The Lion of Births

Updated: Nov 16, 2019

The birth of my third little one, Leo, starts really days and weeks before his actual birth. For one I had been pregnant the longest ever by the 38th week and feeling uncomfortable and beyond ready to meet this little one. I had weeks of prodromal labor, often contractions lasting for hours as close as minutes apart, only for everything to stop. I was doing all the things to support and encourage Leo along drinking red raspberry leaf tea, evening primrose oil, seeing my chiropractor once a week and my acupuncturist once a week the last two weeks. Sometimes things would get going after one or all of those things, only for it all to stop. Finally I had my midwife do a stretch and sweep a few days after 39 weeks. She stretched me to 4cm and I continued to lose large pieces of mucus plug as I had now for a week. It blew my mind that I walked around at 4 for days when that was the turning point in labor with Ori. That day I had the S&S I had contractions almost all day that were bearable and again it all stopped eventually. I had an appointment again the next day and my midwife could feel baby’s head lower in my pelvis and quailed my fears that this one was going to be a big baby. The following night I was up from 1am – 7:30am laboring convinced it was the real deal, but then falling asleep only to wake to nothing. Super frustrating and gives me great respect for those with long labors! The midwife stopped over that day to give me a pep talk and encourage me, reminding me that I wouldn’t be pregnant forever and third babies like to be the wild cards.

After getting little sleep the night prior I spent the day resting as much as I could and going to bed early since I was exhausted and wanted to be sure I’d have some energy should labor really begin in the coming days. Tris climbed into bed with us at some point during the night and like clock work I woke at 3am to use the bathroom – although this time it was the lovely beginning of clearing out my system. Not thinking anything of it I climbed back into bed with Tris snuggled close. I soon realized that I was being jolted awake by waves and decided to time them – 10 minutes apart. I managed to keep sleeping between them just breathing them away in attempts to not wake Tris. Eventually around 4:30am I snuck out of bed and moved to the back room to labor as I was needing to breath deeper and could feel soon I would be vocalizing some. I texted my midwife, Melissa, who was already on call at the birth center to give her a heads up in case this turned into the real thing. I was able to get some food in between contractions and found leaning on the birth ball or sitting on the toilet to be my preferred ways of coping. It was actually pretty peaceful in the backroom with my red Christmas lights and birth affirmations hanging up and everyone still sleeping. The waves started to pick up and after talking with Melissa we decided it was time I wake up JG (~5:30am). I notified my birth photographer too who dropped off her girls at her parents and headed to the birth center. By 6am I texted our sitter that we needed her to come over to help with the kids. Thankfully we had all the bags packed and ready to go I just needed to grab the kid activities from the closet that were a surprise for them from baby brother. Courtney arrived at 6:30am just in time for us to pile into the car and head to the birth center.

The kids did great in the car while I labored on the way there getting quiet whenever I started to moan. Ori made me laugh through one contraction as she commented I sounded like a monkey. Gotta love kids for comic relief! We finally arrived at 7am where Melissa greeted us and just like with Ori I only got halfway to the room before a contraction hit. Alyssa, our birth photographer, was there waiting for us and starting taking photos. I was amazed at how at some point I forgot she was even there taking pictures- a sign of an awesome birth photographer!

Melissa checked me and I was sitting around 5/6 cm with some effacing needing to be done, but water bags bulging. This was the first birth where my water didn’t break in early labor, so that was new to me. She got working on filling up the pool and I continued with the birth ball, this time sitting on it leaning onto the bed.

I heard a voice I knew say “you had to be greedy and have us both here huh?” to which I smiled and looked up to see Genee. I’ve worked a few births with Genee in my doula work and had told her early on in my pregnancy I had a dream she’d be there for the birth of Leo. I guess he manifested that too!

I moved to the toilet for a bit and finally into the awesomeness of the warm pool. The kids were in and out with Courtney, with Ori being super into it and always saying “I love you mommy” as I labored and Tris observing cautiously from a distance or playing with the birth balls.

I explored different positions leaning over the pool and then sitting back in sort of a squat on the mini bench in the pool. JG had turned my playlist on at some point and was by my side continuously reminding me to surrender (the word I chose from Leo’s labor) as the intensity picked up. This is where things all start to blur a bit.