I woke up from a nap having contractions. They were irregular, but fairly intense so Jason and I figured that tonight would be the night. We had planned to spend most of the labor at home watching movies and relaxing with the techniques we learned in our Bradley class.
Unfortunately, I wound up chained to my toilet. I started having really bad diarrhea, and every time I would get up, I felt like I needed to go again. Half an hour after my contractions started, my water broke. Even though I had been in labor for less than an hour, we decided to go ahead and call the doctor. He told us to head to the hospital and he’d meet us there.
Jason and Kaelin started taking our bags out to the car, but shortly after my water broke, the contractions really picked up. They were still irregular, but coming between every 1 and 5 minutes. Jason was trying to get me to relax, but I just couldn’t stand to be touched. I was leaning over the bathtub thinking that there was no way I’d be able to have a natural birth because the pain was just way too much. There may have been some screaming involved.
I finally make it downstairs when I get the urge to go to the bathroom again. I figured the hospital was half an hour away so I better go before we leave. I sat down on the toilet and realized that it wasn’t a bowel movement coming out. I yelled for Jason who walked into the bathroom to find me crowning on the toilet. He asked Kaelin to get some towels and the video camera then made me squat on the floor holding onto his shoulders for support. I kept trying to sit back down, but he wouldn’t let me. While I was squatting, the baby’s head came out without any pushing. One push for the shoulders and less than two hours after labor started, she was here!
Thankfully, she didn’t have any emergency issues when she was born. She came out screaming, was pink, and tried to nurse right away. Jason called the paramedics because our hospital was more than 30 minutes away and it was rush hour in Charleston. They came, cut her cord, and put us in the ambulance. Of course, it was raining, and they didn’t give me time to put a robe on, but we made it to the hospital in one piece.
Looking back, I realize that we got the birth we wanted. There was no medical intervention, at least not until after she was born. Jason got to catch the baby (something our OB refused on our birth plan) and it was just our family to welcome her into the world.
You can view Harper's birth video here. (Note: It's a birth video. If you don't want to see a baby coming out of a vagina, don't watch it.)