My water broke at about 5:15am with Emmett’s birth. I had my mom come pick up Henry for a trip to the Children’s Museum, and Rick headed off to work for a half day (he planned to be home by 11:00am). I called Julie at 7:30 to tell her my water broke, and that I had had a few contractions, but that they were inconsistent and that I’d call back when they got more regular.
My mom got to my house about 8:00am and when she was there my contractions started to pick up. Rick stopped back by to put the car seat in her car, and I asked him to stay since the contractions were getting stronger. He said he had to go back in to delegate his work, but that he’d be back by 9:00.
After they all left, I grabbed a Calvin & Hobbes book for a distraction, and a digital clock that counted seconds, and sat down on the floor (on my soft rug), to try to relax as the contractions picked up. Luckily I was only a page or two in before my best friend, Jennifer, called. She was a great distraction (far better than Calvin), and she timed contractions with me for nearly an hour.
Rick got home, and Julie called to check in with me. She said she was in the neighborhood, and thought it’d be a good idea if she dropped her things off at our house. She and Jen (her intern midwife) arrived at 10:00am. At the time, my contractions were about 40 seconds long and three minutes apart if I was up and about, and spaced a bit further if I was sitting down.
Julie gave me some homeopathics to help even out the contractions, and suggested that Rick and I go for a walk around the neighborhood. We went out to the front yard, where I had three contractions, and then went back in the house because I felt like the contractions were too hard for me to walk around the block. They were pretty painful by this point.
Julie and Jen were surprised that we came back in so soon, but came and sat with us through some more contractions. It was already 10:30 by this time. I was pretty focused and working hard, and getting nervous that I wouldn’t be able to go for hours with these kind of contractions. I could tell that I was showing signs of transition, but I felt like that was impossible… labor had only really been going for half an hour, and it hadn’t be consistent.
Now it was consistent, and consistently strong. I sat on the couch and leaned on the exercise ball through contractions while Julie applied pressure on my back. In between contractions, we joked about labor being torture for women, and the laughing helped. After a few contractions like this, I went to the bathroom. I had three contractions in there. I was scared by this time. I kept thinking about pushing, and then arguing with myself that this was crazy, and that there was no way I should be pushing yet. Was I just wishful thinking?
I came out of the bathroom and sat on the bed. I told Julie that I wanted to lay down on my side and she told me to go ahead, but when I tried, the contraction was more intense, and I sat back up. She asked if the contractions had changed, and I said I felt a lot of pressure. I actually felt like pushing, but I felt it would be ludicrous to say so… Julie hadn’t even checked my cervix at all yet. It was barely 11:30. I asked for reassurance that birth was close… and Julie laughed, and pointed out the fact that she had her gloves on, and didn’t plan to sit around for hours wearing them. She suggested I lay down on my side like I wanted to, and push during the next contraction to see how it felt.
It felt better but I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that I’d only been in labor for an hour (and four minutes, to be exact) and was already pushing. So I was scared, and pushing, and looking at Rick and my midwives in between each contraction for reassurance that I was not crazy and should still keep pushing. Emmett was born in seven more minutes at 11:41 am!
The strength of Emmett’s labor and birth were perfectly contrasted by the serenity and peace of being at home in the calm of our own bedroom. The midwives treated us with so much love and respect, and really honored what we had asked for in our birth experience.
Henry and my mom had come home from the museum while I was pushing, and were able to meet Emmett, right after he was born. Henry was so excited to meet his brother, and even now can barely keep himself from hugging and kissing Emmett all the time.
Click here to read Cora’s Birth Story.
Click here to read Henry’s Birth Story.
Or here to see photos of Emmett’s birth.