It was 3:50 in the morning when I woke up and felt like I had to use the bathroom. When I stood up from the couch I felt a rush of fluid. What at first I thought was needing to pee actually turned out to be my water breaking. So I ran to the kitchen since the bathroom was upstairs. Didn’t want to get my living room carpet wet 🙂 After getting cleaned up I called my midwife to let her know that my water had broke. I remember it being difficult for her to understand me since I hadn’t had a voice for a week. She told me that the water breaking was just my body warming up and to try and get some sleep. My contractions had not started yet and there were so many things going through my head there was no way that I was going to get back to sleep. I didn’t have the baby’s room ready. I didn’t have my bag packed. Although she was a day earlier than what our guess date was in my mind I had another week to prepare for her arrival. About 45 minutes later my contractions started. They were about 20 minutes apart. At about 6:15 I texted Jen and told her how far apart they were. By 7:30 am they were getting pretty intense and felt like they were really close together. I called Jen and woke her up for the second time in 3 hours. She told us we could head out and she would be to the facility in 30 minutes. So we were on our way.
Getting to the facility was a little tricky due to the fact that it was the last snow storm of the season. What would have been at 45 minute drive turned in to an hour and 15 minutes. We were five minutes from Jen’s facility and hit a patch of ice and ran off the road. We got stuck in somebody’s yard in literally 2 feet of snow. I felt like it was something straight out of a movie. My contractions were coming one right after another. He was so stressed out. Between contractions I had to tell him what to do. I remember telling him “Go to this guys house. See if he can pull us out.” Then another contraction. Then I said “Call Jen tell her what has happened.” Then another contractions came. I find it quite funny when I think about it.
Jen came and picked me up to take me to her center. As soon as we got there I went straight into the bathroom to clean up a bunch of fluid that had released. As I was cleaning up I noticed there was a little bit of blood on the toilet paper. I was worried that something had happened with the seat belt. Jen check the baby’s heart rate and said that was normal. Right after she said that my body started to “bare down”. I remember thinking should I push yet; but it was as if I didn’t have control over my body. I couldn’t have stopped it if I wanted to. All of this took maybe about ten minutes. He got to the center 5 minutes after we did so he didn’t miss much. He was on the bathroom floor kneeling in front of me for support. I went through a series of pushes and he said “Danielle, I think we should move to the pool. You said you wanted to do a water birth.” I told him “I don’t think I can move.” We went through another series of pushes and he said again “We should really move to the pool.” Again I said “I don’t think I can.” He said ” Danielle, you can not have this baby in the toilet!” So we moved the whole ten steps it took to get to the birthing pool. Honestly, at the time it seemed a lot further away.
I was in the pool for probably a total of 45 minutes before she was born. I was on my knees leaning over the side of the pool, hanging onto the lapels of his coat (he didn’t have time to take it off). I remember through the most intense part of her crowning I could here Jen in the kitchen saying words of encouragement. Thinking about it now I know how much that help but I probably would not have been able to have him saying the words because he was right in front of me. I feel as if it would have irritated me. I have always heard that when a baby crowns the stretching kind of feels like a ring of fire because it burns. I can definitely say that is exactly what I felt. After her head and shoulders were pushed out the rest of her just kind of slipped out. I can best describe it as the sensation you get if you suck jello through your teeth.
I remember being in such a daze. After she was out. I pulled her up out of the water and she was splayed in my arm. I remember thinking “What just happened?” I can’t quite remember if to was him or Jen that said it was a girl. I just know for a minute or two nothing was registering. I was jut looking at her and couldn’t believe that I just did that.
So when I look back on the day that I gave birth I remember that on Thursday March 21, 2013 my water broke at 3:50 am, we left our house as the kids were walking to school, and Vivienne Beatrice Stewart made her appearance earth side at 10:35 am. She weighted in at 7 lbs 6 oz, measured 20.5 inches long and I instantly loved her more than anything. In those six and a half hours I had no concept of time. When we arrived home that same day the kids were walking home from school. It was definitely an experience like no other.
This picture is the first picture I ever took of Vivienne. It was taken probably about 45 minutes after she was born. She is laying on my chest and I was trying to angle the phone to get as much of her as I could. It’s not your typical newborn photo but I love it.