Okay, let's do this.
The day before Jasper's birth I awoke confident in my decision to stay the course with the home birth. I'd been having a few very mild contractions the night before and was hopeful that they'd pick up during the day. But they didn't. They stopped completely after a couple of hours and I didn't feel any all day long. Crap. This of course made Heath and I doubt everything all over again. To keep ourselves distracted we spent the day out and about, breakfast at Winchell's, a birthday party at Moneky Joe's in the afternoon, and then Indian food for dinner with some of Heath's co-workers. Tasty, tasty distraction.
While at MJ's a friend of mine mentioned that an OB she worked with always recommended a beer and a hot bath to his patients that were "late" giving birth. I have no qualms with alcohol in moderation during pregnancy so in between the birthday party and dinner I drank a small bottle of lambic. It was so gooooood. After we put Ruby to bed I took a bath our bathtub, which is like the most pathetic, super shallow bath tub ever but I made it work. I had a little conversation with the little dude and was like, "Look, it's okay to come on out. I'm sorry I'm stressed. Let's do this thing!" I was incredibly relaxed afterwards so I decided to go to bed right away to get some rest, "just in case" (which I'd been saying every night for the last 10 days or so).
I woke up around 12:30a to almost constant contractions. I was already way past the 5-1-1 thing. Heath called my midwife and my doula. Unfortunately my doula had another client who happened to go into labor the same night so she would be sending her back up doula, Charley, instead. Both her and my midwife suggested that I take a shower, the impression I got was that if the contractions slowed or stopped from taking the shower it was early labor, if not, I was already in active labor. I was tired so I really would have welcomed a little break but no such luck. I did feel a little better from being in the water but nothing stopped. In fact, once I got out things only started to move faster. Heath called our midwife and Charley and told them both to head over.
Things get a little fuzzy at this point so bear with me.
At this point but Ruby woke up and came out into the kitchen. I was leaning on the bench in the kitchen trying but not really able to keep quiet. I heard her door open and I panicked a bit. I was really worried about how she'd react to me being in pretty obvious discomfort. She look worried and asked me what was wrong in her shaky I'm-about-to-cry voice and I explained to her that the baby was coming and that mommy might make a lot of noise but that it wouldn't last long. She asked me if I was hurting and I didn't even try to lie, I said "Yes, very much".
Ruby went back and forth between the kitchen and living room while Heath ran around like crazy trying to get the birthing tub filled with water. The hose that we'd bought to use was working but wasn't filling it up very fast. I remember him running back and forth past me with a pitcher trying to get more water from the bathroom to get it filled.
I felt the urge to push so I did and lost my mucus plug (supermegadisgusting-o-rama) and my water broke. I went to the bathroom to clean myself up a bit then returned to my spot in the kitchen, kneeling on the floor and leaning on the bench at our kitchen table. A few times I looked longingly at the pool that Heath was so desperately trying to fill, so wanting to be in it, but I didn't leave that spot at the bench until after Jasper was born.
Sarah arrived shortly after and listened to the heartbeat ("perfect"). Ruby was near me. I remember her patting my head or rubbing my belly and saying something like, "It's okay, momma". Having her near me was okay for a while but eventually when she tried to touch me I told her very nicely "please don't". I had been worried about how I'd handle her near me while I was in labor. Would I get angry with her and yell at her in my compromised state? Thankfully, no! I wish I had that much patience on a normal day!
With every contraction my lower back hurt like *mad*. Sarah pressed down on my back which helped. Shortly after Charley arrived. I was leaning on the bench between a contraction, no pants, and was just like, "Hey, I'm Laurie". Nothing like meeting a person for the first time in that kind of situation! When another contraction came both Sarah and Charley pressed down on my back. I can't imagine how much it would have sucked so hard if they hadn't been doing that.
I really started feeling the urge to push about thirty minutes after Sarah arrived. I mentioned it but I'm not sure if she believed me or not. Then it happened. I poo'd. Even though this happens to most people when they give birth, it's still embarrassing! I felt it coming and really, really didn't want it to, I even attempted to will it away with my mind, but you just can't stop the poo. I said, "Oh, I just shit all over myself!". Or so I thought. Heath later corrected me and said that I actually said, "Oh shit, I just shit all over myself!". I don't know if I believe him though, he might just be messing with me. But the good thing about that? Sarah said, "When you started pooping I knew things were serious". See, look at that, a silver lining!
After he was out I sat back, still on my knees. Jasper was flopped over Sarah's hands and she was rubbing his back trying to stimulate him. He was breathing but it was shallow and you could hear rattling from fluid. Turns out when you have a super duper fast birth baby doesn't get the full benefit of being squeezed through the birth canal. I rubbed Jasper's feet and talked to him a little bit, my level of panic seriously dumbed down by helpful birthing hormones. I looked over at Heath who has his phone out and a look of shear and utter panic on his face, practically crying. Heath said that was the worst moment of his life. His arms went numb and he thought he was going to have a heart attack. Thankfully, because Sarah is well trained and prepared and moments later Jasper let the full force of his lungs be known. And he didn't stop letting us know for about 20 minutes after that.
Heath was still pretty shaky from the drama that had just taken place so he had the doula help him to the couch and he held a very screamy Jasper while I got myself up and went to the bedroom. After I was situated Jasper was brought in so that he could be weighed, measured, and generally checked out. I had someone bring me my camera so that I could take pics. Heath and Charley also took pics so everything right after his birth is pretty much documented. I am SO grateful for those pictures. (We kind of had arranged to have someone photograph the birth but those plans fell through last minute. I'm actually okay with that though. Everything was just so crazy fast that I don't know how photos would have turned out. Plus, I mean, I shit all over myself and my kitchen floor, no one want to see that shit. Har har har.)
After Sarah was done with Jasper she came over to check on me. I had a tear from Jasper's very large head. I opted not to get stitches because the thought of a needle sewing up in there was not at all appealing. Besides the tear everything else was looking good so after a bit of snuggling with Jasper I got up and put on the lovely pad as thick as a brick and got dressed. Things started to wind down, we managed to convince Ruby that going back to bed was a good idea, and then Sarah and Charley cleaned up the horrific mess in the kitchen. My hats off to you, ladies. To say that was not pretty is a huge understatement. Heath called his parents, I ate leftover Indian food, and I think we were back in bed by like 7-ish.
So that is the story of Jasper's birth. Thanks for sticking around this far! Now, on to the pictures!