July 10, 2019
I really thought today was going to be your day. At 11:37 pm on July 9th I began having a new pain in the tailbone. I thought for sure you were making your descent and would be in my arms soon. I slept off and on until 2:37 am on the 10th, until the pain was too strong.
I called the Doula and Midwife. Christal, our Doula, came to the house at 3:37 am. She talked with me, we tracked contractions, and we made a general idea for what daytime labor could look like. Contractions were long, double peaking, and growing in strength. This was exciting and promising!
5:15 am, call Dad, he should be up by now. Within two minutes we laugh, talk serious, and he’s ready to start the drive. He and mom pack up the last few things and start their 5 hour trek.
At 5:35 am Christal and I walked the neighborhood, I had some more contractions as we walked. As we circled back home our birth photographer, Sefra, checked on me - oh the irony, I was squatting in front of her driveway as a contraction came and passed. Today’s the last day we’re supposed to be neighbors, perhaps Austynn will make her day extra memorable!
The Midwife Alia and student midwife Natalie arrived at 6:05 am. We check vitals, heart rate of 84 and bp of 118/72, Andy is immediately so happy and proud of me for maintaining such great vitals this pregnancy. (With Audreanna I showed signs of pre-ecclampsia and my bp was up to 150s/90s.) The Midwives and Christal talk among one another and with me about the patterns they’re seeing and what that looks like to them. We’re in the right track, just need the strength of the contractions to pick up.
My girls wake, Audre cuddles momentarily before she realizes “her friends” are here to read to her. Let the reading commence! Addison wakes shortly there after, she’s a little more shy with all the guests but warms up quickly. Today’s swim day at summer school - the girls get their swimming suits on and get dressed. Daddy makes chocolate chip pancakes and gets their lunches packed. I wanted and I needed this time with them. Just to watch them be their own little people, to intentionally soak it all up. 8:41 am the girls head to school.
As the sun continued to rise, contractions spread out and intensity began to dwindle. 10:37 am all had become calm. I share my desire to “make it happen”, we come up with tips to encourage stronger contractions. The reality sets in again, it’s not my choice or my timeline; Austynn will alert my body when she is ready. The team thinks it’s time we all rest a bit in preparation for what’s to eventually come. L A B O R.
📌 Membrane Sweep
I have a plan, a course of action, while I’m sad the team is leaving I know it will be okay, I have a checklist.
So we begin checking tasks off the list, Samantha Curtis - Chiropractor, does another house call WOOHOO! She releases some low back and Sacrum issues.
11:10 am is that Nana’s Dream?! It is!! Mom and Dad are here! Immediately I feel a sense of calm and excitement all at the same time.
Nap - I sleep for 1.5 hours.
Pump - I do the damn thing.
Acupuncture - We meet Dr. Herb Kandell of Santa Maria and he gets me going. Acupuncture, acupressure, and breathing. I love this, totally geeking out. As the appointment comes to a close I feel a shift. I swear Austynn is now in my butt. What just happened?! I breathe and begin to visualize my pelvis and her head, what does this mean? What could have happened? What am I feeling? I come to the conclusion her head has descended and she has moved past the tailbone.
Membrane Sweep - It’s time for the midwife, per my request, to check and sweep me in hopes that labor will be triggered. Dad takes the girls to the motor home. I lay down on my bed. I’ve invited mom and Andy into the room. We all talk about what our guesses are for any change. The check begins. Immediately I am thrilled as Alia says - “Well hello baby girl!” Austynn has descended more - I was right, I was in tune with my body and understood what was happening internally!! Austynn is now stationed at +1, cervix is fully anterior, and I’m dilated 4.5 cm. So relieved and happy there has been continued progress. As we finish our appt we establish a new plan; pump, sleep, call when there’s change.
The night continues to fall, girls read with Grandma and Papa, and Grandma does bath time. The girls are loving this time and attention. They get their hair braided, brush teeth, take vitamins, and give love to Grandma and Papa.
9:46 pm everyone heads to bed. Andy reluctantly takes medicine as his nightly headache sets in (these are one of many reasons we’re worried about his head again). I close up the house, prepare my things for bed, and get the big guy all tucked in.
40+1 and Austynn is still not here.
July 13, 2019
6:19 am I was greeted with contractions again but I think this time they are much stronger than before. Doubt begins to creep in, are they really stronger or am I just hoping they are? In any case the morning is just beginning and it is likely these contractions will subside just like a few days ago.
9:39 am the contractions are lingering and too strong for me to time on my own. Andy and our Doula are now timing them and comparing gaps and duration.
10:26 am Our Doula calls the midwife and they begin to establish a plan. Our midwives will join us shortly. We gather our things and head down to the park with the kids. Audreanna rides her scooter, Addison rides her lady bug toy, and I walk with assistance from our wagon. Mom and Christal stay with me while dad and Andy stay with the big kids.
Fun fact, I’ve got new neighbors moving in. Their front yard was also a perfect resting point for two very intense contractions. I may have scarred those young men for life.
The morning and midday continue without much change, contractions come and go while I walk in our backyard, eat some lunch, rest in bed, and shower. As the sun begins to set things change. Mom and Dad take the girls for dinner and the rest of the team sits with me. I’m growing tired, defeated, and stressed my body isn’t doing enough. I ask to be checked so we can paint a better picture of how to move forward.
We determine I’m now 6 cm dilated, just about fully effaced, baby’s head is in great position. A contraction comes and the check is put on hold. From here we decide to start an IV to see if the fluids will help my body to dilate. We talk about my options to encourage labor to pick up. I say out loud that I’m scared, growing tired, and need this to happen soon.
My team listens and helps with options. A shower, some nipple stimulation, and spinning babies techniques may help.
Our Home Birth has forever changed our family. My children were part of our early labor and immediate postpartum recovery. My husband was in the tub with me as I pulled my daughter to my chest. My mom was the arm I squeezed and clung to as I birthed my daughter. My dad cared for my eldest daughters and was pained by the intense sounds of contractions as my daughter descended into the birth canal. The level of care, intuition, and assistance my Midwives and Doula provided still have me in awe. This was the most informed, educated, and engaged birth I’ve had. I was able to speak up for myself and be listened to by my support team and care provider. I was able to decline and request services as I saw fit and was able to have open communication regarding me and my daughters health. While the medication would have made this a much more pleasurable labor and delivery I would do this all again exactly the same without question. #homebirth #hbac #vbac #birthfit #streetparkingmoms #midwife #doula @kinshipmidwifery @pure.birth @mommafit_santamaria @4mommaklein