The day leading up to when you were born was pretty typical for the most part. Emma and I hung out it the morning running errands, going to the store, and taking Daisey to the vet for a bug bite on her face. Then I went to work as usual after dropping Emma off at Great-Grandma and Grandpa Garlands house. Work was good, but I did notice that my low back was kind of achy and I remember telling Megan that I just couldn’t get comfortable while sitting.
After work as I was heading to pick up Emma, I talked to Daddy on the phone. He told me that he’d just gotten home and that we had no water at the house, due to a miscommunication/lack of consideration from the old owners of our home and the city. I told him that I really wish we had water, because I had a feeling that I might be going into labor that night. We decided there wasn’t much we could do though at that time of night and we’d deal with it on Friday.
I got to Grandma and Grandpa’s at 7 pm. As soon as I stood to get out of the car, my water broke. At first I wasn’t positive it was my water since I had to pee badly at the time . As I continued to walk around though, it’d leak a little more and more. I immediately called Daddy back and let him know…we definitely needed the water on! So Daddy got a hold of the city’s maintenance man, and sweet talked him into coming and turning the water back on for the night, stressing the importance by telling him that his wife was going to have a baby at home that night.
Once my labor started with my water breaking, I called Cosette to let her know. I still wasn’t having any contractions though, other than the irregular ones that felt like Braxton-Hicks, which I’d been having for weeks. I said I’d call her back as contractions began and became somewhat regular. When we got home, Daddy loaded up the dogs and we dropped them off at Gpa Scott’s house, and then headed to Wal-Mart to get a few things like crackers and juice. I just continued to drive the car since I already had the towel on the seat, and I knew as soon as I stood up there’d be a huge gush. So, Daddy ran into the store while we scooped the parking lot. As we were doing this, I started having a few more contractions, but still nothing more than slightly uncomfortable tightness.
We got home and Daddy finished blowing up the birth pool, vacuumed and cleaned the kitchen floor. I gave Emma a bath, fixed up the bed with sheets and plastic, and then laid down with Emma and put her to sleep. It was then, around 9:15, that I began having stronger contractions that sped up to every 10 minutes or so. Although I thought it’d be smart to take a short nap, I couldn’t lay down any more and needed to be up moving. During those contractions I swear I could actually feel my cervix opening up…it was so cool!
Once I got up, I paced and puttered around the house while Daddy worked on filling the pool up. I mostly just walked around, but also sat in the rocking chair for a few minutes. I called Cosette again, I think around 10:30 or so, to let her know that I was having regular ctrxns, about 5-7 minutes. I confirmed with her that I didn’t need her yet (although at that point I had to hand the phone to Ben during a ctrxn b/c I couldn’t talk) and she told me to use my intuition and call her back when I wanted them to come.
After hanging out for a few more minutes, I decided to take a shower. It felt great! The rushes continued to grow in strength and I also started vocalizing more, moaning and humming. I really wanted to rest in the tub then, but since the pool wasn’t full or hot yet, I filled the bath tub and settled down. Immediately the water felt better, although right at first it seemed to slightly slow down my contractions. Soon they were back to normal, and quickened even more. During this time while in the bathroom, Daddy alternated between sitting on the counter reading a Mothering magazine and tending to the tub. Kari (Swain) text me then, wondering if I wanted her to come. Even though I didn’t have anything for her to actually ‘do’, I was beginning to feel the need to have someone else with us, so she came. I got out of the bath tub once to go pee and then stood/squatted for a few minutes. Shortly after I got back into the tub, Ben told me the birth pool was ready enough for me to use, so I switched right over. I loved the extra space, but as this was the time I was in the last part of transition, the rushes were super strong and I was beginning to feel a little out of control. I wasn’t in there very long when I suddenly knew that we should call Cosette back and tell her to come. I was loudly moaning as Ben dialed the phone, and as soon as Cosette answered, he didn’t have to say anything. She could hear me in the background and immediately said, “I’m on my way.” When we were talking about it later after your birth, I guess when Cosette called the rest of the ladies on her birth team, she said something along the lines of “I hope we make it. We gotta fly. Pray, pray, pray”.
Very soon after we called, I began having much more intense contractions, and I couldn’t seem to find a position that made them better. I ended up mostly floating on my back and closing my eyes, trying to focus and stay in control of myself. I do recall thinking once that although I didn’t want them, I now understood why some women ask for pain meds. I soon began to feel the need to push, but didn’t want to as I wasn’t sure I was fully dilated yet. During a few of those very strong and close contractions, I remember praying to God to help me and keep me safe. I really couldn’t hold back anymore though, and was grunt pushing with each contraction. Thankfully, Cosette and her team arrived and got their stuff set up quickly. I then asked if someone would please check me so I could push. Kari Ward (who’d come with the birth team) then said “Amanda, I don’t need to check you, I can see from here you’re practically crowning!”. I then felt it myself, and my fingers quickly touched your head.
As soon as I started pushing, you moved down the birth canal very fast! I was making noises as I pushed, and had a flashing thought of not wanting to wake Emma up. I didn’t have much time to think about it though, because of the intensity of the moment. I pushed for maybe (4 contxs) 10 minutes I think before I felt the signature burn of a head emerging. Everyone reminded me to slow down and push gently. Although your head seemed to just slide out quickly and smoothly, I am still amazed at how very aware I was of the awesomeness of your head being born, inch by inch. It’s almost like those last final moments are slow motion. After your head was born, it seemed like forever before I had another contraction to push you out. During that time, I was feeling your head…there’s nothing like it. When you were in this time of transition between your world in the womb, and the outside world, you turned your head and kicked. It was such a crazy feeling! I do recall mentioning something like ‘woah!’ and about it feeling like an alien. Then with another contraction, it was time for the rest of your body to be born. With a push your shoulders popped out and you came out with what felt like great force. That pinpoint of time is a feeling of amazing release…it feels so good!
Cosette reached in along with my hands, and helped to unwrap the umbilical cord which was around your neck twice. I brought you up and out of the water and put you on my chest. We draped a towel over you and I massaged your silky skin. You soon began to cry. You had quite a bit of vernix on your arms, and were so beautiful. I tried to just feel your ‘parts’ to see if you were a girl or boy. Since I didn’t feel anything I assumed you were a girl, but had to look to be sure.