I started having contractions at around 11 PM on September 9th. I wasn’t due for another week and hadn’t had any Braxton Hicks so I didn’t think that I was truly in labor. I tried to sleep that night but was waking every 2-4 minutes for a contraction that was lasting from 40 seconds to about a minute.
At 8 AM I called the midwife-on-call and my doula, Claudia, and let them know what was going on and asked them what I should do. They both said to try to get some rest since I wasn’t able to sleep much the night before and to call if anything changes.
I remembered from our birth class that you can sometimes stop Braxton Hicks if you take a hot bath. So I filled the tub and soaked…it felt so nice. That slowed the contractions down to about 15-20 minutes apart and I was able to get some good sleep.
At noon I was awakened by a really strong contraction and felt my water breaking. I jumped out of bed and soaked the sheets and hardwood floors. It was like in the movies! I labored for a while, alternating between the toilet and the birthing ball. After I threw up we decided that we should probably let our midwife and doula know our status.
We called Claudia and she came over around 1:30 PM. She watched me have a couple of contractions (honestly, laboring on the toilet was the most comfortable position I could find so that’s what I did) after which she said, “We gotta go!”
We arrived at the birth center just down the street at about 1:50 PM and the midwife, Tasha, asked me where I wanted to be and I said, “The toilet!” I had a couple of contractions on the loo and she then offered me the tub and that sounded so good!! Before I got into the big tub, she checked how far I was dilated but I didn’t want to know. And then I got in and it was heaven! I felt my body relax and recharge. I had a few more contractions and then felt the urge to push! I gripped my husband’s hand and began pushing. It was intense but I really felt like my body and the baby knew what to do so I just went with it. I didn’t plan on having a water birth, it just kind of happened. The baby’s head came out and I was told to wait for the next contraction and then I could push the rest of the body out. While waiting for the next contraction, the baby began kicking and it felt so strange! The midwife said that it’s totally normal, the baby just wants to come out!
After about 10 minutes of pushing, little baby Malcolm was born at 2:54 PM on September 10th, weighing 6lbs, 8oz and was 20 inches long! We had gotten to the Birth Center just in time!
He was placed on my chest while I birthed the placenta which only took a few minutes, and then my husband took him for skin-to-skin while I was helped out of the tub and into a big, warm, comfy bed. Malcolm was then placed back on my chest and slowly started feeding. The midwife checked me and I needed a couple of stitches but nothing serious. Both mama and baby were very healthy and strong.
I had a completely intervention-free birth and was surrounded by such incredible professionals. I am so grateful for my labor and delivery experience and I cannot thank the Minnesota Birth Center enough! I loved my baby’s birth and I have never been so proud of myself!
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