I asked Oni to share her side of her birth story, passes blog mic to Oni...
Before I even got pregnant, I already knew I wanted to have a home birth. Delivering in a hospital was not even a thought based on past experiences that I've had with doctors. Others were a little skeptical of my decision, but for the most part everyone was pretty much supportive. For those that know me were not at all surprised that I was taking the "natural route". I trusted myself and my body and I knew everything would be just fine.
Now to the good stuff.
I woke up during the night at 3am to use the bathroom (for what felt like the 16th time that night) when I felt "it". As I was leaning up I felt more of "it'. I got out of the bed and looked at my pajama shorts and saw that "it" had probably happened. I walked to the bathroom, handled my business, go back to my room and Googled "it". If you haven't caught on yet, "it" is my water breaking, but I was in COMPLETE denial. I didn't really need to Google anything, but like I said, denial. For whatever reason, I convinced myself the baby would come on the due date or later. Earlier never even crossed my mind.
Anyway, I walk into my parent's room and woke up my mother.
"Something is going on down there" I told her still not believing what was going on.
I think her motherly instinct already knew why I was standing over at 3 in the morning. We walked back to my room and I let her know that I think (lol) that my water had broke. As I'm in the bathroom examining myself and the situation, she's doing some mom magic and changed my sheets within 30 seconds so that I could be more comfortable. I texted my midwives letting them know that my water had broke. I called my sister Imani in Atlanta, who was also my doula, and got her up to date. She was half sleep, but coherent for the most part.
Although I'm technically in labor at this point, I was very much so concerned with the fact that I had not finished the nursery and none of the clothes were washed. I just needed to wash and work on the nursery lol.
Since Jeff (my boyfriend) sleeps extremely hard, I knew if I called him he wouldn't answer. I called anyway and I was right. No answer. I called his mom and let her know that my water had broke. She was able to get ahold of him by calling his brother. Jeff calls and he is excited!
"Hey beautiful!" It sounded like he was walking hella fast out of his brother's apartment to his car. "You ready?!"
"Yea, I guess" I mean the baby was coming regardless if I was ready or not lol.
He let me know that he was on his way and we hung up. Imani and my midwives (Colleen and Rosie) instructed that I take it easy and to get some rest. Now at this point my contractions were pretty mild, but I was still experiencing some pressure in my lower back. I tried to do as told, but I couldn't get comfortable. Once Jeff arrived, he did massage my lower back alleviating some of the discomfort. He had to leave for a reason that I can’t remember, but I told him to please bring an exercise ball back with him.
I went downstairs and saw that the pool had already been inflated and my parents (headed by my father) created a birthing center oasis. The lights were dim, everything was in its rightful place, and meditation music played softly from the speaker. Although I was calm, I could not stay still. I went back upstairs, walked around and did millennial things (scroll, scroll, scroll) while I waited for Jeff.
Once Jeff returned, I put that exercise ball to use. It just felt good to bounce through the pressure lol. Labor started picking up some around 845am. It was not intense by any means because I was still laughing, talking and joking around.
Imani arrived around 11:30am. She was her usually smiley self and spoke to everyone before turning her complete attention to me. At this point, the contractions were more intense, but not horrible. She gave me a massage and encouraging words which felt great. All was going well, but I felt myself starting to get annoyed. What exactly was annoying me you ask?
-Imani, Jeff, and my mother talking to one another
-the sound of Jeff's phone would make while typing each key
-my mother constantly asking me "does it feel like you need to push?" and "what time did the midwives say they would be here?"
I was ready to labor in the pool, but I couldn't get in immediately because I had to wait for it to fill up and we had to wait for the hot water tank to produce more hot water. Talk about annoyed. I finally was able to get in and it felt ah-mazing. Jeff eventually joined me in the pool and helped through a few contractions before he got out. I was tired as well from being in the water and felt the urge to move again. It felt like I had to have a bowel movement so I went to the bathroom.
This is where it all got INTENSE. I told my sister to tell the midwives that they should come because I felt like the baby would be coming soon. Imani kept me company in the bathroom and reassured me over and over again (add this to my list of annoyances) that my body was made for this and the pressure that I was feeling was the baby just making its way down. She noticed that I was squeezing any and everything extremely hard, including Jeff's hand, and gave me a tennis ball instead. As I'm sitting on the toilet laboring and making all types of crazy noises, Imani is coaching me while tossing a tennis ball in the air and catching it. I wanted to hit that damn ball out of her hand so bad.
Humming is a technique that is supposed to help during labor so when Imani suggested it, I hummed for all of 2.5 seconds before saying "yea no" and went back to doing my own thing. She left out and I was by myself for some time before Jeff came in to help me the best way he could. He was doing great until I saw that he was on his phone.
"JEFF I NEED YOU HERE!" I needed ALL of his attention on me. ALL OF IT.
The midwives finally arrived and I felt like the time would be coming very soon. Their style is pretty invasive so they do not check dilation. They encouraged me to listen to my body and followed my lead. I continued to squeeze and lean on Jeff until I couldn't take sitting down anymore.
Using Jeff as my support, I stood up and kept on with my glorious labor noises. The midwives came in the bathroom and laid down large disposable pads on the floor to catch everything that would expel from my body. Imani and my mom gathered outside of the bathroom as they watched and cheered me on. Colleen got on her knees, told me I was doing a great job and began to assess me. She took my hand and told me to feel the head. I had a brief 'WTF!" moment, but I was so ready to push.
All throughout my pregnancy I read so many different birthing stories and a few described delivery as ''the ring of fire". While delivering I knew exactly what they were talking about. Now the contractions weren't painful. They were just EXTREMELY EXTREMELY EXTREMELY uncomfortable. I pushed (and hollered) about four times and my sweet baby was in my arms.
The feeling was too overwhelming to even try to put into words. I looked at Jeff whose eyes were filled with tears. I sat back on the toilet and just stared at him. After counting his little fingers and toes, I had not even checked to see if it was a boy or girl. I opened his legs and yelled to everyone waiting outside the bathroom "IT'S A BOY!"
Once I was settled a little, I informed those closest to me that the baby was officially Earth side. My friend asked me how I felt to which I replied,
"It feels like he's always been here."
Stay tuned for Part 3 from Jeff