Read Part I here.
The pool brought some relief to my aching back but I could tell that it wasn’t enough to stall the labor. Carissa helped me through a few contractions, prayed for the baby and I and also brought Joey and I drinks. She and her assistant added more hot water to the pool and our wonderful photographer was snapping away.
It felt like no time to me but before I knew it, it was dark out. I’ll be honest, I had expected to have given birth before dark but Carissa reminded me that my water bag hadn’t broken. In fact, my water bag was so low that I could touch it with my index finger. Carissa told me I could try to break it myself. And I did try. During every contraction I was pinching and poking at the bag with absolutely no luck. I was getting pretty annoyed. I felt like I kinda wanted to push but when I did it brought me no relief and I felt as if I were wasting energy. At this point Carissa offered to break my water. This is something that she very rarely does. In fact, homebirth midwives almost never break a woman’s water. It was at this moment that I told Carissa to ‘bring me a fork or break my water for me.’ Yep. Those words came out of my mouth. A midwives tool is much different than your typical OB’s long crochet hook looking apparatus. Her tool looked more like a thimble with a little patch of ‘poky things’ at the end.
With the next contraction Carissa broke my water. I actually felt his head drop down. Immediately the urge to push was strong. Just like with Quinn’s labor the intensity hit me so hard I felt like puking. No going back now. It took just a few pushes for us to see and feel his fuzzy little head. A few more pushes and yet another familiar feeling occurred (not a welcomed one). Burning. I remember from Quinn’s birth my midwife told me to put some light pressure on his head to take away the sensation. So much relief! Finally his head was completely out. At this point I wouldn’t say I stalled but I did catch a nice (short) break. One final push and Joey brought our sweet baby boy out of the water and into my waiting arms.
No crying. Murphy took a minute or two to get his lungs going. Before we knew it he was singing us his birth song. And it was music to our ears. He was perfect, covered in frosting (vernix), ten fingers, ten toes and the sweetest little wrinkle on his nose. Joey said he had quite the ‘bulldog face’ with his double chin and wrinkled nose.
I’d made it very clear to Carissa that I wanted to take more time to honor and appreciate the placenta this go round…And that we did. Once the afterbirth came she took her time to show us the ‘tree of life,’ the vessels, the impenetrable water bag he was in and our awesome pulsating cord. We stayed in the pool until we were ready to hop out and get settled in our bed.
Murphy’s birth was incredible. The intimacy of a homebirth is like nothing else. Something really interesting I learned from this birth is that taking high doses of vitamin C during your first trimester really makes for a tough water bag! Carissa couldn’t even poke her finger through the sac during the examination of the placenta.
We’re beyond thankful to have had another beautiful homebirth with a healthy mom and baby. We appreciate all of the support, prayers and help that was lent our way. We couldn’t have done it without all of you. A huge thank you to our amazing midwife, Carissa who encouraged us along the way and did everything in her power to make this birth exactly what we wanted. And lastly our birth photographer who took photos that I will cherish for a lifetime.