Autumn Luisa's Birth Story
Born February 21st, 2021
" I had been so anxiously excited to see how her birth would play out, especially not knowing if another sweet girl was joining our ranks or a baby boy. Autumns labor was so textbook for how I've seen others labor. Amelia & Ana's labor truly came out of no where, but this time my body really let me know it was preparing days before the event, which was reassuring, but at the same time I wasnt sure what was real or not! On Thursday, Feb 18, I woke up a zombie. I could barely move I was so so tired. I was texting Nick most of the day worried my body was telling me to sleep because labor would be that night. I had a chiropractor apt that evening and was pretty worried after being adjusted it'd put me into labor. Sure enough that night I couldnt sleep I was up with so much back labor. Waves of contractions for a few hours, which thankfully fizzled away so I could continue sleeping. Nick asked if he should go to work that Friday morning and I sent him on his way. There's no way I could have an early baby. All mine waited until due date timeframe! Friday I woke up extremely full of energy, full of such positivity, and just happy! Again, i knew this was sooo textbook for what was to come, so I kept a close eye on any contractions that day so i could quickly get Nick home since he works about 30minutes away. By evening I made sure the house was really picked up and ready because I was almost positive I was going to be in labor that night. At about 0130 we woke up to Amelia whimpering in her room (usually means she had a bad dream) so I got up to go soothe her and take her to the bathroom and sure enough *GUSH*. It wasnt anywhere near as much of a gush as I'd experienced with Amelia and Ana so I was worried I somehow just peed myself. But nope. It just kept coming in random spurts which told me Autumn wasnt quite engaged and needed some time to get situated into my pelvis. Got Amelia back in bed and woke up Nick to start prepping the house. With Amelia and Ana my waters ruptured and contractions started within the hour, so we were relaxing and just getting everything ready in case it was similar. I also knew that labor can take a whiiiiile after waters ruptured so I was trying to be patient with my body. By 0330 no contractions had started. Lots of Braxton Hicks but nothing of note. So I finally gave up the battle of trying to get her into position and went back to sleep. I am so thankful I did! My body knew exactly what it was doing. At around 0700 Saturday both girls were awake and we had a brunch playdate planned with some of our favorite friends. I had started having contractions, but they were inconsistent and only about 3 an hour, so I put on my big girl diaper and we decided to head to brunch. Again, I am so happy we did! I would have been at home being so stressed about timing the contractions, making sure baby was okay, etc. We completely enjoyed ourselves with our friends and also enjoyed a delish brunch. I was consistently losing my mucus plug and had bloody show the entire day so it was definitely game on in my book, just needed to give my body the time and space to dilate as it needed to. Headed to base afterwards to knock out some groceries and grabbing packages from the post office. Once we got home my body again felt like it was hit by a bus of exhaustion. I texted my midwives to plan to see them Sunday morning to help get things moving if they didnt happen that night. But we were all pretty positive we'd be meeting our baby that Saturday night or Sunday morning. After dinner I went straight to bed and really just followed my bodys lead. Thankfully the house was perfectly prepped from the night before so I was completely relaxed knowing things could begin if they were meant to."
"And by 11pm they were. Contractions started getting reaalllllly hard to move through so I got out of bed and immediately woke up Nick to move Ana to Amelias bed with her because it was getting painful fast. Once the house was candle lit and girls fast asleep again we started timing the contractions. They were still very inconsistent but happening average every 3 minutes and were about 30 seconds long. Any sort of movement really set them off. So if I was walking or getting up and down from squatting it immediately sent me into this intense cervical contraction. We skipped the crampy part of laboring and the gradual increase that I remember with Ana. I was just very quickly in the heat of it. It was hard to manage because I was still mentally battling when to tell my midwives and photographer to come over. There was a point where I looked at Nick and said "the baby is coming very very soon" that he immediately reminded me we had people to tell that to lol! At about 0130 I knew that baby was coming down. And I did everything in my power to not let her. Silly, yes. Did it make my labor 10000 times more uncomfortable, yes. But I was terrified of a "land birth". At this point I started having to really vocalize through the contractions and Amelia woke up. We were so worried what labor was going to be like if the girls woke up (mostly Ana as she is a very handsy, busy, curious little 2 year old). Yet somehow it was Amelia who woke up and Ana stayed asleep! She was at first very uncomfortable with my vocalizations. She would hide under our sheets and pull a pillow over her head. At some point I started asking for her help and holding my hand or rubbing my tummy and she wasnt as uncomfortable anymore. It was actually really sweet to look down at her and talk to her between contractions."
"At about 0200 my photographer arrived and I started to feel a little bit of peace knowing at least my birth will be captured for me to look back on, midwives or not, LOL. I was getting so incredibly uncomfortable it was nearly unbearable for me and Nick just held me while I kinda released to him the pains I was holding in trying to be strong through it. He asked if I wanted to start filling the tub in case the pool didnt get here in time. I agreed but really didnt want to in our narrow tub. During all this Amelia would bring my little items from her room to help me feel better. Again such sweetness was so needed. I am SO glad she was there during it all. Around 0215 my closest midwife, Giorgia, arrived and I was feeling so frazzled in each contraction. She checked baby's heart rate to make sure they were handling labor well too. I knew baby was trying to come and they were going to, but the more I fought it, the harder it was going to be to mentally handle transition. Giorgia and Nick went to work getting the pool set up as fast as possible, and such enough, in good ole Italian fashion, our broiler ran out of hot water. Giorgia immediately got to work filling up pots of water and boiling them. I just kinda jumped into the pool at this point because it was the only way mentally I could cope with the fact baby was coming."
"This point in labor I felt so out of body. When I think on it, it all literally feels like a blur and I imagine I looked crazy. I knew transition was hitting and felt so overheated. Nick was amazing! He grabbed the wash cloths to cool me down, knew what we would need next, and at the same time kept by me to soothe me and remind me to stay grounded. I think I looked at him and said "please dont leave me". I just really didnt want to be alone. I could hear Amelia in the craft room singing a song... My body so quickly after the washcloths started to feel the need to push. At first I fought it. I was worried there wasnt enough water in the pool, I was worried I wasnt in a good position, or that baby was breech as she liked to flip around to so often in pregnancy. But after a good minute of just feeling those feelings and then releasing them because I knew I would get to hold my sweet baby I just gave into the feeling and began working with my body. I felt her come into my birth canal, felt her come down and of course felt myself tear and then "POP" her head was out."
"I assumed Nick could feel what I was feeling too or read my mind or something so I am so thankful Giorgia who was watching on said "baby's head is out!" So Nick could come around and see, and so Amelia could know to look as well. My body quickly after just shot her out of me. I just stayed in that position for a minute realizing it was over and baby was here and looked behind me to Nick and Giorgia getting baby out of the water. We got a little tangled trying to figure out a position to get into, but settled quickly and gosh I just love how amazing you feel in those first few minutes after giving birth. So much relief and positivity just flowing."
"After a minute of taking it in, I decided it was time to see which soul joined us earthside and sure enough it was our beautiful Autumn Luisa! Giorgia was so surprised, she was almost positive it was going to be a baby boy. I just felt relief that baby was here, safe, was positioned well for labor, and came to earth so peacefully. She hardy cried once she was born. Something I was not used to, as both the older girls just screamed and screamed when they were born. We went to go wake up Ana, and it was so cute seeing my sleepy silly Ana look at the new baby. She kept asking me if she could get in the pool with me. The main midwife, Caterina, and our birthkeeper Ilaria arrived while we were relaxing in the pool to congratulate us. Autumn just looked around, flexed her little monkey toes, and latched so well to breastfeed. We stayed in that pool for a good minute until my body was ready for the soft bed. It was such a beautiful morning and beautiful birth. I am so thankful for the opportunity to birth this way here in Italy, and the opportunity our midwives gave us alongside so many other woman in Italia. I am so thankful for Caterina in the after birth phase, as she stitched me up so well I have had nearly no post partum pains. They patiently waited for the placenta to be born and I attribute that to my absolutely minimal bleeding I've had. This recovery, while well being a recovery still, has been my least painful. I absolutely adored my Midwifery team in Caterina, Giorgia, Illaria, and my wonderful photographer Taylor for all the love, support, and empowerment they gave me while pregnant, birthing, and after birth. This is definitely an experience I will forever treasure." - Alessa
This was my 6th birth and 2nd home birth that I have had the honor to be a part of. Alessa and her husband mad an incredible team as they brought their surprise gender baby earthside! It was a beautiful and peaceful birth that I will always remember!