Sarah Havener Brown lives in Sedgwick, ME. Before her first baby was born, she had two miscarriages. She has also suffered from pregnancy and postpartum-related OCD, which she is still working on. Cove was born on 12/21/16.
I had just finished wrapping the last Christmas present and I started feeling contractions. I knew it was coming as I had weeks of mucus plug loss, and every color of discharge. I could barely manage 10 minutes of walking that morning in the bitter cold before my body said stop.
After laboring all day I finally told H, my midwife to come over around 9pm. She has three kids and I wanted her to be able to put them to sleep and I had just put my 3 year old to bed too. When she arrived she kept asking if I should have her call S, my acupuncturist. I knew it was icy out and for some reason I didn’t want her to come all the way down from MDI if it happened to be a false alarm.
H knew it was the real deal, but I kept telling her to wait. E and H monitored me, and for the first hour I was just in denial it was real labor. It wasn’t until I got extreme back pain every few minutes and was in tears that I knew. I kept trying to think of it as waves that would come and go. But it was so much more intense than it was with my first son (who was also born at home and caught by H).
I kept saying this birth felt so different and in a few hours we found out why. I labored mostly on the couch and then suddenly there was so much pressure everywhere and H suddenly looked me sharply in the eyes and said, “Your baby is breech and he is going to be born here." He had just been head down the day before when she checked. I was in total shock but I did not have the option of stopping. He was coming out.
My husband said he kicked over the birthing stool when H said I needed to flip over (I was on my hands and knees for a long time), and suddenly there he was: Cove Lee Brown, born breech at home. But he wasn’t breathing yet on his own. H and E used their breathing bag but by some weird happening it broke. H, not missing a beat, breathed Cove's first few breaths into him. She said later it was a "reminder of how to breathe, and then he knew." H yelled for me to come greet my baby and I was so confused because he hadn’t breathed yet, but I knew he was going to be ok.
My placenta had popped out when he came out which I guess happens with breech births; it comes out fast. My husband who thought the baby was not ok was crying. E called off the EMT and suddenly I was holding this 6.5lb baby boy born at 1:38am on the Winter Solstice. I couldn’t stop staring at him. He latched on and all was right with the world again. My 3 year old slept through the whole thing and woke up early and came down and kissed his head as if it was normal.
This is what I love about birth. This extraordinary event happens and the world goes on—a baby is brought into the world and people are headed to work. Cove was born 4 feet from where Alden was born 3 years and 3 weeks before and caught by the same superhero woman. Women are amazing creatures.
I should add that S made it to my birth as the baby was coming out breech. Her presence was felt and wonderful and she helped work on Cove and me after. She, H and E were rockstars