Hey friends! I am so excited about writing today’s blog post. As I am sure you can tell from the title, today’s blog post is all about Thomas’s birth. This birth story is everything I could have ever dreamed of and I am so excited to share it.
Disclaimer: Birth in and of itself is a beautiful thing. Mama’s, however you bring your sweet baby into this world is amazing! The fact that our bodies can create life is amazing! You are amazing!! This story is just my personal experience and my personal desires when it comes to birth.
So it all started on Tuesday November 19, 2019. I was 41 weeks and 3 days. I had a doctor’s visit at 5:15pm. The midwives conducted an NST test to confirm that Thomas was still doing well since he was past my guess date. Everything there turned out great. After the NST I elected to have a membrane sweep done. To be honest I was completely terrified of this. I am one of those people that tends to avoid anything medical that I possibly can. I didn’t even get a cervical check with my first child until I was in labor with her. So to allow something like a sweep was a big deal to me. Plus I have only heard terrible stories about other’s experiences with them. Side note: why do people only share their terrible stories about birth, labor, etc with women who are about to go through that? We should really change the way we speak about the birth experience. Anyways. I had the sweep done and honestly it wasn’t bad or painful at all. I also learned that I was 3cm and about 50% effaced. That night I went home and pumped per my midwife’s suggestion. I pumped each side for 15 minutes alternating between the two for a total of an hour. So 15 minutes on the left, then 15 minutes on the right, then left again, and lastly right again. Then also at her suggestion we spent the rest of the night relaxing and getting a full night of rest. At this point I honestly wasn’t feeling anything or any different.
The next morning (November 20, 2019) I woke around 4am to find my hips in a lot of constant pain (not contractions). I noticed that at some point in the night I had rolled over in my sleep and no longer had a pillow between my legs. I figured the pain was due to sleeping on my side with my hips out of line for a good part of the night. So I went to the restroom and then went back to bed. Around 6:10am I woke again for the day and jumped in the shower. After getting out of the shower I noticed something was coming out of my vagina and realized that I was starting to lose my mucus plug. By about 6:30am I had completely lost my plug. I wasn’t having contractions though so I told Phillip to head on to work and that I bet I would start having contractions later that night.
So Phillip went to work and I proceeded to carry on about my normal morning routine. I got Penelope up and ready. We had planned to meet someone that morning from Facebook MarketPlace to buy a ring sling wrap that I wanted. So I quickly made Penelope and I some toast for breakfast. I remember trying to sit at the kitchen table to eat my toast and realizing that it hurt my vagina and bum to sit on the hard kitchen chairs. I didn’t think anything of it at the time though and just stood to eat my breakfast. Penelope and I left the house around 8:15am. We stopped to get gas and then made the trip across town to pick up the wrap and head back home. The whole time in the car I keep having surges (contractions) that were in my lower back and lower stomach. My hips continued to be extremely painful that entire morning and all the way through my birth. I just didn’t realize the hip pain was part of labor. I thought it was from sleeping wrong. So I’m having what I now know was contractions in the car that whole morning. They were about four to five minutes apart and I was having to breath through them, but they were totally manageable. We got back to the house around 9:30am.
Once we were back home I noticed the surges getting more and more intense. This was the first time I actually realized that this might be labor. I called Phillip at 9:40am and told him that I think he needed to head home. After that Penelope and I got in a bath together: I knew the bath would help me manage the pain a bit and to be honest Penelope was super dirty and needed a bath anyways. After getting done with the bath I got out of the tub and was trying to gather any last minute items while also focusing on my breathing. At around 10:20am I started throwing up and this is when I knew I was in full blown labor. I threw up most of my labor with my daughter and it felt like that when I threw up this time. So I called my husband back to see where he was and to let him know this is the real deal. He had just left work and would be home shortly. The next hour was a whirl-wind. I called my in-laws to set up them taking Penelope. I got myself and Penelope back downstairs where I proceeded to sit on my knees and rock back and forth as I controlled my breathing and made noises to help process each wave of energy. My eyes would be closed throughout it as I focused on that particular wave. I wasn’t able to do anything else. I couldn’t even time them because they were so close together and I just couldn’t focus on doing anything other then getting through each one. My toddler was just running around being her normal self during all of this. She would even come up to me and say “Mommy wake up”. She thought I was sleeping. She was never scared though and didn’t really seem bothered by the noises I was making or the pain I was in.
Phillip got home and we left the house sometime around 11 or a bit thereafter. The car ride to the birth center was honestly the worst part of labor. I just couldn’t sit on my bum. It was too much. Being on my knees and leaning over the back of the seat was what felt best to me, but of course this isn’t the safest. So I was able to turn around, but stayed sitting on my knees and refused to put my seatbelt on. My amazing husband realized that he wasn’t going to win this battle and just let me be. I continued to make my noises and control my breathing during the drive. I also said two Hail Mary’s during the drive there. I saw that opportunity to take a moment to pull strength from the one person who knew actually what I was going through. Thank you Mother Mary.
I felt so in control with my body and breathing during my contractions in this labor. It was so peaceful honestly and super empowering. We got to the birth center at 11:30am. Phillip, Penelope, and myself all walked into the birth center as I am continuing to make my noise and breathe it out. My system was this noise/moaning I would do as I felt the wave increase and then I would blow it out as the wave decreased. This wasn’t something that I had planned to do. It honestly just felt right in the moment. It helped me to feel completely in control of my body and to stay focused.
As we walk in a nurse walks by and sees that I am in labor. She says “oh mama! Let’s get you in a room.” She then proceeds to call the midwife and tell her that they might want to get in right now and check me. I don’t know what it was about me in the moment but they knew that it wouldn’t be long before the baby was here. So they got me into a birth suite and did a cervical check. This is when all the shock set in. The midwife looks at me and says “Wow mama, you are at 9.5cm and very close to 10!” I remember just being shocked! I immediately asked if I could get in the tub to which they said yes and started the water. I then proceeded to labor in the tub from around maybe 11:30-12:30ish.
Laboring in the tub was so amazing!! It’s so true that somehow the water helps with the contractions. I had Phillip using a sprayer on my lower back to help with that pain. It’s funny this labor all my pain was in my lower back and hips. I didn’t have any in my actual stomach. The room was quiet with only my husband, the midwife, a midwife in training, and a nurse in attendance. The midwives and nurse were so encouraging during the labor. The whole time they would speak words of strength to me. I will never forget the way I was treated during this labor. It makes a difference! During each surge I would hear them whisper things like ‘you are strong mama’, ‘you can do this’, ‘just like that’ (in reference to my breathing or pushing, etc). I can’t tell you how many times they told me to do whatever felt right in the moment. If I wanted to push, then I did. If I wanted to move to a different position, then I did. If I asked to try something they would immediately jump on board and make that happen. At one point I wanted Phillip up at my head and holding my hand, but still wanted the sprayer on my back. So one of the midwives held the sprayer. They asked my consent on everything they did. Even something as small as using the doppler to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. I remember several times as they would start to listen I would have a contraction and need to move or would ask them to stop and wait. Every time they did what I asked. It was just such an amazing experience. I felt completely in control of my body, the experience, what was happening, etc.
After about an hour in the tub, I wanted to see if I was at 10cm and wanted to know if my water had broken. So I got out of the tub and got checked. I was at 10cm, but my water had not broken yet. I elected to have them break my water. At that point everything moved so fast. It was probably around 12:30/40ish when they broke my water. I then went and sat on the toilet for a bit, but that was uncomfortable. Next we tried the birthing stool and again it just didn’t feel right. Both of those options were just way to intense for me. I tried pushing in both locations, but just didn’t like it. Lastly we moved to the bed and the midwives stacked up a ton of pillows for me to lean over. Phillip was behind the pillows holding them and me. I was on my knees leaned over the pillows. This was the position that felt the best and the one I would end up giving birth in. Literally a few pushes later and Thomas was born at 1:02pm.
The labor with Thomas was definitely easier than the labor for Penelope, however the pushing for Thomas was way harder then Penelope’s. We would later find out that Thomas weighed in at 8 lbs 15 ounces whereas Penelope only weighed 7 lbs 4 ounces. So I am sure that had something to do with it. This time I felt more of the pressure in my bum whereas with Penelope I felt the pressure in the vagina.
Overall my experience of birth this time way amazing! The total experience from first contraction to him being born was four and a half hours. Penelope’s was a little over six hours. We joke that my husband might want to take a class on how to deliver babies with how fast my labor and births are. This experience was truly amazing. Birth in general is amazing! There is nothing better then bringing your child into this world and getting to bond with them. Thomas More I hope you know just how much you are loved and how proud your dad and I are of you. Welcome earth side little man!
Thank you for reading my birth story!
Baby Dust To All,