It was around 3:30 am on Saturday, September 15th; Jeremy’s 30th birthday. I woke up with contractions that radiated in my thighs. As soon as they began, I had a feeling they were the real deal because I never felt “practice” contractions in my thighs, and with each child, that was my tell tale sign. It was 6 days before his due date so a part of me still hoped maybe it was a false alarm, but my gut told me otherwise. At this point my contractions were strong enough to know something is happening, but still very manageable and around 9 minutes apart. Since it was Jeremy’s birthday, I didn’t want to wake him up until my contractions were a bit stronger and closer together, so I just walked around a bit, preparing some last minute things.
Around 5 am, I finally woke him up to let him know that I was having consistent contractions that were about 7 minutes apart so I’d go take a shower and see if they simmered down at all before having him get up and calling our midwife. I turned on my labor playlist and took a long shower. When I got out, my contractions continued. So I did my hair and makeup and texted my birth photographer, Monet, to let her know it was most likely baby day. My heart sank when I found out she was at another birth and that I may need to use a backup photographer, but I stayed calm and just hoped Kai would stay in until after the other baby was born. She told me to keep her posted as things progressed so that we could figure out what the best plan would be.
Around 6:30 I texted my midwife team to let them know my contractions were consistent and around 5-6 minutes apart but that we may have time since they weren’t intense like they had been with Liam and Ella. I assumed, based on how Ella’s birth was, that I had until the afternoon before active labor would even begin. Jeremy decided to get everything ready and fill the birthing pool half way, just in case since that part usually takes a while.
By 7:30 am my contractions were about 4-5 minutes apart. They still didn’t feel like active labor contractions and I became worried that it was a false alarm, but with it being my third, I reached out to Monet and the midwife team again to be safe. Monet decided that since the other birth she was attending was a first baby it could be a while before she was needed, so she started her hour drive down to Colorado Springs. This is around the time the kids woke up; we could hear them stirring in their rooms. When we went to Ella’s room to get her, the first thing she said was “Mommy, the baby is coming.” Jeremy and I both looked at each other in shock because there is no way she could have seen or overheard anything, she somehow just sensed that I was in labor and that her baby brother would be there soon.
Around 8:30 am, my midwife, Jolene, Monet, and Meredith, the birth assistant, arrived. My contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart and strong, but I was still able to talk and joke around in between them. I kept thinking to myself that maybe he wouldn’t be born for a while, surely my contractions should be much stronger by now otherwise. I continued to labor with my contractions 3-4 minutes apart and varying in intensity. Some incredibly strong, especially in my upper thighs, others very mild. I kept getting in my own head that maybe I wasn’t really in labor and I had everyone come for no reason. While I was laboring, Jeremy and Jolene also noticed that the birthing pool had a hole in it and was losing air. Fortunately Jolene lived less than 10 minutes away so she went home and got another one. It takes a while to fill a birthing pool up and as they were filling the new pool, my contractions got stronger. I had been losing part of my mucous plug all morning, but around 10;30 I lost the entire plug and things really got going after that. My contractions kept coming in every 2-3 minutes and they took my breath away every time. Within 15 minutes I started getting the urge to push and luckily just as that happened, the pool was finally ready for me.
The water offered instant relief. My contractions stayed at 2-3 minutes apart but with each one, my thighs, lower back, and stomach all felt like they were on fire. My mind kept filling with self doubt as each contraction took over, but they always say that when you feel like you can’t do it anymore, is when it’s almost over, so I just kept reminding myself of that. Water slows down my contractions so instead of getting closer together, they just stayed around 3 minutes for the most part. I kept wanting to get out just to get it over with, but Jolene encouraged me to stay in the water and just let the contractions come as they may. I remember trying to feel the baby’s head after every contraction and feeling so discouraged whenever it wasn’t there. After about an hour of being in the water, I was in tears because of the intensity of each contraction and feeling like it would never be over. I felt the baby moving down, but in the midst of my exhaustion, it still felt like he would never actually come out. The burning sensation was so overwhelming and I just needed to be done. I reached down and I finally felt his little head and I knew we were close. A few more pushes and his head was completely out, soon followed by the rest of his body.
At 11;58 am, Kai August was born and I’ll never forget his tiny little arms stretched out as he was handed to me. The intensity of emotion I felt at that very moment is indescribable. I was crying and laughing at the same time, and the exhaustion just lifted as I held this tiny being in my arms. This was my third time going through natural childbirth, but I never experienced emotion so intense. Both Liam and Ella were in the room the entire time I was in the birthing pool, and seeing their faces light up as Kai was born was priceless.
Kai and I stayed in the pool a while longer and then moved to the bed to allow the placenta to be delivered so that it could be prepared for encapsulation. We spent the next hour and a half bonding with the baby before Jeremy cut his umbilical cord and he had all of his newborn testing done. 7lbs 11 oz and 19 inches of pure sweetness. It’s so funny how each and every birthing story is so very different. Three kids, three stories. So very different but also so similar, especially at the end when all doubt disappears and all that is left is so much love.
A huge shout out to the ever so talented Monet Nicole for capturing this unforgettable day and everyone from Beginnings Birth Center for taking such wonderful care of us. We couldn’t have asked for a better team.
You can also read a small tidbit on why I became a home birthing mama, here.