Wow! I feel like i’ve been off the blogging wagon for far too long. I’ve gotta tell you guys this pregnancy did not go how I had planned as far as the blog is concerned. I envisioned weekly bump update videos and a whole lot of pregnancy fun. What did I get? Exhaustion, upset stomach, overall discomfort and a very lonely blog. BUUUUUT I can’t really complain because on September 9th at 8:30 PM after months of not feeling my best we were blessed beyond measure with…
Edison Samuel. He weighed 7 pounds and was 19 1/2 inches long.
Pretty adorable right?? And his birth was nothing like I expected in the best way possible.
My first son was born at 39 weeks and in my mind this little guy was coming before then. Well,my due date rolled around and I was feeling more pregnant and miserable by the minute AND I felt guilty for feeling miserable. You know how some pregnant women have such great attitudes about the end-they say stuff like “I just want my baby to come when he or she is ready”. I was saying to my sweet little son “GET OUT!!!!”
Admittedly, I’m not the most patient person in the world so that last weeks creaked by. They were particularly hard because I had been experiencing tons of pressure and uncomfortable contractions that started at 36 weeks. I had my mom drive from her home (2.5 hour drive) TWO times because I was just sure the baby was coming and NOTHING HAPPENED. At 40 weeks and 1 day, my mom went BACK to her home, but I had an appointment with my midwives at 9am. They texted me 20 minutes before needing to cancel because another mom had gone into labor. Upon getting their text I drove myself to an empty parking lot and cried. It was REALLY pathetic but I wanted to be the one having my baby not some other lucky woman. Horrible, pathetic, hormonal…yes, I was all of those things.
The midwives texted me again around 2pm saying they were back in the office and could I come in at 3:30. I, of course, agreed.
While I used the bathroom at the midwives office (checking my pee for the LAST time) David told Marleen about all of my pregnancy woes. It was pretty obvious to him that I was LOSING IT. When I came in to sit down Marleen asked if I’d like her to do a cervical exam and I said “YES!”. After weeks of contractions I wanted to know that my body was progressing.
When she was doing the check she looked at me in surprise and said “you are 4 or more like 5 centimeters dilated!”. She massaged my cervix a little bit and said that it might get things going. She even told us it might not be a bad idea to blow up our birth tub.
Ah!!! The relief to know that my body was doing its job and my baby was coming SOON. Marleen told us she would be pleased to arrive at a home and have a mom in active labor at 5cm so it was pretty awesome that I was already that far along without being in labor. She sent us home saying she would probably see us very soon! David and I both left feeling hopeful and skeptical.
Now, I had been feeling what I assumed to be braxton hicks contractions all day but that was pretty typical for me. However, when we got home I started noticing that they were more intense than normal. I tried to ignore it and cleaned up the kitchen. I spent 5 minutes just sure I was going into labor and the next 5 minutes sure that I wasn’t. I started pacing the house which is apparently what I like to do in labor(you can read Henri’s birth story here). Every once in a while I would go into the back yard and check on David and Henri. I tried to play it cool but I’m pretty sure David knew what was up.
At around 5:00 I went into the backyard and told David I might be in labor and to call his mom to pick up Henri. He immediately called and before asking her to come over I yelled “Nevermind David!! I’m not in labor just say hello!”. I was terrified of having a false alarm.
15 minutes later I was laying on the couch trying to rest for a couple minutes. Henri came over right as a contraction started and poked me in the eyes.
“Honey! Call you mom and have her come get Henri!”, I yelled. “And start blowing up the tub! And we should probably eat dinner!”. My mind was racing-I knew it was finally time.
Poor poor David was running around like a mad man trying to get everything ready for Henri, make us grilled cheese sandwiches and set up the tub. Within thirty minutes or so I was kissing Henri goodbye as he drove away with Grandma. Little did I know we’d be meeting our baby in just a couple hours.
At 6:30 I texted the midwives with this update.
Me:”Things seem to be picking up. Contractions are 3-5 minutes apart. I’ll keep you posted”
Midwives: “That’s pretty close are they making you breath through them or stop what you are doing?”
Me: Yes and Yes but I just don’t feel like it’s time
Midwives: Why? /Just keep us posted
At this point I gave David my phone and told him I couldn’t handle texting anymore and told him what to say. This should have been a clear sign to me that it WAS time.
At 6:48 I told David the Midwives needed to come NOW! At some point I started needing help during contractions. I would call out for David and he would come running (I believe he was trying to fill up the tub while simultaneously helping me through transition) all very impressive. He would hold me under my armpits while I relaxed my body completely. When the contractions ended I stood back up and continued pacing the house and he ran to work on the tub. At around 7:15 our midwife Marleen came through the door followed shortly after by her assistant Kaleem.
The tub was a FAIL. Apparently our water from the hot water heater scorched the hose and turned the water in the tub kool aide orange. I heard lots of chaos but just kept doing my thing (pacing and calling for David when I needed help). At around 7:30 I started feeling pushy and Marlene heard “push noises” and quickly escorted me to my bedroom. The tub drama was still going on but honestly I didn’t have my heart set on a water birth so I walked into our bedroom and told them we should just abandon ship. The tub exited and that’s when things got exciting.
My midwife Marlene turned to David and said “This baby is coming in the next ten minutes.” I immediately protested. I didn’t feel ready and it just felt too fast…I needed and wanted to labor longer. Marlene trusted my body and asked to check me. I said yes and she discovered that I was fully dilated with a small cervical lip. This had happened with Henri as well. She offered to break my water which I immediately rejected. The next contraction came and my body naturally pushed with so so much intensity. POP!!! My water literally exploded! We all laughed and I said ” that was incredible!!!”
Marlene then offered to hold open my cervical lip while I pushed through the next contraction. I asked her what would happen if we waited. She told me that it would take about 9 or 10 contractions to open it on my own. I tried to let her open it through the next contraction but I just couldn’t handle the feeling (it was the most uncomfortable part of labor by far!). I told her I wanted to ride it out and breathe through the next ten contractions. David helped me through each one-reminding me to breath and keep my mouth relaxed. He gently rubbed by back and told me he loved me.
At some point in those ten contractions all I wanted to do was take a nap. I told everyone in the room that I was just too tried to continue(see photo of me sleeping below). Not that I should compare but I only had to deal with a couple hours of labor and by hour 2 I was already complaining how I was exhausted! It makes me think about all those powerful mamas who labor for days to get there littles one out. And I wanted a nap after just an hour of intense labor…pretty pathetic.
Before I knew it the cervical lip was gone and I reached down to feel my babies head (which you can see by my excitement in the third picture above). By 8:30 Edison was born! I pushed him out on my hands and knees-the same way I birthed Henri. As he came out David said ” Ooooh! He has pouty lips!”. Hearing those words was bliss and then seeing him for the first time. HEAVEN ON EARTH.
I felt such overpowering joy as I reached down to look at our sweet little boy . I breathed a sigh of relief. He was finally here! Perfect and safe!!
Now I know that water birth is “the thing” to do right now but let me tell you, birthing on land was even better than my first water birth (of course that’s my opinion). I loved that David got to catch the baby and I felt so much more in control of the birth experience. Part of this is probably because it was my second birth but the other part was that the water didn’t hide anything. At one point while I was pushing the midwives held a mirror so that I could see his head coming out. It was all so tangible and so real without the water. My midwives told me that I would be more present with my second birth and boy were they right! I felt completely aware even during the toughest contraction.
When I think about the night I gave birth to both Henri and Edison I can’t help but smile. I feel so thankful that my body has such power to grow and birth a human. It makes me feel so alive. These first 6 weeks with Edison have been blissful. Yes we are tired and yes we are overwhelmed. But we are so IN LOVE with our new son.
“A woman in birth is at once her most powerful, and her most vulnerable. But any woman who has birthed unhindered understands that we are stronger than we know.”