I waited and waited every day after the day I was able to have my planned Birth here in Juneau. I expected to go early, I wanted to be done. But every day there was nothing more than Braxton Hicks and then another day would come. I love being pregnant but with a 3 year old and not being able to do much anymore I was pretty done.
Dom and I went on a date on Thursday night and to my excitement things started to feel different from the Braxton Hicks I had previously. We walked around afterwards and things kept picking up. I didn't want to get to excited but let’s be honest I was thrilled. We got home and I prepared myself for labor and things settled down enough that I chose to go to bed, knowing that was probably the best thing I could do and see if thing got intense enough to wake me up.
Nope, the next day I had random contractions but nothing special, that evening however I had really regular contractions and decided to call the midwife. She let me know that there was another mom in who was going to have her baby soon and that it was up to me to come in or not. Looking back after the fact I am pretty confident at that point I turned things off in my head as I didn't want to share the space with someone else. Things again settled down and we went to bed. The next day I had random contractions again but nothing regular. I was not really having much in the evening until we slowed down for the evening then things picked up.
I tried going to bed but quickly was unable to lay through contractions. I spent most of the night working through really strong contractions. Had I known that my water was likely not going to break on its own I would have probably gone into the Birth Center or had a midwife come check on us. However, since there was a mom in the night before and I kept Dom up all night the night before I was trying to give everyone just 30 more minutes of sleep. Every contraction I would tell myself to make it just 30 more minutes so they could sleep just that much longer. I figured as long as I could make it through by myself I wasn't in Labor yet. There were a few contractions that I really wanted to wake up Dom and ask for support but made it through them usually right outside the bedroom door and then would go on and let them sleep. All this time the contractions were about 4-7 minutes apart so I figured I still had a while to go. Around 4 am they spread out to every 20 or so minutes and I was able to get a little sleep. I hoped they would stick around through the day and get more consistent and intense.
They stuck around but weren't consistent. We went on with the day as usual, church was interesting with a toddler and contractions. The rest of the day was similar. Our priest that morning gave me a hug and encouraged me that I wouldn't be pregnant forever. He must have seen it written all over my face that I was done. I've learned that being around people while having contractions is not fun at all. Later that evening we went to the balloon drop with Nora. While walking in the door I was being tough and trying to walk through a contraction and my father-in-law noticed something was up and asked to make sure we were good to stay. We stayed, I worked through every single contraction eyes closed and deep breaths, I didn’t even care what other people thought about me (which should have been the signal to me to be home and not there), and Nora had a blast! The event was 2 hours and it took everything in me to stay there. By the time it was done I was a mess.
My contractions were serious now and I didn't want to be around anyone and I needed Dom to be with me. The super short drive home I was doing everything I could not to just cry. I text my midwife and asked about a homeopathic she gave me that was supposed to help when I was feeling overwhelmed and she recommended I take it and try and get a break from being around people. She let me know she wasn't the midwife that was on call that evening and suggested I also text that midwife. I let her know everything that was going on and that I felt like these contractions were different. She offered to meet with us and see where everything was. I agreed.
Now you see we had planned a Home birth if x,y, and z happened and so she offered to meet us at home to respect that, however, Nora was still awake and hadn't eaten dinner and was having a bit of a meltdown about a toy, and I had locked myself in the farthest corner away from everything in our room. We decided to meet at the Birth Center knowing that we still had the option to go home as long as things weren't too crazy. I needed to step away from everything and get back in my zone more than anything. So we got ready which took much longer than expected and text all the people we needed to, letting them know when we were on our way. We pulled Nora into our room to say goodnight and goodbye. That was so incredibly hard to do knowing she had no idea what was going on and was already in a weird space. That on top of the fact that I had just spent the last 10-20 minutes crying and working through really strong contractions.
We got in the car and drove as fast as we could to the center, contractions in a car are no joke. When we got to the center Madi (the midwife not on call) was there dropping off my chart and her husband had parked in the moms delivering babies spot and I just laughed because it had been an issue we were currently working on with renters and staff. We got out of the car and made our way in. I had a contraction on the way in and had to stop in the snow until it was over. I remember apologizing to Dom because I knew he hates snow.
We got in said hi to everyone I managed to even sass Madi for parking in the specific spot and headed to our room. Our midwife, Chelsea chatted with us a bit got the low down of what was going on and then offered to check my progress. At that point it was about 9:30ish and I was at 6 cm. She left us with the decision to go back home or stay and gave us time to talk about it. We had decided to stay since we had already done everything with Nora and didn't want to come and go a ton.
At the same time she came back in and said it was probably best we stay so I could start antibiotics. We got ourselves settled and she was ready to give me and IV. I sat in the rocking chair and she tried to find a vein (I have terrible veins) with no success. It was not her fault at all but that was the most painful thing to sit through. When we were talking about it after Dom said he felt so helpless at that point because there was nothing he could do and he could tell that I was in some serious pain. From there I climbed into the tub to hopefully let things move along. It was nice to relax a bit but the tub was not as comfortable as I had hoped. (Which actually was quite similar to my experience with Nora) After some time we gave the midwives a scare when I sent Dom in to ask for a puke bucket. They jumped up thinking I was much further along than I was. Turns out they thought I needed snacks instead so they made me juice and apple sauce. I remember the song remember me being stuck in my head and joked to Dom he should put it on for me.
At that point they wanted me to pee for them so we moved to the bathroom and I labored in there for probably an hour or more. Dom stepped up his already awesome game at this point and started to apply counter pressure on my back. That was a life saver. In fact it is 100% the way I made it through labor. Once I lost feeling in my feet we decided to change positions. I made it to the wall in the bathroom and stayed there for a while. I was pretty vocal during contractions at this point which surprised me. We stayed there for a while with Dom applying as much pressure as he can.
After a while Jess offered for me to get back in the tub. So I did. And from that point on it feels like things went really fast. The tub helped a touch but not as much as I was hoping. I stayed in my one spot and begged Dom not to go anywhere. They kept checking baby's heartbeat to make sure she was doing good through this all. Shortly after getting in the tub I was basically done. I was ready to have this baby. I also wasn't very nice or filtered in what I was saying. I was very blunt and sassy. At one point Chelsea asked if I could sit back to check my progress before I started to push to make sure that I wasn't wasting my energy. I asked for a couple more contractions because I couldn't fathom how I would get through them without that pressure from Dom. In that same conversation Jess added that she would check the heart rate then too. I told her that we knew baby was on the right side (that’s where she hung out the entire pregnancy) and that Dom could switch her sides and she could check it now. I now realize that was not very kind and that it meant she had to basically get half into the tub to do so... sorry Jess! Anyways after a couple contractions of them encouraging me to try pushing I delivered my bag of water. It didn't break on its own and basically was delivered like a water balloon or at least that’s how it felt. Chelsea broke my waters and it was instant relief. Nothing hurt anymore, there was not that insane pressure. Nothing. From there I was able to lay back but there was no need to do any exams this baby was coming. With my eyes closed I pushed until Baby was born. She was a little startled at first and took a couple seconds to come around. She had a Nuchal cord and needed a little encouragement to start breathing on her own. I remember how tiny her butt felt in my hand. I remember talking to her and rubbing her back waiting for her to breath and cry. I remember a feeling of increased intensity and urgency from the midwives. But I kept my eyes closed and snuggled the heck out of that sweet baby. Shortly after she let out a good cry and all was well. What I don't remember or didn't see was the midwives suctioning her mouth out and being a bit concerned when she didn't perk up quickly after initially being born. I kept my eyes closed for a while trying to get my mind around the fact that I did it, I had a baby, all on my own (well with Dom and the midwives help)! When I did finally open my eyes the first thing I noticed was how hairy her ears were.
We moved to the bed and got to snuggle while I delivered my placenta. The midwives made us breakfast and let us have some time as a family. I have to say, that breakfast was the best breakfast ever. I didn't have to cook it, it was hot, Dom basically fed it to me, I had a brand new baby I was snuggling, and I was so hungry! After, they weighed her and did all the checks needed. I was then offered to take an herbal bath with baby. I asked Dom if that was okay feeling bad that I was keeping everyone up even later into the night. Then shortly after we left for Home. Dom drove home extra careful since it had snowed about 3+ inches while we were there.
Nora went to spend the night with Nana And Tata so we got a chance to get some rest when we got home. Around 9 the next morning everyone was ready to go and Nora missed us so they headed back. Addi was treated with so much love from everyone and we all settled in for what turned out to be a really crazy day for Dom. He shoveled, helped get his dad to the airport and then came home and shoveled again, he went to finally take a shower and our toilet decided to randomly overflow so instead of a much deserved shower he worked on that and then a reporter from the Juneau Empire came by to get the scoop on the first baby of the year. As soon as they left Madi stopped by letting us borrow her plunger and as she was leaving a load of firewood was delivered and Dom was helping load and stack all of that. It felt like pure chaos and Dom was so tired. I hated that there was nothing I could do and he never got that well deserved shower.
We were then able to get a pretty good night sleep and Dom was back to work the next day. This sweet baby decided to come right in time for a newspaper to come out so Dom was extra busy.
If you managed to read this far and want another take on the events here is the Juneau Empire Article.
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