Amariah’s birth actually starts 4 days before she came. On Sunday October 13th, I began to get something called Prodromal Labor Contractions. What are those you ask? Nature’s cruel joke is the best way I can put it. Basically, they are all the strength of real contractions, however, they don’t dilate the cervix significantly or at all. Sounds fun right?
These contractions lasted 3 full days for me. They don’t care where you are or what you’re doing; they demand attention. I even had a contraction up in Suzie Cakes while getting Amariah’s Happy Birthday cupcake 😂 Believe me when I say ZERO SHAME haha!
They were more intense at night and came in regular waves of 5 to 10 minute intervals. So when I first thought I was in labor because they were coming every 5 mins on Monday morning, you can imagine my disheartening to find out that the most they can do is prepare you for labor, not actually put you in it 😑.
This was such a struggle for me. The mental and physical drain of having to experience these without a guarantee of them stopping anytime soon was taxing. This also caused me to question if I would know when real labor even kicked in. I had to rely on the Lord heavily for any indications that the ball was ready to get going. AJ was already past her due date, so not knowing how best to prepare for her arrival after continual waves of Prodromal Labor Contractions left me in a bad mood.
The morning of Oct 17 at around midnight I woke to some strong contractions that I wasn’t sure about. Instead of calling my midwife, I decided to labor through them and see if I could get them to calm down. I drank lots of water, changed positions, cried it out, etc. all the while thinking these weren’t true labor contractions.
Then at 4am something in me snapped. I had been experiencing several huge contractions and I just couldn’t get them to go away! I was tired and fed up. Then I felt the Lord urge me to call my midwife so I had my husband do it. After she got some vital info on me, she decided it best to come check things out and see what was going on.
When she arrived I was praying it wasn’t a false alarm. I already had one false alarm on Monday and I hate to be the girl that cried “baby” twice in a row. These were too strong to go back and I just couldn’t deal with having yet another day of prodromal labor. Thankfully, she said I called right on time as I was looking like I was in the early active labor stage and dilating, THANK GOD!
Next thing out of my midwifes mouth was “Let’s do some work!” At this stage, it was all about movements to help baby get in the most optimal position for delivery (I was secretly hoping “work” meant sitting in bed hammering out contractions and sleeping in between). Working through contractions is key to keeping the labor along at a productive pace and utilizing certain exercises to open up the pelvis and help the baby move down. It’s nothing like what you see on tv. Contractions equal work! We did standing lunges, walking, squats, peanut ball exercises… basically everything to make progress.
One thing that actually stalled delivery a bit was my little ones position in the womb. She had been anterior for weeks and then at week 40 she decided to turn posterior or sunny side up. This usually can lead to back labor (which I had) and a longer labor (which I didn’t have) but it also possibly caused the prodromal labor for 3 days so I suppose that’s a trade off.
This made me get to a point where I flat out said I wanted to give up. I felt like I had hit a wall when little wouldn’t get into a better exiting position. I felt helpless and like my drained body couldn’t do anymore. I had been up since 12 and feeling the back labor had put me in some kind of zombie trans. I had reached the point of loosing it and I knew I must have been in transitional stage. I knew and I didn’t care. Everything in me said I’m tired, I want to stop, get this baby outta me now!
Sooooo much encouragement from my birthing team and husband really had me grasping reserves I didn’t even know I had! I found small bits and kept going. I remember thinking of waves crashing on my feet to help me meditate on something peaceful. I would sit cross legged with my palms open in a comforting yoga pose to remind myself to open up. I would continue saying “I can” over and over again to make myself believe in myself while my birthing team confirmed “yes you can” and “yes you are”. One of my best friends told me to think of each contraction as the first one; don’t remember what’s passed. And I even drew from my doula with my first birth who would be constantly reminding me to let it go in the face and relax my jaws.
I’ve never heard more reassuring things when I tucked into myself and needed light. I stopped thinking of how long it would take and just allowed my body to move how it needed to get the little down. Once I could push past all that, my body kicked into 5th gear and started progressing fast! The interesting thing about it all is having to make that decision to push past pain and do what’s needed. It’s not logical to lean into something that hurts, but it’s required in order to move things along.
Then, after that, oh did I have the urge to push all the sudden! It didn’t feel like how I thought it might. With my first, I had an urge to push but not in the “I’ve got to hurry and go to the bathroom way” that some might experience. This time I completely had that. It felt like I was about to drop a bowling ball on the floor if I didn’t push. And when my midwife confirmed I could get into the birthing pool and do what I had been wanting to do for hours….oh the sweet joy of relief in hearing “you can push” made me weak with happiness!
I climbed into the tub and the water felt so perfect! It was the best water I had ever been in! I had my husband by my side and the birth team right in front of me. I was going to do this! I had come so far and I was ready to meet our baby! Me and mister had opted before that we wanted to both catch her so I had something to look forward to. With 18 mins of pushing she was out! I literally pushed the hardest I’ve ever had to. I was certain I broke something, but I didn’t even need one stitch. I couldn’t believe I had come to the end of my second pregnancy! I tried so hard and waited so long and she made her way out to meet us.
As me and my husband reached down and picked her up out of the water it felt surreal. She was a solid baby and all the way alert. She gave two immediate cries and I just starred in disbelief of who had just exited my body.
It was uncomfortable and painful but bearable. My first came out in two breath like pushes (probably due to her great positioning). But little number two was not so down with making things easy for mama. But once she was out, the overwhelming emotion of just knowing that it was all worth it and it worked out for our good took away any negative feels I might have had before.
The first thing I said was “Thank you for coming out!” and I absolutely meant it. She came out at 8lbs 9oz and 20 inches long. She was so balled up in the womb we all thought she might be 7ish lbs. How wrong we were lol!
I stayed in the pool to deliver the placenta (which in comparison is nothing) and then on to my other favorite part which was getting up and walking to our bedroom. No car ride home, just go to your own bed, lay down and recover. That was one of my biggest reasons to do a home birth; you’re already where you want to be.
We got all the vitals checked, did skin to skin, had our first nursing session, and got our newborn parents’ homework. Our midwife team cleaned up everything, brought us food, and even did a load of laundry. It was like they were never there and I made the whole thing up lol. Once they were off, sleep hit me like a ton of bricks. We all were due for an amazing nap and that’s just what happened!
Several days postpartum and she’s amazing to look at. I enjoy her fluffy cheeks and she’s a chunker so I can’t get over these rolls! Plus she has a head full of hair that I love to brush with my hand. Just to know she was once inside and now she’s completely out is refreshing. Her name, Amariah, means “God has promised” in Hebrew and her middle name, Jai means “victory”. So God has promised victory. We are all enjoying this time we have as a family of four and can’t wait to share her with all those we know and love. Looking down at her as she sleeps, I absolutely feel victorious 100 percent 😊.