When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my first answer was always a mother. While my dream career changed as I aged, the one thing I knew for certain was that I was going to be a momma, one way or another.
On May 9, 2018, my dream was finally coming true! Here’s my story:
I woke up at 2:30 a.m. to some light contractions. I didn’t think anything of them because I had been having actual contractions for about a month prior to actually giving birth. They would start sporadically and continue for an hour or so (one of many reasons that the last month of pregnancy is the absolute worst). My husband works night shifts, so because I was awake, I texted him letting him know that our babe was awake. We chatted, and I realized that these contractions weren’t as sporadic as the usually were. I told him not to worry, but this may or may not be the real deal! I tried to rest in between contractions because I was confident that Baby was going to make an appearance, but I was flooded with excitement and sleep just wasn’t happening. I decided to get up and get some things ready. I texted the midwife around 6 a.m., and we waited for the contractions to get closer together and become more intense. My husband got home from his 12.5 hour shift, only to learn that I was absolutely in labor. He had just worked a week straight of these long shifts, so he begged for a nap before I progressed even more. He was able to snooze for a while before I really began to need counter pressure. I had terrible, terrible back labor, so he helped by pushing down on my lower back with his fists (a technique that he was finally able to master after I snapped at him about a dozen times on how to apply pressure-poor hubby). In between contractions, he began to set up the pool and boil water. The contractions began to come faster and were more intense by noon. Things were moving right along! I texted my midwife around 3:00 p.m. to let her know that I was having a hard time standing through contractions and I was progressing quickly. I was in the pool shortly after!
She arrived by 3:30, and basically stayed out of my way unless I needed her. She allowed my body to progress on its own. All was quiet and peaceful, as Baby got closer to meeting us! By the time 7:00 rolled around, I was begging for my midwife to check to see how dilated I was. Usually this isn’t part of an undisturbed birth, but I needed to know that I was close! The back labor was breaking me, and I had to remember to breathe through it. I was exhausted. I was falling completely asleep in the short moments between contractions. I even remember my nose going under the water and having to sputter it out as the next contraction started. As the time grew near for Baby to come, it was as if I gained a second wind. I as able to calm down and really focus on what my body was telling me. No one was telling me what to do or what to expect. All was quiet, and Baby was on the way! I pushed for what seemed like an eternity, feeling for a head every now and then. Because she was so crooked in the birth canal, this took a while. My body took over, and I finally felt a little head with plenty of hair. I rested, proudly letting my husband know that our baby had his luscious locks of hair. Before I knew it, my body pushed again, and at 7:32 p.m. our sweet babe was born! I pulled her out of the water, and it was love at first sight.
My emotions flooded over me, and I finally felt at ease. My husband and I cried together as we watched our newborn find our faces and sputter out a little cry. Little legs began to kick, and I was able to see that our babe was a sweet little girl. We cried together as I held her to my chest and thanked God for such a perfect little miracle.
The pool slowly began to fill with blood, and without warning I began to gush out more blood. The need to birth the placenta became apparent, and my midwife stood me up. Immediately, I felt dizzy. The next thing I knew, I was laying on the floor and smiling up at my midwife who was asking me all sorts of questions. I groggily smiled and answered my name and how old I was. I had no idea what had happened.
I had lost a lot of blood very quickly which made me pass out. Luckily, my husband caught me and drug me out of the pool, while my midwife saved my daughter from an early baptism. My mom got to hold her sweet granddaughter, while the midwife helped me.
I was laid down on the floor with my feet propped. I was given herbs to keep under my tongue, and the midwife pressed on my belly to help stop the bleeding. It took a minute, but finally things started to regulate. I attempted to sit up many times, but immediately felt too dizzy. With some assistance, I was able to be propped up so that I could feed Baby for the first time. Even with my head still spinning, I was in Heaven. My wonderful husband carried me to our bed where we rested together as a family.
My birth wasn’t perfect, but I loved every minute of it. I loved that I had the freedom to eat during my labor, listen to my body and not to someone telling me to push, and to reside in the comfort of my own home. What would have been an emergency in the hospital was handled with grace and ease, and I never once felt worried that things were going wrong. My journey into motherhood had finally begun, and it couldn’t have been more perfect.