So the story of my second baby’s birth starts the evening of June 18th, which was a Monday. I felt slightly crampy but not actually having cramps so I thought I might wake in the middle of the night to contractions like I had with my son. Tuesday morning I woke up like normal and my first thought was, dang, I slept all night, I was 39w4d . I got up and went about my morning as usual, getting breakfast for Solomon, my 17 mo, and I. My mom was bring over for lunch that day to give me a little break and play with Solomon, and my midwives were coming over too to introduce me to a different 2nd MW because my MW had to be in Austin that weekend for a midwifery board meeting and she wanted to make sure I knew the back up in case I went into labor then.
I had been pretty anxious the last couple of weeks because I had Solomon at 39w5d and I just had this feeling I would have this one in my 39th week as well and we still hadn’t moved Solomon into his toddler room. Up until then he had been in our room and I wanted him to have his own room because I wasn’t sure how sleep would go with the new baby. True to my husband and I’s nature, we waited till the very last minute. John had been working on fixing the room up for the last 2 weeks (re-framing windows, repairing the walls, painting, etc.) and I couldn’t get our room rearranged until Solomon was in his room and his crib was moved out of our room. Long story short Monday night we had stayed up late finishing everything and now Tuesday I could move his crib mattress in there on the floor.
Solomon’s first nap rolls around and I tried him out in his new room where he could get on and off his bed and move around freely. He did awesome, though! He feel asleep as easily as before in his crib and I was so happy about that. I spent that time washing dishes, picking up toys, and rearranging some extra furniture that was supposed to be sold but hadn’t yet. Just in case I went into labor I didn’t want people having to awkwardly work around large pieces of furniture in the front room (our house is super small so any amount of clutter makes it look out of control). I noticed I was actually having some cramps and about the time my mom got there for lunch I could tell they were coming in a fairly regular pattern, but I refused to give them too much thought.
My mom, along with lunch, brought the cradle that me, my siblings, and Solomon all slept in as infants. Like I said, everything was super last minute with this baby. My MWs showed up about 2ish for my home visit and I mentioned to them that I was having what I thought was contractions but they might not be anything to get excited about yet. I joked about them having to drive back that night since they all live an hour or more away, and I felt a little bad about it. Of course, they said not to worry about it and call them early in case they get stuck in traffic in the city.
After they left, so did my mom and Solomon went down for his second nap. I realized I was really tired so tried to rest on the couch. Solomon didn’t’ sleep long so we hung out on the couch in the living room watching TV and trying to nap. I felt like it was getting late and looked at my phone to see it was 6p and John still wasn’t home. My contractions were still consistent and get a little annoyed which was making me annoyed too. John wouldn’t answer his phone and I was really starting to get annoyed because we still needed to have dinner, take the crib down and move it to the shed, and rearrange our room to help accommodate me in labor better. He got home closer to 7p and could tell I was a little on edge. In that hour, the contractions had picked up yet again and had a sharp edge to them. I was still in denial that this was the real thing, though, and John was in even bigger denial.
I had to really push him to get the stuff we needed done because he was understandably tired after a long day of work. However, we got Solomon to bed in his new big boy room for the first time and got to work. He took the crib apart, moved it to the shed out back, and started to move our bed, which is a big deal because it’s super heavy and I couldn’t help him much. All the while my contractions were picking up pretty fast but I kept pushing them to the back of my mind. I was picking up odds and ends in our room, trying to help John as much as I could, and vacuuming the floor as he moved things around. I was having to stop to breath through contractions and then would continue to vacuum. It cracks me up now because I am not really a cleaner. I am so thankful to my mom and sister for coming over the week before and cleaning my house top to bottom. I also didn’t nest at all with Solomon, I literally laid on the couch the last month of my pregnancy, even while I was in early labor, so I really thought it was me just trying to get things ready, but now I realize how I was nesting like crazy.
Anyway, it was about 9p when John got our room moved around, the crib in there, and decided he was going to go sit in the living room to rest. I continued to “decorate” (totally cracks me up) the baby’s corner in our room. I had this vision of how I wanted things and I wanted them to be ready. At one point, John came in the room and found me standing on a stool draping some cute yarn over the cradle and then leaning up against the wall to breath though contractions. He said, “What do you think Janet (my MW) would think if she saw you up there?” I snapped back, “I DON’T CARE what Janet thinks!” (LOL)
Around 10p I went out to the living room and told John I thought I should start timing contractions. I timed for about 20 mins and knew it was time to call Janet. John tried to stop me because I had been in early labor with Solomon for a full day before I called Janet and then they were there for another full day before the went home. Neither of us wanted them to be there that long again but I knew this was it. Janet said she would get her stuff together and head that way with Jean (her ass.). I then called my sister, Alysia, who live in Austin, over an hour away, and told her to head this way because it was time. Then I told John I was going to jump in the shower.
I headed back to get changed and it hit me…my baby boy was going to be a big brother in a matter of a few hours. I stopped and waddled back to check on Solomon. He was sleeping peacefully in his new room and I broke down. I went in and sat next to his bed and just soaked him in for a few minutes. I cried and prayed over him, I wanted to have one last moment with him before our lives were changed in such a big way.
The contractions were not allowing me to sit there much longer so I got up and headed back to the bathroom. I got in the shower and just soaked up the quiet for as long as I could. When I got out it was a little about 11:30p. I went in the living room and sat down on the couch across from John and worked through a couple of contractions that had all of a sudden gotten really strong. I looked over at him and said, “I can’t do this much longer. Will you pray?” After he finished praying for a smooth and speedy labor and birth, I suggested we get the birth pool set up.
At that time Cathy, the back up MW I had met earlier that day, and my sister showed up at the same time. With every contraction I kept thinking, I can’t believe I am doing this again. I was not scared at all, I just couldn’t believing I was going through this really hard process again. They watched me work through about 3 contractions that got significantly stronger each time. The baby was moving around like crazy the whole time too and my sister sat there watching and touching my belly in amazement. Twisting, kicking, and pushing deep down into my cervix, in between contractions were just as uncomfortable as contractions because of it. Cathy checked my vitals and asked if I wanted to her to check me while we waited for Janet and Jean to get there. I said yes and we headed to the bedroom while Alysia and John worked on getting the pool set up. While Cathy was getting ready to check me Janet and Jean came in the bedroom and asked how I was. Cathy was having a hard time determining my dilation and told Janet she couldn’t tell where my cervix was. At that moment I freaked out a little in my head. I thought, CRAP! I’m not even dilated and I’m going to have to endure these contractions for so long. I. CAN’T. DO. THIS. AGAIN. Janet came over and asked if I wanted her to check me and I said “Yes!” They can’t leave me hanging like that, come on. So she checked while I was trying to lay there calmly and said, “I think you’re at a 9.” I said, “REALLY?” and then I did a legitimate fist pump. That’s right I fist pumped the air! Now I CAN do this!!!
That was probably about 12:30a on Wednesday morning and I thought I would be done really soon. Turns out I could hear that they seemed to be having a little trouble with the birth pool in the other room. I sat up on the bed and with the help of Janet and then Jean, I worked through contraction after contraction. My first labor with my son, I spoke in tongues a lot when I hit transition, which took us all by surprise, so I figured I would do the same this time. Instead, I instinctively did the whole loose horsey lips thing while blowing out and it actually helped me to relax my whole body immensely. However, I think I was holding back mentally because I really wanted to get in that pool but I wasn’t going to say so.
John and Alysia were working really hard to get the pool filled by boiling water and waiting for the water the heat from our gas heater. I know they felt bad it was taking so long and at one point it seemed like everyone was just waiting around for it. I sat on the bed for a while and then transitioned to standing. Jean would ask me every now and then if I needed to move, go to the bathroom, or drink some water, but I didn’t want to do anything. I would just shake my head no because it felt like any tiny move, word, and even thought would bring on another contraction. I finally worked my way back in the living room where John was filling the birth pool and say on the couch close to him.
I could tell he felt bad that the pool wasn’t ready and might not be ready at all. I was really disappointed because I wanted a water birth this time but I didn’t want to make anyone feel bad about it because they were working so hard, so I just quietly worked through contractions with my horsey lips waiting for something to happen; my water to break, a pushing feeling, or the water to be ready.
I started feeling nauseous so they brought me a bowl to throw up in but I never throw up on my own without making myself. Jean convinced me to try and go to the bathroom so I did and then I tried throwing up. I called John in there and I just knew my water would break be I was heaving so hard but it stayed put. John prayed for me again because I told him I was done. I got up to head back to the living room and Jean said I could get in the tub now if I wanted. I swear I heard angels singing at that moment. Seriously. Oh sweet heaven, that’s what I had been waiting for and I know God knew it!
I ripped my clothes off and got in there so fast and suddenly felt like a new person. I was wide awake and ready to do this! The contractions were just as hard as before but the water was the greatest blessing I could have ever asked for. I started talking, joking, and laughing in between contractions. Janet asked me if I wanted to be checked again and when I hesitated she said I could just check myself and see if I could feel the baby’s head. I pushed a little and could feel the bulging bag of waters which I thought was so cool! She said I could try to break it if I wanted, so I did. I poked, pinched, and pulled at that thing and it would not budge. I even pulled a layer off of it and nothing. I joked about how having a baby in the caul would be cool but at that point I didn’t really care because I just wanted to be done. I gave up trying to break it and decided to let it do it’s own thing.
After that I tried giving a push during a contraction. I hadn’t gotten the urge to push but I felt like I had been waiting for so long I wanted to try. It actually felt really good to push so I felt like I might be ready. Janet confirmed it was fine for me to push if I wanted and asked John if he wanted to catch the baby. I interjected and said, “No, I want to!” I knew John would have done it, but also knew he was relieved because he really didn’t want to.
After pushing about 2-3 times my water finally broke with a big POP! They broke mine at 7cm with Solomon so I hadn’t felt that before and it was really exciting! Even though, I knew it was real, it really felt real then. We were about to meet our baby! I don’t know the time frames but I didn’t push very long, maybe 3-5 contractions, with Jean guiding my pushing with her finger, before I felt the ring of fire, and the my contraction STOPPED! I couldn’t believe it! Janet told me to breath through it and wait for the next contraction. That was the only time in the pool I had a hard time waiting for the next contraction. As soon as I felt another coming I started to push and the head came out. I can’t remember if I waited for another contraction or it was the same one but I pushed the body out and at 3:14a on 6/19/13, Janet told me to pick up my baby!
I had already lifted the head out but couldn’t any further and I realized Jean was trying to unwrap the cord from around the neck. She was having a hard time though because it was also wrapped around the chest under one arm. Janet and Jean finally ended up rolling the baby to untwist the cord and helped me pull the baby up and that’s when I saw…
“IT’S A GIRL!!!!!!”
I couldn’t believe it! It’s a girl!
I held her to my chest while rubbing her and kept saying, “You’re a girl! Hi baby girl!”
I then announced that her name was Elsa. What and incredible joy she is, too!
We spent a few minutes like that looking at her until her cord stopped pulsing and John cut it. Then I got out to deliver the placenta and get checked for any tears, which there were none!
We all got to bed and got checked out. She was 7.8 lbs (half a pound bigger than her brother) and her head was perfectly round, not one over lap in her skull. We were given the run down of what to watch for and what to do before we saw them again the next day and then the MWs packed up and headed home. John and I headed to bed with our new perfect baby girl and my sister headed to Solomon’s new room to sleep in there.
Solomon never woke up!
<<Read “Jamie’s Birth Story of Solomon” here>>