Contractions started on Thursday afternoon and slowly progressed through the night. Early Friday morning, we went in for our first labor check with one of the midwives, Marinah, and I was only 1cm. Home we went to go back to bed. A few hours later, around 10:30 a.m. contractions had gotten more intense so we went in again for another check. Connie was now on call and we met her at the birth center where a mom had recently had her little girl. This time, I was only 2cm! So once again, we headed back home. I did my best to get more rest, sleeping in between the contractions when I could and taking a nice, hot bath. Contractions became very intense and around 2, my water broke a little. Around 4, Simon felt like it was time to check-in with our Doula, Kelly again. I clearly was experiencing much stronger contractions now. After Kelly listened to me through one, she agreed. It's time to head to the birth center. So we rushed to beat traffic and made it there at 4:45 to meet Kelly and Connie. This time we were there - 6cm! I was so happy we didn't have to go home again!
Once admitted into the center, I got in the tub and labored there for a while. Around 7, Connie had to leave for a family emergency and Wendi came and relieved her as my midwife. When Wendi arrived, she checked me and I was no 9cm! What a productive couple of hours! To help me dilate quicker and labor her down some more, we moved to the bathroom and I sat backwards on the toilet with some pillows on the tank. This did the trick, not long after I was ready to push!
To get some assistance from Wendi, we started on the bed. Simon sat next to me holding one leg and Kelly stood by helping me hold the other. Wendi sat cross legged on the bed in front of me.
Also present was my nurse Amy, plus another nurse and midwife (Emily) who are new to Babymoon Inn and were assisting and learning the ropes. In the living room was my mom.
I pushed for a while on the bed and then moved to the birthing stool for a few contractions. I wasn't a fan of this and the bed seemed to be working so well, so I decided to stay there. We decided to take a break from pushing and I labored with a birthing peanut in between my legs to move her down even further. This was so painful but it really worked! Back to pushing and after a total of probably a couple hours, here she was!
I won't go into all the details but this was amazing to feel, experience, and see (Kelly held up a mirror so I could see her crowning). Wow!
Out and onto my chest, I cuddled with our little baby girl while we let the cord pump, giving her all of that quality cord blood. After some private time with just the three of us, we decided to call her Chloe Eloise.
We fell in love with "Chloe" before we even knew she was a girl. While wandering around the Biltmore we perused Pottery Barn, just for fun. On a dining room table display, there were place settings set up: "Jake, Olivia and Chloe." Simon, look at this! I exclaimed. What a serendipitous moment, I think that if it's a girl, her name should be Chloe! We both just absolutely loved the name and how we discovered it. Throughout the pregnancy it remained in my top 3 and as Simon's number 1.
Picking a middle name was hard. To choose a family name or something that just goes with her first nicely? For the first name Chloe, we both agreed it should start with a vowel and be equally girly. I found "Eloise" on a name website and loved how it sounded. Also, it is a derivative of the Greek word for "Sun" - how fitting for the little girl I called Sunshine while in my tummy!
We hung around for a few hours, relaxing, cuddling, nursing as everyone except our nurse trickled out. We were both in perfect health so as soon as we were ready, we went home. It was 12:30 a.m.
I felt like royalty with all of these amazing women present. Throughout my labor, I had all five Babymoon Inn midwives, including Pam who I had spoken to over the phone on Wednesday when I had some early signs that labor was approaching, two Doulas (Dianne was on vacation in Mexico but had been texting me during my early labor while I was at home), and two Nurses!
Skipping the pain meds and interventions was the best decision I could have made. Luckily, we had zero complications throughout the pregnancy and birth that allowed us to do so easily. And the pain management? Between Simon, Kelly, and myself, it wasn't really that bad in the end. Yes, it was intense, but completely manageable! I will do it again in a heartbeat!
Oh, and I also credit her almost perfect Apgar score to the lack of interventions: 9,9! Good job, Chloe!
The experience was wonderful, and I remember a lot of laughter, smiles, positive energy, and amazing support and encouragement. We are so blessed to have found Babymoon Inn and to have been able to have our natural un-medicated birth as planned.
July 19th, 9:18 p.m.
7 pounds, 2.5 ounces