Imogene Jo’s Birth

It has taken me some time to decide to write our story. I have read and listened to countless (before I was pregnant and while I was pregnant)… each so special and helpful. Yes, some invoked fear and initially that is not helpful, but when I learned that I needed to work through those fears… those stories became helpful. They honestly made me more prepared. I didn’t cling to these stories. I learned to take them as examples, not as my own. I hope you do the same with mine.

Here is mine, enjoy!

November 29th, 4 days after my due date, I woke up in sort of a sour mood. My mom had called me, and I told her I couldn’t talk (I was in a mood).  Around 9, I realized I felt crampy and I started to recognize this mood shift, it was sort of a hermit mood. I texted a friend, that I was supposed to meet up with, and said I wasn’t feeling it. I stayed home to bake. 

About 30 mins after that text I went to the bathroom and there was no denying that, THAT was my mucous plug. I texted the care providers on my team (midwife and doula) to tell them. They both reminded me, things could happen today, but it could still be a few days. They encouraged me to rest.

I started to get cramps in spurts… like I would feel really crampy for 30 seconds or so and then it would go away. There was sort of a pattern and I was jaunting numbers down; the time they would start and then how long they were lasting. I did this for an hour.

I kept thinking, “this feels like it could be it, but don’t get ahead of yourself.” 

So I didn’t. I baked, I mopped the floors, and I finished putting out Christmas decorations. 

Nick had been asking to come home ever since I told him about about cramps consistently happening… he was ready! But I wasn’t sure this was labor so I wanted him to stay at work. 

Finally around that 11 or 12 o clock hour, I told him that I thought it would be best if he came and worked from home. Things were tolerable, but I was definitely having consistent contractions. I started to casually track them again, for another hour. Yep, things were consistent. 

He came home to me laying on the couch, binge watching Parks and Rec. He made us lunch and made sure I was drinking a ton of water. He decided not to work (I think he knew better than me that this was it). We changed all of our burned out light bulbs (nesting at its finest), and decorated the Christmas tree. I kept having to stop to catch my breath from a little pain, but I was trying to hide it from Nick (I didn’t want us to get psyched up). The afternoon ended up being really fun! 

Around 4:00, we decided to take Harper for a walk. On this walk, Nick realized that my contractions were intensifying and I finally admitted to them be more then just uncomfortable. We got home at about 4:45 and we tried to get dinner going, but then they hit me. Hard. Something had shifted. 

I told Nick it was time to officially track them… he got out the stop watch ;).

They were coming quick, I remember about every 2-3 minutes they would come and they would last 30-50 seconds. Things hurt, but I was walking (sorta) around the house. I knew the baby wasn’t coming within the hour, but things felt intense enough to give my birth team the details. 

“Okay, it sounds like you are officially in labor,” said my midwife when I called her. My thought, was “you are crazy, this is more then just starting labor, right???” Haha. I called my doula and told her what was going on, she agreed with my midwife. I was baffled, and realized I could be doing this for 10, 20, 30 hours. I needed to chill. 

I ended up with a swiss ball in the bathroom for the next 2 hours. I was nauseous. The contractions were intense, but not until that 2 hour mark had anything shifted – they sort of had all felt the same. So it was a little after 7 and our doula asked to come. Earlier I had been very hesitant to have anyone come. I didn’t want to feel like people were waiting around for me to do something. At this point, I didn’t care. It sounded nice to have her there.

The next hours are a blur, Nick and I rested on the bed as my doula set the mood. I threw up a few times – labor is crazy.  She eventually suggested sitting on the swiss ball. I felt miserable on the ball, but I had in my head “the more miserable I get, the closer I get.” I have funny logic. 

It was about 3 hours (I think, I really had no idea of time) of being on the ball, asking for hip squeezes, doing hip circles, having contractions that were anywhere between 2-3 minutes apart and lasting 45+ish seconds long. 

I told my doula that I had bottom pressure. She looked at Nick and said, “I think it would be a good time to call your midwife.”

My midwife showed up a little before midnight. She asked about doing a cervical exam before she called her assistant. I cried “noooo, I don’t want one. I don’t want the number to disappoint me.” She assured me it was going to be fine. I  WAS AT A 9!  The best news, ever. 

My mood shifted, I realized … “it was going to come to an end.” I had no idea, that the next 2.5 hours were going to be the hardest hours of my life.

Nick started to fill the tub (thank goodness!!!). I got in the tub. I was asked “does that feel good?” And I honestly replied, “not as good as I was hoping.”

My midwife told me that whenever it felt “right” to push, then I could push. Pushing was hard, I felt ineffective in my pushing and was frustrated that my water hadn’t broken. I asked for it to be broken.

Finally my midwife suggested pushing on my back – in order to accommodate the shape of my pelvis + baby.  Baby needed to get pass a certain point. We moved to the bed in order to push differently. We did that.

I felt defeated. 

From my perspective – nothing was happening. I finally asked “what is another position that could get baby to come down.” My midwife sort of suggested squating; she was hesitant because she didn’t want me to exert tooo much energy. 

I was at a point of wanting to do anything possible to get this baby out of me. 

I got up and went through several contractions in a squat. It sucked, horrifically.  

This pushing period is the most vivid to me still. I felt strong. I felt weak. I felt wrecked. I felt solid. I was so in tuned with the moment. 

Baby moved down a little. Hallelujah!

I went back to the bed, this time, side lying. With the help of EVERYONE on the my team – seriously it took the effort of everyone to help me through this next stage.

I pushed like I have never done anything in my life.

My eyes hurt from pushing.

I was throwing up.

I wanted to cry.

I wanted to just stop.

My midwife and doula saw my defeat. I was reminded to make each contraction count like 2 contractions; that might not make sense to everyone, but it worked for me. I knew I needed to make each one count!

After 2 hours of pushing – babies head was officially fully crowning. About 3-5 more contractions our baby was out. PRAISE THE LORD. She came out with arms by her head. She was placed right up on my belly. 

AMAZING. Baby was earth side!! 

I started asking all the questions about babe’s health. Everything was perfect. Finally it dawned on me, “oh is it a boy or girl??” No one had looked, ha! We lifted baby up and with the umbilical cord through it’s leg, I declared its a “b… wait, I dont know!” The umbilical cord took a second to move, and we discovered we had a girl!! I just remember, Nick behind me laughing, “a girl!!!” So sweet! 

Thankfully, everything after delivery went smoothly. We got to admire my placenta. Nick cut the umbilical cord. With the help of my midwife, Imogene was latched to my breast fairly quickly.

Nick and my doula made me a snack plate – rice thins + nuttzo, raw cheese + crackers, almonds, and fruit. The food was amazing – they were awesome (Nick and Sessy)! Yes, I remember the food very well.

We got to touch and hold our little girl and laugh at the fact that she was a girl, what a surprise!! 

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