My due date of November 30, 2014, was pretty far behind us and my husband and I were getting extremely anxious to meet our first baby. On Wednesday, December 17, my midwife called to ask if I was ready to meet my little boy or girl. We were so excited! At this point in my pregnancy, my husband Jess and I really felt close to our midwives. We looked forward to every visit and couldn’t wait for this day.
The plan was to do some natural induction to see if we could get our stubborn little baby to start gearing up for delivery. I took a dose of castor oil in a yogurt smoothie (not bad, actually!) around noon and my husband, Jess, headed home from work. We made food and tried to prep ourselves for the evening, whatever was in store for us. Our midwife came over around 2pm to check and make sure we were doing well and we were. She left our house around 3pm with hopes that we’d be calling to report something, or we would be doing more castor oil.
Fortunately, at 3:30 I felt my first contraction! From that point on, we were hitting the ground running. I started having contractions every couple minutes from 40 seconds to a minute long. We tried to stay busy by making food, watching TV, stretching, whatever we could think of!
Around 5:30pm, as I sat at our dining room table, I felt a gush as my water broke. It was an amazing but very different sensation. We called to inform the midwives. As the contractions increased and became more intense, I got into our bathroom tub. I stayed there for what seemed to be hours. Jess called the midwife around 10pm to give an update on the increased contractions and she headed over. This was finally happening!
From that point on, I feel like my memories of events are a bit foggy, but I have the gist of it down. The midwives showed up to our home soon after. I was so excited when I was asked if I felt the sensation to push, which I hadn’t even thought about doing. I remember moving into positions (like on the toilet) that I thought I’d never do, but was happy I tried because it felt great! I walked a bit, went down on all fours, and even tried to do the side line relaxation pose that I’d learned in my Bradley Class. None of those, for me, felt as good as the toilet. Who’d of thought?!
Our midwives were so helpful. They each had their own words of wisdom and advice that really encouraged me to remember that I was made for this and things were moving along perfectly. I transitioned back to the toilet and Jess was with me nearly every step of the way, he was my rock. The girls worked so hard at setting up the tub as I pushed in the bathroom. Suddenly, I had a major contraction and looked up to see the girls coming in asking where I wanted to have my baby. Was it that time already?! I walked out of the bathroom and felt my baby’s head very low in my pelvis.
I had planned for as long as I was pregnant to deliver in the tub but now couldn’t imagine trying to lift my legs over the edges to get in with the baby feeling so low. I wasn’t happy with the thought of getting on all fours, so when I was given the suggestion of squatting down to deliver, I took it. My husband braced me from behind and I began to push with all I had left. At one point, I was asked if I wanted to see or feel my baby’s head as we prepared for delivery. I opted for the mirror view, which was very surreal to see. Suddenly, just before 1am, I felt some amazing changes. I was asked to [blow through the pushing urges so as to slow down the birth of his head] and was told that next push would be the shoulders. I felt overwhelmed with emotion as I pushed again. Out came the baby!
I then went down onto my knees and was handed the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen. I asked if I had a boy or girl and was told to take a look and see. He was the image of love. His eyes were open and we stared at each other. I don’t remember crying during the labor. Don’t get me wrong--I was doing my fair share of yelling out, moaning, and groaning. But tears, to my knowledge, held out until I saw him. Jess came back to my side after changing out of his clothes that had baby poop all over them and met his son.
We were transferred to our couch where we did our skin to skin bonding. We were in awe of him and his beauty. We were in love! I delivered the placenta and Jess eventually cut the cord. We then moved into the bedroom to snuggle in for a bit of much-needed rest.
The girls began to take down the unused tub that I do intend to try to use for a future child! They took care of everything. Laundry, blood spot clean up on our couch, and on and on. They checked the baby over and assisted with him latching to feed before they headed out for the night. Time as we knew it stopped. We spent the next few hours just learning his face and body. He is amazing.
Through our entire labor, the girls stayed close enough for us to know they were there, if needed, but stood back to allow Jess and I to really experience this labor together, which is exactly why we wanted to have a home birth. It was perfect.
Emmett O’Ryan Peterson was born at 1am on Thursday, December 18, 2014, weighed 8 pounds 10 ounces and was 20 inches long.
We are so thankful for our midwives and all they did for us through our entire pregnancy. They took calls, answered emails, and reassured us the whole time that things were going just the way they needed to. They are still resources for us when we have concerns or questions and will remain people that we view as friends.