For days, weeks really I thought I’d wake up at 2:30 in the morning like the other two kids, have my water break, and it would be birth time. But days went by, nights went on, and even with daily contractions, there was no baby.
The week of my third child’s birth I was having consistent contractions that would just… stop. It’s actually called Prodromal Labor, and I had it with all 3 of my pregnancies. I’d be up all night thinking it was the night, and fall asleep. I’d wake up to it all gone.
It was a Thursday morning and my mom had arrived to watch the kids so I could go to therapy. I didn’t want to go because I made myself believe I’d go into labor there and not be able to get home. My therapist promised me she’d get me home if it happened, and after lots of discussion, she was going to attempt to attend the birth anyway.
I had contractions while driving the 10 minute drive to her office. I sat down on her couch and couldn’t sit still. I cried and cried and made it clear I couldn’t do pregnancy any longer (my pregnancies were quite difficult), and she sweetly laughed and told me she wasn’t going to schedule my appointment for next week. She knew it was time.
When I got back home after, the contractions continued. My mom left and managing the kids alone made the contractions stay decently far apart. Later in the day, my husband got home and decided to take the kids to the park. The second he walked in the door the contractions picked up. I was still thinking it was still false labor at this point, given my past, but about 10 minutes after they left for the park things started moving in a positive direction. I sent a message to my birth photographer letting her know I was timing my contractions, and they were 6 minutes apart. When my husband got home with the kids around 7pm, he had no idea I was really in labor. Finally, the contractions were real, and consistent, and a lot of this time I kept my face buried in my essential oil machine. Scents held a lot of power for me in pregnancy and birth. You’d be surprised at all the things that can help in birth.
I messaged my midwife and she told me to let her know as things progress, but it may be worth getting the birth tub filled with water. The birth tub that had been blown up for weeks already I’ll add. The contractions quickly went to 5 minutes apart and by 8pm I called her again and had a very intense contraction mid conversation. She immediately said she was coming. I sent a message to my photographer and therapist to let them know to head to in my direction. Somehow I honestly still didn’t believe my midwife that I was truly in labor since my water hadn’t broken. Even after kid three I was in shock. But she very intensely said, the baby would come the second it broke, and she was right. Every 4 minutes I’d try to fill the tub with water but couldn’t figure it out, and then drop to my knees, breathing in each contraction. My husband finally came out of the kids bedroom after putting them to bed. Without realizing I was actually in labor, he was confused as to why I needed the tub filled up. Once I composed myself enough, I mentioned I was actually in labor and the midwife was coming and he snapped right into birth mode. He followed my birth plan to a T, and he got the tub ready for me and he got yoga birth music ready.
The tub was finally filling up (I swear it felt like hours for me ha) and basically everyone arrived probably between 8:30-9pm. The second my midwife walked in I grabbed her during the most intense contraction, and she held me. Mid hug, I noticed everyone had arrived behind her. I labored on the floor for a bit. Trying to keep myself in the right headspace. My therapist would say the most perfect things that kept me in sync with my body. I finally got in the tub and things got real. In the past, I kept my husband at a distance in labor, but with this birth I wanted him close. I held him tight while I contracted, it was so special. When I wasn’t holding him, I held my therapists hand. There was a moment when I looked over and my husband was reading my birth list. It was a surreal special moment. It may not seem like a big deal, but it was everything in that moment. I felt so much love for him right then.
I somehow stayed in sync with myself and didn’t scream like I did through the majority of my other births. I groaned and used my voice to push through the contractions. It was peaceful, it was powerful. It was everything I had ever wished for in a birth.
I remember getting to the point where the baby was coming and I broke down and cried and said I couldn’t do it and I needed it to stop. If you have experienced labor, I’m sure you remember that feeling, the final stage of labor. At that moment my therapist said something. I honestly don’t remember what she said, but I fell almost into a trance. I laid there looking at the beautiful moon outside of my window and breathed with all I had inside me. I was calm. I felt the babies head nearing and I knew it was almost over. I began to feel myself start to push and just like that, my waters broke. I ended up on my back in the pool holding my arms behind me, holding my husband and the pool. When my body was ready, I pushed, and then would breathe. I took my moment of calm between the contractions. It was surreal and beautiful. So quiet. I remember my favorite song from the yoga mix come on and smiled. I felt peace. I pushed and eventually the baby was almost there and they had me stop once the body was half out. Let me tell you, it was the most excruciating pain I felt during labor. The midwives assistant had to unwrap her body and neck from the cord (very normal). But It felt like years. That was the first time I really was screaming and I was begging my midwife to make it stop. Only seconds later the baby was finally fully out. It was 10:17pm. When placed on my chest, the relief I felt was extraordinary. I cried hysterically while clutching what we learned to be a little girl, and we were so happy. I was so proud of myself. I did it. I was calm. I was centered. I was strong, and I felt peaceful.
About 20 minutes after she was born the placenta came out, smoothly and quickly. We stayed in the tub for about 30 more minutes before we decided to get out. My husband cut her cord and he held our sweet little joy close. Skin to skin.
Our birth assistant helped me out of the tub where I trembled for a while. Our sweet baby latched well and the contractions that came after were worse than labor. It didn’t end for 4-5 days post birth. While it was the most peaceful, beautiful birth of all 3, the after birth pain was the worst part of it. If you didn’t know, after-birth contractions are worse after every birth you have.
Her birth was the more perfect than I ever believed it could have been. It was such a redemptive birth, and I worked so hard to have it. I had the best team and felt so incredibly supported the whole time. My therapist kept me so centered, and It was finally photographed. I the most trusted midwives there by my side. I was so blessed. Everyone left soon after and It was so quiet. Just me and my babe for a bit while my husband was downstairs. Believe it or not, both my other kids slept through the whole entire birth.
Around midnight my oldest daughter woke up and came looking for my husband. She came in my room, delirious and still sleepy and I asked her if she wanted to meet her sister. She jolted awake, and had the hugest smile on her face. She ran over to us yelling, “sister!? I always wanted a sister!!”. She got right into my bed and was amazed. She couldn’t handle it, It was pure love. She kept saying how she knew it was a sister the whole time and she loved her so much. Eventually my husband came up from downstairs and saw that she was awake and took her back to bed. I’ll never forget that moment with her. Shortly after, my son woke up and came in too. He was so sleepy he didn’t even notice the baby was there and went back to bed on his own. When he awoke that morning he was just in awe of her. He loved her from the moment he saw her.
And we all did…we all needed her. We still do. She was what completed our family, the one who made me love surprises, and the one who healed my heart. She is loved by everyone who meets her, And now she is 2. And She is everything.
She really is the greatest joy of our lives.