I can’t believe it has already been a week and a half since I gave birth to sweet Mirella. Time is already flying by.
We are doing well; she has regained her birth weight and then some! Keenan loves being a big brother and I’m slowly adjusting to a new routine with two kids. It’s definitely hard at times when Keenan wants my attention while I’m feeding or changing Mirella, but we are making things work, and he is slowly learning that he has to share my time with his sister. Fortunately, Keenan loves to help by getting diapers, throwing them away, handing me the wipes and talking to his sister when she is fussy. He is the best little helper!
Since I finally had a few minutes this morning while Keenan was at preschool and Mirella was snoozing, I thought I would pop in and share my birth story…
It all started two weekends ago, when I was 38.5 weeks pregnant. Prior to going into labor, I had felt extremely low and uncomfortable pressure all day on that Saturday and Sunday. I asked my midwife if the pressure was normal and she said that it was from the baby moving down and/or my pelvic bones widening to get ready for the birth. It didn’t necessarily mean that the baby was coming that day or the next day, because some women can feel that pressure for another week or so until they give birth. Since I was so uncomfortable, I was praying that the baby would come that Sunday night, because I’m not sure I could tolerate it for another week and a half!
My in-laws came to visit us that Sunday (Feb. 9th) and the pressure felt progressively worse as they were here. After they left, my husband decided to set up the birth tub (since we were planning to have another water birth) that we rented to see how easy it was to get ready and fill. Once he set up the tub, he decided to leave it set up just in case I went into labor soon (little did we know it was going to happen that night!).
After we ate dinner and put Keenan to bed that evening, my husband made popcorn and we sat down on the couch to watch a movie. About half-way through the movie, I started shaking and felt more uncomfortable pressure. As I got up to go to the bathroom, I felt the first “wave” as I called it (my first contraction). The first contraction started around 10 :00 p.m. on Sunday, the 9th. They weren’t too bad and about 5-6 minutes a part, lasting about 30 seconds to one minute each. As the next one came, I asked my husband to call our midwife since I wasn’t sure how fast things were going to progress ( since Keenan was born in 6 hours ). While I labored laying on the couch watching episodes of “What Not To Wear” to keep my mind off things, my husband started filling the tub and getting things ready. Our midwife and her assistant arrived about an hour later and my contractions were still pretty steady but not worse. Since my body was still shaking uncontrollably (which my midwife said was due to all of the hormones raging through my body), she gave me some pedialyte to drink, which miraculously helped to ease the shakes (something I didn’t experience when I gave birth to Keenan). Since my contractions were still 5-6 minutes a part and moderately intense, I remained on the couch (the only place and position that felt comfortable), breathing through each contraction while my husband tried to take a quick nap before things really progressed.
Around midnight, my contractions started getting stronger and closer together, and a little after 2 a.m. things got VERY intense. My contractions were coming on top of one another with hardly any break in between. At that point, my midwife suggested that I get into the tub to help with the discomfort and I asked my husband to call my mom so she could be there for the birth.
As soon as I got into the water, things felt better and I could relax a little, though I started to feel a little nauseous, in which I know I was going through transition. My husband got into the tub with me to massage my lower back and offer counter pressure as I squatted and pushed back on his legs with each contraction. I stayed in the tub for what seems like a super fast blur, but it was really for the next hour until I started pushing. As each contraction got stronger, I just felt the baby being so low which made each contraction that much worse. For some reason, I felt like these contractions were a lot more intense than they were with Keenan (maybe it was my imagination!). As I felt the urge to push, my midwife encouraged me to grunt at the peak of the contraction and stand if I needed to, which really helped to offer relief and move the baby closer to being born. I pushed two more times for a total of three times (while standing) and I heard a giant “pop” sound, which signified my water had broken. Seconds later, Mirella’s head had crowned and with one final push at 3:48 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 10th, my midwife helped me to grab Mirella, pull her to my chest and sit back down in the water while leaning against my husband. We sat in the tub until her umbilical cord stopped pulsing before delivering my placenta and moving to our bed to cuddle with my new baby girl.
As I looked down to see if she was boy or a girl, my eyes filled with tears (happy ones of course) to see that she was a little girl! Since my husband and I didn’t have any intuition as to whether we were having a boy or a girl, it was the best feeling in the world to learn that we got our little girl! When I look at her at times, I still catch myself in awe that I have a little girl!
When Keenan woke up around 6:30 a.m., I took him to see his new baby sister (whom my mom was holding) and he was ecstatic, though a little dazed from just waking up. He gave her a kiss on the forehead and proceeded to show her all of his stuffed animals and play his harmonica for her. It was too cute and of course, I cried (happy tears of course!).
I’m so thankful that my labor was relatively short, only lasting 5 hours and 48 minutes (the same amount of time when Keenan was born) and I am blessed and relieved that everything went smoothly. Even though I absolutely love and trust our midwife and I was confident about our decision to have a home birth, I have to admit, I was a tiny bit nervous about how everything would go. Fortunately, everything was perfect, including our baby girl, and I couldn’t have asked for a better or more beautiful, natural birth (and water birth), aside from when Keenan was born . If we have more children, I will definitely have another home birth (and water birth).
As I find more time and develop a new routine that works for us, I’ll get back into my regular schedule of posting and post more about our decision to have a home birth. Things are still so new and sleep definitely takes priority over everything these days!