I invited my sister in-law over that evening just in case baby decided they wanted to come during the impending snow apocalypse reportedly coming that night. Well, Friday came and went and nothing seemed to change except for the massive amount of snow covering the ground.
On Saturday, Catherine, our midwife, came for what I hoped to be our last appointment. She mentioned testing to ensure everything was going well with baby. My heart sank. I hated thinking about all the what if’s (I’m a worrier if you couldn’t tell). She mentioned that I could see Dr. Hartung if I’d like and I immediately felt a little better. I really respect him and have fond memories of my first birth, which was a transfer from the birth center to the hospital he practices at. I knew I would be in good hands. I’m sure Catherine saw the look in my eyes as she said not to worry; it’s all standard procedure and many times once these appointments are scheduled the mama usually begins her birthing time before that day comes. I thought to myself, “Yeah, ok Catherine, everyone but me!” As she was leaving for her next appointment she mentioned she wouldn’t be far from our house for the next few hours in case anything should spontaneously begin. I was hoping baby may have heard that and would decide to make their appearance, but hours passed and not even a pressure wave was felt.
That night I began to get discouraged, telling my sister in-law and husband I was sure I was going to be pregnant forever. I literally had not felt more than two or three waves in the span of an hour since Wednesday night. They decided to distract me with a TV show before bed, which seemed to help a little, however, all that sitting really made my hips sore! I thought nothing of it and jumped into bed to relax once the show was over.
As I lay in bed I knew I needed to pray, as my mind was so focused on next Friday’s appointment and my baby’s health. I also knew I needed to really give this frustration and impatience to Him; He always knows what He is doing! After spending time in prayer I felt at peace. I decided to read some birth stories for extra encouragement before I finally put my phone down and turned on my Hypnobabies track at 1:15 am (DUMB, I know!).
I woke up at 4am to pressure waves. I immediately began timing them, as I had not felt waves like this since the birth of my first child. They were 7-8 minutes apart! I didn’t want to get too excited, though, just in case this was just a huge letdown. I decided to get up, do some laundry and take out the meal for that night just to be prepared if this really was it.
As I did laundry the waves continued, however, they became more frequent, lasting 30 seconds and 5-6 minutes apart. “Yes! This must be it!’ I thought to myself. I continued to listen to my Hypnobabies tracks, which helped me stay relaxed and in the zone. When I went to lie down again around 5:30am, I noticed I was extremely uncomfortable and it hurt to lie in bed. I hadn’t experienced this discomfort with my first. I decided I had better wake up my husband to let him know this was probably my birthing time. He said I should jump in the shower just to be sure and said he was going back to bed, but I should wake him when I’m done. I thought to myself, “Really?! You’re going to sleep while I’m hanging out preparing to birth? Thanks dear!”
I got into the shower and let the water hit my very pregnant belly. My waves immediately went from 5-6 minutes apart to 2-3 minutes apart. Was this really happening this quickly? I was in shock and complete denial. I began moaning through the waves, which seemed to make it less uncomfortable and help me focus.
A few minutes later my husband came into the bathroom to check on me. That was a very smart move on his part;) I told him how close they were and asked him to time a couple. Yep, I was right. He asked if I though it was time to call Catherine. I said I wasn’t sure, but I thought so. I didn’t want to cry wolf if it wasn’t really time.
I got out of the shower shortly after and began to pace the house in my towel. As I walked out into the living room, I asked my husband if he had called Catherine because this definitely was birthing time. I was sure of it by now. He said he hadn’t because I said I wasn’t sure earlier. I began to raise my voice telling him he needed to call now—I was sure!
I went into the bathroom, feeling the urge to go. Great, now I’m feeling sick. Ugh. I didn’t know at the time that I was feeling the urge to push because during my first birth I never had that sensation. I had a few waves on the toilet, paced the house and then returned to the toilet again. My husband asked if I wanted to try my birth ball. I decided to try it and walked out into the living room again. I sat down, but immediately jumped up. It was very uncomfortable to sit on a flat surface. He then asked if I wanted to lie down in bed. I told him I wasn’t able to lie down since I first woke up at 4am. It felt very comfortable to sit on the toilet so I made my way back to the bathroom. My husband asked if I wanted my Hypnobabies tracks on. I completely forgot to turn them on again after my shower. I felt calm and relaxed once I heard Kerry’s voice.
It was after 7:15 am and my 20 month old son was awake and came to greet me. I loved the snuggles as he sat on my lap, but this was short lived as another wave came and I had to ask him to get down and sit on the floor next to mama. He gave me a concerned look as he got off my lap and walked out of the bathroom. I could hear my husband on the phone with our Midwife explaining what was going on and asking her to come. He returned a short time later to sit with me. I began to feel the urge to push. It was much stronger than before and I had to stand. I couldn’t believe this was happening so quickly as it had only been a little over three hours since I first noticed the waves. I told him to call Catherine back right away to tell her. I could hear him in the other room, “Hi Catherine. Allison said she feels, I don’t know, like maybe she needs to push.” “No dear, I AM pushing!” I thought to myself, though, I couldn’t speak to tell him. I stood and moaned through a wave as I pushed, feeling the bag of waters bulge in my hand. As I began to push again I could feel the baby’s head crowning and powerful stretching sensations. I turned to see my son standing in the doorway watching. What an experience for him to see his sibling being born!
My husband returned to the bathroom shortly after the first push to see me standing, holding my perineum and pushing the baby’s head out. He spoke into the phone, “She’s pushing, wait, the head is coming out!” He immediately put the phone on the ground and knelt in front of me. I was exhausted at this point and wrapped my arms around his neck as he caught our baby. He handed him to me and I began to cry tears of absolute joy!
My midwife was still on the phone, listening to the entire experience. I heard her ask if everything was okay. The baby then began to cry and my husband said yes. She then asked the sex of the baby. I didn’t even think to look! “It’s a boy,” he said. I was beaming from ear to ear. Oh August, my precious baby! I am still emotional as I run through this experience in my mind. What an amazing birth!
I held my beautiful new baby boy and cried for a while, as my husband and sister in-law (who woke just as August was born) prepared the bed for us. After they were done they both helped me into the bed. There we waited for about half an hour for the placenta to be born. Around 8:30am my chiropractor and birth assistant arrived. I was beaming as she entered my room. I was very relieved Kelly was there and so happy to show off my new son. Fifteen minutes later Catherine arrived and I had the same feeling all over again. I was one proud mama! And so surprised my husband and I birthed our baby on our own.
I am still in shock to this day. I could not have asked for a smoother birth. Although it may not have been as comfortable as my first birthing time, it was definitely much shorter and I am very grateful for that. I am so thankful to have had a birth free of interventions. It is so empowering to know my body can birth on it’s own without help this time around. This was a very humbling experience. How silly was I to think I knew when I should give birth. The Lord had already planned my amazing birth for me. All I needed to do was trust His perfect timing!
Thank you to my wonderful birth team! Tyler, Christy and Natalie: Thank you so much for putting up with me and for all the encouragement you were to me and still are today. You three are near and dear to me and I love you all so much. Catherine, Kelly and Lindsay: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and knowledge through these two births. I am forever grateful for the impact you have made in my life and my family’s lives. I can’t wait to take this journey again and would be honored to have you all there with me.