Charlie's birth really was perfect.
The days up until his birth I was still feeling pretty great. The Wednesday before, we spent all day at a local amusement park, doing lots of walking.
The next day was our grocery shopping/running errands day, with a stop at daddy's shop to play tag and hide and seek (the boys, not me!). That evening I went to yoga, and left feeling great with plans to come again on Saturday morning...
Friday, June 21st, (three days before my due date) I woke up feeling fine. We sent daddy off to work, and I got started making breakfast. Around 8:30am, I noticed I was having an abnormal amount of discharge, with little "gushes" here and there. I texted Dean and my midwife, Brigitte (who I was scheduled to see that day at 11am), just as a heads up in case it was anything.
Our plans for the day were to fill up our pool and hang out in the backyard after my appointment. So, there I was around 10am on my hands and knees scrubbing our scummy little kiddie pool, so we could get it filled for later.
At my appointment, my midwife was able to do a swab to see if what I was leaking was amniotic fluid, but the test was indecisive. We were both pretty sure it was my water leaking though. I was having no contractions at this time, so I went home with plans to keep in touch.
We went on with our day as normal eating lunch and then playing outside for a bit enjoying the beautiful Summer Solstice until nap time. Once the boys were down, I scurried around the house getting odds and ends in place. Since I was pretty certain it was my water leaking, I knew labor was just around the corner, whether that day or the next.
Since it makes completely no sense at all I then decided I needed to clean my bathtub. This was around 3/3:30pm. I thought I may have been feeling some contractions while SCRUBBING MY BATHTUB, so once it was squeaky clean I decided to lay down in bed to rest and see if I was having any contractions, but not before snapping a few belly photos just in case this was baby day! I probably should have cleaned the mirror too...
I lay in bed from about 3:45pm - 4:45pm, and I was, in fact, getting light contractions about 5-7 minutes apart. Dean got home early at about 5pm, and I texted Brigitte...
Contractions were getting more uncomfortable, closer together but still pretty short. Typical for me. I then jumped in the shower quick to shave my legs. You know, because how awkward would that be if my birthing audience saw my stubbly legs. Then we got to work getting dirty laundry out of the way and preparing the bed. I texted Brigitte again at 6:15pm...
She ended up just calling, and said she was going to get her stuff together, grab something to eat and would be at our house around 7pm. She had also called her assistants to have them get ready to come as well. We called my mom and sisters too, who would be at the birth, and told them to head on over now. Within minutes of getting off the phone with Brigitte, contractions really kicked it up a notch. I decided to lay down in bed on my side until everyone got there. I felt like standing up was really getting things moving too quickly, and I wanted to make sure everyone got there!
Contractions were pretty intense at this point, about 3-5 min apart and lasting about 45 seconds. Being able to lay down and rest in between them felt really good. Dean was (as always) a great support during labor, hardly ever leaving my side.
I really couldn't tell ya the exact time everyone was there by, but I'm guessing it was around 7:15pm. And by everyone I mean Brigitte, her two assistants, our photographer (one of the assistants daughters), my mom, three sisters and a sis in law. Will was also in the room for the birth, and at one point I was told that my two youngest sisters, my dad, a brother and brother in law and a nephew were all downstairs/outside waiting. So Charlie had quite the welcoming party!
Contractions were kicking my butt now. I was really trying to just embrace it, but man it was hard! It sounds kind of strange, but what really helped during contractions was to just focus on the low moaning sounds I was making. As long as I kept it low, I felt like I was able to stay on top of them, but anytime my voice would get high I felt like I was losing control of my body. Although I have no recollection of saying this, I was told I liked to say, "Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!" Ha!
I was so ready for it to be over, and I just knew that if I were to stand up for a bit that things would get moving even faster...and I was right.
Getting in a listen of the heartbeat in between contractions. Sounded great all the way through!
I stood at the edge of my bed for about 20 minutes, having about 6 contractions and then... this happened.
That baby was coming! Once I got through this crazy hard contraction I climbed myself back up into bed and started to push!
With my first two labors I was always fearful when it came to pushing. I would always try and hold back. Afraid of tearing. Scared of the pain. I pushed for 30 minutes with both Will and Sam. But this time I put that fear aside and just went with it. When his head came out, oh man, I was so darn happy that I actually said out loud, "I AM SO HAPPY!" Apparently, the whole room just started laughing and bawling all at once. It really was a beautifully perfect moment. His body soon followed with a total pushing time of 10 minutes.
A big thanks to my audience for cheering me on, for Brigitte, Charity and Julia for your wonderful care before, during and after labor, to our photographer, Kaela, for capturing this beautiful moment for us, to my husband for his never ceasing love and support and to our great God for blessing us with three healthy sons!
Other posts you might enjoy:
Will's birth story
Sam's birth story