Disclaimer: This is a birth story with all the details. If birth grosses you out, you should probably not read any further.
It was 10:00pm on Thursday February 7th, and Max and I had just finished an episode of Downton Abbey. I had been having some strong braxton-hicks that day, but they were the kind that I thought would surely go away when I went to bed, as they had every other night in the past. I told Max I wanted to go to bed, and as we got ready I started to have some more serious, painful contractions. Max finally caught on and asked, "Are you in labor?" I replied, "Maybe. But probably not. Let's just try and sleep and I'll wake you if I need you."
I laid in bed till about 10:45 before I finally decided these contractions weren't going away and I needed to get up and walk and eat. I got up and went to the kitchen to eat (I was really hungry) and paused and moaned through each contraction. A few minutes later Max heard me moving the couch back in place (we move our couch to our computer to watch movies, it bugged me that it was out of place), and came to check on me. I told him that I was really in labor but he should try and go back to sleep in case we were in for the long haul.
It was around midnight that Max decided we should call our midwife. He told her I was definitely in labor, but that she could wait to come as contractions had only started two hours ago. Meanwhile, my water had broken and contractions were coming stronger. I was thinking to myself how intense the contractions were and how, "maybe I'm just more of a weanie this time than I was with Miss Belle." All this time, Max is trying frantically to set up the birth pool. After breaking our bathroom sink I finally told him that I just wanted him near me and to forget about the pool.
In between each contraction I prayed to Our Lady of Happy Delivery and asked Jesus to be with us. I asked that above all the baby would be safe. In my heart, I knew everything was ok and this was the safest way to deliver the baby. This is a great grace God gave me during labor, because looking back I really could have had a lot of fear about the unknown position of our baby. I also feel it was a great grace that I didn't know she was a footling breech, as I think I may have been more anxious about delivering our baby in this very uncommon position. As I continued to labor in our bathroom, I started to have the urge to push. I told Max that he needed to call our midwife NOW! I tried my hardest to breath through these contractions without pushing, until I couldn't any longer. All the research I had done about breech births said hands and knees was the best way to push and that breech babies should not be touched during delivery. If you touch their little bottoms, it startles them, causing them to throw their arms up thus making it more difficult for the head to come. I knew I should get on my hands and knees, but it was also what my body instinctively told me to do. As the next contraction came I tried my hardest not to push, but just couldn't. I was asking Max the whole time, "Where is our midwife?" thinking I could just hold this baby in till she got there. I told him I was scared and he assured me it would be ok. I was not scared of delivering the baby, I was scared I wouldn't be able to stop pushing until the midwife arrived.
I finally gave into the reality that I couldn't not push and told Max the baby is coming. He was on the phone with my midwife and got behind me to see what was going on. Apparently at this point one of Baby Jules' foot was already out, although I had no idea. With the next two contractions I pushed her to the point where her little butt and legs were hanging from my body but her head and arms were still inside. I told Max not to touch her and he promised he wouldn't. I was so anxious to have her out at this point that I tried to push with no contraction and yelled, "she isn't coming!" As she was hanging there, I could feel her moving her little head and arms still inside me. This is the number one weirdest thing I have ever felt in my life. From the research I had done, I knew that this was common for breech babies. They do a little sit up type action to position their head correctly for birth. A truly amazing instinct! Once I finally realized that the reason she "wasn't coming" was because I wasn't having a contraction, I was able to take a few deep breaths and wait for the next one. As the next contraction started, I pushed with all my might, and out came our little girl into her father's hands.
I told Max to give her to me, and we immediately started rubbing her back and talking to her (she didn't cry right away, but when I looked down at her wide eyes, I knew she was ok). Within seconds she was breathing fine and making those tiny newborn cries. Max hung up with the midwife and we sat there in awe for a few minutes staring at her beauty. After a minute or so, I checked to see what we had and was pretty shocked to see that it was a girl! I think we checked three different times to make sure. So there we were, just the three of us and God, sitting on our bathroom floor admiring the new life that was in our arms.
Our midwife showed up about ten minutes later and found everyone to be perfectly healthy.
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