further if you don’t like reading about mucus plugs, placenta, things stretching,…babies popping out of …well you know!) So anywho, my mucus plug fell out. It was pretty obvious what it was so I immediately texted my midwife to let her know. She was not concerned in the least bit and just said that the baby could come that day or in two weeks. However, no more than an hour later did my contractions start.
Honestly, I wasn’t even sure they were contractions. I had been having Braxton hicks contractions (practice contractions) for the past week before this point so it wasn’t clear. I started timing the “pains” (I had no idea what was coming!! Haha) and realized they were coming about 10 minutes apart. I timed them all night and didn’t get any sleep. Everyone tells you to sleep but for me that was laughable. ‘Oh, you want me to sleep when I know that at some point very soon a tiny human is going to be shooting out of me?….haha, okay!’ So anyways, the contractions…
I texted my midwife all day updating her on my contractions. They were happening all day consistently (like 7 to 8 minutes apart!) But they just weren’t super strong. They really just felt like strong period cramps. I was uncomfortable but it was bearable. Another night went by and surprise, surprise!…I didn’t sleep a wink! At this point I had come to realize these pains weren’t going to stop (and in fact get worse) until this baby was out of me. My midwife suggested I take a warm bath so I did. I felt like I was in a dream laying in warm soapy tub in the early morning of November 11, 2016. I tried to relax but how could I? Once again…the impending doom of a tiny human shooting out of me!
The sun came up that morning and my midwife came and checked me after 24 hours of contractions and I was only dialated to a 2! A freaking 2!! That’s it!! She put some herbs that were supposed to open me up all the way up my cervix which was….pleasant. *ouch* She left.
Later in the morning she came back and I had dialated to and 4. Yay! Progress!! So I texted my birth photographer (a dear friend of mine) to head on over while my husband set up the birth tub. 🙂 Oh, and I should really mention that my husband was AMAZING. He was there from the beginning when my mucus plug fell out and didn’t leave my side the entire time…yes the entire 32 hours! He’s the best. Seriously.
Anyway, by this point I was throwing up from the pain. My husband was holding my hair back while I vomit through each contraction (did I mention he is awesome?). So let’s recap… I haven’t slept in 2 days and now I can’t keep food or liquids down. Great!
I finally stop vomiting and get in the tub. The contractions get worse and my birth photographer shows up at this point to catch me in all my glory.
They just got stronger and stronger AND stronger. I contracted in the tub for a long time. I have no idea how long. The contractions are pretty bad at this point. Around this time 2 things happened and I have no idea what order they took place in. It’s all blurr. 1. My son’s hands were up by his head. My midwife tried to move them. Yes, she put her hand ALL the way up there and tried to physically move him. That didn’t work. He had a mind of his own (and still does!). So I couldn’t have have him in the tub because she needed to assist him coming out. 2. My water wouldn’t break. Originally my midwife and I had decided that we wouldn’t go in a break my water. I wanted it to break naturally. Well, I had been contracting for so long at this point and my son was getting no closer to making his arrival. Soooo my midwife suggested breaking my water to get things moving a little faster and I desperately agreed. I really think my son would have been born in the amniotic sac if we hadn’t of broken my water. That might have been cool though.
Breaking my water was the most painful part of the birth. I’m completely serious. It hurt worse than the “ring of fire” which, for those of you don’t know, is a description used for when the widest part of the baby comes out and stretches the vagina to the max! Honestly, I don’t even remember the “ring of fire”. It’s true what they say, you go into an animalistic mode and the pain of birth somehow becomes manageable. I don’t remember the exact feeling of the pain of my son exiting his cozy womb anymore but I do remember that the pain was awful and I screamed A LOT. Like A LOT. I had no voice the next day from screaming so much. So back to the water breaking… it freaking hurt. SO BAD.
Now my water is broken and it’s time for me to push (again, I don’t know how much time past between these events). I start off in our bed leaning back against the headboard. I pushed in this position for a long time. Very long time. Being that I had never had a baby before I didn’t know how to push correctly. My midwife kept telling me to push like you need to poop and not to scream but to grunt. She wanted me to channel my screams into a grunt that I could use while pushing. I was never able to do that. I tried but the screams took over. There was a lot of cursing and yelling “help me!!”. I pushed on the bed for a long time but I still wasn’t pushing correctly so my midwife suggested I go to the toilet to push because this might trick my body into pushing correctly.
So I got on the toilet. Now my toilet is in a tiny room attached to the bathroom behind a pocket door. My husband, midwife, and midwife’s assistant all somehow managed to fit in there with me. And so I pushed. AND PUSHED. AND PUSHED. AND PUSHED. For 3 and half hours I pushed on that toilet. He crowned and went back in. Crowned and went back in. Crowned and went back in. For 3 and a half hours. Now remember, I hadn’t slept for 2 days and had no food or liquids in me. I had lost all energy. My body was Jello. My midwife ended up giving me shots of B12 right into my thighs…twice! It was at this point that I was starting to say things like “I don’t think I can do it!!” and my midwife said something along the line of “well, we can go to the hospital if you want”. OH HELL NO!!! I did not work this hard to give up and go to the hospital. (I know now she probably said this to light a fire under my ass on purpose). I decided I didn’t want to push on the toilet anymore so I got up and waddled my happy butt (yes my son was crowning at this point) to my bed while the urge to push overtook my body.
I climbed up on the bed by myself while they pour out from the bathroom. I am up on the bed now squatting on all fours and pushing. I couldn’t hold it in. I couldn’t get my butt up off the bed either! My midwife kept saying “You have to lift your butt! You’re going to sit on him!”. I couldn’t lift my butt up. I just couldn’t! So I wrapped my arms around my husband’s shoulders while he lifted me up. Out popped my son.
Just like that my son was here. I could feel him wriggling behind me and hear his beautiful screams. My midwife quickly suctioned his airways and pushed him through my legs and into my arms. That was the best moment of my life. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing and my husband cut the cord. My husband and the midwife’s assistant went and cleaned him up while my midwife helped me pass the afterbirth.
The placenta came out and it was beautiful. I know that’s strange to say but looking at the organ that connected me to my baby and gave him all the nourishment he need while he was inside me was amazing. I had my placenta encapsulated and the cord was dried into a heart shape which I keep in my son’s keepsake box.
Just like that we were a family. My husband and I spent the rest of the day in total awe of this beautiful life we created.
And that’s my story. I may be adding on to this page as I remember things.
Home birth is so empowering. I feel like I can do anything. I wish all women could have such an amazing birth experience.