December 22nd was a chilly, downright cold Sunday that started the same as any other. Except I was 41 weeks and 4 days pregnant. Tim and I were going for a walk, and on our way back I kept feeling weird pressure. Tim suggested I call my doula Carolynne to let her know. She suggested that I take it easy so we had a movie Sunday. Around 4 pm, I heard a strange popping noise, and it felt as if the baby had passed gas inside me. I can’t explain it any better. I mentioned it to Tim and then had the urge to pee like I had so many times during pregnancy. But, this was different. When I was done, I got up to wash my hands and the liquid kept coming. Yay! I called Carolynne to tell her the great news that my water had broken, and she told me to call the birthing center. They told me to stay home until my contractions started and became very close together, so I took a shower and went back in the living room to relax.
By 6pm, I started feeling some pressure in my groin. It only felt like pressure, but it was coming every 3-9 minutes. Meanwhile, Tim was rushing around putting the chickens away, finishing up sealing the shower upstairs, and working on other odds and ends that needed finishing. At 6:30, I let Carolynne know that the pressure was now consistently every 3 minutes. We decided then to start heading to Baton Rouge, a 45-minute drive. Tim continued to finish up his projects while I double-checked bags and dogs, put away dishes and tracked the pressure. It was around 8:30 before we actually made it out the door, and the pressure was now 2-3 minutes apart.
Carolynne drove separately, and though she lived closer to the destination, Tim beat her by 15 minutes. I was so focused that I didn’t pay any attention to his driving or the traffic, but I’m sure he was very safe, as always! We waited in the parking lot for Carolynne (Yes, you read that correctly, we waited.). She got a wheelchair because the pressure was now 1-2 minutes apart and I couldn’t walk far in that little time. We made our way through the ER to the elevator and across the long hall and were checked in around 9:30. The midwife checked me, and I was 6 cm dilated. I was in active labor! I didn’t need convincing.
They wheeled me down another hallway to a beautiful birthing suite. I was so ready for that big bath of water, but there was a mandatory 20-minute strip of readings they had to get before I could dip my toes into that glorious tub. They were having trouble getting the reading because she was so low, and they had to get creative. I had to pee, so the nurse came with me. There we sat for 20 minutes. My feet fell asleep several times, and that sweet nurse kept propping them up to give me relief. Finally after it was official, they helped me into the water. It was amazing, warm, and so relaxing! I stayed there for the next 3.5 hours. I only opened my eyes a few times to realize they were shining a flashlight toward my nether regions (lights were dimmed which was so soothing), so I closed my eyes and went back to focusing. I didn’t pay attention to anyone or anything except breathing nice and slowly and talking to God with each passing pressure. I say pressure because the horrific tales of “contractions” I was bombarded with my entire pregnancy just didn’t fit the feeling I was having. Later, Tim told me I was very calm and it was freaking out the nurses/midwife. I was so quiet and focused that they didn’t think I was in labor or progressing.
Around 1:30, they checked me again because they couldn’t get a reading on the baby. The nurse quickly backed up and ran to the other nurse. I didn’t hear her, but Tim heard her say that the baby was “right there” and she had literally touched her head. The only thing I heard was when they asked if I had the urge to push. I did, but I wasn’t trying to rush anything, lol. The nurse ran for the midwife who was with another mom. After repositioning to hands and knees then quickly back to sitting, Tim joined me in the tub. I moved into a deep squat and with around 3 pushes, Tim pulled her out and placed her on my chest. Aviella Elise joined us December 23rd, 2013 at 2:05 am weighing 8 lbs 14 oz and was 20” long.
I can honestly say that the horror stories I was told were just that, stories. I was focused on a natural, fast, pain free, vaginal delivery resulting in a healthy, happy baby. And, she came out calm and alert! I only had 2 outbursts of profanity but quickly refocused. It was always in God’s hands. I had told Him several times the birth I wanted, and I put my faith in those words. After I delivered the placenta, Tim came up to me and said, “So, that went pretty easy. You ready for another?”.
I did change care providers at 40 weeks 5 days, one week before we had our beautiful daughter. I think you must trust your care provider to give you the birth that you not only want but deserve. This is the most personal experience you will ever go through, and you need to be comfortable, safe, and secure. You need to have no doubt that the people you choose to be part of your birth story are there for you and will stand up for your choices. Tim and Carolynne did just that for me, and it was the most beautiful day of my life!
Elisa was born in Kansas and moved to and lived in Nebraska for the majority of her life. Thanks to God and eharmony she met Tim in 2009 and moved to Youngsville, LA within the same year. They were married in 2011 and had their first child, Aviella in December 2013. Elisa is now a wife, stay at home mommy and DIY fanatic. Some of her hobbies include canning, organic gardening, baking, photography, and natural living.