It was March 2010…We were so excited to find out that we were pregnant with our second child due in November… it was quite a surprise! Our first son, Alessandro was gently brought into this world with the help of the loving hands of Beth Overton, our midwife, in January 2006, so of course, she was the first person we called when our pregnancy test came back positive this time!
We started our monthly visits, which are always so great, to have all our questions answered, hear Beth’s wonderful words of wisdom on having a healthy pregnancy, and of course, getting to hear our babies heartbeat!
I did much better this time with my eating and exercising than I did with my first pregnancy, I gained half of the weight and felt great. It was a wonderful pregnancy… all went smoothly and of course we anxiously awaited our babies arrival.
We found out the gender of the baby in July while visiting my husbands family in Italy, we had his mother with us and found out we were having a baby girl! The first girl born into his family in 52 years!
After returning from our trip to Italy, swollen feet and tired, we began to settle in and get things ready around the house for our new arrival.
We practiced our Hypnobirthing techniques, reading all we could on how to stay relaxed and focused during our labor and delivery. The best book was “Mind Over Labor”, I really enjoyed it and it helped so much when the time came to deliver.
We reserved the birth pool with Beth and picked it up when I was 39 weeks along. I really was hoping to deliver our daughter in the birth pool, with our first child, I had labored in the warm pool, but did not deliver in the water, so this time, I really was hoping to deliver in the water. We got the pool set up and ready to go, had our birth supplies, snacks, drinks, etc all ready and now we were just waiting on our daughter to be ready.
My due date was Nov. 18, but almost my whole pregnancy I had been telling people my due date was Nov. 16th… which ended up being our delivery day!
I was 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant, on the evening of the 15th around 7 pm, my water broke, I was just getting dinner ready and felt some water leaking, and thought, “oh, yeah, something is happening!” we sat down and had dinner and when I stood up from dinner, then “Wow” my water really broke… a lot of water! This hadn’t happened with my first pregnancy, so of course I called Beth and told her. She told me that when the contractions started and were consistent then to call her and let her know. This was about 10 pm. I got my son to sleep and my husband and I sat down to relax and the contractions started coming, not too strong, but in a pattern, every 5 to 6 minutes lasting about 30 seconds to1 minute. So after a while we called Beth thinking this could be it!
Since it was our second child, she thought it might be a quick delivery so she decided to come on out to check on me. We live in Rockport, so she and her two apprentices, Jenn and Lisa all came out to be with us. They arrived around midnite and checked me and I was only dilated to 2. Beth told us to go to bed and get a good nights sleep and she’d check me in the morning.
We have a guest house so the 3 of them all went to sleep in the back yard, so they didn’t have to drive back to Corpus. Well, I was sorry they had made the trip out, but at the same time I was glad to have them close by. I tried to sleep knowing that soon I would need my energy. Since my water had broken, Beth was a little concerned about me not going too long without delivering.
The next morning around 6 am Beth checked me again, I was at 3 cm and mild contractions. The birth team decided to go have breakfast locally and let us relax around the house, she told me to stay moving, to walk around as much as I could to get things started… so I spent the morning walking around the house. I called my parents to come out to be with our son, Alessandro and they came out and we visited.
My contractions were picking up, but nothing out of control. Beth and the girls came back from breakfast and checked me again, I was at a 3 still almost a 4 and they decided to go out shopping at the antique shops here in Rockport and they told us to relax and walk as much as possible. Now, with my parents out of the house with Alessandro, my husband and I were alone and we were excited knowing the moment had arrived and soon we’d be meeting our daughter!
Now, around 10:30 am on the 16th, the contractions started coming really strong, I was walking around the house and had to stop and really focus to breath through them, my husband would help hold me as I had each contraction. They started coming harder and faster until they were about 3 minutes apart and lasting a minute or more each time. Around 11:30 Francesco called Beth and they came back around noon to check on me. I was almost dilated to 5 now and she said it was ok to get in the birth pool, it was a little after 12 pm. Getting into the warm water felt Soooo good! It relaxed me so much that my contractions seemed to slow down a bit, but now for long. I was focusing on what I had practiced in my Hypnobrithing books, imagining my baby and her journey, imagining my body opening up to allow her down to birth her.
My husband was so amazing holding my hands, massaging me, giving me water to drink, helping remind me to stay relaxed, to breath through the waves of contractions. The birth team were all around me, reading and watching me, but giving us the space to be together and quietly bond as we labored. We had our quiet music playing, we were like one, and the contractions started coming harder and faster, Beth said she noticed my groaning sounds changed during my contractions, she asked me if I felt something change and I said “Yes!” and she came over to check me and I was at 10 and the baby was almost crowned! She was so surprised! Her eyes got so big and I remember her telling Jenn and Lisa to get the oxygen ready & to get set, that we were about to have a baby!
I felt the energy in the room change, I also felt the baby descend down and I could feel the pressure and burning feeling right before delivery. Beth told me she had crowned and I could feel her head, it was amazing! The warm water was helping me relax and breath deep and hard and with one big final push down, our daughter was born, in the warm water of the birth pool, Beth let her swim up to the top and then gently laid her in my arms! Chiara Paolina was born at exactly 2 pm on November 16th 2010 in the birth pool! What an amazing
experience! Francesco cut the umbilical cord and he handed her back to me and I remember looking down into my daughters face and just being so overwhelmed with love and emotion… we had done it! She is perfect! Chiara weighed 9 lbs. 2 oz and was 19 inches long! She was pink and alert and reached up to touch my cheek and looked into my eyes just seconds after she was born!
Beth was so amazed how fast the labor went, just 2 hours after getting into the pool, we had a baby girl! She confessed that she had predicted we would deliver at 7 pm that night, and was surprised we delivered so early in the day! I think that by focusing on remaining relaxed and imagining opening up my body to birth really helped move things along.
They birth team cleaned us up, and quietly allowed us the beautiful home birth we desired so much!
I will never forget the love and compassion that Beth, Lisa and Jennifer gave us during our pregnancy and delivery & postpartum… they truly gave us and our 2 beautiful children “Gentle Beginnings”!! I can never Thank them enough or praise their professionalism and wisdom enough… I cannot imagine birthing any other way or with any one else but Beth Overton! We love you!