Around 39 weeks one evening, DH and I discussed again, the fact that our baby was posterior. I was not going to be having a posterior labor if I could help it! I had been having signs of labor for a few days now (which mostly manifested on the toilet?). Why weren?t things kicking into gear? As far as the due date went, I was only 39w had lots of time, but signs told me things could have been getting going by now. I had gone into labor with my first child at 39 weeks so I had that time frame in my head. A friend who teaches childbirth classes reminded me about Rebozo sifting. Ah ha, let?s try that! Within mere minutes, she was anterior again, and I headed straight to bed after feeling intestinal cramps for much of the afternoon and evening. Around nine as I lay in bed, I recall feeling the gentlest of squeezing in my lower uterus. I slept comfortably, and upon waking each hour through midnight when my husband came to bed, I remember the squeezing was still there. Eh, I?m sure it?s nothing and I?ll be pregnant tomorrow. I slept some more and awoke at 2:15a to my water breaking. I got to the bathroom and had the same thought when my son?s water broke two years earlier ?Here we go?ready or not!? Contractions started. I debated waking Ryan ? should I let him sleep? I woke him anyway since he had some tasks to do for the homebirth, and I called my doula. She said something along the lines of ?Let?s check in around 7 or 8 in the morning and see where we are?. This was about 2:30 and that seemed like an awfully long time to wait and surely I'd need her before then. I?d had about 8 contractions in that span of 15 min, but they weren?t too strong or long lasting yet. We hung up, and I kept laboring.
Contractions were taking some of my attention now as Ryan was in and out of our room to get supplies set up in our lower level where the tub had been inflated. He hadn?t started filling it yet. I was sitting on the bed, and Ryan returned asking, don?t I want to go downstairs yet? I said, ?I just want to sit here a little bit.? Contractions were getting harder. Around 2:45, a half hour after my water broke, I was now in the rocker in our room, vocalizing through each contraction. I had the distinct thought that these felt exactly like the hip-ripping contractions of my never ending transition with my son. Yet I didn?t consider that it was transition for this labor. I simply thought, ?I hope labor won?t be too long like this otherwise it?s going to be very hard!!? I started timing them with Ryan?s phone app. Ryan wanted to call our midwife. I said I didn?t need to call her yet because the water was clear when it broke, and I wanted to get a better contraction pattern so I have something meaningful to tell her if I?m waking her up at 3:15 in the morning. I also said my contractions weren?t long enough. They were 2-3 minutes apart and 30-40 seconds in length. Yes me, the birth story junkie that I am, knew that contractions ?should be? at least a minute before they?re really doing anything. Yet I couldn?t talk through them at all (and Ryan was testing me by asking me questions during a contraction on purpose). Thankfully, Ryan overruled and called my midwife. She instructed him to start filling the pool and put me on. I had three big contractions with her on the phone in a matter of minutes, and she said she was coming. I had woken our sleeping son up at that point too since he was just across the hall. I hang up, stand up to get my labor clothes on and a BIG one hits, such that I have to cling to Ryan and I?m thinking, but cannot physically speak ?The baby is coming!?. I felt her move down and felt the first urge to push. I knew at that moment she would most assuredly be born vaginally and had no fear for a different outcome. Yet our midwife wasn?t here yet and lived 30 minutes away. It was all I could do to get to our bathtub on the same level as our room. Forget the cozy labor tub downstairs that wasn?t even filled?I couldn?t make it between these contractions that were hitting me like a truck and causing me to push only an hour after my water broke. Ryan got me to the tub, and I remember the coolness of the tub feeling amazing. He called our midwife back and told her I was pushing, and she gave important instructions about the water level and temperature of the tub and what supplies to grab from our birth bin downstairs. He was running around, plus considering the fact he might catch this baby .Thankfully, our midwife made it with 30 minutes to spare. I was sprawled out in the tub, not coping very well or prepared for this particular birth place, and she helped me relax a little. My doula arrived shortly after, and I continued pushing. It was painful! Obviously! I felt some tearing, and in between contractions I felt the very strange sensation of my baby wiggling around in my pelvis. I also vocalized my fear about the pain to come in order for her to be born. I knew it had to happen, and thankfully, it did not endure too much longer. I didn?t watch her crown ? my head was just thrown back trying to get through the contractions. I didn?t even think of watching but would like to next time. I think my midwife and husband were chuckling at my strange comments during this time too. My hair was a complete mess and stayed that way once that Mack truck of a contraction hit me back in the bedroom. But despite all that, our daughter was born safely and mostly peacefully in our own bathtub just two hours after my water broke. The cord was around her neck twice, which my midwife calmly unwrapped, and the moment I?d waited for arrived, when I reached down and brought her up to my chest, wiggly, wet and warm, barely two hours after my water broke. We did it! That moment for which I longed?it was here! Thank the Lord! We rejoiced, then noticed she was quiet, and by some instinct I just blew in her face a few times until she opened her eyes and gave a squawk. I didn?t realize until later that simultaneously, the midwife was asking for the ambi bag in order to hover the oxygen near her face. But she said she saw me blow in her face, and the bag wasn?t necessary. She pinked up just fine and looked calmly around and we enjoyed discovering she was a girl. Neri Adel. She felt smaller than I anticipated?I was sure she?d be a big boy like her brother. But she was an 8lb 4oz girl with dark hair, and this also surprised us.
The bathtub quickly became uncomfortable and I got out to sit on the edge to birth the placenta and was happy to lay down on my amazingly comfortable bed a few moments later. We were given lots of time to just lay and enjoy our new baby and then I was sewn up during Neri?s newborn exam. My recovery from tearing wasn?t easy. In fact, my cesarean recovery was less painful than healing from three 2nd degree tears. I don?t regret the path we chose though, despite that discomfort. It was beyond worth it to give my daughter a vaginal birth, which I believe is a true gift of health for her to start her life that way. It was a good 4 weeks before I could sit comfortably. I took seriously the advice to rest horizontally following childbirth!
We had chosen a homebirth because that is where I felt I would be the MOST supported to achieve a VBAC and had changed course at 26 weeks from hospital to homebirth. We took a long time to make the decision, and DH and I felt that we both had to be fully on board in order to make the move. I'm so glad we did. I felt we had made the decision in wisdom, putting the risk of UR in its place along side the low risks of other issues. There is NOT a greater risk to UR than other birth problems. We're now planning another homebirth this fall.