Dec 14, 2017

Birth Story

Morgan > Birth Story

I woke up at 4am on 4/26 having strong contractions. This had been happening off and on for a week, but these were very different. Before, the contractions had come every ten minutes or so for a few hours and then stopped. This time, they rapidly got closer together, so that by 5am, they were 3 minutes apart and coming hard and strong. We called our midwife and she said to call back in an hour if nothing had changed, or sooner (or later) if things sped up or stopped.

I got in the shower and the contractions stayed very steady. Sitting or laying was impossible, so I just stood in the shower and let the water flow on my back. We called the midwife back a bit before 6am to ask her to come right away. I got out of the shower and had Mike start to fill the birth pool. Both kids were up and watching a movie in our room. The plan was to have a friend come to be with them during the birth, ideally in the room with us. We called her at 6:30 and she said she would be here by 8:30am once she got her kids off to school.

Our midwife called to say she was on her way but that the other midwife assisting her would not be our same midwife from Charlotte, but another midwife who lives closer, which was fine with us. At that point I was working so hard to keep on top of the contractions, back in the shower, and just sort of holding on. I was drinking a mixture of nettle tea and super-green smoothie and managed to eat an energy bar. The kids and Mike set things up and checked on me as they could.

My midwife got here about 7:45am and I got out of the shower so she could check me. I was 8-9cm and the baby was really low and my water had not broken but was bulging. I had not yet had any show, but was losing tons of mucus. The other midwife got here shortly after and they set up all of their supplies and chatted with Mike and the kids. I stayed in the shower, holding on until my friend arrived. She got here a little after 8:30am and I got right into the birth pool.

It felt SOOOO good to be in the water and I thought I might get a little break from the contractions, but they kept right on coming. I stayed in the pool for about half an hour, and truly thought the baby would be born right then, but no luck. I started to feel very sad and like the baby would never, ever be born. My midwife wanted me to get out and try a few contractions sitting, which I did, and that was REALLY painful. She wanted to check me once more, and sure enough, I had a tiny lip of cervix in the way. She was able to move it during the next two contractions, which was the worst part of the entire ordeal. But, she was so calm and supportive the whole time, I trusted her completely and just tried to follow her lead.

Mike was amazing, letting me squeeze the crap out of him the whole time and saying loving and supportive things. Jackson came in and out and took some pictures and said really funny things (most of which I don't remember, but I remember laughing every time he was in the room) and Charlotte played with our friend.

After moving the cervix, I threw up several times, and we all know that this was the sign that I am ready. I got back in the pool, worked VERY hard threw two contractions and started mentally telling myself to, "get out of the way". Then I was mentally telling the baby to "get OUT". All this time, the midwife would check the doppler and the baby's heartbeat was always steady and strong. I knew it was time, so I began vocalizing loudly, "OPEN", "OPEN", and "BABY, Get OUT", and calling for my midwife to help me. I was leaning on the edge of the pool with Mike in front of me hugging me and giving me amazing support. My friend had come in and both kids were watching with her from the other end.

I felt the baby move down and it was so intense, truly like no other experience. I pushed SOOO HARD and kept vocalizing to channel my energy down. I don't know how long it took, but fewer than ten minutes of pushing. The head was out for a few minutes, and I had to pull my feet under me to get the strength to push the rest of the body out. I caught Charlotte, but this time, there was no way I was letting go of Mike. The whole hour before the baby was born, I was a mess, thinking I couldn't do it, crying, thinking I would be in transition FOREVER. My connection to Mike and his gentle words was the only thing keeping me grounded, and as nice as it was to be the first person to hold Charlotte, I knew I need Mike the whole time this time around.

Once the baby was out, they slipped it back through my legs and onto my chest. Those who have been there know that it is like a switch flipping off. One second you are in the most intense experience of your life and JUST LIKE THAT it is done. The baby pinked up immediately and we spent a few minutes suctioning some goo (this baby had tons of hiccups while inside) and recovering. As before, Jackson got to be the one to announce the gender, this time he had a brother! The placenta took another 10-15 minutes to come out, but was completely intact inside the membranes and in good shape. I had no tearing, despite the fact that our sweet Morgan Justice Lee weighed in at 9lb, 14 oz, 22 1/4 inches long with 15" head and chest. Another very big baby.

After a while, Mike cut the cord, I got out of the water, and into bed. I felt very tired, and they put Morgan on my chest. It took him a little while to latch on but we figured it out and he did some very good nursing. I ate, drank, used the bathroom, and spent the rest of the day in bed. Our friend took the kids to her house for the day and after the midwives checked Morgan and myself thoroughly and determined we were both perfectly fine and healthy, we had some time with just the three of us.

It was another truly amazing and empowering birth, I would not have wanted anything different. The pace was fast, but not rushed, and to have such wonderful and calm midwives gave me all the strength and assurance I needed to know I could do this. Having our dear friend there and giving such amazing love and support to our children so that they could witness the birth of their brother is beyond any love and kindness that I will ever be able to express. It was EXACTLY how I envisioned it and wanted it to go. I know how infrequently it happens, but by having a birth at home with skilled attendants and a loving and supportive family and friend, we made it happen. I wish all families everywhere the birth of their dreams.

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