Only 2m late...
I swore baby girl #2 would come early. They say subsequent babies tend to come sooner than 1st. I had been having strong Braxton hicks for almost half the pregnancy where I only really had them towards the end with Emma. Plus, so many people kept commenting on how she looked lower every few days. I even had the upset GI issues around 38w for 2 days and a few days that I felt “different.” It was hard to tell if I lost my mucus plug as I had pretty constant discharge the last 3 months. By 39w, I had resigned to being pregnant for next to forever and hoping not to be super late past due date. I was sure that baby was head down (as she had been for over a month now) as well as posterior based on belly mapping. Chiropractic and some home exercises didn’t get her to turn anterior.
The morning of September 10th, I woke up and used the bathroom, per the usual morning routine at this point. Except it wasn’t quite a normal urination, more like an open-closed valve instead of tapering off. Other than seeming odd, I felt fine and got myself and Emma ready. Strangely enough, I posted in a FB group that morning about being worried I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between all the strong brackton hicks I had been having for months now and real contractions.
I started feeling “off” on the way to Em’s daycare, but dropped her off and headed into work. I wanted to wrap a few things up and planned to leave shortly after getting there, so I parked behind the building instead of the parking deck. Besides, I didn't want to walk all the way from the deck to the building.
Shortly after getting to work, the brackton hicks started up again, but a bit stronger feeling that usual. They actually seemed to be almost regular, so I started timing them. They were about 10 min apart and actually regular. I started thinking this could be it. By 10:30a, they were closer to 6-8 min apart and getting a bit stronger, lasting about 20-30 seconds each. Since things were picking up, I sent my doula a text as well as my MW with those numbers. The MW was finishing up at another birth and would head to our place when finished. I left work a bit before 11:30a after passing off all the urgent and critical work items and emailing my boss and the other PhD in the lab that I was heading home early as I thought this could be it. Plus, my co-workers were starting to freak that I’d give birth in the lab.
I had been texting with Chris throughout the morning and when I was getting ready to leave work, he was going to leave work to pick up Emma from daycare. I got home and brought out the hot/cold pack from the freezer and birth ball as contraction intensity had picked up on the ride home. I found I had to do a good bit of side swaying or bouncy squats through them since it was all in my lower back and the birth ball was not helping to relieve the discomfort. I started vocalizing with some low “ooo”s. Emma, who was home by this point and watching cartoons, apparently didn’t appreciate my sounds and told me to “stop singing like a cow mommy!” She also very much wanted to help with putting the heat pack that was thawing on my back, which started to piss me off as it was sooo cold!
At around noon, the MW called to say she was leaving from the other birth and on her way to our house. The assistant MW was also on her way. I went to change from my clothes into a sleep dress that was super light, soft and comfortable. During that time, my doula arrived, and I filled her on how I was feeling and how uncomfortable the back labor was. She heated up her more awesome heat pad and started doing counter pressure, which I had to tell her to push harder on to help with the pain. During this, Chris was getting the foam mattress covered and into the dining room and moved the dining table to the wall by the back door.
About 12:30p, the asst MW arrived. The contractions were really getting intense and about 2-3min apart. I was really having to concentrate through them as leaning on the counters and swaying and squatting wasn’t as effective as it was before. I felt a pressing urge to go pee, so went to the bathroom. I didn’t really pee but rather had show, so I kept my underwear off at this point. I informed the ladies in the kitchen, and the asst MW started getting everything prepped. I asked Chris to put the dogs out and close the curtains, and either the MW or doula turned out the lights. This is where things get a bit fuzzy for me, so I was likely in transition.
The asst MW was having a bit of trouble getting a heart beat on the Doppler so asked if I could lay down for her. A really strong contraction came on and the pain from the back labor caused me to pretty much collapse onto the mat anyways. The heartbeat was good and strong still as I was lying in a sort of child’s pose position. I started to have a few light urges to push and the asst MW said to gently do what my body felt it needed. So different and much much better than being told at the hospital with Emma to just breathe through them and not push. After a few light pushes the urge started getting stronger. Somewhere during this my absolute favorite moment occurred and one of the few clear memories I have after the show. Emma came up to me on the mat whiel I was lying down, stroked my hair and gently said “you are doing good, mommy. I love you,” kisses my forehead, and then walks off the mattress.T
The asst MW was taking vitals again when my MW arrived just shortly before 1p. As she was updating the MW and started saying “but her water hasn’t broken yet.” Right then, a strong contraction came on and when I pushed with it, my water broke, right at her and the doula. Things were really bustling at this point! Chris had been doing great at keeping Em occupied and at this point, she was so interested and was a bit down from the mat watching the whole thing intently. I remember calling out “I think she’s coming!” to which the MWs replied “uh, yeah, she’s crowning!” I called for Chris to come hold my hand and the doula took over Emma duty. I pushed 2 or 3, maybe 4 times max. After the 2nd or 3rd push the MW told me to make the next one count as baby needed to come out (I don’t remember her exact wording or reason). I did and baby girl came flying out at 1:09p.
She was placed immediately on my chest and given a bit of a rub down after which we were covered up with towels. Emma came over and we got to introduce her to her new baby sister. The MW filled me in on her emergence while we waited for the placenta to be delivered- the 1st view of her head was the crown, but the 2nd was her face. She was sunny-side up! She was posterior, just as I though, and the back labor was from. Emma got to help Chris cut the cord, and the MW did a print of the placenta with her. During this time, we decided on her name. Lucy Arden as she didn’t look like a Charlie Jean to me at all.
The asst MW started making me scrambled eggs and bacon, which Emma ate all the bacon slices. The MW started getting Lucy’s stats and recording her various measurements. At some point shortly after, my mom stopped by, uninvited, as Chris sent everyone a pic text and my mom is technologically challenged and 8min away. Shortly after she left, I moved from the kitchen to my bed. I was still bleeding pretty good and had one big gush that made me light-headed so I got an injection of Pitocin in my thigh. Other than that, the MWs were cleaning up and stayed in the kitchen until leaving around 430/5p.
Lucy’s home birth was so incredible, and I couldn't imagine having done it not surrounded by my little family! (Also, I realized a few weeks after, I wasn't checked once during this pregnancy, so I have no clue where I was when I went into labor )