Let me start by saying we went back and forth on deciding if we wanted to have a freebirth or not.
I had researched it since I was pregnant with Ava, and wanted to with her, but Charles wasn’t feeling that idea at all. He thought I was crazy for wanting a homebirth.
After Ava’s birth and the months,years to follow we talked more about freebirth.
I asked him if he was comfortable this time around, and he was hesitant at first, but then came around. We were going to go ahead with the freebirth this time, and then I changed my mind and wanted to see a midwife.
Samuel’s birth story starts a week before my EDD(estimated due date). Around May 7th or 8th.
I had not seen my midwife since March. I loved seeing her apprentices. They were the ones who did all of my prenatal appointments anyway. The midwife missed my 36 week home visit, but her apprentices came out. I was upset that she missed my appointment. I talked it over with Charles and thought of dropping her then.
When she missed my 2nd home visit, I was done. I was 38 weeks, and had not seen or heard from her in months!
She had not called to check on me, didn’t apologize for missing my home visits, nothing.
Charles and I talked over the idea of having a freebirth once again.
The apprentices helped me find another midwife if we chose to go that route.
They knew that we were comfortable with having a freebirth.
We didn’t think it would hurt to have a midwife attend if we changed our minds.
For all of this craziness to happen when I could give birth at any moment was very stressful for me.
I had prodromal labor for about 3 days.
It was hard for me to deal with. I had trouble sleeping, because I would wake up during the night with contractions, and then I would wonder if this was the day.
I was becoming exhausted, no sleep, contractions off and on during the day and night, taking care of the girls.
I started to feel really drained physically, and emotionally.
One night I cried to Charles about how tired I was, and I felt ready to be done.
I wanted the contractions to either produce a baby, or stop completely because I couldn’t take it anymore.
A friend suggested I do what worked for her with both of her kids.
A walk on the beach, a nice big meal, and nipple stimulation. The next day we took the girls to the beach. I had a couple of contractions on our walk to the beach from the boardwalk. I had a few contractions once we left the beach. Those contractions felt different from the braxton hicks I was having. I didn’t think anything of it.
We came home and Charles went back out to get Chipotle. I LOVE their burritos.
After a few hours I started contracting again, and asked Charles to get the birthball for me.
I sat at the computer, tweeting, checking email, eating more of my burrito, and timing contractions.
The contractions were any where from 5-10mins apart, and lasting for 45 seconds to over 60 seconds.
I still didn’t think I was really in labor. I went to bed a little after midnight, and kept waking up with more contractions. I needed Charles to rub my back through them, and I had to get on my hands and knees to deal with them.
I was back and forth to the bathroom, back in bed, sleep, contractions, back to sleep.
Looking back, I woke up to several contractions that I had to moan through.
We decided to move downstairs to the couch around 3-4am.
I sat at the computer on the birthball again, but kept leaning across the birthball with more contractions.
I was feeling them really low in my belly, and in my back now. I also kept going to the bathroom to pee after every couple of contractions. Sitting on the toilet made them feel worse, so I didn’t sit there any longer than I had to.
I decided to join Charles on the couch, but after a few contractions and not being able to get up fast enough to lean across the birthball, I decided sitting on the birthball would be best.
Charles would wake up and rub my back through the contractions, and then he would lie back across the couch to sleep. That was fine with me. I needed him to be as rested as possible.
I tried to watch an episode of The Young & The Restless that I had recorded.
At this point, it still didn’t hit me that I was really in labor.
It wasn’t until I started to feel like I needed more support. That was around 6am.
I told him it wasn’t that his support wasn’t enough, I just feel like I wanted midwives to be there.
He suggested I give it another hour to see how I felt, and I agreed. My dad was up getting ready for work, and we thought of sending him on, but I quickly changed my mind in a matter of minutes.
In case your wondering, I’m still not convinced that I’m going to have my baby soon.
I was beyond being in denial, extremely exhausted, or both!
Around 6:30am I was needing to do the slow dance with Charles to work through the contractions. I kept telling myself that I wasn’t in pain, they weren’t painful, it was pressure, and it would pass. With each contraction I pictured the ocean, and the waves coming in and going back out. It helped that we were at the beach the day before, and I could hear the sound of the ocean in my head.
I decided it was time to call the midwives. They were so awesome, and they were close by since they had attended a couple of other births hours before mine.
I’m not sure what time it was when they arrived, but the contractions were becoming more intense, and I still had to pee after them.
I asked about getting in the pool, but it wasn’t with them. They had left it with another mom the night before.
Charles suggested he run some bath water for me, and I couldn’t wait to get in it.
Part of me didn’t want him to go because I was leaning on him during the contractions.
Once the tub was ready he helped me walk up the steps to the tub. I had a contraction on the steps and leaned on him while he rubbed my back. We checked in on the girls quickly before walking down the hall to the bathroom.
The water felt so good, and really helped with the contractions. Charles stayed upstairs with me, and the midwives stayed downstairs.
I got to the point where I just stretched out across the tub, and had one of my arms hanging out of it.
At this point I was moaning quite loudly through the contractions, and started to feel like I couldn’t go on anymore. Using low tones and the letter O.
That helped me to think of my body opening and the baby moving down.
I was beyond exhausted. I told Charles that I couldn’t do it anymore, and I was so tired. He rubbed my back, and told me he knew I was wiped out, but that he knew I could do it. I was on the verge of tears. Not because I was in pain, but my body felt like it was done. I wanted to sleep.
I told him it was different with Ava, because I wasn’t laboring for three days beforehand. I kept insisting that I couldn’t do it anymore, and I wanted to go to the hospital. I felt so exhausted that I told myself I didn’t care if I had the epidural, or if I had a cesarean, I just wanted to be done. Then I thought to myself that an epidural wouldn’t be good because of all the risks and complications that go along with it, and I didn’t want a cesarean because of the recovery time, and that could also pose risks to me and the baby. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. At this point I felt like I was seeing stars, and couldn’t even think straight.
He kept encouraging me that I could do it, no matter how tired I was, and that I was doing it. }
He kept telling me I was doing great, but I didn’t believe him.
I asked him to have the midwives come upstairs, and he thought that was a good idea too.
They came into the bathroom, and I lost it at that point. I started crying, saying I was done and couldn’t do it anymore. The contractions were becoming more intense and they suggested that I might want to get on my hands and knees so that my belly was in the water. I stayed in that position for I don’t know how long.
Charles went to check on the girls, one of the midwives stayed with me to apply counter pressure to my back, the other one went to get the birthpool.
Charles turned on the shower head and put it on the massage setting so the water would be more forceful on my back.
After a while I decided I was ready to get out of the tub, and I moved to the bed. I asked the midwife to check me. I just had to know where I was, and where the baby was sitting.
She checked me and I was 9cm! I let out a big “Thank you Jesus!” and felt really silly and a little upset with myself for not recognizing that I was in transition, and that’s why I felt like giving up.
The midwife said the bag of waters was bulging, and baby was still up pretty high.
She thought the bag of waters might have been what was dilating me. She thought that once my water broke the baby would come down pretty quick.
The other midwife returned with the pool. and I asked them to set it up downstairs.
The girls were still asleep, which was amazing to me because I was moaning like crazy through the contractions now.
Once they woke up, we told them the baby would be here soon. Nakiah went to sit with my dad in his room, and Ava laughed hysterically when I had a contraction. Apparently she thought the sounds I was making were hilarious.
The pool was up, but they couldn’t hook it up to the hot water tank.
So they used the kitchen sink, but the adapter still wasn’t working correctly.
They told me the pool was ready, but it wasn’t full. I didn’t care. I was ready to get in and that was all that mattered.
Charles helped me down the steps, and I had a contraction on my way down.
I looked at the clock and it was after 9am.
He helped me into the pool, and the water was so warm and I was able to relax for a few minutes. I put my head back, closed my eyes and drifted off for a few minutes.
Charles had made some recordings for me. The ocean, a rainforest of birds, and sounds of the Amazon.
The sounds helped me to concentrate on something else, and they were very relaxing, nice sounds to fall asleep to.
I didn’t know he made that for me until right then. I had talked about how I thought having music or sounds would be nice to listen to while I was in labor.
When I woke up I felt this pressure in my bottom, and said I felt like I had to poop.
The midwives asked me not to push yet because the baby was still up high. They said I could push if I really wanted to, but I agreed with them that if I could wait until my body started to push on it’s own, then that would be best.
With each contraction after that I would moan and blow. They told me I would have a contraction, sleep for 10mins, and then have another contraction. They said it was awesome that my body gave me rest like that right before the big moment. Usually contractions are right on top of each other at the end.
That’s how it was with Ava. So thank you body for giving me rest when I truly needed it!
Charles said you could tell the baby was moving down, because the shape of my belly started to change.
After a while I got on my hands and knees again, and Charles and the midwives took turns applying the counter pressure to my back.
Ava would come down and play for a bit. She would check on me and go back upstairs.
Nakiah wanted nothing to do with what was going on at the time. She stayed upstairs, hanging out with my dad.
With the last contraction I remember, I couldn’t blow anymore. I yelled “I can’t stop, the baby is coming!“
My water finally broke right then!
I was leaning over the tub, holding onto Charles. He was taking pictures and video. I heard one of the midwives ask him if he wanted to catch his baby. She said she would let him know when the head started to crown.
I could feel my body pushing, and the baby coming down. I let out this massive roar….I’ve never heard that sound come out of me before.
Later my dad told me the girls looked at him when they heard that, and he told them the baby was coming.
The midwife told Charles it was time. I could feel him crowning, and they told me to blow. I started blowing because I didn’t want to tear. After his head was out, I gave one last push and Charles said his arm and then the rest of his body came sliding out.
I heard Charles yell “I got my boy!” I started smiling and laughing. I turned over and they handed him to me. I couldn’t believe how tiny he was compared to the girls.
The midwives said he was definitely ready to come. He didn’t have much vernix on him at all. Some on his head.
I’m so glad I waited until my body started pushing! It was less than two minutes, and he was out.
He took in some water on his way out. I guess I had raised up out of the pool a bit when his head was coming out.A small part of his forehead came out, and that was enough for him to think to take a breath.
I talked to him, we rubbed him to stimulate him, and then the midwife suctioned him a bit.
He started to pink up, and we continued talking to him, rubbing him, and he latched on to nurse within minutes.
Charles went upstairs to get my dad and the girls. Nakiah said she was being shy and didn’t want to see him yet. Ava couldn’t wait to see the baby. Ava touched his head and said “it’s on me!” and wiped her finger off on Charles.
I snuggled with him in the pool for a bit longer, waiting to see if the placenta would come.
After a while we got out of the pool, and not long after the placenta came out all by itself.
It was a tiny placenta compared to the girls.
They helped me upstairs and into bed. Samuel’s cord was still attached. After his newborn exam, Charles cut his cord and weighed him. We still can’t believe we had a 7lb baby.
Even though this was my most intense birth, it was still an amazing and empowering experience.
There you have it. The story of how Samuel Royce-Alexander came into the world on. May 21st 10:20am 7lbs 10oz.
He’s two weeks old now, and we’re loving every minute with him. I call him our little Prince.
You can read the update on my midwife here.