On to the birth story: About a week or so before his due date part of my mucus plug came out and the day before his due date, I had some bloody show. My mom was in town, being nervous I might go into labor before the special due date, she had me lay down all day so I wouldn't go into labor. I didn't. The next morning on 10/22 it was GO time. I went over to my sister Dayna's house and she had me do her "trick" for going into labor. You turn on some fun dancing music and squat real low and start dancing, and bouncing, and thrusting (lol), and then mix it up with marching it out. Then you do it all over again. I did this for about ten minutes but funny story...I was wearing depends just in case my water broke under some leggings and Dayna didn't know so while doing the dancing with her I turned around and she started to freak out because she saw a bulge down there on me and for a moment thought the baby's head was coming out!!!! haha! Anyway, after the dancing and some laughs, she had me sprint or run as fast as I could down her block and back. After doing her "trick" I had contractions the rest of the day. They were the real thing but they weren't consistent at all. We tried to be as busy as we could all day. I kept telling my mom and sister that I felt like this would be the day. But i felt like it wouldn't be till after my kids go to bed. I said that to them a few times. Then for dinner I made a pineapple smoothie and ordered eggplant primavera from Gloria's for good measure. After dinner, the contractions started to get a little bit more consistent and as I tucked my girls into bed I knew I was in labor!
We then headed to the birth center (Better Birth) around 7:40pm. They checked me and I was at a 5. Not bad but not great. I then sat on a bouncy ball and started to bounce. But I don't think that was the smartest because looking back I think I may have been pushing Harvey's head into not an ideal position. Quickly the contractions because more intense and at 9:10pm I got into the tub. I had some pretty intense back labor and the warm tub completely eliminated the back pain. Then at around 10:30pm after a couple hours of intense contractions I got checked again and was only at a 6!! I asked everyone besides Morgan to leave the bathroom. And then I started to bawl. After getting some good cries out I invited my mom and sister back in and I got out of the tub at 10:45pm and walked around the birth center. Morgan held me a lot during contractions and did a lot of counter pressure on my back. At 11:45pm the rest of my mucus plug/bloody show came out. I was hopeful Harvey would come in the next 15 minutes to make it in time for our lucky numbers. But that didn't happen.
Laboring outside the tub, I had intense back labor so I got back in the tub at 12:17 am. I labored in the tub for over an hour and asked to get checked again at 1:30 am. It had been 3 hours since checked last and had very strong, pretty much unbearable contractions up until that point so I was expected to see some great progress. But I was at a 6. a 6!!!!! I wanted to scream, die, and cry all at the same time. I started to panic. Uncontrollably. I couldn't relax and was crying and freaking out. I couldn't relax in between contractions because I was so scared of having to labor at the same intensity at the slow rate I was going and I lost it. So they gave me some oxygen to help calm me down which definitely helped me to relax and rest in between contractions. The midwife could feel his head and she thought that maybe his head wasn't directly over my cervix so when I was having contractions they were more painful but not doing much to progress the labor because the pressure of his head wasn't in the ideal spot. My sister helped me get out of the tub and got on all fours and did some inversions, lunges, stretches and cat crawls to help get Harvey in the right spot. I think it did the trick because right afterwards at 2 am I was checked again and was at an 8. I was back in the tub and had the midwife break my water. On a side note, with the oxygen, I was saying some pretty silly things. At one point I cried about missing my girls. And then I kept telling Dayna I loved her so much. About 15 minutes after having my water break I started to push and Dayna and Morgan were right by my head. Dayna took the lead and was coaching me. She had her and Morgan lift up my legs while I curled over during pushing. She was in my ear telling me to push when I should and giving words of comfort when I needed them. She was the bomb. If you need a doula, hire her. You won't be disappointed ;) Then at 2:40 am Harvey was born. When his head came out the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck so the midwife gently lifted it over his head and it snapped! With the umbilical cord broken she quickly had me push him the rest of the way out and quickly pulled him up onto my belly and check him. But he was fine, thank goodness. His coloring was fine and he was breathing fine. And he was calm! So calm! He didn't really cry much until later. And he was my perfect boy! And I was relieved!! SO MUCH RELIEF!!!! And I got to hold Harvey while they drained the water. Then Morgan did some skin to skin with him out of the tub while Dayna washed me (thanks Dayna!). I then told her I would never look at her the same again. I was so grateful to her (and Morgan of course) for getting me through such a difficult labor.
After getting out of the tub, my mom fed me (thanks mom!) and I nursed Harvey for the first time. He was a natural! And had more skin to skin. After a couple hours, they took him and took measurements while they stitched me up, which felt like forever... Then at around 5:30 am we went home and I was back in bed before the girls got up. In the morning, Savannah came straight to my room like she always does and I told her to look in the bassinet and as she did I will never forget her look of excitement! To her, Harvey magically appeared over night while she was sleeping. I snuggled her and she got to hold him for the first time. And it was magic. I was a mom of 3.
Now for a raw unedited (expect for a few B/W) and a little out of order photo dump....
If you're interested.....
Here's Savannah's birth story
and Emory's birth story
ALSO, after Emory's birth I put together a word document that goes into a lot of detail of how I prepared for an unmedicated birth. I wrote what I did that worked for me and what I would have done differently. If you are interested in me sending it to you please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org :)