It was our usual errand running day so Micah and I had ventured out to go grocery shopping and make a few other stops as well. I had been having contractions on and off for a month, so another day of spontaneous contractions didn't seem out of the ordinary by any means. Once back home Micah wanted to blow up balloons for 'baby happy birthday' so we blew up balloons and hung them up. All day Micah had been singing happy birthday to my belly, it was like he knew that it was the day! After setting up the balloons Micah went down for an unusually long nap and only woke up at 5 pm. It gave me ample time to fluff the nest as I had been doing during most of his afternoon naps. After his nap we went to play outside and wait until daddy came home from work so we could eat supper together. Clint got home around 6:30 and I noticed that my sporadic contractions were starting to happen a bit more frequently but weren't terribly strong yet. I didn't want to get my hopes up since I was 13 days early. I messaged my doula to see what she thought about the contractions that I had been having. She told me to drink water and lay down and if they didn't stop that it was likely real labour. So I did just that and by 7 pm I realized that maybe this was the real deal. I started timing the contractions to see how far apart and how long they were, they were coming every 10 minutes and lasted a minute long. So I called my friend who was doing labour pictures for us and my mom and sister so they could watch Micah.
Mom was busy out in the field and said she would be another two hours as she needed to shower and get ready, she didn't seem in a hurry. So I text my sister, 15 minutes later she messaged me back and said, "ok I left work, do I have time to change?" It made me laugh a bit at the very different responses I got. They ended up coming together, but not before mom called and asked questions like, "should I pack to stay over night?" "should we take separate cars?" It was now around 9 pm and things were clearly moving along and quickly! So my response was "I don't care, just get here!" During that time my friend Pam arrived and started snapping pictures.
We were trying to get Micah down to bed but I think he could tell that something was up. There was no way he was going to be going to bed. He often came beside me during a contraction and would make me laugh, which was funny and annoying at the same time since laughing was very uncomfortable during contractions. He would popping his head between my legs if I was hunched over, or rub my back, or just run around like a crazy man.
Around 10 pm my mom and sister arrived which only hyped Micah up more. My contractions were getting progressively stronger and I was trying to find comfortable positions, leaning over the couch, on the stairs, on the birth ball and in the shower. My doula arrived around 10:30 pm which was great because things were getting more intense. She helped me focus and breath and I was able to feel relaxed and calm. Micah was still running around like a mad man so I asked Erin to take him out for a walk, hoping that would put him to sleep. Once he left my contractions kicked into high gear since I no longer was focusing on Micah. During a contractions I could hear Tarana (my doula) ask Clint to start the car because it was time to go. At the same time my sister called because she was lost and couldn't find our street. Things look much different in the dark than in the day so she got a little turned around. I was mid contraction while this conversation was going on between my mom and her and that was the last thing I wanted to hear! We grabbed our bags and headed outside. Micah still wasn't back and I started to cry because I really wanted to say good bye to him since it would be the last time I would see him before baby was born and I'd have to share my attention between the two. Just as we were about to leave Erin comes running up and I was able to hug my sweet boy before leaving and of course he asked to come with us.
Around 11:45 pm Clint and I left in our vehicle while Pam and Tarana followed behind. It was a very foggy night which was so odd and our wipers were not working great so I just closed my eyes and moaned during contractions while Clint drove. I had this feeling that we would hit a deer since there were always deer on that road, thankfully we did not. We were about half way to the hospital when I said "I feel like I have to poop." (TMI? well it's a birth story so what else would you expect?) He said, "I know what that means." and started speeding up.
We arrived at the teeny tiny hospital at 12:15 am, rang the door bell so we could get in. They answered the door and asked how they could help! I said, "I'm having a baby!" The nurse replied, "Are you supposed to be delivering here?" - let me just say this hospital is one hallway, 8 patient rooms total! and only two nurses on shift at a time. I mean it when I say teeny tiny! - I said yes and they let us in. They were looking for my paper work but couldn't find it, so I told them that I was two weeks early. Once they knew that, things seemed to move along and I was able to get in the delivery room. My doctor came in to check me and get my IV in since I was positive for strep B. I was 7 cm and things were looking good. They got me ready to get the IV and I started freaking out, I hate needles with all my being. The nurse was concerned I wasn't going to be able go through with a natural, no pain meds birth (they have no pain meds at this hospital) Tarana assured her that I was only freaking out because of the IV and that it had nothing to do with contractions or labour, and she was right! After a few more contractions my doctor broke my water. I knew things would get intense so I wanted to go to the shower for pain relief. I just stuck on the edge of the bed in a very awkward position, which was my most painful contraction. Once it passed I headed to the shower, we got it going and I got in as soon as the water hit my back another contraction came and I started pushing, I'm told there was a bit of panic as they needed to get me out of the shower (teeny tiny hospital = tiny tiny shower) so I could deliver. I got out and was able to get back to the room in time to hunch over the birth ball and be on my knees for my next contraction. During that contraction Amos' head came down and the doctor said "there's the head" to which I replied "no joke!" I heard a few snickers. I pushed with everything I had during that contraction, I knew he was so close! The next urge to push came and I did just that. I could feel his little body slide out and I was so overjoyed that my sweet baby entered the world at 2:10 am.
Clint knew that he needed to tell me the sex of the baby and not that it was a baby, like he did with Micah. So he said "it's a boy" I said "no!" he assured me it was since he had seen him right as I pushed him out. I was so certain that it was going to be a girl but I was so excited to have another boy and a brother for Micah. The doctor passed him through my legs so that I could hold him on my chest and snuggle that sweet fresh babe.
After a few minutes passed and the cord stopped pulsing I was able to cut it. I then passed Amos off to Clint so that I could get up and move off the floor and onto the bed. I stood up and all of the after birth came out and may have made a bit of a mess. Unfortunately, I tore and had to get stitches which is always less than pleasant, I feel queezy just thinking about it. Once I was all doctored up they moved us to our room to rest.
This delivery was so different from Micah's. I am thankful to have had both experiences but feel so empowered being able to allow my body to do what it was made to do with very little medical intervention. I'm am so thankful that we had an amazing doctor who respected our requests and had our well being in his best interest. My doula, she was amazing. I don't know if I could have done it without her. I was able to stay fairly calm and collected and would get me back on track if I started doubting myself. Clint, of course! He did great and believed in me. He was also very thankful that we had a much different experience this time around.
all labour and delivery pictures by Pam
announcement picture by Leanne text by me