I still couldn't sleep so I went to the bathroom. Again. This time felt different. There was a bit of something something, if you know what I mean. (And if not, don't even worry about it.) It was about 6am and I went back into our bedroom where Brad was just opening his eyes. I smiled and said, "I think something is happening." Which is basically the exact same thing I said to him last time. He smiled back at me and we both got to work preparing. It was finally time and we were ready and excited to begin this part of our journey and get to meet this baby at last.
Around 6:30am, I realized that the "cramps" were making me stop what I was doing and breathe through them. I started timing them at 6:45am and after about three contractions I realized they were coming every 2-3 minutes. Shit was about to get real. Brad was setting up the tub while I made the "birth bed" which is basically extra protection from labor stuffs. He reminded me to contact our midwife, Vicki, who had asked me to let her know after two contractions since my labor with Millie went fairly quickly. I delayed a little...I think I was in a bit of denial. But there was no mistaking it. I texted Vicki and told her what was going on: partial loss of plug, contractions every 2 minutes, having to breathe through them, etc. and she wrote back that she was on her way. It really was time!
Millie woke up at her usual 7am and was VERY interested in what was going on, reasonably so. The questions began and didn't let up. It was a school day so as Brad filled the tub, I tried to feed the monkey. I had already planned on what I would feed her if need be: Cereal it was. She never scoffs at cereal since she rarely gets it. In between getting a spoon and pouring the milk, I leaned on the counter and breathed through each contraction. I wasn't getting much of a break in between each rush, but doing modified squats and leaning on things helped each one to feel somewhat manageable. I turned the music on in Millie's room as I got her dressed and we danced around her room. She was cracking me up and reminding me to stay in the moment. I even somehow managed to get her hair in piggies. We talked about the baby coming and how she was becoming a big sister and she was pumped. I just remember being so excited. The day had finally arrived.
Brad took Millie to school around 8am after debating a bit about having someone come and bring her so he could stay with me, but I was like, this baby isn't coming out in 10 minutes, so just go and get back. While he was gone I got to work on making some adjustments to my birthing mix. No clue why I didn't have that ready to go. As I was reviewing my "pump up mix," I came across a JayZ song titled, "December 4th" and played it. I began to lose my mind as I realized that December 4th was JayZ's birthday and was about to be my baby's birthday as well. THE BEST! I was absurdly excited about this.
Our doula, Elizabeth, arrived while Brad was taking Millie to school and I was flitting around the house, cleaning and tidying up in between contractions. I had so much clarity in the space between. I could have fully normal conversations and then feel the rush coming on and lean into it. I was focused on riding each one. And then I'd just go back to whatever we were talking about. Every 2 minutes or so, I would lean on the table or counter and do the modified squat type motions and breathed through. Occasionally Elizabeth would rub my lower back as I moved, which felt amazing.
I got in the tub and it felt AMAZING. The contractions slowed down a bit and I was able to get some breaks. I had tried to pee before getting into the pool, but sitting on the toilet was extraordinarily painful. Like whoa. I can't remember if I ever actually peed, but I know I was being fed lots of water and coconut water. Brad was by my side the entire time, being my support. He was and is truly amazing. I think he should be a doula. And when things really got going, he knew when to talk and when to be silent (most of the time). He was incredible.
So back to the tub...I was legit rocking that thing. Seriously, I was making waves. That's what felt the best as I was getting through each wave, literally and figuratively. Things were really starting to get intense and at one point I was getting pretty scared of the pain. I had been doing such a good job (if I don't say so myself) about managing each one and taking it as it came. I would start to kinda freak out and then instead I started chanting/moaning "yes" over and over again. I am not sure where that came from, but it helped. Another mantra I used was "open." It definitely helped to relax my jaw and remind me to let my body open and let the baby move further down. At times I could actually feel the baby moving lower which is a mind-blowing sensation.
Throughout this time, Vicki was busy prepping her supplies and would occasionally come back and check on me, but mostly let us do it on our own. This was exactly what I wanted. She would stand in the doorway (we had set up the tub in our unusually large bathroom which had a skylight) and encourage me and then get back to what she was doing. I remember she was standing there at one point and an intense rush started coming and I said, rather loudly, "I'm feeling pushy!" She reminded me to stay calm and to just go with it. And go with it I did.
I had a couple strong (and exuberant) contractions really close together and i just knew he was almost here. I was on my hands and knees the entire time in the tub (which is how I labored with Millie too), rocking forward and backward. Both Brad and Vicki were behind me and she checked and said his head was right there. RIGHT THERE. She asked if I wanted to feel, but I passed since a major contraction was just about to hit me. Three more contractions (including me yelling "RING OF FIRE!") and he was out. He was born in the caul, which means that the bag of waters didn't break. Apparently it is a special blessing to be born this way and is quite rare, even in natural births. (Some say that a child born this way may have special intuitive powers, be destined to be a midwife, have extraordinary luck or never die drowning. So, yeah... interesting.)
Vicki asked Brad to tear the bag once his head was out but that was some strong sack and he couldn't seem to get a good grip. Oh and let me tell you, having just the head out and being coherent enough to understand that there is a baby's head sticking out of your body is CRAZY. I was like, um, let's DO this. So another push and out he came. Brad caught him and announced that he was a BOY! A BOY! I was thrilled! He was here. It was him all along.
They placed him on my chest after a little maneuvering with the umbilical cord and I was ecstatic. He had a bunch of vernix on his back and had the biggest mouth and lips I'd ever seen on a baby. And he was a CHUNK! We didn't know how much he weighed then but he seemed so much bigger than Millie...and it turned out he was almost 2 lbs bigger. My chunky monkey.
After the cord stopped pulsating, Brad cut it and they helped me get out of the tub. I sat on the birthing stool for like 2.2 seconds and out came the placenta. They helped me get a little cleaned up and then I got into bed with my baby and he began nursing right away. It was time for Millie to be picked up from school, so Brad went to get her. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. In those three and a half hours she was gone, she became a big sister. We all climbed into bed together and had lunch and stayed there for most of the afternoon. Millie growing more and more interested in and curious about her little brother each moment. She kept asking if she could touch him. She was clearly protective of him from the start.
It took us almost a whole day to decide on his name but in the end it was Millie who made the final decision and I wouldn't want it any other way. Wyatt James was born on December 4th at 10:46am. One day early. Just like his big sister. (I love being on time/early so this makes me obscenely proud.)