Birth story by mama herself...
On April 21st I was apparently in labor (and denial) most of the day. Tommy and I had things to do, so a trip to storage, the grocery store (I stayed in the car), and a virtual blessing-way with friends kept my mind in another place. Every time I had a contraction I found myself saying it was just Braxton Hicks, I was sitting funny or got up too quickly. They were so mild I took a long nap in the afternoon straight through it all. After 6 days of prodromal labor with my first born Simon, I was sure these would go away in an hour or so and maybe come back the next day.
I was determined to finish making our bed when I realized around 8pm that these “Braxton Hicks” were coming every 2-4 minutes even though they were still very manageable. Tommy started Simon’s bedtime routine and I came out into the living room to clean up from the day. I sat in our rocker and had the first of several contractions that took all of my focus. Around 9pm I remember staring at the mess of toys on the ground thinking, “there’s no way I can pick these up now!” Our kitchen sink was full of dishes, our table covered in groceries waiting to be put away, laundry to be folded, our floors needing a good sweep, but no amount of unpreparedness from a crazy day with a toddler was going to slow things down. Simon could hear me moaning and wouldn’t go to sleep so eventually Tommy gave up and let him run free. I called my team at 9:15 saying “no rush” and they were here in 30 minutes. I found sweet relief when I finally stepped into the pool at 10:30pm.
Simon enjoyed a few episodes of Cory Carson (thank god for Cory Carson) and around 11pm I was finding my groove and sent Tommy off to try and get Simon to bed. He fell asleep quickly and then the intensity really picked up. I labored for the next 2 hours in the warm pool while listening to some 90s classics. Tommy blew bubbles and had me laughing between every contraction. My Doula fed me frozen grapes and did the dishes. If it weren’t for a contraction every 2 minutes we might have all just been hanging out. Around 1am things started to shift. I was feeling some pressure and the urge to push at the end of a contraction. My midwife encouraged me to follow my body’s cues and I did. I slowly started pushing and god did it feel good to have some control again.
Pushing was a slow roll, I was scared, but turns out that helped. I checked myself probably around 1:10am and felt defeated. I told my midwife I could feel his head but he was still about a knuckle up. Everyone laughed and said uhh yea that’s not very far! No sooner than I said that my water broke and a few pushes later I started crowning. As his head finally came out I’ll never forget the relief waiting between worlds for the next contraction. Rubbing the fuzzy hair on his head and so excited that in just one more minute I would get to hold him. I felt his head rotate and with the next contraction I pushed out his body. He got a little tangled in the cord and Abby helped unwrap him as he floated up to me and I pulled him to my chest. I laughed, Tommy cried hysterically, it was the greatest, most satisfying and relieving moment of my entire life. I did it. He was here.
The water was a little murky so we moved to the couch where the most amazing things happened again and again. Henry was born at 1:31am. My placenta released at 1:43am. This was a huge fear of mine as my placenta did not release with Simon and had to be manually removed. Not this time! By 1:45 Henry had latched himself and was sucking away. Just after 2am before moving to the bedroom, Abby checked me and told me the best news of all, no tearing. I was completely intact. And I know you guys already heard this next part, but he was 9lbs 9oz! Mind blown. This could not have gone more smoothly. Everyone waited on me while we enjoyed some family snuggle time and by 5am we were getting ready for our first sleep as a family of 4. I am so blessed to have been surrounded by people who helped keep the environment... normal. Perfectly normal. Life is amazing, I feel like a million bucks, and we will probably have 500 more kids if we can ever get out of this damn one bedroom apartment. There it is folks, Henry’s birth story. Thank you and goodnight!