No matter how much time passes since the birth of a child, a mother (in most cases) never forgets the birth of their child.
On this day 2 years ago I was (im)patiently waiting for my body to do what it knew how to do, bring a baby earth side!
The day started off normal with waking up, getting Layla ready for the day, taking her to school, getting some work done. Then we headed off to what would be our last midwife appointment. I was so excited to see Kathi as I was SO ready for her to tell me "oh yes darling, this baby is coming tonight!". But that wasn't the case (of course). In fact, she had mentioned that there was another mother further along in birth (actually contracting..all I had going on was a missing plug - insert eye roll emoji) and with the other two midwives out of town for a conference she pretty much told me to "hold that baby in"! I was like ok, now I know this isnt the day. After hearing babes heart beat, strong and healthy we counted our blessings and went on our way. Of course I had a major hormonal meltdown in my husbands arms the moment we got back into the car with all the feels that I was going to stay pregnant forever. Any pregnant woman at full term (plus a few days) knows exactly what that feels like! He loved on me, wiped my tears then took me to my favorite place to cheer me up...Oryanas! Our local co-op. At this point everyone and their mother knew me in that store because I was in there 2 times a day getting my pregnancy essentials...raw coconut water, lemonade, radishes and pickles. So of course they were all wondering "when is that baby going to come!". I remember saying a few times, "never! the baby is staying in there forever!". As I walked over to the produce isle, Sean the produce manager was sharing a birth story from one of his kids encouraging me to "hang in there", I remember getting a tightening feeling all over my belly several times. I blew that feeling off because 1. I figured it was just braxton hicks and 2. I just kept thinking this baby better not come tonight because my midwife might not make it!
On top of our Oryanans family, our families back home were blowing up our phones asking us what the midwife said, when the baby is coming, how I am doing...you know, everything a loving, anxious family member does..I couldnt take it anymore! I remember wanting to throw my phone in the lake because I was sick of the phone calls and questions. Can we say hormonal? Shortly after I got done cramming another molasses cookie into my mouth and wiping yet more tears from my eyes, my momma called. I didnt want to answer because I was so upset but I did and as soon as I said "Hi" she said "oh that baby is coming tonight I am on my way up". She said something about my tone of voice made her know it was happening. I begged her not to come up yet because I wasnt making any progress, and my midwife was already busy with another birth. I didnt want to explain all that to her because shes a worrier, what my sister and I like to call "black ice"! I didnt want that energy around me because I was already having a pitty party for myself. But I had to because my mom lives 3 hours away from me, she didnt want to miss the birth...and neither did I! She was the one who was to be in charge of Layla during the birth and I really needed her there.
You know that saying "mom knows best"? Well its so darn true!! After hanging up with my mom now knowing that her and my sis are on their way to TC (to come sit around and knit sweaters with me because there is NO WAY this baby is coming) Justin and I made our drive from town, back home to get more emails and work done. I remember it was a beautiful sunny fall day. I made him pull over on my favorite strip of our road to take some photos of me and the pretty fall leaves. After we got home we went straight to work. Both got on our computers and started busting out more emails. Then all the sudden, there it was again, that tightening feeling all over my belly. I again played it off...because subconsciously I didn't want my midwife to miss my birth! I wouldn't have known what to do without her there! So, back to emailing I go. About an hour later I spontaneously got up and vacuumed my whole car out. My husband, with a strange look on his face just laughed at my pregnant antics and kept on working. Once my car was clean enough, I went back to more emails. An hour later I got yet more strong feelings in my stomach and remember mentioning to Justin "Um, Im not sure but I think Im having contractions?" The first 10 times I said that he blew me off, just saying " oh your fine, Kathi said the baby isnt coming for another week." After wanting to punch him in the face for even insinuating I was going to be pregnant for another week, I got out my app and started timing the contractions. At first they were every 30 minutes or so and then they got closer. At this time my mom and sister pulled into the drive way just in time to get Layla from school. When they got home, things started to pick up pace. I truly didnt think too much into it because I didnt want to go into labor knowing my midwife might not make it! [I should mention, the other laboring mother lived about an hour from where we did so, add an hour to my midwives travel time..I couldnt even go there mentally! I was too freaked out she'd miss my birth]
As we were all gathering around the kitchen while my mom made chicken noodle soup, the contractions started getting closer together. At this point I knew that my body was getting ready to going into full blown labor. We waited a little bit longer because we didnt want to sound alarms for no reason. By that point I was having to stop and breath through contractions when they came. It was about 6:30 when my mom suggested to my now very present husband that he call Kathi, so he did. After speaking with Justin, Kathi asked to talk to me. As soon as I said hi, I had a contraction and couldnt talk. Once it was over I finished up my convo with her, handed the phone to my husband and kept waddling around my house. At this point I didnt know my midwife was on her way because everyone kept things very mellow for me. I figured she wasnt going to be there till tomorrow when I was in real labor because the mom ahead of me was going to be having her baby that night, not me. Luckily the momma in the labor line ahead of me delivered about an hour before we called our midwife! While waddling around I remember seeing my yoga ball and thinking "oh yesss come to momma Im going to bounce this baby out of me!" As soon as I sat down on the ball, I felt the babys head move back up. Alarm bells sounded "NO BABY WRONG WAY DO NOT GO BACK UP!!" I quickly got up and wrote that yoga ball off for life! "I will walk this baby out then! Im not sitting until the baby is born!" Thats exactly what I did. I walked the whole first part of my labor, not sitting for one second. By this time contractions were every 7-10 minutes apart and it was getting intense. I didnt want to get checked at all so they just monitored babes heart beat and continued to let me do my labor dance. Midwives are truly amazing, intuitive women! They dont get enough credit!
It was about 8:30pm at this point and things were really picking up pace. I took a shower to try to relax and it helped but my body was doing its thing. I remember finding such peace in my bedroom, away from everyone else. My husband was SO amazing this whole time...now that he actually knew I wasnt kidding and that this baby was coming! He stayed by my side for every single contraction but one, when he went to light all these candles in our room around the birth tub. He remembered!! Brownie points for life for that one. In the moment when he was gone for that one contraction, I remember feeling SO SCARED! I didnt want him to leave my side so he didnt the rest of the time. By now, I found such comfort and peace laboring on the toilet. I sat there for literally an hour. Something about the toilet, like a birthing stool, the positing my body was in was magical. It really helped move baby down. There came a point where I remember feeling like I was going to barf, thats when my midwife came in to ask me if she could check me because she thought I was close. Little did I know then, but getting sick is a sign that the actual birth is super close. She got me off the toilet (noticing I had my "bloody show") and made my lay down on bed to check me. I HATED that because it hurt like crap! And being on my back was the LAST place I wanted to be. She checked me quickly and with surprise to everyone I was completely dilated! As soon as I stood up I went into transition....lets just say that was past the point of pain...I dont think there is a word to describe that intensity. I remember "howling like a wolf at the moon" as my mom put it, cursing several times and screaming at the top of my lungs. Transition is no joke the most intense part of labor. Well, it was for me anyways.
My midwife gave me the go-ahead to get into the tub at that point. I didnt want to get in any sooner than that because I remember reading along the way that the tub and its warm relaxing environment could slow labor down. The voice inside my head was screaming "oh hell no we are not drawing this process out any longer!!" so I waited till I was fully dilated to get into the tub. It felt like forever but from the contraction that got me through transition to the next contraction, I was trying to get undressed but ended up getting the zipper to my hoodie stuck and being what felt like trapped in a straight jacket as a child was trying to come out of me...horribly weird feeling! Justin reached around me and literally stripped my hoodie right off with no time to spare! Finally I was in the tub, but I hated it! I wanted to get out because I thought it made my labor hurt worse. I gave it one contraction, screamed the whole way through it, then after remembering and hearing my midwife say it will hurt less if you dont scream, I tried her silent technique and it worked. I was in a good rhythm where I was laboring and breathing. As the baby kept moving down, my one leg kept going numb and to be honest that was much more annoying that the contractions themself. There was nothing I could do to make that numb feeling go away as the baby was on my nerves [literally]. So I just dealt with it and sucked it up. But what a sight to see...a pregnant lady flailing around like the exorcist with one leg hanging out of the tub...pretty funny to think about now! I tried all sorts of positions in the tub but the most comfortable for me was sitting on my bum with Justin behind me on the outside of the tub. (No, I didnt want him in there with me.) All the while, Layla (after getting over the fact I said the F word louder than shes ever heard) was right there at the bottom of the tub waiting to see if she had a baby sister or a baby brother to love on! At one point she even dosed off on the bed during the pushing stage. Thats how peaceful birth can be!
For the next hour I sat just like that working with my contractions to help the baby come out. The pushing part took way longer that I expected. A whole 50 minutes total. With Lay, I pushed for 15 minutes and out she came. So, naturally I was excepting the same. But every childs birth is different! The most strange part about the birth for me was feeling the baby go back up after I pushed. Again the alarm bells were sounding saying "WRONG WAY BABY, WRONG WAY!!" But my magical midwife worked her skills and so calmly explained to me that the baby going back up was making more space so my body wouldnt get injured during the birth. That was a hard concept to try and comprehend given my state! After I got the hang of how to work with my contractions, in-between one, I remember reaching to feel the babies head, still inside and in its sack of water. SO INCREDIBLE! I remember saying "I can feel HER head". Intuitively, at that moment I knew she was a girl. After about 45 minutes of pushing, her head crowned. Once that happened, the water broke. Josie was almost born in the caul! On the next push her head came out and there was no way I was letting that head go back in so I kept pushing. I remember Layla saying the baby has its hands by its face! Which made sense to me seeing how I felt all movement way down low last few weeks of my pregnancy. Babies heads rotate when they are born. So, when Josies head was born, it naturally rotated. Once it did she happened to be wide eyed looking straight up at Justin. That is the moment he tells everyone when we speak of our birth story. So incredibly amazing!! With another push, her shoulders were out, then her whole body. Before I knew it I was holding my 6 pound 12 ounce baby GIRL!! The whole time we thought she was a boy because my pregnancies with both girls were SO different. So, naturally we had no girl name picked out and only 1 pink outfit! We delayed cord clamping until the cord was white meaning all the blood had gone to the baby. Justin cut the cord and then Kathi handed her to her daddy. Such an amazing moment seeing my husband hold his baby girl for the first time...brings tears to my eyes!
Over all, the birth was 4ish hours long. I was adjusted by my chiro 2 days before so my body was in perfect alignment for birth. The average birth of a mother who is adjusted throughout her pregnancy is between 4-5 hours. Thats some good to know info!
I could literally go on for hours about birth and how magical it is and how special everyone who is involved with the birth process is. I could not have done it without the wonderful team around me. My two midwives, Kathi and Kathy, my momma, my husband, my sister and my big girl Layla.
I am so happy I chose a home birth to bring my sweet little angel earth side. My recovery was amazing and I felt great. Nursing happened naturally. Everything was perfect. It was so amazing! I cannot wait to do it all over again if I get the opportunity with baby #3!
If you are curious about home birth, talk to mothers who have had a positive experience! Home birth is not for everyone. My body, mind and baby were great candidates for a home birth. We were blessed to have no complications and a text book labor and delivery. I owe that all to my Lord. How amazing is it to be a woman!
HAPPY SECOND BIRTHDAY JOSEPHINA FRANCESCA!! WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!
Hey all! Im Amanda! A believer, wife, mother and a Love Yourself Lifestyle coach. Welcome to my blog. Enjoy!