December 15, 2020
Let’s begin with a little introduction, just so you know a bit about me. My name is Natalie and I am 23, this is the birth story of my fourth baby, my first daughter after three boys. I had one hospital birth and two home births leading up to this one.
Okay now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s start with the day before I went into labor!
The day was October 20th, 2020. I went to my final midwife appointment where my midwife performed a cervical check and a stretch and sweep of my membranes. I was 2cm dilated which I had been for a couple weeks. After that appointment, my husband Riley suggested we go to Costco and stock up on groceries and walk around. So for most of that shopping trip and the drive home I was a bit crampy, nothing very painful but I felt like I was having menstrual cramps. This continued into the night and until I went to bed. Around midnight I woke up to a strong contraction, one that was much more painful than what I had been experiencing. Shortly after that contraction I felt the need to go to the bathroom, my body always clears itself out leading into labor. (Oh the joys of labor! Lol). So I knew things were starting to happen.
I started having contractions about every 10 minutes, but I desperately wanted to try to sleep until morning so that I could have some energy for labor. I was able to sleep between contractions until about 5am, at that point I decided to get up and take a shower. I also told Riley to call the midwife to let her know I’d like to have her come check on me because the contractions were really painful. The midwife came and checked me around 6-6:30am and I was 6cm dilated. My boys were also starting to wake up so we called my mother in law to come take them until baby was here. I called my mom who could not fly in to be here because of Covid. We had her on FaceTime the whole time so that she could be there virtually. Labour progressed pretty steadily, I laboured on my couch and around the house for a few hours. I was incredibly tired and all I wanted to do was sleep, which is not typical for me in labour but I listened to my body and rested as I needed. The midwife checked me around 10:30 and I was 8cm, at this point I got into the tub and laboured for about an hour and a half. I started to feel like I wanted to push a bit during some of the contractions so my midwife encouraged me to push with the contractions at their peak. After pushing through 4 or 5 contractions I felt like I wasn’t making any progress and that I shouldn’t be pushing yet. My midwife told me she could break my water and that would likely speed things up and me being so tired I wanted to get it over with. I also want to add that at this point in my labor I was struggling mentally and emotionally, I was crying and having a really hard time coping with contractions.
So I got out of the tub and got to my couch where she broke my water, at that point she also checked me and told me I was fully dilated. She also discovered I had a lip of my cervix that was stuck on baby’s head. This was likely the reason I was feeling like I needed to push but wasn’t making much progress. That lip was keeping baby’s head in place and not allowing it to come down into the birth canal. So after letting me know what was going on she told me that she could reach in and pull up on that lip while I pushed to get baby’s head past it. This would speed things up a lot but was going to hurt...really bad. I was already in so much pain and I needed it to be over, so I told her to do it. When I tell you this is the worst pain I have ever experienced, I mean it. I started panicking and had a really hard time pushing because the pain would literally take my breath away. That being said, once I got a couple good pushes in she came right down and was past that lip. A few pushes later and Birdie was born! The overwhelming relief and happiness I felt finally holding my baby girl was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced!
I had to look at her right away to make sure she was actually a girl because I couldn’t believe it!
She was born at 12:34pm on October 21st, 2020 weighing 7lbs 14oz, and she is absolute perfection. Her brothers instantly fell in love with her, they don’t stop kissing her cheeks and hugging her belly.
This labour and delivery was easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done but I would do it a million times to meet my daughter, she is so worth it.