On Sunday the 17th we were supposed to get some really big storms – high winds, possible tornadoes, etc. – and in combination with the full moon that weekend a lot of people were telling me they thought I’d be going in to labor very soon. On Sunday we skipped church and grocery shopped (which ended up being super helpful!) and watched football. The storm itself ended up being pretty weak and after it passed I told Dave bitterly, “still not laboring.”
Fast forward to 10pm that night. I woke up from a weird dream and changed positions. I noticed my back hurt so I shifted position and it went away. But a few minutes later it came back. I shifted again, it went away, then returned. Then I realized my abdomen was getting really tight and I wondered if maybe these were contractions after all? I got up and went to the family room. I read and chilled out while periodically timing contractions. They were about 7 minutes apart and 40 or so seconds long, but just a tightening in my back and not really painful. I texted with Shannan, who would be taking Leo, just to let her know something might be starting and that I would keep her posted.
At 1am I was convinced enough that it was labor to wake up Dave. I told him I was going to do some stuff around the house since I couldn’t sleep – not because of pain but excitement – but he should keep sleeping. After I told him I texted our midwife just to let her know and we agreed to check back in as things progressed and got more intense. After that I packed Leo’s bag, made apple chocolate chip baked oatmeal, hard boiled some eggs (a staple in our fridge), boiled some lentils and beans for Dave for his salads, took a shower, and watched a movie. At 5:30 the contractions were starting to pull a bit more but not to the point that I had to focus to relax – I could just feel them more. I was feeling tired so I laid down and slept for an hour.
Around 7am we made plans for Shannan to pick up Leo around 9:15 and Dave made a trip to Kroger for a few remaining store list items. At 8 I asked Shannan if she could come earlier, as contractions were starting to get more intense. I wasn’t groaning or unable to move, but they were taking more focus to keep myself relaxed.
Shannan picked Leo up at 8:45 and just to give context for the timeline, she said she couldn’t even tell I was in labor. I had a contraction as I was walking back in to the house that hurt, but not enough to break my stride. At 9am Dave got home and I was in bed. Contractions were definitely gaining strength and intensity, although still about 4 minutes apart so I got a nice break in between. I texted the midwife and she said she was at an appointment but would come right after, which worked for us. I figured I was starting to work up toward transition, probably 6ish dilated.
The midwife arrived at 9:50 and watched one contraction, then asked if I wanted to be checked, which I did. She checked me and said, “oh goodness, girl” – at which point Dave and I both thought I was probably not very far along – and then said, “do you just want to push her out? You’re complete.” I think Dave and I both said something like “whaaaa?” with our mouths hanging open. She hurried to bring in her stuff from the car and set up and I got ready to push. I think I started pushing around 10. The midwife was super encouraging with each push and let me know what progress I was making, which I really appreciated. And Dave was really great at encouraging me and letting me squeeze the life out of his hand (he later admitted it really hurt…whoops!). At 10:38am Kate arrived and whereas Leo was quiet, she came out yelling!
Around this time the birthing assistant arrived – our midwife had actually been calling and giving her directions in between contractions. Because I progressed so quickly she didn’t have time to get her there! The birthing assistant was really just for another pair of eyes – our midwife definitely had everything under control. I was given pitocin since I was still bleeding more than they would have liked (this also happened with Leo) and later took done oral meds to also slow the bleeding. Other than that (which wasn’t dramatic or worrisome at all) everything went really smoothly. The midwife did some paperwork with us, Dave cut the umbilical cord, and Kate was weighed and measured.
The midwife probably left around noon and Dave and I had a really relaxing afternoon just chilling out. It was SO nice to already be home and to have uninterrupted time with Kate, who was really alert. Dave was awesome about bringing me snacks, helping me to the bathroom, and being available for anything I needed! Around 4:45pm Leo arrived home and was thrilled to see Kate. He immediately talked about her little hands and gave her kisses and hugs. Dave and I hadn’t been sure what to expect, so we were really happy he was so pleased about her!
We had such a great experience with the home birth and wouldn’t have changed anything about it. As far as my labor, I think since I had been induced with pitocin for Leo I was waiting for the same intensity of contractions. His were so painful and at the end on top of each other with no break in between. But I might have also gotten lucky with just an easier labor this time (definitely shorter)! Oh, and I still haven’t felt a “real” contraction – Kate had a hand up by her face so I had back labor again!
I had to wait 10 extra days but, of course, now I can say it was worth it. Our sweet little girl is here!