“My 12 month old was a really big baby. I’m 5’4–like not a big woman, just average-
…On the morning that I was 42+3 weeks pregnant, I woke up with contractions. I got up at 4:00 to go to the bathroom and then went back to bed until 4:45. Then I realized I really was in labor, so I got out of bed. The first thing I did was take the birthing-day cake that my 2 year old and I had made for the new baby’s birthday party out of the freezer to defrost. I sent an email to my birth photographer letting her know I was in labor, and then just puttered around the house, picking up last minute bits of mess and stuff like that. Around 5:30, I went in to wake my husband up. Our 2 year old woke up too. By this point it was pretty clear that I was really in labor, and it was going fast enough that I might have the baby before the photographer was finished with her wedding at 8:00pm. I posted on our neighborhood parenting facebook group asking if anyone knew any photographers who could come to a last minute homebirth. A few minutes later, I posted again saying that labor was going too quickly for me to check the computer, but to call my cell. I ended up having two photographers call to offer their services, but the baby had been born by then! I also called the midwife to tell her that I was in labor. She asked me to time some contractions and call her back. The contractions were hard to cope with almost as soon as I woke my husband up. I was already feeling like nothing I was doing was helping me get through contractions, so I wanted to be in the birth pool. My husband had a little trouble getting it blown up and I remember feeling SO ANGRY. He’d said earlier in the week that he was going to do a test run so he would know what he was doing at game time, but he forgot to do the test run. While I waited for the birth pool to be ready, I got in the bathtub and poured water over my stomach during contractions.
The sun still wasn’t up, so my husband lit all the candles from my mama blessing and put them on the sink. It was really pretty. I had asked him to time contractions, so I called out every time one started or stopped. I was also telling him all the last minute things we had to do. He was literally running through our apartment, trying to get everything ready. I snapped at him that his running was bothering me and to knock it off. I started to feel like I needed to move through contractions, so I got out of the bathtub. When my toddler saw me walking around naked, she took all her clothes off too, and started trying to climb in the birth pool.Contractions were so intense that the only thing I could do during them was speedwalk around the apartment, flapping my arms and moaning loudly. I knew that I should use my Hypnobabies, but I couldn’t figure out how to lay down long enough to turn off my light switch and put myself into hypnosis. At this point, the contractions were about 90 seconds apart, and 45 seconds long. My husband called the midwife back to let her know, and she said she was on the way over. Then he called his sister to come get the 2 year old, and she headed over, too.
The midwives arrived around 7:45, when I was in the birth pool. They got me out of the pool because it was too hot and making my blood pressure too high, so I tried side lying in bed with counter pressure on my back. They checked and I was already 7-8 cm. The contractions were SUPER intense at this point, and I asked if I was in transition. They both laughed at me and said, “OH YEAH.”A little before 9:00, I started feeling kind of pushy. I went to pee and when I had a contraction, my water broke on the toilet. I really wanted to push hanging from the wrap swing, so I headed to the kitchen doorway. Pushing felt GREAT hanging from the wrap. Pushing was fast (8 minutes!) but soooo hard, much harder than with my older daughter. It didn’t hurt, even during crowning, but it was just SO VERY hard. I didn’t tear though! It was such a relief to get her out! And then so incredible to turn her over and announce that she was a girl.
We got straight into bed–this might be one of my favorite things about birthing at home, that I can get straight into my own bed! The midwives checked me and the baby, and we were all surprised to find out that she was 10 lbs 2 oz. I had some excessive bleeding after the birth, which the midwives said was likely caused by having such a big baby so fast (labor was 5 hours, 15 minutes from the first contraction to birth). My midwives were able to get it under control, so we were able to stay at home.
Both of my births have been the two most empowering experiences of my life. This birth though, with such a big baby (my first was biggish too at 9 lbs even), is my triumph. I feel like if I can birth a giant baby on my kitchen floor, I can do ANYTHING.”