I really thought our littlest one would be born in April, and before our due date since Reid was born at 39+4. However, he had different plans!
My parents had arrived on April 25th, and I was due on the 27th. My due date came and went, and all of us were getting anxious. We tried all kinds of things, from massaging pressure points on my ankles, to eating spicy food (Andy and I had some excellent wings from PokPok), to climbing millions of stairs from Burnside up to Washington Park. That just gave us all sore calves for days and we were all waddling around the house. I had lost pieces of mucus plug several times as well.
Monday morning, May 1st, I had an appointment at Andaluz at 10am. The night before, I had been kind of crampy, and I thought I would go into labor that night, but nothing. But at 8am-ish, I had a contraction that was a little bit painful. And then proceeded to have a few more random contractions before my appointment. I was wondering then if things were starting to get going.
My mom and Reid came with me to the appointment. Megan (my amazing midwife) asked if I wanted her to check me and maybe strip my membranes, and I said definitely yes! I was so ready to have this baby. When she checked me, she said I was super soft and 3cm, but she was able to stretch me out to 5cm! Then she stripped my membranes in there and said that hopefully things would kick into gear.
So we left the birth center and I drove home. I had a few little contractions on the way home, and when I pulled in our driveway at 11, I had a good contraction, and that’s when things got started.
We ate lunch shortly after that (beef stew), and contractions were pretty strong, and probably 7-10 minutes apart. After lunch I tried laying down to nap for a little while. Contractions spaced out to 10-11 minutes apart while I was laying down, but they were really strong when they came. I would relax during them and imagine waves coming into a cave and then going out as the contraction died down. I read about that in Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and that helped so much to visualize!
I gave up on napping, and when I got up, contractions jumped to 2-3 minutes apart! I called Megan and we decided we’d better come in. Andy got all of the last minute stuff together, loaded the car, and we headed out. Patty came as we headed out the door to be with the kids. Also, my dad had gone to get Ruby from preschool, and they pulled in right before we left. She came over to the car to give me a kiss and was so excited.
Driving to the birth center was not too bad. Contractions were not great, but otherwise there was very little traffic at 2pm. Thank goodness! When we got there, we went into the birthing room and got settled. I had texted Cassie (our photographer) and told her it was going quick, so she headed on up. Our moms decided to come in with the kids already, and I’m glad they did!
We got to the birth center at about 2:10 I think and headed to our birth room, which was the same room I had my appointment in a few hours earlier. The tub was all set up and everything was ready. Brooke, an assistant, came in and asked us a few questions. I was breathing through my contractions at that point. It felt much better to walk around during them, as opposed to the last two times when I liked sitting or leaning forward better. During a few of them, I leaned on Andy and swayed, and that was really nice. They were getting pretty intense, but I had nice breaks in between still.
Megan came in and decided to check me at that point, and there was no cervix left, I was already at 10cm! She could feel the water bag bulging too, which was why there was so much pressure. We decided it was definitely too late for the antibiotics for the GBS at that point, so I got into the tub. The water felt so nice. The contractions were very strong and I was feeling crampy in between some of them, which I knew meant I was close to pushing. But this time in between contractions I could talk, laugh, chat, etc. The kids came in, and Ruby had lots of questions, which I loved answering. Also Cassie arrived, which I was so glad for!
I finally had a contraction that felt a little pushy at probably 3:10. Only Brooke was there, and my mom kept saying, “She’s getting to pushing. The baby will come out fast!” And she was right. The kids came back in from playing with Patty, and Megan and Kathy (the other assistant) came in.
I started pushing a little bit during the contractions, which felt nice. They were really strong and I said “ouch” a few times during them. Otherwise, I was pretty quiet. I decided to go to the other side of the birth tub, which felt better because there was more back support. I gave a push, and my water broke. Then I felt inside and the baby’s head was about a finger length in still. After another push, it was half a finger length. Then with the next push the baby was crowning. I slowly pushed out the head and Megan checked for a cord around the neck (there was none). Then I kept pushing and the little body slithered out. Andy and I caught him together and pulled him up to my chest. He cried right away. Ruby came over and we showed her the baby, and she said, “It’s a boy!” It was such a beautiful moment. He was born at 3:34pm.
The midwives were watching for bleeding because I had a little hemmhoraging the last two times, so we got out of the birth tub pretty quickly. On the bed I pushed out the placenta and all was well. Andy announced his name to everyone, Miles Rhys. He didn’t latch on right away when I first tried, but once he did, he hasn’t stopped! I didn’t even tear at all when they checked me, just a tiny little scratch.
He weighed 9 pounds, 9.5 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long. We are in love with our sweet boy. Everyone else went home and Andy and I got a lovely Italian dinner ordered at the birth center (pizza and carbonara), with tiramisu for dessert. The postpartum midwife checked on us a few times during the night. Miles did not want to sleep and cried a lot until about 2am. And then he finally settled down and we all got some rest. After a delicious pancake, egg, and sausage breakfast, and a hot shower, the midwives checked us both out and we were home by about noon the next day.
We are all so in love with our baby boy. He is very sweet, although his cry is loud. Thankfully he doesn't cry all that much. He loves to look at lights, and really loves being held and snuggled.