This is a long and detailed post on my home birth experience with my son. If you don’t want all the gory details, you’re welcome to skip this one. I won’t hold it against you.
When you’re pregnant, do yourself a favor and when they tell you your due date, go ahead and tell yourself that it’s actually two weeks after that. And tell everyone else that too. That way if your baby comes anytime before the last day of being 42 weeks, it’ll be before you were expecting it.
I was so certain he was coming early. So when my due date came and he didn’t I was beside myself. I had been having contractions that were more than braxton hicks but not quite strong enough to do anything in the days leading up to my due date so I thought that had to mean something was coming soon. But I was so very wrong.
During week 40 I continued to have those light contractions and a few nights, the contractions got strong enough that I texted my sister, midwife and photographer to make sure they were ready just in case. Each of those nights I went to bed so I would be well rested when the time came and then woke up each of those mornings disappointed that I was still pregnant.
I tried plenty of ways to induce labor. But in the end, the baby was going to come when he was ready. When I talked to midwife about natural ways to induce she said that for labor to happen, all the stars have to be aligned. I have to be ready, the baby has to be ready, my husband and daughter have to be ready and we all have to feel calm and relaxed and happy and…well, ready.
In the days leading up to his birth, I was really starting to stress out. I was worried that I wouldn’t ever go into labor and I’d have to be induced and then (although I don’t condemn anyone for being induced, it just wasn’t what I wanted) I would feel like I had failed at the labor I wanted. I knew that was the wrong way to feel and that any way to get a baby into the world is the right way for you, but I just wanted the birth I had planned for.
I started to worry that my body was broken. I started to worry that my baby wasn’t okay anymore. I started to worry about pretty much anything that I could think of to worry about. I didn’t understand why my contractions kept stopping. However, my midwife explained that I lot of people labor this way. Labor can start weeks before hand and just slowly get you ready to give birth. It’s why so many women who are giving birth at the hospital get sent home time after time. My body was taking it’s time to dilate a little every day so that by the time I was in active labor, it wouldn’t take so long. And it was working. Three days before he was born, my midwife checked me and I was dilated to a 5.
But I continued to worry. The morning before he was born I had my midwife come and listen to his heartbeat and make sure everything sounded good. It did. She told me to stop worrying and stop Googling and just wait for labor to start.
My parents were set to get into town that evening. My midwife kept saying that she thought the baby was waiting for them to get here so they could help out or whatever. Turns out, she was right.
They got here, we went to dinner at Pizza Pie Cafe, I ate a ridiculous amount of pizza (like I was still eating while everyone sat there and watched me), and all the while I was having light contractions. Then when we got home I had a contraction that I couldn’t talk through. I got a little giddy and thought that this might be it. I sort of started timing contractions but I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it. Everyone was in the backyard watching Evelyn play and I came inside to labor in peace. No one really seemed to notice I was gone.
I finally called for Chris to come in because things were getting uncomfortable and I wanted help. I assume that someone put Evelyn to bed, maybe I was there, I don’t actually remember. At 9:17 pm I texted my midwife that things had really starting picking up. I had Chris fill up the tub and take over texting so I could relax. He told her shortly afterward that she better come. We kinda figured things would go quickly.
I turned on my hypnobabies tracks and got comfortable in the water. With every contraction I closed my eyes and breathed through. I didn’t use pressure points or anything else. Between the tub and the hypnobabies guidance, the contractions didn’t seem too bad.