Monday, December 3rd was a normal day. I was 38 weeks and completely over being pregnant. I was really excited because I was going to get a much needed pedicure. It was amazing. She spent about 20 min massaging each leg and it was heavenly. I came home, my partner Mark and I had dinner and did our normal routine and went to bed. I remember asking him, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that pedicure put me into labor?”
I woke up around 2:30 with cramps I had to breathe through. My Braxton-Hicks were never painful so I wasn’t sure if it was a contraction or just a cramp. They were happening every 10 minutes or so. I was getting excited and nervous, but I still wasn’t sure if it was the real thing.
I got up with Mark, around 6:30, as he started getting ready for work. We were debating whether he should call in or not. I decided to call my midwife, Janet. I explained my contraction patterns, which at that time were all over the place — every seven minutes, 13 minutes, etc. She said, “It sounds to me like you’re in labor.” She said Mark should stay home and she was going to get her things together and come over. I called my mom right after and she was on her way too.
My contractions were getting more painful so I decided to take a shower. The warm water felt great, but I yelled for Mark to come in and place counter pressure on my hips. I got out and went into the living room to try and get some food in me. Mark went to the bathroom so I decided to lie down on the couch. The contractions I had while laboring alone were some of the most miserable ones of the entire experience.
After that it was a whirlwind. Mark was running around like a champ. He made me miso, put plastic on the ground, started putting air into the pool, running back to me to press on my hips during each contraction. During this time my mom, Janet, and Kate, her assistant, got here. Janet started setting up her equipment while coaching me and reminding me to keep my voice tone low. My mom helped where she was needed, setting up the birthing area and rubbing my back and putting pressure on my hips.
After a while, Janet decided to check my dilation. I was pleasantly surprised to find I was at 5 centimeters. She told Mark to go ahead and fill up the pool. Unfortunately, our hot water heater didn’t supply as much as we had hoped. We ended up using pots of water on the stove to warm up the water.
Getting into the pool was amazing. Mark changed into his trunks and got in with me. I labored for a while then started feeling the urge to push. Janet checked me again and found my cervix had a little bit of a lip. She pushed it aside and had me keep pushing. Mark held my left leg and I held my right leg and my moms hand. Janet checked to see where Nixie was in the birth canal and found her waters were still intact. I started pushing again and felt the sac pop. I felt so much relief as her head came out. I was able to breathe for a minute and pushed her body out. They immediately placed her on my chest. She was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen! I can’t even begin to explain the emotions I felt as I held her.
It came time to get out of the water and deliver my placenta. Since the cord had stopped pulsating, Mark was able to cut it and have skin to skin time with his daughter. I sat on the birth stool and easily delivered the placenta, (it bounced out of the bowl and onto the floor), but my bleeding wasn’t stopping. Janet got me into bed and gave me a shot of Pitocin. It still wasn’t stopping so she had to give me Cytotec. Thankfully that stopped the bleeding.
Mark brought Nixie to me and Kate helped her latch on. I was able to stay with my baby in my own bed.
I had an almost perfect home birth. I can’t imagine giving birth any other way. I would absolutely choose to do it again, without question.