Violet Anne Spena
November 9th, 3:50 a.m.
8 lb 3 oz
I found out I was pregnant back in March, on the anniversary of finding out I was expecting Abigail, 13 years earlier.
My initial due date ended up being 11/17, but at my 20 week ultrasound baby measured consistently ahead and matched an 11/12 due date a little more. That being said, it wasn’t a big enough disparity to officially change anything (and due dates don’t *really* matter anyway) so we knew that somewhere from the end of October to the end of November, we could be expecting our 5th baby.
After Lochlan’s amazing home birth experience, we knew that we would absolutely use the same midwives office and have another home birth if we could. So that’s exactly what we did!
We found out using the sneak peek test around 9 weeks that we were expecting another little girl (the daily puking was kind of a giveaway for that one…) and we confirmed it via ultrasound (and an exploding smoke bomb) at 20 weeks this summer.
My pregnancy was healthy, textbook, happy, peaceful, and enjoyable. I dealt with morning sickness until close to 20 weeks, but we survived and this baby made me an extremely picky and bland eater, filled with food and smell aversions until the day she was born. She was grown primarily on a steady diet of: dark chocolate and almond gomacro bars, Ningxia, raw milk, sourdough bread, baked potatoes, and Jack Stack Salmon Sandwiches.
Then, at the end of third trimester, after weeks of Braxton hicks upon Braxton hicks upon Braxton hicks-
On November 1st, I had contractions start in the morning and continue throughout the entire day- but ultimately, they never ended up progressing or increasing in intensity.
Fast forward another week, to November 8th, I was woken up with contractions that kept coming around 1:30 in the morning. It felt and started just like Abigail’s labor and delivery had, so I called my birth team and they all arrived at my house in the middle of the night to set up the supplies and the tub. Contractions continued steadily until around 6:30 am when they inexplicably stopped completely.
Much to my chagrin and dismay, my entire team packed up and left around 8 in the morning. I wasn’t mad or frustrated (they also encouraged me in how very, very normal something like this is. My doula also reminded me that this happens because I chose to birth a very different way- if I had been admitted to the hospital, they would have given me Pitocin or broken my water to make the contractions continue. Instead, we were letting my body rest until it was truly ready for labor to progress)
I pouted and napped on and off for the rest of the day (the kids were all gone at homeschool co-op)
When they got home, Finn ran into the house exclaiming, “is my baby sister here?!!!”
No, no she was not.
My midwife checked in with me to see how I was doing- physically, quiet. Emotionally, distressed. lol.
I took a magnesium bath and then Jim and I went to bed around 11:00 that night.
I was woken up at 12:30 by a super intense contraction that confused and surprised me. I wasn’t totally sure that’s what it was, so I went back to sleep. Only to be woken again, at 12:45 by the same thing.
So I decided to get up and use the bathroom and see if there was anything that I could start timing.
Sure enough, around 1, in rolled another significant contraction. These felt totally different from the ones the night before- I had been able to breathe and relax through all of them on the 8th. Now here on the 9th? They were requiring vocalizing and moaning from the very start-
I texted my doula- who told me she was already awake because she had been fully expecting this to happen. She decided to come over and get eyes on me so we could decide together when to call the midwives to come (I was feeling pretty gunshy from the “false alarm” from the day before) and arrived at our place sometime before 2 a.m.
In a strange twist of fate, I hated sitting on the exercise ball during my pregancy. It was always uncomfortable and never felt good to me, I could only stand to sit on it for a few minutes at a time. But suddenly, it was the most relaxing and soothing thing to do with these intense contractions and I sat there the entire time until I got into the tub (I did get up once and immediately regretted it, so I sat back down)
I finally called the midwife at 2:15 a.m.and told her that it was showtime- she asked me how I knew and what was happening and my doula told me to tell her that I was really vocalizing through my contractions that were coming every 5-10 minutes at this point.
While we waited for the midwives to arrive, I asked if I could get in the tub, only to learn that I wasn’t allowed into it until they got there. (she ended up telling me over the phone that I could get in if I really felt like I needed to, but I’m not one to break the rules lol) so we steadily counted down the minutes until they pulled up the driveway right at 3:00 a.m. (and I cursed myself for waiting until 2:15 to officially make the call…..)
(Mabel was the only one of our kids who had expressed interest in wanting to be at the actual birth, so at this time Jim went upstairs and woke her up to have her come down to watch. She ended up being the one to cut the cord and everything! What an amazing experience.)
I quickly threw myself into the tub and tried to find some way to get comfortable and loose. I felt good on the birthing ball but also felt like I was using muscles to bounce and sit that I wanted to completely relax and rest.
This was a different tub than the one I used with Lochlan, and while the white is pretty, it offered some different functionality than the big blue one had. I kept crawling all around the tub trying to find a place to lean forward or backward or to sit or to kneel. I swayed in the water and I kept moving all around, never quite finding that feeling of weightlessness that I was hoping the water would give me.
But, before I knew it, I could tell things were close.
(at this point, I asked for verbal encouragement from my team because I *knew* in my mind that I really was almost done. But then a still small voice in my head said, “but what if you’re not??” and I couldn’t handle that being true- so I asked for support. Which they gave!)
And then around the very time that I was saying, “why hasn’t my water broken yet???!” it popped, which promptly lowered baby down.
I bore down two times and her head was out. Then I asked for help because I couldn’t envision how I was going to be able to catch her and just had visions of her floating away in the tub, lol. A few seconds later, I delivered the rest of the body, my midwife helped me unwrap the cord from around her neck, and we were done!
I pulled her up to my chest (I also forgot to check and confirm that she was, in fact, a she for quite some time) and just sat in the tub together.
She nursed for the first time, they checked everyone’s vitals, Jim exclaimed “that was awesome!” and we all celebrated together.
I was quickly tired of sitting in the water and just wanted to crawl into my bed, so they helped me up out of the water and got me to bed where I (finally) delivered the placenta about an hour later. (honestly, least favorite part of the entire birth)
After that, they helped me get cleaned up, we weighed and measured Violet, and then it was time to clean up the room!
I held my new baby, ate some food, and watched as everything got packed up and taken away as quickly as it had arrived!
Everyone was done and gone by 7 a.m. and then it was just the 7 of us at home, ready to start our new season of life!
Happy day of birth, Violet Anne! We are so thankful that you are here with us!