The next day, my practice waves kicked in again and started coming every 30-10 min and were in that strong, but “probably nothing” zone. I feel like this is where my mind kind of split. Part of me was in total denial because this was different and much earlier than the last two times and part of me felt like this could be it and just wanted to be done. I went to book club that morning, which was tricky with a couple pressure waves on the drive. Afterwards, I texted the woman with whom I’d scheduled a labor induction acupressure massage for later that week and asked if she could move me up to that afternoon. She said she could, so at 3pm I drove over to get my massage. It was a lovely massage, but acupressure is no joke and I used my finger-drop many times to relax through it! On the way home, about 4:30, things really started to pick up and I was having waves every 3 minutes. When I got home, I decided I wanted to cook chicken curry for dinner and brought my birth ball into the kitchen to sit on during waves, but I quickly found that you can’t get anything done when they’re coming every 3-5min which was very frustrating.
I went to find Leif, who was reading in bed and said in a kind of pouty voice, “I need help.” He took one look at me and then jumped up, directed me to lay down, and asked how far apart they were. I said I’d time them for a bit and told him to go cook the chicken plain because curry no longer sounded appetizing. As I was laying there relaxing, timing, and listening to affirmations, I got a text from my best friend saying that she was driving home from work, was thinking of me, and to let her know if I wanted to hangout because she was free all night. It seemed so perfect and I had Leif call her and ask her to come over and hang with the girls while we decided what to do, because I knew I could get into a birthing zone without problem if she was in the house.
At 6pm, Leif called our doula and our midwife to let them know what was going on. Apparently, Leif sounded really calm and the midwife forgot that this was our 3rd, so she told us to update her in a few hours. Then a few minutes later she remembered and texted us to come in whenever we wanted. The part of me that was in denial thought that things would probably fizzle again by 9pm, but the side of me that was practical could tell things were getting intense and I decided we should go in. We told our midwife we were heading in and told our doula to meet us at the birth center, which surprised them both a little.
We got to the birth center at 7:30. The first half of the car ride was fine, but the second half I really hated and I just wanted to get OUT and get upright again. We got there before anyone else, but luckily an administrative person was there to let us in. We got settled in what I think of as the “flowers” room and our midwife arrived shortly after. Part of me felt embarrassed to be bothering them for no reason, so I said I was sorry since it was probably going to fizzle soon and we’d all be going home. She watched me for a few pressure waves and joked that we’d have to pay her a lot of money to let us go home. When my doula, Holly, arrived she gave me a pep talk which helped a lot and got my birthing affirmations playing. In between waves, I wanted to sit but I needed to stand during each wave so I sat on a birth ball and then stood and leaned on the edge of the bed during each one. At one point I went to the bathroom and got “stuck” when a wave hit when I was trying to walk back. My doula ran over and let me lean on her and I joked that she was the perfect amount of shortness for me to lean on! Doula win!
Somewhere after this, things started to feel very intense and I changed into the cute maternity dress I’d brought because I didn’t feel like getting in the water. At this point I was kneeling on the bed with my forehead pressing on my husband’s shoulder and my doula massaging my back through each one. Each pressure wave was very strong and intense to work through, but in between I felt pretty good. Part of me was still scared that she would never come out but I was still relaxed and joking through most of it. My midwife even commented that it seemed like I’d had a few drinks and then decided to come have a baby! As the birth track played, I didn’t consciously hear much of it, but for some reason one of the affirmations seemed to stand out and every time I heard it I felt strengthened. It said, “This is what I wanted and I am doing it!” It was so true and helped me focus.
Soon I started to feel pressure in my bum and knew she was moving. After a few more waves I started feeling pushy. I wanted to know how things were going so I reached inside and felt the bag of waters just inside, which was disappointing and encouraging at the same time. Then shortly after that my water broke and my birth team made a collective happy sound. I didn’t want to be upright anymore and so I tried laying on my left side. My doula said that I could just lift up my leg when I was ready and I didn’t think that’d be possible because my legs felt so heavy. As the next pressure wave started my leg shot up fast, with my foot ending up on our midwife’s shoulder, and with two pushes her head was out. I was so happy! I knew that once her head was born the rest of her had to come out and the whole part of me that was scared she’d stay in forever disappeared. With two more pushes, the rest of her body was born in an amazing somersault fashion. The cord was wrapped around her neck and shoulders in a funny loop, so our midwife flipped her over as she was born to untangle her as she came earthside. This meant that my first sight of her was her cute little butt! She came immediately to my chest and she was so perfectly beautiful. Every part of her seemed round in the most beautiful way. She had perfect round ears and a perfect round face with tiny little feet.
My team quickly helped me out of my dress and magically changed all the sheets around us. I held her and we marveled. She managed to poop on me first thing, which meant that all 3 of our babies pooped on me right after they were born. :p About 5 minutes after birth, she started rooting and I gently led her to the breast and she latched on beautifully. I was quite hungry and had been craving lunch meat sandwiches all during the pregnancy. We lucked out that one Jimmy John’s sub shop was still open and we had sandwiches delivered at 10:30 at night, complete with a cookie and sugar soda treat for me. After we’d eaten and our doula went home, I had an herbal bath with Lyra which was very relaxing.
One of the best parts of a birth center birth is that you get to go home after 4 or 5 hours, but in this case it was a little weird because just when we wanted to go to sleep (1am) we were packing up to go home. Everything had checked out well with us medically so we headed home and arrived to a quiet household at 2am. Our 3 year old had fallen asleep in our bed and so after waking up to move her we got to introduce our newest big sister to her tiny baby sister in what turned out to be a beautiful moment. After finally getting settled, Lyra and I snoozed and nursed and I was overwhelmed with gratitude.
Lyra Verity was 8lb 2oz at birth and 20.5 inches. I feel like the best word to describe her birth would just be “normal.” It wasn’t magically amazing or terribly bad, it was just normal and it was the kind of birth I believe every woman should be able to have. I felt in control and empowered. I was watched for safety, but never infringed upon. I never had a single cervical check, because it wasn’t needed, but our real needs were met beautifully every step of the way. I ran the show by listening to my body and I was respected. It was beautiful in it’s normalness. Lyra is such a happy, calm, and wise baby and I am so glad she was born. <3