Let me preface with a few things-
- Before this I’ve had 4 babies whose labors were 12.5, 13.5, 7 (my water broke doing spinning babies), and 16 hours.
- the whole time Baby Sir was was in the womb, he was breech or transverse. He would go head down occasionally, but always flipped back to an unstable lie when I was at my midwife’s. Every. Time. He would go head down for ultrasounds, and immediately flip back transverse ?
- the day before baby was born, I walked into my midwife’s office and she said, “what’s wrong, you look sad,” and I just started crying. Baby was transverse again, which she confirmed, and his movements had slowed dramatically. I hadn’t been scared or worried, so much as just frustrated about all the uncertainty. I just needed my last baby to come without all this stress.
- She put me in touch with a doctor in town that would deliver breech if my labor stalled or something were to happen and we needed her at the hospital; they set me up for a BPP (biophysical ultrasound) to check on baby-all of that the same day, Tuesday June 9.
- at the ultrasound baby flipped head down, from transverse just a few hours before; he was playing with his toes and sucking his fingers. He passed his test and I was sent home, expecting to see the doctor Wednesday.
- Also, my husband was supposed to leave town for an over night trip the next morning …
Now the birth story (sorry so many details, I just want to remember everything so I am adding it all).
If you’re like me, you *love* a good birth story, and I enjoy documenting ours.
Wednesday, June 10 I woke up like a normal day. Wednesday’s here are cleaning day, so I was prepared to make baked oatmeal for the kids and start our cleaning routine. At about 8:00AM, I started having contraction like pains; although baby had not spent much time head down this pregnancy, when he was head down in previous weeks, I had to stop what I was doing often due to cramping, and what felt like cervical pain. It was as if he was really putting a lot of pressure on me with his head.
This morning’s cramps felt a lot like that so I wasn’t sure it meant anything.
By 8:15 I felt like maybe I should see if the pain was regular, like contractions. With my first my Braxton Hicks would be regular for almost 2 hours, but would die off, I figured if these lasted over 2 hours I would call my husband home. We were texting back and forth so he knew the plan. I texted my girlfriend to let her know we would probably be needing her to watch the kids (her husband was working from home, so that worked out well).
I continued cleaning the house- toilets and bathrooms, vacuumed and steamed floors, folded laundry, and the kids used our Norwex rags to do all the dusting/wiping like they always do. We had music going and I was really trying to get done cleaning (I love cleaning day, so this was important ha). My oldest daughter milked the goats because my cramping was too painful for me to sit and milk. I talked to my midwife; she advised I drink lots of water in case I was dehydrated and eat something so I had energy in case it was labor.
By 10:15AM I had to stop cleaning and lay down during contractions; I texted my husband to come home to tend to the kids because I couldn’t parent and breathe through contractions at the same time haha. My oldest (9yo) knew I was in labor, so she was doing her best to take care of the others while mama breathed and tried to relax.
I sent my husband a grocery list; we needed lunch meat and a few more things to have on hand for the kids to eat, and salad to go with the lasagna I bought for the midwife team’s meal. He stopped by Walmart on his way home, and when he got here it was about 11:10AM.
During this time I had spoken with my midwife a few times, we agreed we would be having a baby today. We came up with a plan *this part is important* to meet at her office at 1PM, get checked, and then either labor some more, or go on to the birth center to labor in the tub.
I was laying on the bed (thankfully I just put fresh sheets on the day before, so that chore was done), in my gown with all my bags packed at the foot of the bed, when the husband came home. He was trying to ask me something, but I was focusing on a contraction with my hypno birthing track from YouTube playing in my ear. I think this is when he said, “Meghan, call Deidre (Midwife) I think we need to go before 1pm. Call (girlfriend) to come so we can leave when it’s time.”
Because we live in the middle of nowhere, he has been adamant that we were not having a baby at home. With baby 4, we had some scares and almost needed to transfer to the hospital after she was born, so he really wanted us to make it to the midwife team st the birth center.
I wasn’t certain if we needed to leave right away, but I couldn’t think straight. I kept thinking, “I just need the tub.” I’m pretty sure I said that out loud.
I started crying; when he asked what was wrong all I could get out was, “I’m not ready.”
“Not ready like … the house isn’t ready, or not ready like your body isn’t ready?”
My reply was a sobbing, “Everything,”
Not only had I never had a short labor, I had never had a baby before 40 weeks. They were always on time or late and big. #3 was 3 days early but that doesn’t really count haha.
So At 11:41AM I texted my midwife (I couldn’t really talk easily enough to call)…
So we got everyone in place for watching kids and birthing this baby. Husband continued doing some last minute chores so I wasn’t stressed when we got home, cause he’s good like that. Then he loaded the car; I wanted to lay down so he put a beach towel across the backseat and piled my bags and birth kit in the front seat. He grabbed the car seat and base, my friend pulled in at 12:08pm and we left.
When she came in, I think I managed something like, “it’s too cold for the pool, their schedule is on the counter if you want to use it, and crockpot stuff is on the counter. Thank you.” Husband helped me into the backseat and we left, it was about 12:10
At this point I didn’t have my hypnobirthing track because my cell doesn’t get reception until we hit the highway.
I had a few thoughts going through my mind
- (Praying) God, I can’t do this for 6 more hours.
- I’ve read and watched a thousand birth stories, and every time a woman says she can’t do this anymore, it is time to push. But I have long labors, so this is just the start of the hard part ?
- If he hits one more freakin bump in the road, I’m going to lose my mind.
- If I could just relax I would be okay
- I really need to use the bathroom (my bladder was full thanks to all the water I drank at home)
Laying down in the backseat of the truck, it is impossible to relax through contractions. Relaxing through them is how I manage labor. I also tap my hand, and normally my husband squeezes my arm at the peak… but he was driving.
I knew when we crossed the highway because of the dips in the road.
My Hypnobirthing track kicked back on when my phone found reception, but just FYI- hypnobirthing isn’t very helpful when you are tence, trying to brace yourself in the backseat of a pickup truck while your husband drives 80mph down a country road. There is NO relaxing your muscles or jaw.
2 minutes later my water broke. Laying down nothing happened, just that really hard *pop.* Turns out I didn’t have to use the bathroom after all, the pressure had just been my water bag. Sweet relief.
I started getting nauseous… a few minutes later we were pulling up to the first light in town when I said, “I need to throw up.” Husband started to pull over- “No, don’t pull over! Roll down the window.” So he did. ? My water went everywhere when I sat up. I’ve never been sick during labor before- not fun. But I also knew from all the birth stories I had read that when women start throwing up, they’re usually in transition (going from 7-10cm), so I did NOT want my husband to pull over.
There are maybe 4 lights between that first intersection and the midwife’s office. It always takes me a while to get through the traffic there, but we made it in just a few minutes.
Husband pulled in, I asked if Deidre was there, he said he didn’t see her car but was going to see if anyone was inside.
I told him they’re closed on Wednesday.
But God had this amazing plan for Wednesday June 10, 2020.
The other midwife was in the office that day for an unexpected appointment- he asked her if Deidre was there, his wife was in labor.
Then he came out of the office and walked around to the passenger side where my feet were. He started putting on my shoes and I shouted, “No! No shoes! Get this thing off of me.” The day before, when baby decided to turn head down I put on my maternity FitSplint, to keep him in place. I had been wearing it ever since, and now I wanted it off! I lifted my shirt and he started pulling at the velcro to remove it. I climbed out of the truck and walked barefooted into the office.
I promptly turned around and went back outside-it was hot in there and there were people (at this point I assumed the other midwife was there just because my midwife called her.) I needed air, it was 74 degrees and windy outside. I used the hood of the truck as a place to lean, tapping my hand on the hood.
There came a contraction and baby was on the way. I pushed, Cynthia walked outside and said in the sweetest, most calm voice, “let’s just go inside.” “But it’s so hot,” I replied. We stumbled in, I stopped behind a chair for a contraction and she encouraged me, “To the bathroom. Let’s go to the bathroom.”
I got to the bathroom, husband started taking off my clothes, I hit the floor on all fours. I heard Cynthia say, “Let’s just see where baby is. I’m going to see what I can feel… okay, I feel your baby’s head.” She asked me if I wanted to feel him (this can encourage women to push and continue with labor), but I said no. I just wanted him out!
I’m pretty sure I pushed 2-3 times for his head and once for his body? So about 4 pushes later baby was here. No one had a watch or phone handy, once we found one we called his birth at 12:45pm.
Somehow Cynthia managed to get on gloves, grab some supplies, and put pads down all over the floor before he was born.
After she passed baby to me, husband went to get my pillow from the truck, and Cynthia got me situated laying on the floor holding baby. About that time, Deidre and Bethany walked in- they had gone to the birth center! My text was not clear ??♀️ so they thought I meant I needed the tub at 12:30, not meet at the office at 12:30pm.
I think we were all in disbelief.
Sir was 9.0lb, 20” and 15 days early. Several people have asked if maybe my dates were wrong, but we know they are right because A) I track my cycle and b) Deidre taught me this-if you look at the bottom of a baby’s foot, they have lots of deep wrinkles when they’re full term. Sir’s were completely smooth except for one small, shallow wrinkle on the ball of each foot.
Baby had meconium, a lot of meconium; it had stained his fingernails and the placenta. Because it had been in there a while, Deidre said he was probably under stress like we suspected, prompting the BPP the day before, but since he passed his test no one knew for certain …
Yall, there were SO many people praying over this baby and his birth. The day before, I had posted in my Pregnancy fitness group about using the splint to keep baby head down, they’re the ones that suggested keeping it on until labor, and during. We are positive that splint holding his head down is what put me into labor when it did. If it hadn’t, who knows how long he would have been in utero with meconium. This could have ended so differently; God was at every single turn and decision.
We are so thankful for all of the people, friends included, that helped make Baby’s pregnancy and labor safe. It was for sure a crazy experience and blessing, too!
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