In case you missed it, head over and read part one of my birth story first.
When we left off the midwife was still on her way to our house, I was quite sure that the baby’s head was half way out, and my husband had just reassured me that he only saw the top of the baby’s head…
about 3:10 pm: My dad FINALLY arrived. S sent E out the door with his overnight bag. Then he ran back into the bathroom and literally leaped over me. I was taking up the full width of our tiny bathroom. He somehow had the presence of mind to lean back over me and wash his hands.
By the time he got back, I was happy to report that I felt the baby go back up the birth canal. I did not want to have an unassisted birth. I had two very vivid birth dreams when I was pregnant with E. One was that I had a girl. The other was that I had the baby so fast and so easily that I had to catch it myself. I felt almost like that dream was about to come true. Except thankfully I at least had my husband there to help me. However, with all of the interventions I needed after E’s birth, especially needing Pitocin to help stop the hemorrhage, I really feared the midwife not making it on time.
I could feel the baby kicking against the top of my uterus and wiggling, assisting me with the birth. Amazing! With the next couple of contractions the baby’s head began to emerge. I tried to slow down the pushing so I didn’t tear, but it was completely out of my control. At the end of one contraction, the baby’s head was halfway in and half way out. I pushed the head toward my perineum so at least I wouldn’t tear in front. I’m not sure if S told me to push or if he just thought about it or if I knew he thought I should or if I thought I should. Some combination of those things may have happened, but I still was trying to slow things down and refused to push voluntarily between contractions. With the next contraction, the rest of the head came out. There was S ready to catch his baby.
3:19 pm: Just then I heard the screen door slam behind the midwife as she rushed in. I heard her throw her bags down in the hallway and quickly put on gloves. I tried to lean towards the open door to allow her enough room to get by me and into the bathroom. I have no idea how they both fit in behind me. I was sure that one of them must be sitting in the bathtub! “What do I do?” I asked. “Push,” she told me through a smile. (duh!)
3:21 pm: Soon the next contraction came and the slippery baby tumbled into waiting hands and onto a towel on the floor. After just 2 hours of active labor, baby had arrived! (And for most of that time, I didn’t really believe I was even in active labor.) She let out a couple of tiny sounds to let me know she was ok, but didn’t cry at all.
All I wanted was to hold my baby, but they needed to get me into bed. S carefully carried the baby behind me, still attached by the umbilical cord, as my midwife helped me to our bedroom and into bed. I lay down crosswise on the bed, and S put the baby down next to me. I started to say “He’s…” and then I realized that I didn’t know whether it was a girl or boy. “It’s a little girl,” S told me as I peeked under the towel.
About ten minutes after she was born we heard the screen door slam again. In rushed my sister carrying my niece in her car seat. She had just missed the birth. She immediately grabbed the camera and started taking pictures.
As we lay on our sides facing each other, BabyA latched right on and started nursing. The midwife cut the cord once it had stopped pulsing and turned white. When I was ready to deliver the placenta, S helped hold my leg. I just bared down a bit and it squished right out. Ahhh, that felt better. They helped me move to sit up in bed, and A and I spent the next hour cuddling and nursing.
Eventually, I was ready to pee and take a shower, so Daddy got to spend some time holding his little girl. My midwife checked me, and I had no tearing and not too much bleeding. I felt fantastic. I walked to the bathroom by myself, showered, and then my midwife helped me get dressed.
When the midwife did the newborn exam, we all guessed how much the baby would weigh. I had felt she was smaller than her brother was throughout the end of my pregnancy, but I guessed 9 pounds. I just couldn’t image that I’d have a baby smaller than that after her 10 pound 11 oz brother. I was so surprised when the midwife lifted her up in the sling and announced that she was a petite 7 pounds 13 ounces! Then she measured her, and she was 21 ½ inches long. She was the exact same weight and length as her cousin when she was born just 11 weeks earlier.
The tub only ever got about 6 inches full. So S emptied it and sent it with the midwife that afternoon. She headed out by 5:30 pm. I’m sure she was thankful for our quick birth and recovery as ours was the tenth birth she had attended in eight days (including two sets of twins in one day!)! I called my parents to share the good news.
Soon our home was full of happy family members ready to meet the newest addition. E got to come in to meet his baby sister first of all. He was so excited to say “hi baby,” and my mom had already taught him to say her name while he pointed at her enthusiastically.
The chaotic way that A came into this world is so at odds with her calm personality. She hardly ever cries or fusses. She loves to sleep. I wait all day staring at her waiting to see her big blue eyes open and look at me. She has lots of dark blond hair almost an inch long. True to character though, no one even lost any sleep during her birth because it was so quick and in the middle of the afternoon. We praise God for blessing us with a safe birth and this amazing baby girl! We are so in love!