The baby had something else in mind!
Nolan’s Birth Story
I’d been having contractions for the last two months of my pregnancy and a month before I was due it was determined that I was 4 centimeters dilated and 40-50% effaced. The original due date was February 10, but the doctors moved the date up to January 31 after a few ultrasounds and baby measurements. However, once January 31 came and went, and still no sign of baby, we figured out that I must have been due closer towards my original due date.
On Thursday night, February 10, I came back from next door at Aunt Linda’s house, and decided to call my doula friend, Shanna. While I was on the phone with her, my sides started cramping pretty bad, and I remember telling her, “Man! I’m kinda hurtin’!” and her response was just, “Hmm….” as if to say “I wonder if this is the night?” That night, I went to bed around 11:00 and woke up around 1:00 AM - - still having those cramps and having to use the bathroom. I also noticed contractions that were a little more intense than normal, but figured it was still nothing since I was managing just fine…and decided to go back to bed and sleep. At 2:00 AM, contractions woke me up! They were even more powerful, and I was starting to feel them in my back. I shook Corey and woke him right away. “You’re going to have to start timing these things!! Oh - they HURT!” By this time, I was on my hands and knees, breathing through each one and trying to get some relief for the pain in my back. Corey timed several of them, and we found that they were only a minute apart. He called the midwife, and told her everything that was going on. I was on the toilet again, and right when my midwife was asking Corey if I had seen any blood yet, I was wiping and saw some! She told Corey that based on all she was hearing, that I definitely was not going to make it to the hotel. Corey relayed this info to me, and I started crying! I said, “We have to go to the hotel! Those were our plans! We can’t change our plans now!! What about being near the hospital?!? Oh my gosh!” I realized that I needed to quickly regain my composure…after all, I didn’t want to make the pain worse. My midwife and assistant were now on their way to our house (they both live over an hour away).
Next, Corey ran some very warm bath water for me and helped me in. Then he got back on the phone and began calling everyone on our birth team. Now this is the insane part: People have been calling and harassing me for the past entire MONTH wanting to know when I was going to go into labor….and once I finally DO go into labor and we call to let them know - - we can’t get anyone on the phone!! For instance, Corey called my doula friend, Shanna, 8 times! No answer! Then he kept calling my parents…and finally they picked up the phone. Could they please come right out?? Amber is asking for her mom….well, NO, my Dad says, because she’s got a contagious stomach virus and how horrible would that be if she gave it to Amber or the baby?!? So my Dad would not allow my Mom to come out here. Then Corey calls my sister to tell her, and HER husband wouldn’t let HER come out here, either!! The reason? He says that he didn’t think that she could handle the sight of childbirth. So he made her stay home. By the way, the whole time that Corey is calling up all these people, I am still in the bathtub and in TRANSITION stage of labor having hard contractions and with absolutely no help. This is not what I had envisioned my birth experience to be like - - but everything was happening so quickly and I was glad about that. I remember yelling for Corey to “Get in here!!” and then “heeeeelp me!!” at the start of an intense contraction. He was a panicky mess! He was having to do the job of 4 people all at once and it wasn’t working out that great! There was the birth kit and all the plastic liners that needed to be out and in place…so he had the phone on one ear, me yelling in his other, all the while running around ripping the sheets and comforter off the bed, laying down plastic everywhere and getting an entire birth scene ready.
That whole deal went on for about an hour, and then Corey helped me out of the tub and onto the bed. I remember when I stood up out of the tub, the contractions became really, really hard and all I wanted to do was to relax and lay down because I was afraid of birthing the baby right then and there. Next, he helped me onto the bed, and I laid on my right side breathing and quietly moaning through each contraction. The pain in my back was very strong at this point! I remember doing this for a while, and then was so relieved to look up and see my midwife standing beside me and I grabbed for her hand while I went through yet another contraction. Now I was applying pressure to my lower back through each contraction because it hurt so bad - - and I was glad to know that someone else was there to help with my back pain. Corey tried to help at one point, but he pushed too hard and that made it hurt worse, so I asked him to stop and let me do it again.
My water broke! It felt so heavy and thick, that I at first thought it was the baby coming right out! My midwife checked, and stated that there was meconium present in the fluid. She then checked me and got a look on her face. It wasn’t a bad look, it was just a serious one and I couldn’t figure her out. Then she told me in a very calm manner that what she just felt was a butt, and that the baby would be born breech. I came up off the bed, my eyes all bug-eyed, and said, “WHAT?!?! You have got to be KIDDING ME!!” Of course, she wasn’t, and calmly reassured me that everything would be okay, and that that was what they were here for. “We do this kind of work all the time and God is in control. Look to Him to ease your fears…” She prayed and talked and talked about God, and that made me calm and relaxed.
Next she said that she would like me to get on the birthing seat, so I did. That was not very comfortable, so then she had me lie down on the floor, kind of on my side with one leg up. Corey held up my right leg, and Shanna sat behind my head and offered good resistance and something to pull against. This whole time, there was meconium coming out of me – more and more (it looked like more than it actually was). Everyone was joking around that this baby definitely knew how to poop!
My midwife began with calm, clear instructions: “Push a little only when you feel the urge…” I did this a few times, and then she said, “Okay, now I need you to stop pushing, and blow through each contraction.” She made a horse noise through her mouth, and when my contractions came, that’s what I did, too. I wanted to push SO BADLY, and it hurt like mess to not be pushing. She said, “We have to let your uterus do the work for you, and try to stay opened up. After the baby has come down some more, then I’m going to have you stand up to finish pushing the baby out.” I kept on breathing through each contraction, and I could feel my body moving the baby down further and further, and I was starting to feel the ring of fire. They told me that it looked like a boy so far, but it was still kind of hard to tell. Finally, a good bit of the baby was out and I reached down to feel. Sure enough, everything was showing and it was definitely a boy! When his little “member” came out, it flopped over and peed right on Corey! All of this part happened in about 30 minutes. The next 30 minutes consisted of me voluntarily pushing the baby out. Once his butt was out, my midwife said, “Okay, now you need to stand up.” WHAT?!?! Stand up with a butt between your legs?!? Somehow, Corey and Shanna managed to get me up to a squatting position, and that felt so good! I said, “Oooooh….Let me push some right here!!” So I went for it. With each push, my midwife was squirting olive oil all around down there and massaging with her fingertips. This felt so good and really helped me to stretch nicely! In the squatting position, I pushed out one leg at a time, the body, and then one arm at a time. My midwife quickly said, “Okay, now you HAVE to stand up to birth the head!” They helped me to my feet, and everyone was squealing, “Push – push – push – PUSH!!!!” And I pushed his head out and they helped me back down on the floor on several pillows and on my back.
Corey and I were so happy! They handed me the baby, and I proudly announced his name as “Nolan Emmanuel”, and felt like I was laughing and crying all at once! He was just as alert and bright-eyed as he could be…not really crying and he came out looking around the room at everything and everyone. He lay in my arm beside me and the cord was still pulsating. After a few minutes, it stopped and Corey proudly cut the cord. We were bonding with him, and I was still having intense contractions, which helped deliver the placenta naturally and safely. Nolan was born at 4:59 AM on Friday, February 11, just about 3 hours after I awoke from sleeping! He was 7 pounds 6 oz. and 20 inches long.
My midwife checked me after I had a nice, long hot bath and found that I tore only a millimeter. I was surprisingly shocked! It makes sense, though, because she really helped me take things nice and slow through the pushing stage – and the olive oil and massaging definitely helped!
Ethan slept through it all, but later woke up around 6:00, and was introduced to his little brother. He was smiling from ear to ear, and you could tell that he was very proud of his new little sibling. He got in bed with me and Nolan, and said in a sweet manner that he wanted to share his (favorite) giraffe blankie with Nolan, and proceeded to cover him up with it. It was so cute!
Everything about my birth experience this time was absolutely perfect! I would not change a single thing - - not even the fact that Nolan was born frank breech. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I never ever saw myself birthing a baby at home, and now I can’t think of any other way that I could ever do it. It’s so amazing to me that it all happened right here, in the comfort and safety of our bedroom, and that right after it was over, I could crawl back into my own bed with the baby and Corey and go to sleep. How peaceful! I highly recommend it…