Around midnight on Sunday, January 2, a series of strong contractions woke me from sleep. I had already been feeling prodromal labor throughout the day, so Jeremy and I were both a bit aware that things might begin soon. I worked through the waves for a couple of hours, timing and resting between, before I decided to reach out to my birth team. After a quick shower, contractions began to slow way down. Jeremy went ahead and prepped the living room, rolling out the tarp and prepping the birth pool, but by the time Halee arrived, I had a bad feeling that this was in fact not labor. My sweet Canyon and Ridge woke up and offered me comfort and encouragement. It was precious, and their excitement was overflowing as they realized Baby Brother might be born soon! Unfortunately, after another hour, we knew this was not it, and I was promptly sent back to bed. Halee, my midwife, Paula, and Paula's daughter all spent the rest of the night asleep in the living room before deciding they'd head home and see me another day. Talk about discouraging! I was frustrated and embarrassed. This was not my first rodeo and I should know what was going on! For the rest of the day Sunday, I rested, played lots of games, and contracted very sporadically. We were all exhausted, and I prayed that he would come that night or that I would have a break from the discomfort. Either way, I would be grateful!
Sunday night, Jeremy decided to sleep on the couch so he could rest and I could labor early on my own, should things pick up again. I have always preferred laboring alone in the beginning, so this was a perfect arrangement for us. And once again, things began to ramp up around midnight. I immediately began timing and understood that these were stronger and harder. Resting as well as I could in between, I worked through the waves on my own until about 3:00 when I decided to wake Jeremy. As soon as I walked into my birth space, my body kicked into high gear and contractions became incredibly intense! I contacted my birth team and realized that they potentially would not make it in time. Luckily we had left the pool inflated from the night before, so all that had to be done was filling it with water. I very loudly told Jeremy to HURRY because I needed to get in the water if I wanted to give birth there! Halee had arrived and began to help get things ready. She was an absolute angel and I would not have wanted to do any of this without her! With the pool ready, I gladly let them lift me into the water. At this point, there was no break at all between contractions. I wasn't sure how much longer I could endure and was concerned that we were still hours away. Jeremy and Halee were on their own, and they were incredible. They were exactly what I needed them to be, assuring me I could absolutely do this and that we would all manage things just fine. Just minutes before he was born, my mama arrived to take the kiddos with her who chose not to stay for birth, and right after she left, Paula was here! I was relieved, but I think Jeremy more so!
I don't know how long I was actually in the pool. Time quickly became unimportant as I focused on bringing my baby through birth. In all of my preparation and planning, I listened to and read and watched a lot of birth stories. Some quiet and peaceful, some fierce and roaring. I'm not sure why I imagined I would be the former, when I'm so loud by nature! Our boy was not silently breathed into the world like so many amazing mamas give birth. Rather, he was roared earthside by his loud and fierce mama. And at 5:24 a.m., my beautiful boy was born in the water, into my own hands with a little help from our midwife, who had arrived just 11 minutes before. At the sound of his first cry, Trek and Canyon came running! It was the most incredible thing we have ever done.