Beginning this birth journey, the second time around, I realized many things about myself. I enjoyed reading amazing, magical and empowering birth stories. I listened to the fabulous podcasts at Free Birth Society, set up my birthing alter, cleansed my birthing space and ended up giving birth on the bathroom floor. :-D
I've seen magical things in this life time and heard of so many women's empowering births, but birth is just birth to me. It's something I was born to do and it's a great honor to bring in life, but the birds don't sing, there is no sparkly glitter surrounding my new born. It's just another part of life.
I chose to have a free birth with my second, because I refused to be left to the mercy and coercion of the hospital setting again. I looked into birth center's, but I knew in my heart i wanted to have my child at home, with just myself and my family.
I stopped my prenatal care at 25 weeks when I found out there were a few tests (by state law :-P), that the birth center had to administer, and that I didn't want. We parted ways and I began watching my own numbers when I felt like it.
When my second child's estimated due date came, so did my labor begin! (just like my punctual 1st daughter!) I was ranging from 5 minute intervals to 2 hours. Not much progression and I was a little taken a back at how long early labor was taking to stabilize. And the doubt began... I thought the fight I had had with my husband earlier that week was effecting my mental state and I was holding myself back. Or the doubt and depression that was trying to sneak it's way in was making labor longer then it needed to be. I wasn't in a bad place, physically. The contractions were just fine, I kind of just vegged out in front of the TV and breathed through them.
Google was no help (when is it ever?). All the articles I found kept saying "Early labor can last a week," "go see your provider," etc, etc... :-P Then I found a GREAT article ( www.bellybelly.com.au/birth/early-labour-tips-suggestions/ ) that made more sense and said "go in and they will make more complications."
So I started messaging and calling friends for support and to get out my worries. One friend finally set me on the right track at about 36 hours of early labor. She told me to get up and move! So, I pulled out my play list (totally forgot I made) and started dancing around my office/birth space. I danced around for a little over an hour and danced through some contractions. Then they seems to start feeling a bit stronger. With my SPD (Symphysis pubis dysfunction) and tail bone pain the only thing that felt really good was figure 8's with my hips.
The app I had on my phone to track contractions, started to get really annoying and kept telling me to go to the hospital. So I stopped using it. I had been in contact with my doula during all this time and I called her and said "you should probably head out within the next hour. Things are starting to pick up." She asked what my contractions were like and I guessed over a minute long and 5 minutes apart.
My husband helped me through 2 contractions and asked if I wanted his mom to come pick up our 3 year old. I had really wanted her there, but had been having a hard time when she hung on me and I was going through another wave, so I agreed to have grandma come pick her up.
This is where it got entertaining..... I wanted to be alone, so I went into my birthing area and moved through a few waves by myself. My Husband was getting our 3 year old ready to leave and shoveling the drive way (as we had a bunch of snow fall at this time). I called my doula to talk to and find out her ETA. She talked me through a few pretty intense waves. I hadn't gone to the bathroom for a while, so I moved myself onto the toilet and kept her on the phone. Silly me was trying to have a bowel movement one last time (this totally happen with my first as well), and I started to feel that all too familiar decent feeling as baby was moving on out! My doula calmly said "Morgan, get off the toilet." I replied I didn't know if I could, and she once again calmly said "Get off the toilet, you don't want to have your baby in the toilet." So I made one last big effort and pushed my self off the toilet onto all fours.
As this was taking place, my husband was pushing his mother and our daughter out the door so he could come help me and be there for our second's birth. (MIL stated he really did almost push them out the door!).
I grabbed the bathroom rug to put under me to have SOMETHING soft for the kid to land on. My husband came to the door of the bathroom and asked what he could do. I asked him to grab one of the Assurance pads to put under me to catch some of the mess. My water must have broke right before my kiddo came out, never felt it or saw anything. On my hands and knees, it did feel like I was split up the front. About 3 surges and the head was out. Another surge and 1/2 the body was out. one more surge and all of baby was out. I grabbed her, unwrapped the cord from her neck (wrapped around about 1.5 times), and brought her to my chest. I did end up sucking her nose to get some birth out, but she was pretty good right from the get go.
My doula arrived about 3 minutes later. I have bad knees and I had been sitting on them for a while, so I needed help to get up from my doula and husband. We moved me over to the birthing bed I had set up. The after waves to get the placenta out were extremely intense. It took about 30 minutes for the placenta to come out. But it was cool to finally see it! (my 1st daughter had her’s taken away before I got to see it). My baby almost immediately latched on once we were on the birthing bed.
My doula asked if we had noticed the gender, as we were both covered in a towel (it’s cold in Minnesota…). My husband said it was a girl, “no extra bits.” My doula helped me cut my daughter’s cord, fed me and made sure we were all settled in before her headed out.
I passed a giant blood clot about 6 hours later. Even though I felt fine, we did end up making a quick stop to the ER. The Doc there was nice, if not a little rough on the examination. But she told me that with it being my second, there was going to be more bleeding, and that laying down can cause blood to pool and clot like that, but that everything looked good. We hung out there for 1 hour since they made me some soup. Went home and that was that.
This birth didn’t feel different from my first, it was just really nice not to have to fight with someone the whole time. When active labor began, to transition, to delivery, it was a total of 2.5 hours. Early labor had been 38 hours total. I wouldn’t call it magical, or empowering. It was just birth. Something I knew I could do. This is my last birth and I’m very glad I did it my way.
Happy birthing all! <3