Elanora’s Birth Story {Part 1}

by Mama Chocolate on February 25, 2013

My Water Home Birth Story

Now that she’s six months old, I should probably finish writing this…

Elanora’s birth was by far the best of all three of my deliveries to date. This is not to say my other two weren’t amazing…just harder. I have been so blessed with each of our three daughters births. God has graciously allowed three, uncomplicated, safe home births, and that is something I am continually thankful for.

Going crazy waiting for labor

Of course, I am always eager and impatient to meet our new baby as the end of pregnancy approaches, but for whatever reason, I was ridiculously so, and even felt somewhat mentally-unstable because of it during the last few weeks of this pregnancy.

I’m inclined to blame it on James, my insanely-cute nephew, who was born 2.5 weeks before Elanora finally showed up. My mom was there during that birth and kept me updated with texts throughout my sister-in-law’s not-easy labor. My sympathy for her and the excitement stirred up about his impending arrival got my mama-hormones all worked up. Seeing his brand-new, chubby little face (thank you, Lord, for  instant-photo-sending capabilities on our phones!) just melted me, and I suddenly needed my baby.

I’d been having lots of minor Braxton-Hicks contractions for weeks already, but the morning after seeing that sweet, new baby, I was wakened early by much more serious contractions that lasted for a few hours. I was really starting to think it was the real thing and seriously this close to calling John and telling him to come home from work when they finally petered out and quit. I was so annoyed.

I’d hit a wall. I was done being pregnant. I wanted that baby, and I wanted it NOW.

Even my rational mind knew I was nuts, (I still had 2.5 weeks until my due date and I’ve been a week late before!) but my emotional, pregnant self was taking over and making me a mess.

I was hot. August is not the best month to be 9 months pregnant, it turns out. I was tired. John was having to work a lot of late nights to try to catch up and keep up with everything at the office so that he could at least have shorter days after the baby was born. Keeping up with two busy (and also hot & cranky) toddlers on my own for most of each day kept me emotionally and physically drained at the end of each day.

I have always piously encouraged other ready-to-be-done-being-pregnant mamas: “You won’t be pregnant forever. That baby will come when it’s supposed to, and you really don’t want it to come early – there are so many last little things that continue to develop in a baby during those last couple weeks and your baby will be healthier and have an easier time outside of the womb if she stays in just a little longer!”

But, oh how I prayed and begged God to let my baby come a just a little early.

Hot weather + pregnant Mama = big, fat, whiny wimp

I tried so hard to be patient, but in the back of my mind, I really felt that God should understand how completely done I was with this whole deal and would just let me HAVE MY BABY ALREADY.

When will I give birth?!

At my appointment with my midwife on Thursday, (my due date was Sunday,) I asked her to check me to see if any of these Braxton-Hicks contractions were doing any thing. They were getting very uncomfortable and extremely frustrating and I just needed to know that something was happening.

I was thrilled to find out that Baby was nice and low at 0 station, settled in a comfortable and ready-to-go LOA position, and I was 2.5 cm dilated! With Katie and Victoria’s births, it took me several hours of definite labor to get that far dilated. I was very encouraged.

I came home that day and set up our baby guessing game, which helped divert me and keep me away from the brink of complete insanity. At least this way, if I went late, I would continue to get to see everyone’s fun predictions and opinions on why we were for sure having a boy, or without a doubt, it was a girl in there! (Way more fun than already knowing, folks!)

I made my own “official” prediction for a boy, on August 18, that Saturday. Friday came and went with just a lot more of those buggery Braxton-Hicks.

John had to work part of the day Saturday, so the girls and I went into town with him. I couldn’t take another hot day cooped up in the house. We all went out for breakfast together, and then the girls and I went and played at a nearby park while we waited for him.

After the girls started to get tired, I donned my walking shoes, plunked them into the jogging stroller and started walking. The big park we were at has a great track that goes all the way around, and I just walked and walked. I called my mom and we chatted while she picked green beans out in her garden. During the 2 miles, I had to stop several times for some pretty major contractions, and got her pretty excited over there on the other end. ;-)

John was finished at the office by 3pm and we came and picked him up and then went to Costco. We wanted several things on hand for people to snack on (veggie chips, anyone?) and eat during the labor and then for us after the birth.

We went home, I got a very long nap (what?!) ate dinner, and then took a nice long bath before I went to bed. I added a bit of my doula soul-sister cousin Molly’s special blend of labor-inducing essential oils to the bath. They’re really more like labor-enhancing essential oils – not to be used until your body is already ready to have a baby. My body was ready, folks.

I tried hard to just chill and relax and stop fretting about needing to have the baby. I’d been chatting with some friends on Facebook about the sort of frenzy that comes over a very pregnant woman during her last days of baby-growing. One of them, (who also happens to be a midwife,) mentioned that she’s seen over and over that women go into labor when they are happiest, most relaxed, and in a loving and safe environment.

I found this very interesting when applied to my birthing history. Both of my previous labors started after John was home finally for the whole weekend. I know for sure that I am more relaxed and happier when he is around (have I mentioned he is awesome?) My body just knows I need him around, I guess!

I had one contraction the whole time I was in the tub (over an hour.) I’d been having more than that during the day, so I figured nothin’ was happening tonight and went to bed. No more contractions, and I fell asleep quickly. I didn’t wake up at all until after 4 am (a much longer stretch of sleep than I’d had in a long time, thanks to my wonderfully reduced bladder capacity at this point.)

What woke me up was not my urgent need to pee, though. I was having contractions! They hurt pretty good, but I wasn’t about to get excited yet, I’d been having a lot of uncomfortable contractions for a couple weeks now and completely distrusted them. They’d let me down too many times.

After I went to the bathroom, I came back to bed and just sat on the edge of the bed for a bit as a few more contractions came and went. John woke up and asked if I was okay. “Yup, just having more contractions, you can go back to sleep.”

About 20 minutes later, he was not back to sleep and we were both thinking it might actually be happening for real. I allowed myself to get excited! I was finally going to have my baby. Bring it ON.

I started leaning against our dresser during contractions and using an app on my phone to record and time them. Pretty soon they were coming too quick and hard for me to get the timer started, but we knew they were less than 3 minutes apart.

It wasn’t even 6 am yet, and we knew it was already time to call Carol, our midwife. Things were getting intense enough that I told John he was gonna have to make the call – I knew I couldn’t talk through a contraction and they were coming close enough that I wouldn’t be able to fit the whole conversation in between them.

A fleeting thought crossed my mind at this moment: “Wait, why was I so excited for this to come again?!” The pain in my back was reminding me too much of those hellish moments during Victoria’s delivery. I immediately squashed the thought and remembered that there was no reason to expect that sort of thing to happen again. I was going to have a quick and easy birth this time. Quick and easy birth, quick and easy birth! You can do this!

After three kids, I am now resigned to the fact that I am apparently doomed to back labor. Maybe someday I’ll get a “normal” labor and know what the rest of you experience! For me, 100% of my contractions are in a 6-inch-square section of my back. I literally feel nothing in the front or anywhere on my belly. Weirdest thing ever, and I’m not sure if I should be glad about this or if it means I’m getting everything intensified into worse pain in that small area instead of spread out evenly with less pain overall.

In any case, apparently it’s my lot in life as a mother, and I don’t know any different, so I’m gonna live with it and that’s that.

John was standing next to me to rub my back while he talked to Carol on the phone. I told him to ask her if she thought it’d be okay to go ahead and get in the tub already. I could hear her say something about Portland. PORTLAND?! She’s in Portland? That’s almost 2 hours away! This labor is going fast, what if she’s not here in time?!

                     …continued {with lots of pictures!} in Elanora’s Birth Story {Part 2.}

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer @ Mom Spotted February 25, 2013 at 1:00 pm

You’re such a tease! Can’t wait to hear the rest!
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Amy February 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm

I can only imagine being 9 months in august… i cant wait to read the rest of the story….
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Ashleigh Swerdfeger February 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm

What a beautiful story! I can’t wait to read the rest. I am still working on writing my birth story on my blog and my little one is 11 months. You completely described what back labour was like for me. I didn’t realize at first that i was in labour because i had back labour. Of course, it was also my first lol.
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Sarah Jane February 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm

UGH!! I know what you mean about being 9 months pregnant in August. My daughter was born August 18, 2010; that summer was SO hot and humid in Maryland. I was READY to have her.
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Alesha @ Full Time Mama February 25, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Ah, summer babies… Misery when it’s hot! LOL! We live in AZ, and 3 of my 4 kids were summer babies; June, August and September. I’m crazy. ;)
Also, you better hurry up and finish the next post, cause right now I’m mad at you for leaving me hanging after waiting 6 months for this story… ;) <3
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Alix March 13, 2013 at 6:58 am

My daughter was born last August. I know all about summer babies. Sheesh, I didn’t think I’d ever cool off; I was HOT all summer! And she was a week “late”! I had back labor with my first. I had exactly ONE contraction in the front that whole 21 hour labor. With my daughter I had both. It’s no fun either way.
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