May 21, 2018 is when our sweet little girl decided to make her fast and furious entrance into our world! My original due date was May 8, but then after going back and configuring cycle lengths and possible conception date, it was estimated to May 15-18th. I don't know. All I know is every day after May 8th felt like an eternity and with a very busy husband who dj's WEDDINGS, I was a stress ball pregnant lady!
Saturday, May 19th, my two year old son woke up and quickly showed that he had the stomach flu. I stayed by his side all day long, super pregnant, tending to him getting sick every 30 minutes. It broke my heart to see my sweet boy so sick and unable to communicate how he felt. I really can't imagine a worse feeling in this world than seeing your child so sick. The very next day, Sunday, my husband woke up and started throwing up. My son wasn't throwing up but he was extremely lethargic and no appetite. SO I spent my day caring for my husband and my toddler. I started to fear what I thought was the worst....what if I got this flu and it sends me into labor? Planning a birth at home, I knew I needed to be healthy and rested for when I went into labor. WELL, our baby and God had other plans for me- because that Sunday evening at 9:30pm, I threw up. Hard. And one hour later, contractions started. I woke my sick husband up around 10:45pm telling him I thought we should call Nicole, our midwife and he thought I was crazy. Coming from my son's 29 hour labor just 2 years prior, I don't think Jerry thought it was close enough to alert the team. I lasted about 5 more minutes till I decided to send a heads up text to Nicole. She told me she was going to alert everyone and to let her know when I felt I needed them to head over. 10 minutes is all it took for me to send "COME NOW" to her. Contractions were every 2-3 minutes and we weren't even an hour in. I remember thinking "how the hell am I going to do this?" but my body and instincts quickly took over- and through each contraction, I moaned through.
While I had a doula for my first labor, there is a significant difference in doulas. The doulas I was blessed with for this birth were true angels! They squeezed my hips, put pressure on my back, rubbed my feet, held my hand....the works. My two doulas were the first to arrive, and shortly after, our midwife Nicole arrived. I am unsure what time she arrived, but it felt she was there for maybe 20 minutes before she said something along the lines of "you can start pushing whenever you're ready" and I legit told her to stop kidding with me. There was NO way I was fully dilated. I labored on our bed for a bit but when it came time to start actively pushing, no position in my bed felt right. I knew my husband had filled the birth pool downstairs in the living room, so I made the executive decision to move down there. Key- I made the decision where and how I wanted to birth my baby!! As much as I did NOT want to actually get up and go down a flight of stairs, 10 cm dilated, I knew that was the right choice. I was in the pool for maybe 5 minutes till I got the insane urge to push my baby out. I can't be certain how long I pushed (10 minutes maybe??) and she was out. Little miss Alexandra had a nuchal hand ( where the hand is up by the face) when they come out, as well as the cord wrapped around her neck. Nicole and her team quickly unwrapped her and placed her between my legs and into my arms.
I DID IT. I could not believe I did it. And honestly, I still don't believe I did it most days- which is why I am forever grateful that I hired Amanda Ellis to capture her birth! Amanda was there for Asher's arrival and it was no question that she would be there for this one. Her birth films are jaw dropping and they are something I will cherish and watch forever! Also, I have to praise her even more because literally the only light this poor girl had in my bedroom was 2 cell phone flashlights! Jerry said he tried to turn on a lamp but I screamed at him HA! I don't remember that at all- but totally something I could see myself doing. I'm very direct and vocal of what I want and don't like during my labors, and my poor husband is usually the receiver of that. :)
My last piece before I depart is I want to share my WHY of this. There is SO much comparison and negativity that seems to be floating around regarding how women birth. I want to say this loud: I BIRTHED MY BABY AT HOME BECAUSE IT WAS BEST FOR MY FAMILY! That's it. It wasn't anything more. I had a hospital birth with Asher and while all went well in the overall process, I still knew it could have been way better. I had to have an IV port in my hand the entire time, I was strapped to monitors and required to lay in a bed for 20 minutes every 2 hours, I was told I wasn't allowed in the tub....it was just so not the birth I envisioned having. I was on a time clock. I was minutes away from being whisked to the OR for a c section, simply because I was "taking too long". I just knew with our next baby, things would be very different. The more research I did when planning this baby and her birth, the more apparent that having her at home was the best and safest choice for us. With no history of complications, countless hours of research from and WITH midwives, doctors, hospitals, stats, and so much more- it just made sense. And based on my experience, IF I WERE TO HAVE MORE BABIES, they would all be born at home. But sadly, Alexandra is our last baby and for that, I am beyond thankful that I had the most amazing birth with her. It was absolutely perfect, every detail.
If you have any questions regarding what a home birth is like, the statistics of the safety, any questions regarding what a midwife is or does, what a doula is, or ANYTHING birth related- I am an open book! I will say if you are interested in having your baby at home, I cannot recommend Nicole Young and her team enough. The connection I had with her from our first consultation to the moment she handed me my baby, it was pure love. I fell in love with her soul and her serving heart. She loved me and my family so very much. Every prenatal appointment was in her home office, never a waiting room, a cup of hot tea waiting for me. We spent an hour together each time, checking on baby, discussing ME, how life was going, or anything else I wanted to talk about. We always ended each appointment with a hug and an "I love you". It was absolutely amazing the difference in care that I received from Asher to Alexandra's pregnancies and birth. After Alexandra was born, I was made food, served warm tea, drawn a warm herbal bath, tucked into my own bed, all of my laundry done. It was just perfect.