Let’s go! Part two of Maren’s birth story!
In case you missed part one, you can check it out here.
Sorry for the cliffhanger on part one guys. But really, I’m NOT sorry. It was a good cliffhanger, lol! Gotta get your attention while the gettins’ good!
Alright, SO……that last contraction on county road 8 was DIFFERENT. Having an epidural last time, I honestly didn’t know when to push, and even felt like I SHOULDN’T push when it was time to push. So this feeling was like YO, something big is gonna happen here, and you gotta get with the program.
My husband is internally like WHAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTT after I said we weren’t gonna make it to the birth center. He didn’t say it, and didn’t let on AT ALL, but I find this out after the fact.
If you know geographically where my town is in relationship to St. Peter, MN….we took “the back roads” to St. Peter past the chicken barns. And right about the time we were hitting the chicken barns, that second special contraction hit. Like, you can’t work through a contraction like that sitting in the front seat of a car. Mostly because it was powerful, and I really felt like she was coming out. I’m screaming for Todd to pull over, and he did as fast as he could, and here we go on the shoulder of the road. All fours. Trying to work through that contraction and getting insane pressure and feeling like Maren was coming out. We think this is where my water broke as well, but not really sure.
By this point, Todd was getting the birth center on the phone. Erika, our midwife, was super awesome, encouraging me to see if I could get back in the car after the contraction so we could get to the birth center. But, if getting back in the car was not going to happen, not to worry, because she would coach us through this, and Todd would catch the baby.
Two side notes here that are SUPER IMPORTANT here:
- My husband is like….oh, ok, I’ll just catch the baby. No worries. As he is internally like….welllll, this really isn’t on my list of things to do today. And he shows NONE of this. Straight poker face but I could tell he was like WTF!
- At my 36 week pre-natal visit, Rachel, our other midwife, said second labors can go fast, and do I know how to catch a baby? Um, no, no I don’t know how to catch a baby. So, I learned that day, that getting down on all fours or a half kneel is an easy way to catch a baby. And what to do after the baby comes out….draining fluids, getting her to cry, the whole nine yards.
So, Todd convinced/encouraged me to get back in the car, and we laid the front seat all the way down so I was still on all fours, with my head in the backseat and legs in the front seat. Would have done this in the backseat totally, but we have too many car seats in there, lol.
Off we go, with Erika still on the phone, and Todd going who knows how fast (thankfully I couldn’t see the dash, or…..care). I think I had about two more contractions in the car, and they were getting more serious each time. Maren was pushing out a bit, especially at the peak and end of the contraction but then sliding back each time. I was pretty much using choice four letter words only here at this point. And the whole while, as I’m staring down at the backseat of my car….thinking I thought Rachel teaching me how to catch my own baby was an effing joke and now it’s for REAL! Todd kept encouraging, giving me like updates on how short a distance we had to go yet.
We get to the birth center (seriously, THANK GOD). Erika is waiting on the curb ready to catch this baby in the car if we were at that point. Not quite at that point yet. She asked if I could make it up the sidewalk and up the stairs to our room. I told her I didn’t know but I would try. So, broad daylight in residential St. Peter with a two towels wrapped around my waist, here we go into the birth center. It was about 2:30PM.
Made it to our room. All fours again. I was originally going to try birthing in a squat, and since I knew how all fours went from the car ride, and not really want to “try new things” at this point…all fours it was, lol. I have to say, pushing itself didn’t suck. The start of each pushing contraction sucked, and then when it was time to push….that actually felt really good!
Second contraction in the birth center, and I could tell Maren was coming out further and further each time, but backsliding a bit when the contraction was over. I would look up at Todd after each contraction and first of all see……RELIEF. Like, we made it, and he wasn’t catching the baby. But we also were kind of talking back and forth, and he was getting me water. I think I possibly apologized to the midwives (we had a second….Sarah….in our room at this point) for making their day so interesting. In between each pushing contraction, Erika would check Maren’s heart rate with the doppler to make sure she was recovering well, and she was doing awesome.
By the fourth contraction, Maren’s head was out. Everyone kept telling me about the “burning ring of fire” when the head crowns. I have to say, I really don’t remember that much at all. Maybe that’s because I was operating off adrenaline from almost not making it to the birth center. Head was out, one more contraction to push her body out….and I have to say, that final push was the easiest thing EVER and as soon as her body was out, I felt so gloriously NOT pregnant that it was awesome.
I looked down, and Maren was basically underneath me, so I got down into a lying position as fast as possible, got all the way undressed, and it was skin to skin time. Pretty much…..we knew Maren was gonna be juuuussssttttt fine here…..because she screamed and screamed and screamed to let us know, lol. Time of birth, 2:53PM. A short 23 minutes after coming to a screeching halt in front of the birth center and walking in with towels around my waist, lol.
All four of us – Todd, Erika, Sarah, and I – were chatting and talking and getting comfortable and making sure everything was alright. About 20 minutes later, it was time to cut the cord (Todd did it), and then deliver the placenta (which by the way, is the easiest thing ever after pushing out an infant). Then Erika and Sarah left and let Todd and I have some alone time with Maren. Maren was still letting us know she had lungs at this point, and at one point we looked at each other and sorta joked…..is she going to cry ALL the time from here on out? Nope, turns out, she was pretty hungry. Erika and Sarah helped me/Maren latch and sort of start working on that, and that started doing the trick for Miss Maren. We probably spent another hour working on latching and just hanging out with Maren.
Then, it was GLORIOUSLY time for a shower. Todd and Maren hung out while I showered, and that was ALSO the best feeling of the day. Todd also says he was the baby whisperer at this point, because Maren was not crying at allllll while I showered.
Then, time for baby vitals – weight, length, respiratory stuff, heart stuff, Vitamin K, and eye ointment. I think there was other stuff monitored, but I can’t remember to be honest. My vitals too. Making sure I was going to the bathroom fine and that bleeding and blood clots were no longer issues. Also, pelvic exam, and I was happy to hear no tears or anything! WOOHOO!
Here she is, all 8 pounds and 12 oz of her, and 21 inches long.
By this point, we were free to leave, and Erika and Sarah let us know we could hang out as long as we needed to. We did for a bit, enough to take a selfie….
And then we busted out of there like no one’s business. Erika and Sarah walked us to the vehicle, hugs all around, and off went went to drive home at 6PM. To be honest, I’m not a hugger, AT ALL usually, but Erika and Sarah were so awesome, and so encouraging during this whole thing that a fist bump seemed lame so a hug it was.
On the way home, we called Emma to tell her about her new sister, and when we got home, Todd went to pick her up from Grandma’s house and we spent our first night as a family of four getting used to this whole thing. She’s a pretty proud big sister, and I will never forget her face when she saw Maren for the first time. She looked so happy!
The best thing about coming back to our own house immediately after birth was chilling out in our OWN HOME, and sleeping in our OWN BED. And getting used to being a family of four on the first night.
Thank you for reading our birth story! Yes, it is a little crazy. Looking back, I was further along in labor than I thought, BUT it was so confusing because my labor had stopped for an hour, and then contractions backed off with time between, and having that happen with Emma I thought this was the same, and then all the sudden, GO TIME. So, while it was a little intense almost having a baby on the side of the road…..it also all worked out, and I’m happy this is our birth story. Not because it’s a good story, but because this was completely OUR story, and it’s nuts and it works for us. I would tell you Todd and I kind of fly by the seat of our pants a lot anyway, and this…..well….was just that. It worked out just fine.
I would also tell you that labor is mental. If I told myself it was gonna hurt, it was gonna hurt. If I approached this as getting out of my body’s way and letting it work….well, contractions didn’t always feel rosy but they were also WAY easier to work through. Pushing is physically exhausting but also an adrenaline rush because the job is almost done and baby is almost here! It’s hard damn work though. The next three days after, I felt like I had the core workout of my life. My abs (I DO HAVE THEM, I can feel them again without an infant inside!) were SO SORE from pushing, and it was that glorious kind of sore like after a sweet workout.
Final thing I’d like to say is that in all this, the car ride, the birth center, the super short pushing, all of it. We never felt unsafe, or that I was in danger, or Maren was in danger. Yes, almost having a baby on the side of the road is INSANE, but it HAPPENS….heck, I know two people in my very small circle that never made it to the hospital, lol. Being where we were, smack dab between our town and St. Peter, there aren’t options of stopping at a hospital. There was either getting to the birth center, or not getting to the birth center. And any way you slice it, it felt completely safe. I will tell you I did pray a lot during the day laboring, and I also said a tons of thank you prayers that night when we were all home tucked safely into bed.
I will be back for Part 3 – a comparison of a hospital birth versus a birth center birth – SOON!
PS – our car came away unscathed from labor, lol. Thankfully, for some reason, I had indeed brought towels along, and we don’t need our car detailed from this experience.