Sharlee and I went to Prescott on July 11th to stay and await Soren's arrival. I was advised on the 6th to take it easy, no carrying Sharlee (difficult when her famous line was, "hold you, hold you! HOLD ME!"), no exercise, take Cramp Bark 5x a day for a week, because of signs of labor. We needed to make it to 36 weeks for our planned home birth.
Daddy drove to Prescott on Friday nights after work and went back home on Sunday afternoons. When August hit, I said that I was going to have the baby on Friday night after Ryan arrived or it probably wouldn't be for another 2 or 3 weeks. I was anxious. On that Friday, August 4th, Ryan got to Prescott about 8pm. Grumpy and Jules were out on a date. We put Sharlee to bed and we got to bed about 10pm.
I woke up about 2:45am to go to the bathroom. I went back to bed and immediately started having strong contractions. Trying so hard to sleep, I finally turned my brain on after a few of them, because it seemed like they were pretty close. I opened my tablet to the Baby Center app. and used the contraction timer tool. I tried to keep sleeping, but hit the button for the beginning and end of each contraction. They were mainly 4 and 5 minutes apart. Once it got to 4:30 I decided it was a reasonable time to wake Ryan up.
I told him, "We are going to have a baby today!" I had to say it a couple of times for him to grasp the words through his foggy, sleep brain. I waited until 5:30am to call Paula Matthew, our midwife. She said she would shower, get her coffee and make the drive from Skull Valley. I kept telling Ryan I felt so bad calling her and didn't want to bother her early, have her rush over and then wait "forever" for anything to happen.
At this point Ryan and I went upstairs. I went in to Jules and Grumpy's room to tell them Paula was coming. Grumpy's face popped up with such sleepy excitement and said, "You're in labor?!" My mom asked something like, "you seriously called her this early?" (She told me later that I didn't look in distress).
It was time to get ready, if we weren't already. Ryan and I went down to our designated birth room where Sharlee was sleeping in her pack n' play. With skill, Ryan moved Sharlee down the hall and placed her on the bed we had been sleeping in without her even cracking an eyelid. Ryan then made me Cream of Rice cereal (seems to be my pre-birth/ in labor breakfast) and I was able to take maybe 7 bites. Then as Paula and her assistant Deborah were pulling up I made my way downstairs. As they all bustled around and set up the birth pool I was on the floor working through contractions. Then I leaned against the bed to hang my belly. Paula had me get up and she checked me. I was about 5/6cm and around 7/8cm during a contraction.
Once the pool was ready I got in and my contractions seemed to be almost gone for a while, a lot of space between them. Then slowly they came closer again.
Paula said if they broke my water I would have this baby...that it would just save us some time. The ladies left the room so Ryan and I could discuss this. I was nervous, because I knew it would be a way to just increase intensity and I was feeling nervous for the "peak" and was starting to be a little anxious for being a mom of two. Ryan said a prayer for us and we decided-- We want to hold this boy! So Ryan went and told them we wanted to have them break my water.
My bag of waters was pretty tough to poke through, but it worked. I thought I would feel a pop, but nothing. It just created a leak. I went through more contractions in the birth pool.
We decided I should change positions. I got out of the water and went to sit on the toilet. The contractions started to come more often and felt more intense out of the water. I felt like pushing so we made our way back to the bedroom. I was going to get back in the pool, but I didn't. I stood basically right inside the door of the room through some contractions. Then squatting deep through more, while amniotic fluid spilled out. I decided to move to the bed, as my legs were feeling like jell-o in the deep squat.
Paula checked me and during a contraction I was fully dilated. I began pushing with my contractions. After a few, it was getting real. Paula was doing perineal massage using olive oil. I caught a glimpse of a clock around this point and it was just before 10am.
I felt like my pushing wasn't doing anything, but they assured me he was moving down. My left leg got really achy and I moved it around and stretched it. Paula said it was a good sign of the baby moving down. As I pushed they gave me a cool cloth for my head. Ryan held my hand and stroked my hair. I told them that labor was sensational, full of sensations! In my mind I kept reminding myself that I needed to stay positive, my brain was a super roller coaster as thoughts of doubt came in my mind and I would shut them down with affirmations. Through the pushing I may have used a 4 letter "sh" word two or three times.
As Soren's head began to emerge, I was so excited and determined to get him out. He had so much dark hair!
Those feelings in my body were so intense--but I pushed through (I really didn't have any other option, haha). His head came out, it looked pretty purple to me. This worried me some, but was also just encouragement for me to get him all the way out. I reached down and held his head as I pushed to get his body to come through. I felt as his knobby shoulder and sharp elbow popped out and the rest of him seemed to easily slip out.
I brought him up to my stomach. Ryan and I began loving on him. So perfect!
Paula told me to think of my placenta, thank it it for supporting my baby. It soon came out. Ryan was able to cut the umbilical cord.
The midwife and assistant pretty quickly were able to make their way upstairs so we could be alone.
I tried to get Soren to nurse, but I couldn't get him to latch. He wouldn't open his eyes, because it was bright in the room.
When Paula came back down she told me to express some milk for him to smell and taste. He latched and nursed, but really was not too hungry. We are SO grateful to have this handsome boy!
* It was so cool to be able to have this baby in the home I grew up in, in the room I grew up in! It was such a wonderful and truly calm morning. I could hear clanking of breakfast happening upstairs, Sharlee saying "Mo-ee" (more) while eating pancakes and the occasional 'Mom!' I knew that everyone was excited up there. My sweet sister came and took Sharlee so she could have fun with Auntie C and her cousin. After Soren was born and the ladies left, Ryan and I were the only ones at the house with Soren for a bit, all napping. Truly though, I could not fall asleep.
* Soren was born at 10:18am. The entire labor was under 8 hours and I had no tears. It was awesome that I was not exhausted from a long labor like I was with Sharlee. I was able to have a clear mind and not be 'out of it' as I would say I was last time.