Zoe's Birth

I first started feeling contractions around 5pm. I had just woke up from a nap. They were stronger than any I had had before and after the third one I decided it was time to start letting Jake know every time I had one. He started writing them down in his notebook. They came every 7-11 minutes. At 5:45 we were going to leave to take the girls to VBS but I decided that we probably shouldn’t just in case I really was in labor. We decided instead to head to Walmart to pick up a few things and get my blood pressure checked. After Walmart shopping was done it was around 7 and we decided that as soon as we arrived home we would call the midwives. I called Sara( good friend and birth photographer) to let her know(she had an hour drive) and had her contact another good friend and doula, Jess.

A little before 8 things started to pick up pace, the contractions were every 2-5 minutes apart. Jess and Sara arrived a little after 8, I tried giving Jess a tour of the house but only got half-way down the hallway. I let everyone know that IF I had been in a hospital I would be asking for pain medication. We had been told to call Laurie (midwife) when we thought we wanted someone there, so we did. I wanted to take a bath or shower but had trouble deciding. Jess started getting a bath ready and I climbed into it around 8:30.
Laurie arrived soon after followed by Amanda (midwife), both while I was in the tub. Laurie checked the baby’s heart rate and my blood pressure (which had dropped considerably since my last appointment). The tub was awesome. I was able to relax a lot in between contractions and breathing through the contractions was easier, I think I really learned how I should breathe in the tub and focused on making sure I kept breathing like that when I got out of the tub. I remember Micah coming in to see how I was. They checked the baby’s heart rate once more before I got out of the tub at 9:16 to try and pee.
With every contraction I was on my knees. For awhile I stayed in the bathroom and leaned over the tub with every contraction. At 9:30 I moved into our bedroom and starting kneeling beside the bed and leaning on it when the contractions came. Nathaniel brought in some trucks and cars and put them on the bed by me. At that time I noticed Patrice (midwife) was there.
They checked the baby’s heart rate three more times before it was all over but I don’t remember it.
After every contraction I said I couldn’t do it any longer and asked my midwives if they knew how much longer I had. They reassured me that my body was working perfectly. I really wanted to know if I was there yet but I’m glad they encouraged me to work with my body instead of checking to see how dilated I was.
I starting feeling pushy during the contractions and began to bare down with them. My water broke at 10. At 10:04 the head was inside by just a knuckle. The midwives put some warm compresses and olive oil on my bottom area.
At 10:05 I started pushing the head out, trying to breathe through them and gently push the head out so I wouldn’t tear (which I didn’t, there’s a first time for everything- episiotomy with first, tore with second and third).
At 10:08 the babies head was out, I reached down and felt it-amazing. There was an amazingly clear headed moment between pushing the head out and pushing the rest of her body out. In that moment I was able to touch her head then totally relax. I don’t remember feeling any pain at all at that time.
With the next contraction at 10:09 I pushed the rest of her out and everyone helped put her up into my arms. Then I sat  on the birthing stool that they put behind me. The kids were called in at 10:13 to see their new sister. I held her in my arms while I pushed the placenta out (which hurt way less than my previous hospital births where the nurse pushes on your belly until your uterus contractions again and you painfully push the placenta out).
At 10:27 Jake cut the cord. It was the first time I was able to see my baby’s cord being cut. I then moved into our bed and started feeding our little girl. They kids climbed into bed with me and admired their little sister.
My mom soon arrived and we then had the midwives take a more thorough check of the baby. She weighed 4lbs 11oz… so tiny!
The midwives left at 12:20am and Jess and Sara left soon after. Jake and my mom helped get the kids to bed and that was it!
It is still unbelievable that it all happened but her being here is the proof.
Everything was all and more than I had hoped for. I am so happy that I got to the point of my life where I would think of choosing home birth as an option. If we have one more- like we hope- I will absolutely go this route again.