Well, little Miss Kicky Feet had been toasting and roasting (and rolling and kicking) inside me for quite some time now. Around 40 weeks to be exact. I was surprised at how easy it was to find prenatal care while traveling. Granted, we only move every 3 months so it wasn’t as bad as some travelers. I saw a wonderful midwife in San Angelo, TX who was completely used to seeing women for a short period as they traveled through the area with the Air Force. I had an ultrasound in OH when we stopped through so that my mom could be there when we found out the gender. Then we came to Rhode Island.
I had always wanted a home birth. When we tried with Pie I ended up puking all through labor and could not stay hydrated and my midwives were not allowed to give IV fluids so it was to the hospital we went. With Bug I was living with my mom and a bunch of other people and it would not have been the best option, plus I did not know of any midwives in the area so we went to the hospital then too. I fully expected to go to the hospital for this baby as well. (I mean really, how on earth would I be able to have a baby in such a small home? and Kevin was especially against the idea of the mess) Despite being resigned to a hospital I really wanted to at least be attended by a midwife. I was kind of dragging my feet on finding a midwife in the area, so Kevin looked up a couple of groups that sounded promising while he was at work. The first one I went to see in their office, but I just did not like them for whatever reason. They seemed uncomfortable with my labor expectations and did not want to accept any of my previous care so I would have had to pay to have all of the same lab tests re-run and another ultrasound. We were paying out of pocket and this seemed ridiculous to us.
After spending several weeks dragging my feet again I finally went to see the other group that Kevin had looked up and they were wonderful! This group was not part of a hospital system but did have privileges at a nearby hospital. When they heard about my previous aspirations toward a home birth they discussed it and said that they thought it would be totally possible to have a home birth in the RV and that it was bigger than many NYC apartments they had seen. They also told us that they would clean up the mess but it probably would not be as bad as Kevin was imagining.
At that point we were sold, and on the path to a home birth! I was so so super excited about this but I didn’t really want to explain it to any of my neighbors at the campground. Actually, I did not really want to explain it to anyone sooooooo I didn’t. Whenever someone asked where I was delivering I told them that my midwives had privileges at such and such hospital. Not technically a lie (she says sheepishly). At this point we were busy preparing. I had to find a place to keep Miss Kicky Feet’s diapers and clothing, and a place for her to sleep, and we had to assemble a birth kit which really wasn’t hard since we had most of the things on hand anyway. We also double made the bed with a layer of plastic in the middle and had bags packed for myself and the children in case we needed to transfer to the hospital.
When the big day came it started pretty much like any other but I felt just a little bit different. I was having some mild cramps but really I had no way to tell if it was just gas or very mild contractions so I went about my day as usual but started moving toward getting things cleaned up and ready just in case. I specifically remember laying on the couch playing legos with Bug with a small amount of cramping but then it went away. Later we went to the grocery store and I made dinner and Kevin went to work.
Around then I called the midwife just to give her a heads up. Really, nothing was happening but since my labor with Bug had been only 4 hours they had told me to call even if nothing was happening. She suggested rest and to keep her updated. After doing a quick clean up of the kitchen the kids and I all laid down in my bed and watched one of my absolute favorite movies: How to Train Your Dragon 2. Somewhere in the middle of the movie I downloaded a contraction timing app and by the end of the movie (when it was finally downloaded) I thought I might be feeling some mild contractions every once in a while so I timed them and this is what I got:
Hmmm… At this point I thought it might be prudent to start calling some people. I texted Kevin saying he should come home from work and called the midwife who had an hour drive to get there. I also called my mom. I forgot to mention to you that my mom was driving, on her way from Ohio, to visit us. So far she had been there for all of her grandchildrens’ births but did not think that she was going to be able to be there for the birth of Miss Kicky Feet. She was very upset about this, and was hoping that her visit just might coincide with Miss Kicky Feet’s arrival. I called her too and asked her how long until she planned to arrive. This baby was not going to wait.
Well, everyone got there in pretty short order. Kevin arrived around 9:30pm, my mom at 10pm and the midwife at 10:15. By now I had gotten my children in bed in between leaning over the table or sink for contractions and I had turned our dinette into a bed and was cleaning a folding table to bring inside for the midwife’s supplies. When my mom arrived she asked when we would be going to the hospital. I hadn’t told her either. She was a little surprised when I told her we were not going to a hospital, but adjusted in short order. At that point I really did not have anything else that I wanted done so it was just riding the waves of the contractions which were starting to bite a bit more. I spent most of them leaning over my kitchen sink. Good thing I had cleaned that out. I didn’t need to be looking at dirty dishes during my contractions.
After that my memory is a bit of a blur. I remember keeping on top of the contractions by breathing and remembering to keep my muscles loose. Kevin and the midwife were relaxing and chatting on the dinette. I apparently had asked Kevin to play some music from the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack to help me relax, but they found the music a little dramatic, so after a while when I commented that I really didn’t even hear it anymore, they were quick to change genres of music. At some point my water broke but it was not a lot, not like with Pie whose water filled my boots at work. Shortly after, I re-met my dinner (again, thankful for the sink) and at some point I moved in to my bed. I had promised Pie that she could be there so she was in my bed too. Bug was sound asleep. Here I remember just being so so tired and wishing I could just go to sleep, but I couldn’t because these contractions just kept coming. The midwife suggested I try to sit on the toilet, so I did. She checked me again, saying I was 8 centimeters dilated which is how dilated I had been on the contraction before Bug was born and within the next few contractions I was suddenly pushing and she was crowning! The midwife told me to stand up but one foot was braced against the wall and I could not even begin to fathom in that moment what muscles I would need to move to begin to try and stand up. Thankfully Kevin, who was in the bathtub next to me due to the tight quarters of an RV bathroom, pushed my leg down to the floor and stood me up on my feet while half lifting me to a standing position. The midwife coached when to push and when to breathe and in a few moments she told me to reach down and take my baby from her hands! It was 12:15 AM.
Soon afterward we moved back to my bed where my new baby latched right on and nursed for the next hour straight while the placenta was delivered and the cord was eventually clamped and cut and such and the like. Pie had fallen asleep in my bed and slept through the birth but was happy to be awoken to meet her new sister. We woke Bug who was also excited to meet his new sister before promptly crawling back in bed, but did not remember it the next morning. Pie spent the next hour or so quizzing the midwife and her assistant on the use of all of their equipment while they cleaned up and then I got a shower while Kevin held the baby and the midwives pulled the top set of sheets and plastic sheeting off of my bed. By 2:00am we were all tucked in and headed to sleep with a brand new 7lb 5oz baby girl whose little feet had kicked right out of my belly and into our hearts.
The next morning, or technically later that same morning, we drove down to the camp office and showed off Miss Kicky Feet to the office manager. She was thrilled to see our new addition and asked us all about the delivery. When we told her Miss Kicky Feet had been born right there at the campground she told us we were now the second family that had had a RV home-birth since she had started working at the campground.