I made it, I’m not pregnant anymore AND I’ve survived the first almost two weeks of having two kids. I’m 12 days in and feeling like my head is pretty clear. Let’s track back 13 days. Yes, 13 because that’s when we got things moving. PLEASE NOTE: if you are at all squeamish about labor, pregnancy or bodily fluids do not read. To pretty this post up as well, I’m going to sprinkle in the photos from our Fresh 48 session.
April 2nd was my last prenatal check-up, I was three days overdue and OVER IT. My family was in town waiting for the baby to come. I was giving daily social media check-ins to let the world know that I was indeed still pregnant. At my 39 week appointment, I sobbed because my midwife told me I would need to wait another week to have my membranes swept and that I would need to make another prenatal appointment for the following week. The week between the appointments felt like the longest week of my life and every little contraction sent my mind into a tizzy that this could be it.
At that April 2nd appointment I had the midwife sweep my membranes and I was instructed to rest for the day. I rested, picked up Owen from school, visited my Grandparents for a little bit with Owen and then came home for the night. Trav worked late that night and Owen was especially tough that night. I finally got him in bed and Trav came home to me crying because I felt bad over how our evening went and because let’s be real hormones.
Overnight I lost the last of my mucus plug known as “bloody show.” My midwife had told me when this happens you’re likely to go into labor within 48 hours on the high end. The alarm went off in the morning and I told Trav what happened and we both got excited and agreed that I should call the midwife office when they opened. I sent Trav and Owen off to school and work and vowed myself that I would rest all day. I called the midwife office the second they opened and they squealed with excitement that things were progressing. I had also started to have some consistent contractions at this point as well.
I downloaded a contraction timer and began timing my contractions and tried not to get too excited about what was happening. I texted Trav, my Gram and Owen’s God Mother to let them all know what was happening. Trav let me know he was ready to bolt out the door the minute I said go and I started making arrangements for Owen to be picked up after school. By 1:30 pm I called the midwife again to let them know that things were progressing. They offered to come to do a “labor check” and I agreed. I let Trav know that it was time to come home the midwife would be there by 3:30 pm.
Trav arrived home and quickly started rushing around to straighten up and blow up the birthing pool. Until I finally screamed out for him to stop because I needed him to be with me. The midwife arrived at 3:30 and checked me out and let us know that we would have a baby tonight. We all suddenly got super excited. She left to go get a cup of coffee and let us know she would be back in an hour but would come back sooner if we needed her.
While she was gone my contractions began to get closer and MUCH stronger. Only 30 minutes went by and Trav suggested we call the midwife to come back early. In typical me fashion not wanting to bother anyone, I said no. He insisted so he called her and she was back at our house in 5 minutes. When she arrived she suggested that it was time to fill the birthing pool. She stayed with me and Trav went to fill the pool. I didn’t know what was happening at the time but he turned the water on full blast and the hose went flying everywhere covering our kitchen, dining and living room with water. And causing him to slip and fall on his elbow. The midwife walked out to the kitchen to see what was happening and informed him that we were not going to use the pool. They then came in to me and told me the water wasn’t getting hot so we couldn’t use it to cover up what was really happening.
From there we started working out where else I could move to. I ultimately decided to move to our bathroom to labor on the toilet. This is where I would spend the majority of my labor. However, when I wasn’t on the toilet I labored with an exercise ball, on my hands and knees, on my side in our bed and squatting with my midwife’s support. I was everywhere.
I’m not going to sugar coat it; unmedicated labor was HARD work. It wasn’t quiet either, but being able to feel free enough to make as much noise as I wanted in my own home was super helpful. So from around 5:30 on I was in active labor. I have no idea how long I was anywhere I just know that it was all over at 8:09 pm when our Maxine was born.
At some point, I moved off the toilet and back to leaning over our bed, where my water broke. From there I got up onto the edge of our bed where I was handed a scarf to pull on to push her out. Once I got onto the edge of the bed with the scarf it was 3-5 pushes and she was out! When her head was mostly out they pulled my hand down to feel that she was almost here. A few more little pushes after that, Trav got in front of me and caught her. He gave her the first hug and kiss and a quick snuggle before they put her on me for skin to skin. It was then we discovered her extra little digit and were told not to worry about it. We loved on her for the next 20 minutes then he cut her cord and I handed her off to deliver the placenta.
Once the placenta was out we cleaned up a little bit and I got a little more comfortable in bed and he handed her back to me. She latched right on and started nursing away. It was honestly magical. Our midwife then started going over post-birth care of me and the baby. Then she did an exam on Max and she came out perfect. We all guessed her weight before she weighed her and the midwife assistant guessed it exactly right, 8lbs 4oz! A full pound and 3oz bigger than her brother.
Within 2.5 hours of Max being born the midwife and her assistant cleaned up everything, started our washer, got us snacks, hung out with us a little and then they were gone, by 10:30 pm. We called our family and sent around a photo of our girl and decided we would announce her birth on social media the next day. We didn’t settle down and go to sleep until around 3 am. Max spent her first night sleeping on me.
She’s been the sweetest baby over the last 12 days. Her brother loves her so much and watching him meet her was truly the sweetest moment of my life yet. He walked in the door the next morning saying “Max is here Max is here” I’ll never forget that and the sound of his little feet running from the front door to our bedroom to meet his baby.
It’s been crazy at times, yes. Three out of four of us have cried at the same time more than once. The baby has kept all four of us up at night. However, there have been so many dreamy moments between those crazy ones too. Yesterday, for instance, we all got up slow. Owen had his morning cereal and we had some cartoons on the TV. I got a shower after nursing the baby and Trav finally had a chance to just relax. I cooked for the first time making us a simple brunch while cartoons turned into HGTV shows and legos spread all over our coffee table. THIS is the life I imagined with two kids, a baby sleeping in a bouncy seat and big kid playing happily and a slow Sunday morning just taking it all in.
I’m so thankful.