I am one of those women who love being pregnant, and I was happy to wait until the 7th, Teagan’s due date, for her to make her appearance. We had been planning a home birth, and with the help of my mother who was staying with us, had managed to get the house and birthing supplies just about ready.
On Wednesday the 4th of July, we all went out to Village Inn and then to the local park to see the fireworks show. As I was sitting at dinner, I felt a sudden gush of fluid and got up to use the restroom, I suspected that my water had broken, but had never had SROM, so I wasn’t quite sure. I went back and finished dinner, and didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to ruin our evening plans if it was nothing. As soon as we pulled up to the fireworks, though, I felt another large gush and let my mother and husband know. I also called our Midwife to let her know.
I did some reading, and figured labor would start soon (upwards of 90% of women go into labor within 24 hours of ROM). But it didn’t. I was just having irregular, medium strength contractions, and I knew the clock was ticking. Our midwife told us to drive down to see her on Thursday to try and confirm, and while we were there a PH test did confirm that it was amniotic fluid. Now we were really on a time table. I went home and did everything I could do induce labor. My midwife put me on a protocol of castor oil, black cohosh, and blue cohosh, which I diligently took even when it made me feel like throwing up. Nothing. I stayed awake and bounced on my birth ball and timed them, but as soon as I laid down to rest a little, they tapered off. At 7am Friday morning, I called the midwife to report on the lack of good news, and she said she would be up at 10am, and that we needed to have this baby today.
She got here and started giving me Blue Coshosh as 15 minute intervals, along with castor oil, hoping to see some results. Nothing. I started getting discouraged and was wondering what I was doing wrong. I started to fear that my dreams of a home birth were slipping away. Personally, I was comfortable waiting until labor started, whenever that would be, but I knew that most OBs will induce within 12-24 hours after ROM to prevent infection. I had had NO vaginal exams, though, and thanks to the regiment of probiotics my wonderful midwife had me on, had tested negative for GBS. I knew from my research that the time frame for induction with PROM was more due to liability than actual research findings, and I was praying my midwife would overlook the 24 hour rule. At 4pm on Friday, with no strengthening of contractions, my midwife sat me down to lay it out. She said she was at the edge of protocol, and needed me to know that the she had to recommend that I go in and start Pitocin.
I told her that I was comfortable waiting until noon on Sat, and could I please just have until 9pm that night to see if I could make some progress. She agreed, but said that it might be good for her to leave for a little while, and for me to just have some time alone or with my husband, seeing as how “a watched pot never boils”. So she went to hang out around town for a bit, and I went outside and jumped on our kids’ trampoline and just went about the day as usual. I don’t know how to explain it, but I had total peace about waiting until baby was ready. I just knew and had faith that things were going to be okay. I started to pace a bit, and told my baby that “it was okay, it was time to come out and meet her family.”
Around 5:45pm, I started noticing some more painful contractions, and I had more diarrhea than I had had with either application of Castor Oil. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but I thought this might be it. I just hung out downstairs in the library, which we had set up as the birthing room, by myself, and paced back and forth the length of the downstairs. My mother came down at one point and started timing me, and discovered that they were about 3 minutes apart. At 6:15 I texted the midwife, telling her I was“90% sure I was in active labor”, and that there was no rush, but that I thought she might want to know since her partnering midwife lived about 45 min away. She texted back at 6:22 and said she was going to give me a little more time. Just to walk and and remain active. About 10 min. later, however, I heard told Mike to call her and tell her to come back. My contractions were lasting over a min at this point, and coming every 2-3 minutes. The pain was getting very bad, and I had to get on all fours and focus and verbalize to get through them.
Just after she arrived, she gave me the okay to get in the birthing pool, and it felt really good to sink into the water. I didn’t spend more than about five minutes laboring in there, though before I told Beth rather panicky, that I felt like I had to poop. She told me that was the baby, but I was just sure that I was about to take a huge embarrassing dump in the tub. At this point, the urge to push was overwhelming, and I squatted in the tub and wrapped my arms around my husband’s neck to push.
I am normally a very reserved person, and never did see myself being very vocal in birth, but at this point, I needed to be loud. It hurt, but more than that it was just very intense, and I remember thinking that I couldn’t do this much longer. Turns out, I didn’t have to. After 2 pushes, the midwife told me to slow down and breathe, because Teagan was posterior, and she was trying to keep me from tearing and help her turn. After 1 more push, she told me to “turn around and take your baby”. Oh, how those sweet words will ring in my ears for eternity!
Teagan was born at 7:02pm, the day before her due date and almost 48 hours after my water broke. I did not have a single cervical check, and had absolutely no tearing or even “skid marks”. She was born quiet and alert, with her eyes wide and staring at me and her daddy. My older daughter and son (4 and 2) came down to see her minutes after she was born, and were simply in awe of how tiny and cute she was. I feel so incredibly blessed to have a midwife that had the faith in me to understand my intuition that my body just needed more time, and who allowed me to have the birth I wanted. It was truly amazing.