Elijah’s birth story has been so well received I figured it was time to move on a write my second born’s birth story. If you haven’t read his story you can find it here. Thankfully hers is not nearly as long and drawn out, and much more peaceful. For this pregnancy I was decided to be under the care of a birth center. While I knew in my head that I would still have to transfer should Birth #1 repeat itself- this place made me feel safe- and you have to birth where you feel safe. The Birth Center of Boulder was an amazing place. The care I received was so intimate and personal. Each midwife took such great interest and care of me. They knew my history and took my situation very carefully and with such competency. I was determined that I didn’t want to go to almost 42 weeks again in my pregnancy. We agreed to start acupuncture and membrane sweeps around 38 weeks. (I am not advocating for this- I did my research and decided this is what I wanted to do.)
I decided to have an acupuncture appointment at 39 weeks and 3 days to see if we couldn’t encourage my body toward labor. I went in at 9 am for my appointment and had a lovely hour and a half session with DebroahLise and then saw my midwife, who did a membrane sweep. I left to meet my mom for lunch and had my first contraction as I drove out of the birth center. It was 1115 am. I remember thinking- we’ll see where this goes, but I doubt it’s anything. I meet my husband and mom for lunch and realized throughout that hour that the contractions were not going away. I told my husband I was in labor and he said, ok- I’m going back to work. I couldn’t believe it. He didn’t believe me. I took my son home for a nap and my mom said she would run errands close by in case I needed her to come back.
I laid my firstborn down for his nap and remember thinking, this is the last time I will lay him down as a baby; sure enough before he awoke we were already gone. I called my husband right after that and told him he had to come home. I was dealing but knew I was in labor. Called my mom and she headed back to my house. Once my husband arrived he was pacing and said we needed to go- I looked at him and said, you were the one who didn’t believe I was in labor. I called the birth center, checked in- they told me to come in but I didn’t feel like I needed to yet. We waited for my mom and agreed when she arrived we would leave.
The car ride was tolerable but I really just wanted to be there. Once we arrived they met me outside and said, “where were you, we were starting to get worried.” I was still not convinced I was totally in labor. We settled in and they checked me and told me I was 6/7. I couldn’t believe it- I didn’t even think I was “really” in labor. We called everyone to say we were coming home, called my doula and settled in. The midwife told me, “this is going to go fast” I still didn’t really believe her and just kept chatting with all who were there.
This labor was incredibly different than Elijah’s. Everything happened in the daytime, and I just wanted to visit and be with everyone. I wanted to be the doula, not the momma. I REALLY didn’t want to labor again. I had already told my husband throughout this pregnancy that I wanted an epidural- he wouldn’t even hear of it. I know I agree now; but I have never been so mad at him in my life. I kept thinking, didn’t I just do this- it’s your turn. The first babe I had to prove to myself I could do it; the second, forget it- it was his turn. Finally around 4 or 430 I decided I should probably labor so we could have a baby. From that point on it went so quick. I remember everything. I could hear every conversation, I don’t remember much with my first because I was in total labor land, and it was so long. This was so different. I got in the tub to labor and things started stalling out. I said, I should probably get out so that things can pick up again. I couldn’t get out of doula mode- I was doula- “ing” myself. I had my amazing doula present as I vowed to never have a birth without her again!
I got out of the tub and things picked back up again, very quickly I wanted back in the tub. With my first I hated the water, I wanted so badly to have a waterbirth so I was glad that I liked it this time. Once in the tub for the second time things got intense. All the sudden I heard myself pushing. They wanted to check me and I kept asking them not to touch me. I had told them before that I really wanted to deliver this baby myself. They were amazing and let me really direct this birth. They asked me to check and sure enough I could feel her head right there. I pushed once and she was crowing, one more and she was out- into my hands, in the water.
It was the most intense birth for sure. I felt like I had gotten hit by a train. She was born at 5:55pm; less than 7 hours after my first contraction, with only a few hours of real labor, and two pushes; this after an over 24 hour labor with E and at least 2 hours of pushing. It was amazing. They got me out of the tub and had me birth the placenta on the bed. Due to my history I thought I would be freaking out at this point; not at all, I did’t even think about it, until the placenta is out, and everything looks great! I remember thinking- wow, so I just get to sit here with my baby and it’s really over???
The recovery from Norah’s was amazing. All 8 lbs even of her was perfect and within an hour I was up and moving. By 10 pm we were home and in our very own bed. We passed Target on the way home and both my husband and I said it was was like we went to Target to pick up a baby and now we are home. It was surreal and SO perfect. So redemptive. We are so thankful for our busy, sweeet, and happy Norah Grace!