I didn’t think I’d make much a of a big post about my second birth experience, since I went into such great detail with my first (you can read it here, along with why we chose home birthing), but I’ve learned that there are lots of differences in birthing!
At just a few days past my estimated due date I wasn’t thinking I would go into labor any time soon, and I was totally fine with that. I was having a good time knocking a ton of things off of my to do list, as was Bj. I went to bed, way too late, on a Thursday (so it was really Friday already) and when I went to get up to turn down the fan I twisted weird and thought I pulled a muscle on my side. Oh my goodness it hurt so much! I managed to go to the bathroom (of course I was peeing every five minutes by this time in the pregnancy it seemed!) but then I had to basically crawl to get my phone to text Bj to come help me! That was at 12:01. I had him rub my side, then tried to go to sleep. The pain was so bad I had to have him come rub my back/side again. I ended up getting into Tuesday’s tub because I thought it would help. It did, but barely because it was so shallow. At this point I had my first, “oh this might be a contraction” feeling. It just felt like the pain swelled for a while, but it never went away completely. I was concerned about the baby; thinking maybe I’d torn my placenta or or something. I just couldn’t put the pain in context of contractions, they felt so different from Tuesday’s!
I told Bj to call Sciarrino, because I figured no matter what I’d be in no shape to take care of Tuesday the next day. He was sort of chit-chatting to her on the phone about what happened (it was 1:50 by this time), and I said, “Just tell her to get down here!”. He also called the midwife, who heard my moaning and figured I was in labor.
I moved to the bed moaning (how I deal with the strong feelings of contractions, I’ve just found low sounds help me focus). Lennon (our wonderful midwife) got here soon after and she was chatting with me when I said, “oh I don’t think I did that…” My water had broken! Bj moved our big chair by then and I asked him to start setting up the birth pool. Meanwhile I used the “hammock” (a long woven wrap we hung from the ceiling) for relief; resting my upper body in it. My midwife had never seen anyone use one in labor, and I don’t hear of people doing it that often, but I’m telling you it is a great relief. If you’re pregnant give it a try (it takes all the pressure off your pelvis even before you go into labor).
I think I got into the tub around three, some relief, but not a lot. The contractions felt very strong to me, very close together, and very long. I sort of checked myself and didn’t think I was progressing that much (as with last time I chose not to be checked by the midwives through pregnancy and labor). Sciarrino arrived around this time, as did the assistant midwife. They were telling me not to worry that this time would go much faster. Once all four support people were there entertaining me it seemed to go a little better. I don’t like to do the inward focus thing and I kept asking them to tell me stories and take my mind off of the contractions. I was quite vocal during the contractions but I never woke Tuesday.
Once I felt a lot of pressure I asked what time it was, but no one would tell me! I found out later that it was because I was going so quickly they didn’t want me to worry that I had long to go based on only a few hours having passed (my last labor was 9 hours, with two of pushing). At one point in labor I started crying, worrying about being a mama to two. I was just hoping I could do a good job of it.
I really didn’t want to push, but my body, of course, took over. I was encouraged to “let go” and finally I did. I was saying that I couldn’t push for two hours (thinking of how long I pushed with Tuesday), but they said it wouldn’t be two hours. The first pushing contraction Lennon saw the baby’s head and wanted to know if I wanted to get Tuesday up. Yes! Go get her! Sciarrino did and a groggy (but happy) Tuesday saw the head come out with the next contraction. I stroked it and was finally excited about really baring down to get the baby out. I wanted to see it! With the next contraction I did just that and out the baby came. It was just after 5 am. I cuddled it to my cheast and asked Tuesday to tell me if it was a boy or girl. I was too nervous to look, but Bj finally did and said, “It’s a girl!” Such relief and excitement. I just couldn’t believe our fabulous good luck. Oh we were over the moon! Another girl. Sciarrino was saying something about not everyone getting what they want and how lucky we are. I said we were so lucky because we do have EVERYTHING we want. I just can’t say enough how grateful we are for our beautiful girls and their wonderful births.
Tuesday petted the baby’s head after I told her it was ok to touch her. I really wanted the placenta out so I moved ot the little seat in the tub and nursed baby girl, baring down with the contractions. It felt so great to have everything out, just like I remembered from last time.
After looking at the placenta and showing Tuesday how it was attached to the cord Bj cut it and I moved to the bed. I could tell already that I was a lot less sore down there and luckily didn’t have any major tears. I did have terrible contractions and cramps after the birth (for two days). They were not very frequent, but I felt them even more when Bennet nursed. I didn’t know that with subsequent pregnancies this feeling can get worse.
I nursed my sweet little baby. She took to it right away. She is a ridiculously good nurser, I’m so lucky! Tuesday was good but so so slow. We had hour long nursing sessions daily, sometimes lasting three hours! Bennet can nurse in minutes, it’s so amazing. Tuesday calmed Bennet down during her little check up. The midwives stayed for a few hours to monitor us while Sciarrino fiddled around cleaning up, doing laundry, and bringing us food. We settled into baby bliss!
One of my favorite things about a home birth is how easy it all feels to change into a family of three, or now, four. We never had to come home, we were home. So we got to cuddle in bed, we got to relax, I think it was wonderful for Tuesday.
And Bj and I are just so thankful for the care we’ve gotten from the midwives. It has been top notch for sure. And Sciarrino? What can I say, we love her! I love that she will always have the special bond of knowing my girls from the moment they were born. Just like with Tuesday she was there for us, not for her. She didn’t mind that she didn’t get to hold the baby (I’m a baby hog, after all I did all that hard work!). She really just wanted to help us out, and she did and I don’t know if we can ever repay her for all that she’s done for us. Notice Tuesday’s face?
After being up all night with us she still took Tuesday to the Art Fair so that she wouldn’t have to miss out on it. Tuesday got to get the elephants she had been dreaming about painted on her cheeks. She got to go in the bounce house and make a paper hat and wear her BIG SISTER shirt (that Sciarrino also made) with her cape. Bj and I got to know Bennet and have a little alone time with her. It was perfect. Sciarrino we love you!
If you have any questions about the birth or anything let me know, I’ll answer them in the comments.