Written by Hattiesburg Midwifery Mama, Raychel Walley
At 41 weeks plus 3 days, I had a visit with my midwife Monday morning and did some things that she had suggested to get labor started. Around 6 pm I started having some contractions that were about 3-4 minutes apart. I had a good bit of prodromal labor with this pregnancy, so I wasn’t fully convinced I was in labor but I did give my midwife and doula a heads up. We got our other children, Reese & River, tucked in around 7:30pm and tried a few more things suggested by my midwife to help keep things going. I was still feeling the contractions afterward still pretty regular but not super intense so I texted both my midwife and doula at 9:03 and said “Hey I’m still having some contractions but they’re not super intense so I’m going to lay down and try to go to sleep. Hopefully I’ll call you in a little while.” Then put my phone down right then and turned on my left side to go to sleep. The moment I turned on my side I had a very strong contraction that caught me off guard and scared me a little.
At 9:07 Derek called Whitney (my doula) and said “Hey I know she just texted you but she just had a really strong contraction and her whole mood has changed. I think we’re ready for you.” She got here at 9:30. In the meantime, Derek started getting the birth pool ready and in between contractions I turned on worship music in our bedroom and got a few things together that I would need. When Whitney got here, she and Derek pretty quickly decided we needed to go ahead and call Amanda (my midwife). She got here at 10:10. The time in between those two times felt much longer because I wanted to be in the water so bad, but I had to wait on Amanda to get there because she knew it would go quickly once I was more relaxed in the pool. I got in and had a just maybe 3 contractions then told them my body was starting to push. I asked Amanda how much longer she thought I had and she said “it’s up to you. This is all you. I will say, it’s not a matter of hours. I think we have minutes.” So I took that “it’s all you” and pushed as hard as I could with every contraction just a few more times. I will say though, I do not labor gracefully and I don’t look pretty doing it. I was all over the place and vomiting with every contraction/push at this point. I did the same with River.
Rowan was born at 10:49 pm, after just over an hour a half of active labor, and Derek pulled him out of the water and on to my chest. Amanda’s team put blankets on us and got me out of the pool and onto the bed. I held my long-awaited beautiful baby boy skin to skin for the next hour and a half without anyone trying to do anything to him or take him from me. I did have some bleeding that required Pitocin afterward, but Amanda gave me that and got it under control super quickly and easily. I decided around 12:20 to take a quick shower and Derek held and snuggled him while I did.
After I got out, they asked if we were ready to do his exam/cord clamping and we started that at 12:45 am. All of it was done on our bed and we got to be a part of every step. Rowan weighed 8 lbs 12 oz and he was 21 inches long. Amanda’s team cleaned up everything and washed the sheets and towels, and Whitney fixed me a sandwich and some snacks right after he was born.
It was such a wonderful experience and we would choose birthing at home 100x over! And one of the best parts… our babies slept right through it and woke up to the sweetest surprise! We didn’t have to have anyone come get them, which was such a stressor for me with Reese when I had Riv. It was perfect and we’re so incredibly thankful God blessed our family with another sweet little arrow for our quiver!