Doula Jenn’s birth experience with her third baby and only girl, Chloe. Born at 7:10pm on August 30, 2011 at 40 weeks 2 days at home. This story was written when Chloe was 5 days old.
On Tuesday August 30th at 40 weeks 2 days, I was feeling the same: sore pelvis and huge. I had a midwife appointment at 11am, so after dropping my oldest son off at preschool I went to my appointment. Everything checked out well at the appointment. I had a non-stress test, which Chloe passed with flying colors. I opted to get a cervical check, which revealed I was 3-4cm and could stretch to 5cm, she was at 0 station and I was about 80% effaced. My midwife was pretty impressed with how “buttery” my cervix was and was really shocked I wasn’t in labor.
After the appointment my husband, son, and I went out to lunch at Chipotle- mmm! I was feeling a bit crampy, but figured that was from my cervical check. I asked my husband to come along to Costco with us, just in case the cramps turned into contractions, which they didn’t.
He went back to work and I came home with my youngest, Andrew. He ended up taking a nap, so I prepped dinner and did a few things around the house. At 2:30 we went to go pick up my older son from pre-school. We got home and started playing outside. At around 2:40 I got my first contraction. I didn’t think much of it, but I let my husband know as a precaution (in my previous births, I never had any pre-contractions, once they started it meant that we were defiantly having the baby). I ended up having two more that hour, so at 3:20 I asked him to come home and suggested that we take a walk to see if they’d pick up. I sent my midwife a message letting her know I was having contractions and would keep her posted.
My husband got home around 4:15 and we cleaned up the mess from the kids playing outside and went for a walk. On the walk my contractions we’re every 2 minutes, but I had to pee, so I figured that was why they were coming so frequently.
We turned around about half way through our walk and came home. Colin got everyone inside while I went to the bathroom. I still wasn’t sure this was “it” because the contractions were NOT strong, just there, so I got the kids and my husband some dinner and I sat on my yoga ball and talked with everyone.
At 5:30 I called my midwife and birth doula to let them know that my contractions were two minutes apart when I was standing and five minutes apart while I was sitting. We also called my mother in law to come and pick up our boys at this point because during the contraction I could no longer talk and I had to really focus on them.
My mother in law got there around 5:45 and took the boys. Once they were gone I went upstairs to lay down on the bed in hopes it would slow down the contractions. I started to get a little scared that maybe we would be having an unassisted homebirth because things seemed to be picking up very quickly. The midwives arrived around 5:50 and began setting up.
At 6:10, while laying in the bed, my water breaks. It feels like a water balloon exploded inside me- very, very, strange! (With my first son my water broke while I was peeing, so I didn’t really feel it and with my second the midwives broke it) I got up and went to the bathroom to take my wet clothes off and decided to change into a dress so it would be easier if I decided to get a cervical check.
From the bathroom I sat on the yoga ball and worked through contractions there. The contractions picked up intensity and after about 40 minutes I was really feeling the contractions in my hips, which told me that she was moving down.
At this point I needed a change of position, but wasn’t sure where I wanted to be. My midwife suggested I try laying down again, since I had been so comfortable there before, so I did. I couldn’t get comfortable though. I tried side-lying, semi-reclined, all the way on my back- nothing helped. At 7pm, while thrashing to my side (I just couldn’t get comfortable!)
I felt Chloe move down and I screamed “BABY!!!” (My midwives had told my husband, who was catching, that he should probably wash his hands to prepare for delivery, so I thought he was in the other room getting a towel or something and I could feel Chloe moving down, so I was worried he was going to miss it or something.) Everyone was around me encouraging me. My midwife told me to just follow my body, if I felt like pushing then go ahead. **I had to pee at some point and the Kim, the midwife, said I could just go on the chux pad and they’d change it, but I wouldn’t have that so I pushed myself off the bed and ran to the bathroom, (where they followed thinking I would give birth on the toilet) peed and then told them to move out of the way and I ran back to the bed, hopped in, and then I pushed twice and out came her head. My husband checked for a cord around her neck and there wasn’t one. I, as calmly as possible, panted a bit letting my body rest and then pushed again and she was born at 7:10pm right into her daddy’s hands (the whole process was roughly 3 minutes long). I brought her up to my belly (she had a short cord just like her brother Patrick) and loved on her for about 30 minutes until her cord stopped pulsating. I remember asking my birth team if I was dreaming, the whole process happened so quickly that I felt as if it had been a dream.
Once her cord was cut by her dad, she immediately started nursing and nursed for a good hour. Once she was done nursing she was weighed and measured- 7lbs 8oz (my biggest baby) and 20 ½ inches (and longest). She went on to nurse 10 hours on and off within her first 12 hours of life- my little nursing champ!
All in all, it was a lovely experience. My only bummer to the whole birth was my birth doula never made it, so I didn’t get any pictures of the delivery, as I had wanted. I could hear how emotional it was for my husband to catch, I just wish I could have SEEN it!