Oct 7th we spent the crisp fall day at a local Pioneer Day. That evening I started to have mild contractions. I tracked them for about 3 hours, lasting 30-60 seconds and coming every 4-6 minutes. Eventually I decided to go to bed in case anything were to come of them.
Oct 8th I woke up pregnant with no more signs of labor.
That exact same scenario happened 2 more times during the week. Almost always on days when I was pushing my body a little too hard (ex: cleaning the baseboards in the house for the first time ever). Once I realized the trend, I hit the brakes a bit and slowed down on trying to distract and busy myself. Instead, the girls and I baked, went on walks, and went on lunch dates downtown.
Once I made the shift mentally from busying myself to accepting that he would come when he was ready, I began to really soak in and appreciate the time I had with just the girls and Avery a bit more.
I’ve truly never been more prepared for a baby before. We had stocked up lactation cookies, sourdough loaves, sweet potato biscuits, and various soups in the freezer. The home was clean, the birthing supplies were all within arms reach of our master bed, and the guest rooms were clean and ready.
On Oct 18, at 41 weeks and 1 day, I woke up to a bit of mucus plug. I knew this could mean labor was on its way but I knew that it could also mean labor would come in a couple of days. So I waited for another sign from my body as I went about my day. The girls and I spontaneously took to downtown for a walk and lunch. The weather was perfect. Looking back it was the most ideal way to spend the day that led up to baby boys birth. We got ice-cream before heading home in time for my weekly midwife appointment.
3/3:30pm - An hour or two after they left, I started to feel crampy. Avery had a lab coming up so I got a quick warm shower before he left, just to see if it would help me feel better. I had a moment where I contemplated telling him not to go, but having tracked prodromal labor 3 other times in the past, and knowing he would only be 8 minutes away, I didn’t say anything. I just told him to keep his phone on him.
4pm - After he left I got back to making the Zuppa Toscana soup I had planned for dinner. I also started tracking the contractions, coming every 3-4 minutes, lasting a minute. During the contractions I would stop and just let it ride its way out and then in-between, I’d keep talking with the girls and making soup. It felt more real than past contractions but I was still so capable of moving and talking that I wasn’t thoroughly convinced it was really happening JUST yet.
5:30pm - Thankfully Avery decided to come home early on his own. When he came home I passed off dinner time with the girls and got into a bath. At this point I was still able to talk and move freely. Even during contractions, if I didn’t like the position I was in, I’d move myself into a better one mid contraction. With labors past I remember getting into the thick of labor and just wanting to wait, be still, and anticipate the next contraction. So again, I thought I had a little while to go still. Carrie came up after dinner, asking why I was in the bath and if she could join me. I explained to her what I was doing as I went through another contraction and she instinctively rubbed my shoulder and back. I was shocked at how tender our naturally passionate and aggressive little girl became when she saw mama working through something.
6:15pm - I kept feeling a lot of pressure in my tailbone so I’d get up periodically to sit on the toilet before making my way back to the warm bath. During one of the bathroom trips, I wiped pink tinged mucus and at this point I thought “I should tell my midwives to come, so that they make it to this birth” (if you haven’t read Jeanie’s birth story, you can read it here).
This time, I didn’t get back in the bath, instead I put a bra and a cardigan on as Avery brought Carrie into the room to read a bedtime book. I bounced on the ball as he read to her and as he did so, I thought, "this is the beauty of home birth."
After the bedtime book, I started pacing the room as Avery put the girls down for bed. The contractions had picked up a bit to the point where I was making a conscious effort to relax my jaw, lower it, & breathe out making a low noise as needed. Sienna (my doula for both previous births had taught me this with my first and it’s SO effective). Once I realized how I was choosing to cope with the contractions, I realized I was likely in transition. This was when I was anxious for Avery to join me while simultaneously grateful he was taking the time to get the girls down quietly and calmly so I didn’t hear fussy children in the background of contractions.
6:40pm - Avery came into the room and I remember saying “I’m so happy you’re here”. We laid a towel down on the bed and on the floor (much more prepared this time than with Jeanie’s). My water still hadn’t broken and I was still moving and calmly talking in between contractions. Avery got a tripod set up as well because my one goal was to have a birth finally recorded. He helped me through 2-3 really tough contractions, applying back pressure and holding my belly up at one point.
6:45pm - He started the video on his phone and in the next contraction I felt baby boy move into the canal. At this point my body totally took over, there was no “push with the contraction” or decision making on my part. It was just like Jeanie’s birth where the fetal ejection reflex takes over and I just have to surrender. Avery was the best. Telling me everything I needed to hear. Fully trusting me and my body but equally an active and present part of the birth. Two more “pushes” and he was born into daddy’s hands at 6:47pm in the same spot of our master bedroom that Jeanie was born.
Micaiah James Wells
9lbs 2oz (our biggest baby by FAR)
20 in long
The midwives arrived minutes later, shocked to have missed yet another birth of ours. Especially because this time I truly thought I’d alerted them with enough time…until little man decided to cut the birth times of Jeanie’s birth in half. From 4.5hrs of labor with Jeanie to 2.45hrs of labor with little man. With their two labors as consistent baselines, I now know that when my body decides it's time to have a kid, it's TIME TO HAVE A KID. And I need to contact my birth team upon the first contractions.
While it was unintentional to free-birth yet again... I can't say I wasn't happy with the outcome. There's something so beautiful, intimate, and heavenly about birthing in the quiet solitude of your home with your spouse - in the same atmosphere and privacy necessary to create the child 9 months prior. There is no other time in my life that I feel more like a team with Avery too. He protects the space and leans entirely into my intuition and movement while supporting me verbally and physically however he can. Those moments of labor are some of my favorite most treasured married moments that we've shared.
We're absolutely smitten with Micaiah. Feels like he's always been a part of the family. He's not lacking in love and attention either. The girls are absolutely obsessed with him. We couldn't be happier. Thank you all for your sweet words of congratulations, support, and prayers. Thank you for being our village from near and afar.