I woke up Tuesday morning June 17th, the day after my guessed "due date" with stronger than usual contractions. I've been having considerably regular braxton hicks for months and knew something was different this time. My husband and I ate a yummy breakfast of fried eggs, fruit, yogurt, and rib eye steak with some coffee, and then he left for work all while Zoey was still sound a sleep in bed. (Poor thing hasn't really napped in the past week because of all the changes with our new restaurant opening up the previous week, so shes been sleeping in late, hallelujah.)
When Zoey woke up around 10am or so, I fed her yogurt and berries on a towel on the floor in our bedroom while she watched cartoons. (She LOVES eating upstairs and we call it having a picnic on the floor.) I slid into a nice FULL warm bath. (I can see her there from our bathroom/bathtub). She finished her little breakfast and joined me in the tub for over an hr. She played sweetly while I texted and called a few friends, Sam, my doulas and midwife, just to let them know that I thought I *might be* in labor. I snapped a pic of us hanging out in the tub, and uploaded it to Instagram and Facebook where I have a pretty amazing group of awesome friends, and I felt the love pour out of my phone while I read all sorts of encouragement comments.
Zoey and I headed downstairs to make lunch around 1 and one of my doulas, Jessica Pace, suggested I download a contractions timer app and keep track for 30 minutes. At this point I knew the contractions were stronger but I was still not convinced if I was actually *IN LABOR*. They were ab a minute long and 5 minutes apart and continued to increase. We texted and Chelsea my other doula let me know that she was ready whenever I wanted her and Jessica to come.
Fast forward to 3pm and I called Jessica and she said she came into Greensboro and was almost to Chelsea's house. I laughed and told her when I have a contraction my toes were curling and I was thinking "Oh wow this is labor I think, I need help." but then it would dissipate and I would think "nah, that wasn't labor, I'm fine!" She asked if I wanted them to come over and before she could even finish her sentence I said YES. She also told me, "Jade, you are in labor" to which I laughed bc it was such a relief.
At this point my husband is still at work and not able to leave our new restaurant. I had a little pit in my heart, scared that he wouldn't make it or that if he did, all hell would break loose at our new place. I was scared and was literally unsure of what to feel... I had a little resent, hope, trust, fear, love, sympathy and anger all mixed up and I needed him. I needed my husband's support. So much.
Chelsea and Jessica arrived around 4 pm and at this point I was eating raw carrots walking circles around the couch, with the air conditoner blasting, in my bathing suit, and Zoey was all excited running around with me in her undies. Jessica and Chelsea and I hung out downstairs as the contractions went from meh, to whoooaaaa. They took pics, helped me decide when to call the midwife and my friend Jihae to come and help with Zoey, and they did COUNTER PRESSURE... sweet relief that counter pressure is. Soooooo sooooo soooo soooooo import! Every contraction they were helping me thro, suggesting new positions and such.
Around 5 we called the restaurant and Sam said he was on his way home. THANK THE LORD.
Sam came home and we took a shower while I held on to him, just standing in the warm water relishing in his presence. I was so happy he was home and I was literally trying to wait to have our baby, till he got there. After our shower he last touches on the cord burning box while I sat on the birth ball in "Zoey's room" (she's never actually slept in there, technically...) the lighting was beautiful as the sun shown throw the blinds and curtains. We took more pics and Jihae was there and being a huge help with Zoey, and brought me some apples bc I NEEDED apples. (Haha thanka again girl! Im so blessed by you! <3)
Then I declared I needed to throw up... I rushed to the toilet just in the nic of time and started to feel a scary flash back to Zoeys birth where I couldn't stop throwing up and needed an iv to replenish me. Thankfully, after a few big heaves, I was good to go and Chelsea and Jessica reassured me that it was a good sign of my labor progressing quickly. I smiled in relief and disbelief.
Our midwives arrived around 6pm and everyone prepared my labor space by filling the birth tub, setting the mood with lights, candles, and music, organizing supplies, and laying down plastic and towels to protect the carpet. I hopped into the tub and WOW, that water was for seriously the most amazing body water I ever encountered, (since Zoey's birth and I labored in the same pool. Hehe.) I smiled looking at my birth team and thanked them from the bottom of my heart. I couldn't get over how manageable the contractions were and we joked ab how if they got too manageable, how I would need to get out of the pool to keep thing moving. Zoey hopped in with me and we all talked, smiled and laughed for a while.
Around 8pm I got out of the pool to try and pee and was hit with a contraction so scary I screamed for Sam to help me as I couldn't catch my breath and was really scared by the duration and intensity. I insisted I immediately get back into the pool. Everyone, such as my doulas and midwives were talking ab gravity...and how sitting on the birth ball would help with gravity, etc. I was horrified by the thought of another freakishly strong and unmanageable contraction and asked to buy some time by saying after a popsicle, I'd get out of the pool and onto the birth ball. I told them I was scared to get out and they all assured me I was safe and strong and had absolutely nothing to fear.
Then my midwife mentioned checking me after I said I was worried bc I was getting tired. I was scared bc thats the number one reason for a homebirth to hospital transfer and I was absolutely mortified at the thought of a hospital transfer. I mentioned how we had some strong black coffee downstairs leftover from breakfast in the fridge and how maybe chugging a half a cup would help. My midwife said not until she checked me so I said ok.
Dude, she checked me and I was a 7. A SEVEN! I WAS OVER THE MOON! WHHHHHAT?! FOREAL?! SERIOUSLY?! HECK YEAH!!! Everyone was shocked and super proud of me and I felt a rush of energy flow into my body! They gave me the ok to drink some coffee, and I chugged half a glass of cold black coffee dude.
I told Sam for the 4th time I wanted him to get in the pool with me and he did. FULLY dressed. He just stepped in and I was like, WAIT what about your phone and wallet?! But he said his pockets were empty and he forgot his phone at the restaurant. As I laid in his strong and safe arms, I felt overcome with love, pace, and beauty. I was centered, my eyes were closed and Sam's touch felt so magical. Like superhuman. He was so strong and gentle and I was so happy to be in his arms in the pool.
Boom. I had a few contractions that I could feel in my tale bone/ butt. What was happening I thought as I announced when each surge overcame me. I was floating on my back and felt the sudden urge to push! My bathing suit bottoms were still on and I yelled for Jessica to pull them off as I pushing! Whaaat was happening I thought?! So fast and so soon?! Midwife checked me really fast and said she felt babys head and asked if we wanted to reach down. I said no as I let out a humongous push and could tell Sam wasn't interested in interpreting that. With my eyes clenched shut I asked if I should squat in the pool, bc thats what my instincts told me to do. Midwife didn't hesitate, she said yes and to my sheer disbelief with 2 loud as hell screams/ pushes, (and one f bomb), babies head was out! Like for a hot minute babies head was out just chillin underwater. They expected him to turn but he didn't and just like Zoey, this kid born with his arm out. YEAH! Little stinkers! What are the odds?! Right?! Two kids both born with one arm by their head! SHEESH! So with another enormous push babies body slid out and I was paralyzed with exhaustion! I was on my hands and knees and couldn't see behind me. The midwife said the cord was short, so I was scared to move and didn't have an oz of strength left. They helped me lift a leg over the cord and handed me the baby and said to hold the baby, and they were gonna pull me out of the pool and to laydown on the bed. I asked for them to get Zoey, and I was so weak I could hardly keep my eyes open. I just kept thanking God out loud, over and over. I was overcome with a profound gratitude and was utterly spent. Midwife checked me and I only had a tiny 1st degree tear that thankfully, did not require stitches! We let the cord completely finish doing its thing and once it was emptied and white, we prepared for the cord burning ceremony. Ha. It ballooned funny and after what felt like 10 minutes of Sam, Zoey, and Jihae trying to burn it to no avail, I was like... "Ok guys, thats enough someone can cut it, that was fun while it lasted, but its taking to long." Sam cut it and I switched my focus on latching baby onto my breast. Jessica fed me some juice, crackers, and a popsicle, and I relished in the high. I had a baby boy. I had him in our bedroom, in the same birth pool I labored with Zoey in, and I was surrounded by such astonishingly amazing women, and my husband was my gentle rock helping me more than he will ever know. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Dusti, my friend and local placenta encapsulation specialist arrived with some awesome herbs for me and made me the most delicious and nutritious smoothie ever, in Chelsea's vitamix. The smoothie had juice, strawberry yogurt, avocado, banana, pineapple, strawberries, oh yeah, and a chunk of our raw placenta. Yummy! I downed that bad boy and Dusti refilled my cup. (THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!) I felt a new surge of energy! And she explained how she was gonna freeze a few placenta chucks in veggie capsules for me to take till she could encapsulate our placenta and how she was gonna come back tomorrow to bring me food! Word?!? Wow, I am so humbled and beyond grateful!
10pm everyone left but Jihae and her bf Mo, who is amazing with Zoey and such a good friend to Sam and me! Mo left to get cookout for dinner and Jihae helped get Zoey ready for bed, changed the babies diaper, and closed up open snacks and took the dirty dishes downstairs. (SERIOUSLY, how amazingly blessed am I to have such phenomenal friends?! Thank you Lord!)
Mo came back, we chowed down and then, they announced they were gonna stay the night, which is seriously so generous of them. They even offered to try and put Zoey to sleep. Ha! Wow. That probably would be close to impossible, but what an offer?! Such kindness! Plus, they both have to be at work at 7am. CRAZYNESS! Seriously, awesome friends I am telling you!
So as I lay awake in bed at 6am typing this in bed with baby 2 on my breast all tiny and freah, Zoey behind me sound asleep, and Sam zonked out and occasionally griding his teeth, I am full with an abundance of humble gratitude, still high from my *dream* homebirth with my precious baby 2, who still needs a name! Hahaha
Thank you all for reading this! Thank you for your support, thoughts, prayers, and love!