Early labor started around 8:30 AM, Tuesday, May 10th, 2011. Contractions were anywhere from 6-10 minutes, nothing unmanageable. This continued for an entire 24 hours into Wednesday, the 11th. Thankfully, I was able to sleep during the night through the contractions. I was going to really need this rest for later!
It was getting pretty uncomfortable, and so I called my midwife, Dina, around 8 AM. She arrived around 9 AM, and checked to see if I was dilated. My cervix was very posterior, but she could tell I was 100% effaced. She couldn’t find the opening of my cervix because it was so far back, but she said I was likely only a fingertip dilated. So disappointing!! I thought for sure I’d be at least at 4 cm!! She told me to stay upright, and go for a long walk. She left, and said to call her when they were consistently five minutes apart, and painful that I could not talk through them.
Cliff and I walked to my mom’s house, which is up the street. As long as I was walking, my contractions got to be anywhere from 4 minutes to 6 minutes, but they never became completely regular. The pain was also still tolerable.
We arrived at my mom’s a little after 10 AM, and my sisters were already there since the day before waiting for the baby to arrive. It wasn’t long until my contractions required slower, deep breaths to get through them. I was also beginning to feel the pain in my back. I had horrendous back labor with Isiah, and later on I would have it even worse than I did with him.
Cliff, my mom, and I went for another very brief walk with Isiah in the stroller. I was really needing to breathe through contractions, and use the stroller to support my weight. Cliff and I decided I better get home because if I got any more uncomfortable, I wouldn’t be able to get in the car.
We probably got home around noon? And things started picking up really fast, but again, my contractions never got regular at five minutes apart, or three minutes apart. It would jump from six, four, five, two, five, one, six.. I was texting with Dina, and told her I didn’t need her assistant to come yet. But with the next contraction, I told Cliff I changed my mind, and to tell Chris (the assistant) to get here. This was probably at around 1 PM, and Dina said it would be a bit before Chris would arrive. I really though we had more time, so I never thought I should call Dina to come over.
Over the next fifty minutes, I had several excruciating contractions, and I could not keep from yelling through them. My back labor was incredibly awful, and no amount of counter pressure from Cliff could help. I was writhing in pain on the bed, on the toilet, on the couch. Like I said, my contractions were all over the place. So, my last three contractions went six minutes, five minutes, and with the one that came at two minutes, I hollered, “I’M PUSHING I’M PUSHING, I CAN’T HELP IT.” And then, “MY WATER JUST BROKE.” I was laying on my right side on the couch at this time, and Cliff later told me he could see my shorts getting darker and darker as the water soaked them, along with the couch! He rushed to grab towels so as to not further ruin the couch, and ripped my shorts off. Baby’s head was already half out.
He called Dina, it was 1:51 PM. She heard me screaming, but Cliff gave me the phone and she calmed me down. Cliff then called my mom, cause she was just up the road, and while on the phone with her he is freaking out. I said to him, “HONEY, IT’S OKAY. I GOT IT! I GOT IT!” So, I pushed the head out. And Cliff kept telling me to push, push. He was going nuts! I calmly said, “No, I have to wait for another contraction.” It wasn’t long, and out slid her body at 1:52 PM. I told Cliff to help me bring her to my chest. And there she lay…. Mallory Mathilda Lee.
She was very quiet, didn’t cry. In fact, we had a scare because her entire head and face were dark purple. We both thought she wasn’t breathing, but she sounded like she was sort of taking little breaths. We started to rub her pretty vigorously, but it didn’t significantly change her face color. It didn’t occur to me that her body was pink, and that should have indicated she was fine. She WAS fine, really. I found out when Dina arrived a few minutes later that because she flew out at ludicrous speed, her face and head were bruised.
Only moments after I delivered, my mom and Cliff’s mom showed up because Cliff had called them while I was delivering. They were both shocked to see me on the couch, with my empty birth tub, and no midwife present. My mom thought that when Cliff called, I was in the tub delivering. She didn’t realize this was the situation!
When Dina showed up, she didn’t even have shoes on. She ran out of her house, and showed up in socks. She said she had not missed a birth in years, and this does NOT happen frequently. She apologized to Cliff and I. No hard feelings! I was feeling awesome. Practically laughing at how it went down. I just kept saying, “Oh my gosh! This is GREAT! I could not have wanted this any other way! I’m not mad at ALL!!!” It’s no ones fault, and I really didn’t think that my labor was going to go that fast. So, I didn’t know I should have called Dina to come over earlier. I thought I had plenty of time!
It got to be close to an hour after delivering, and I still did not deliver the placenta. At 2:41 PM, it stopped pulsing, and I pushed it out. It was pretty big, around 1.5 lbs. Cliff cut the cord, and Dina checked to make sure I didn’t have any damage below. To my disbelief, I only had a tiny tear where I tore last year, but this required no stitches. I had 2nd degree tearing with Isiah (granted, he was 8 lbs. 2 oz., with a fat head).
Dina was ready to get Mallory weighed and measured, and also wanted to get a diaper on her. Oh, but OOPS. I didn’t feel that Mallory had already had her first poop ALL OVER MY CHEST AND STOMACH. Dina put her hand right in it! We didn’t see because I had a towel over us.
Mallory weighed in at 6 lbs. 15 oz., and was 19 inches long. We really thought she’d be at least 8 pounds. She was just a peanut!!
It was really great that we had such a long time of skin to skin contact. I began nursing her, and that is still taking some work but it is going great. Everything about my labor, delivery, and bonding, was all different than with Isiah.
Delivering my daughter with my husband will change me for the rest of my life, and change my marriage. I feel like a new person, and while every birth can feel empowering, I feel like I can do ANYTHING! Dina said that if anybody needed this to happen to them, it was me. I AM very blessed and fortunate that she was healthy, and we had no complications following her delivery. I can’t thank God enough for allowing this to all go so smoothly and safely.
At a day old, Mallory is continuing to nurse, sleep, poop, cry. It’s all wonderful, and it is tiring and hard. But it’s all awesome. Isiah isn’t even home yet, either. So, that will be the biggest challenge. His reaction to Mallory was perplexed, and a bit drawn back. He didn’t know what to make of this little baby! So, he poked her ears a little bit. I can’t believe at not even a year old, he is a BIG brother! Nine days short of a year!
Anyway, there you have it. My planned home birth gone unassisted, insane and insanely awesome, painful and joyful, the most incredible thing in this world!
When Mallory was 6 months old with her big brother…