March 12, 2023
3am: contractions woke me up. Tried going back to sleep. Laid in a bed and dozed off a little bit.
4:30am Contractions were getting closer together, so I got up and brushed my teeth. I used my app to start tracking them and I put on one of my pain free birth videos to get me in the mindset. I knew that I had to master the contractions when they weren’t intense so that I could prepare myself for the real deal.
5am- I lit candles and put on diffusers. Put on my robe and get myself ready for the morning. Contractions are getting closer together about 5-7 min apart.
5:15am- I woke up Jake to tell him I was going to call the midwives. Jake woke up my sister-in-law, Chelsea, to let her know that it was game time.
5:20am- I called Paula, our midwife, letting her know my contractions were getting stronger together. She told me to take a shower and call her back in 30 min to let her know if they are consistent.
5:25- I hopped into the shower. It was nice to relieve some tension and prepare my mind. Jake timed my contractions and texted Bailey, our doula, to let her know. Contractions were consistently getting stronger and stayed 4-5 min apart.
5:45am- I called Paula to let her know contractions were consistent.
6.30am- Bailey arrived first. Paula arrived and then Ariana and Olivia arrived. They took my temp, oxygen, etc. and started to set up their stuff. I labored standing up for the most part at this stage. Bailey would do the “jiggle” on my hips through every contraction as I leaned over the sink in the bathroom and then over the bed. I liked to stay standing up while roaming from bathroom to my bed. Walking around through the contractions was comfortable. I tried to stay in focus and master the smaller contractions. I got in the zone, and welcomed every surge that came my way.
7:40am Paula did a cervical check and I was at 7cm. I was really happy and excited that I was already at 7 cm. It was really encouraging since I was able to handle the contractions up to that point with ease.
8am- the boys came up into the room and we chatted in between contractions. I was so happy to see them. We talked and they gave me encouragement. It was refreshing in the labor process. Then at 8:10am the girls woke up and came into the room. We hugged and they got to see mama labor through a few contractions. I felt bi-polar because one moment I’m chatting normal and the next the contractions comes and I immediately shut down and stop talking to get into the zone of riding the wave. It was so important for me to catch the contraction in the beginning so that it wasn’t painful. I noticed the times when I tried catching the surge at the peak and it was too late and the contractions were really painful. It was so special having all kids in the room for that short period of time. The boys took the girls downstairs and did breakfast and hung out for the rest of the morning.
8:20: I labored for a while leaning onto the bed, while Jake and Bailey rotated doing the jiggle motion to ease the contractions. The jiggle of the hips was the only thing that was calming to me.
8:35: I got in the tub and labored for a while. I leaned over the side resting my head on Jake while Bailey poured water on my back.
9:05 Arianna did a cervical check and I was at an 8 but the front part of my cervix was still thicker. They recommended that I walk the stairs and focus on squatting to get things moving along and to thin the front part of my cervix.
9:15 I walked the stairs for a brief period. The surges were getting stronger and I wanted to be alone with Jake, so I tried to labor on the toilet backwards, straddling the toilet with a pillow, but the surges were too intense and uncomfortable. I felt like I was going to throw up with each surge. I ended up laboring on the floor in the bathroom for a while. Just Jake and I privately. I wanted to be alone for a little bit and didn’t want to move from the floor.
10am- I decided I wanted to get back in the tub. I leaned over the side of the tub while Jake held me. It was the only position I was comfortable in. Jake prayed over me and reminded me how amazing I was doing while Bailey poured hot water over my back. I couldn’t have done this without Jake. It was such an intimate bonding experience for us. I needed him with every contraction and I squeezed his arms and rested my head on the pillow on the ledge of the bath. Having both of them in this moment were critical to me getting through as the surges were getting very, very strong.
We stayed in the tub. There was a moment where I told them I don’t know how much more I could handle getting pummeled by transition. They encouraged me and reminded me of my strength.
11:30am- my water broke in the bath. I felt a release of water as a strong contraction came.
11:32- Before I knew it, they were listening to heart tones and told me to get on my side in the bath. I felt the urge to push. I kept asking if it was OK to push, and they said only if the surge was so strong to do so.
11:36 Arianna had me feel down there and I felt her head. This was SO encouraging. I knew it was time. In one contraction the urge to push was so strong. Arianna told me to slow it down and breathe but I couldn’t slow down and baby’s head came out at 11:36am. Everyone was so excited and cheering me on. I told Arianna “tell me when to push” haha and she responded “when you feel the next contraction.” On the next contraction baby’s body came out. She was born at 11:38am.
It was the most surreal and incredible moment of my life. A high like no other.
They couldn’t see how much blood I was losing while we waited for the placenta, so to get a better look, I got out of the tub and laid on the bed with the baby and delivered the placenta.
We laughed and cried as we laid in bed talking about the experience we all just had.
In the room, I had Jake, Chelsea, Bailey, and three midwives (Paula, Arianna, and Olivia). Downstairs Dutch & James and Kathleen held down the fort.
We did skin to skin and breastfed Zoe then the kids got to come in as we all shared in the cutting of the cord. Jake cut the cord while the kids got a birthing lesson and got to look at the placenta and learn all about it from Arianna.
We all laid in bed together, taking turns holding her. We snapped some photos.
I did tear, not bad but enough for a couple stitches so the kids left the room they numbed me and stitched me up and then we got back in the tub with flower petals and the girls took some pictures of Zoe and I. Zoe’s first photoshoot haha!
After we were done and all cleaned up, we spent the rest of the day in bed as a family, snuggling, cuddling, and bonding.
Best. Experience. Ever.