This was my second child, and we were planning another home birth. I had false labor for two weeks, but ultimately delivered my healthy baby boy 6 days past my due date. My older daughter was born at 41 weeks, so I anticipated going late with this birth too.
On the morning of January 19th, I had an appointment with my midwife and I asked her to do a cervical check. I was almost a 3 and almost totally effaced.
Went into work for a few hours and was having distinctive and regular contractions that I just knew were not false labor. I got very excited. I had my in laws pick up my toddler from school and decided to get some acupuncture done to help speed things along. Boy did that help. During the entire session I kept feeling the contractions picking up.
I texted my Husband and told him I thought baby was coming tonight so he cancelled a few work appointments he had.
I had a super burst of energy and went Grocery shopping, cleaned the kitchen and made dinner in between contractions.
Contractions were 6 min apart at 8pm so I got the birth area in our bedroom set up while my husband put our toddler to bed. I gave the midwives and our doula, Sarah, a heads up that I felt certain it would be tonight, and that they should get some rest and I would call when things got fully underway.
My birth area was magical. We had incense, candles, meditation music, and oils burning. I felt safe, protected, and capable of anything in that zone.
I got out of the bathtub and relaxed on the bed and meditated for a few hours and the contractions totally stalled out! I didn’t anticipate these starts and stops because my first birth progressed normally. From 12-2am I was suddenly contracting only every 20 minutes. A tad disappointed, I decided to try to nap trough them to preserve my energy and told my husband he should get a little shut eye too.
At 2am I woke up with a double whammy back to back contraction. It was over 3 minutes long. Woah. I started shaking and got really cold. Got in a scalding hot shower and they were coming every 3 minutes. I was so excited! It was game time. Each contraction was incredibly effective- I could feel him descending and me opening up. I just focused on visualizing myself opening up and focusing on relaxing every muscle in my body each time I contracted.
My husband woke up and popped his head in the bathroom. I told him to call Sarah right away. Things were really speeding up and I knew it would take her 30 minutes to get here.
Once she got here at 3am, we fell into a great rhythm. She picked up on my cues, and followed into my rhythm. I am a silent laborer, but chat and joke in between contractions.
I stood and swayed for an hour and a half with Sarah and my husband alternating applying counter pressure to my lower back. I had a crock pot full of washcloths soaked in lavender oil and scalding hot water. Poor Sarah and my husband had to wear gloves to get those suckers out of the crock pot- they were SO hot. Every time a contraction would start they would drape a new compress across my neck. That sensation of extreme heat is like my number one coping mechanism.
Sarah had a wonderful idea and gave me two plastic hair combs to hold and squeeze into the palms of my hands- I did that repetitively through each contraction. Great comfort measure! I was able to focus on the sensation on my palms instead of focusing on the pain of the contraction.
Anyway I didn’t think I was in transition yet because I hadn’t puked like I had in the previous birth. I had been close to puking but then Sarah gave me peppermint oil whiffs and that stopped the nausea. Meanwhile, my husband had been filling up the birth tub.
The midwives got there about the time I was getting in the birth tub. They quietly got their station set up and I hardly knew they were there.
Got in the birth tub still thinking I must not be in transition yet but immediately felt the urge to push. I couldn’t believe it! Transition was the peak of “pain”, so I knew it was all down hill from here. It just hadn’t really hurt that bad. I had done a lot of hypnobirthing meditations and decided to try to “breath” the baby out instead of “push” the baby out. So I calmly pushed for 15 minutes, visualizing him descending and sliding out. Sarah was right there for me putting ice cold compresses on my neck (which felt HEAVENLY) doing effleurage down my arms, and giving me sips of delicious ice cold water in between pushes.
He came out in 3 pushes!
Healthy baby boy and I had no stitches! I totally attribute the tear free birth to the hypnobirth meditation, my doula, and husband.
Then I had some fabulous lasagna and my daughter woke up to meet her baby brother. She helped the midwife do his apgar test on the bed while I sipped a mimosa.
I am so thankful that both my birth experiences were just so magical. Our bodies are incredible and can handle a lot more than we think we can. Having the proper birth attendants that know coping mechanisms and follow and respect your vibe make it possible to have such wonderful births.
Totally recommend Sarah!