Wow! That’s about all I can say! I’m still in shock at how quickly our little one was born!
It was just five hours from start to finish! So fast, my midwife and doula didn’t make it in time. Our photographer arrived with just five minutes to spare. And no time to really set up!
So now you know the synopsis, I’ll give you the details. Ready…set…GO!
I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions on and off for weeks. Not painful, but ever present. About a week before I delivered, I started getting maybe one or two “real-ish” contractions every couple of days. Nothing that made me open my eyes and yell, “Call the midwife!!!” I would just grip something, breathe through them, and move on.
There was ONE that I specifically remember though. It happened on our way home from church the Sunday before I delivered (I delivered on a Wednesday morning). I grabbed the center console and door handle, and just worked my way through it, silently. When it was over I asked that the vacuuming get done and please, please, could we get the connector for the hose from the home improvement store, so we could fill the birth pool? My husband, Mr. Fix-it, rather miffed asked, ”What’s your problem?!?”
“My problem?!?” I replied, “My problem is that there are things that need to be done, and they aren’t done, and I don’t know if I’m delivering this baby today or tomorrow. THAT is my problem.” Apparently women become really testy right before giving birth. BOO! But seriously, those weren’t unreasonable requests. And for the record, I made my requests as we were passing the home improvement store…and I ended up doing the vacuuming…
Fast forward to Tuesday. I had booked an appointment to get my hair cut. There were bets on whether or not I’d make it to the appointment. The last time I had my hair done was before we announced we were expecting. I know, I know, I need to go more often. I just get busy! My due date was still four days away. There was plenty of time left, or so I thought. After all, I delivered the Pink Princess five whole days late. I still had at LEAST a week in my mind. Sitting on my couch still is a belly casting kit. Oops!
Tuesday night I felt the urge to go to bed early. Since I was already not sleeping well, and often couldn’t drift off until after two or three am, I decided to take my brain up on the offer of extra sleep. I was out by 11 pm.
Just before four am, maybe 3:52 or so, I felt and/or heard a pop. My eyes flew open and I made the split second decision to dash to the potty. Whew! Guys…this is where it goes from chatting happily in mixed company, to explaining in graphic detail. Proceed at your own risk.
So, sitting on the toilet, I stared down in disbelief at my fully soaked undies. There was a little bit of mucus there, too. My mind hadn’t fully woken up yet and I kept second guessing myself. Did I just pee my pants?!? There was no pee smell. Odd. I’m not incontinent. Really, I’m not! I took off my undies and flung them in the tub, the only logical place for them at that moment. They landed with a loud, wet plop. Somehow, I had managed to avoid leaking anywhere else. Whew! But as I continued to try and rationalize what had happened, I kept hearing the tell tale drizzle. I was leaking! Oh man. They broke my water with the Pink Princess. I almost didn’t know what to do now! Finally, I decided that staying put on the pot wasn’t going to be the smartest move and I needed to move, if only just to get on Google and double check that my water really HAD broken. Yeah, I’m a Google-aholic. When in doubt, double check!
I donned my size Super Charlie Banana pad, in butterfly print, and one of my daughter’s night time bed wetting pads, and sat myself down in front of the computer, cell phone in hand. A quick Google search confirmed my suspicions, and I fired off a text to my midwife and doula, “Morning! Um…I think my water just broke. Thought you should be aware. That or I just peed my undies and left a booger.” The time was 3:58.
I remembered well my eldest daughter’s labor and regretted letting the excitement get to me. I didn’t sleep or rest once my contractions started. I was worn out to the point of seeing double and hardly making coherent sentences by the time I was wheeled into the hospital recovery room, over 24 hours after labor had started, and with only one hour of sleep under my belt in 48 hours. This time I was determined not to let that happen. I was going back to bed!!! Or so I tried.
A few months before the Green Baby was born, I was called into the bathroom to see my daughter sitting in the tub like this. She said, “Look Mommy! I had the baby in the water, just like you’re going to do it!” She was more ready for her sister’s arrival then I was!
I filled the bathtub with warm water, hoping to calm things back down. My head rested on a folded towel on the edge of the tub and I started using an iPhone app to time my contractions. Many of them were a blur. Not the discomfort, just the time between beginning and ending. I lost whole chunks of time while I worked my way through each one. They started at about 35 seconds in duration, and by the time I had posted a You Tube link to Diana Ross singing “I’m Coming Out” around five or six am (I’m telling ya, it was all a blur), they were lasting about 90 seconds long. All the while, they were coming at an alarmingly quick pace of two-three minutes apart. Yet somehow I didn’t believe I was in full active labor. Ha ha. In my defense, my eldest daughter’s labor was MUCH harder, with contractions lasting upwards of five minutes long! No wonder I was wiped out with her labor! Comparatively, this was easy!
At 6:54 am someone noticed my Diana Ross tribute and asked if I was in labor. At 6:59 am I replied that I was in the early stages of labor.
While sitting on a towel and perched on my birth ball, I chatted with a few friends on Facebook for the next hour or so. I barely mentioned that I was in labor to one, and the other watched as my punctuation and grammar went down the tubes as I detailed for her how I was feeling. At one point I mentioned to her I felt like tossing cookies. She knew the baby’s arrival was soon, but was afraid to guess on the time.
I walked the house, picking up clutter, trying to straighten up the living room between contractions. I hugged the wall, kneeled on the floor, and clung to the couch during contractions. Mr. Fix-it informed me, on more than one occasion, that he thought I was nuts. Oh, dear husband of mine, when you are in labor, you can do what ever keeps your mind off the discomfort. And of course, if he had picked up, then I wouldn’t have to…while in labor. Just saying. Women in labor ARE pretty testy, aren’t they? Ha ha.
Around 7:30 the Pink Princess woke up and joined me in the den where I was sitting on my birth ball, trying to work my way through each contraction. She grabbed a pillow and blanket and settled in on the floor near me. Mr. Fix-it decided she needed a bath and to get dressed for school.
School? Yeah…somehow he thought he could get her to school, and stop at the home improvement store on the way back, with the part he needed to attach the hose for the birth pool. Part of me wanted to argue with him that our daughter wanted to be home for the birth (she really did!) and the other part of me was getting worried that I might scare her if labor continued as intense as it was for the next few hours. But deep down, I knew there was NO way the baby was going to wait until after she got out of school seven hours later. So there I was, sitting on the toilet, having contractions, combing my daughter’s hair, trying to get her ready for school. Yeah…
I spoke to my doula, Charlie Rae Young (she’s the best!) at eight am, while sitting on my birth ball. I wanted to get off the phone with her as a contraction came, because I knew I was going to be REALLY loud. She wisely insisted that I stay on the phone with her through it. My daughter kept trying to talk to me about something, I don’t remember what, and I kept trying to Shh her. Can’t a mama have a minute to focus? These contractions were intense! When the contraction was over and I brought the phone back to my ear, Charlie told me she was on her way “RIGHT NOW!" And if my contractions got any more intense I was to call my midwife immediately. Two contractions later I sent a text, because I couldn’t speak well enough to talk on the phone anymore.
My sweet daughter, age five, and now acting doula, tried to help me at one point. I was back on the toilet and REALLY needed something to hold onto, directly in front of me. She offered her hand. At first I refused, warning her I was going to squeeze REALLY hard, but she insisted, and I NEEDED something to hold on to RIGHT then. Fortunately Daddy came in and took over. Poor thing, I nearly squeezed her hand off!
At 8:28, I sent my photographer a text message telling her she should head on over. I sent my doula a simple text, “hurry." Then I got back in the tub.
At 8:52, Jessica, my photographer, sent me a text to open the garage. In all the excitement, we had forgotten to open the door. When she entered the house at 8:55, I was in the middle of a contraction. I felt terrible. This was her first birth and I wanted her to enjoy the wonder of it all, not have to put in ear plugs! I wasn’t having one of those orgasmic births. Nope. Instead I was screaming, fairly high pitched. Not at all sexy and primal like I had imagined. The Pink Princess had her hands over her ears. I yelled to Jessica when the contraction as over, “I’m so sorry! I’m going to be REALLY noisy!”
Jessica noticed, upon entering the house, that the birth pool was set up in the living room, but there was no water in it. She went into “Let’s DO this” mode. And then was informed that the attachment was never gotten (coughs into fist), and that there was no way to fill the pool. Mr. Fix-it STILL had it in his mind that he was going to hurry up and get our daughter to school and come home with the part. Oh, honey. I love you. But GRR!!!
Two contractions after Jessica came into the house, I yelled for her to get the camera, the baby was COMING!!!
Mr. Fix-it knelt beside the tub, the Pink Princess stood next to my shoulder, Jessica somehow climbed on top of the tub and toilet, and one of our cats sat down on the bathroom floor.
I informed the awaiting audience that I could feel the head descending. My husband asked if he should check. Poor guy. I yelled, ”DON’T TOUCH ME!!!“ in probably not the nicest tone I have ever used.
Somewhere between three and four pushes later the Green Baby emerged, “like a torpedo” as Mr. Fix-it said. It was one fluid moment. She was born into my husband’s hands, and he handed her up to my awaiting arms; where I cradled her next to my chest. Whew! The time was 9 am, on the nose.
Our beautiful little one started crying, with a healthy set of lungs, right away. No suctioning needed. Mr. Fix-it was ready with the suctioning bulb, but I kept pushing it away.
The first words out of Jessica, my photographer’s mouth were, “I’m never eating bread again!!” I still chuckle at that. It was in response to all my healthy eating, and having mostly dropped grains from my diet (Except while pregnant. I tended to eat what ever stayed down). It was actually a lot of fun to watch her reaction to the birth. There were tears of joy as the rush of excitement of a healthy baby filled the room. Since we didn’t have time to set up a video camera, her reaction is what’s etched in my mind of how it all went. Sigh, it was GOOD! Fast…but good!
I tried to get lil miss to latch on to nurse while we waited for the cavalry to arrive. She had the sweetest little features and reached up to grab my amber necklace. The Pink Princess wanted to touch the umbilical cord. It felt like rubber, and not at all slippery.
My doula, Charlie Rae, arrived 20 minutes after the birth. Rush hour between 8:30 and 9 am is a MESS! She helped me to deliver the placenta right there in the tub. I wasn’t interested in moving just yet.
The placenta was wrapped up and tucked under my arm. Charlie Rae and Mr. Fix-it helped me to a standing position while holding the baby and placenta package. I took two steps onto dry land and was rewrapped in towels. I started shaking with the chills from the rush of hormones still running their course. I was escorted to my bed, and I climbed in. Ha! That’s right, 30 minutes after giving birth, I was in MY bed! Felt SO much better than the hospital bed I was in after having the Pink Princess.
My midwife arrived after I was comfortably propped up with pillows. Somewhere between an hour and two hours after my daughter was born, we cut the umbilical cord. I had always planned to delay cord clamping, I just never expected to wait THAT long! But I’m glad for it. My daughter was just as pink and as healthy looking as she could possibly be. By leaving the cord attached as long as we did, she was able to get the full benefit.
Both midwife and doula gave me a full exam to make sure everything was as it should be. I had a tiny tear, small enough that stitches weren’t required. No biggie. The baby was weighed and measured while her big sister read her books. My doula made scrambled eggs and toast. Mama’s HUNGRY!!
Everyone chatted and chuckled at the speed of the delivery. I may have to thank all the raspberry leaf tea and dates I had for the speed and easy of the Green Baby’s arrival! Seriously! Look into it if you’re expecting! Whew! Good stuff!!!
Phone calls to grandparents were made and more pictures were taken. Remember that silly little question I asked the birth center about what would happen if I couldn’t make the drive? Ha! Yeah! I’m so very glad I chose to birth at home! By 12:15 pm my midwife, doula and photographer had gone and there we were, at home, happy and healthy, with a new baby.
Um…we still have to name her!
We hadn’t settled on a name before her arrival, and now we NEEDED to pick something. We had a short list of names that we didn’t hate and we decided to let the Pink Princess pick.
She chose a name completely off the list and was insistent! I grabbed one of the baby name books sitting on my night stand and looked up the meaning.
Madison: Daughter of a warrior.
Mmm. After her birth, we felt that was fitting. She was given my grandmother’s name as a middle name, and a picture of her big sister, holding our new bundle of joy was posted to Facebook. Because, you know, it’s not official until it’s been posted on Facebook! Ha ha.
Welcome to the family, Madison Olivia! Six lbs., 14 oz., 21 inches long, born one day before Daddy’s birthday, three days before her due date, totally ready for the world!
Shannon originally shared her story on her own blog, GreenMommyDiapers.com. Check her out there and thank you for sharing with us!