Since Coralyn’s birth was so amazing, we wanted to have a natural birth again when we found out we were pregnant with Kellah. The whole experience was simply fabulous, and I would love for everyone to have a birth story like Kellah’s!
I was due on December 10, but from the time I found out I was pregnant I thought the baby would be born closer to December 18, the day we had miscarried the year before. But, being a childbirth teacher, I knew that the due dates are more of a guess/estimate than anything and the baby would come when she was good and ready. Well, my due date came and went. My husband told me that he would really like me to wait until after December 9 so that he could be at his student teacher’s last day farewell party. I guess I followed his instructions!
I wasn’t too worried about being “overdue” and tried not to get impatient about meeting our little one, but I was certainly ready to hold our baby in my arms! On Friday, December 16, I sent our midwife a message saying that I was having lots of pressure really low, but nothing to get excited about. About 2:11ish (as I told my husband), I had my first contraction. I had woken up to go to the bathroom about an hour earlier and hadn’t been able to go back to sleep. When I felt the pressure not only in my lower abdomen but also wrapping around my back, I knew that I was having a real contraction, not a Braxton Hicks one. I kept an eye on the clock to see if I would have another one soon. Sure enough, about 10 minutes later, more pressure. But then I didn’t have another contraction for over 20 minutes. And after that they weren’t regular, but they were happening. I didn’t wake up my husband until around 3:30. He said I was just thinking too much about when the baby would come. I agreed, until I had another contraction while we were discussing my overworked brain. At this point my contractions fell into a pattern, about every 6 to 8 minutes apart. Lawrence immediately wanted to call our midwife, but I said we had to wait until at least 5 am, that way we wouldn’t be waking her up in middle of the night (5 seemed like early, early morning to me and not as much of a nuisance). At 4, we got up and started getting things ready for Amber. Lawrence had conveniently blown up the birthing tub the night before, so he just got it out of the nursery and into the living room. While he did that, I tidied up the living room and then moved on to the kitchen. I even unloaded the dishwasher and put the dirty dishes in the sink in the dishwasher — we were going to have people in our house and it needed to be clean!
About this time, our tw0-year old Coralyn woke up to go to the bathroom. I took her potty, changed her, and explained that the baby would be coming soon. We went ahead and called our friends to come get her, and while we waited for them to arrive we cuddled on the couch. We also called Amber at this point to let her know she should probably head on over. I was sure that she would get bored as I was still able to walk around and even carry on a conversation when she arrived at 5:45. I got into the tub when she arrived, but had to go to the bathroom shortly thereafter. Contractions picked up in the bathroom and were much more intense, so I was ready to go back in the water. Things chilled a bit, so Amber and Debbie went into our bedroom so I wouldn’t feel like a “watched pot.” Several contractions later, I was groaning those low moans, so Amber came out to check on me, knowing that mamas do this sort of thing when birth is close.
I still had my doubts about the baby coming any time soon, but sure enough, several contractions later, I was complaining of my back really hurting and felt super hot all over. I knew I was in transition and hoped for a short one (knowing that phase can last 30 minutes to 2 hours). I got my wish! Minutes later, my water broke, which I announced to everyone. Then, with the next contraction, I felt the baby’s head. And it wasn’t like Coralyn’s birth where I had the “ring of fire” as she ever so slowly moved down; oh no, with one contraction Kellah’s head was completely out. Amber exclaimed that she could she her head, so Lawrence moved down to catch her, but I grabbed his hand and made him stay up by me. Just seconds later, I “breathed” Kellah out with the next contraction and welcomed our precious little girl to our family!