My friend Melanie Louise is a military mom who had planned a home birth and realized that with her husband away at military training, he would sadly miss the waterbirth.
I'm happy to announce that Melanie had an adorable little girl she named Alaina. And thankfully, her husband was able to be a part of the birth, watching from a webcam!
Alaina is Melanie's third child, so she thought she would know what to expect especially since her second child made her appearance after just four hours of labor, at 39 weeks, 3 days. But baby number three had her own plans. Sixty hours of plans. Melanie shares her birth story:
On March 27th, around 11:30 a.m, I started to notice some regular contractions. Not painful but definitely consistent. I went about my day, thinking it was practice labor, which I had plenty of during my last pregnancy. My mom came over that night and we all went to bed. I woke up for 6 or 7 intense contractions during the night, but none actually kept me awake.
In the morning, the contractions were back at 4-5 minutes apart. We ate breakfast and went for a walk. A few contractions made me stop to take a breath, and I lost a bit of mucous plug. That night. the contractions got to 3-4 minutes apart. My midwife came to and checked my cervix for dilation at my request. I was at 2cm. A day and a half of active labor and a 2?! My sister and mom filled up the birthing pool and I labored in there and we watched TV through late into the night. I got about 3 hours of sleep before the kids woke, and that was the last sleep that I got until after the birth.
The kids and I got into the birthing tub for a little while -- it didn't do much for my labor, but we had fun. My mom needed to go into work for a bit. I kept watching TV and cuddled with the kids. Around 4:30 p.m., I called family and told them I thought it was almost time. Contractions were 2-3 minutes apart, 1-1/2 minutes long, and getting intense. My back ached so I took a hot shower on my hands and knees. My midwife checked me: 8cm dilated, with my waters bulging. Finally!
It was dark outside -- maybe around 9 p.m., I was barely able to get a breath in between contractions, and they were getting intense. I went into the bathroom, because every contraction was making me pee a little. My sister came in to tell me, “No having a baby on the toilet!” so I climbed into the birthing pool. We got my husband on the webcam, and pointed it at the pool. He didn't talk much and my mom turned on my playlist. All the sound in the room came from the music and my breathing.
I was on my hands and knees, my head on the side of the pool, breathing through contractions. I started to really push, along with some loud moaning. My waters broke just seconds before the head crowned. It felt like my skin was on fire. I gave a nice long push, along with a loud moan, and felt her head slide out. Another big push and her whole body came out. The midwife just gave her a little push through my legs, I sat back, caught her and pulled her out of the water. Alaina Lauren Christine was born at 11:37 p.m. after 60 hours of completely natural labor, her daddy watching on the computer.
I held Alaina as she gave one little wail then settled against me, eyes wide open. My mother-in-law cut the cord after it finished pulsing; I birthed the placenta. We had prepared a little nest on the couch and I laid down and held my baby. She latched on and nursed, and everyone slept. A few hours later, the midwives checked her over: 7 pounds, 8 ounces, and 20.5” long. My smallest baby by over a pound and an inch. We fell asleep again after that, and slept till morning.
Alaina's birth was such an amazing experience, and I wouldn't change a single thing ... except of course to have Daddy here. Perfect is truly the only way to describe it.
Moms, how long did your labor last? Moms-to-be, are you inspired by her story?
Images via MelanieLouise/CafeMom