It was March 31st 2012, a Saturday afternoon, around noon or so that I started to feel what seemed like “real” contractions. I was 39 weeks 3 days pregnant with baby #3. We were just hanging out at home and the contractions started out feeling very deep inside. It felt like I was opening up. So I just paid attention a bit more closely as I went about my household duties. I mentioned it to my husband, and after about a half hour decided to call my midwife to let her know I felt like I was in early labor. I didn’t want to wait too long to contact her this time around, my 2nd baby came in just three hours and my midwife was still 20 minutes away when baby arrived. (I caught her myself in our bathtub, it was amazing!)
I continued to go about my business at home just cleaning up and organizing things, and paying attention to the contractions. They weren’t real strong or regular and I wondered how long I would be laboring since each labor and birth is different. Just because my 2nd one came fast didn’t mean my 3rd one would. A bit later (I have no idea exactly what time everything occurred) the contractions felt a bit stronger, so I called my midwife back and told her just to come. All I wanted to do was walk around, I did not like sitting down, it was uncomfortable and made the contractions feel stronger. My older two children were still at the house with us and I was ready for some peace and quiet. It was hard to focus on my labor with them running around and playing loudly. I kept retreating to my bedroom as I walked around.
My midwife Mary Anne arrived around 2:50pm, and shortly after that my neighbor came over as well. She was going to take the kids to her house to play while I labored. I rubbed some essential oils on my feet, hips, and neck. Some Peace & Calming and Valor. My midwife’s assistant Lindsey arrived shortly after Mary Anne. Things started to pick up after they got here and after the kids left. The contractions were getting stronger and closer together. Lindsey had the doppler on my belly to listen to the baby during my contractions. I remember her saying “this baby is loving labor!” LOL! I was standing in the master bathroom and trying to text my husband’s phone number to my neighbor so she would be able to contact him, and I remember it took me forever just to text her back because the contractions just kept coming. At that point Mary Anne asked me if I would like to get in the tub. So she started to fill it while I continued laboring on the bathroom floor.
I got in the tub and the contractions were just coming one on top of the other. All I could do was breathe through them and hold on to the sides of the tub. Mary Anne asked me if I wanted them to call my friend Melissa to come since she was going to take photos. I told her that was fine. We had the video camera set up on the tripod and my husband had started it while I was laboring in the bathroom.
Lindsey continued listening to baby with the doppler while Mary Anne added more hot water to the tub. My friend Melissa arrived and started taking photos with our camera. Labor was intense at this point. I remember Mary Anne would ask me to try and take a drink between contractions, but I just couldn’t! And at one point when Lindsey had the doppler on my belly I just pushed it away. LOL! She wasn’t at all offended and just stopped using the doppler. :) I was getting a bit more “grunty” now during some of my contractions. Baby was just about ready to come. I remember during one grunty contraction I heard and felt a “pop”. I said “I think my water just broke” and sure enough it had. Now it was on! I started pushing with my contractions, it was an overwhelming urge to push, and I really just wanted the pushing part to be over with! I was on my knees and and I remember what felt like one giant push and baby's head was out, then body and it was done! It was 4:10pm, just one hour and twenty minutes from when my midwife arrived, and 4 hours from my first contraction. I yelled pretty loudly while I was pushing, it was just so intense! Lindsey caught the baby from behind and then had me lift my leg and pick up the baby while I sat down. The cord was short so I couldn’t pull the baby up too high. The first thing I said when I sat down was “I’m glad that’s over with!” LOL!! Mary Anne asked “so what do we have?” and I looked down and it was a girl! My husband got the whole birth on video, which is so awesome to have! And my friend Melissa took lots of great photos as well. We have no video or photos of the actual births of my first two, so I am very grateful to have them this time!
We sat in the tub for a bit, then got out to deliver the placenta on the bed, and get settled in together and start nursing and bonding. My neighbor brought the kids back and they were very excited to meet their new baby sister! My four year old son was very interested in learning about the placenta, so Mary Anne brought him in the bathroom with her while she inspected it, and she let him wear a pair of gloves and he touched it while she explained it to him. I thought that was so fun!
It has been 6 weeks now since our sweet Callie was born. We have all adjusted well and just love her to pieces. And I am thankful for another quick labor and beautiful homebirth with my midwife, family, and friends.