On Saturday the 11th I woke up feeling pretty poorly. I didn’t feel quite right and I chalked it up to gas. I went back to bed and then woke up and took gas x, did errands and continued to have gas pains and went to bed that night and slept well. Now, looking back on the experience it was early labor. I had no idea at the time. I guess I was in denial since I was 40w4d.
I woke up on Mother’s Day with the same terrible gas pains and took a gas x. A few hours later around 10AM my husband woke up and it started out as a typical chaotic Sunday. My four year old Liam was running around, cartoons were on, we were eating fruit and we called my mother in law to wish her a happy Mother’s Day before my husband took Liam to the park. Our conversation went a little bit like this:
“How are you feeling today? Any signs of labor?”
“No, I just don’t feel quite right. Gideon is really grinding on my cervix for the past few days which means he’s effacing it. No contractions though. Just uncomfortable and gassy.”
“Well, give me a call when you go into labor so I can book my ticket to see you all!”
Right after we hung up I had a contraction. I looked at my husband and said, “I just had a contraction. I bet I have another week of being pregnant.”
An hour later, we were dealing with Liam’s typical shanninigans of cuteness and talking and calling my mom and I brewed a pot of coffee because I was a bit tired yet I had slept really well. Then this is where it got interesting.
I started having regular contractions 3-5 minutes apart for an hour and I called my midwife and told her the news! She was excited. We were making jokes the week previously that I would go into labor on Mother’s day because my mom is a florist and she has been busy for the entire month of April through the Saturday before Mother’s Day and I had already had two false labor warnings.
Around 1, an hour after I spoke to my mother in law I was in active labor. I told my husband to call her to tell her to book her ticket, and he and Liam went out the door to the park. Everyone was assembling to perfection. I called my midwife because my contractions got closer once my mom came. She was at my house for only 30 minutes and they became 1 minute apart, lasting a minute or more.
At 2:30 is when I was in full blown active labor and my midwife arrived. I was able to sway and speak through my contractions and she was kind of surprised of how well I was taking it because of my previous birth experience which was at a local hospital. She took Gideon’s heart tones then asked if she could check me. I agreed and I was at 6cm. That Monday I was at 3cm but I had been 3cm for two weeks. He sounded perfect and she left me to labor and started bringing up the birth supplies and water birth tub and started filling it.
I spoke through my contractions, swayed and labored on the toilet. My mother’s presence gave me extreme comfort. She did counter pressure on my back, sat next to me and joked with me and Tanja my midwife.
Around 3:30 I had the birth pool filled, and I was allowed to get in. IT WAS WONDERFUL!!!
POP!!! My water just broke! I looked at Tanja with my eyes wide and I was shocked and I said. “My water just broke!” She just looked at me and said, “Well, good”, all calmly. Where was the urgency?! She was just so calm about it and trusted the process so much. She asked if she could call her assistant the second midwife, Myriah. I agreed and then I kicked into hard labor. I started losing my breathing patterns and started feeling nauseous. Myriah walked in less than 20 minutes later and sat down next to the pool and she handed me my water, handed me the trash can, etc. I never puked. I puked during my transitional stage with my first born, Liam.
All of a sudden I started pushing. I didn’t mean to push. My body was doing it for me! My grunting or something didn’t sound right or didn’t feel right. I don’t quite remember but Tanja checked me and I had bit of a lip that was preventing me from going to 10cm. She pushed the lip away and then all of a sudden I was REALLY pushing. With one push, his head was out. I told Tanja to get her hand out of me but it was his head I was feeling! Five pushes later, with my mother’s hand, Tanja’s kind words and Myriah being able to keep my breathing controlled with her breathing, Gideon was born. It was 5:17 PM on Mother’s Day.
It never hurt. I was never scared. I trusted birth this time. I trusted my body. I was comfortable. I was safe. I was thrilled.
Less than 10 minutes later my placenta was birthed, and it was another large placenta! I had a very large placenta with my firstborn so it was no surprise. My midwives were surprised at how big it was. I got out of the tub once my mom cut Gideon’s cord and I got an exam. I only had a skid mark and I was worried that it would be a bigger issue. I had a really bad episiotomy with my firstborn that left me scarred and would require plastic surgery to fix my labia. I was expecting more damage but I think my midwife guiding me and the water birth both helped to avoid any major tears.
2 hours later, everyone had left and my family went from three to four. Big brother held his little brother and declared him “yucky”.
I had my placenta encapsulated and I received 124 pills. My doula had never seen anyone with a placenta giving any more than 70 pills. She takes on two placenta encapsulation clients a month. She has been doing it for a year. I had PPD with almost psychosis with my first born and a failed breastfeeding relationship also. This was healing for me. I am STRONG.