July 18th, 2009 – the day I had guessed my baby would make her grand entrance, and by 5pm I was showing no signs of labor whatsoever and feeling pretty discouraged. I was only six days overdue, as I had fully expected, but my parents had to travel back to Wisconsin the next morning, and I was extremely sad that they would be missing the birth of their granddaughter.
I spent the day feeling sorry for myself and thinking about my next appointment with the midwife on July 23rd, and how I’d probably be able to make it no problem.
Around 6pm I decided to go upstairs to de-stress and have some alone time. While upstairs, I started having some piddly little contractions, and thought, “Here we go again, more Braxton Hicks just to tease me!” I mostly ignored them.
Around 8:45 I decided to take a bath, adding in some clary sage oil to help relax me. I figured if this was the real thing, the bath would help me relax so things could progress, and if it wasn’t then it would put a stop to things so I could have some relief.
The bath did nothing to slow down the contractions, so I spent the next couple hours alternating between the bed and the birth ball. Contractions were every 2ish minutes and a minute or so long. But again, still not intense and I barely had to concentrate through them.
Shelby called the midwife around midnight to tell her what was going on, but I made sure he told her it would be awhile and we’d keep her posted. I was worried about having her come too soon again like with Beckett’s birth, and was still also in denial that I was really in labor at all.
Around 2:30am, I still hadn’t been able to sleep and was annoyed with Shelby because he was snoring next to me and not helping much. I woke him up and he called the midwife again at that point, and I kept telling him to make sure he mentioned that I hadn’t had any bloody show.
She said she would be on her way, and I whined to him, “What if this is still nothing??” Very humorous in retrospect.
I got up to go to the bathroom at this point and had my first really intense contraction. I yelled for Shelby and leaned on him through it, and when I wiped, there was blood. Finally! I told him to call Cara (our friend and photographer).
I sat on the toilet some more and was having to brace my arms against the wall to help with the contractions. I needed in the water NOW and Shelby got to work setting up the tub. We hadn’t even pulled the hose and pump out yet.
I was vocalizing a little at this point, and Shelby kept coming in to comfort me and I would shoo him back out to work on the tub. I HAD to have relief in the water at that point so I started filling the bath tub and got in. It helped some, but the hot water ran out when it was only half full and I was extremely annoyed.
Finally there was enough water in the birth tub for me to move to it, and it was heaven. I was already feeling pressure with the contractions and wanted to push so badly, but I thought that was still a long way off.
The midwife (M) arrived shortly after – she said it was around 3:50am. I was working really hard through the contractions now, which had gotten very intense and without much of a break in between. M listened to the baby and she sounded great.
It wasn’t much time later that I started pushing with the contractions. I was hoping it would be a relief like it was with Beckett, but it really wasn’t. It was a lot more painful than I remembered and I just wanted her out.
I think it was then that I said I was scared – and in my head I was wondering how in the world I was going to do this.
I finally decided that the only way to make it end was to push as hard as I could, so that’s what I did. I felt like I was getting nowhere though and when I tried to feel for a head, I didn’t feel anything.
M did a check while I was leaned forward against the tub and said her head was right there, and told me where to feel. I was able to feel her that time, and that was the motivation I needed to keep going. With a couple more good pushes I had her crowning.
Shelby moved over to catch her, I felt my water break and suddenly her head was out. I cannot describe how excited I was at that moment to almost be done. M was telling me to breathe as she checked for a cord but I only waited a few seconds and then pushed her shoulders and the rest of her out.
As soon as I felt her body slide out, I said “Oh thank GOD!” The feeling of relief was monumental. Official birth time was 4:21am – half an hour after the midwife arrived!
He passed her up to me and I lifted her out of the water, and there she was! The first thing I noticed was that her head was perfectly round – not a hint of a conehead. She had come FAST! She let out a couple good cries, and I was crying right along with her.
She weighed in at 8lbs 3oz. Smaller than her brother, but much longer at 21 1/2 inches. She had a fairly small head as well – 13 1/2 inches.
I have now had two beautiful homebirths and would not change a thing about either one. Avonlea’s birth was so much different than Beckett’s – much faster and more intense. Totally not what I was expecting! Both were perfect though and I feel so incredibly blessed.