A little back story- My first was a natural hospital birth, but majority of the day I was in denial. I walked 4 miles, ran some errands, and just acted like it was any other day. Both my husband and friend questioned my denial, but I kept on denying. It wasn’t until 9:30 that night when my water broke, that I finally came to realize I was ACTUALLY in labor. My daughter was born an hour later at 10:37. Once I came to grips with it all it went extremely fast.
On Jan 18, 2018 I woke up at 4:30 with a terrible headache (which I rarely ever get) and cramping (that was normal). Eventually the headache was too bad to ignore so I finally got out bed to rub a few oils on, downed some water and took a few doses of a homeopathic remedy. When I started to feel some relief I laid down and immediately felt nauseous and like I had to go to bathroom. My first thought was “oh no I’m sick. I can’t get sick! I’m taking large doses of C and a ridiculous about of supplements! NO. I. AM. NOT. getting. SICK!” as I’m running to the bathroom. After about 3-4 trips it crossed my mind that my body *might* be clearing itself and I realized the cramping still hadn’t gone away. So I started timing it. Surges (contractions) were between 7-10 minutes apart so I sent a snapshot to my midwife looking for some validity to my suspicion. She simply said “it looks promising.” Not wanting to get my hopes up I laid down again, but the cramping was just too uncomfortable. So I figured what the heck, I’m up and actually feeling really good now so I’m going to sweep and mop the floors, which led to doing the dishes, which led to cleaning the cabinets…. I couldn’t stop! I had all of this energy to do last minute things that had been driving me crazy. Finally, I was getting a bit exhausted and thought I’m going to go lay down again because if it’s false it’ll go away soon. It was about 8 am by this point. So I laid down and each time I was just about asleep I’d have another minor cramp, just enough to make me uncomfortable. After an hour of trying I gave up and told my husband that he probably shouldn’t go to work that day. He did however, take my daughter to her preschool class and run some errands (like get a hose for the birth tub, procrastination much?), while I stayed home and continued to ignore the consistent cramping. That day I already had an appointment with the midwife scheduled at noon so I told her I had plans to still go to the appointment and we will go from there. I still wasn’t convinced it was labor. I felt so good in between the cramps that I didn’t believe it. I basically expected labor to stop and refused to completely accept it being real (again). Noon came and I went to my appointment as planned, but as I was sitting there the surges got closer together and the midwife and assistant started asking more questions like what they felt like. I told them strong cramps, but heavy in my bowels. Now, the whole pregnancy we’ve had a very hands off approach. So naturally, I had no intentions of a cervical check, but I’ll admit my curiosity got the best of me, so I consented to one. I was dilated to a 5, 80 percent effaced, baby was at 0 station. I was then informed that they could cancel the rest of their appointments, or I could just play it by ear. I recall asking my midwife if she thought I was in labor, her reply? A shrug. A SHRUG! To which I asked “well am I or aren’t I?!” (someone just tell me I’m in my labor for Pete’s sake!) She shrugged again. I personally STILL wasn’t convinced it was real so I told her to take care of the other ladies. If I needed her I would call. I left under strict orders to go rest. So husband and I left, and because I no longer wanted to be in the car he dropped me off at the house while he went to pick up our daughter and run one more errand. Once inside, I laid down in bed and must have fallen asleep because there’s a period of time I don’t recall. Then the surges got intense. I could no longer lay through them. Though the frequency at which the surges were coming were further apart, the intensity got stronger. I HAD to stand in a leaning position. Keep in mind I’m home alone, and it was at that point I started to panic. Honestly, everything was happening so fast that I was afraid no one was going to be home when I started pushing. I felt like I was going pitch AND catch this baby alone! So I quickly texted my midwife, assistant, photographer and my husband (he was minutes away). This was probably 2:20ish and thats when I started to worry…. One- I was home alone, two- the pool wasn’t filled, and three- I was starting to get shaky. I knew that feeling and it happened minutes before my first was born. Fortunately, the hose was hooked to the facet and all I to do was turn it on. My husband and daughter got home at 2:40. I asked him to start carrying buckets to the pool in addition to the hose because I had feeling it was happening soon. The midwife, assistant, and photographer got there at 2:55-3:00 and by that point I was in labor land and not paying attention to anyone or thing. My midwife immediately recognized how far along I was and started tending to me. At some point I must have said out loud “I have to go to the bathroom!” Little did I know I was going to have an audience. Everyone followed me! Now, I’m a doula and I’m all too familiar with babies born on the toilet. Now, nothing against that but, I REFUSED to have my child on the toilet! Even if I was going to stand up and move two inches my child was NOT going to be born on the toilet! So I stubbornly turned around and told everyone to get out “nothing was going to happen.” My midwife, being the sweet person she is replied “okay sweetie I’m going to be right here if you need me.” I sat down and within seconds my body pushed. Nope! I stood up, pulling my pants up at the same time and walked about 5 feet as another surge hit. It took me about 3 surges to walk approximately 12 feet to the pool. Now keep in mind I’m still fully dressed, shirt, pants, underwear, everything. The pool was finally filled, but the water was too warm. So I just assumed I couldn’t get in…. Then a surge hit that was so hard I dropped to one knee and started uncontrollably bearing down. I told her I needed to push right now and was struggling to take my pants off. So the midwife quickly helped pull my pants off and encouraged me to get in the pool. I all but jumped in, crawled to the other side in a prayer position and started pushing. Words cannot describe how great the warmth felt even if for a split second. My daughter sat in my husbands lap at my head and watch in anticipation while I tried everything in my power to simply breath baby out and not push. My goal was no tearing! One breath, my water broke. Second breath, babies head was coming, I felt the burning sensation, but I made sure not to push. My body was doing the work. Her head was born. Midwife told me to reach down. I did, I’ll admit it weirded me out, but I relaxed and waited as she was half in and out of this world. The feeling was surreal…. Then another surge came… Third breath, her body was born. I reached down and pulled my slippery baby up and held her legs apart for my daughter to announce the gender. Baby Rosie was born at 3:15 just 20 minutes after everyones arrival. My daughter announced the gender and she was placed on my stomach (her cord wasn’t long enough to go any higher). Afterwards, baby girl and I kicked back in the pool and quietly watched each other. The only noise I really recall was my daughter excitedly saying “it’s a girl! It’s a GIRL!! I got what I wanted! She’s sooo cute!” Otherwise, it was very peaceful and Rosalee didn’t cry at all. My husband after a couple of minutes questioned why she wasn’t crying but the midwife listened to her lungs, said she was breathing and then followed with “She’s very calm right now and doesn’t feel the need to cry. That’s a good thing.” Aside from my extremely bouncy talkative 4 yr old, the room was very quiet and calm. I loved it. That said, one of my favorite parts, was later that evening when we were all tucked comfortably in bed, everyone gathered around us as the midwife anointed Rosalee with Frankincense and said a prayer. It was in that moment that all of my emotions came pouring out. I held my second daughter in my arms, crying, as I thought about how wonderfully blessed I was to be able to experience such a wonderful event. It was an honor. It really was the perfect ending to a truly peaceful birth. My natural baby, perfect, just the way God made her.