This little nugget was due July 9th(ish), and was by far my easiest and healthiest pregnancy. I don't know if it was the pre-natals I was taking or the fact I actually kept up with taking juice plus this go around (semi-consistently). I will say, by 39 weeks I was dragging in this Houston heat of July. Like both my girls, this was going to be a home birth with our same birth team we've used twice before. Sparing all the minute details of false starts, and silly prodromal labor, I'll start our story with the actual week I went into labor. No worries readers, there's nothing super TMI or NSFW photos in this post.
Every Monday was my midwife visit, and I kept hoping we wouldn't have to meet again because a baby would be here. So after weeks of early/false labor, and being 41wks, I was emotionally done being pregnant. I saw my midwife that Monday, July 17 and was still only 1cm dilated and 70% effaced. I was a bit frustrated. We did a membrane sweep but it didn't really do much. We literally tried all the things. I did an induction massage that Friday before, I had been taking all the homeopathic and herbs, walking like crazy, doing whatever was in my power to encourage that kid out. I had a day of contractions Tuesday, I even tried that god awful Castor Oil, but it went no where. So I went and visited my midwife again to see if I had progressed any on Wednesday morning, thankfully I did. I was finally 2-3cm, but still not having steady contractions. My girls had been at grandmas all week, so I went and picked them up and took them out to a playground. I was having contractions that were harder, but nothing that was stopping me from that. I made the tough call to let them spend the night at grandmas again hoping I'd go into labor. Alas, I did not.
By Thursday morning, I was so over being pregnant. I woke up at 6am and started sobbing. I was 41 weeks 3 days, missing my girls, exhausted and emotionally spent. I called my midwife to ask what we could do, and if we could talk about hospital induction. So we go see Leah, our midwife, and get checked, still only 4cm (after a full day of contractions). At that point I requested we schedule a transfer of care and a hospital induction for Friday morning (through serious tears. y'all I had been crying for almost 3 hours by now). Midwife suggested taking the day to not try to get labor started, as I had been all week. So we pick up the girls from grandparents, go home and relax. My midwife had swept my membranes again, so of course I'm hurting and having contractions. I try to ignore them all day... by 4:45 I text my midwife that I'd been timing them and they were steady.
By 5:30/6 they got closer and stronger. So I finally believed I was in real labor and told her to come at 8pm. Why I knew I didn't need her immediately is just experience. By the time she got there at 8, my 2 older girls were in bed and I was able to count on contractions coming between 5-7 minutes. She checked me and I thought I was only going to be a 4/5, since i still wasn't in too much to handle pain. Sure enough she was like, you're 7cm dilated!! So we both were excited. That was around 8:30/9, the rest of her team arrived a little after she checked me. I had a student midwife there, and Leah (my midwife) asked the student to watch me during a contraction and take a guess to what dilation I was. She guessed a 5. I'm a still and quiet laborer, so it's hard to gauge how far along I am by how my manage pain through a contraction
We started watching fixer upper, and by 10:30/11 I asked to get checked again, she said a big 8cm. Which for me, knowing where I'm at was motivating this go around. Through each contraction I could tell myself "only a few more cm". By now, the only comfortable place to get through a contraction was standing/swaying and bracing myself on the threshold of a door or counter to lean over or on my birth ball. I did a few contractions of hands and knees over the ball. She was soooo low that every time they checked, they had to walk my cervix forward because it kept going posterior because her head forced it that way. The ball really was my saving gracing because I could comfortably relax into the deep contractions. By this time, they were radiating in my whole pelvic region, lower back. And if I rolled just right, I could spark one because of where her head was. Around 11:30 I was feeling nauseous, so I went upstairs to lay down and labor in the side laying position. I was weary of this because in previous births this position brought on the hard contractions and I find I had trouble relaxing into them.
After a few really deep contractions I sat up and tailor sat because I just knew she needed gravity to get through those last 2cm. Of course this is when I started shivering and knew we were getting close. Around 12:30am I had them check again, and sure enough I was a 9. The next few contractions I really had to get into that place of focusing. Whatever music is playing helped me relax and at this point I was still timing contractions so I stopped. I was definitely at the horse lips and almost whistling low quiet hum phase. Of course my insomniac children woke up at 1am... so they came out, said hi... we got the kindles ready. I hugged each of them a little bit. And as I was about to lift my 3 year old I stopped. Literally as soon as I handed husband the kindle for Her, the big contractions with the urge to push came hard. I was at my doorway and my knees buckled and I got loud and started to whimper. I had to squat into those because it's all I could do.
For some reason I wanted to sit on the toilet and felt the urge to push there. And goodness it took 2 pushes on the toilet for me to realize it was near. Jimmy was still with our 3 year old and Leah was like " you don't want to give birth on the potty. we have to move". I told my midwives I needed him here to get me off the toilet... glad he came, because he helped me walk to the bed for 3 more pushes and she was out 11 mins from potty to bed. I had about a 30 second break between pushes, and the saving grace was them putting a warm compress down there. Her water didn't break until her head was out. Her little head had plugged up the cervix, so it couldn't really have broken until then. I definitely remember husband asking me if I wanted water and I told him no and to shut up. The student midwife was giving My midwife olive oil, and was asking how much. Of course in between pushes I am still present, and jokingly said "don't be stingy, we have plenty more downstairs" As soon as she came out both my midwives (who have been at my two previous births), were shocked at how little she was for being 41+5. I had no tearing, and really my only complaint was a sore tail bone.
So after what felt like an easy labor, and even easier delivery, my smallest baby girl, Erin Margaret was born on July 21, 2017 at 1:35am. She weighed 6lbs 15oz and was born at home.
Nothing a little beauty counter charcoal mask can't help. (Ps this was night 2, not immediately after the birth)
Thanks for reading! I'll be doing a Homebirth series in the coming weeks! What are some questions you have that you'd loved answered?