After my due date came and went, I was less anxious about waiting for Greyson. Naturally, since Zoe was early, I expected him to be too. But since that wasn’t the case, I could relax and know that he would arrive when ready.
Then at 3 am on the morning of May 21st, I started having contractions. They were light and irregular, so I took a shower to relax my muscles in case they weren’t “for real”. Plus, I figured I should wash my hair. Who knew when I would get another chance once he was born!
Around 4 am I decided to wake up Zubair and call the midwife. She asked me a couple questions like – how far apart? and how long? Since I’m a second time mom and tested positive for GBS, she decided to come over because I needed antibiotics and things can go pretty quickly with second babies.
Our midwife, Molly, arrived around 5:30 am – then shortly after, so did the student midwife, Angela. The contractions became irregular when the sun came up. Long story short – the midwives ended up leaving for a while to go eat breakfast because nothing was really happening. Apparently, it is common for second time mom’s labor to halt during the daytime hours so they can care for their firstborn. I guess many second babies are born between 10 pm and 2 am.
They returned around noon to check on me. Things seemed to be picking up, but then, again, nothing. I even went outside and walked up the down with one foot on the curb – like “Leave it to Beaver” did in the opening credits. I felt silly when all the cars passed. Not sure if it helped but Greyson didn’t seem ready yet.
The midwives (now another student was there as well) ended up leaving again for dinner. They suggested I go for a bumpy car ride to help speed things up.
To back up just a bit – quite a few hours passed in the meantime here… It was awesome to be at home – I could relax in the comforts of my own bed, and eat whatever and whenever I wanted. In fact, the midwives encouraged it! For those of you who have given birth in the hospital – this is a major difference. I had to sneak some popcorn from the nurses when I was in labor with Zoe. I was starved!
After they left, we asked one of Zubair’s co-workers to watch Zoe for a bit. Zubair drove me around to find every little bump in the 2 mile radius of our home. Then we went to get pizza and to the farmer’s market. It was almost like a mini-date before our baby arrived. It was nice to have those moments with my husband before our life forever changed again. That’s another reason I’m thankful for the home birth: I could leave the house – I wasn’t stuck in bed!
The pizza, greek salad, and cherries from the market were delicious. After my last supper, I laid down to rest up in case we had a long night ahead of us. It was precious – the three of us were in bed, Zubair keeping track of the contractions with an app on his phone. And that’s when the contractions really got going – intense enough that I needed to squeeze my husbands hand. More intense, closer together – CALL THE MIDWIFE! Actually, we just texted.
Zubair stayed in the bedroom to try to get Zoe to bed. I went to the living room; kneeled on the floor; and bent over with my head in the couch. I definitely wasn’t in early labor anymore. This was serious – my baby was coming, ready or not!
When the midwives walked in, I cried a few tears of relief. They gave me a dose of the antibiotics. When I was on my way back down to the kneeling position, my water broke! Time to get in the birthing pool.
Yes, that must have been it. But then I saw Zoe, and gave her the kiss. Seeing her sweet face gave me the extra ounce of courage I needed to push out her brother. And so I hopped into the pool.
It felt amazing – the warm water covered my body like a million little hugs easing my tension.
At this point, Zubair was tending to Zoe. She wasn’t able to fall asleep because of everything going on. I missed having my husband by my side but was glad Zoe could be “around” for the birth of her brother. And Zubair didn’t mind missing the end, the transition.
I really don’t remember the details, but I wasn’t in the pool long before I began pushing. I think I only pushed for 20 minutes or so. No one had to tell me what to do. My body just did its thing.
For me, the most painful part that I remember is the “ring of fire” or when his head is emerging… But once the head is out, it’s one or so more pushes and that’s it!
When the midwife handed me my baby, I felt such relief that it was over and that I wasn’t pregnant anymore. Zubair and Zoe came into the room at the perfect time so they could see Greyson be born.
This birth was definitely a better experience. I was in control and didn’t feel like I was being treated like a sick person. I felt empowered to do what my body is made to do. I am grateful to the amazing team of midwives that walked me through this journey. The process of birth is beautiful. And now our family is complete.
To read part 2, click here.