Penelope Reese | Birth Story

Two weeks ago I had my beautiful baby Penelope Reese and this is our birth story.

The night before my due date I was texting friends and wishing labor to start. Would it be too much to hope for a due date baby this time? Ariana had arrived four days after her due date and Sofia arrived four days early. Time to balance the scales, right?  As far as I could tell nothing labor related was happening yet. I'm not into doing much to induce labor but still ate my share of spicy food and even took a long walk that morning pushing the stroller with my other two girls around the neighborhood. That night we settled on the couch with some popcorn and watched Captain Sully. I thought maybe this movie might stress me out enough to start labor. Eventually, we went to bed. I half woke up around 4:00 AM and thought "hey that feels like a contraction". I fell back asleep and at 4:30 I woke up again and was like "Yep, that hurts!". 

I stayed in bed for another hour or so before I got up to shower, they say the third baby comes faster so I thought I might as well be prepared. I told Beto I was having contractions, and he asked if he should go to work for a half day. Yeah, no thank you. I was 75% sure this baby would be here before noon. In my previous labors, my water had broken and labor had lasted around twelve hours. This time around the contractions felt more like what I had felt just a couple hours before having Sofia. 

At 6:00 AM I gave the Baby + Co a call (my awesome birthing center in Cary, NC) and they told me to go ahead and come on in. I had tested positive for the Group B strep so they wanted to make sure they had time to give me a round of antibiotics before the baby arrived. We finished getting ready and then got the girls up and dressed. I had decided to let Ariana and Sofia come with us to the birthing center and see her new sister be born. Ariana was so excited to meet Penelope and I loved the idea of having my girls there with me! 

We arrived at the birthing center around 7:00 AM and I was already dilated to a seven! We got the IV started and my midwife explained that for the antibiotics to be effective I needed them for at least 4 hours before I gave birth so that meant that the baby should wait till at least 11 AM. Group B strep is a common bacteria found in many healthy adults but it is harmful if the baby comes in contact with it during birth.  Natures way to protect the baby when mommy has Group B is by being born En Caul or "in the bag of waters", the amniotic bag. That would be great, I thought, but could that happen for me? My water had not broken yet so I sure hoped so! At that point, I had no idea that only 1 in 80,000 births occur with the baby in En Caul.

I wanted to have a water birth so around 7:45 AM I got in the tub. I can't tell you how much it helped with the contractions! After a couple hours of laboring, I finally felt like it was time to have my baby girl! That and I was getting impatient. I don't really remember how long I pushed, or how many times! But three hours after arriving at the birth center at 10:14 AM Penelope was born into the world. Amazingly, she was almost completely in her water bag! I think they said only her feet were out. It happened so fast I'm glad we got some photos. Penelope had a full head of hair and was a perfect 8.5 lbs baby! 

I love my little Poppy! I would do it all over again a thousand times!


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