The birth story is a little unconventional, but it was an unconventional birth!
*Note: I had been having contractions since 32 weeks. At 38 weeks, my midwife did a vaginal exam at my request, and found my cervix was low, soft, and anterior, and baby’s head was engaged at 0 to -1 station. I was 11 days over my EDD when she was born. In my state, a midwife is required by law to to turn you over to an OB once you hit 42 weeks. If these hadn’t been factors, I would not have bothered with natural induction methods.*
Friday, April 13, 10 days over EDD
7:23 p.m. — Take first dose of the “midwife cocktail”, containing 2 tablespoons of castor oil.
7:45-8:45 p.m. –Become BFF’s with my toilet and box of baby wipes.
8:45 p.m. — Text midwife to ask if the second and third doses are necessary. since first dose has been so successful. She replies that it’s up to me, but if I want to have a baby tonight, I should probably do at least one more dose.
8:50 p.m. — Make many horrible faces ingesting another 2 tablespoons of castor oil.
9:00-10:00 — Run a bath. Wonder at the miraculous way the body insists on emptying itself out even when you stopped having anything to empty out like, five poops ago. Get in bath. Read a book. Have handful of contractions.
10:30 p.m. — Lie down with magazine and seven year old son. Seven year old promptly falls asleep with feet shoved in back. Experience a couple of strong contractions, then a couple more. Think, “No way that castor oil worked THAT quickly”. Followed by, “Huh, maybe I should start timing these.”
10:50 p.m. — Start timing contractions. Every 4-5 minutes, anywhere from 1-2 minutes long. Have to sit up through them. Tell husband there’s no way this is real labor, and promptly have to stand up to vocalize through particularly harsh contraction. Lather, rinse, repeat.
11:43 p.m. — Contracting on a toilet is not fun. Call midwife. She is immediately on her way, but lives 45 minutes away. I expect her in about an hour.
11:45 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. — Call my mom. Call best friend. Contractions are excruciating and feel like baby is trying to explode Alien-style through my pubic bone.
12:00 a.m. – 12:30 a.m. — WTF IS THIS?! Sit on toilet a lot. Husband is filling pool with three buckets. Groan. Ask WTF I was thinking?
12:30 a.m. – 12:38 a.m. — Still on toilet. Husband still filling pool. Body goes, “Screw you, guys, I can do what I want!” and starts pushing. Hear myself roaring and try to relax, but pretty sure I am literally splitting in half. Also maybe still pooping.
12:39 a.m. — Husband informs me pool almost done. Water slightly cooler than needed, but eff that noise, I’m getting in. Hobble from bathroom to bedroom and practically dive in.
12:41 a.m. — As soon as butt hits water, my body produces one gigantic, involuntary push. Feels like taking biggest poop EVER in history of pooping. Baby’s head emerges halfway, still in caul. Tell husband, “Um, the head is there.” Husband says, “I can see the head.” He thinks he has time to turn around and do something, then get in water with me and catch her. He turns around.
12:42 a.m. — Another involuntary push and head and body all whoosh out of me with speed and approximate force of a freight train. Husband turns back around at noise of splash to see me pull baby from water.
12:43 a.m.- ish — Midwife arrives. Mirren is perfect. The end!
Mirren Renea, born at 12:42 a.m. on April 14th, 2012, weighing 8.5 lbs, 21 inches long.