I've gone past my due date with both Rilo and Collier so I was fully prepared to pass my due date with no baby. October 22nd, came and went with no signs of baby, not surprisingly. On the morning of the 24th, I woke up and had some spotting, which I thought could possibly lead to something. Throughout the day, I had a handful of contractions. This was so different from my other two labors. With Rilo and Collier, the moment I had my first contraction I was in full on labor.
By the afternoon, I had only had about 4 contractions. I wanted to help my body along so we went for a nice long walk to the park with the kids. When we returned I made dinner and had a few more contractions. I tried to time them but they weren't very consistent. We put the kids to bed and joked with Rilo (who was anxiously awaiting the birth of her sister) that maybe when she woke up, she would have a new baby to hold.
Around 9:20pm, I started having regular, strong contractions. They were about 1-4 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds. I decided to hop in the steamy shower, to help me relax. When I got in the shower, I was able to walk through the contractions but while in there, I had to focus my efforts. I have a very specific position that I prefer to labor in, and have labored in with all 3 babies. I like to lean forward slightly, rest my hands on a wall or table, focus on taking nice deep breaths and then sway through the contraction. After 3 really intense contractions in the shower, I strongly felt I should get out and call my midwives. It was now 10:00 PM. As I stood by a mirror in the dark, I watched as the silhouette of my belly dropped in one sudden surge. I've never seen anything so strange, yet amazing. Our bodies are incredible, aren't they?!
When I showed up to the birth center with Collier, I delivered him 10 minutes later. My biggest fear this time around was that I wouldn't make it to the birth center in time. The fear of not making it in time wasn't helping me keep my normal calm, relaxed state while laboring so I called the midwives and told them I thought I should maybe head in. They asked how long I'd been laboring and I told them 40 minutes. They then asked me if I was sure I should come in. I don't blame them...they were delivering another baby plus it had only been 40 minutes for goodness sakes! I wasn't even really sure that I should leave, I just knew that it was stressing me out being at home this time around.
My sister lives in our basement apartment, which was a huge blessing because I just had to yell downstairs that we were leaving instead of waiting for someone to arrive. We hopped in the car, where I always sit in the backseat so I can sprawl out. I texted my Mom and friend Britt that I was headed to the birth center but thought it was a little too early. I wanted to be safe, not sorry though. The ride was pretty uneventful...but I've never had an issue with the car ride. As long as I stay focused and breathe, I feel fine.
When we got to the birth center, they were getting my room set up. They brought me into a room to be examined, to see how dilated I was. The student midwife checked first, followed by the midwife. I heard something about a 1 and was sort of embarrassed. It's my third baby, how could I have come in THAT early?! When I asked the midwife, she said I was 1 away...meaning I as at a 9. Phew!
I wanted to labor and deliver in their large jetted tub again. As I headed to the bathroom I had a really strong contraction. I could tell she was coming fast. I got in the hot water and felt as relaxed as is possible when you are about to deliver a baby. What I love about the birth center, is that it's all about you and your needs. If you want them to be really hands on and need lots of guidance, they can do that. For me, I am in my own zone and when I'm there I don't need much help. So they left Adam and I in the bathroom to labor peacefully. I had several really strong surges that took all of my efforts to completely relax through. I found myself starting to tense up and I had to coach myself to get to that calm state again. I remember thinking I was so glad I knew she was coming soon because hours of that type of mental concentration would have made me exhausted.
And just like that, it was time to call the midwives in so I could begin pushing. I love that little sliver of time where your body gives you a rest, right before pushing. It doesn't last long, but it's so incredible that our bodies just know we need that moment of relief. I knew I wanted to push a little slower this time so I could avoid any tearing. I did a few pushes and her head was out. Her cord was wrapped a little so the midwives adjusted and then I began pushing again. A few pushes later and she was out. I pulled her onto my chest and marveled at how amazing giving birth is, yet again. That moment when heaven and earth collide is what makes me think I'll keep having babies forever.
Our new baby was happy and healthy and so alert. She startled us all when she pushed her head off my shoulder and looked around. She was born at 11:04pm, just an hour and 40 minutes after my labor started. Our sweet Arden Adelia Webb. I think it's safe to say my body has definitely figured out this whole giving birth thing.
We finally moved from the tub to our room. Another big perk of the birth center is that your room has a king bed, so Adam and I got to snuggle with our sweet little girl. We examined her face, counted her fingers and toes and decided that we were completely smitten! Then the midwives came in to measure her. She was a whopping 8 lbs. 14 oz and 19.5 inches long.
We snuggled and stared at her for a little while longer and took a little nap. By 2:30 am, I was ready to head home to our own bed. We packed up and drove to our house. Rilo's dreams came true when she woke up...her baby sister arrived by morning!