My husband was such amazing support for this birth. And our doula came right alongside him to help with the needs of a homebirth. The birth attendants and Kelly arrived between 2 & 3 pm as requested. Margo did an initial assessment of my vitals and we listened to the baby with a doppler. Maryn suggested I eat some lunch and then they both left (upon my request) to allow us to labor. I had this strange fear, with labor being so easy, that it really wasn't going to happen and I didn't want too many people arriving at once to stall me out. My doula had suggested a vaginal exam to assess my progression but it wasn't something I really wanted. Margo sat with me; she asked me how I felt about my labor and encouraged me to continue on as we were. After they left, Kelly made me a grilled chicken salad for lunch. I ate, standing in between taking bites for contractions, while she and my husband filled the birth pool. She had an apprentice doula with her who kept me company but I continued to enjoyed the comfort of my husband's arms during contractions and called for him as I needed the support. With Kelly there, I knew the essentials were being taken care of while my husband and I enjoyed our labor together. Kelly had timed my contractions to be 2 - 3 minutes apart by 3pm and after eating lunch, I got into the pool, a little before 4.
Labor had certainly picked up, just as Maryn had said it would. It wasn't quite as enjoyable anymore, so I would say we were officially in active labor; there was no more denying that we would have a baby this day. I still "knew" we'd have our dinner time baby but kept doubting how close we were because I didn't want to be wrong. Beyond this point, everything is quite a blur. I labored, I worked with my body. I remember Kelly moaning low and I began to vocalize with her which helped immensely. I think there were conversations that I enjoyed listening to in between contractions. I asked for a bowl of ice cream. Delicious as it was, I probably was just looking for a bit of sugar for energy.
At some point in time, Kelly was on the phone with Margo who heard me work through an intense surge. Margo recounts this part of my birth story
Maryn and I were at Red Rooster Cafe, getting reading to order some take out. I listened to you labor and you sounded amazing. When we talked, I asked you how you were feeling and you said "good, just don't ask me during a contraction". I asked if you thought the baby would be born within the next half hour or so.
"No way," I thought. I continued to deny how close we really were. It was too good to be true and I didn't want to be disappointed. I told Maryn and Margo to go ahead and grab their lunch and then head on back to the house.
Kelly knew otherwise. She knew we were getting close and 20 minutes after our conversation with Margo, my contractions began to change in their form of intensity. Perhaps she asked me to, perhaps I felt on my own, but I reached in to feel my cervix and only got to the middle of my finger before touching the baby with the sac still intact. By 4:30 my body began pushing with contractions and Kelly was on the phone with Margo and Maryn. My bag of waters ruptured and I continued to push.
I felt challenged during the pushing phase with this baby, but with the help of my husband and Kelly, I worked to control the urge to allow my tissues more time to stretch. Patience has yet to be my virtue during this phase. The midwives walked in at a quarter to 5 and at 4:48 pm, our baby was born on August 6, 2015.
Looking back at my birth experience I am so in love with how empowered we were. I am in love with the beauty of it. I am in love with the simplicity of it. I enjoyed the freedom we had, the confidence and support that surrounded us, but most of all, I love that it was fully ours. I was never intruded upon. I love that I am the only person who ever even attempted to check my cervix. No one "measured my progress" or told me how I was doing. My day was not measured in centimeters, I recall it in moments - moments of love and moments of laughter. I enjoyed my day in the beauty of itself as it unfolded without interruption. I was never pressured into anything. I was only ever reassured and affirmed in my laboring.
My birth story was picture perfect. It was just as I imagined. I never would have thought I wanted such an undisturbed birth and for that experience, I am so grateful. Looking back, I cherish this birth being so intimately our own.