Last Wednesday morning, Reese and I woke up and headed to another prenatal appointment. I honestly couldn't believe I was even having another prenatal appointment. Reese came nine days early. Rowen was supposed to already be here by now! Since she was still apparently quite comfy inside my tummy, we got to have another appointment anyway. The appointment went great. Everything was perfect. Now back to waiting.
After the appointment, we went to church where I had a meeting for our mom's ministry. I had been having contractions but they were not super painful so I didn't worry about them. I decided after the meeting that Reese and I needed to have a fun mommy/daughter date so we went to one of my favorite little bakeries for lunch. It was such a sweet time sitting across from my only daughter. She was especially sweet and smiley which made it all the more enjoyable!
We ran a few more errands and then headed home for nap. After nap time, we decided it was time for a walk. I called my neighbor Brittany to see if she and her two boys wanted to join us. They had plans that didn't need to involve getting all sweaty so we decided to just go hang out for a bit. When we got home from Brittany's house, I put Reese in the stroller and we went to walk... the HILLS. If you read Reese's birth story OR you've ever driven through my neighborhood, you know these hills are intense. Walking them put me in labor with Reese so I was hoping they'd do the trick again this time!
After our walk, we hung out for a bit til Matt got home. I hadn't done much to prepare for dinner but when he got there, I got up and started preparing some semblance of a meal. I'd only been in the kitchen a few minutes when Matt came in and said my five favorite words "Let's go out to eat." You don't have to ask me twice! He was excited about doing something just the three of us since we didn't know how many more little outings we would have like this.
We went to dinner at the Fickle Pickle in downtown Roswell. I had toyed around with the idea of Scallini's but I was feeling more soup and sandwich than I was eggplant parm so we opted out. Dinner was yummy as usual but at this point, I was starting to feel really uncomfortable. I noticed a few of the contractions increasing in intensity but it was still minimal and definitely not time to start keeping track. Or so I thought.
Once we got home from dinner, we started our normal bedtime routine. Reese went down without a fight but then about fifteen minutes later, she was up calling my name. I went upstairs and we rocked just the two of us for a few more minutes. Again, total gift from the Lord!
By the time I went back downstairs, my contractions were starting to become more intense and more consistent so I started to time them. Still about 5-10 minutes apart.
Side Note: When I was in labor with Reese, I only had back labor so I didn't even know what a "normal" contraction would feel like! I started having a few and quickly learned!
I texted my midwife at 10:00 pm letting her know about my progress. Since it was getting late, she suggested I take a bath and try to get some rest.
I got in the bath around 10:30 and had probably six or seven really good contractions while in the water. Typically if you're experiencing false labor, a warm bath will stop it. So I assumed this was it.
I still knew I should probably try to get some rest since we could be in for a long night. So I asked Matt to help me keep track of the contractions.
4 minutes apart
Lasting 1 minute
5 minutes apart
Lasting 1 min
We went back and forth like that for a while.
Then around 12:55, I felt a pressure so deep that it shot me up out of the bed and into the bathroom where all I could do was hold onto the towel bar and try to stay calm. I am not a yeller by nature and I didn't plan to waste any energy on being loud and out of control but the pain I was feeling was so deep, intense, and sudden that my volume couldn't help but escalate.
I told Matt to call the midwife. Like NOW.
The strange thing about this part of my labor is that the pain felt like it was all coming from my rear. That didn't make sense to me at that time. I kept wondering why the contractions weren't in my back or front.
Still in the bathroom and going back and forth between gripping the towel bar and sitting on the toilet, I felt myself beginning to shake. But I wasn't cold. Then I started to feel nauseous.
Surely this couldn't be transition already.
At this point the pain was unbearable. I couldn't stand up. I couldn't sit. I couldn't move. I didn't want anyone talking to me or touching me. I just wanted to be alone. It didn't help that the room I ended up stuck in was my bathroom... If you've been to our house before, you know our master bath is SMALL. Like real small. Like trip over one other person small. So yeah, if someone else did try to come in, they were quickly waved OUT.
Finally, during one of the contractions (at this point they were right on top of each other) I felt an urge to push.
That scared me.
No midwife. No idea how dilated I was. No idea if Rowen's heart was ready.
I felt completely unprepared and vulnerable.
All I could keep saying was "Jesus, please. Jesus, PLEASE."
Even in this state of craziness, I was able to recall something my midwife told me at a prenatal appointment... She said, "The key to natural birth is just finding a way to tell your mind to get out of your body's way."
So I stopped thinking and started pushing.
1:30 AM I told Matt I had to push. He calmly told me the midwife was on her way and to do what I needed to do. He was with me.
1:55 AM I realized the baby was crowning. I was standing up so I dropped carefully to the floor and held myself up on my hands so as not to put any more pressure on my rear. I looked up and said "She's coming!" When I opened my eyes, Matt was sitting right in front of me ready to catch his daughter. What a MAN.
1:58 AM my midwife ran in the door and through some strange duck and roll maneuver, switched places with Matt.
1:59 AM head came out. Cord was wrapped around one time. My midwife gently said "Stop, we have a cord." She removed it and said "Ok go for it!"
2:00 AM our beautiful baby Rowen was here in my arms!
7 lbs 14 oz and 21 inches long
We had a few minutes to sit and bond. Got cleaned up. Then headed to my bed for some snuggle time.
I've had a few people ask me if this birth was easier than Reese. There really is just nothing easy about giving birth. My labor with Rowen was faster than my labor with Reese. But it wasn't easier. If anything, I had so much more time to process what was happening during my long labor with Reese and with such a fast and furious experience with Rowen, there was no time for anything to sink in.
We are so thankful for our amazing team of midwives at Dawning Life Midwifery. Even though Constance was only able to be there for a few minutes before Rowen was born, her presence was incredibly calming and reassuring to me! If you are considering a home birth in the state of Georgia, you must talk to them!
Thank you for reading our story! Our beautiful girl is doing awesome. Stay tuned for the next post about adjusting to life with two under two!