Auggie's first Halloween he dressed up as a reindeer. The outfit was a bit too big, but he still had a good time trick or treating! We ended up going to the Rau's with Devon, Alicia, Cami and Rory and having margarita's, which is the best way to trick or treat!
On Tuesday, October 21 around 4:45am I had my first “real” contraction. I had been having ~20 contractions a day (not kidding!) since about the end of July, but this one felt much different. So different that I thought, “What the crap was that?” I didn’t think it was a real contraction at all, but I knew that it was different. I couldn’t sleep, so I watched the clock and had another one about nine minutes later. And another seven minutes after that. I couldn’t stay in bed, so I got up and went into the living room. Jersey wanted to go out, so I let her out and turned on the news. I decided that sitting on the birth ball would be most comfortable so I got it from the nursery and sat in front of the TV for about an hour. I timed contractions and they quickly went from seven to five to every three minutes apart.
Around 6:30am I decided that I didn’t want to deal with them by myself anymore, so I woke Jeff up. I said, “I think I’m in labor, but I’m not sure.” How do you know for sure? I kept thinking, if this isn’t real, I’m going to have to get ready for work soon. I definitely didn’t want to call in that early and then have it be false labor. Jeff got up with me and could easily tell that these were different and more “active” than anything I had experienced in the past. I couldn’t talk to him during contractions. We went back out to the living room and he encouraged me to call our midwife. I did around 6:45am and woke her up. I had to have Jeff talk to her during contractions. She said that she would get some supplies and slowly make her way to our house. She advised that I take a shower because the water would make false labor slow down and real labor speed up. I took her advice but was quickly afraid that I would run out of hot water, so I filled the tub. I also couldn’t stand up during contractions and so I ended up just sitting in a bath (which really wasn’t what she intended). During this time, labor picked up immensely and I had to start vocalizing through contractions and stare at a focal point. I didn’t know that I would take to this pattern so easily – I always envisioned myself as someone who would be really quiet. Not true!
Jeff encouraged me to call into work and call our friend, Alicia, to come over. I was desperately afraid of breaking my labor pattern and messing up the progress I was making, so I put off these options as long as possible. Around 8:45 or 9:00am Jeff called both and told work that I wouldn’t be in and asked Alicia to come over. By the time she got there (around 9:30, I think) I was definitely in active labor and having to deal with some much harder contractions. I remember asking Jeff when our midwife would be there and telling him that I wanted her there ASAP. I don’t know why, but I remember feeling like things would be better with her there.
She arrived shortly after and I remember asking her if she would stay (sometimes they leave and come back if your labor isn’t well established or it’s still early). She said no, she was definitely staying. This made me feel better. I stayed in the tub for almost two more hours, although it only felt like 20 minutes. Time was really hard for me to keep track of. Eventually I decided that I had had enough of the tub and went back to the birth ball. My back hurt immensely and I was afraid that I had back labor (even though I KNEW the baby was LOA before labor started – maybe he turned? I just couldn’t imagine that my back hurt that much and he was anterior). I kept asking our midwife if she thought it was back labor and she claimed that she could feel his position for me. I asked what had to be done to do this and she said that she needed me to lie down on the couch. I acquiesced, but it was pure torture. This was the worst part of my entire labor, including when he was born. I just could NOT lay down on my back – it was terrible. While I was there, though, I asked her to check and see how dilated I was, out of sheer curiosity. Surely I was more than 3-4, I thought! She checked and said I was nine! Nine!! I was very uplifted by this information. The baby was also still LOA, too, which was great. She said that I could move to the birthing tub that was set up in the kitchen. This was amazing! Whoever invented that tub is a genius! I can’t imagine giving birth any other way, or even fathom how people do it! The water was awesome.
From this point on, things are extremely blurry. Some of the contractions were so intense that I couldn’t imagine them getting any worse (but they didn’t get worse). They were soooo hard and I kept wondering (aloud) how I could do this and especially how I could do this without all of my support people (our Dr. had arrived at some point in here, but I couldn’t tell you when). I also remember asking why anyone would do this twice?? Looking back, I thought that was a pretty funny comment, but at the time I was dead serious.
I began having pushing contractions around 1:30pm and this was sooo much better. It finally felt like I was accomplishing something and I was able to stop vocalizing. I pushed for about an hour and a half and he was born at 2:53pm! I know because I think I looked at the clock about every five minutes! His birth in the water was amazing because I got to feel his head in the water before the shoulders were born and he had so much hair! We also didn’t know, at that time, if he was a boy or a girl. His shoulders were born two seconds later and I pulled him up out of the water and into my arms. The cord was wrapped around his chest and his right leg! He had his eyes open and didn’t cry at all – just stared at us peacefully. Jeff was somewhat freaked out by the lack of crying, but I knew that it was pretty typical for babies born in that environment. Almost two minutes after he was born we realized that we didn’t know if he was a boy or a girl, so I held him up and Jeff said, “I think that’s a boy!” I was shocked! I was SO convinced that it was girl the entire time I was pregnant. So much for intuition! :)
In the tub, right after birth
Alicia and Auggie, right after birth
About 20 minutes after he was born we were able to move to the bedroom and get comfy. This was by far the best part about having him at home. Well, no, there are so many great things about having him at home, but this was a nice part. I knew that no one would take him from us, everything was done in our room, I got to stay in my normal clothes, etc., etc. It was all so peaceful and perfect. We called people around 4:30pm to let them know about his birth and had our first visitors around 6:30pm.
Overall, our experience couldn’t have been better. Everything was exactly as we intended and was so wonderful. We are so grateful to our birth team – they made the experience everything that we wanted. And we are so blessed to have such a wonderful, easygoing baby. It’s been two weeks since his birth and we couldn’t ask for a baby with a better disposition! Enjoy the pictures!