Our Snap Mom Community is feeding me these inspiring birth stories so quickly, and I am LOVING IT! This birth story is no exception. It comes to us from Snap Mom Ashley Bushey. Enjoy the Water Birth Story of sweet Audrey Jane…
This time around, knowing what was coming, I was a lot more nervous about labor. Freaking out is a good way to describe it, I guess. However, unlike my last pregnancy, I definitely got to the point of “I want this baby out of me”. So I got my head in the game, got my life as organized as I could, stocked up my freezer, and was ready to go.
Monday night (March 4) I started having contractions that were about 8ish minutes apart and uncomfortable but not painful. It was enough to be annoying but not enough to say “this is it!” I just hoped that they wouldn’t go on for days or weeks. After about 4 or 5 hours of contractions, they finally stopped enough that I could get a little sleep.
Tuesday morning I had a little bit of bloody show (ok that term makes me shiver, blech), and I had a few contractions, but nothing regular- maybe every 15-20 minutes, so when Brian got home from work, we went to the park and went for a 3 mile walk. That seemed to kick things up a bit, and I had to stop a few times to breathe but they still weren’t bad. I felt sort of mildly hopeful, but I still knew that it could be days before anything really happened.
I was pretty beat when we got home, and I actually went to bed super early but I couldn’t sleep. I got up at one point to pee and while I was on the toilet I heard a noise like a water balloon breaking and water gushed out so forcefully that it made me laugh. And I felt relieved- finally I knew that this was the real thing and it was just a matter of time. I think that was around 8ish? I can’t really remember the exact time of events. I started timing contractions and at that point they were around 3-4 minutes apart but were only lasting about 30 seconds. I had another gush of water about half an hour later so I called my midwife and let her know what was going on. She told me to keep timing them and call her back when they got longer or in an hour, whichever came first.
I called her again when the hour was up (10 pm) but they were still only around 40 seconds long. We discussed whether or not I would go in right away, and we decided to wait just a little while longer. At 10:30 they were super intense and I was crying like a baby. I felt sort of silly, but I couldn’t help it. I called her again and she heard the tears in my voice and told me to come in.
The half hour drive to the birth center was NOT FUN. I felt every bump and uneven spot of pavement. We dropped my almost one year old off at my sister in law’s house and headed over to the birth center. It was difficult, to say the least, to even walk in the door because my contractions were so intense and so close together that I barely had time to relax my body before another one came. I was a mess- crying and feeling silly for crying, apologizing for crying… and as we paused outside the door for a contraction my midwife said “don’t push!”. All I could think was that I was certainly NOT pushing and I sort of thought she was nuts for thinking that I was.
She quickly ushered me into the room they had ready for me and I got into the birthing tub. Again, it was amazing the difference that the water made in the intensity of the contractions and my ability to handle them and relax in between. Brian put on our labor playlist and sat beside me holding my hand while the midwives looked on. After about 45 minutes to an hour (I can’t remember exactly) they asked if it was ok if they checked my dilation and I said sure. She checked and said that the baby’s head was just inches away. My response- “yeah… I know. I can feel it”. She also said there was a little bit of cervix on top and recommended that I get on my hands and knees for a couple contractions because the pressure of the head will often move it out of the way.
The baby had other plans… no time for that hands and knees nonsense I guess. The next contraction, before I had a chance to move, was super intense and I could feel her move further down. At THAT point I was able to at least get on my knees and with the next contraction I reached down and could feel her head come out. I kept my hand on her head and could feel her full head of hair. The midwives checked her neck for a cord and told me that if I wanted to, I could catch her myself. At 12:20 am, with the next contraction, her body came out and I was able to pick up my daughter, Audrey Jane, and bring her to my chest. She was chubby cheeked with a full head of hair, covered in vernix and beautiful.
I stayed in the water until I birthed the placenta, and the cord was cut, and then a few minutes later I got out of the tub. We went over to the bed where she latched on and nursed like a champ. I was checked (no tears!) and she was weighed and measured. 8 lb 10 oz and 21 inches long. Her head was 13.75 inches.
I had a small snack, showered, and got ready to head home. We cuddled, nursed, and slept until morning when my sister in law brought our older daughter home. She was SO EXCITED to see her baby sister. She kept touching her hands and trying to kiss her, and then wiggling and giggling like she couldn’t contain herself. It was so sweet to watch…
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