October 7, my due date, came and went without any sign of the newest Goodpaster. I wasn’t surprised. Actually, I was glad. I was appreciative for the extra time with Hazel and Ambrose and to get a few more house projects done. For the next 17 days I got over my fear of birth and the fear that I didn’t have enough love to extend to my third child. Then I got down right excited for this Baby!
At my 42 week prenatal appointment our midwife suggested I have a biophysical profile done so that I could give my baby the freedom to continue to grow and stay put. The ultrasound showed us a content, healthy baby so we continued the wait.
On, Thursday, October 24 I woke up with lower back pain and some cramps. Mike had left for work real early that day so I texted him saying that I was having cramps but was definitely not in labor. I called our midwife and our friend who would be watching the kids, and told them the same. Not in labor. The cramps got more severe, but I was still determined to make it through the day or I was in denial (or both).
Lunch time came and I was barely able to get lunch together for the kids. It hurt so bad to stand. But I still wasn’t having contractions, so I just pushed through. The kiddos ate lunch in front of the TV while I bounced on my birth ball.
I put the kiddos down for their naps and took a nap myself. Laying down was the only way the back pain would subside. After my 2-hour nap, I texted our midwife saying I was experiencing a lot of pelvic and back pain, but still no contractions.
I had a friend come over to hang out and take the kiddos to the park while I rested. It was good to have some company because the past couple of weeks I had been in hibernation mode. We visited for a bit and then she left at 5:45. Mike wouldn’t be home for another ½ hour and I really didn’t feel like making dinner so I decided to order Jimmy John’s.
6:12 – Got a text from Mike saying not to wait for him. Go ahead and eat.
6:19 – Placed our Jimmy John’s order
6:20 – My water broke
6:22 – Called Mike to tell him to come home now. (He works 45 minutes away).
6:25 – Returned a text to our birth photographer. “Pretty sure my water just broke. Will call you in a bit. I need to call Jeanne.”
6:26 – Called our friend Tana to have her pick up Hazel and Ambrose.
6:28 – Called our midwife. “Jeanne, my water broke. Still not feeling any real contractions, though I am experiencing a lot of back pain. A lot. On a scale from 1-10, hmmm, I’d say I’m at a…a…9 now.” She told me she was on her way.
6:35 – Called the birth photographer back. “Jeanne’s coming. I’ll have someone call you when things get close.”
Then the Jimmy John’s delivery girl came. Poor thing. I was having a contraction while she came to the door. She looked panicked. Truth be told, I was too. I was by myself with the two kids who were now fighting with one another and making a mess in the house I so carefully (and obsessively) cleaned for the past 3-4 weeks.
After I threw I Jimmy John’s sandwiches on the counter, I started climbing the stairs, but stopped there and cried. I hurt so badly and I was alone. I didn’t want to be alone. I had envisioned a birth in which I was surrounded by support from my midwives, my husband, and a friend or two. Ambrose sweetly started to rub my back and asked why I was hurting. I was in awe that he knew exactly what I needed. He truly is a compassionate boy.
At this point things get a little blurry for me. Tana showed up and started getting the kiddos packed up for a night away. I finished my climb up the stairs and started filling up the bath tub. Tana made sure I was okay…I told her I wanted to die. At least I felt like I was going to. I was in so much pain, but it was such a relief to have her there.
While in the bath tub I could not get comfortable. Sitting. Laying. Nothing felt good, so I just squirmed around.
Then Mike showed up. Hallelujah! He changed out of his work clothes and then came to my side. I wouldn’t let him leave. “Please. Please. Stay with me.” He helped me try to get comfortable in the tub. Then all of a sudden I felt the urge to “go.” Mike helped me out of the tub to the toilet. I couldn’t sit, so I just hovered over.
Then two of our midwives showed up. Jeanne, foreseeing that we didn’t have time to fill the birth tub downstairs, began to get my bedroom ready for the birth. She changed the sheets and got out the giant pads on the bed. Olivia stayed with me and applied counter pressure during my contractions. Wow, did that feel good? Mike began to fill the birth tub.
As Olivia was applying counter pressure I experienced that familiar “I think I’m pushing” sensation. Sure enough I was. Then our third midwife showed up. Olivia guided me to gently push…which is no easy thing when all you want to do is push with all your might. This whole time I was still hovering above the toilet, gripping on to the sink and the toilet paper holder for dear life!
Jeanne called Mike to come upstairs. Baby’s head was out. One more push and Baby came out. 7:20pm. Jeanne went right to work sucking the fluid out of his mouth. She placed my sweet baby in my lap and I was overjoyed! The Baby was here at last!! Several minutes later I thought to look at Baby’s gender. A boy! A BOY! I couldn’t believe we had another boy.
The delivery of the placenta was gentle, unlike my previous births, and was followed by very little blood. Hemorrhaging was my greatest concern with this pregnancy therefore I was so excited to barely bleed.
Somewhere in the midst of this all, Hazel and Ambrose came up to meet their new brother. He was born so quickly that they were still here! Ambrose was speechless while gazing into the eyes of his new brother—the one he’ll spend the next years harassing and wrestling. Ambrose speechless. Never again. My family together for the first time!
The next couple hours were spent getting me comfortable, doing a newborn exam, and just admiring our littlest man. By 9:45pm we were on our own. Truthfully, it’s a bit of a blur. I was so elated to have such a quick birth without complications! It really was lovely. Overall my favorite birth experience for sure.
Thoughts about this pregnancy and birth after the fact:
- I’m so glad we hired Jeanne for this pregnancy. She was amazing. I understand the reason we chose the hospital for our first birth and would make that decision again. But I really wish I would have hired Jeanne for my second pregnancy. The quality of care I received was the best, bar none.
- I drank a quart of herbal tea daily since I was 17 weeks pregnant. A mixture of red raspberry leaf, nettles, oatstraw and alfalfa. I’m convinced that the tea kept me from hemorrhaging.
- I wish I asked for help throughout the day I was in labor. I was afraid to have anyone (Mike, Tana, Jeanne) cancel their plans for the day In case I went into true labor. I didn’t want to impose. I’m not sure why I believe this lie all the time that I’m imposing on someone when I’m truly in need. One things for sure, self-sufficiency is a lie. It’s not from God.
- All babies come in their own time. I obviously take longer to cook a baby. Some people are truly full-term at 37 weeks.
- I really like being home. A lot. It’s so intimate and beautiful…and peaceful.