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The story of Lily’s birth

March 13th I was 40 weeks and 6 days with my first baby and I asked the midwife to do a membrane sweep to see if we could nudge this little girl out. After the sweep I was crampy and had some mild contractions, which lasted throughout the night. By morning it felt like everything had stopped, which I knew was possible and okay, but I was still disappointed. I took the dog for a walk like usual and then decided to go on a fast walk after (she’s got short legs and likes to sniff).  During my fast walk I started having contractions that I could definitely feel were stronger than the day before, but I could still walk through them. I didn’t ever officially “time” my contractions but about 10 minutes into my walk I realized I had already had 3. Once I got home I was excited because the contractions weren’t stopping! I gave my mom a heads up as she was also my doula and I attempted to make a fried egg sandwich for breakfast. I couldn’t eat it. By the time I fried the egg and toasted the bread I felt nauseous and needed to pay attention to my contractions! I had started contracting at 9 am on my walk and by just after 11 I was feeling like things were going fast, but my midwife brain kept reminding myself that I’m a first time mom, I’ve got a long road ahead. Either way I updated my midwife that labor had definitely started. I told Jason to put on a funny movie for distraction and couldn’t pay attention to the movie. About 20 minutes in…I decided on a bath instead. I was texting with my mom about how intense things were getting and between 11:54 and 12:10 I was telling her the contractions were getting stronger and I was having a hard time focusing during them. At 1:07 I told her I was going to need her sooner than I had earlier anticipated and that I was really having to focus throughout the contractions. She was going to head over. 

My mom arrived and I was now feeling like I was having a hard time knowing what to do during contractions or how to cope, they were on top of each other and I wasn’t expecting things to be going so fast. I attempted to check myself earlier but was unable to reach my cervix because it was too posterior, but now I was having a bloody show which I knew was a sign of dilation! My mom suggested a side lying release, which I was unable to handle through contractions, so instead I marched around the pool a few times. Then my mom suggested filling the birth pool and we updated the midwife. I was thinking “this is way too early but sure, I don’t know what else to do”. When my mom told the midwife I was crying with contractions and unable to do side lying release, she said she thought it was a good time to head over. While the birth pool filled I labored on the toilet and noticed more bloody mucus. 

2:30 I got into the birth pool and it felt amazing! I remember thinking, this is why people use water in labor, and wow the squishy bottom is great for my knees. I was still having difficulty coping with each contraction, they felt so intense. My mom suggested rocking back and forth on hands and knees and that helped a lot, I liked the rhythm. Maggie arrived at 3 pm and I checked myself, I was 5-6 centimeters and 90% effaced, I was having lots of bloody show now. I found my labor voice and was vocalizing a lot more than I had expected of myself, but it felt like the only way to get the intensity out of my body, otherwise I would explode. Afterwards my mom said I was screaming at times (windows were open, not sorry neighbors). 

The urge to push started and I felt an anterior lip, I asked for arnica homeopathic and Maggie gave me arnica and aconite. I could feel her head molding and I could feel the bag of water tightly stretched over her hard head. When my water broke I felt the “pop” and let my team know. Before long I was having a full on uncontrollable urge to push with intense pressure in my lower back/butt. Official pushing time was stated at 3:58 and the tip of her head was already visible. I kept my hand on her head, reassuring myself that she wasn’t far away. Then that pressure was all in my butt and I thought there was no way she could make it out. I did have some fears that I never knew I’d have in labor, one that she wouldn’t fit, and the other that I was going to split wide open. My midwife brain knew those things were not going to happen. 

I pushed, with some coaching, for 58 minutes. She had had a few decelerations in her heartbeat and had meconium in the amniotic fluid (pooped in utero). Both of these things are a variation of normal but the midwife wanted to encourage me to push and get her out. So instead of trying to escape the pressure, I had to release into it. As she started to come to a full crown I pushed her head out and then in the same contraction out came her shoulders and body. And then she was here and it was like the world stopped. Instantly the pressure and contractions were gone. I could feel she had a very short cord but was able to hold her at a perfect distance to see her head to toe! She was here and perfect! 

I delivered my placenta in the water 11 minutes after birth. I then handed Lily to her dad for skin to skin while I was helped out of the water and onto bed. Jason brought Lily over to breastfeed and she latched after some bobbing at the breast, and my mom fed me. I had a second degree laceration which my midwife sutured and then we watched the newborn exam. Lily was given a detailed newborn exam at the foot of our bed. She was 6 pounds 14 ounces and 18 inches long, everything checked out normal! Before long my birth team had me and Lily tucked into bed and were out of the house, giving Jason, Lily and I a chance to bond and rest. Home birth bliss!

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