Like Liam, I decided on a home birth with Mei. My reasons are numerous, but being in a safe, comforting place was amongst the top reasons. The hospital frightens me, and takes away control, forcing unnecessary interventions on me and the baby, at least in my experience, and that's something I don't handle well. I picked a great midwife, someone who made me feel very comfortable, and someone with experience.
I really thought I'd go into labor before Christmas, despite my 29th of December due date. Lilia was 40 weeks and 6 days, and Liam was 38 weeks. I had been having strong braxton-hicks, though no where near as bad as Liam's were. But then I got sick with a seriously bad cough, and any signs of impending labor literally flew out the door. As I started to get better, the signs returned, but by then, Christmas had come and gone. December 26 we had a big snow storm, and I spend a few hours of intense braxton-hicks. Luckily, Mei decided to wait.
|Lilia's birthday, December 27|
I had minor contractions, but nothing big. It was actually pretty weird, considering both Lilia and Liam were very much *pop* and active labor within 10-20 minutes. I was really at a loss of what to do with myself. I tried to sleep, but couldn't- between the adrenaline and my cough, I felt like I was in a not so cozy frame of mind and body...I think I finally fell asleep for about a half hour at 11, and then again at 12. The midwives slept on my couches, since they hadn't slept that night either.
At some point, John and I watched The Avengers on his computer while we tried some nipple stimulation to see if that couldn't get contractions started. At around 2:30, I felt a very odd pop. I can only describe it as something snapped into place. It surprised me, and it hurt like hell. I started crying, I think both from the pain and shock, but it was shortly after that contractions began. Oh man, I forgot how terrible those really are. I labored for a while. John and the midwives worked on getting the pool water warm enough, with John coming back during most contractions to rub me and support me. I don't even know what time I got in the water. It was SO warm and it initially felt good, but man...the contractions were plain awful. Even with being "relaxed", they were hard to handle. None of my previous hypnobirth training seemed to help, although I will admit to not preparing as well as I did with Liam. Perhaps a refresher course should've been utilized...
|Mei, covered in Vernix, shortly after birth|
|Getting checked out!|
And that's how Mei Elanor, born December 28, 2013 was brought into the world.