For those of you uninterested in the details of Barrett’s birth (don’t worry, I don’t share anything gross–unless puking is gross to you) here is the abbreviated version: My water broke in Old Navy, contractions started hours later, he was born without any intervention (pretttty proud of myself) at 6:58 a.m.) You can scroll down to the bottom to read about the excitement surrounding his actual birth.
For those more interested in the details:
I remember every moment like it just happened. I also remember Aisley’s birth like it just happened. The whole experience–the anticipation, the pain, the pushing, the first cry–it all seems like it took only 5 minutes from start to finish but it was actually more like 6 hours once contractions finally decided to get started.
My mom had flown in on Monday and on Tuesday while we shopped for jeans in Old Navy, my water broke. That was 2 p.m. We finished up jean shopping and started in on shoe shopping when we decided we better head home. We called my husband who had specifically requested that if I was going to have a baby on Tuesday that I please let him know before 1:30 or after 8:00. He was over an hour away at a golf match. Around 3:00 I called and told him he should probably cancel his match, load up all the golfers, and head back home. My midwives told me all along that I was built to birth babies and once things got started they were going to go fast.
Friends of ours came over and got Aisley. We snapped pictures, gave hugs and kisses, and told her next time we saw her Baby Barrett would be outside Mommy’s tummy. She was a little confused.
A few hours had passed since my water had broken, but so far no contractions. My grandmother who lives 5 hours away was en route hoping to make it in time for the birth. I fixed dinner for my husband and my mom to use up some food that would probably go bad over the next few days if not eaten and also to combat the restlessness of knowing it was time, but that nothing was happening.
After hours of trying to keep myself busy and also feeling very sad that I would be spending my first night away from Aisley for seemingly no reason, I decided to go to bed. That was 10 p.m.
I woke up around 1:00 a.m. with mild contractions (but strong enough that they woke me up). They were about 15 minutes apart so I would wake up for contractions and then fall back asleep in between them. Around 2 I came downstairs. My grandmother had long since arrived at our house and was awake on our couch. We visited through contractions that were on the weaker side, but happening very frequently. It seemed every time I changed positions it would mess up their rhythm and they would become very sporadic.
I ate some peanut butter and crackers because I was starving and then went back to bed.
I woke up again around 3 a.m. to contractions that were much stronger. Manageable, but much stronger. I started using some of the pain management techniques I’d been reading about and practicing. Mostly I practiced because they included a birthing ball and I sort of have terrible balance and if I can’t stay upright when I’m not having contractions, how on earth can I stay upright during them. Thankfully I never fell.
Around 5:30 a.m. I woke up my husband and we decided we should probably head to the hospital because contractions were getting closer together and we really didn’t want to risk having a baby in morning traffic. Around 5:45 we left the house.
Driving 30 minutes in the car with contractions is not fun. I don’t recommend it. I told my husband that we still had plenty of time and to please focus on driving carefully so I could manage the pain rather than trying to get us there quickly. Or at least that’s what I was trying to say. Apparently I didn’t make any sense and he heard something completely different.
Contractions were pretty painful all the way there and I was thankful for the hand hold above the door, but I didn’t think I was all that close to having the baby. I was actually semi-concerned all the way to the hospital that they would tell me I was only 7 cm and my mind would go back to the pain of laboring with Aisley and I would give in to the lure of the pain free birth.
As we turned into the parking lot I had another contraction that made me scream a little. I hadn’t been doing that. I distinctly remember thinking, “That hurt a lot more than the last ones. I wonder if I’m in transition?”
My husband wanted to drop me off at the door but I told him I didn’t want to go in alone. I knew if I had a contraction I wouldn’t be able to walk all by myself and wanted him there to help me. We found a spot about a football field’s length from the door and parked. He helped me out and tried his hardest to get me to all but run into the hospital. I held his hand firmly and asked him to please walk slower. I understood his urgency, but also I really couldn’t walk very fast. These contractions were intense. I stopped several times between the car and the door to throw up.
By the time we got into the hospital I knew something was up, and as we got into the elevator I calmly mentioned that this baby is coming NOW.
I hadn’t been great at communicating all that was going on in my mind and body what with the contractions and all, so I totally threw my husband off when I told him it was time.
He pressed the button that sent us to the basement rather than the button that sent us to labor & delivery on the 2nd floor. (love you babe)
As the elevator doors opened on the second floor a chorus of sweet nurses said, “Can we help you sweetie?”
I said, “I’m having a baby right now.” That was 6:35 a.m.
They tried to get me to lay down. I said no. They asked if they could check me. I told them I didn’t think they understood me when I said that I’m having a baby right now.
They finally took me to a delivery room and after 4 pushes Baby Barrett Michael was born at 6:58 a.m.
He was born quickly, and despite the chaos from the car to the delivery room, the birth itself was quite calm. I felt such peace (except for one split second when I panicked that I got this far and his head was going to be gigantic and he was never going to come out of me).
I’m so thankful that he’s out of me and so excited that I was able to have a wonderful, intervention free birth experience.
I know there are many women who don’t have that pleasure because of medical issues, but if you’re able, it’s so worth it. After having had “medical help” and having done it on my own, on my own was such a vastly different and better experience.