I had resigned to a long labor, since that had been my experience with both other times I had a baby. We took our time shopping and headed to the park to continue the day that I knew was going to be my last day being momma to only Charlie. It was bittersweet sitting there on the bench watching her play with two other girls while I made my phonecalls to the midwife, birth assistant, friend/sitter, and Paul. She was so carefree, having very little comprehension of how much her life was about to change.
The plan was that we would go home and eat lunch, and then I would put Charlie down for some rest time and evaluate my labor situation, and then check in with everyone again. I love this about natural childbirth--it's all up to me! I love that Bradley classes enable the laboring woman to know what's going on and to make the call based on the signs that her body is showing her. I continued to labor for a while, contractions getting closer but still not extremely painful.
After a short while, I called everyone and told them to go ahead and come on over. My friend Ami was the first one on the scene. I'd asked her to be on call to watch Charlie during labor and delivery. She did a wonderful job with her. At times, I could hear her laughing so loud, and that was so helpful during the painful points. Actually made me smile a few times.
The midwife, the student midwife, and my birth assistant all arrived, and then Paul. It was about 2 in the afternoon, and contractions were getting pretty painful by now. I labored in the bath tub for a little while and then back to the bedroom. Charlie was still nearby playing with Ami. The house seemed peaceful, with everything surrounding this beautiful event.
Sometime around 4:30 I felt the urge to push, and shortly after that, my water broke. I knew that I was in transition, because I honestly wondered if I could keep doing this. But Paul and everyone else did very well with reassuring me. At one point, I said something like, "He's coming." I could feel him moving down, and though this might sound painful, it was a very encouraging sensation, knowing that he would soon be in my arms.
I had mentioned to my midwife early on that I'd like to try a few positions for the pushing stage. One in particular was the birthing chair. Since we didn't have one, we sort of created our own by having Paul sit on a low stool and then I sat on his lap facing out. I had tried a few positions for pushing and really couldn't get comfortable (a relative term). Then I looked right next to me and saw Paul sitting on this stool while I was squatting, so I just sat down on his lap and continued to push.
I think it was the next contraction after I sat on Paul's lap that Judah's head was born. I was resting between contractions with his head right there, and then Charlie ran in and saw what was going on. Then she screamed and ran back out. Paul thought that maybe she was just concerned about me and asked me to maybe yell to her that "Mommy's okay," so that she would be calmed down. I told him I really couldn't say anything right then, that I was a little preoccupied.
So the next contracion came, and I put my hands down and caught Judah myself--all 9 pounds of him. It was the most incredible feeling. He has been the sweetest big boy ever since. Having this homebirth was such an incredible experience. I'm so thankful to everyone who helped!
Well, I just thought it would be fun to share Judah's birth story on his birthday. He's an incredible little guy, as are all my little ones. And, frankly, I'm a little relieved to have September nearly behind me now. ;)
Happy birthday to sweet, wonderful Judah, who teaches me every day how to love more and more. I am in love with your smile and your laughter, and your patient eyes that love me back. I adore you.
Just a couple hours after Judah was born:
Just a couple weeks old: