Monday June 26, 2017 was just like any other Monday.
12pm: After lunch I put the kids down for their nap and decided to lay down myself. I was hot, tired and just not feeling great. I was looking forward to a nap but Edith and Alder had different plans. They decided that a nap sounded like a terrible idea and spent “nap time” talking and jumping and tossing things in their room until I finally waved my white flag and said go watch a show while I lay here and rest.
12:45pm My body also had other ideas. Shortly after that I started to feel a bit crampy and had a bit of low back pain. I didn’t think much about it at first since I had been experiencing both for the past few days but then something clicked and I started to notice that the back pain was coming in waves, mild, but waves nonetheless.
1:25pm: I told Neil he should head home just in case this turned into something.
1:45pm: I decided to call my midwife to let her know what was going on. She said she would get her things in order, call Joy (the student midwife) and be over shortly.
1:50pm After I got off the phone with her I felt a wave of panic rush over me as I looked around our messy house. I headed straight to the kitchen and unloaded and loaded the dishwasher. I then went around the house picking up things off the floor and attempting to get things in a semi-clean state.
2pm: Neil arrived home and Joy showed up just a few minutes later. Together they got right to work on getting the birth pool set up and ready for when I needed it. I decided to grab my phone and head out for a walk. Walking has been my preferred way to labor with all of my births. As I was heading out my midwife pulled up and she told me to wait while she brought her things into the house and that she would join me on my walk.
2:30pm: We started with a walk around the block. We did one loop with ease and then I stopped for a pee break and to let our sitter know that I was in labor but if she was up for it we would still like her to come to help with the kids [if you remember from my last post we were supposed to be having a date night.]
3pm: We head out and do another loop. Things are starting to progress and I have to pause a bit during contractions but they are pretty easy to work through. After we walk for a bit I bring up that I am feeling a bit more pain near my right hip than on my left and my midwife says it might be that the baby just is still working on getting in position as they drop and that if we could go do some stairs that it might help with things. We walk over to the school near our house and we do the short set of stairs over and over and over and over. Up and down and up and down, again. During each contraction I pause and step my right leg up a bit higher so that I am in a lunge and circle my hips to help encourage the baby to get into position. After about an hour of walking and stair climbing I’m ready to return to the house for some water and another pee break.
4:15pm: I decide not to return to walking and move to the birthing ball, you might know it in the fitness world as a Swiss ball. I sit, bounce, rotate my hips and work through each contraction as they come. At this point they are coming on a bit stronger but I am still able to talk through them…that is until I’m not. At this point the timeline starts to get a bit blurry. My contractions start to get stronger and I find myself needing Neil to press on my lower back during contractions. Eventually I find myself banging my hand on the coffee table during a contraction as they get stronger. Once this starts to happen Joy and my midwife check in with the second midwife who is to attend my birth. They let her know things are progressing and that she should make her way over. I continue to labor with the contractions getting a bit stronger each time.
5:45/6pm[ish]: At this point I have finally decided to labor in the birthing tub. Our sitter arrives and takes over with the kids. At this point, I am well into laboring and haven’t been checked but I am sure that I am in transition or more likely even past. Contractions are getting more uncomfortable and I find myself leaning over the side of the birth tub and biting down on a towel that has been draped over the side while Neil puts pressure on my back. At this point I am also in need of someones hand to hold and squeeze during each contraction.
At some point with all this happening my second midwife shows up and takes over as hand holder. I remember having this one incredibly strong contraction that just doesn’t seem to want to end and I’m asking ‘why isn’t it stopping, why?’ and eventually it does. At this point I still haven’t been checked so I am not sure where I am at or when pushing will start but am feeling a ton of pressure like I might need to push. I tell my midwives that I feel like I might need to push and they say go for it. I try to push but my body just isn’t quite there and so I work through one more contraction and then that urge to push I thought I was feeling intensifies and I know its really time to push. I push through one contraction and then again. I move my body a bit and push twice more (I think?) and then I feel her leave my body and I reach down and bring her to my chest.
6:29pm: Our baby is born. I was told after that I pushed for approximately 6 minutes, although it felt more like twenty.
During the entire birth Edith was right by my side watching it all unfold just like she had almost three years before with Alder. Since we had chosen not to find out the sex I invited Edith over to be the one to reveal whether she had a new brother or sister and to her delight she was able to announce to everyone that we indeed had a girl.
After I birthed Ingrid it was time to birth the placenta, take a ton of photos and cut the cord once it stopped pulsating. Another special moment for Edith who was able to help Neil cut the cord. We invited Alder to help as well but he was content to sit on the couch and eat crackers with hummus.
Once the exciting part of birthing was over it was time to get out of the tub and head to bedroom to get checked out. Shortly after this we sent a reluctant Edith and Alder outside with our sitter while I got my checkup and such done.
Checkup complete and the kids return to see our new baby. We cuddle up and read books and then the kids get ready and are off to bed. Once the kids are asleep I hand Ingrid over to Neil and take shower before our midwife leaves. After a shower I return to bed, our midwife gathers her things and heads out and our Chinese takeout arrives. Neil and I end the night in bed with takeout and our sweet new baby girl.
Note my recollection of this day is a bit of a blur at points so if you are so inclined I encourage you to head over to Naturally Family and read Neil’s perspective on Ingrid’s birth [I will come back and link his post when it is *finally* live].