Let me give you a little background. This is my third baby, second vaginal delivery. My first was a c section due to breech presentation. I did not have a single contraction with her. You can read her birth story HERE. My second was a home birth after a c section (HBAC) and a vaginal birth after a c section (VBAC). Her labor and delivery was 25 hours. She was 10 pounds 2 ounces and was born at 39 weeks and 5 days. You can read her birth story HERE.
I had two estimated due dates for this pregnancy, my third. Based on my menstrual cycles I calculated my estimated due date to be the 16th. Based on a quick scan at my first doctors appointment, my hopsital midwife estimated my due date to be the 13th. Not a big difference so I kept my 16th date. The hospital ended up changing the date to the 12th, then the 11th. I am not sure why, but they changed it. I, however, kept my original date of the 16th.
My girls really wanted to name the baby Fingerly, (we did not end up naming him that) but this will be his name on here. I really thought Fingerly would be born before my due date. As that date quickly approached I resigned myself to the fact that he was never going to be born. He liked it in there too much! 2 days before my due date I lost a bit of my mucus plug. Just a bit. No blood, no contractions. No braxton hicks. I had walked around the zoo for hours, went on a hike, went to a BabyFest. No contractions. Nada. Nothing was going to get this baby out.
On my due date I woke up around 12:30 am due to being uncomfortable. This was pretty normal as Fingerly moved a lot at night. I went back to sleep and half woke up a few times, but never was fully awake. Around 3 am I woke up and sent my midwife a text.
At this point I am thinking I have a ton of time. My last labor started at 12:30 am and Baby Sister was not born until 1:38am of the NEXT day. I figured I had an entire day of labor ahead of me. I would instal the car seat, make some cookies, do my hair, set up all the birthing items in the area I was going to give birth. At that moment everything was stacked in one spot but it was not in the room I wanted to give birth in. Not that I knew where I wanted to give birth. I thought we would have a lovely day together, my husband, my two girls and me. One last day as a family of four. I thought I would be able to take my 40 week photo, and one with my sticker that says “Ready or not”!
Around 4 am I got up to go pee and told my husband I was having contractions. It was baby day! On his due date! Around 5 am my midwife sent me a text asking, “How’s it going?” You can read all the texts below. (And see how fast it was!) I took a shower and asked my husband to send her a text when I had my next contraction. After my shower I went outside to take the dogs potty. As I was standing outside I thought, some women go to the hospital. They get drugs and don’t have to feel any of this. Why am I not doing that? Looking back I realize now this was my transition.
My husband was getting the birth tub set up. He wasn’t in a rush but he was getting it done. We both thought we had a whole day ahead of us. I had him grab my birth ball and bring it to me. I could not stand through contractions. I had to sit and bounce, move my hips. I started bossing him around, get me my water bottle, a breakfast burrito, hurry up with that tub. He looked at me and said, “Wow you don’t normally start bossing me around until you’re ready to have a baby.” At 6:05am I sent my midwife another text. Remember, my last birth was 25 HOURS. At this point I had only been awake for a little over an hour. For my last birth my midwives came out a few times before the actual birth. I didn’t want her to drive all this way for nothing. Surely I had HOURS left before I gave birth. I decided to download a contraction app and start timing my contractions.
The birth tub was set up, now it was getting filled. Our hot water heater was not turned up but my husband went out and did that now. We had a while to get things going, right?! Around 6:51am the midwives headed over. As soon as the tub had a bit of water in it, I got in. The water didn’t even cover my belly but I was in that tub. The birth tub was not even to the minimum fill line at this point. I do not remember when, but some point along the way I looked at my husband and told him this baby is coming. He didn’t respond so I said it again. I made sure he heard me. I told him a few times the midwives are not going to make it.
Around 6am I sent my dad, sister and parents in law a text letting them know I was in labor. My mom doesn’t text so I was waiting for her to get to work to call her and let her know. I realized I did not have time to wait so at 6:53 I called her and got her voicemail. I said something along the lines of I am in labor and if you don’t call back soon I wont be able to talk. She called back at 7:09. My husband answered and she heard me through a contraction. She said it sounds like she’s having a baby! My husband said yes and hung up. He then jumped into the tub with me. We had run out of hot water at this point so the birth tub was not full. I was sitting on my bum in the tub with my hands behind me. I was sort of leaning backward and pushing my stomach up. My husband touched my stomach and I very loudly said DON’T TOUCH ME! He laughed and said that is the first time I’ve told him that. The contractions were intense! I was uncomfortable and wanted to change positions but baby’s head was right there and was not moving back in. With my last birth Baby Sister’s head would go down during a contraction then go back UP when the contraction was over. It was incredibly frustrating but at this moment I wanted Fingerly’s head to go up so I could move! Finally after a contraction his head went back in just a touch, enough for me to flip over onto my hands and knees. I remember saying, thank you baby! I felt baby’s head coming out and reached my hand down to feel. I could feel something thick and I was worried it was his cord. I had my husband grab a mirror. He checked and said it was his head. A few more pushes and he was out! It was not his cord, rather it was the rest of my mucus plug and some of the amniotic sac.
This was a magical moment. It was just the three of us. My husband, my baby and me. Our older girls were still asleep. We sat there in the birth tub, the three of us. Laughing and holding each other. This is my favorite memory of my husband this far. It was truly amazing. The excitement, the anticipation. The teamwork. I love this man so much. There was no fear, only excitement, love and joy. I clearly remember during a contraction I was in the tub and my husband was outside of it. I was leaning against the tub in the middle of a contraction. He kissed my forehead. Such love was felt in that moment. When we were in the tub and he was behind me I could feel Fingerly’s head. My husband had his hands down there to catch the baby and I asked him if he was holding his head in! My husband laughed and said no! He wasn’t touching the baby but it felt like baby was just sitting there.
Bunny really wanted to be there for the birth and I am a tad sad she missed it. I really thought they would wake up in time for the birth. I did not expect it to go so fast! Fingerly was born at 7:18am. The girls woke up around 7:40 and the midwives arrived around 7:45. At 7:07 am my husband sent the midwives a text saying the front door is open, then at 7:35 he let them know the baby was born and was nursing. The five of us, our little family, sat in and around the birth tub until the midwives arrived. Then all the boring things happened. The cord was clamped and cut. I love that we did delayed cord clamping technique. The placenta was delivered. I got cleaned up and so did the birth tub. We were tucked into bed and the midwives left. I don’t recall what time that was. It was crazy fast and oh so perfect. I did not tear. That was my only fear, that he was coming so fast I was sure to tear. But he never went back up in between contractions. His head sat there the entire time, however short it was, and did most of the work. It was amazing.
Fingerly was born at 7:18 am and weighed in at a whopping 10 pounds 12 ounces! He was 22 inches long. He is perfect. He does not have a heart murmur, but we knew that went away during my pregnancy. His cord looked great! It did have a couple of false knots in it, which may be what the ultrasound tech saw and thought was an intra abdominal umbilical vein varix.
It all happened so quickly. We did not plan on having an unassisted home birth but I am so happy we did. It was the best experience of my life. My husband is amazing. We had a baby together! I can not believe it happened like that but oh how wonderful it was! I was not anticipating such a fast labor and delivery. From the first real contraction around 5 am to Fingerly’s birth was a little over 2 hours. CRAZY! I had planned on taking photos, videos and more. I had a birth photographer who was supposed to come. She did not respond to my text at 5, or shortly thereafter. She did not answer when I called. She sent me a text a few hours later. That is the only bummer of this, is the fact that she did not even respond. I know she would not have made it anyway, but she did not even try. Big disappointment. I really wanted those lovely birth photographs but instead I received a lovely birth story!
I know for a fact had we planned a hospital birth we would not have made it to the hospital. I am glad we planned a home birth. We were not scared, there was no 911 call. We had our baby and enjoyed our time together until the midwives arrived. It was beautiful.
My last bump photos