Before I go into this very long birth story, I just waned to give a little background info.
I was very scared to get pregnant again, and to give birth again. After four hospital birth inductions, I really wanted to avoid birthing at all... which, obviously is just not possible.
When I found out I was pregnant with number five, I was SO nervous. I knew I didnt want a hospital birth, but my husband was reluctant to do a home birth. I started researching birth centers, in the area. There was ONE it looked like could work for us, but I knew it would take some time for my husband to come around, so instead I just asked him if he would consider taking a Bradley Class with me in preparation for labor.
I have had experiences with my OBGYN that I did not like. I do love my OBGYN, but I do not like pain, I do not like epidurals, I do not like IV's... at my #4 birth, it took them 2 hours to get an IV in me. I couldn't eat or drink during any of my births. I didn't feel in control of my body, or what was going on. Really I felt like they were telling ME how my birth was going.
The goal for this birth, was to be completely in tune with my body- no drugs, no interventions. No inductions. No nothing. I did not want an IV. I did not want anyone touching me (except my husband) and telling me how far dilated I was or wasn't. I did NOT want my water broken for me. Somehow, it just felt like if they broke my water, that it wasnt really my body doing what it was supposed to do on its own, and was somehow choosing the birthday of our baby.
Honestly, I had doubts that I would even be able to go into labor on my own. I had always been induced, even when once my water did "break" on its own (I say "break", because likely it was a tear that repaired itself), I had to be induced due to no contractions after the 24 hour period you must go into labor before.
During our Bradley Class, my husband and I learned how real labor was supposed to work. I already knew pretty much everything that I learned in class, but I needed that support system and reassurance that women DO go into labor- even if its weeks after their due dates.
I started "Meditation" on a daily basis. I think I started this around when I started showing, and feeling the baby move. Somewhere around 15 weeks. Every day I would lay in the bathtub and imagine myself contracting, and listening to a song. (It was Prism of Life by Enigma, if anyone is interested). I would literally talk to God as I imagined myself giving birth, and laboring on my own, in a tub of water. At this point I had no idea if I actually would be giving birth at the birth center, but this was how I wanted my birth to go. When I was very hugely pregnant, I would play the song whenever I was at my computer and imagine myself contracting and feeling that. Eventually I knew the song by heart, and could play it anytime in my mind, and laying in bed I could imagine myself contracting and giving birth. I practiced saying key words to myself like "Let it happen" and "give into yourself" and "imagine yourself opening up". I know it sounds weird but I knew if anyone was going to stop me from going into labor, it would be my own mind!
Our Bradley class was EXCELLENT and I recommend it to anyone and everyone! I learned about the Brewer diet, which was so important and I followed it my ENTIRE pregnancy. Along with praying, and meditation with God daily- I was taking care of myself to the best of my ability. It was by FAR my easiest pregnancy. I lasted longer in my pregnancy with normal energy. I gained the most weight I ever had, but I felt really good up until the very end. I know its because my body had the iron, protein, water, and other nutrients it needed to have a healthy baby and birth.
We transferred over to the midwifes halfway through my pregnancy. My husband was reluctant but I think he knew why and understood why I needed to have a birth there- and not at the hospital. Our experience there was 10 fold any other experience I had... and now to the birth story...
For weeks I had contractions, which is normal for me.
On the 7th of May, I was about 38 weeks, I had the same contractions I had been having off and on for weeks... I was ignoring them because I knew I couldn't do anything about it. They were annoying me but not really painful. I actually figured Im one of those ladies who is just going to need my water broken to get labor going and so contractions were not really anything I paid attention to all along. I was trying to have faith that my water WOULD break on its own, but given my "history" I had doubts about it. I continued my meditation, prayer and visualization of my birth.
I rested the whole day with kids watching tv and me in bed and on the couch... There was one point in the morning I did think for some reason the contractions felt differently but like I said i just figured it was just more nothingness and would fade off, but I did mention it to my friend.
At 4, my husband got home from work and we went to a drive in for dinner. when we got home I was "stuck" in the bathroom for a bit and thought that was a little "labory" but then he said he felt like that too so I thought it was the food.
The kids played outside and at 7 we called them in to get ready for bed and I asked them to give me 10 mins of clean up time so they started doing that and my husband for some reason just started cleaning everything! I kind of felt like "hmmm maybe he's got a feeling it might be tonight". But the contractions/tummy ache had stopped so i just sat on the couch while he ran around cleaning and put the kids to bed. I wrote my Doula and said how upset I was that I keep *thinking* something for 5 mins and then... Nothing. My Doula was also my Bradley Class Instructor, and friend. I had text her many times over the pregnancy and she was always very encouraging and helpful to me, in how to stop the preterm labor. When I had text her she just told me to do the same things I always do to stop contractions (eat, sleep, walk around some, take a bath)... I started walking circles around the dining room table, but it just made me have to pee literally every time Id walk around the table, Id have to pee again.
So we watched tv and my hubby folded laundry (seriously so out of character for him but I wasn't going to complain!) and then we went to bed at 1030. He passed right out but I was so Annoyed with contractions that were kind of hurting me and coming only every 10 mins and I felt like I had To go to the bathroom after every contraction. So it was Up and down up and down every 10 mins from bed to bathroom and I was bored and wanted to go to sleep! I text my doula but she said to go to sleep (after all they were only 10 mins apart as far as I could tell which was no different than anything else I'd had for weeks.)
At 1130 I realized I could not sleep. I kept getting woken up when the contractions would come and get up to go to the bathroom. I was kind of wondering what was going on.
After A few of these it had been an hour I text my doula to tell her sleeping wasn't working out... But she didnt respond at all. I figured she had gone to bed.
I got in a bath and then got out after like 10 mins. I didnt want to be in there for some reason...
At 1230 I was pacing around (tried to wake Tony, but he was totally asleep...) and finally decided these contractions were getting worse. I sat at my computer debating on wether to call my midwife or not. It was really late, and I did not want to be wrong that these contractions felt too easy to be real labor! No one was awake, and no one was online to distract me either! I really just wanted someone to talk to and tell me it either was or wasn't real!
I finally gave in and called my midwife. She asked me how far apart they were and they were not
super consistent yet but they did hurt so I told her 6ish mins but they were 10 before that... And she asked if my water broke yet. I said no... (still thinking that won't happen until I get there and it gets broken for me!) but I knew I was having a hard time during the contractions.
She said to call back if they got worse, or If they got closer together. Sigh ok...
I just wanted to go to sleep.
Right when I got off the phone with her I got two contractions 4 mins apart and I was feeling so much pressure that I was thinking "what If my water breaks and I'm by myself?" So I tried to wake up Tony again, but ended up paging my midwife again... it 1:15. I said "I'm really sorry I know I just said I wasn't sure If I'm in labor but they moved to 4 mins should I do something?" she said to come in and that they already had a lady there in labor. Worst case send me back home, but, I think she could tell I was in labor.
I still wasn't sure!
I got off the phone had another strong contraction and started To feel like, ok this HAS to be labor! I called my SIL who lives down the street to come and tried calling my doula but she wasn't answering. I went
To my room to get clothes to leave and Tony woke up- and then all the suddenly I got really nauseated! (sign of transition for me!) I said " oh man we need to leave NOW! I feel sick! and call Torri!" (Torri is our photographer and friend).
I went and threw up, grabbed a tubber ware and stood at the front door while my sister in law got settled and Tony was finishing up what he was doing. The drive was 15 mins, I had contractions every 3 mins and threw up several times. I kept praying and in my head my song was playing over and over. And I kept thinking to myself "dont give in", "Let it work for you"... I didnt want to get scared now. I prayed "God, dont let it get any worse, I can handle this, just dont let it get any more painful."
When we got there- I got out of the car and my water broke right in the parking lot! I said "oh wow my water broke!" and then I kinda knew It was labor.. Hahaha. It was 1:40am. We knocked on the door, and I went inside they were already filling the tub, as they took a quick listen to babies heart rate and then I got in.
In the tub I knew I was so close as I has been throwing up and my water broke. The midwives had so much confidence but I kept thinking it didn't hurt enough to be so close! Lol!!!! This makes me laugh now because everything I prayed for- God had delivered to me! Even down to me feeling like it wasn't "that bad"! Everything I had imagined my birth being- it was happening.
Honestly I could not be happier. We were Home at 630 just in time To show the kids all together their new brother, and take pictures. (photographer followed us to our house).
He is just amazing and the birth was amazing!! I will never have birth another way again.
The birth was so peaceful! <3 I keep thanking the Lord! I just can't believe I did it! All of the work that I did for nine months worked so well in my favor. The connection I had with my body, the feeling of peace, it was all due to God and my husband, and my support people. I still think back at how for two hours I paced around the house acting like an irritated bored person- when really I was in labor! I think about how fast it went... and how relatively not painful it was. Women are so afraid of natural labor- I dont know why!
It is so empowering when you submit to the amazing power of your body! Honestly I am STILL in awe... my birth was perfect... It really was.
Thank you to:
Torri Howard, of Images By Torri Howard, for photgraphing. Amazing photos!
Thank you to our Midwives at Puget Sound Birth Center & Eastside Midwives
And, Lynette at Natural Birth First
We couldn't have done it without you!