After having false labor at 35 weeks, stopped with a glass of wine and after having false labor at 35 weeks, stopped with a glass of wine and a false alarm only a week later (when my midwives came by, but my contractions stopped right after they got here), finally, at 38 weeks and 6 days, Saturday, November 3rd, my water broke.
I was laying in bed and was awaken by a weird feeling “down there”, like some kind of pressure, almost like I had to pee, but suddenly, I felt a “pop” and a little trickle of warm liquid coming out. “I think my water just broke!” I told The Man, even though I knew he was deeply asleep. I got up and went to the bathroom, thinking maybe I really just had to pee. I sat on the toilet and went, but right after I felt another trickle. Okay, it really is my water, I thought, excitedly. I grabbed my phone, it was 5:45 a.m., I called Pam. She answered and I could hear distress in her voice.
“Good morning!” I said cheerily.
“No, it’s not!” she answered back. Knowing Pam, I just burst out laughing, because I knew she was either on her way to a birth or at another birth.
“Okay…how far apart are they?”
“No, I’m not having contractions yet, but my water just broke.”
“Okay, good, do me a favor and go back to bed. Silvia, you are the third lady to call within five minutes!”
Poor Pam, all I could do was laugh. She said to call her if anything started happening but that she might not have a chance to check up on me. Then, by that time, The Man was of course awake, and told me to go back to bed. How could I?! My baby was coming soon!
I put on a pad and did try to go back to sleep, but excitement got the best of me and I got up again and put some laundry away. Later I lay down again, knowing I would need my energy, I didn’t sleep but just waited for any sign of my labor starting up.
Soon the sun was out and we got up, had some breakfast and picked up the house. Pam checked in with me around 8:45, I was getting contractions, but not anything close at all. We started letting family and close friends know that today was going to be the day. My mom wanted to head over right away, but I told her she didn’t need to, I would let her know when labor started. I was excited to tell The Bundle that her littlest sister would soon come!
We asked Patty, the photographer who was to take pictures, to come by so that she would know how to get to our house. She said Saturday was the perfect day for her to take them because she was going to be very busy the next day. She left and we told her we would call her when it was time.
At eleven, Alicia, one of the student midwives was heading over. Pam was still at one of the births and had missed another, where Alicia had assisted with a backup midwife.
My water kept leaking, all. day. long. Soon the pads were not cutting it, so I put on one of The Pumpkin’s disposable diapers. Ahh, much better 😉 By the time Alicia got here, sometime around noon, I was already discouraged. Anxious for my contractions to start. I kept myself busy by finishing a headboard I had wanted to have done before the baby came. What better time, right? I was so excited for how well it turned out. My mom also came around this time, going right to work, of course. All she does during my labors is cook, it keeps her mind occupied.
Alicia checked the baby’s heart rate, but she noticed that the baby was posterior so she couldn’t get a good reading. She had me do some pelvic tilts on the floor, after just two, I felt her move, so I sat down on the couch again so she could listen, soon after she turned again. I didn’t think much of it, but I should have…
When Pam arrived, she found me doing my hair. It was around two, she took a shower, because she had come straight from the other birth. The other student, Melissa, got there around the same time as Pam. My mom made us all lunch (including the midwives, why shouldn’t we feed the midwives?!).
Then around 3 p.m. I took The Bundle with me on a walk. Hoping it would kick start labor. I took a lot more walks that afternoon, but nothing happened. Pam would reassure me that once things started, they would move pretty fast, so she wasn’t going anywhere. Sometime after dinner (tamales, yum) I asked to be checked, just because I wanted to know if I was progressing at all. Pam agreed, but she had to do a “dry” check because since my water had broken, there was a risk of infection. I was a four, almost a five, but my cervix was very high and the baby was (still) posterior. So she had me do lots and lots of pelvic tilts. Later, The Man and I took one last walk, hoping this one would finally get things going. But it didn’t.
When we got back, I decided I would do my pregnancy workout video; maybe all that movement might do something. All it did was make a fool out of myself in front of my midwives. Haha!
Around 10 p.m. my sweet friend, Sarah came by to pray for us. It was so sweet of her to do that, we prayed and she gave me some encouragement. After she left, I lay down with The Pumpkin, who was still awake. While I was lying there, I cried, because I just wanted things to start, and because I had hoped that things would go so much faster this time, especially since my water had broken and because I felt bad that my midwives had been here for so long. Pam came in my room sometime after that, she told me to get some rest, that I would need, it. I decided I would shower before going to sleep. It was around midnight when I finally lay down.
Everyone went to bed, Pam and Alicia camped out in the living room and Melissa went in her car. My mom and my dad (who had gotten here a few hours before) slept in their van, with their pillows and blankets they came prepared with.
I had a couple strong contractions while I slept, then around 3 a.m. I woke up and went to out to get some water. Pam asked me how I was doing; I told her “the same”. She asked me what I wanted to do, how long I was willing to wait until we started talking about maybe stripping my membranes or even taking some castor oil. I told her I wasn’t sure. I wasn’t afraid that I was going to be transferred to the hospital; I just wanted things to get going. She told me to start by drinking “a ton of water”, I’m not sure what for, but it might get things started.
While sitting there chatting, Pam’s phone rings. It was a husband, calling for his wife in labor. This was her seventh child, or something like that, it was going to be fast. So Pam started gathering up, Alicia was to stay with me, while Pam and Melissa went along to assist the other lady.
I am not lying: as Pam was walking out the door, I got my first contraction.
Maybe it was the fact that I felt like I was not “under pressure” to finally start having contractions or maybe it was just time, but almost exactly 23 hours after my water broke, labor had finally started. I prayed and thanked God that my labor had finally started and I asked for a safe delivery.
I sat there, looking at the humor section on Pinterest, because that always makes me laugh and puts me in a good mood. I kept having them, they were maybe ten minutes apart, and soon, they were seven. They weren’t painful; they just felt like strong period cramps. I remember Alicia asking me if I wanted her to call a backup midwife, but I didn’t think it was necessary, that maybe we could let them know to be on alert. Alicia then told me that Pam was on her way back because the other lady’s contractions had stopped right before she arrived.
We decided to go ahead and start filling up the pool, by that time my contractions were probably 3-5 minutes apart. It felt good to squat down during the contractions; I would breathe in and out very deeply. We boiled some water to add to the pool to make sure it was nice and warm.
Pam and Melissa got back as we were finishing up with the pool. We texted Patty to see if she would be able to come take the pictures, but she couldn’t because was getting ready to head out of town for a shoot.
The Man went in our bedroom where the girls were sleeping and covered up the windows with black curtains so they would stay asleep a bit longer. We were planning on having The Bundle watch, but if we could keep The Pumpkin asleep through it, that would be wonderful.
Not too long after that, my contractions were getting more intense and I asked Pam if I should get in the pool, she said to wait a little bit longer. Then, I see The Pumpkin walking down the hallway! It wasn’t even 6 in the morning yet! She was whiny and wanted me. The Man went to get my mom so she could keep her occupied. The Bundle woke up right after that, my mom took The Pumpkin to her car with my dad and the Bundle stayed inside.
Then I knew it was time to get in the pool, I need some relief. The first contraction in the pool felt amazing. Well, you know what I mean… it felt less intense 😉 We decided to call Sarah, to see if she wanted to come and take pictures because we knew she would love to be at the birth. She didn’t answer, so I texted her letting her know. That was almost 7 a.m.
I remember The Bundle would come by me and talk to me asking and whining to get in the pool with me. Up to that point, I had kept very in control during my surges, but I lost “concentration” during the time that she was there. The Man explained to her that she couldn’t whine and that she couldn’t get in the pool with me and that if she kept doing it she would have to go sit in the car with Tata (my dad). After that, she would come in and out of that room. Once she started say something to me and stopped herself and asked Daddy, “Is Mama feeling okay?” It was so sweet to hear her motherly love in her voice.
While I was in the pool, I smelled bacon cooking. My mom was making breakfast for everybody, a full breakfast including homemade flour tortillas. I remember the midwives eating and my mom brought some to the girls back to her car. The Man kept by my side the whole time, he was such a great support, my doula! After a while, I asked him to put more warm water in the pool because I was getting a bit cold.
I sat in the pool resting my back on the edge between contractions, but when I would get one, I would turn and lean my body on the edge and look down into the water, breathing in and out. Looking at the ripples that my breath made helped me stay focused. Sometimes I would tell myself “focus” or “ride the wave, ride the wave”… telling myself to embrace the contractions.
One of the midwives came by to listen to the baby, she was good. Pam also noted that it looked like the baby had finally turned, because of the way my belly looked. Soon after that, I started feeling intense pain in my back. Transition. I changed my position during a contraction after that. I got on my hands and knees and asked The Man to apply pressure on my lower back. I started feeling a lot more pressure in my abdomen as well; it felt good to push against that pain.
I had planned on letting my body push the baby out this time, but I don’t remember my body actually pushing. I told Pam that I had started pushing; she asked if I felt like pushing or if it was just pushing because it felt good. She said not to push too hard yet, to make sure that it was actually time or that she could do a cervical check to make sure the cervix was completely out of the way. I said I could wait. I hate cervical checks.
Maybe two or three contractions later, I knew I had to push, my body just needed to push against the intense pressure I was feeling. So I started pushing. My back felt like it was breaking and the pressure that The Man provided was very helpful. I didn’t push very long, around 15 minutes. I tried to see if I could feel her head after one of the contractions, I felt her head but I didn’t touch it, I remember telling Pam. Then another contraction after that, I felt her head coming down, then right after I was stopped pushing, she went back up a little bit. Pam gave me some castor oil and asked me to put apply it down there.
The next contraction, I lost it. I lost my concentration, I knew I was about to crown, they asked The Man to put his hand on the back and me to support around the front but I told them I couldn’t. “I can’t do it, I can’t do it” I remember saying, not sure if I was saying that about supporting my perineum or doing it in general. Pam said some words of encouragement.
Then I pushed, a very hard push, and she crowned. Alicia reached in to assist me.
“Full crown.” She soon said. I tried to keep my breathing steady. I was at my loudest, it burned. Another push and her head was out. Then another and her shoulders hurt as bad as the head. She slipped out and got a hold of her body and I sat up and I held her. She was out, and it hurt and it was the most amazing feeling in the world. Exactly twenty-eight hours after my water broke, at 8:45 a.m. my baby was born. I caught my own baby!
She was so beautiful, white, fully covered in vernix. She didn’t cry. She was so quiet.
We noticed her cord was wrapped around her. Her leg was caught in it and it came up around her armpit and neck. Alicia helped me untangle her, then Pam brought a towel to keep her warm and she rubbed her back trying to get a good reaction out of her.
Pam said to talk to her, The Man and I both did, I rubbed her back, trying to get her to respond, to cry. I wasn’t scared. I heard here quiet breathing, and felt her beautiful grasp around my finger. Pam suctioned her mouth and she coughed and let out a little cry. She was fine. She was Mama’s perfect baby. She looked straight into my eyes, so aware!
Soon I felt a contraction and I told Pam the placenta was coming. Another contraction and a push and it was out. I wished babies were as squishy as placentas. 😉 We made sure the cord had stopped pulsing and Daddy cut the cord. I handed the baby to The Man, and let out a big cry then. I was helped out of the pool and into my bed. They brought the baby and she latched right away, with no help at all. She nursed for a long time, while Melissa fed me breakfast.
Pam examined me, and was excited to tell me I had a very tiny tear and didn’t need any stitches. Soon after, Melissa helped me take a shower. Clean and in my own bed I rested while we examined the baby. She was so peaceful, looking around while they measured and weighed her. She was 7 pounds 6 ounces, my smallest baby! She measured 20 inches long and she was just perfect.
After cleaning up and making sure the baby and I were well, my wonderful midwives left. And we were home. The beauty of home births is that you are comfortable in your own environment, free to enjoy your little one and to bond right away with your family. The big sisters were so excited to hold their new baby. It was just beautiful. I stared into this new little life’s face, taking her in and thanking God for a beautiful and successful birth.
Pictures to follow.