Henry Lyle C. joined us on Wednesday, May 20th around 3:20 pm. Weighing in at 9.1 pounds and 22 inches long.
Here is his birth story. It’s the long version and it’s mostly for me and my records but if you enjoy birth stories, enjoy this one. It’s a good one…
I was mentally trying to gear up for going over my due date (May 22nd). History repeats itself, doesn’t it? But to be honest, I was really feeling done with this whole pregnancy thing. The baby had been dropped for about a week and the pressure on my pelvis and ligaments were making things difficult. 38 weeks, 39 weeks. I was still functioning and taking walks (and even rock climbing) but really… It was getting ridiculous.
I was prepared to say hello and goodbye to my due date but planned on tears being present.
May had also been so stormy that I blaming my handful of daily contractions on the storms. Whether that was true or not I’ll never know but I’d get 4 or so in a row and wonder if I was making in progress or wonder if I was in the beginning stages of labor for about 2 seconds and then they’d peter out.
The morning of the 20th I’d been to the climbing gym and did 30 minutes on the elliptical and 5 routes all in the 5.10 grade. I came home, sent the kids off to school and had some breakfast. I had a couple contractions around the kitchen (which seemed totally normal given the past week) and then I laid down for a morning rest while Sammy watched shows on the ipad. Laying there I had some more contractions and thought about maybe timing them. But really, was this a joke? Maybe if I got up and walked around they’d go away.
I had a play date at the Museum of Natural Curiosity planned with a friend but she’d just text and cancelled. I was thinking it’d be a long day with nothing to do so arranged a lunch date with my cousin and friend.
I started some house work and the contractions seemed consistent so I decided to start timing them around 10:45 am. After about 45 minutes of timing and continued housework the contractions appeared to be 4 to 5 minutes apart but only last 20 to 30 seconds. Hum. I decided to text my husband and sister to give them a heads up. Both said they’d come despite my hesitation because I was still unsure if things were progressing.
I was pretty sure I was in early labor but the question was how long I’d stay there. I’d had 2 slow labors and 1 quick so history did nothing for me in that department. Every labor can be so different. I had labored through a full night with Sam and I didn’t want people coming over to sit with me while nothing happened. So I continued on with my day.
I talked to the midwife on the phone and told her what was happening. She asked me if I wanted her to come over and check me but I told her to wait and see what the next little bit brought. I had a bit of a back ache (suggesting a posterior position) so she told me to do some hands and knees stuff. I did one inversion and spent some time on my knees and it totally worked and took the back ache away.
Jeremy came home and as lunch approached we debated whether I should go out and meet my friend and cousin for lunch. I was still talking, walking and breathing just fine through the contractions. I’d been on a walk around the block and things just seemed the same.
We decided to have my friend and cousin bring lunch to me just to be on the safe side. We sat around the dinning room table eating our turkey avocado sandwiches and timing my contractions. Contractions stayed at 3 to 4 minutes apart and 30 seconds long. Looking back, I think, Duh! 3-4 minutes apart are pretty good contractions. I guess I was waiting for the magical 1 minute long contractions to show up.
By the end of lunch I’d had a handful of contractions that had reached 40-45 seconds long but they’d still drop back to 30 seconds long. We decided to go for a walk around the circle. This time the contractions seemed harder and more serious causing me to stop and breath through them, still only 40-45 seconds long.
By the time we circled around back home my friend and cousin had to go and pick up their kids from school. I was thinking it was time to call the midwife. We gave hugs, snapped a photo and I waddled back inside.
My first contraction back in the house was dousy. Maybe I was finally able to relax with my company gone but more than just controlled breathing came out of my mouth. Some groaning. I had just turned a major corner.
We shewed Leah and Sam out of the house to the neighbors and Jeremy text the midwife at 3:00 telling her it was time to come. She told him she was at home (not the office which is 10 minutes away) and would be here 30 minutes.
I stayed in the family room for 2 contractions and knew I better get back into the bedroom where I wanted to deliver the baby and had waterproofing equipment and a pool set up. I turned on the shower/hose for the pool and knelt by the side to feel the temperature. When the next contraction came I knew I needed to kneel on something water proof so I grabbed one of those big chuck pad rectangular things the midwife had brought over. The following contraction came (I’d stopped timing) and relaxed as much as I could through it. I peed and for a split second thought it was my water. 1 second later came my water. It burst. Then I had no doubt that my water had broke. Nice and clear water.
By now Jeremy had text the midwife telling her to come and then quickly realized he better call her saying to hurry as fast as possible. Traffic was bad. He kept her on the phone. Things were happening really fast. Jeremy told me to get up on the bed in a laying position to slow things down. (I had laid down with Leah’s birth for the same reason.) One more hard contraction on the floor and I stood up to help spread the protective plastic cover and sheet over the bed and laid down for one of the most intense contractions known to women kind.
With the next contraction I really wanted to push and I might of just a little bit, naturally. Jeremy and I both realized this baby was coming with or without the midwife.
I knew I wasn’t going to be able to slow anything down or wait. In between, with some big deep breaths I said something like, “Ok, ok, we can do this.” and Jeremy said something like “Yup, we’re good. You’re doing good.” or something like that.
I saw him washing his hands in the bathroom and with the next contraction I was pretty sure I was crowning. I reached down to feel and then realized I was more than just crowning. The head was coming. I finished off the contraction with a nice push and the head was out.
The midwife was still on the phone with Jeremy and he told her the head was out. She gave him some instructions on how to catch the baby and with the next contraction we delivered the body.
He was here. He was here and crying. We just delivered a baby!
Jeremy passed him up to my belly and we rubbed him and put a towel over him. He was still a bit blue but continued to cry. We didn’t look at the clock but figured it was around 3:20. The midwife said she was getting close and would be here to deliver the placenta. The pool next to me was looking mighty nice at this point so I asked if I could get up and get in. She said yes and so me and the baby (tethered together) climbed in. It was lovely.
All the after stuff isn’t too exciting. The midwife showed up, we worked on getting baby to breathe a little better, cleared his lungs by suction and hung him upside down. He didn’t spend much time in the birth canal so he didn’t get the usually squeeze that clears some of that fluid out. I delivered the placenta in the pool and eventually climbed back into bed to get dry and warm and cuddly with my new little man.
I’m in love with this picture of Jeremy. (Thanks Jess.)
Again this is mostly for me… but if your curiosity has been peaked or you really are a die hard birth story lover, here are my other kids birth stories. Emma’s story is a footling breech c-section, Isaac was delivered naturally at a hospital with a birthing center midwife, then Leah and Sam have been at home.