I started emailing midwives the day after my positive pregnancy test. The midwife I picked was really hands off, which I loved. To be honest, I didn’t want to be monitored at all. I would have been perfectly happy doing it all on my own.
I was really secretive about my whole pregnancy. I gave vague due dates and didn’t find out the baby’s sex. I learned a lot about how to monitor and take care of myself with little confirmations at each midwife appointment.
July 20 is my sister’s birthday. I didn’t want my kids to share birthdays with any other family so I didn’t want to go into labor then. Before I went to bed that night (still no signs of labor), I said to my belly, “Okay, you can come out tomorrow if you want.” It was supposed to be a joke. At 3:30am, I got up for one of those million nightly bathroom trips that pregnant women have. Hilariously enough, I was reading a friend’s blog post about the birth of her latest son (we were about 2 weeks apart). After getting up to pee 3 times in 10 minutes and not peeing, I started to remember the birth of Lucius.
At 4am, it occurred to me that I should wake up my husband. I hate bugging people and didn’t want to call anyone yet, but the guy was totally going to be in the way if I didn’t wake him up. Together, we prepped the bed. You know…waterproof barrier, sheets I never liked, that kinda stuff. Finally, we called my midwife.
I’m not really sure of times after that, or what anyone else was doing. I went Zen and began meditating through each contraction because that is what works for me. I do know that my midwife, her midwife friend, and a midwife in training/photographer arrived at some point. Oh, and Ant had the good sense to finally call my mom and sister. Everyone just let me hang out on my bed and do my thing.
Hilarious side note: People ask me where my kids were during my homebirth. Uh, they were home with me! Persephone and Dimitrios were down the hall in their rooms. Lucius still slept in our room (having recently moved from bed sharing to his own crib) and slept through all of this. I had been preparing them to be there for labor by watching lots of labor videos and telling them what to expect. They were excited to be a part of it. Dimitrios always sleeps in and Persephone and Lucius were always up at 6 (back then).
My mom must have gotten there around 6, because I know that Lucius woke up them. I wanted to snuggle with him, but my husband sent him downstairs with my mom to eat breakfast. Around that time, I started getting the urge to get comfy and my water broke. After flipping all over the place (I was very agile for a pregnant lady), I decided to get on my knees and look out the window. I’m still not sure why that seemed like a good idea, but I like looking at trees.
Persephone came to my bedroom door around that time. “Mommy, what are you doing?” Um, I’m going to push out the baby. “Oh, okay. Can I go downstairs and have breakfast with Nani?” Sure.
I love that girl.
I didn’t push. I want that to be clear. I never pushed with Calandra. She came totally on her own through the force of my contractions. One contraction pushed her head out. The next one pushed her whole body out into the waiting hands of my husband and myself. Yeah, we caught our own baby. I pulled her into my arms, fell over on my side, and said, “Hi!”
There’s something really cool about not only catching your own baby, but being the one to announce, “She’s a girl!” Maybe I’m a control freak, but I like being the one to do it all.
The midwives cleaned up everything for me (a major bonus) and left me to bond with my baby before they weighed her. I was excited to show the kids their new sister, but they were too busy playing with my mom. In fact, they all came upstairs to meet her…and were more excited about going to preschool that day. I have been told, however, that they took the record for best share day with their story of mommy giving birth that morning before school. 🙂