As many of you know, my husband and I just welcomed our second child into the world! Edyn Grace made us wait for her arrival, but finally at 41 weeks and 6 days she was in our arms! I wanted to make sure I wrote this blog as soon as possible so that the birth was still fresh in my mind. I was able to have my dream birth with Edyn and I want to remember every detail.
Edyn Grace Bercot
November 30th, 2016
8lbs. 6 oz.
November 29th, 3PM: Throughout my pregnancy I was seen at the Alaska Family Health and Birthing Center because I wanted a peaceful water birth. I was also seen there with Leighlyn's pregnancy but risked out of their care at 39 weeks for high blood pressure. I loved the midwives and the facility and prayed that this time I would get the birth that I dreamed of. At 42 weeks, the policy is that you risk out of their care and have to switch to hospital care so at 3pm I had my membranes swept to see if we could get labor going (at this point I was 41 weeks and 5 days). I had irregular contractions for a few hours but nothing crazy. I was pretty scared that it wasn't going to work and that I would have to go with taking Castor Oil in the morning as a last resort! Little did I know, Edyn was on her way!
11PM: That night around 11pm my contractions started coming about 7-8 minutes apart. I wasn't really sure what to do but I couldn't sleep, so I went downstairs to let Elliott sleep and tried to just rest and listen to my body. Every time I would get up to do something, the contractions would come faster so I tried to lay down on the couch. I had a few contractions that I actually had to breathe through and knew that this was the real thing. At that point it was hard to sit still! I was ready. I started getting Leighlyn's bag ready to go to our friends and tried to clean up a little bit, but it was getting a lot harder.
12 AM: The contractions were getting a lot stronger and closer together so I woke Elliott up and he took Leighlyn to our friends house. While he was gone I decided to get in the shower and at that point the contractions were coming around every 2-4 minutes. I was really confused because things seemed to be happening super fast and I was sure that my labor was probably going to last a while. When Elliott got home from dropping Leighlyn off he timed my contractions and was shocked. He called the birth center and told them we were coming!
1:30 AM: Elliott got everything we needed into the car and we were off to the Birth Center to have our baby Girl! The car ride was absolutely miserable. I thought it would never end, and again the contractions were coming so fast I felt like I wasn't getting breaks in between them. They were super intense and every time I thought I figured out how to cope, the next one would come even stronger and more intense. I remember keeping my tones low instead of high, something I always had in the back of my mind. I knew the nice low moans were going to help my body open up. Elliott was amazing at reminding me to breathe and stay low. I would guess that during the car ride they were closer to 1 minute apart.
2:05 AM: We arrived at the Birthing Center at 2:05 and hurried in. The midwife started filling up the tub right away and I worked through some contractions while Elliott brought our stuff inside. Another midwife checked Edyn's heart beat and took my vitals. My amazing doula arrived pretty soon after we did and started helping me through each contraction. Elliott was right there too, by my side encouraging me through each one. I knew that I was going to be kind of loud during my labor, which is kind of weird because I am NOT a loud person. But I knew that it would help me cope to be vocal through my contractions, and it did.
2:26 AM: The tub was ready and I got in. Around this time I started getting the urges to push and it definitely felt good to push during some of the contractions. This got me excited, but I was still super confused because this labor was going SO FAST! I didn't want to get my hopes up either because in my mind I was thinking maybe it wasn't going that fast and I was just being a wimp! Haha
2:35 AM: One of the midwives checked me and I was around 7-8 cm open. This is definitely where I hit my wall. I wanted to go to the hospital, I wanted to give up and just cry. I thought for sure I was going to get stuck here and that it was going to be hours before I had my baby in my arms. The contractions were so strong and I'm not sure how far apart they were, but they had to be less then 30 seconds. I was also feeling like I needed to push during every contraction now. After a few contractions I felt Edyns head with my fingers and I was shocked! I remember asking my doula if that was her head and I don't remember getting an answer but Elliott said that everyone said yes that's her head! I'm pretty sure I was roaring through some of my contractions now and I distinctly remember my pushing sound being different than my coping through a contraction sound.
(Photo by Sarah Lewis Photography)
2:46 AM: This whole time I was on my hands and knees in the tub because that was the most comfortable position to be in. 2:46 is when the midwives said they could see her head! They needed to listen to her heart so Elliott and my doula helped me turn and I felt her head starting to come out. It seemed like forever that her head sat there. I remember the midwife saying her forehead was out and I needed to push really good to get that head out! A few minutes later she was out!
2:56 AM: Edyn Grace was born! They handed her right to me (and just like I wanted, this is where she stayed for the next two hours). I could not believe that she came that quickly and I was so amazed that I actually did it. I had a baby with absolutely no drugs, in a tub, not in a hospital. Within her first few minutes, Elliott, who was sitting outside of the tub right next to me, prayed out loud. He thanked God for a safe and quick delivery. I cried at this point. God answered our prayers. He gave me the strength to have this baby and He allowed us to have the birth that we wanted.
(Photo by Sarah Lewis Photography)
Once the Placenta was delivered (which was minutes after Edyn came), Everyone helped me out of the tub and we got into the bed where Edyn layed on my chest while the midwives checked to see if I had torn. I was expecting tears because of how fast she came and I had had tears that needed stitches with Leighlyn. Thankfully, I only had a tiny little tear and it didn't need stitches! Again, I was amazed! My body did exactly what it was supposed to and I really believe that being in the water was one reason why I didn't have bad tears.
(Photo by Sarah Lewis Photography)
The rest of the time we were able to just relax. Edyn stayed on my chest (still connected to the placenta) and we let her figure out breastfeeding without a million people trying to force her onto my breast (I did not have a good experience in the hospital after I had Leighlyn with breastfeeding so this was a huge deal). It was SO calm and relaxing. Edyn didn't sleep at all and just kept making the sweetest little sounds that weren't cries, but it almost sounded like she was talking to us, telling us about her experience. We were all laughing at how cute she sounded! My doula and photographer were both there and we talked about everything that had just transpired. Around 2 hours after the birth Elliott cut the chord, they weighed and measured Edyn and Elliott got to hold her for some skin to skin. One of the best things about giving birth at the birthing center is that we were able to go home after 6 hours! We ended up leaving around 10AM that morning and headed to the comfort of our own home.
I am so ecstatic about the way this whole birth went. It was really exactly what I wanted and I am still on cloud nine. I have never felt so strong and so empowered. I am so thankful for my amazing husband who supported me and really wanted the same kind of experience as me. I'm also thankful for my amazing Doula. She was there for both of our baby's births and I really could not have done it without her. She was the calm that Elliott and I both needed through both birth experiences. I also had a photographer (the amazing Sarah Lewis) to document this birth and I am so excited to see the moments she was able to capture! I would also like to say I had an amazing woman watching our firstborn and I'm so glad we didn't have to worry about her during this whole experience, I hope you enjoyed reading about the birth of Edyn!