'At 40 +5 I went to bed that night extremely tired as any past due pregnant Mama would be, and not at all thinking I would soon meet our baby. On 12/6/15 at 2:30 AM I woke up to that pop and gush everyone mentioned would happen when your membranes rupture spontaneously. I thought "this can't be?!" This was my fifth baby and I dreamt of having this water breaking moment like in the movies but never thought it would happen. I jumped out of bed and yelled to my hubby "babe my water broke" he mumbled in his sleep "no babe you probably peed, come back to bed". I walked around the house to be certain and sure enough it was my water as I kept having gushes after gushes of fluid. I decided to wait a bit longer before waking Charlie since we had a false alarm a few weeks back. I bounced on my ball and walked around some, at about 4AM I noted another huge gush and I thought "ok this is it". I then rang Charlie to alert her, she advised that if contractions kicked in quickly to call, either way she would get ready to come assess.
I woke everyone in the house- because of course this baby was going to come any minute right? My husband inflated and set up the birth tub, we all ate breakfast, still no contractions just a lot of leaking of fluids. Charlie arrived sometime around 9AM assessed baby and I and at this point contractions were few and far between, she suggested I walk around maybe do some squats, which I did. I also walked the back yard, fed the chickens, massaged my fundus and bounced on trampoline- still not many contractions. Around lunchtime I asked Charlie if she wanted to walk a nearby lake, she obliged. My very adventurous midwife decides to balance on the side of a bridge and falls in the lake- yes you all read this right and I had to take pics to prove it.
Let's stop here and reflect on the fact that I'm in labor and having a great time, which is exactly why home birthing is truly amazing. Ok back to the story, once we decided to walk back to the house, I realized why the practice is called Barefoot Birth, Charlie decides to hold her (now soaked shoes) in her hand and cuts her foot while walking on the concrete! At this point we're both like- this can't be real?!
Once we returned to the house, my amazing photographer with Sprinkles photography had arrived and hung around, Charlie suggests it's time for me to take a nap to which I decline because of course I'm not tired (yeah right) I was snoring before she walked out of my bedroom.
I woke up close to 4:30PM and told my photographer to run home as birth didn't seem to be anytime soon. I then snacked, drank coconut water and reached out to a colleague whom I rented the birth tub from. She came over and helped me move the tub in front of the Christmas tree, rub some clary sage on my belly to hopefully kick these contractions in gear and just keep me some company for a while. I then rang Charlie again to ask about our plans going forward? I was well aware the clock is ticking with me having ruptured membranes, we decided to eat a good meal and try some things to get labor moving like the Miles Circuit and possibly some other things as a last ditch effort, I did this and Charlie returned to the house.
Contractions were still not close or strong enough and we are now at about 9PM. Charlie had me try different positions every 30 minutes including lunges (exhausting) I was becoming slightly aggravated and I must admit I was fearful. Fearful that we would transfer, and fearful I would have to leave my family including my toddler which had spent most of the day snuggling with me during this process. At this time my mom had arrived, the house became very peaceful, almost everyone napping- me in and out of the bathroom but still no consistent contractions. At some point around 11PM Charlie and I discussed that transfer may be imminent as I may need Pitocin to kick in contractions, I nodded in understanding of our deadline but in my head I said (I'm not going anywhere!).
I retreated to my bedroom where at some point I fell asleep in an exaggerated sims position and woke to another gush of fluid and lots of shaking, Charlie knew this was my body trying to help me out, it's now about 1AM I texted my photographer and told her it's real now. I got in the birth tub, Charlie woke my hubby who added warm water, and called her backup Midwife Marianne who would act as assistant today.
I continued to shake and felt discomfort and slight pressure and asked Charlie to check me; she did at about 1:45AM where she noted a small amount of bag in front of the head (about the size of a quarter I would say) I asked her to prick that and instantly I experienced a huge contraction. I got back in the tub where I asked Charlie how long before we had a baby and she replied "possibly an hour if that" I didn't think I could go through an hour of these wicked contractions. Contractions became strong quickly, Marianne arrived-Charlie and her set up all equipment in a flash. I yelled I needed to push, my photographer walked in right at this moment and quickly got to work.
I recall yelling "help me Charlie!" as I pushed with everything in me. At 2:01AM and in front of our Christmas tree, surrounded by my husband and our other four children our Alanna Marley was born, I yelled other things that I will spare you for reading. All the hard work was worth it, our baby weighed in at 9lbs 9oz and was born safely in water right in her home.
Just like that the midwives moved me to the bed for warmth, I delivered the placenta and had my oldest cut the umbilical cord. As I recall everything I am overjoyed at the beauty and uniqueness of it all. I am thankful that I have a choice to birth how I want to, and thankful for everyone who helped us on this joyous day, I only wish I could do it over. "