When my due date Monday, July 22nd 2019 arrived I didn’t feel like I was going to go into labor anytime soon. On Wednesday my mom came over to stay with us for the labor and birth. My fingers were crossed that I’d go into labor while she had the time off to spend with us. On Thursday we went to Old Colorado City and ate yummy cream cheese croissants and explored the cute shops on a beautiful yet overcast July summer day. It would be my last day being pregnant. We went to one shop and the lady asked when the baby was due and I said Monday and that I was overdo and she said “oh!” Then my mom said “maybe the baby will come tonight.”

We had dinner that night and I still didn’t feel like anything was happening. I’ve always been a fan of acupressure, so I decided to look up points to induce labor. At this point I was already three days overdo. I only pressed on two points, both on the hands. The first one was pericardium 8 (PC8) point in the center of the palm. The second one was the large intestine 4 point (LI4) which is on the back of the hand between the thumb and pointer finger. These were easy points to find and press. I pressed on both points probably for half an hour in the evening around 7 pm.

Thomas and I watched various shows and around 10 pm I started to feel contractions. At first I thought they were Braxton Hicks but after timing them by 10:30 pm they were 7 minutes apart. I was going into labor. Pressing the acupressure points earlier had worked! Now everything got real. Our baby was on her way.

The contractions were painful, but I was able to handle them much better this labor. This made my whole labor experience go so well. The first time I gave birth my contractions were so intense and I felt every aspect of the pain and would affirm out loud how bad it hurt and how much pain I was in.

This time I was a lot stronger and calmer. My entire labor was calm and collected. I accepted the pain and just let it flow through me. We found a good rhythm together where Thomas pressed on my lower back and/or would scratch my back when the contraction came then we would relax together for a few minutes, sometimes I would just lay in his arms. This labor was full of love. I think it helped being in the comfort of our home and be comfortable being affectionate, since it was just us during active labor. I also hummed “omm” through each contraction for as long as I could. This helped distract me from the pain and I found the humming sound to be soothing.

For my first labor I was in a small room for 14 hours of labor which felt constricting at times. Now being at home I thought I would want to move around the house but instead was content staying in our family room downstairs. The room felt cozy and the perfect spot to labor in.

We listened to my favorite The Kooks radio on Pandora which helped pass the long hours of the night as I experienced active labor. In addition to the back pressure and making my “omm” sound I sometimes moved my hips in a circular motion, a sacred spiral, while the contractions came. I believe in Spirit Animals and Grouse kept showing up when I asked for advice for the birth and they represent freeform movement and the sacred spiral dance. Also when I watched the birthing movie Birth as We Know It the woman talked about circling the hips during labor. So I knew this movement would help me and it indeed helped me successfully get through the contractions.

Throughout the night I recorded the timing of my contractions. By 3 am my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. During this whole time I would just relax until the contraction hit. At times some contractions would be more or less intense. We waited till about 5 am to let my midwife Emily know that my contractions were close together and that the final stage of labor would probably be soon.

At 5:30 am Mila, our 2 and half year old toddler, suddenly woke up crying. Thomas went upstairs and told her, “The baby is coming!” her face lit up in excitement and she said, “Really!” He then told her to come downstairs. When she came downstairs with my mom she wasn’t sure what was going on and cried a little but then we explained that I was going to give birth to her baby sister. She understood it was hard work for me to give birth. She saw videos of animals giving birth and knew what to expect, just this time it would be her mommy giving birth to baby sister.

My midwife arrived at 6:15 am. By the time she came I felt like my contractions started to slow down. She estimated I was 6 cm dilated. We had inflated the birthing pool earlier and the midwives began filling it up with warm water as I continued to flow through each contraction. Unfortunately we ran out of hot water to fill the pool so my mom and Jennifer, the other midwife, boiled water on the stove and were adding this hot water to the pool. The water felt nice but I was also a bit uncomfortable. It would have been nice if the pool was filled all the way but I’m glad there was enough water to birth in and am thankful I got to experience a natural water birth at home.

Thomas then climbed into the pool in the water behind me and continued to press on my lower back. Mila wanted to be there with me so she stood by the pool as I continued to go through contractions. Mila was so sweet she splashed water and patted my back to massage it while I was in the pool.

After feeling the contractions in the water, I felt like I was at a new point, I was in transition. The contractions weren’t as close together but they were extremely painful. Then I started to feel an urge like I wanted to push. This was definitely the hardest and most intense part of the entire labor. I was on all fours in the water and pushed with all my might for less than 10 minutes, it all happened so quickly. I felt like I lost my voice when it was all over, pushing was extremely tough.

When I felt like I had already given everything I had, Mackenzie’s head began crowning and everyone was encouraging me to keep pushing. I was so relieved when I pushed again and felt a big gush of water, my water broke! Seconds later I saw our sweet baby girl under me in the water. I immediately reached down, picked her up, held her and kissed her! She didn’t even cry, it was such a peaceful and beautiful birth. Mila was right at the side of the pool and saw the birth of her own baby sister! She was born at 7:28 on a Friday morning. It was so special to catch Mackenzie in the water, hold her and touch her, after her growing in my womb for so long, this moment was absolutely beautiful. She was beautiful, our little girl had arrived.

I am so grateful for this birthing experience with our precious daughter Mackenzie Rose! It all went so smoothly and I was able to have the peaceful water birth I had imagined. I am so thankful that Mackenzie came out healthy and happy. Honestly, I am proud of myself for being able to be so calm, for handling the pain of each contraction during the birth and for digging deep to push despite the height of the pain. My midwife said I rocked it and I really felt like I did.

The midwives helped me out of the pool and I laid on the couch skin-to-skin with Mackenzie on my chest. They did their checks on me. Mackenzie and I worked on her latching on. We did this for at least an hour or so. I drank some coconut water and ate my favorite gluten free bagel with cream cheese. Then I went upstairs to take a shower and Thomas laid on the couch skin-to-skin with Mackenzie on his chest. It was really cute because they fell asleep together which is the same thing that happened with Mila after her birth so it was kind of a little tradition.

After I was all clean, the midwives measured her, discovered her blood type and did all the other standard newborn tests. Mackenzie was more petite than her big sister, she weighed 7 lbs 7 oz and was 20.25 inches long. Thomas then cut Mackenzie’s cord. The midwives left around 10:30 am. Once the midwives left and we settled in, the fatigue from lack of sleep from the long night of labor suddenly caught up to Thomas and I. So we laid in bed with our precious newborn and slept the rest of the day. I really want to say that Emily and Jennifer were amazing, they did everything so well and I really felt supported by them.

My mom was also amazing, she was such a big help. She took care of Mila, cooked and cleaned and was there for us from Wednesday till Sunday when she had to leave. It really felt special to be nurtured by my mother while I was experiencing such a special experience of giving birth to our second daughter and then recovering. I can’t thank her enough. The following week Thomas had off work, so we all worked together to care for our newborn and toddler and transition into being a new family of four.

It is a blessing to be able to become a mother to a second child! Our hearts are so full and our family is now complete. I am so excited for the journey that lies ahead. Thank you for choosing me to be your mommy Mackenzie, I love you so much! No matter how old you get, you will always be my precious baby girl, both you and your sister Mila. 🙂 I love you girls always and forever.