I had an appointment with my friend and midwife, Tiffany, a few days after the forty-two week mark and, after checking on me and the baby, she offered to strip my membranes as she had with Jazmyn. I was definitely ready to be done being pregnant, but as long as we were both doing well, I was determined to wait for the baby and my body to decide when they were ready for labor.
On Christmas morning, I woke up early in the morning with a sore throat and just generally felt miserable. I took some supplements, gargled some vinegar, and went back to sleep for a couple more hours. During breakfast around ten, I suddenly got a strong contraction that took me by surprise. After I got several more at about ten minutes apart, I knew that labor had finally started. I was very excited, but I was still feeling sick so I tried to rest as much as I could all day.
My parents, my sister, and her family came over late in the afternoon and we ate dinner and opened presents. Later that evening, my contractions were getting closer together but because I was still feeling so ill, I knew that I wouldn't have the energy to give birth if I didn't get some sleep. So, following my midwife's recommendation, I drank a glass of wine and went to bed.
The wine helped me sleep for a little while, but soon I started getting awakened by strong contractions that were eight minutes apart. By the time morning came, I was exhausted and near tears because I just wanted to sleep! I ate some breakfast and my contractions finally lessened enough for me to sleep for several hours. When I woke up around one in the afternoon, I took a shower and ate some leftovers from Christmas dinner. I was surprised at how much better I felt and knew that I could face labor with renewed energy. My family showed up again to have dinner with us and I informed them that we were about to welcome our baby! They were so excited that they were going to be there for the birth!
We talked, snacked and played a board game while I quietly labored on the birth ball. By four o'clock, my contractions began to demand all of my attention. I retreated to my bedroom and told Nathan to start filling up the birth pool. As we were waiting for it to fill, Nathan cuddled with me and I made a comment about how I was surprised that my water hadn't broken. I mentioned how rare it was for a baby to be born "in the caul" or without a ruptured amniotic sack, but that it was considered very lucky!
An hour went by and my contractions were coming every four minutes and lasting just over a minute. When I informed my Tiffany of this, she told me that she and her assistants would start heading our way. The pool was soon full and I gratefully welcomed the warm embrace of the water.
Nathan had essential oils burning, my Owl City cd (that he had just given me for Christmas) playing, and the video camera set up to record the birth. He also made sure that temperature in the room and the pool was warm and comfortable. I am so blessed to have a husband who knows just what I need
when I'm in labor!
when I'm in labor!
Tiffany, Nikki, and Jenny arrived at about six-thirty. Tiffany checked the baby's heart tones and asked how I was doing and if we needed anything. I said I was so excited and also hungry, so Nikki and Jenny made Nathan and I peanut butter sandwiches. Tiffany read to me out of the fourth Twilight book and we laughed and talked between contractions.
Nathan started to notice that my contractions were getting harder to manage so he joined me in the pool. Being able to hold onto him was very helpful and comforting as I went through transition. My contractions were very strong but they still had several minutes in between so I had a hard time believing that I was nearing the end when I felt my first pushing surge. I felt her head about an inch in and still covered in the sack!
It felt so amazing to feel my pushing surges after laboring for so long! I felt so powerful and in tune with my body as I breathed my baby down. I also knew that I would see my baby within minutes and that was a thrilling thought! After a few more contractions, I could feel the head bulging and starting to crown. Tiffany asked if she could check the heart tones one more time when I was ready and I nodded, deep in concentration. She didn't get a chance to because the next contraction came and I smiled and said, "The head's out!" Sure enough, she was still covered in the amniotic sack. I waited for the next contraction and with a little push she slid out and I pulled her up to my chest! She knew what her lungs were for and started crying right away.
It was such a surreal, beautiful moment. Nathan kissed me and told me how amazing I was, I gushed about how gorgeous the baby girl was that I had just birthed, and Tiffany was crying too hard to speak. My mom and sister came into the room and were so excited to see the brand new baby!
Eden's first picture.
Tiffany holding our new baby! It was so awesome so have her there.
Nathan weighing his brand new baby girl!
Eden Marie was nine pounds, with a head full of dark hair and big, blue eyes. She showed some signs of being post-date but she was as healthy as could be! Her birth was so smooth and easy on me and I feel so very blessed!