Thursday, April 4
I maintain, to this day, that this should have been CJ’s birthday. 8 weeks later, I notice that she begins her developmental leaps on Thursdays, as if she had been born then. Maybe she’s just a little ahead of schedule, but I really do think this was her intended birthday, and if we hadn’t ended up at the hospital with Captain Intervention, I would have had her by this point.
But that story would have been less interesting!
Thursday morning was different. I didn’t cry upon waking up. I had promised our baby girl that I would no longer rush her, no longer push her to come before she was ready, that I would wait patiently and do things on her schedule now. I was ready to meet her whenever she was ready for us, and not a minute sooner.
After calling our families to (yet again) inform them that we had left the hospital, we got a lot of negative response. Mostly, people thought I was being ornery and trying to be a hero, and that I should head back to the hospital immediately, lest something go wrong. I knew my body had to get ready again, though, and that I more than likely wouldn’t be able to give birth in a hospital comfortable and relaxed.
We spent the day walking again, running a few errands and contemplating what we would do from here. I knew there was little hope for us to find a midwife or birthing center willing to take us so late, but I figured trying couldn’t hurt.
We stopped by a good friend’s house who we told our whole story to. Luckily, she knew a gal who had birthed at home with a midwife, and maybe that midwife would be able help us?
We chatted for awhile and she contacted her friend who contacted her midwife. The midwife was skeptical (who could blame her!) and unsure of whether she could or would take us, but was willing to talk to myself and the hubs to hear our story.
I called the midwife as we were heading back home. She was probably willing to take us, as long as she could find a secondary midwife to help with the delivery. She would call back to let us know.
Luckily for us, she had a friend who would be available. I frantically printed off all of my medical records showing test results and visit information to take with us when we went to meet her that evening.
Meeting our Midwife
We drove to our midwife’s office Thursday evening to meet her. The three of us “clicked” immediately, which was great because the husbeast and I didn’t have much time to go interviewing lots of midwives, me being in prodromal labor and all.
After a quick “get-to-know-you,” we began filling out paperwork, going through medical records, and getting a prenatal check done. We left her office around 9pm to head home, both of us finally relaxed and confident that CJ would get to come out on her own terms, and that I’d be able to have my NUCB.
The Opening of the Floodgates
Not much happened Friday or most of the day Saturday. We spent the days walking and unpacking our stuff, since we had just moved the day before all of this started.
Around 9:45pm Saturday, I found myself following my father and husband up the stairs carrying two empty drawers to the dresser they had, when I suddenly felt it.
My water had broken.
I set the drawers down in the hall and ducked into the bathroom so I wouldn’t make a mess all over the floor.
I called my husband into the bathroom, and he found me giggling like a fool on the toilet seat.
“What the? What happened? … OH MY GOD. Your water broke, didn’t it?”
My poor husband ran frantically from the bathroom to the list of stuff that we still needed for our homebirth (simple things, like hydrogen peroxide) while I chuckled my way down the stairs to inform my parents that my water had broken (which, neither of them believed me because I was so cavalier about it and not soaked), and to call our midwife.
Our midwife told me to try to sleep as much as I could, and to call her back when things got serious.
Within an hour of my water breaking, my labor intensified to coupled contractions every 2-3 minutes lasting 45-60 seconds.
By 11:15, things had really intensified. My contractions were painful, and I really wanted to head into the tub. I called the midwife and asked her to, “please come! And tell me what I was thinking when I decided I could birth at home?!” She just chuckled and said, “Because you’re a strong woman and you can do this. I’m on my way to you now.”
I labored in the tub with the removable shower head spraying my belly for about an hour. Our midwife arrived around midnight. I left the tub to labor on our bed, with contractions every 1-3 minutes. I spent the majority of my labor sitting upright on our bed, rocking like a madwoman through my contractions. I was cold between my contractions, but would throw the blanket off of me during contractions.
My midwife suggested at some point that I move my laboring to the toilet, since sitting Indian-style on the bed was limiting how open my pelvis would be. Once I sat, a strong contraction came over me and I yelped, “You have got to be kidding me!” I rocked so hard I broke the toilet seat! So no more laboring on the toilet for me that night, which was fine by me as that position hurt more than the others.
I ended up kneeling by my bed, supporting my upper body on the bed. My midwife’s student would jiggle my belly with a robozo wrap between contractions, which brought me incredible relief.
To Transition, and Beyond!
Shortly after making my way off the bed, I started pushing. I didn’t even realize I was until our midwife told me not to hold my breath during contractions unless I was pushing!
My pushing phase was quick, and less painful than the laboring after my water broke. I pushed for a short time on the floor, but baby’s heart rate slowed and my breathing quickened, so my midwife had me get on the bed on my left side and gave me an oxygen mask to ensure that both CJ and I were getting enough. Apparently, that’s pretty common in Colorado, since the air is a bit thinner here.
I layed on my left with my right leg up and pushed CJ down the birth canal. Once she started crowning, I made sure to breathe her head out, instead of pushing, to avoid tearing.
After what felt like 20 minutes but was really less than a minute, my midwife told me to push the rest of CJ out. CJ’s cord was wrapped around her arm, behind her head around her neck, and under the other arm. Everything was fine, but I had to push her out just in case something was going to go wrong.
At 4:14 am on Sunday, April 7, 2013, our little girl was born into her father’s arms on his 24th birthday. She was 7lbs, 14oz and 20.5 inches long. We got to spend the next hour together as a family for the first time. CJ stayed attached to her placenta during that time, and her daddy got to cut her cord after it had stopped pulsing.
After a crazy and stressful week, we all finally got the birth we wanted, and it was worth every bit of the fight to get there. I had moments of weakness, when I really thought I couldn’t do it, but I’m so, so happy that I did.