Have you ever wondered if it would be better to have a long labor or a really short one? Well, standing on the other side of a very (and I mean very) fast labor, I can say that if we have another, I may be hoping for a long labor next time. I didn’t even have time to process any of what was going on and it left me wondering what had just happened.
For a few weeks, I struggled with feeling defeated. And then one day all that changed…
When our first daughter Rowan was born, I felt like Superwoman. Like no matter what life threw at me from then on, I could knock it out of the park because I had given birth to her. In the weeks leading up to our second daughter’s birth, I held on to that strength. I wasn’t scared.
As I started getting closer to my due date with the second, my courage started slipping, though. My due date came and went and fear starting creeping in. Going past your due date is a very emotionally tiring thing for most women — at least for me it is. I was tired, anxious, and losing confidence that I wouldn’t be able get through having a home birth. I don’t know why, but I let it get the best of me.
It was Saturday the 5th. I wasn’t feeling all that well. My husband drew me a bath and then he left to go sledding with Rowan to give me some peace and quiet. I started having some really randomly spaced contractions. Some were a few minutes apart, some were 15 minutes or more apart. Didn’t think too much about it.
About 45 minutes later — BAM! Contractions were 2 minutes apart and consistently 2 minutes apart. I called Kev and told him to come home. Home he came. We called our midwife at 2:30 p.m. She arrived by 3 p.m. Contractions were pretty much a minute or less apart. They were right on top of each other, I hardly could get a break. It was extremely intense and I think that is what caught me off guard. I had no time to even gather some strength or dig deep inside. I honestly felt like I was just barely getting by. I cried. I screamed. I wanted to give up. The fact that she wasn’t tucking her chin down and that I had a full bladder left me in some pretty intense pain on top of the contractions. I didn’t even make it upstairs to our bedroom where I thought she would be born. 2.5 hours after it all started, little Miss Finley James was born in our family room as Rowan took a nap upstairs.
She was healthy, beautiful, and our home birth was more than I ever expected it to be, but I was left feeling really defeated after all was said and done. I hate to admit that out loud, it makes me cry even thinking about it. Her birth really was amazing and I wouldn’t want to change any of it, but for a few weeks I struggled with this feeling of embarrassment over how I thought I handled it mentally. I felt like I only got through it because, well — there is no stopping a baby once they decide to make their entrance.
Then one day as I was holding her, staring at this mini version of myself, it hit me. A wave of emotion came over me and I finally felt proud.
In that moment, with the sun shining in, cuddling my sweet baby girl, I felt invincible. Who cares how I think I handled it? You are always your worst critic, right? Here I was stuck on the fact that I thought I did a bad job bringing her into this world, when she was absolutely perfect. Finley was a part of me. She will always be half me, half my husband. I slowly created her with my heart, soul and body for nine whole months and nothing about how she came into this world could change that.