When I got pregnant with my second baby I wanted a natural drug-free birth. There wasn't anything traumatic about my first birth - she was and is perfectly happy and healthy; it was just something I had a desire to do differently. I read books, articles, watched documentaries, took hypnobirthing classes and talked to everyone I knew who had kids about their experiences. I was SO EXCITED for my birth. It was going to be at home- nice and peaceful and all around awesome.
Lets just say that is NOT what happened. It was fast painful and chaotic (and not at home). I thought - hundreds of times- what a joke hypnobirthing was/ all the peaceful birth stories were a bunch of bull.
When I got pregnant this go around I saw my same midwives. Not because I wanted a natural childbirth (I actually dreaded it for the majority of my pregnancy) but because I knew and trusted my midwives and preferred their care to the OBGYNs 100x over. I knew I *could*go naturally - but I really really didn't want to. I didn't read any books or birth stories or prepare myself at all. But inevitably labor started and despite wanting to pull the plug on the whole home birth thing my entire pregnancy - I never did.
Incidentally Cannon's arrival was not the battle I had been anticipating - instead I got the birth I had visualized with Lena. It was calm. It was peaceful. It was as perfect as I could have wanted. And it's left me feeling really. . . strange. It was an amazing experience and I am so so so thankful I had it - but I don't feel any more proud of it then I do my other two births. The experience was certainly preferable - but I am actually glad I have been able to experience 3 different ends of the spectrum. I typically feel uncomfortable sharing it with people - as I don't want to come off as I am bragging. I also feel strange because I feel like a liar that I had such an easy labor (there were moments of intensity but overall - yes - it was easy)- and that look is often mirrored in peoples reactions. It wasn't this crazy empowering I can move mountains feeling - it just felt like it was how things were supposed to be.
Now that I've gotten all of that baggage out of the way - I'm a little more comfortable sharing - here's how it all went down:
I woke up on Monday May 25th and my contractions were about 7 min apart. They occasionally spaced out to 10 min apart but stayed consistent all day. We had Chinese that night at the neighbors house to try to get things going. I went to bed feeling a little defeated that I got my hopes up for no reason. At 5:00 am on Tuesday I woke up & contractions were between 3-5 min apart. My midwife got to the house and we all sat at the table, had breakfast and got the kids settled as they woke up. After breakfast Misti checked me and I was 6cm. I was still feeling really good and it was early so we decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood. When we were walking we saw our neighbor, stopped to talk to her for a little, then invited her and her kids over to hang out. When we got back home we ordered pizza, watched stand-up and just hung out. Misti checked me and I was 8cm. I was still feeling great. We continued to hang out and I decided to sweep the floors as the dog clearly knew something was up and was shedding like I have never seen before. I went to mop (read: swifter wet-jet) but then got really tired and didn't want to finish. The neighbor left to put her baby down for a nap and Misti checked me for a third time. I was 10cm. I could not believe it - I still felt good and in control - but I was getting really tired really fast. We decided to fill up the pool because it was clearly getting close to go time even if I didn't feel like it.
I got into the pool. Lena followed. Summer was not far behind her. I felt weird being in the pool already and still so . . . alert. . . but I tried pushing even though I didn't particularly have a strong urge. Misti said the baby was still high and asked if she could break my water to help bring him down. I agreed. It wasn't the magical bring the baby out instantly trick I hoped for but it was the point when things got intense for me. The contractions got stronger and this is when I would say things went from "uncomfortable" to "painful". Pushing was no longer fun and I did NOT want to participate in the whole pushing process. I started to get annoyed with the pool and felt like the baby would never be here. I had Milton call the neighbor to get her back over to help with the girls. She brought her kids and took ours outback to play while continued down the rabbit hole. I got out of the tub and headed to the bathroom.
Once I got in the bathroom my frustration with how long this was taking coupled with my growing exhaustion led to my emotions taking over. Ultimately the contractions distracted me from getting too sucked up in my head for too long and it was thankfully short lived. After a little while sitting on the toilet hugging the tank I hopped in the shower where I could block everyone out, sit on my butt and not have anyone tell me to push.
While it apparently didn't look like it- that is when I was able to get into my zone. There was screaming. There was cursing. But I'm generally very . . . colorful. . . so nothing unexpected. And between contractions I was able to relax.
I ultimately got really tired and wanted to go to the bed (to lay down and try to sleep HAHA - I knew that wouldn't happen - but I was soooooo tired!). It gets a little bury here - as to how I agreed to push - but I did. And unlike before when pushing made things worse - it was more pressure then pain. Before I knew it Cannon joined us earth side. I remember my arms were SO sore and shaky when they handed him to me I could hardly hold him. His skin was so soft. His head was a total cone. He was so alert. It was love at first sight.
If you made it this far - you're a champ! Here are some pictures our midwife's assistant took - who I may or may not have snapped at to put the camera away when we were in the bathroom (sorry again!) I am so so so thankful that she was able to capture all she did!!