The Wednesday before Colette’s birth just happened to fall on Ash Wednesday, a time of preparation for a spiritual journey, which is exactly what I was experiencing that day in my own way. That evening I felt off. I just did. Nothing was going right in my head, my thoughts and emotions were all a jumbled mess. The night before, I had gotten some beautiful words of wisdom from my dear friend Tabitha about all the fears of inadequacy I was having, she was so encouraging and assured me that all my feelings were a clear indicator that labor was soon to come. She was right. In retrospect I was displaying so many signs that I had also displayed just before I gave birth to our last child, Clare. I didn’t want to eat dinner, I had pressure in my bottom, I wanted to take my 3rd shower/bath of the day lol, and I really needed the kids in bed. All random things but all things that I had done the last time as I was approaching labor.
That evening I prepared a quick dinner, that I made a mess of repeatedly. I laid down in the other room while my husband, Colin, fed our four kids. I was so exhausted. But I wasn’t having any contractions or show or anything. So much of my “labor” that evening was getting over all these emotions I was having. Once Colin fed the kids he went to the gym and I put the kids to bed. I rushed through the bedtime routine and was grouchy, then I was sorry and just felt like I really needed to chill out. So I grabbed a nice bottle of wine and had a glass while I soaked in the tub. It was exactly what I needed. I texted with my doula Amy after putting the kids to bed and she really helped me through so much of the feelings that were troubling me. I had fears of delivering next week and what if the snow storm kept everyone from being there including Colin?! She assured me that those who are meant to be there will be there. She was so right!! But little did she know what that actually would end up looking like!
Colin came back home while I was in the tub, he jokingly asked me if I was in labor since I was in there. Haha no…so he went back downstairs to eat while I finished up and put Clare to bed. I met up with Colin downstairs and we watched a bit of a movie together before deciding it was getting late. We joked again about having the baby tonight but I told him that I was too tired and that I didn’t think it would happen. We went to bed at around 11pm/midnight, and shortly after I started getting small “Braxton hicks” contractions that didn’t demand any attention so I went to sleep listening to hypnobabies.
At around 2:15am I realized that those annoying little “Braxton hicks” contractions were still there, but they started to feel a bit like real contractions. I figured I just needed to use the bathroom. So I got up and went to the bathroom, but it didn’t help. I realized that I quickly had to figure out if this was the real thing or not, and boy did I second guess myself!!! You would think that after having 4 kids, being a childbirth educator for 5 years and being a birth doula myself that I would be able to recognize signs of labor just like that…but it’s so different when you’re in the moment and you don’t see the signs you were expecting to see! I knew that worst case scenario, if this was it, that I needed to act fast because my track record is one of very fast labors, so I decided the best thing to do was to go and consult with Colin while he’s fast asleep.
So I walk over to his side of the bed and try to wake him up, he’s only been asleep for like 2 hours so he’s not really registering my presence. I have another contraction while standing there, this is really starting to seem like the real thing. “Hey babe, I think I’m in labor, I’m not sure, should I call the midwife?? I don’t want to bother anyone…I’m not sure what to do…” Lol his half asleep response was something along the lines of “You know if you’re in labor or not, so if you are then call and if you’re not then let me go back to sleep” LOL I love this man, straightforward and to the point which is what I needed him to be! I didn’t have time to keep second guessing myself, so I called the midwife at 2:20.
Now, in my head, those 5 or so minutes were much longer than they actually were. In my head the contractions were much shorter and spaced out as well. When I called the midwife I had a contraction. I explained to her that they’re only about 30 seconds long and are coming like every 5 minutes. Colin corrected me. I had had like 2 or 3 during the last 8 minutes…hmm I should pull up a contraction timer app, clearly my perception of time is off. Colin finished off the conversation with her, she said she was coming and calling the birth team. Colin went to fill up the tub for me after getting off the phone.
Once I pull up the app at 2:30 and timed my contractions the reality of what was happening hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m in full blown labor. Darn! How did I miss that?! How was it all happening so fast?! The contractions are closer to a minute and a half long and they’re coming every 3 minutes!!! Ok keep your cool Lilly. Put your head phones in, zone out, and pray for peace. I sit on the yoga ball and rest my head on the bed. Colin squeezes my hips together to relieve some of the pressure. It really helps. I feel his love and strength and it encourages me. We will be ok, we can do this.
I get a text message from Amy about getting the hot water heater temperature up, I told Colin he could run down to the basement and do that as soon as this contraction ends. Hurry Colin you have 3 minutes, go! Of course he takes forever! In reality he took like 8 minutes because he ran into some kind of energy saver feature on the tank that prohibited him from turning it up, who needs to save energy while they’re in labor?!? I don’t!!! Darn feature. Anywho, while he was gone I ran into a bit of an issue. I started feeling like I needed to push…I needed to stand up, I
could no longer sit and kicked the ball away. Hmmm what to do next…? Oh yes! Get a chucks pad for the floor! Ive seen this part enough to know I’m about to make a giant mess, tmi but let’s be real here lol. So I’m standing over the side of the bed with a pad on the floor to keep me from ruining my carpet and *trumpets sound off* my Colin reappears! I don’t care about the water heater at this point, I don’t even have a chance to tell him I’m feeling pushy, I just need him to get back to the hip squeezes ASAP, the next contraction is coming and I know it’s going to be a big one. So he squeezes my hips together (he told me later that he could actually feel the baby descend at this point which is pretty cool!) and GUSH!! My water broke! 2:57am. Thank goodness I saved the carpet ;)
I knew the baby was coming. Colin knew the baby was coming. He asked me if we should move, I’m in the middle of this contraction, sorry not moving. Ok it’s done! Let’s go! I run to the tub! He tries to get stuff cleaned up, no time for that. I get in the water expecting relief, nope doesn’t happen, I get another contraction, I feel pushy so I push a bit…that feeling…I recognize that feeling…the baby is coming right now. I feel for the baby’s head…yup! There it is! “Colin the baby’s coming!” “What?!” He looks. “Oh yea… the baby IS coming!” He gets in the tub behind me since I’m on my knees. (Mind you, he was so adamant about NOT getting in the tub lol!) he reaches for the baby’s head, I feel his hands on the baby’s head along with mine, I know everything will be ok. I make a primal loud groan and I push the head out slowly so as to not to hurt myself, check for a cord around the neck, none, ok cool, and I push the rest of the baby out on the next contraction that came quick! Baby was born at 3:03am <3 One thing about my husband that I love so much is his ability to keep us cool, calm and collected no matter what. A way that he does that is with perfectly timed jokes and quick wit. As he lifts the baby out of the water, the baby makes some noises, and he says “so how do you get it to breathe?” This made me laugh and relax because of how he said it, she cried right after. He asked if I wanted to know the baby’s gender and I said no, I was in shock and just needed to hold the baby and warm the baby up with a towel. Clare had woken up with my pushing sounds and so I told Colin to go ahead and get her as I called the midwife to let her know I had had the baby and make sure everything was ok. He got her and then went to get Caillyn, our oldest child <3 the birth team arrived shortly after Caillyn came in.
To give you an idea of how insanely quick and intense it all was, I started timing contractions around 2:30 and had about a dozen contractions from the time I started timing them to the time she was born. They were lasting on average 1 min 16seconds long according to my contraction timer app! Once Caillyn got there I had already seen that this was in fact another girl and we rejoiced over the fact that we have the boys out numbered now since this baby #5 was our tie breaker! She was so excited! When the birth team got there I delivered the placenta just fine, got cleaned up and then we went to the bed to cut the cord, Caillyn was so excited to cut it! Colin then went to go get the boys to meet their sister!
Christopher, our 6 year old, had the best reaction! Colin went to go wake him up and said to him “do you want to come see something special? Mommy had the baby!” He instantly woke up and said “You’re kidding!!” Twice! With the most excited look on his face! He cartwheeled off of the top bunk! His smile went from ear to ear as he entered our room! Connor *our 3 year old*, on the other hand, was not impressed to be woken up at 3:30 am so he went back to bed lol. There was so much excitement in the room, so many sweet photos and moments as we all fell in love with baby Colette. She measured 7lbs 19.5in and is absolutely perfect! Everything was perfect, I couldn’t have imagined a better way to have welcomed this little girl, this beautiful gift from God. <3
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