This is pasted from my personal Facebook page because many of you expressed interest in reading my birth story.
January 27th came and went with no baby. Five days over my due date and me being quite miserable, the assistant midwife came by for a home visit and we did my first cervical check. She found my cervix to be what I call high and tight. I was extremely discouraged by this and tried to hold myself together since my husband was in the middle of his work day, but an hour after Rachel left, I became very emotional.
Friday night came and went with no regular contractions. I woke up Saturday morning, still pregnant, and experiencing prodormal labor at it’s finest. (If you know me well, you know I go prodormal for weeks!) I was sick of people calling me, texting me, and asking me if the baby was here yet. So, off on a shopping adventure we went. I figured the best thing I could do to become a non-pregnant person was to act like one. We walked around Sam’s Club for about three hours as I decided to stock up on household supplies (I do this yearly). No. Contractions. Finally, we left the store around 8:00 p.m. I’d say and before we left Davenport, I figured I’d stop at Kohl’s to see if any winter pajamas were on clearance for our older children. Magically, I started having some small contractions.
We came home, unloaded the items we bought (500 dryer sheets, anyone?), and put the kids to bed. I don’t remember when, but at some point, Joe and I went to bed as well. I did my usual getting up to pee every two hours and crying in my sleep because of the back and hip pain I’d been experiencing for months at this point. Unisom was my best friend in the final weeks of my pregnancy. It was the only way I could sleep.
Suddenly, around 7:10 a.m., I woke up because I felt wet. I literally thought, “I know I am very pregnant, but did I seriously just piss myself?” I sat up and more came out. I was a bit alarmed. I walked to the bathroom, emptied my bladder to find this fluid still coming out of me after that, came back to the bedroom and told Joe that I was pretty sure my water was leaking. Then another small gush came. I said, “well, I guess we need to call Kathy” and I did so to inform her of what was going on. And of course, no contractions.
I figured I should rest after a bit, but I wanted to walk a bit to try to help things along. Of course, the house was a dang mess, so I did some light cleaning while Joe took care of anything I couldn’t do. At some point, I decided it would be wise to go take a nap. I remember waking up and still only having light, irregular contractions. I checked in with my midwife and decided that getting out of the house was a good idea. My husband thought I was nuts for wanting to go walk around stores with my water leaking, but I sure as heck did it!
I put an extra pair of pants, two pairs of underwear, and pads in my purse and we made the drive to Davenport.
We made very short trips (15 minutes each) to three stores (Vintage Baby, Harbor Freight, and Big Lots). At Big Lots, I felt like my water was starting to go more, so we figured it best to head home. Whether or not I came home and took a nap again, I can’t remember at this point, but I do know that my mom decided to come down to the house at this point and took over with the older kids. My midwife also decided to come to the house and check on us.
Shortly after we got home, my mom and Kathy arrived. My mom settled in and Kathy and I went upstairs to do another cervical exam and talk about our options. Of course, I had no contractions during this time. We decided to try to stir active labor with some homeopathy after finding out I was only 2cm dilated and 50% effaced. I wasn’t thrilled, but still happy at a little progress. I decided, once again, that I needed to walk…
I informed Kathy that we were going to Wal-mart to walk around. Finally, while we were there, I was finally feeling some good contractions around 7 p.m. Kathy sent me a text message suggesting I go home to get some sleep and I decided I’d better do that while I could. After we left, I stopped at my friend, Nissa’s house so she could do some pressure points for me. At her house, my contractions actually were 45 seconds long and about 7 minutes apart. During the drive home, I told Joe that I was having contractions that literally made me want to punch the wall. But they were starting to slow down!
When we came into the house, my mom thought I didn’t look very well and thought that maybe we should call the midwife back to the house then, but I said it’d still be a while. I drug my miserably pregnant self up to the bathroom and filled my bathtub with warm water to take the edge off of the contractions. I figured I’d sleep in the tub if I had to. At some point, Joe came up and said he was going to get some sleep. He asked if I wanted him in the bathroom with me and we decided it’d be better for him to sleep outside the bathroom door in the hallway in case I needed anything.
Surprisingly, I stayed pretty quiet until the very end. By 11 p.m., I texted my midwife saying that the contractions were very painful, but not as close together as she wanted them to be. I was feeling a little sick, but grateful to not be puking my guts out. At one point, I literally saw the baby change position to start descending in my pelvis, but I still thought it would be a while. I even refilled the bathtub with warm water and tried to go to sleep since Unisom had kicked in at this point. All of a sudden, I let out this noise and flashbacks of previous labors came. I knew exactly what that meant. I needed to push.
Joe came into the bathroom and asked what I needed. “I NEED..TO..PUSH!” And he was in shock and then another huge contraction came and I felt the baby coming. I managed to say, “Call…Kathy!” And he said, “what do you want me to say?!” When she picked up the phone, he told her, “she says she has to push” and I heard Kathy say, “WHAT?” and I knew she’d be rushing to the house. He was also trying to get the birth tub filled in the next room, but there just wasn’t enough time. The next thing I told Joe was that the baby was coming (I felt her crowning) and with one push her head was out, he ran for the stairs while yelling for my mom and I screamed for him to come back. He got back in the bathroom as I finished birthing the baby. I said, “GRAB THE BABY!” and by the time, my mom was upstairs, grabbing towels to wrap her and using her stethoscope to check the baby’s lungs and heart since Kathy hadn’t arrived.
Hallie pinked up immediately, started screaming, and was rooting. I didn’t have the energy to sit up and latch her. It seemed like a long time that I sat in the tub shivering, but I didn’t want to get up since I knew it’d be a mess and I hadn’t birthed the placenta yet. The placenta finally came out and then the midwives arrived. Rachel set to helping me out of the tub and getting me cleaned up a bit and into bed. Kathy had started the baby’s physical exam, which was great. Her apgars were 9 and 10.
Matt (who is 5 1/2) was in the room during the business of taking care of baby & I and I was so impressed with him. He was very observant of what Kathy was doing and didn’t freak out at all. He also got the experience of cutting the cord. He loves to talk about the fact that his second baby sister was born in the bath tub.
Hallie Grace was born February 3, 2013 at 11:58 p.m. She was 8lb 6oz and 20.5 inches long.