I called my midwife about 1:30 that afternoon and she and her partner were set up in our small home by 2 o’clock. They brought chocolates left over from the previous day’s festivities.
I had gestational diabetes, so sweets had been out for me for months. It was so good to be able to grab those chocolates as I wanted. At first, we visited. We made sure we had what we needed. My contractions started coming on more frequently and I put on “Superstar” to have something funny to laugh at. The midwives settled in playing on their phones to pass time with me.
The sunset and my contractions came on harder. They stayed about 2 minutes apart for hours. It got to the point where I could hardly focus on anything else. I couldn’t eat. My husband tried to help me eat an apple, slicing it into small bites. I made my way through two. I got through contractions by moaning low and loud. I moaned for hours. At one point, I took all of my clothes off because I couldn’t get cool.
My husband was a great support. He stayed with me through the whole process. I remember his face, his smile, his love. I know I could have done it without him, but I’m so glad he was with me every minute.
The time got lost to me. I remember making it back to our bedroom. We were cramped in there. The midwives sat on the floor while I laid on the bed with my husband. I tried all sorts of positions looking for one that might bring relief, but none could; I was in the thick of it.
It went on for hours. About 11:30 that night, I had some sips of beer. It was enough to shift my consciousness. I sang to my baby, a song close to my heart, calling her to come out of me. I was so tired. I decided to turn the lights low to try to sleep. As soon as I fully laid down, my water broke in a huge, warm gush.
I was so scared. I thought it was too much fluid. I called for my midwife to check for blood, there must be blood. She looked and smiled. Nope, all water. Things were going to move quickly now she warned me. It would hurt more without the cushion of the amniotic fluid. She was right.
I was lost to my contractions. All I could do was lay in my bed a scream my way through them. Every so often, my frustration got beyond my contraction and I was close to raging. My midwife brought me back with a calm and confident, “Walk it back a bit. This is the work we came here to do.” I quickly came to the point where I was no longer in charge of riding my contractions. They were so powerful, I found myself thinking, “Ok, this is it, I submit.” I quit thinking all together.
There was a change in the room when I felt the urge to push. I was exhausted, laying flat on my back in our bed, and my midwife peaked between my knees. It was stretching that I had never experienced. I thought the contractions were powerful; pushing was the next level. No one rushed me. I wanted each push to mean more, but I was encouraged to be patient, to allow myself to stretch. Each push is a little more stretch. All this time, every so often, they checked my baby’s heart rate; baby was doing good. Stretching around the head seemed to be its own eternity. I had my husband’s hand clasped in my and squeezed hard. They said the baby was crowning. Then the head popped out. The midwife asked if I wanted to see or touch it. I was in such pain and focus I felt I couldn’t move. I said no. Mentally, I told myself to slow down, my baby’s head was out, I needed to slow my contractions to let the shoulders turn. My next contraction didn’t give me a chance. The midwife invited my husband to get ready to catch. My eyes flew open, I found his and I said, “Don’t leave me.” He stayed holding my hand and in the next contraction and push she tumbled out of me in a rush into the hands of my midwife.
The team held on to the baby for a few minutes. They told me it’s a girl. I asked my husband to check for her fingers and toes. He told me they were all there. She started crying and I started crying.
They brought her to my chest and wrapped us in dry towels.