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Our Birth Story

At 41 weeks +6 days, I was worried and emotional all week because I was facing an induction discussion if I was still pregnant on Monday. I’d be 42 weeks for the second time.


I went to prenatal yoga in the morning where the instructor talked about the spring equinox in three days and the spirit of birth and renewal. I had plans to drink castor oil when I got home to hopefully stimulate labor and not have to discuss a pitocin induction, but her class made me change my mind. 

We went to our friends/neighbors for an amazing traditional Irish dinner at 5pm. After dinner I had some cramping in my lower belly around to my lower back. I wrote it down in my notepad at 7:41pm. We got home by 8:30 and I had already written down 11 “contractions” that were every 5 minutes. 

I sat on my yoga ball with my head resting on a pillow on the dining room table. I got up to fill my diffusers with oil and get my cameras in place on my tripods and had to stop and hold onto the kitchen island during contractions. I cried and Rory asked me what was wrong. I said I forgot how much my lower back hurt the first time. I was scared I wasn’t going to be able to do it again.

We setup the downstairs with shower curtain liners with comforters over top in case my water broke on the couch or carpet. I went upstairs to gather some things and when I went pee there was some color when I wiped. It was 9:24pm. Using our bed, we did the sidelying release on both sides. 

We went back downstairs to the birth ball and Rory kept asking me if I wanted to get in our tub before he filled up the birth pool so he could use the handheld sprayer over my lower back. I said yes but that I had to poop first. That’s where I stayed for an hour. He applied counter pressure to my lower back and I cried when he told me I was going to have to do a few alone so he could fill up the birth pool in the next room. I started vocalizing in low moan sounds and I heard him say “oh I remember that…” letting the low roars out made the pain less intense in my lower back. I went from sitting on the toilet to standing during contractions. I wanted to tell him I was “feeling pushy” but I was half in denial and the other half of me was scared to say it out loud because I didn’t want the baby to be born in the toilet!

At 10:23pm I text my midwife that the contractions hadn’t stopped and they were still every 5 mins about 50 seconds long. She called me to hear my voice and asked how it was going. I said she should nap and I would call her when I needed her. I text my doula that I didn’t know when she should come and we chatted on the phone and decided she should make her way over. My good friend Brighid who has had a few home births text me at the same time asking how it was going because we had planned for her to come to help, watch Monroe, take pics, etc. 

All of a sudden the contractions seemed to be on top of one another. Rory had a stop watch and thought I was confused when I would say “it’s starting again” because there was only what felt like a 15-30 second break in between. I told him three times to call Natalia back and tell her to come. I think he thought I was kidding because it had only been 2 hours since we got home. It was 10:36pm. I text my friend that Natalia was on her way and she asked what was happening and all I could say was “Bloody show. Poop. Pain.” I was still standing over the toilet because I had to go to the bathroom with each contraction. I was secretly afraid this baby was going to be born in the toilet.

At 10:51pm I text my friend “vocal contractions.” 10:54pm I text my midwife “idk if my body is pushing” …my body was definitely pushing.

I left the bathroom and somehow walked over to turn my cameras on to film and stood outside the birth pool leaning over it as my friend walked in the door. Monroe woke up so Rory ran upstairs to get her. I could feel the baby’s head moving down and I kept asking if my vagina looked like it was moving apart because it felt like the head would come out any minute. My friend told me I was crowning and she could see hair in the baby’s bag of waters that still hadn’t broken. She said this was the ring of fire and asked me where I wanted to give birth to the baby. I pointed to the pool and she helped me over the side. The next contraction I called for Rory as the head came out and my water broke at the same time. He walked into the room as the body splashed into the water and I brought the baby up to my chest in all its cheesy vernix goodness. 11:05pm. It felt like everyone missed it except me. My midwife arrived moments later and my doula was shortly after as I sat in the pool staring at our new baby BOY. All 9lbs 2oz of him, born at 41 weeks and 6 days… on James Madison’s birthday. (The only name we had agreed on… for a girl! Lol)

I pushed my placenta out about 13 minutes later and they moved me over to the couch to relax and have that golden hour. No stitches! No IV! The midwife came back the next day to check on us and everything looked good. Thank goodness I felt this urge to not drink the castor oil. My baby got to choose his birthday and my body went into labor naturally this time! My recovery has been so much better and I think in addition to it being my second time, it’s also because the transition to motherhood was so peaceful. I woke up the next morning in my own bed, no disruptions, cuddling with my little family. What an incredible month it’s been. I am so happy.

Before becoming a doula I was so naive about birth. Now I respect it for its unpredictability. I used to wish everyone would have an unmedicated home birth, but since becoming a doula I think differently. Now, my wish is that you get the birth experience you are hopeful for. Not everyone wants to feel pain. Not everyone feels safe birthing their baby at home, let alone are they a good candidate for a home birth to begin with. If you are pregnant... become informed, develop birth preferences, find a supportive provider, and hire a doula!

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