Every baby has a birth story; this is the story of how Grayson Andrew Stevenson was born. Leading up to the birth I wasn’t having any signs that labor would be occurring anytime soon. Some occasional braxton hicks contractions but nothing consistent. On 6/3, Friday evening, I realized that I maybe leaking amniotic fluid. I was having a few contractions an hour but nothing that indicated labor was coming.
Saturday we attended a graduation lunch for our nephew and went about our day. Still had leaking and some contractions but there was no indication that labor would be happening soon. After a discussion with my midwife it was decided that we would attempt to naturally bring on some contractions to jump start labor. We went on several walks, I climbed the stairs, drank very strong red raspberry leave tea and spent some time on the birth ball. Even though I was losing more and more amniotic fluid and having some bloody show the contractions were still irregular and varied in strength. I continued to updated my midwife several times throughout the evening.
Around 9:30 pm I pulled my breast pump out. Pumping stimulates the nipples this releasing oxytocin. Oxytocin is the bodies natural pitocin, which is used for inductions in a hospital. I pumped for about 4 mins on each side and laid down. I was so very tired from all the walking and stair climbing early in the day that I decided if that didn’t work at least I’d get a good nights sleep. I did start contracting but was able to breath through them and continue to lay in bed and rest. I got up for a while and they slowed down so I laid back down thinking that labor was stalling and I’d just go to bed. At this point I was checking in every 30 minutes with my midwife. At 11:20 after getting up to use the restroom I had that very intense contraction that is always the telling sign that this is indeed real.
There was also fair amount of bloody show and I was getting shaky so I asked my midwife to head my way. Jason notified our doula and birth photographer as well. The contractions were 4-6 minutes apart and getting more and more intense. I knew I wanted another water birth so I filled the bathtub up and got in. The rest of the timeline becomes a little hazy as things started to progress quickly. Our doula was the first to arrive followed by the apprentice midwife, the birth photographer and then the midwife. All arriving within 20 minutes of each other. By 12:30 am the entire team was there.
Jason was doing an amazing job of staying with me, giving me loving encouragement and doing hip squeezes with each contraction. Contractions were getting stronger and more intense. At one point I got very nauseous so I stood up out of the water for a bit; thankfully I never got sick. I was getting frustrated because I could not feel the baby move down the way I did with Cora. I even asked my midwife to check dilation and position. As she was checking another very strong contraction hit. I was over it. I wanted to give up. The pain was just about unbearable. I remember lots of cussing and even some hitting of the bath tub edging; sorry sweet birth team. I could hear my midwife saying to let go, give in to the pushes and lower my tones. I gave in and just bared down. With all my might I pushed with the next few contractions and finally felt baby move down.
As baby started to crown I felt with my hand getting ready to catch baby. But what I felt was a very unfamiliar feeling. It wasn’t slimy hair like with my other babies. It was very smooth and my first thought was oh no baby is breech. I got very nervous until the next contraction hit and I just pushed with all my might. I wanted this baby earth side and in my arms. With one last amazing relieving push baby came out head down en caul, still in the amniotic sac. I was in so much shock that even though I knew exactly what to do I asked “what do I do”. I open the sac to get baby out. As I was leaning back to relax into the tub and allow the midwife easier access to the baby Jason said I know what it is. I could tell immediately by his tone that we had just had another little boy. I didn’t even need to check. Mercy was a little concerned with his delayed first breath and gave him a few pumps of air. I was a little nervous but tried to stay calm. He was perfectly fine and didn’t need oxygen or any further help. We stayed in the tub a while allowing the umbilical cord to go limp. We moved to the bed and allowed him to stay connected to his placenta until it was also delivered. The experience of birthing your child on your own terms is not truly describable.