January 5, 2013 by Sarah Christine Bolton
When I found out I was pregnant with baby #2 in February 2012, I wasn’t particularly overjoyed. I wasn’t sure I wanted another baby, and Mae was just getting old enough to make life easier. Work was going great, I was in the best shape of my life, and actually getting full nights of sleep. But sometimes, little souls have a way of knowing when they need to make an appearance, and as time went on, I realized that this little one was meant to come exactly when he came.
When we found out it was a boy, I was shocked. (E. said my face looked like I had won the lottery!). Since E. had three girls already, we figured this one would be a girl, too. My pregnancy was tough… intense morning sickness, and a lot of annoying health issues along the way. By the time November 1 hit, I was very ready to not be pregnant. Baby A. was due on November 14, but that date came and went and nothing.
My parents unexpectedly planned a trip to come see us for Thanksgiving, and we spent the week before they arrived deep cleaning the house. Every night, I went to bed, hoping that I would go into labor, but every morning, I would wake up, still pregnant. Thanksgiving morning was a beautiful fall day. E. and I managed to have some, ahem, intimate time together in the morning, and then we went on a long, family walk. I remember getting on a swing at the park, and laying my head back, admiring the vibrant fall colors. On the way back to the house, we passed a lawn carpeted in bright yellow gingko leaves, and E. snapped a picture of me, reclining peacefully in the middle.
We picked my parents up at the airport, and headed home for a pre-cooked, Whole Foods Thanksgiving meal. During dinner, I started to have some contractions, and just for fun, I asked my brother to time them. They ended up being between 5-7 minutes apart, so I sent a quick text to my midwife to let her know. By the time my parents left for their hotel, the contractions had intensified a bit, but I was still thinking I had a least several hours, if not days, before full-blown labor started. On the advice of my midwife, I took a Benadryl and Ibuprofen, and got M. ready for bed. E. left to walk the dogs, and I laid down in my bed beside M.’s little toddler bed to settle her down. I opened my legs into a V-position, and suddenly, I felt my water break. I hopped out of bed, and a huge contraction sent me to my knees. In between quickly-intensifying contractions, I managed to text my midwife to tell her that I might be moving quickly. M. managed to fall asleep, even though I was starting to vocalize pretty loudly.
I made my way out to the couch. With each contraction, more fluid gushed, and I could feel increasing pressure on my pelvic floor. I called E.’s phone, but he wouldn’t pick up. (He later told me that his ringtone for me was this techno-sounding beat, and he was listening to techno music on his phone, and he thought me calling was a part of the song!) I left three desperate messages, telling him to come home as quickly as he could. I finally got a hold of him.
“Come as quickly as you can,” I gasped. He arrived just a couple minutes later, and I grabbed a hold of him to ride out a couple contractions.
The midwives finally arrived, the birthing tub in a bag slung over one’s shoulder.
“Where are we setting up the tub?” she asked. I looked at her.
“We don’t’ have the hose, and honestly, I don’t think there is time,” I managed before dropping into another contraction.
My midwife asked me to take off my underwear. She could somehow tell I was fully dilated by the fluid.
“Sarah, if I told you to start pushing, would you be okay with that?” I turned to her, in shock. Pushing?!!! But it actually sounded like it would be the perfect thing to do, so I said yes.
The next contraction, I started pushing down as hard as I could. Squatting, holding onto E. It was intense, and it felt like I was doing it forever. I started to get really exhausted, so I laid on the couch for a couple pushes. Being on my back didn’t feel very effective, though, so eventually I stood up. The midwife suggested I sit on the toilet for a couple pushes, and I was able to move the baby down a lot. All of this was happening so quickly, and the pain was really intense.
I wanted to start swearing during one contraction, but I felt like it would be a waste of energy, so I stopped myself before the words came out of my mouth. I struggled to stay positive, and often felt like I couldn’t do it. But my midwives and E. were so incredibly strong and encouraging and CALM, I somehow kept finding a deeper strength.
After the few pushes on the toilet, I went back to the couch for a couple pushes. But again, hated being on my back. (Why is that the position used at a hospital?!! It’s so crazy!!). “I need to stand up,” I said. E. got behind me, and I started going into a deep, deep second-position squat for each contraction. I kept putting my hand down to feel his head. Finally, I started to feel the “ring of fire,” and I knew it was close. A couple more pushes, and his head was out. I remember looking down and seeing this little head sticking out… so incredible!
One more giant push, and he was out! My midwife helped lift him up to my chest, and I sat down on the couch. I seriously kept thinking that I was hallucinating. “Is the baby really here?” I asked. He was quiet, just laying on my chest. I kept looking at his little fingers and face, just in awe.
After a minute or so, my legs and then entire body started to shake uncontrollably, so everyone helped me move to the bedroom. I was losing a lot of blood, so my midwife ended up giving me a shot of pitocin in my leg to help my uterus contract. After about an hour, the shaking started to stop as well… that was the scariest part of the whole thing. E. later told me I was completely white.
We finally were able to call my parents and brother, and they showed up in about thirty minutes. They had wanted to be at the birth, but it happened so quickly and intensely, there was literally no time to call them. After lots of pictures, and passing around the baby, everyone left and E., M., baby A. and I settled in for a nap.
Baby A. is now six weeks old, and has been a dream baby. He sleeps, eats, and smiles! And the most amazing part of this whole story is that E. and I were able to have the home birth we wanted. Earlier, I posted M.’s birth story, which was very traumatic and difficult. I do feel like I finally have some closure and healing from that experience, and I even feel like M. and I have gotten closer since baby A. was born. And now, I’m officially done having babies. ☺