At 1 am on 11/6 (10 days before my due date), right as I had just fallen asleep, I woke up to a huge warm gush of my water breaking. I had never had my water break before the pushing stage, so it was quite the surprise and strange sensation.
I woke up Dan who got me some towels and then I texted my midwife to let her know what had happened and see what I should do. I wasn't having contractions and the water kept leaking out, so I was worried about sitting up because of the risk of cord prolapse that i think I had read about somewhere. but I also really needed to go to the bathroom! My MW gave me the green light to get up and said she'd be over to set up the tub and all her supplies.
Because of the SROM, I wasn't supposed to check my dilation, and since I didn't feel any contractions, I didn't really have a good idea of whether I was in actual labor or not. I did have some loose bowels, which could be a sign of labor, but I had also just chugged a bunch of natural calm to prevent anxiety before bed, so I assumed it was due to too much magnesium.
Dan remade the bed with a plastic sheet underneath and we decided to go back to bed and try to sleep and hopefully by morning it'd be more clear if this was "it" or not. my MW came over, inflated the tub and set up, gave me hugs and said she thought it was going to happen today, and to call again if something happened, but if not, she'd be back in the morning.
Not sure how much sleep I actually got, but i rested till about 7 am when esmee's alarm went off. We told her we were going to have a baby and let her stay home from school. Around 9 am, I got up again to use the bathroom and saw some bloody show. I was also having some really mild, spaced out contractions, and I was thinking this was going to turn into another a long, but slow and mellow labor, like esmee's 36 hr one.
Dan made me an egg for breakfast, I took a shower and went downstairs. My MW and the student MW were both downstairs sitting on the couch. the kids were being kids and I think whatever contractions I was having just kinda stopped with all the commotion and people around, as well as a sudden subtle feeling that i was expected to "preform." I decided I wanted to go for a walk around the block to see if anything interesting happened. while walking I had a few contractions again, but really I thought all they did was make me need to pee. we came back home and i really felt like not much was going on.
Luckily, my MW had a stroke of genius and told me to go back upstairs and take a nap and rest, which might help relax me. She must have sensed that I needed to crawl back into my cave and be undisturbed. I figured I might as well try it even though I wasn't tired, especially since I didn't know what else to do. It was amazing. as soon as I got into my bed, the contractions started back up. Then my MW arranged to take the kids to the park for a bit and Dan came upstair with me to rest as well. I started timing the contractions and dozing off in between them-- they were 1 min long, 5 mins apart, for about 2 hours from 2-4 pm. They were still manageable enough without any hypnosis, so I still didn't think i was really close to having a baby.
At some point around 4 pm, I needed to go to the bathroom again (sorry, but laboring really makes you need to go!) and suddenly I felt like I had to poop, which reminded me of the sensation of having to push. For a split second I thought it was time! I told Dan to text the MW to come back with the kids. I also asked him to get me my ipod, so I could start listening to my hypnobabies tracks. That clued him in that I was probably getting closer, so he also decided to fill the tub downstairs.
I got back in bed, covered myself with my blanket, and started listening to my birthing day hypnobabies track with the headphones in. I just wanted to get into that hypnosis state and lose track of time and just let me body do what it needed to do. In my mind, I repeated the words in the track about going loose and limp, relaxing, and only feeling pressure and tightening. I also kept thinking of myself as my baby's cheerleader every time I had a contraction and imagined her working her way out to the world. I thought of her as doing the hard work and my job was just to relax all my birthing muscles and let her find her way out. thinking about what a great job she was doing made me smile every time i had a contraction, but other than that I don't think I moved or made any sounds at all.
Despite being in a deep hypnosis, I was still aware of what was happening downstairs and around me. I heard my MW come back with the kids, and I could hear people tip toeing into the bedroom, probably peeking in on me to see what was happening, but i didn't want to budge or even open my eyes. I also had s sense of time because I knew the track was 39 mins long and it had already started playing a 2nd time, so I knew it was after 5 pm.
What I didn't know was that everyone else thought my labor had stalled and that I was just sleeping deeply!
At some point, while in hypnosis, I also heard my son crying downstairs. I heard dan trying to keep him quiet, and then suddenly it did get really quiet in the whole house. Of course, that was when I also realized the the last contraction I had had was massive. It also coincided with the hypnobabies track telling me that during the baby's actual birth all I would feel would be "comfort in my bottom," which actually made me laugh internally. Itried thinking of the sensation as "comfort in my bottom," but it just wasn't working for me. At the same time, I debated just picking up my leg and letting the baby slip right out. Instead, I decided that it would be better to get downstairs and into the water. I had a very hard time moving my body, so I started calling for Dan. Turns out he had taken Paz to the back yard to calm him and didn't hear me. I also called for my MW, but it turns out she had stepped outside for a minute to privately discuss what to do about kickstarting my labor with the other MWs.
I was able to sit up on the edge of the bed. I kept calling for Dan, but no one replied. For a moment, i started planning in my mind how I could give birth alone upstairs in my bed. I called Dan for a 5th time as I mentally planned to put pillows against the headboard and brace myself for the next massive contraction. Just then I heard him run up the stairs, and I told him he needed to get me into the pool fast.
While we were walking down the stairs, he called the MWs and told them we were getting into the pool NOW! They came rushing back in thru the front door right as I had gotten into the water.
At that point, I thought screw my ruptured membranes, and figured i could finally check my dilation to see what was really happening since I was now convinced this was real labor. Turns out the head was already there right at the opening, so I was already past any dilation checks and well past transition. On the next contraction i was pushing, pretty determined to get that baby out! I lost all sense of time, and felt like I had a long break before the next contraction, which made me really impatient. I just decided to push her out, not really even sure if i felt any more contractions. I paused for a little while to let the tissues stretch and then I pushed some more. I had absolutely no clue of how long any of it lasted, but afterwards the MWs told me the 2nd stage (the pushing stage) lasted 4 mins in total. The head was born at 6:06 pm, and what a relief that was! Then the rest of the baby came at 6:07 pm. I just burst into laughter-- it was such an amazing feeling to have it be over and done, and also kinda comical how i pretty much went from deep sleep-like hypnosis to giving birth within less than 5 minutes.
The kids were all there to see the birth of their new baby sister. It was all so perfect and special to have them all gathered and awake for the birth. Dan was there of course, right behind me with his hand touching me reassuringly the whole time (all 4 minutes, haha). The MW team (Alexandra Demetro, Angela Beach-Hart and Kai) was amazing and hands off and supportive in all the right ways.
Cord burning ceremony we let the placenta be birthed without cutting the cord in order to do a cord burning ceremony that all the family could participate in. The baby was attached to her placenta for about an hour after birth and then we burned the cord to separate her from it around 7 pm. The cord burning took almost 10 mins-- over twice as long as pushing, which we all laughed about. It was such a nice way to slow things down and enjoy the moment together as a new family of 5, now.
p.s. i'm up past 2 am writing this cause i'm on some kind of crazy awesome birth high and not tired at all. natural birth is the best drug out there!