At just shy of 37 weeks I started in the nightmare of prodromal labor. Things stopped and started so much that I was getting more cranky by the day. I feel bad for anyone that had to put up with me in the last few weeks of this pregnancy.
Thanksgiving came and went, which was a big stress gone, and Midna turned back to LOA from ROP after which was a load off my mind and took away so much of the back and side pain. Blake had to work the graveyard shift Friday night/Saturday morning so we were praying that labor wouldn’t start until he was either home or later the next week.
Saturday afternoon and night we finished setting up the Christmas decorations. Last year I was at a birth where mom labored under the Christmas lights and that had been a dream of mine and since nothing was really happening I decided I needed that.
Saturday night we played the WiiU as a family, hung out, and Glade went to bed around nine that night. Blake and I spent some time together and then I sent him to bed to sleep because I started having strong contractions again and knew I might need him to be up with me later and he needed rest first.
I hung out online for a couple hours and things started to space out at around midnight so I decided to see if I could lie down during the contractions and get some sleep.
At around three the contractions woke me up but they were far enough apart I could sleep inbetween even though it hurt a lot during them. Finally around four I couldn’t stand lying down anymore so I got out of bed and turned on Doctor Who.
I let my best friends know that things had picked up again, but not to worry because odds were they were just going to die out like every other day, especially since I was a day before my due date. I bounced on the birth ball and walked around for about an hour and then I woke up Blake for counterpressure on my back. I had to squat or lean over something during the peak of every contraction which was new, but I still didn’t believe this was “it”.
After a few countractions I felt I needed to have things set up, so I sent Blake to get the air pump to get the pool ready and I labored watching more Doctor Who. We set up the birthing space and I sent him back to bed since I was doing alright on my own and wanted the time to figure out what was going on.
Glade woke up between seven and eight and moaned with me during the contractions which was really cute. She turned on some movies and just stayed in the background. I was worried once she was awake things would die out, but they kept going.
The contractions stayed about the same intensity and varied a lot in spacing and length but I let my friends know at about 9 or a little after that they needed to come. Blake went to get breakfast for him and Glade and I got in the pool to see if it would take the sharp edge off my contractions.
It was around then I started to get curious as to whether I was dilating or not, but I didn’t want to be disappointed if nothing was happening like all the other times. So, I asked Glade if I could have the hand mirror and I checked to see if maybe there was the purple line above my anus. I can’t say how shocked I was to actually see it. Right then I realized that it might take a couple days, but we were going to have our baby and things weren’t just doing nothing.
My friends arrived a little after ten and we chatted and laughed for a couple hours inbetween contractions. They weren’t content just sitting around so they did my dishes and cleaned my kitchen (which is a huge thing, it was gross since I hadn’t been able to do much with dishes most of my pregnancy and Blake had been working 70 hour weeks again).
At around noon I needed to pee so I got out of the pool and then spent the next hour or so leaning over the counter or chair or toilet while someone pressed on my back and hips. They were so intense and different. I had to squat a bit during them because it felt like my hips were being pulled apart from my back. I knew it wasn’t back labor because the pain stopped after the contractions, but it hurt!
At one or a little after (I’m really fuzzy on times) I decided I needed back in the pool and I was able to sleep inbetween the contractions for a little less than an hour. At about then I felt a lot of mucus come out with a bit of blood and decided now I needed to check myself and see what was going on.
I reached in and couldn’t believe it. I could feel her sac, which was bulging a little bit, and once I figured out where my cervix was, I realized I only had about 3/4” left before there was nothing there. My contractions, even at this point, were still a few minutes apart and not overly long. We were still talking and laughing inbetween. I wasn’t shaking or sick, I hadn’t started swearing, so all of us figured it would be at least another 3-6 hours before baby was born.
I sent Blake to get everyone food at around 2pm, and we sat around talking while we ate. I don’t know what it was, but as soon as my burger was gone, my contractions hit HARD. All the sudden I needed to swear and get angry. It was about 2:30 when that started, and I was so pissed. I couldn’t sit still through the contractions like I could before, I had to be moving. I was still in the pool, but my hips had to be shaking, I had to be rocking, and I had to be swearing or trying not to cry. I kept telling myself that I can make it through one more contraction like this, and then it would hit and I would feel so defeated because it hurt so bad.
Finally, for one contraction I was leaning over and just growled. I was mad, I was hurting, and I needed to push. Instantly I felt the air come alive. This wasn’t the little grunts women give when they start to push at the peak of a contraction, this was full pushing and meaning it. I was worried for a second that it was too soon since I had just checked myself an hour ago and wasn’t fully dilated, but then another contraction hit and I could have cared less.
For most of my labor, except for counterpressure when I wanted it, I didn’t want to be touched. I didn’t want people near me, I just wanted to do my thing and then rest. Once pushing hit, I NEEDED Blake. It was more than just needing him with me or something to hold onto, I mentally and physically needed him right there with me. He talked to me through each contraction, through each push, and it felt like no one else was even there with us. I was leaning over the side of the pool, one hand holding me up on the bottom of the pool and the other grasping his hands. I was leaning over his arms and he was whispering in my ear that I was doing this, that our baby was coming.
My hips felt like they were being ripped in half, and I could feel something descending, but I knew it wasn’t the head. I pushed at now what I know was 3:01 and my bag of water exploded. Instantly I felt so much less pressure and so much better. It only lasted until the next contraction, but oh it felt so good.
The next contraction hit and I felt her head start to come down. I reached in to feel and her head was right there, not yet crowning, but so close. For a few contractions she would come down beautifully but it hurt and I wasn’t ready for her to be born yet so after the contraction was over I would let her head recede back. I had no idea time was moving so quickly, for me everything was about her head, pushing, and Blake.
Finally, I felt her start to crown and it burned. Inbetween pushes I’m pretty sure I screamed that it burned, but I’m not sure. I let her go back one more time but knew the next couple pushes her head was going to come out whether I wanted it to or not.
The next push I felt her head come even farther and I felt my labia tear a little bit which burned so badly that I quit pushing. I didn’t want to tear and had wanted this to go slowly, but she and my uterus had other plans.
The next push, I screamed and growled and out her head came at 3:19pm. I announced her head was out, just in case they didn’t know (haha) and even though the contraction was over, I needed her out of me. I pushed again, and she flew out at 3:20. It couldn’t have been more than 20-30 seconds from her head to body.
I felt her slither out and let go of Blake to pull her up. (If you want to see the video of me pulling her up/meeting her, head on over HERE). Her cord was so short if our pool had been any deeper she wouldn’t have made it out of the water. It was wrapped around her leg, and I had to bend over and put her in the water a bit to loosen it enough to unwrap to see if she was a boy or girl. We were so sure the entire pregnancy she was a boy that when I saw her vulva I had to double check that I wasn’t just seeing things.
Not only was I in shock that we actually had a baby and I just gave birth to her but that we had a baby girl! Even thinking of that moment now has me in tears.
She was covered in vernix, and the pool was full of it. After a few minutes I sat back against the side of the pool so I didn’t have to lean on my knees. My tailbone hurt a lot so my friends placed towels on either side of me to prop me up so I wasn’t sitting on it and it helped so much. After her initial crying and getting mad, Midna became so calm and was just looked at each other. My friends kept replacing the towel covering her since the pool was cooling off and she needed to be warm and we were just so content.
She latched on (if I’m remembering time correctly) about 25 minutes after she was born and nursed for another 20. One of my biggest worries the entire pregnancy was if we would have trouble nursing and she was letting me know that things were going to work out. It was an amazing moment when I heard her gulp.
About an hour after she was born I needed to work on getting the placenta out (not for any worry, just because I felt it was time) so Blake tied the cord and Brenda cut it. It was so short we had to cut it about 6-8 inches away from her body as that was the only place we could reach without moving her. Brenda gave Midna to Blake and he had his first moments with her while they helped me squat in the pool to see if that would help the placenta.
It hadn’t detached yet, so I decided to get out of the pool since it was getting cold and sit on the toilet to see if that would help. My friends sat with me for a bit and nothing was really happening so I asked for a dose of Angelica to see if that’s the push I needed. At 4:45pm the placenta came out, except a piece of sac (I thought it was trailing membranes before it actually detached later) that was still attached.
I asked for more Angelica just to have, and for Midna. I figured if nothing else, nursing her again would mean I got to cuddle her. She nursed for about twenty minutes and was done, but the piece was still attached. I gave her to Lacie and I was starting to get frustrated. I needed to pee but didn’t want to pee in the bowl with the placenta. I wanted to get things moving and I felt a little stuck.
I asked Blake for a blessing, and he asked that I have calm and that things would progress naturally like they were meant to and we wouldn’t need to do anything else.
Brenda turned on the faucet and left me alone, and I talked to my uterus. I took the other dose of Angelica and then just let go. I felt my uterus contract, and I reached down and the rest of the sac came out at 5:45, so a little more than 2 hours after she was born. Right after, Brenda took the bowl with the placenta and I peed. It felt wonderful, aside from how much it burned.
I rinsed off and then checked for tears while on the toilet, and I could for sure see the labial tear and then with the swelling we could see a slight perineal tear but I didn’t see until the next day it was a bit longer than we had seen. It wasn’t deep, just long. (It’s healing beautifully though, with nothing more than comfrey, lavender, and witch hazel sprayed on with the peri bottle and me resting).
I got in the sitz bath and talked to Brenda for a bit, and then got in bed with my baby.
We weighed and measured her, 7 lbs 8 oz, 20”, and a 13 7/8” head which was smaller than Glade’s head and Glade weighed almost two pounds less.
Brenda examined the placenta a little later and the hole in the sac was just barely big enough to fit Midna. It popped and she slithered through that tiny hole like a snake. The biggest fear I had my entire pregnancy was my water breaking before I was ready for it, or before birth was safe. I know the fear was unfounded and I didn’t even understand why I had that fear, but it was there and strong. When we looked at my sac, it was so strong it took quite a bit for Brenda to even find the hole, and she even tried a few times to make a new one and it wouldn’t break. I think my body knew I needed that so it made the sac strong on purpose.
This birth was everything I needed. I had a baby, through my vagina, in my living room, that wasn’t breech. I had a baby with my own strength, my own power. I didn’t have anyone telling me what to do, I made every decision myself, no one touched me when I didn’t want it. I had my baby with my own everything. I have never felt stronger in my entire life.
I had my rainbow freebirth and no one can ever take that away from me.
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