In the weeks and days leading up to T1′s birth I spent a considerable amount of time imagining what the entire experience would be like. I chose home birth because of the control it afforded me. I dictated where I labored, how I labored, and who was present. I read something written by a midwife once detailing an old birth video she watched that showed a laboring mother baking a chocolate cake during labor. This oh-so-composed mommy popped the tins in the oven, hopped on the bed, and pushed the baby out just in time to ice the rounds in order to celebrate. This normalcy during labor is what I wanted for myself, and though I didn’t bake my cake at 8 centimeters dilated, you will later see photos of me blow drying my bangs in place and picking zits on my face a mere hour or so before I started pushing. If that isn’t the epitome of a normal, natural birth, then I don’t know what is.
That is why I chose to birth at home, in my own private space, with the people I love most in the world cheering me on. I experienced the most extraordinary moments of my life and a few hours later settled in bed with a new little person, my incredible husband, and a slice of homemade chocolate cake with avocado buttercream frosting I had made myself when contractions were lighter, washed down with a glass of sparkling cider to celebrate. It was even better than I could have imagined.
Saturday, April 10th, 7:00 am
On Saturday morning, the day which I had marked as my official estimated due date, I woke up to a toilet full of bloody toilet paper and stained panties. Frantic internet searching commenced and I learned that this could mean everything or it could mean nothing. Baby could come that day or 3 weeks from that day. Very light contractions began happening somewhere between every 20-30 minutes, lasting an average of 40 seconds each.
I called my mom and she made the (very smart) decision to fly down the next morning, after weeks of vacillating back and forth about whether she wanted to try to be present for the birth. I sent a few text messages to Kelli Nicole as well, keeping her updated on my progress as we were hoping to time things so that she would get there in time to photograph everything that was happening.
Saturday, April 10th, 10:00 am
That Husband and I started going down my birth plan, gathering the items we needed and cleaning up the house as it was very important to me that things be neat while I labored. I do not like clutter and I knew it would be distracting to me if we didn’t tackle the messes early in labor. We watched Walk the Line, moved the dining room table into the middle of the living room, and TH blew up the birth tub. I laughed so hard as he decided to get in the freezing cold water to “test it out”. I think we were both a bit giddy realizing that we were going to have a baby in our lives sometime soon.
Saturday, April 10th, 11:30 pm
I decided to call it a night, knowing it was important to try to get as much rest as possible during the early hours of labor. That night I slept in 10 minute intervals, waking in pain frequently as yet another contraction rolled over me, giving up after only 4 hours and heading into the kitchen to find something to eat.
Sunday, April 11th, 3:30 am
I decided on a banana and knelt by the side of our bed and ate while finishing Deliver Me From Pain, then got up and got another banana because the first one tasted so good. An hour later and I was hungry once again, this time walking out of the kitchen with some peanut butter toast and a glass of milk, which satisfied my tummy but not enough for me to sleep. After 30 minutes I sent Sarah a text telling her how miserable I was and she suggested a nice warm bath combined with a dose of Benadryl. This relaxed me enough that I was able to sleep for a little over two hours, something I would be very grateful for later on the next night.
Sunday, April 11th, 8:30 am
I woke That Husband up and told him we wouldn’t be going to church that day, and decided to eat breakfast and start on baby’s birthday cake. I gathered up all of the baking supplies on the counter and started mixing, and found over time that my contractions were slowly dying down, spreading out and tapering off in intensity. By the time I finished baking the cake at noon I was hardly feeling anything and starting to stress that my mom was on a plane, Kelli was halfway here, and maybe I wouldn’t be having a baby anytime soon after all.