“Mami, I think the baby is going to be born tonight….”
said my 4 year old as he fell asleep for the night.
My fourth baby, my last baby and my only homebirth. Getting here has been quite the journey and so worth it. And though I didn’t realize it, both my son and my baby knew the night it was going to be born.
It was Wednesday night and I didn’t think at this point that I would give birth until Monday. I thought the baby was waiting until the busy weekend to pass of OC Pregnancy & Beyond, which I had still been working on even though it was happening in just a few days. A friend and doula mentioned that same day that the baby is probably waiting for it to come and go and I too had sensed that.
That evening, much to my husband’s surprised, who wondered why in the middle of the week I needed to do this, I decided to take off all the sheets and comforter off the bed and wash them. I told him, I just really need them to be washed and fresh. I also had him take off the covers off the sofa and said they too needed to be cleaned before we went to bed. All this, I hadn’t realize would be the baby’s way of communicating to me that he would come the next morning and knew me so well that he knew I’d want the bed and sofa freshly cleaned to spend my time with him postpartum.
And so I went to bed after putting my 4 year old son to bed…
I was awaken by a sharp contraction in the middle of the night. I had to get all up on the bed to be able to cope with the contraction. I looked at the time and it was 3:40am. Since I wasn’t sure it was labor or not, I went back to bed only to be woken up about 15 minutes later with another one. At this time, my husband woke up from my deep breathing and I told him, that I think it might be it, but I wasn’t sure. I really didn’t want to call my doula and midwife over for a false alarm. So, I wanted to be really really sure. One more contraction and I was really really sure.
At around 4:15am the midwife and nurse were there, my friend Marcy and my doula Angelique. In the meantime, my 4 year old had woken up and was wide awake and giggly with anticipation. He later woke up his sister as well to tell her that tonight the baby is coming. And soon after my other son was also awake. All of them had been waiting with me for this day and so there was quite a bit of joy and excitement in the room.
My bedroom became my haven for laboring.
I had Clary Sage essential oil diffusing, low lighting and surrounding me were these amazing women, my children and my husband. My children were in and out of the room during the first couple of hours and so was my husband as he did final preparations such as showing the midwife where our supplies were and offering me water and support.
I sat on a chair in my bedroom and in between contractions would chat with Angelique and Marcy. We’d laugh about something or talk about how the labor is going. During a contraction I would get on my knees and lean over the bed and breath through it. Sometimes my children would be in the room and my husband told me with a smile in between contractions how my 4 year old was mimicking my facial expressions during a contraction in a very cute way. My daughter, who expresses herself through art, drew me a picture of me leaning over the bed making Mmmmmm, mmmmm… sounds and she taped it up on the bed headboard. I remember at one contraction, opening my eyes and seeing all three of them there and my husband behind them. It was the perfect picture of a family waiting for its newest arrival.
Soon my contractions became stronger and I got the beginning urges to push. I moved to the bed instead and begin pushing even more at each contraction. As the baby’s head began to show, my kids yelled, “We see the hair! We see the hair!” and as he came out, my daughter laughed with joy. She wanted to be involved in catching the baby, so she wore gloves and had her hands out under the midwife’s hands as the baby came out.
“You’re here, you’re finally here.”
Immediately after the baby came out, I had him on my arms and happily told him, “You’re here, you’re finally here.” Not because the labor was long (it was just under 4 hours total) but because I had wanted this baby for so long and didn’t truly believe that I would get him, until I had him in my arms…and there he was in my arms.
Later when it was time to cut the placenta, my 6 year old gave it a try but was afraid he’d cut the baby, so my 4 year old eagerly said he’d do it, but wasn’t able to cut it, so then my husband cut the cord. My 4 year helped the midwife put a prefold and cover on the baby and dress him with a onesie. And all of them laid on the bed while I held and fed the baby.
It’s been a week since he was born, my yet to be named baby boy. And it’s been perfect. I adore him, we love him and we are so happy to have him in our lives.