Welcome, sweet Caroline!

Caroline Rose came earthside with an overnight rain in mid March. She was our second homebirth baby and my first time fully experiencing the fetal ejection reflex (FER).

We were team green this time around and affectionately began referring to this little being as Baby Purple. Purple’s official estimated due date was 3/11 which I thought was fun because who doesn’t love a little rock reggae baby. EDD rolled around and I actually began experiencing mild contractions. I was so excited- I was going to have another due date baby! March 11th came and went and so did those contractions, lasting about 20 hours before completely fizzling out.

I was really disappointed. I spent the entire next day preoccupied and anxious for my second little one to come. Late that afternoon my husband Chad, sensing my discontent, told me that I needed to “let it go and let our baby do its thing.” After a bit more loving attention and coaxing I eventually I did just that, I let go of my disappointment and my anxiety surrounding the big question of when. To be sure I was in a better mood I made a deliciously heavy meal of extra cheesy stuffed shells, salad, and homemade bread from a friend.

A few minutes after Caroline joined us earthside

On the evening of March 13th I put Annabelle to bed as usual. As I was about to find out though, this evening was not usual. My water broke on my daughters bed just as I was slipping out! It was a little after 11pm. Thank goodness for the mattress peepee protector we put on a few weeks earlier. I did not experience this with my first, my water must have broken in the shower, and this was new and extremely exciting. Before I could even strip my wet bottoms contractions started, intense and quick! I called Chad upstairs to help me get cleaned up and downstairs… hopefully without waking our sleeping Belley.

When we got downstairs we contacted our midwife who informed us that she, unfortunately, was attending another birth. I won’t lie, I was definitely a little apprehensive at the thought of not having our intended support present. But, since things were progressing pretty quickly there wasn’t much time to wallow in those sorrows. Our midwife got in contact with her backup, Deanna, who called us within 10 minutes. Thinking that I had some labor to work through I told Deanna to be on standby and that I would call her when we would like her to come over.

Immediately upon hanging up the phone my contractions again increased in intensity and frequency. I went into the zone, I was laboring on the birth ball, breathing, moaning, moving, with Chad behind me squeezing my hips with each contraction. Recognizing that we were much closer to meeting our second child than we anticipated Chad suggested that we call Deanna back. It couldn’t have been much more than a half hour since we were first in contact with her.

I continued to labor on the birth ball as Chad prepped a few things and my sister-in-law quietly arrived to keep an eye on Annabelle. Although I couldn’t be bothered to exchange many greetings, I remember feeling so thankful for her presence. Soon after Deanna arrived and quickly began setting up her supplies.

Soon I felt that familiar, uncontrollable urge to push while laboring on the birth ball. With the help of Chad I moved into the same bedroom that we birthed Annabelle in. I felt most comfortable on all fours while working to bring about our second, Chad at my face and Deanna behind. Deanna was quiet; she possessed a calming, silent sense of reassurance for me. I felt much more aware this time around, compared to my first birth. I could feel my baby moving through me during this pushing stage and my waves were working to move my baby out without much added on my part consciously.

My body pushed for about 15 minutes before delivering the baby’s head however, the next set of contractions did not bring about their little body as it did the first time I birthed. The following set was not successful either and although I was aware that this was playing out a bit slower than we all wanted it to, I was not overly concerned. Deanna calmly suggested that I switch positions slightly, bringing my right leg into a lounge like position. I was resistant to the change in position, even that small change seemed like a lot of work. But, with that shift and a bit of help from Deanna my next set of contractions brought the rest of our baby.

It was a girl! I turned over and laid back in bed, Deanna placed Caroline on my chest. We basked in the greatness that was our newest little one; she lay on my chest, content and ready to nurse. After waiting about 35 minutes for the placenta to be delivered Deanna suggested I help things along by standing (assisted by Chad) and out it came.

Sisters. Grandparents. And some pretty intense post birth contractions.

Chad went upstairs to get Annabelle, who was happily awake and playing with her aunt. Despite it being 3 o’clock in the morning, 2.5 year old Annabelle hung out with us as I nursed her sister for the first time, got cleaned up, and Deanna performed the newborn check. Finally around 5am my big girl drifted off to sleep next to the baby and I. I was unable to sleep like Chad was suggesting I do, I was too awake with the overwhelming feelings of happiness, gratitude, and sheer love for my two beautiful babies.

I reflected on that whirlwind of a birth, a little over 3 hours from the time my water broke to Caroline’s arrival, before finally taking the sweetest nap ever.

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