The Birth of Lily Rain
August 17th, 2020
When I hit 35 weeks, I could feel that baby girl had dropped – a lot. My phenomenal midwife Rebecca, confirmed this at our next appointment. Baby girl was low, in a great position, and my heartburn wasn’t nearly as bad. This is also when my Braxton Hicks contractions started picking up.
My firstborn came naturally at 38 weeks, and although I tried to not get my hopes up, I was convinced my little girl would be making her grand entrance into this world very soon. 37 weeks came and passed. And so did 38, and 39, and 40. And soon I was left wondering if she was going to come at all. Rebecca tried to convince me at our appointments that no one is pregnant forever, but I was starting to believe I would be the first.
I was so desperate to meet my little one, but am strong believer that baby will come when she or he is ready. So, since baby and I were both healthy, I made the decision to wait another week before talking about the options Rebecca offered (like a membrane sweep) that would help encourage labor to start.
I was 41 weeks exactly, on August 17th, when I got my first “real” contraction at 3:30 am. It felt just like I remembered with my son – a period cramp that slowly grows, surges, and then peters out. I closed my eyes and tried to settle back into sleep, but noticed that they were coming every half hour.
By the time 6am rolled around, they had spaced out to just one every hour. But I had a feeling she would be here by the end of the day.
I went about my day as one normally does when she has a two year old. Making meals, cleaning messes, trying not to think too much about the contractions coming every hour. Fortunately my husband, Nathan, was home and was able to help distract me. Although he did decide to go out and mow the lawn.
Around noon, my contractions started coming every half hour and lasting longer – still nothing too serious. By 2:20pm, things started to get exciting as my water broke while I was on the toilet. Which is extra confusing by the way. Like, did I just randomly gush pee after I already peed? An amniotic fluid testing swab, found in my birth kit, proved that it was in fact my waters. At this point, I came out and told Nathan, who was still mowing, that my water broke, and we called Grandma and Grandpa to come and grab our son for the night.
Luke was picked up by Grandma at 2:45pm and I went to take a quick shower. I could feel things really ramping up at this point. My contractions were coming every few minutes and I had to pause what I was doing to breathe through them.
I had been texting Rebecca my progress since the morning, and by 3:30pm we both decided it was time for her to come to my home which was 45min away from her. (I should add that I am a very indecisive person, and I was still unsure if she should come. But I am SOOO glad she did when she did). This is also when Nathan started setting up the birthing pool.
By the time 4pm rolled around, my contractions were coming every 2-4 minutes and lasting over a minute. As time went on, the contractions began coming every 15-30 seconds or so and lasting 1-3 minutes. This was how it was with my son after my water broke as well. Strong contractions right on top of each other. I found that it was easiest to manage the contractions when I was kneeling on my hands and knees and practicing my deep breathing.
The feeling of contractions is a strange thing. They are so incredible intense and it takes all of your focus to breathe through them. Repeating the mantra in my head “every wave brings me closer to my baby” helped me to stay focused and remember my purpose.
When I gave birth to my son two years prior, I had gotten an epidural and the nurses had directed me on when to push and for how long. I had pushed for 2 and a half hours, was exhausted, given a routine episiotomy, and felt like I had very little control over the birth of my son. This time, I came in with much more knowledge about my body and the birthing process. I was determined to work with my body and baby, and to bring my daughter into the world in the most natural way possible.
Rebecca and her assistant, Sandra, arrived at 4:50pm and began setting up. The pool wasn’t even close to being ready, but I could feel that baby girl was.
By 5pm, I was feeling the urge to bear down. I was still on my hands and knees on the living room floor. I can remember Sandra asking if I wanted to move to the bed, but I literally couldn’t. I felt glued to the floor and my body was taking over. The back contractions were really strong at this point as well, and I found a lot of relief in the massages Nathan and Rebecca were doing over the area.
After only 26 minutes of “pushing”, and the most intense moments in my entire life, my baby girl entered the world. Fetal Ejection Reflex (FER) is an absolutely incredible sensation and I am so thankful I got to experience it this time around. Seriously, look it up if you haven’t.
Baby girl wasn’t breathing right away, but Rebecca was quick to act and gave her a few rescue breaths until she was breathing on her own. We are very thankful for the guidance, calmness, support and wisdom we received from our midwife Rebecca throughout the whole process (pre-birth, birth, and post-birth).
I trusted her completely and still do.
We never got to use the birthing pool, but that’s okay. Because after a very long 41 weeks, I was finally able to hold my rainbow baby in my arms. She came in at 8lbs 6oz, and 20.5in long.
Welcome to the world, [Lily Rain]."