Our Natural Birth Story
I can't believe it's been over 3 weeks since our sweet baby Emerson's birth. I've been procrastinating writing this post. Partially because it's been such a crazy 3 weeks of adjustments, but also because I wasn't sure when and how much I was ready to share (or maybe I just wasn't ready to relive it all!).
So here goes.. E was due on February 25th and when that day came and went, I started to do all the old wives tales to induce labor. Eat a ton of pineapple, drink raspberry tea, do squats, have sex, go for walks, and on and on. You name it, I tried it. After about a week, I finally just came to terms with the fact that the little guy will come whenever he's ready. It's funny - there's so much fear about the actual birth throughout the entire pregnancy..right up until the very end. It's like a switch is flipped and you are so mentally prepared and ready to go into labor.
My mom came into town on Valentine's Day because we were so sure he was going to be early.. so she ended up being here for almost 5 weeks total, 2.5 of those before he was even born! On March 2nd, we walked all around my neighborhood and to lunch. I was having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions but wasn't in pain at all. We kept joking that maybe it was early labor. Because I felt totally fine, I kind of just brushed it off.
That night, I made dinner for me and Tyler and we put a movie on. I was getting so crampy but because this was my first time, I didn't really know what to expect a full on contraction to feel like. The 'cramps' got worse and worse and around 9pm I went to the bathroom and my body just started purging. I had non-stop diarrhea and vomiting for the next few hours. It was horrible. My contractions were getting closer and closer together so Tyler called my midwife. She seemed to think that because I could talk to her in between the contractions, I wasn't far enough along to head to the birth center. So we stayed home as the contractions inched closer together and became much more intense. I had all these plans to bounce, walk around, have Tyler massage me, put in essential oils, etc while in labor. But all I could do was lay in bed and focus on my breathing. Breathing deep through each contraction and trying to focus ONLY on that helped to take the focus off how much pain I was in (because, not going to lie, it was extremely painful).
We finally met our midwife and her team at the birthing center at 4am. At that point, I felt like I just couldn't get a break from the contractions but tried to keep breathing through them and stay as calm as possible. As soon as I got there, the team checked me and realized I was already 9cm dilated!! We all thought the baby would be there within the next hour.
We were so wrong.
My contractions were very intense, but short. So I had to push through each contraction and then continue to push on my own, after the contraction had stopped. So tough and exhausting.
Emerson's heart rate began to drop and I could see the panic in Tyler's eye. They told me we would stay there and monitor but could not have the water birth we wanted. I was obviously fine with that as long as the baby was healthy. It continued to drop though and I could see our midwife filling out the paperwork for the transfer to the hospital. I knew if we were rushed to the hospital, they would perform an emergency c-section. While I don't think there's anything wrong with having a c-section, it just wasn't the way I wanted this birth to go. So, at this point I used everything in me to try to will this baby out.
His heart rate finally started to come back up and after almost FIVE HOURS of intense pushing (the average time for most in this stage of labor is 30 minutes-1 hour), he finally made his arrival at 8:53am the morning of Friday, March 3rd!
I pulled him to my chest and immediately looked at Tyler who burst into tears. It was the most insane surge of emotions for all of us.
He was so perfect. We instantly fell in love with him. Our team cleaned him up, Tyler cut the cord, and we snuggled the hell out of our new baby. Because I was feeling so good, we actually left the birthing center about 4 hours or so later and walked into our pediatrician's office that same afternoon! They thought I was crazy but I honestly think because we didn't use any drugs or intervention, my recovery was so easy.
It has since been a whirlwind! We are adjusting to life as a family of three, learning how to function of little sleep, and staring at this little miracle all day.
If you are in the Los Angeles area and are at all interested in having a natural birth or meeting my incredible midwife, Simona, please check out our birth center here: http://naturalbirthcenter.com/