I know a lot of you have already watched the extended version of the video, but I would just like her story recorded somewhere that won’t be lost in time. My mind will fog over details that I know I will cherish later on.
This pregnancy posed a lot of challenges for me, both emotional and physical. We were not planning a 4th child and were planning a vasectomy when we were hit hard financially in mid-August by a sewer flood in our apartment. It took us until taxes to fully recover. But when we found we were pregnant in late October, it made our struggles seem much larger.
I was also not in good physical condition. Not in the condition I would’ve liked for pregnancy. I was 30 lbs overweight and tired all the time. The constant fatigue during my whole pregnancy really wore on me emotionally. Things got better over time and we came to terms with welcoming another member of the family and we were overjoyed that we would be having another girl. We knew the second we found out it was a girl what we would name her. Misty-Dae Ann.
Misty-Dae was inspired by a character in a show we watched called American Horror Story:The Coven. One of the more intuitive witches, she was a hippie swamp witch that loved Stevie Nicks. Her name was Misty Day. Ann is my middle name as well as my late paternal grandmother’s. She passed just after Christmas, and I wanted her to have her middle name in her memory.
June 20th, I started getting cramps down low. But they were so low that it felt like intestinal blockage. Which only made sense because she was so low and I couldn’t have a bowel movement or pass gas. I thought my uterus was giving me weird irritable contractions because I was constipated and gassy. This wasn’t the case, of course. The gassy-feeling contractions only came every 20 minutes and were uncomfortable but not painful. I could easily sleep through them. By late morning on the 21st, they were every 10 minutes and getting increasingly uncomfortable. I took the opportunity to explain to my 7 year old and 4 year old that when my eyes are closed and I was taking deep breaths to please try to not talk to me because I needed to stay in a deep quiet place. I was still hanging onto the thought that they were from constipation because it just felt so gassy and full. The rest of the day went on like this, still trying to have a bowel movement and pass gas, to no avail.
I went to bed around 11:30pm that night. Hadn’t even meant to fall asleep. I was just so so tired. Hubby got home from work late that night, around 2:30am. I only know this because I was woken up at 3:00am. I didn’t know why I woke up until I started having the gas-like pains again.
Great, I was woken up to be in pain and discomfort when I should be asleep so I can cope with my children later in the morning? Nice.
My husband takes a few hours to unwind from work so we took time together that early morning, watching Wolverine and talking about random things, as usual. I love how we talk. As the sky started to lighten around 5:30am, my discomfort was starting to increase. I still thought it was constipation and I was getting really frustrated that I couldn’t pass anything. My husband went to bed at 6am and I stayed up.
By that time, I figured out that if I was on the couch with my bum in the air, it took pressure off of everything and maybe it would help unblock me. At 7am, I finally had a bowel movement. I did get some relief but I was still having contractions. That’s when I knew I would be having her that day. When I wiped I had my bloody show. So I washed my hands thoroughly and checked my cervix. For the last 3 days, my cervix had been dilated to a 2 and 60% effaced and when I checked myself then, I was 3cm dilated and about 90% effaced. Go time!
I puttered around the house, taking this in, still unsure if this was really it. My 2 year old was awake and I fed him breakfast and talked with members of my birth group, debating wether what was going on was labor or not. Contractions stayed 10 minutes apart the whole morning but still increasing a bit in intensity all throughout. I notified my friend, Darcy, who would be watching the younger two kids and planned for her to pick them up.
Darcy arrived around noon to pick them up and I had a couple awesome contractions while we were buckling the kids into their seats. At 12:30pm, I decided it was time to wake hubby up. 6 hours of sleep should be sufficient, right? Right?! haha He woke up, confused at first because when I roused him, I started having a contraction and didn’t say anything when he asked why I was waking him up. After my contraction was over, he asked if it was time and perked right up in bed, suddenly wide awake.
Just before 1pm, they started coming at 7 minutes apart and we filled the birth pool. We needed a couple things from the store and ran out of hot water, so he and my 7 year old went to hubby’s work to get stock pots and to the store. Everything thankfully went nice and slow while they were gone. In the middle of their trip I started the live stream so people would have the opportunity to log on and see.
They got back not long after, and things really progressed. We got the pots on the stove, heating more water and I became more restless as the contractions became more intense. My husband was the best support ever! He was there for nearly every contraction and I needed him badly. The contractions were all really low in my belly and it made them that much more difficult. With my previous child, my labor was painless and I think it was because my contractions were all over my belly and not in one localized area. Anyway.. He was an AMAZING coach and I just couldn’t have gotten through it without him. We did a lot of kissing and had a sweet moment where we saw her moving between contractions.
At 2:15, I couldn’t wait to get in the birth pool any longer. I needed relief of some sort. The pots were taking way too long to boil. After I got in, I had an almost 10 minute break in between contractions. That was a very welcome break!
After that, things got a little fast and furious. Last I’d known, I was about 4 cm with a bulging bag of water. I started to feel more pressure and I constantly felt like I had to pee. I got out at about 2:45pm to sit on the toilet to see if I could find relief there. I peed a bit and as I went to wipe I felt a pop and a bit of water went into the toilet. Her head was so low it stopped anymore water from coming out and I knew it wouldn’t be much longer before her arrival.
Got back in the birth pool after changing into dry shorts and my husband did such an awesome job helping me keep it together. My mind kept wandering to the possibilities of an epidural at the hospital, but as soon as I thought about the car ride and the wait to get an epidural I knew that would not be an option. I also knew this irrational thinking must mean I was nearing transition and it gave me hope and strength to push through.
A little later, I sat up and leaned forward with my forehead relaxed on the side of the pool. I felt her turn and seconds later a contraction started that felt different than the others. Then my body started pushing. I still had my shorts on and in my mind I was like “no no no, she can’t come out yet, I still have my shorts on!” As her head started emerging, I wanted to wait out the contraction and hoped it would end when her head was born so I could take off my shorts. But it never ended and as soon as I realized she would be born with my shorts on, I moved the right leg of my shorts to the side so she could come out. She was born after a one minute contraction pushed her out. She was born at 3:14pm.
As soon as she was born, I picked her up out of the water and I saw her cord her neck. As I went to unwrap her cord, I counted, one, two, THREE. Cord was wrapped three times! I was in awe! I brought her to my chest and leaned back in the pool and started rubbing her back to get her to cry. She was born a little purple. Hearing her cry was the best sound in the world! So much joy and relief came when she cried. We were so over the moon and I was so happy that I got to share that with my husband. We hadn’t gotten that with my previous home birth.
7lbs 5oz 20 inches long
3.5 hours of active labor