I realize I have been pretty terrible posting pregnancy updates and such these past few months. To say that life has been a little bit crazy would be an understatement.
Baby Bear finally made his debut in the wee hours of February 21st at 41 weeks gestation. I was having mild cramps all day on the 20th (Monday). Basically felt like mild menstrual cramps, I was able to act completely normal through them. I didn’t even tell my parents, who were in town for the week, they had no idea! I texted Janelle that morning to let her know so she could drive into town and be here for Bear’s birth, we weren’t sure if she would be able to make it but I wanted her to have the opportunity if she could! Justin knew I was cramping, though I told him not to panic, because I knew that nothing was happening yet.
Later in the day I ran to the store to pick up some things for dinner and while walking around the store and in the parking lot the cramping started feeling more significant. We went home, made dinner and after putting the kids to bed I laid down and tried to read to relax. My dear, sweet wonderful husband was being a butt however and being obnoxious of course. The menstrual like cramping started feeling more like mild contractions, and while I tried to time them, they weren’t regular at all. I went ahead and texted Janelle again around 8pm to let her know they were becoming more significant and she headed this way!
The cramping was still very irregular, but becoming slightly more painful. Nothing I couldn’t talk through though. I was dreading having Bear in the middle of the night… I knew that’s probably what was going to happen, but I also knew that I was going to be exhausted and have a hard time catching up on sleep afterwards! It worked out for the best though, because Janelle arrived at our house a little after 11pm and I was starting to feel contractions that I couldn’t talk through. Again, they were still very irregular and it was strange… it seemed like every other contraction was stronger and hard to talk through, while the others were like the earlier cramping. Nothing like my previous births.
When I started having to lean over the counter in the kitchen and the railings on the porch outside to get through those harder contractions we decided to head out. I had called my midwife’s office a little while before Janelle had arrived, and I am pretty sure they didn’t believe that I was going into active labor, so I had to pretty much tell them that we were coming in around midnight and to expect us. Since we moved out of state, the midwives I’ve been seeing have been wonderful, but truly didn’t believe that I would have this baby quickly…
We arrived at the birth center at midnight and I was at 3cm dilated. The midwife wanted to send us home, but not only was I adamant about staying, Janelle and Justin both knew that if we went home we would be turning right back around the moment we got there. I bounced on a birthing ball for a while but then decided that while my contractions were manageable I would lie down and try to rest some. I didn’t really sleep, but being able to just lie there and rest really helped. The midwife came back in at 1am and I was 6cm dilated. Things were becoming more intense at this point and I was no longer able to lay down to rest. I asked to have the tub filled, and during that time the contractions started picking up in intensity and speed. There wasn’t much of a break between contractions anymore and during each I used Justin as my support and swayed through each one.
I was much calmer and in control during this birth than previous births. While my body was obviously doing it’s job and taking over, I was able to talk myself through the pain. When the tub was finally filled I immediately got in and went from sitting on my knees between contractions to being on my hands and knees during contractions. I think I got in the tub around 1:30 or so, but I could be wrong. All I know is that once I was in the tub it was game on! My body only pushed one big time in order for my water to break, I pushed once more and felt his head come out… and then another large push and he was born into the water!
I think I was a little shocked, not only was he born super fast, but he was born much faster than the other three. My births with Bubby and Bird were also fast but I pushed a little longer with them. This was amazingly fast. I got to immediately hold Bear skin to skin and let his cord finish pulsating. By the time it finished I was able to push out the placenta and get out of the tub. Justin was so much calmer and relaxed this time around, he was a great support and I couldn’t be more thankful for him! I’m also very thankful that Janelle was able to be there to pray over us and be an extra support person as needed. She is the BEST Aunt Janelle my kids could have, I’m so glad she and Nathan are our children’s godparents!
Having him at a birth center was amazing, it was very hands off, calm, relaxing and I was able to just bond and love on my sweet boy as long as I wanted. They came in to check on us and do his newborn check up a few hours later. After all was said and done, he was born at 2:06am and we were able to come home at 6:45am. If you ever have the opportunity to give birth at a center, I highly recommend it. It’s the best experience you could imagine and the next best option to a home birth in my opinion.
Baby Bear weighed in at 7lbs 12oz, 19.5″ long on February 21st, 2017 at 2:06am. We are so in love with this handsome boy and he has been such an easy, laid back baby so far. I can’t wait to post more about him in the future! And I’m even more excited to feel like our family is finally complete.