Note from Rachel: I am so proud of this couple. After feeling like their OB would not be very supportive of their goals for the birth they were hoping to have, they decided to have a consultation with Toni at Jubilee Birth Center. They switched their care over to her and had the birth they wanted. I love that she told me the day of her labor was "the best day of her life"
It started on Monday November 19th, Chase and I were home and I was in the middle of cooking dinner when I decided that I no longer wanted what I was making and made Chase take me out for nachos. I then spent the night cleaning my house while Chase went to record his podcast. And when I say cleaning my house, I was in full blown nesting mode, cleaning the outside of my back door to my back yard! I didn't realize it then how stereotypical I was acting. Chase came home and around 1 am I woke up having contractions. I had been drinking red raspberry leaf tea and had been having Braxton Hicks for weeks so this was nothing new to me. I tried going back to sleep and around 3 I couldn't sleep anymore and lost my mucus plug on a routine bathroom trip. It was then that I felt WHOA maybe these contractions are a little more than Braxton Hicks and called my mom. She lives 3 and a half hours away so I wanted to get her started on her way here. I knew after calling her that I was for real in labor so I texted Toni and apologized for maybe waking her up at 3 am and let her know what was going on. To my surprise she texted me back immediately saying that she was up and at the birth center with another birth! She advised me to try and get some sleep but to keep her posted as I was about 7ish minutes apart on contractions. I waited until 630 to wake Chase and as soon as he was up he was timing contractions and wanting to leave to go to the birth center. My mom arrived around 7 and between the two of them I was not able to labor at home because they were making me a nervous wreck. So at about 745 we got in the car and drove to Bryan.
Once we got there Toni told me I was at about a 4 and 80% so she told me to go grab some breakfast and take a walk. We decided to go to Cracker Barrel. BIG MISTAKE. I swear that place was the hottest, most crowded place with the most overwhelming smells... I couldn't take it. I had to leave. Whoops! So to Target we go to "walk this baby out!". I'm still in high spirits but my contractions are getting irregular... some 3 minutes apart, some 5... some very painful and some not so much. But as we walk through Target, I get to where I want to be at the birth center very badly. It was like it was calling me back... so around 11 we go back to the center and while Toni and the other girls are cleaning up the room next to me (where a family had their baby that morning) I lay in bed breathing and working through my labor.
Ok so here is where I didn't know what all was happening but now that I do the day makes more sense. When I first met with Toni I asked her how many times she had multiple births in one day because there are only 2 rooms at the center and she told me one time before she had 2 women in labor at the same time and one time she had 3 in a 24 hour period. November 20, 2018 was another of those days. There were 2 women there on the 19th and into the 20th ahead of me. So the staff had been at the birth center for quite awhile and were taking turns napping while I was laboring, as both women ahead of me had given birth and I was the last to go. It was also a Tuesday so there were appointments going but none of that interfered with my labor and honestly, I didn't even realize!
So, at some point Riley, a midwife in training, came in and asked me if I wanted to get into the tub, which I did! Amazing!! A hot bath to help relax my body? Sign me up! Wellllllll..... guess what? Not. A. Hot. Bath. Not even lukewarm. It can't be over 100.4 degrees. What a joke. I'm sorry but this was the most disappointing thing for me. I could NOT get comfortable in the water. It was miserable. I wanted out. I felt badly for making them run me a bath but I was not about to sit there and freeze. So then I tried my ball. Nope. That didn't feel well either. So I just crawled back up into bed and lay like the Bradley book says to, all contorted on my side. It was the only thing that felt OK. Chase stayed by my side and we timed my contractions for the next 3 hours... at some point my mom and Chase switched places so Chase could nap, and I was constantly turning from my right to left side because I remembered that helps the baby move into place.
Right after 2 o'clock I told my mom that I needed to go to the bathroom and I wanted them to come check me again because I wanted to push. She then thinks that I have lost my mind, because I had not been showing any signs that people associate with labor pains. And I understood why she was looking at me like that because I really hadn't felt pain or anything that I thought I was going to feel, it was just very uncomfortable and I was constantly telling myself to let go and "open". Toni was at an appointment, so Shalynn came in and checked me and told me that I was at an 8 and transitioning.
"Wow! Ok. So I wasn't crazy! I knew my body! We are in the home stretch! Ok. Chill out. Don't get excited. Relax. Focus." These were my thoughts. My transition lasted about 5 minutes. No joke. No time to relax. Ha ha. I almost lost my control here... almost.
After she checked me. Riley came in and said, "let's try and use the bathroom" so up I went, waddling my way into the bathroom with Chase right behind me. Then Riley says, "if you sit on the toilet backwards then it relieves a lot of the pressure that you're feeling." Alrighty! Relieving some pressure? Great! So down I sit. And the sound that came out of me was the strangest thing that I have ever heard and just like out of Rachel's birth storybook, Toni and Shalynn fling open the bathroom door and all I heard was, "she is pushing" and "get her off the toilet NOW". So back up I pop and have all five of them helping me into bed. I am so confused because a few minutes ago when I said I wanted to push they told me I was transitioning and now I am back in bed and they are scrambling in the most calm and serene way, shuffling things into the room while all 6 of their faces are staring at ms. I remember laying there and Toni is looking at me and sticking the peanut in between my legs asking me how I am doing and I asked her "WHAT are we doing?" And she replied, "having a baby!" "So, can I push?!" "Do you want to push?" "YES!" And then it began! I didn't have time to get into any position that we tried in class because I just wanted to push, so I was in the traditional on your back position but it worked just fine! I was highly aware of everything that was happening during this 22 minutes and it felt much much shorter. It was painful but I knew that it was almost over and I knew I would see my son very soon! And sure enough, my mom says, "his hair is dark!" Which came as a shock to me because I had no idea how close it was to being over. Then I got my second wind and pushed, pushed, pushed to Toni's "Bring him on down!" A few minutes later his head was out and I see Toni unwrapping his cord from around his neck, and she tells me to push just once more. Then she tosses a little blue frog on top of me, eyes wide and screaming at the top of his little lungs! It was intense and amazing all at the same time.
The whole thing went very quickly and was nowhere near as bad as I had made it in my head to be. I was very lucky to have such an easy and quick labor with wonderful birth attendants like Toni. My mom and Chase were great as well and I couldn't have done it without them! Rachel, too, what a great instructor of the Bradley Method! There is no way I could have gone through labor so well, not having the knowledge you provided to us all!