Axel’s Birth Story

Axel’s birth was fast and furious! On Thursday night I had a midwife appointment, but after a day of shopping I was feeling tired and also started feeling sick. So I called and canceled the appointment and went to bed to rest. Sure enough, I opened my eyes at 2:20 in the morning to feel my bag of waters releasing. A lot of fluid came rushing out as I woke Dave—“it’s go time, honey!” I also promised 3 year old Avery that we would wake her when it was time for the baby to come—it was her job to announce the sex of the baby. So while Dave started making phone calls, I gently woke Avery with the news, “my water broke! The baby’s coming today!”

Dave called Emme and Clare with the news that my water had broken. Because of Avery’s 4 hour labor, we were sure that labor would start right away and that it would be even shorter. As we waited for people to arrive we went to the kitchen to have a snack and some tea. Avery got ready by putting her Snow White costume on. We also had invited both our mothers as well as our sisters to the birth. People started arriving at around 3:15—Grandma Diana, Grandma Denise, Auntie Alicia, Auntie Angie along with her son Owen. Our doula Rebecca who attended Avery’s birth was also with us for Axel’s.

Everyone had arrived and by 3:30, my contractions started getting a little more intense, so I moved from the kitchen to the bedroom so I could relax and lay down. They had been about 3 minutes apart, and by 4:00, they were about one minute apart and much more intense. Yes, the moaning had begun. Rebecca took her place down by the side of the bed as my hand holder and comforter, and Dave was on the bed with me rubbing my back during contractions. Most of the time the kids and grandmas were in the other room, so I wasn’t being distracted which was nice. Alicia and Angie were still in the bedroom, keeping a journal and taking video/pictures.

My contractions kept lengthening and intensifying—at one point I tried to move onto the birth ball because it felt so good with Avery’s labor—but it didn’t happen because contractions kept getting in the way of movement. At 4:22 I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom—so I got on the toilet and tried pushing a little—which felt OK. I was surprised that pushing was already starting to feel good—hadn’t labor just started? But I knew it would be quick. Sure enough, when I got back on the bed and on the birth ball, I tried pushing a little with contractions and it felt better. A few more minutes of work, and at 4:45 I started to feel Axel kicking inside me—the fetal ejection reflex had started! It felt like lots of tiny kicks really fast…and then my body just took over and pushed for me…I was like an observer as my body did the work instead of me…I was panting for breath as Axel started crowning…Avery came in along with both mom’s…I remember feeling, “boy this one hurts a lot more than the last one”…and it was a little slower going getting the head out…but finally the head was born and Avery shouts out “It’s a boy!” I was a little disoriented because I felt the rest of the body still inside me! What do you mean it’s a boy! But then with a little more effort, Axel came out completely…and I heard the others say “It IS a boy!” Axel started crying right away and as I laid down he was placed on my chest and covered up. I remember struggling to catch my breath and calm down—Axel’s labor was like a roller coaster ride with no seatbelt!