Find Part 1 here.
Around 3:45am I woke up with a contraction and switched to the kids twin sized bed. I tried sleeping through them but it wasn’t as easy anymore. So I woke up and called my midwife and then went and woke Bly up. I let him know that things were picking up, and that I was going to set up the tub. So he got up, and started to help me. We were worried about our fairly newish floors so we set up plastic sheeting, it looked like an episode of Dexter but it did the job.
By 5:30 I wasn’t able to talk through some of my contractions and they were coming much closer together. I was starting to think that maybe people need to be headed my way but I didn’t want to say so and be wrong.
We set the hose up to the water heater and started filling the tub and the water was coming out lukewarm which was a little more of a nightmare for me becuase this whole time I’ve been concerned about 1) Not filling the tub in time and 2) the water being cold because we filled it up too soon. We started to get some water in pots and on the stove but B thought if we started to fill it with hot water too soon that it would end up cold.
Finally around 6ish I told B that we needed to get the tub filled and the hot water going because I needed to be in the water. It was time and the only reason I wasn’t in the water yet was because no one was there and I didn’t want to deliver this baby alone!
At some point I texted my midwife’s assistant who is also a friend and asked her if she was going to be here soon. My contractions were getting to the point where I couldn’t talk through them, they felt incredibly different and way more powerful. I descibed them as “F*ck, f*ck, f*ck” contractions. Don’t judge me. 😉
My midwife’s assistant arrived first and immediately got to work helping B fill up the water and before I knew it, it was ready.
At 7:55 the birth photographer arrived and not long after that the midwife arrived as well. All we were waiting on was my mom. As soon as everyone got there I got in the tub.
This was it I was going to have my baby, or so I thought.
With my girls, once I was having the Eff word contractions and once I got in the tub, it was baby time. I was ready to push and get that baby out. But this time it didn’t quite happen like that.
I spent a lot of time in my head, not being ready to push, not ready for what I knew was coming. I felt so many of the same emotions that I felt with my other kids. That I couldn’t do it. That I wasn’t ready. That I didn’t want too.
I was in my head and I couldn’t get out and I was confused. How come my very strong contractions weren’t causing my baby to come? At some point I was huffing peppermint to keep the nausea at bay and sniffering Joy to keep contractions going and my head in the game.
But the peppermint couldn’t completely stop transition nausea. It wasn’t long before I vomited and I KNEW transition was happening, I KNEW things were getting closer. I still wasn’t ready.
At some point my midwife told me that she thought I should labor a bit on the toilet. I really didn’t want too, and I told her that. No thanks. I’m good right here in the tub where things aren’t exactly progressing but they’re not terrible either. I was fighting this baby and my body so hard.
Eventually (not sure how long it actually took to get me out of that tub) I got out. I took a step and had a major contraction. Once it finished I kindly stopped and said to my midwife, my midwife’s assistant and the photographer standing in front of me (who really had nothing to do with making me get out of the tub). “I just really feel like I have to tell you all that I really don’t like any of you right now”.
(But still I walked, heavily supported to the bathroom and had some strong and productive contractions on the toilet. Here’s the thing about me in labor that has become super clear.
I don’t like when people talk to me during contractions.
I’m not a big fan of people touching me when I’m in labor unless you’re doing counter pressure.
I also don’t like being left alone.
So even though I don’t want you to talk to to me or touch me, I want you to pay attention to me.
I have a hard time formulating sentences OUT LOUD. I can say them in my head but it feels like a struggle to say it out loud.
I can hear and understand what’s going on around me, even though I seem oblivious to it.
Okay, now that we got that squared away let’s jump back to me having some massively productive contractions on the toilet.
With the last contraction before going back to the tub I knew something had shifted. I felt it. At the same time I heard my mom discussing going to see my sisters who were next door. I heard my kids saying that they wanted to go with her. I heard my mom getting permission to take them from B. I heard my mom being worried that she was going to leave and miss it. I heard my photographer say she should be fine and that I wasn’t going to have a baby in the time she is gone.
In my head, I knew baby was close. I wondered why my midwife wasn’t telling her to stay. I wanted to say “If you don’t want to miss it, you shouldn’t leave and most certainly don’t take my kids” but I couldn’t say it out loud. So instead I walked back towards the tub and slipped in.
I saw Kyla’s pink coat exit out the door and the door close and right at that moment I had a massive contraction and could feel baby moving down, ready to be born.
I managed a sound “it’s coming”. B ran out the door to summon my mom and the kids back and they ran back over. I saw Kyla come in the door and race up to the tub to see what was happening.
And while all that was happening our baby was trying to rush into the world. So much so that I knew I had to brace myself. Baby felt hard to push out. And I knew that if things went to fast that I could tear so, I let baby come down, and then stopped baby from barreling out.
I remember my midwife asking if she could touch me and listen to the baby’s heartbeat. I said no. The thought of her touching me during this time felt awful. I wish I had said yes, especially the second time. At some point she asked “can you see if you can feel baby’s head”. I said “OF COURSE! I’ve been feeling the baby’s head, it’s right here.” She grabbed the mirror and put it in the tub to see what was going on.
I kept pushing, baby’s head was out. At this point one more push and baby should just come right on out, but baby didn’t.
I head my midwife say in a firm voice “I need you to get into a lounge position”. I’ve read and heard enough birth stories to know that if your hands off midwife is asking you to switch positions, you should do it. So I did it “Like this?” I asked.
It felt oddly effortless. I always thought that if I was asked to switch positions while mid pushing I would never be able to do it. But I did. Easily.
It was at that point I could hear my midwife asking if Mason wanted to catch the baby and if it was okay with me, I could barely speak, but in my head I was saying yes. But at the last minute he decided not too. The baby’s shoulders were a little sticky, I think “stuck” would be too big of a word for what was happening. Meredith asked me if I wanted to get the baby out myself. At this point I wasn’t certain I could and I just wanted the baby out. I was worried that I had been pushing with baby halfway in between worlds for too long.
So in true Christa fashion I screamed “just get it out of me” or something along those lines. I pushed hard. Shoulders came out. I pushed hard again and with a little help the butt and legs came out too.
I pulled the baby to my chest.
And while I was focused on baby, everyone else was reacting around me.
It didn’t take long for me to check to see who this little person was.
“It’s a girl”.
I held her close to me, and told her I loved her.
Mason ran up to his room, disappointed that yet again he was given a little sister.
The room was silent and Emilia said what apparently everyone but me, B and my midwife were thinking “Is she dead?!”. I heard my sister panic, scream “EMI!” and rush out of the room with her.
I knew she wasn’t dead, I had just held her in my arms, I had just felt her moving as she was coming out. But looking at her I thought “oh man her coloring does look a little off and she looks a little limp”. So I asked Meredith “is she okay”? Meredith took her from my arms.
She looked her over, said she’s fine and sure enough, not long after she was perking up and in my arms again.
In the end, pushing took less than 10 minutes from when my midwife noted that she was crowning to when she was actually born, even with sticky shoulders AND a sticky butt. Her little face was pretty brusied which is why her coloring was so off.
Between check ups, everyone wanting to hold her and me fixing myself up a little it took some time for her to nurse but when she did she latched like a dream! No issues at all. We spent the entire rest of the day upstairs cozy in my bed.
There are so many pictures I didn’t share here but want to share, so I’ll be coming back with me. I want to share how sweet my girls were, standing near and loving on me. The way the kids, my mom and sisters loved on my precious baby from the moment she was born. The moments after, once I was out of the tub, the check up. I want to share it all!
We of course, didn’t name her for about six days. So, without further ado.
World, meet Magnolia June.
21.5 inches long
We love you. We are so glad you are ours.