When I was pregnant with my son, I decided a birth center birth with a midwife was the way to go. But Samuel had other plans. Little bugger didn’t want to come out, so I was induced at 42 weeks 6 days. Yeah, I was a basically a whale living on land. It wasn’t pretty when I went in to the hospital, y’all. I couldn’t see my feet and my chin had been enveloped by some sort of foreign creature who had wrapped itself around my neck. I look like Jabba the Hutt in a few of the after pictures. You know, the ones no one will ever see. But this isn’t about his birth and my massivity. This is about my second birth.
After my experience with Samuel’s birth I was totally down with not being in a hospital for Kate’s birth. Before anyone lights the torches and googles my address, please know that I am not in any way suggesting that this is the ONLY and BEST way to give birth. I just know it was best for ME. My number one desire is for pregnant women to educated themselves fully so they know what’s happening to their bodies and minds as they give birth. No matter which way you gave birth, you’re a super hero. Disclaimer complete. Back to the good stuff.
My pregnancy had been textbook. For 42 weeks (seriously, why my babies tryna be late every time?) I grew a baby girl who was healthy and “perfect.” No incidents whatsoever with this pregnancy. I was a perfect candidate for a home birth. As the date got closer, I started feeling nervous because it was getting closer and closer to all that pain, and it was FREAKING ME THE HECK OUT. At one of my appointments with my midwife, whom I had full confidence in, I asked her, “But what if I throw a blood clot and die like J Lo did in ‘Jersey Girl?’” I remember the slow blink so vividly. Then my sweet midwife looked me in the eye and said, “Then you die.” Mmmk. Her point was that there wouldn’t be anything that could be done anyway so I shouldn’t be afraid. After that I had zero fear. None.
It was Labor Day weekend. My mom had been with us already for 2 weeks because late baby. But my dad and grandmother came into town “just in case.” We’d had a pleasant weekend with Samuel, who was two weeks shy of being 2, just hanging out. It was decided that they would take turns walking the ginormous pregnant lady around the block. I had some really good talks with my dad during those walks and treasure those memories. Round after round we went. Nothing. I took a shower that night and cried my eyes out. “Why won’t you come out????? Just flippin’ COME OUT!!!” I cried all my feelings out and went to bed that Sunday evening.
Around 2:45 A.M., I woke up from a dream where I was having terrible back pain. I laid there a few minutes. “Oh. Wait. That’s new. That’s the same pain as in the dream. Ooooooh, yeah. This is contractions. Oh, I’m gonna puke…this is IT!!” I tapped my husband, and he shot up like a bullet. I called the midwife and had to put the phone down during a couple of contractions; she knew she needed to come. Someone called our photographer, Lynsey. I have no idea who that was. I was too busy making myself a bath. Not sure what I was thinking there since I had a huge birth tub blown up in my living room.
Yep. It was in the living room. Right next to the bar in the kitchen. My husband and mom were busy doing I don’t even know what but so.very.busy. I was all by myself in the bathroom with Lynsey. Thankfully, she had been at Samuel’s birth, and I felt super comfortable with her. I told her I needed husband to come in and do hip compressions and to never, ever, ever leave me again.
A bit later I decided it was labor tub time. I had tried standing by the bed leaning over the ball. Nope. I had tried laying down. NOPE. So I put on my really pretty aqua blue bikini top and got in the tub. Remember that hot bath I drew earlier? Yeah, it used up all the hot water. My family quickly began to boil water in every pot we owned. And they kept pouring them in for the next few hours. I labored for about and hour and a half in the tub. Then Transition hit. One can only truly understand Transition is if they’ve been through it. It makes you feel like your body is about to come apart, like you need to climb the wall, and like a demon has overtaken you…all at once. BUT it’s also when you know the worst is over and it’s time to push!!
18 minutes later, in our dimly lit living room, surrounded by my parents, my in-laws, and my grandmother, I pulled my GORGEOUS baby girl out of the water and put her on my chest. She was here. We were fine. The moment was perfect.