My sweet baby Aram is already over 3 weeks old. I can’t believe it! Why does time pass so quickly?! Before too much time passes I wanted to sit down and type up Aram’s home birth story while it is still fresh in my mind, so for those who were interested in hearing it, I’m delighted to share it with you today.
Friday, June 1st I spent the day preparing for a yard sale scheduled for the following day. There was a community-wide yard sale planned, so there would likely be a good turnout. Our entire front room in our house had stacks of things for the yard sale. The kids were pumped to sell some of their toys they no longer played with and I was really excited to cut down on clutter in our home.
My alarm when off on Saturday morning and before I got out of bed I felt what I thought was my mucus plug breaking away. When I went to the bathroom I realized it wasn’t my mucus plug but possibly a small tear in my bag of waters. It wasn’t enough to be certain though, so I decided I’d wait and see. A few minutes later as I got out of the shower Orin came into the bathroom to get ready as well and I told him about the possible leak. Then, just as I’d finished telling him, a huge gush of liquid came out of me. There was no denying it at this point. My water had definitely broken. It was about 7:30am.
Up until this point, my longest labor was Maggie’s. Her water also broke before contractions began. My contractions started about 3 hours after my water had broken with her and she was born less than 12 hours after my water broke. So I thought, naturally that meant baby would be born on Saturday and likely pretty soon since “the first labor is always the longest.”
My husband and I briefly considered going through with the yard sale because I wasn’t having contractions yet, but we were a little concerned that we’d get it all set up and then have to pull it all right back inside. Instead, we arranged to take our children to my in-laws’ house and then spent some time tidying up the house. The hours passed and I was having no real contractions. I was so surprised! We could have had that yard sale after all!
After lunch, I decided I’d try the Miles Circuit with the hope that would help get the baby into the optimal position for birth and/or get things moving. I took a nap, we took a walk, then we had dinner and watched a movie. I couldn’t believe that still, as we approached 10 pm, I had only had a few sporadic contractions. I also knew however that they were likely to start overnight (why is it that so many babies want to come at night?!).
Knowing labor would likely happen soon, we decided to head to bed a little early (for us) around 10 pm. Just as I was starting to fall asleep around 11 pm the contractions started. They were every 10-15 minutes apart and strong enough to keep me awake for most of the night. I’d drift in and out of sleep in between them, but it was quite a long night for me. I decided not to wake Orin though because I knew it would be good for him to at least get some rest as long as possible.
Around 6 am the contractions were getting closer together and more intense. I woke up Orin and he started to fill the birth tub while I let our midwife know it was time.
Before every birth, I feel like I try to strategize what I want for that birth or how I can improve from the one before the last. Does anyone else do that? I told myself beforehand that I was going to try to move around more during labor in the hopes that it would speed up my labor. It’s always different though when you’re actually IN labor. However, I really did try to move more this time. I walked up and down the steps a few times, which caused my contractions to come a little bit closer together.
I noticed something different about this labor. My contractions were further apart but much more intense. When I had contractions close together they were mild, but if they were more than 5 minutes apart, I knew when one did come it would be very strong. I’ve never experienced this before, but the contractions were so intense this time, I wanted to bite down on something SO bad. I had to restrain myself from biting my poor husband’s hands/fingers. It’s amazing (and crazy) how the body works. It is like my body (and God) knew that after such an intense contraction and with little sleep, I needed more time to rest between. I am thankful for those longer breaks I had!
I finally got into the birthing tub when I could tell I was in transition. We had set it up in our bathroom this time which made it quick and easy to get out and use the toilet whenever I needed to. I’d remembered from other labors how much changing positions frequently helped, so even though I didn’t really want to get out frequently, I forced myself to.
Just like they were during Gideon’s labor, my contractions never settled into a pattern or were very close together for very long. Still, transition was hard and I remember praying during a rather intense contraction that God would help this baby to come soon. Little did I know that at that very same moment they were actually praying for me at our church too because they knew I was in labor. And, it was about that time that I felt the urge to push.
As I started to push, pushing felt a little different from before. It is hard to describe it in any other way. I’d pushed out 4 other babies but this time it almost felt like it was harder to push and that I wasn’t making much progress with the pushing. When the second pushing contraction came I gave it all I had. I felt the contraction coming to an end but I wasn’t willing to stop. Normally I always push with a contraction and try to stop when they stop, but I felt like it had been so tough to push out what I had that I didn’t want to lose that. I kept pushing and what a relief when I heard my midwife say (and felt myself) that his head was out. At that point, I stopped and waited for the next contraction and, with that contraction, pushed him the rest of the way out.
What a wonderful relief and an amazing feeling to see my son! My rainbow baby. I was so fearful of losing him the entire pregnancy but here he was and he was perfect! Born at 11:33am, weighing 8 pounds, 9 ounces and measuring in at 21.5 inches! He is my heaviest and longest baby to date. He was also born posterior (sunny-side up) which explained why the pushing felt different. It’s also likely the reason I was in labor for so much longer with him.
Mothers whose babies are face-up at birth have a greater risk of a postpartum hemorrhage. They are more likely to have an episiotomy and severe perineal tears than moms whose babies are in the more favorable face-down position. With as hard as I was pushing (and as big as he was) I was pretty certain that I probably did tear, but to my surprise, I did not. (YAY!!) I also did not have any issues with postpartum hemorrhage!
After Aram was born we snuggled up in bed and he latched on right away. From the beginning, he has been an eager and frequent nurser. I love that time right after birth when my husband and I just get to sit together in our bed and get to know our new baby. It’s just as magical the 5th time around as it was the 1st time.
I am so thankful to have had another wonderful home birth experience and so very blessed to have this precious baby in our family!