**This is baby Jack’s birth story. I wanted to write it all out before I forgot. It’s quite long, but if you’d like to read about how Jack entered the world, here you go! **
On Wednesday, November 26th I woke up with contractions around 5:15 am. I was really surprised at this, as we were expecting him to make us wait at least a week, if not more, past his due date. We knew only 5% of babies are actually born on their due date, so I was not expecting to be feeling contractions. I timed them and they were coming around 4-5 minutes apart, which is really close, so I was really wondering if this was the real thing. I waited for Josh to wake up around 6:30 and I told him what was going on. We decided to be good and do what they told us to do in all our classes, which was eat and then go for a walk. I ate a really good breakfast burrito, then we went for a walk around the block. I had to stop every few minutes and lean on Josh to breathe through each contraction.
I was supposed to have an appointment at the birth center at 9am, so I called at 8am and spoke with Vicki, my midwife and told her what was going on. She asked me if I could talk through the contractions, and I said I didn’t know because I wasn’t trying to. At that point, the contractions were lasting less than a minute and varying in time (3-5 minutes apart) so she told me to wait and see if more of a pattern developed and then call and I’d either come in later for an appointment, or because he was coming.
Because we weren’t sure still, Josh went to work since it’s only five minutes away and I continued to breathe through my contractions, which to me hurt a lot, but it was manageable. I had Gilmore Girls on Netflix and I was set up with my knees on the ground bending over the couch where I would surrender myself to my body, trying to work with the contractions and relax and not fight them.
I guess that worked because they kept increasing in intensity and then became regularly about 4 minutes apart, lasting for a minute, which is when they tell you it’s time to come in. I called Josh and asked him to come home, and he was there really quick. He immediately started trying to help me relax, and he was amazing. I called Vicki again and she told me it was my choice if I wanted to come now or keep laboring at home since first time babies usually have pretty long labors. I told her I didn’t know what I wanted since I’ve never had a baby before. She recommended I try to stay and when I wanted to come, I would instinctively know and I could come in. My mom also came over by this point and it was comforting to have her there as well. She told us to call when we were headed to the center.
Shortly after that I decided we needed to go. The contractions were getting super intense, and the thought of going through them in the car was starting to make me nervous. I really wanted to get to the birth center and get into the hot tub. So that’s what we did.
I’m so thankful that we headed there around 12-1pm because there wasn’t traffic. We got there in about 25 minutes or so, and I continued to try to relax and work with my body through the contractions in the car.
When we got to Breath of Life, Vicki, my midwife, and Michelle the student midwife met us and took us to the birth room. They checked my temp and blood pressure and then checked me. I was 4-5 centimeters dilated and I don’t remember all the terminology, but my cervix was very thin. They were encouraged by this, which encouraged me. All I could think was, “Is the pain really going to get worse?”
I got into the hot tub and started breathing through my contractions and trying to remain relaxed. Josh was there giving me encouragement and giving pressure on my back the whole way through. I would point at my water or tea with honey after every contraction and he would let me take a sip. Shortly after we got to the birth center my mom arrived, and I was so glad she did — it was comforting to have my mama there. A few times I would vocalize how I didn’t think I could do it, and the midwives and my mom and Josh would remind me of how good I was doing and that I could definitely do it, and how close we were to meeting the baby.
As the contractions continued to get stronger, I wondered if I was getting close because I felt like I was going to throw up and go to the bathroom at the same time(sorry if that’s TMI, but this is a birth story), and they say that those are signs of transition and of getting to the pushing stage.
I asked if they could check me again once I felt like my body was involuntarily trying to push. Michelle checked me and I was all the way dilated. That was really encouraging. I didn’t want to get checked at first because I thought if I still had a ways to go I would have wanted to give up. So I tried to breathe the baby down for a while and would give in to my body’s urge to push, which was super painful. There was lots of moaning and what felt like primal noises coming out of me. (Although my mom and the midwives said that I just grunted the baby out).
After a while the midwives and my mom encouraged me to push with my body a bit more. Because I felt like breathing the baby down was taking forever and I couldn’t handle that, I started engaging more with each contraction. Eventually, at a point where I was feeling so exhausted, I felt something really weird. I told them that something came out. So they checked and my bag of waters had come out intact like a water balloon… it was very strange. I didn’t expect my water was still intact, but that was encouraging because that explained why I couldn’t feel baby’s head before.
So I pushed through maybe one or two more contractions and then I felt the baby’s head really close. At this point I decided I was going for it because I was so tired and the contractions hurt so bad, and I just wanted it to be over and to have my baby on my chest. So I think with the next contraction, I pushed and his head and whole body came out at once. I think we were all kind of shocked since usually their head comes out first, and then it’s a process to get the shoulders and body out. But out he came, right into the water. Michelle caught him and brought him up to my chest. It was 6:49pm, and he weighed 7 pounds, 1.5 ounces and was 20 inches long.
I held him and he was so slimy and tiny. They immediately told me to blow air onto his face. So I was blowing air on his face as we waited for him to take his first breath, which he quickly did, and then he turned pink. It was such a fast surreal moment because he came out all at once. Josh announced his name, Jack Bravery Warner. Then Josh took Jack for some skin to skin time, while the midwives rinsed me off so I could move to the bed.
At that point things got a little scary. I felt super dizzy and lightheaded and told them that. I can’t really remember all that happened, but I fainted and woke up in the tub. Then I think I fainted again and woke up on the floor. They were giving me juice and holding my legs up to get blood circulation to my brain. After a while, I decided I was ok to move to the bed, but then I fainted again on the way. So I woke up in the bed with a bunch of faces looking at me asking me if I was with them. I felt like I woke up from a nap or something, it was weird.
So I stayed on my back and they kept my legs held up for a while and made me drink lots of juice and water. They put baby Jack on my chest and we let him stay there trying to find his way to my breast. We were at the birth center a while after that, being monitored and taking care of certain body parts, haha.
My dad (Papa Jack) and step-mom and brother and sister came to the birth center and got to see Jack. They also brought us some food from Outback which tasted heavenly after being so hungry. Jack pooped on me while I was eating, but I was so hungry I didn’t care and kept on eating. My mom was amazing and helped take care of Jack while Josh and I stole some winks of sleep. We left the birth center around 5:30am, heading home with our baby, excited, but a little freaked out that he was all ours to take care of.
I so enjoyed the process of going through pregnancy and birth at the birth center. The birth part was really hard and it was painful, but worth it. The midwifes and staff at Breath of Life were so encouraging and welcoming and helped me feel so “normal” through the whole 9 month process. I’m so grateful for them, and for Josh and my mom who really helped through the whole process as well.
Motherhood has been a giant learning experience. Every single day has been something new. I am so grateful for my little boy and I’m so excited to see the person he’s going to be. Two weeks in, it’s really hard, but I’m trying to savor every moment and every tiny yawn and squeak from my baby boy.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading. I will try to keep updating every once in a while as baby Jack grows, but we shall see.