Emery is here! I am so excited to share her birth story with you. I absolutely love hearing birth stories and listened to a ton of them prior to Emery’s arrival, so I hope that you enjoy reading about her story today!
As some of you may know, Erik and I decided to have a home birth for Emery. I will write a whole post about why we decided to do this, but I can just say we are beyond happy with that decision. Honestly I don’t know if I could ever have birth a different way now.
I shared Maddie’s story here, and because Maddie arrived 2 days before her due date, I had it in my head that Emery would also be early. My midwife warned me that she could very well be late, and to not have an expectation for her birth date, but until I reached my due date of November 18th and she wasn’t here, I didn’t fully believe her.
Once I got to my due date with no signs of impending labor, I started to get a little nervous and wondered if she was going to come out on her own. I started drinking large volumes of raspberry leaf tea, did a few “labor inducing workouts” and told my chiropractor to “do what he needed” in order to get things going.
I’m not sure if it was any of these things that started the labor, or if she was just finally ready to get here the next day, but whatever it was on November 19th I woke up at 7am feeling light contractions every 5-10 minutes or so. When Erik woke up I told him about this and he immediately wanted to jump into action, but I told him the contractions were super mild and this would most likely take a while.
I worked in the morning and then went to acupuncture at 12:30pm and the contractions definitely started to pick up. Especially since I was laying down and couldn’t move, it was pretty tough since every 5-6 minutes I was having contractions by this point. Driving home afterwards was also pretty painful, but when my midwife came at 2pm to assess me, it seemed the contractions slowed down again. She asked if I wanted to be checked and I did, just to see if she should make her way back home for a while or if she should stay. I was only 1-2cm dilated, which was disappointing, but not all that surprising since the contractions still felt very manageable. We even discussed what I should do to try and sleep that night since I was guessing that I wouldn’t go into active labor until early the following morning.
After she left, Erik and I took a quick walk to the park with our dog, Kenzie, and things started really picking up. On my walk home I had to crouch down during the contractions and they were getting pretty painful, but I still didn’t think I was in active labor since between contractions I felt fine and I could still breathe through them.
When I got home at 4pm this is where things started to really get tough. I was trying to sit on the couch with Maddie and watch a show with her, but I could no longer sit through the contractions and needed to get on the floor on my yoga ball/ hands and knees and I started to “vocalize” through each contraction. We told Erik’s mom to make her way over to pick up Maddie but “not to rush” which just goes to show you how in denial I was about everything happening. At 4:30 I texted my midwife to tell her how I was feeling, and she said she would make her way over. I still figured it would be a while, but luckily, she left right away (she said she had a feeling this labor would be fast so as soon as I updated her she left immediately). She also had set up everything when she was here earlier that day, so when she arrived she was ready to go.
I was still trying to sit with Maddie while Erik was getting her stuff ready, but eventually it got too challenging and I went upstairs to have some space and take a shower. Maddie was having a bit of a tough time and definitely sensed something was going on, and she was sobbing until I came back downstairs and helped feed her dinner.
Erik’s mom showed up around 5:30pm and the midwife came pretty quickly after and I was definitely really starting to feel the intensity. I was also getting pretty emotional because I was in a lot of pain but trying not to show how I was feeling since Maddie was still there and I didn’t want it to scare her. Side note- I hear a lot of birth stories about woman just feeling contractions as “intense” or like a “rush” and I was trying to imagine each contraction like an “ocean wave” but I feel like I was definitely feeling quite a bit of pain (what I didn’t realize was I was already in transition by then!). When Maddie finally left I actually broke down crying just being overwhelmed with the pain/ sensation, Maddie leaving and being upset, etc. It was probably good I was able to cry and get some emotion out.
I hadn’t been able to eat much all day, but I was trying to drink a ton of fluids like coconut water/ water since I knew I needed to keep my electrolytes up. But this was also making me feel like I might throw up so I was laboring on my hands and knees with a bucket nearby (thankfully I never had to use it!). I had a few more contractions downstairs and then the midwives recommended making my way upstairs where Erik was filling up the birth pool. I went upstairs and climbed onto our bed (where we had put down plastic covers and old sheets) and had a few contractions there before a huge one hit and my water burst. I was honestly so surprised since it seemed “too soon” for this to be happening. I was expecting similar steps to Maddie’s birth like first losing my mucus plug and having “bloody show” but none of that had happened. This was at 6:38pm.
When my water broke initially it felt like a huge relief from pressure, but then on the next contraction I couldn’t believe it that my body was already pushing. It was nothing I was doing, my body was literally just doing it on its own. My midwife then said I probably wasn’t going to make it to the birth pool which I said “I don’t care I just want this baby out!” The next contraction I was pushing again and felt her head, to which my midwife directed where I should push and then I felt her head and the rest of her body come out! Emery was born at 6:45pm, just 7 minutes after my water broke.
I was honestly so shocked and surprised that when my midwife said “reach down and get your baby” I just couldn’t truly believe it. Erik was also totally shocked as we both thought we had a LONG way to go. I am so thankful it was quick because it was SO intense and I was truly wondering how I was going to be able to get through it.
Emery was born weighing 7lbs 5oz and 20.75 inches but most importantly, completely healthy which was all that had mattered. I honestly don’t even know if we would have made it to the hospital in time which is really crazy, so I am even more thankful that we decided to have her at home.
The rest of our night was so wonderful. I was able to soak in time with Emery on my chest and get breastfeeding started (thankfully she latched on right away and has been doing great ever since) and the midwives gave us some space and cleaned everything up. After a little while Erik made us some dinner, and then we were ready for bed by about 10:30pm (although not much sleep that night or since the birth lol).
Maddie came home the next day to meet her baby sister and has been obsessed with her ever since. She wants to always give her kisses and hugs, lay down with her, and get her blankets. She loves helping with diaper changes or anything else related to helping with the baby. It’s been tough trying to keep a toddler entertained while having a newborn, especially in the winter (yikes), so there has been a lot more TV time lately, but overall, we are nicely settling into being a family of four.
I wondered how it would feel having another baby when my entire heart seemed devoted to Maddie, but it’s so true that your heart just expands. I am so thankful to have two beautiful, healthy girls and thank God for that every day.