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Sunday's Birth Story

I started laboring at 10pm Wednesday night. Contractions were coming about every 10-15 minutes until 8am. They were light enough that I put a heating pad on my lower abdomen and made myself stay in bed to sleep in between. As a fourth time mama I know rest in the early stages of labor is most important. I also made it a point to let Makana sleep through it as well because I know how valuable his help will be after the birth. At 8am the girls woke up so we both got up and started getting my birth space ready.

Contractions started to pick up almost immediately and were around 5 minutes apart. I sent him to the store to get snacks for the birth team and dinner stuff. One of my favorite memories of all of our births is him slow cooking something while in labor and bringing me a big bowl soon after birth. This time it was going to be chilly. Within a couple of hours contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart. I texted my midwife to come at 10am adn she got there about an hour after. When my wonderful midwife, @cassiefrancomidwife walks into the room everything just feels lighter. She exudes warmth and unconditional love. I immediately feel safe and loved in her presence. She came with her assistant and another beloved midwife.

My midwife checked me and I was a 7. We start to fill up the birth tub. At this point my plan was to birth outside of the tub but I wanted to labor in it. I have a history of postpartum hemorrhaging so I decided to birth outside of the tub in an effort to keep a close eye on bleeding and also start early interventions if needed. I labored so differently than what previously worked for me. Laboring in the tub was my go to but it wasn't that comfortable this time. Still, I felt completely in control and calm during the sensations of labor.

Makana never left my side. It felt good to have his hand gently press my lower back. Anything too hard felt way too intense and I was quick to tell him to stop. The pain didn't feel unbearable so I started to get into positions that normally would be super uncomfortable to try and bring her down. I laid on my side for a while, then switched sides in hopes to get baby to rotate. She was posterior my pregnancy so I assumed she needed to change her position. My midwife also suggested sitting on the toilet at one point (was very uncomfortable but I did it in hopes to allow her space to come out). I had her check me again and I was an 8. Then an hour later I had her check me again and I was a 9. She said that we were waiting on my bag of waters to break and surely a baby will be here soon. I asked her more than once if she can break my water. We had a good laugh about that. Surely she could. But we both knew it was important to stay on the natural course of labor. So the last time she checked me she could tell I was feeling a bit deflated. So she suggested her and the birth team go take a walk and they will be right back.

Sometimes the clearing of space is needed. She was gone maybe 15 minutes. Makana and I decided to walk downstairs to see the girls who were watching a movie. I took a few steps and had an intense contraction. I quickly decided that I was not going to get stuck downstairs and have to birth my baby down there. So I suggested getting in the shower. The next contraction I felt my body involuntarily push. I didn't have time to even tell Makana. A moment later I had another contraction and baby was crowning. Cassie walked in at that moment and I said, "omg I am pushing. I feel her head." They started moving fast to get things together. Cassie was at the shower watching me for my next move. I looked around and thought, "ok. I can birth in the shower and Makana can catch baby. But I don't really want to get stuck sitting on the shower floor for the entire postpartum clean up process." (I think about comfort during my entire labor. Lol) So I started to walk to the birth tub while crowning.

I immediately started pushing her and brought my hands down to her head to pull her out. It felt much different than I was used to. I realized that she was coming out in her bag of waters. It felt like a huge water balloon with something inside of it. So it never broke. Then I asked my midwife to help me. She suggested I go hands and knees on the tub. She assisted her coming out and her water broke then she untangled her cord that was wrapped around her. Still underwater she pushed her through my legs and told me to pick my baby up. Nothing beats that feeling. I brought my beautiful baby to my chest and remember telling her "you're safe" over and over. Makana had the girls come upstairs shortly after to see that their sister was born at 4:38pm. I was so proud.

Usually I stay in the tub for a bit after to birth the placenta but we decided for me to come out soon after to keep an eye on bleeding. I did start to hemorrhage again but never did it feel unmanaged or rushed. During my pregnancy we had lengthy conversations and created a plan that was comfortable for us both. We even did more testing and took more precautions prenatally. But still chose to manage bleeding with pitocin, cervadil (midwife's note: cytotec), and a placenta smoothie. Postpartum has always been a hard process because of hemorrhaging. this time I feel so at peace with what a slow postpartum period looks like. Even if I was forced into resting. But I didn't take it for granted. I enjoyed the stillness and won't let it overshadow the beauty of my birth. I successfully birthed my fourth and last baby girl at home.

I am so proud of the union that Makana and I have. Homebirth is expensive, wildly intense, and takes a lot of mental preparation to ride the waves of labor. Together we did it.


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