Home Birth of Sawyer Jacob(2HBA2C)
Early in the morning of the 20th, I was awakened by contractions that started suddenly. They were mild and widely spaced enough that I could comfortably stay in bed and sleep through them. I decided to get up out of bed around 6:30. As I had had no other signs of labor, I just figured this was prodomol labor, and I thought true labor was still several days away. I told Jeff that I thought we had days ahead of us so he should go ahead to work. I made the kids breakfast and got them started on schoolwork. I called my midwife Jennifer just to give her a heads up. I remember telling her that the contractions weren't growing in intensity nor had I even lost my mucus plug yet, so obviously I had at least a day or two. She told me just to rest, eat, drink, and keep her in the loop.
I put on a cartoon for my toddler and took a nap on the couch after breakfast. Since I could sleep during contractions and remain laying down, I didn't think I was in real labor.
After resting, I made the kids' lunch. By this time, I needed to lean over, sway, and breathe through a contraction. I called Jeff because he works downtown, and it was getting harder for me to complete tasks. I texted Jennifer to tell her they were getting a bit more intense, but still manageable. I also let my doula Sarah know what was going on. I didn't tell anyone else. "Watched pot" phenomenon during labor is a real thing. People knowing you are in labor, texting to bug you for updates, actually just having expectations thrust upon you can psychologically impact labor and slow it down.
Jeff came home and tried to finish work down in his office. I put Emmalyn down for a nap and went in my room to lie down. I rested for a bit, but then it became too uncomfortable to be in bed.
I got up to use the restroom. I lost my mucus plug, but I still figured I was quite a ways from having a baby since my labor was so long with Emmalyn. This was around 2pm. I debated calling my midwife to come. I called Jeff upstairs to be with me. At this point I assumed I was maybe only 5cm. I texted my doula and gave her an update. Things went super fast after this.
Around 45 minutes later, things had rapidly intensified. My contractions were 2 minutes apart and really powerful. I called Jennifer to come. I texted Sarah to tell her I needed her. I told Jeff to start filling up the birth tub. I also texted my birth photographer Casey.
It was hard to handle the contractions by myself. Jeff was hurriedly trying to fill the tub. I was leaning over the kitchen table and breathing and swaying with the contractions. The kids were watching movies in the family room and would pop in occasionally to quietly observe.
Around 3pm, I felt an intense pressure pressing down and out of me. I thought it was baby so I yelled to Jeff. Quickly, there was a huge gush as my waters broke. I remember telling him sorry that I made a mess. He laughed at me for being so silly and worrying about that. He grabbed some towels to soak up the amniotic fluid. Jennifer, who was already on her way, was called to be updated that my water had broken.
Right after this, Sarah thankfully arrived. I knealed down on the towel and leaned over the large exercise ball. I wanted so badly to be in the warm water of the tub, but it was only 1/3 full and not completely warm enough. Sarah applied counterpressure during the contraction. I remember telling her I couldn't do it. She was so soothing reminding me that I have already done this and could do it again.
The contractions were so intense. I told them that I needed to push. This was around 330pm. I told Jeff to call Jennifer to see where she was. Luckily, she was 5 minutes away.
She got to the house and started getting the delivery equipment out and started putting chux pads beneath me. This is when it hit me that I was super close to having baby. Pushing felt like it hurt so much more on land than it did in the water when I had Emmalyn. I remember saying, "It hurts!" a few times. I would hold Sarah's hand each time I pushed. I remember Emmalyn running up and stroking my head. I had watched a lot of birth videos with her to prepare her. She remembered everything I told her and said, "It hurt, but mommy ok." Then she ran off to watch cartoons. Jeff was still dutifully (but by this time, pointlessly) filling the tub for me. Soon Jennifer told me that she could see baby's head. Jeff went to the family room to get the kids. Baby's head was out, and I pushed the rest of him out right as the kids entered the room.
Sawyer Jacob was born at 3:46pm. He weighed 8lbs 7oz and was 20 inches long.
After Jennifer handed me baby under my legs, Emmalyn ran up to meet her new baby brother. She wanted to run off with him, but I showed her that he was still attached to me by the cord so she needed to stay by me to snuggle him.
Jennifer said I was bleeding a little heavily so she gave me a few drops of angelica root, which stopped the bleeding almost immediately.
They helped me down from a kneeling to a sitting position so I could nurse Sawyer while we waited to cut his cord after it stopped pulsing.
After the cord was cut, I handed Sawyer to Jeff so I could go to the couch to deliver the placenta since I was no longer comfy where I was. Right as I got on the couch, Casey arrived. She was downtown when I alerted her about being in labor, and an accident had caused significant traffic delays. She was so apologetic, but I considered it to be my fault since I didn't give her an adequate heads up. She still got some great shots post birth and came back two days later to do some newborn pics.
I wasn't comfortable on the couch so I got up to try and deliver the placenta in the bathroom. I was growing impatient and wanted it done with so Jennifer provided some gentle cord traction while I pushed it out. I was so relieved to finally be done. Jennifer and her partner Barbara examined me to see if I needed any repair work, but everything checked out ok with just a minor laceration.
I cleaned up and put some clothes on. I had some homemade soup in the crock pot so we had some dinner. The midwives and doula cleaned every thing up, including draining the birth pool that remained pristine and unused, and then went home.
Jeff, the kids, and I finally relaxed and settled into our new life as a family of 6.