Friday May 9, 2014 around 3:15 a.m., I awoke to wetness in the bed. My first thought was “either my water just broke or I pee’d the bed.” I was leaning toward the thought that I wet the bed because my water has never broken on its own. My husband told me I just wet the bed. I asked him to get me a towel. I went to the bathroom and then back to bed. All throughout the day I continued to wet myself periodically. I was convinced I was having incontinence issues. I began to notice a mucus discharge and then the loss of the mucus plug. I still was not convinced that I would be going into labor in the next several hours. I think I was in denial. I didn’t even mention to my husband the signs of labor approaching.
I began experiencing light contractions. They were inconsistent and I didn’t think anything of them considering I had experienced Braxton Hicks throughout my pregnancy from early on. I went to bed that night as usual. I was able to sleep but had an awareness that I was contracting in my sleep. I woke up a little after 4 a.m. with contractions strong enough to keep me from going back to bed. I still wasn’t sure if it was really happening. My husband didn’t think I was in labor so he rolled over to go back to sleep.
I began timing the contractions and they were 3 minutes apart and one minute long. I texted the midwife (Janae) and she arrived at my home approximately 5:30. When she arrived she confirmed I was in fact in labor, being dilated to a four. She also told me there had been a hole in the water bag the reason I was leaking and the baby would plug the hole the reason it would stop. You would think I would know by baby #5 if my water broke and I was in labor. Each one was so unique it was hard to compare.
I went through the motions of contraction after contraction, Janae being so attentive to my needs. She helped me with positioning and reminded me to let my body due what it was made to do. After trying a few things, I finally wound up just lying on the bed on my side, breathing through each contraction as if my life depended on it. I was in pain and each breath took a lot of focus. Time seemed to go by pretty fast. We chatted and Matt helped Janae prep the room.
At 7 o’clock the baby had entered the canal and I was feeling pressure to push. I began feeling some anxiety as this moment approached. I called out for Janae and she acted calmly as she helped me move from the bed to the floor where the birthing would take place. She had done this many times before and her confidence showed in her countenance. She sat there and told me to push when I was ready. I was used to the doctor in my hospital births giving me instruction but Janae had confidence in me to rely on my body to tell me what to do. Something I never did before.
Matt was to one side of me and Kia, my 9 year old, on the other. My two other children Ella, 3, and Wesley, 7, were also in attendance. Our 11 year old, Spencer, remained in the living room throughout the birth. The children were actively engaged in this experience and Janae encouraged it. She was so good to have them assist her and me with different needs. I told her when I was ready and I pushed. She was careful not to let me push too hard so the baby wouldn’t come too fast to avoid tearing. I pushed several times, not sure how many exactly. More than with other births, I know that much. One last push and he was out and that was the greatest feeling of achievement and relief. At that moment it was all worth it!
Beau Michael was born at 7:15 a.m. after only 3 hours of active labor. He weighed 8lbs 2 oz. and was 21” long. He was 3 weeks early according to our due date. Janae came prepared with oxygen thinking he was premature, but it wasn’t needed. He was healthy and beautiful! He lay on me while we waited for the afterbirth. Once the cord stopped pumping, it was cut and clamped. I tried to nurse him and we just admired him for a while before Janae took him for a newborn exam. Kia assisted with his bath. She and Ella helped diaper and dress him. All the children were just in awe of him. They love him so much. Each of them held him and showered him with kisses. At times they were “fighting” over him for their turn. Having a homebirth was an incredible experience. I’m glad I had the opportunity and the support of loved ones to have this experience.