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I Knew I Could Do It

4 months after a heartbreaking miscarriage, we found out I was
pregnant. Needless to say, we were overjoyed.

I knew right away that I wanted to have a home birth, so hours after
taking the test I emailed Heidi, asking to have her as our midwife.
Thankfully she had a spot for us. While I was convinced that this was
what I wanted, it took a little more encouraging for my husband, Clay,
to get onboard. I had him watch "the Business of Being Born" with me,
which helped, but it was after our first appointment with Heidi that
he was in it 100%.

I spent the first 15 weeks extremely sick. I lost just over 10 lbs,
and was reduced to eating melon and toast. At that point I was done
being pregnant! I didn't think I could do anymore after that.
Fortunately things got better, and I spent the next 25 weeks LOVING my
pregnancy! (25 weeks minus the last 2 weeks leading up to my labour. I
hit my wall, and cried many, many times that "today would be the day".
I still loved being pregnant, I was just ready to have this baby out
and in my arms.)

At 5:30am on Thursday, February 16th I woke up to my water leaking.
When it clicked what was actually happening, I got so excited that I
burst out laughing, completely breaking my water! My poor husband was
so frantic (mostly because he was dead asleep and woke up to a crazy
wife). We tried to fall back asleep, but I was too excited. I couldn't
stop laughing knowing that this was the moment we've been waiting for,
and of course, that it happened less than 10 hours after we bought our
new mattress.

By 6:00 am my contractions started at 4-5 minutes apart, and were
pretty intense. We got up to clean the house (due to it being a
disaster) and my helping stopped after about 5 contractions. I went
into bed, alternating between lying on my side and being on all fours.
In the end, being on all fours was the best position for me. Clay was
incredible through it all! With every contraction he would come and
squeeze my hips, rub my lower back, and just encourage me. And of
course, he was there with my water! He would run away after every
contraction to clean, then run back when I would call him. It's funny
now, but at the time I was ready to kill him. I remember looking up at
the clock over and over, and thinking, "Wow! It's already been (x)
hours! This is going by so fast."

Heidi showed up around 10:30, and by 11:00 I was in the tub. It was
amazing! I can't even begin to tell you how relaxed I felt. Clay had
put on a couple worship dvds (hillsongs), so we not only had music but
we had a visual as well. It was a great distraction in between
contractions, plus it probably helped to entertain everyone else.
While in the tub, Clay would come and rub my back & shoulders during
contractions, and then bring me water and my cold cloth in between.
Believe it or not, the atmosphere was super light. We joked around, so
there was a lot of laughing! I felt great the entire time!
Contractions weren't awesome, but they were tolerable. A few times I
said that I could understand how someone would want an epidural, but I
didn't ask for drugs!! Not once! And I never felt like I needed them.
I knew I could do it. I was equipped with the knowledge of how to
respond to my body, and an incredible team who kept me calm and
secure. At one point I told Heidi that I don't love contractions, and
ever so lovingly she corrected me, "No, you contractions are your best
friend. They are getting you closer to getting this baby out."  I
embraced the contractions in a whole new light after that.

It was around 2pm when Heidi asked if I wanted to be checked, and I
definitely wanted to know where I was at. (Heidi told me the next day
that she asked because I was getting grunty, and sounded like it was
time to push) I was expecting to be somewhere around 7cm, but I was at
9cm! There was a bit of a lip, so Heidi helped move that along with a
few contractions. Then it was time to push! I was so excited! Pushing
was such a nice contrast to enduring the contractions. It felt so good
to do something! We tried a few different positions; squatting, on my
side, leaning on the side of the pool. But in the end, the classic
Bradley Method position was what felt & worked the best. I had Clay
with one hand behind my back and the other holding one foot,
back-up  holding the other, and I was either propping myself
up with my arms behind my back (that turned out to be a horrible
decision! I couldn't move my arms for 5+ days afterwards) or I had my
hands under my knees (elbows out!). A little bit of meconium came out
with one push, so we were expecting for Heidi to grab the baby shortly
after birth to clear their lungs, but we weren't worried or
concernedat all. We knew that the baby & I were in the best hands

Things got a little scary towards the end as they couldn't find baby's
heartbeat for at least 5 contractions. When I turned onto my side
theywere able to pick up the h.b., but it had dropped to 110. The
amazing thing was that as stressful as the situation was becoming, I
was still super confident and excited! Heidi never let on to
what was happening. They remained calm, which kept everything running
smoothly. It was amazing to push and feel the baby move further and
further down with every contraction. Several times I wished out loud
for more contractions so that I could keep pushing! At one point the backup
said that I was the happiest pusher she's ever seen! The joking and
laughing lasted all the way until the last push!  :)

Heidi let me know that she was going to help move my perineum to help
baby along. She normally wouldn't do this, but it with baby's heart
rate it was necessary. (she told me this afterwards) I knew with that
last push that the baby needed to come out, so I pushed harder than I
thought I could... I was out of breath, but it didn't matter. With that one 
push baby's head was out,and Heidi kept pulling, so I pulled back, and out 
came the rest of our little turkey! Heidi put babe on my tummy, and after a 
little rub and a little mommy & daddy talking, baby started to open their eyes, 
move their lips, and eventually cough. Heidi quickly sucked out the
meconium from the nose, and had to stick a little tube down their
throat to get asmuch as possible. I looked up at Clay and asked what
we had. He moved the cord and said, "It's a girl." (with tears in his
eyes, of course) After spending the previous 40 weeks convinced I was
having a boy this news was a huge shock! But she was exactly what we

Our sweet Emily Cadence was born at 4:02pm, weighing 7lbs 10 oz, 21
1/4" long. Labour was a total of 10 hours, with 1 hr and 9 min of that
pushing! It was incredible! We absolutely loved everything about our
birth story. I'm still so happy about everything. I find myself
telling strangers about it because I so proud of us! We had exactly
the birth we wanted.  :)