August 14th came and went and there were no signs of baby. Throughout this pregnancy I had told everyone that baby would arrive at the end of August. I fully anticipated going to 42 weeks again. The kids took bets on when baby would be born. Most of my babies came at the end of the month (one on the 27th, two on the 28th, and two on the 30th) so we hoped that we might have a baby on August 29th or 31st. No such luck. When August ended, I was frustrated and really starting to feel impatient.
On September 1st, I woke up to a mild crampy feeling and some pressure. A friend texted me at 9:32 AM and said, "it's Labor Day!" My response? "Hopefully that means labor for me!"
I soon realized that the constant crampiness and pressure was exactly what I felt the morning before Seven was born. By 10:02 AM I texted my friend to tell her that I was feeling constant cramps/pressure but no contractions and that I thought this was how it started with Amelia. Sure enough, at 10:30 AM it became clear when I went to the bathroom and saw bloody show. That was exactly the same as the day that Amelia arrived. I texted my friend back, "definitely baby day."
I was relieved that Jason had the day off and was home to help with the kids. I had breakfast, nursed Amelia, and started setting up the birth pool. I was certain that baby would be coming. I was hopeful that things would kick in soon but Baby #8 had been persistently posterior, so I knew I needed to be patient. I rested in bed for a bit and then took a warm bath. I figured labor would kick in when the kids went to bed that night.
I spent the day trying to get baby into a good position. Jason used the rebozo and I crawled around on the floor on my hands and knees. I did some of those inversions on the edge of the bed that I'd tried desperately during my labor with Seven. Finally, I decided to fill up the birth pool. By then it was early evening and I just wanted things to pick up. They did.
I got into the pool for a bit. Another friend texted me to check in and I let her know that it was probably baby day. At 5:02 PM I told her that I'd let her know when things started to pick up so she could come over if she wanted. Within a couple of hours, things got crazy. I got in and out the pool a few times to use the bathroom, change positions, and walk around. I really didn't leave my bathroom much after that point.
I checked myself and I wasn't any more dilated than I had been a few weeks earlier. My cervix was still posterior. I was frustrated and didn't want to push out another posterior baby. By 8 PM labor had really started. I began having frequent, strong contractions. I had Jason and the kids bring me something to drink and get the towels and supplies ready. I was still texting back and forth with my friends but was starting to feel more serious. This was it.
At 8:34 PM, I still wasn't any more dilated but my cervix had started to swell a bit in the front and was still very posterior. I tried the "flip the lip" trick, which was made so much easier being in the water. Things were sort of a blur after that. I was starting to worry about my cervix swelling.
At 9:16 PM, I decided I was DONE. I announced it to anyone who would listen. Thankfully, Jason knew that this meant baby was coming soon. I did the same thing I did with my other homebirths... I tried to talk Jason into taking me to the hospital for my epidural! Thankfully, he never listens or we'd have a lot of babies being born in our van.
My friend headed over to my house and arrived around 9:45 PM. Just before she walked in the door, I broke my water. I have some lingering guilt about this because I strongly believe in letting labor happen naturally and I'm not a fan of unnecessary interventions. But I was DONE. I wasn't completely dilated but I could feel that baby's head was moving down. I don't know why I did it, but I pinched the amniotic sac until it broke. It took quite a few tries.
Immediately, I felt the urge to push. My friend came in and sat next to the pool. I wanted Jason to hold my hand, unlike my previous births when I really didn't want to be touched and wanted to be left alone. He later told me that I squeezed his hand pretty hard. I had my friend gather up the kids and I soon had a crowd in the bathroom. All seven kids, Jason, my friend, and my friend's teenage daughter watched as Baby #8 joined our family.
There was a strange moment when I pushed out the baby's head but her body turned and rotated inside me. It was painful and I shouted "what is it doing?" Then, relief. Baby slid out into the water at 10:26 PM. I caught her, untangled her from her cord that was wrapped all around her, and lifted her from the water. She was covered in vernix and didn't look like a baby that was 18 days "overdue."
We have some great video of the birth but the only still photos were on my cell phone, just after the birth. Jason proudly proclaimed that Baby #8 was another girl as I lifted her from the water. Just like with Amelia, I hadn't even thought to check the gender yet. There were squeals of excitement from the kids as they learned they had a new baby sister.
September 1, 2014
9 lbs, 9 oz
I birthed the placenta and got out of the pool and into my comfy bed. I nursed my sweet baby for the first time and let family and friends know that she had arrived. I've never felt so great after giving birth. No soreness, no tears, no terrible afterpains! It was wonderful.
We did a much better job at naming this last baby. It took 3 days, not 3 weeks. Violet wasn't on either of our name lists. I wanted another name that ended in "a" or "ah." Instead, Violet was the name that we both loved and Isabelle was Jason's choice for her middle name. Anyone who knows me won't be surprised that I picked the name Violet, considering my fondness for all things purple. I'm actually surprised it took me this long to use that name.