by Kristen, USA
Your birth was unexpected. I tried and tried and tried talking to you to convince you to come early. I thought you'd just be late like your older sister. But you did decide to come early; you took me by surprise.
Friday morning I woke up, went to the bathroom, and found what I thought was a little bit of bloody show. I called Charlie, our midwife. She said to rest, and to expect labor within 48 hours. I called my friend Tracy after a couple of hours of convincing myself I had been seeing things in the bathroom. She offered to come take Cassidy and me out to window shop that afternoon, to help get my mind off of everything. We had a good afternoon, and we went to dinner at a little restaurant called the Grotto. I had black bean soup and lasagna, but I couldn't eat much of the lasagna because the soup was so filling! It's a good thing it was, because I needed the energy.
After getting home, Tracy stayed for a little while so that I could take a nice relaxing bath as Cassidy slept. Once I got out and Tracy left, I sat down to write a letter. I felt very sleepy, so I decided to finish in the morning. When I got in bed, though, I couldn't sleep. I was so restless. I wondered, when were you coming? I had only been lying down a little while when I felt a huge gush – my water had broken. My heart began to race as I went to the bathroom to retrieve a towel. I got fresh underwear and then realized that was pointless because I was still gushing water every few seconds. I called Charlie and she told me to call her back when contractions started. I called Tracy, even though she'd just left, because I was suddenly very scared to be alone; she headed right back.
Ten minutes after calling Charlie the first time I began having strong contractions; they came on without warning. I called Charlie back and she said she was on her way and sending Alex, her apprentice, over. I felt so much better knowing that three people were on their way, and that two would be there withing the next 30 minutes.
Tracy got back and Alex arrived. I was laying back in the recliner breathing through the contractions with a towel under me and a blanket over me. Every once in awhile I got up to go to the bathroom. Lisa, another apprentice, and Charlie arrived within about an hour of each other and I went to bed when someone suggested that I try and sleep. I ended up dozing a little but couldn't really sleep. Alex was with me in the bedroom and she checked on you and me every little while. I started to feel more restless and fidgety and Alex said I must not be able to sleep. The contractions began to get stronger and I found that moaning softly helped me to get up and over them. At one point I decided to sit up; I was vocalizing a little more. I felt the contractions, but at the same time I felt a pulling, my cervix opening up for you, and that felt good. I concentrated on that, on opening up to help you out.
It was suggested I might like to get into the tub, so I headed to the bathroom and the warm water. As I sat in the tub Alex read bits of Birthing from Within to me, which I'd started a few days earlier and never did finish because of your arrival! Alex came and held my hands through several contractions. She got a peanut butter and honey sandwich that I nibbled on some; it was good, and helped you and I both to have more energy! I knew after being in the tub for a bit that I wasn't going to birth you there. I got up and decided to sit on the toilet some, where I lost the rest of my mucous plug. The contractions were strong and I moaned a long time through them. I got on my hands and knees at one point. While on my knees I started to hear rushing in my ears and Charlie had me go back to the bedroom, where it stopped. After a little while I got up and walked some, but I didn't like being upright and ended up going back to the bedroom.
I sat on the bed some more, and I remember that someone would take my hands during the contractions as I began to moan. I think that it was Lisa. Shortly after getting back to the bedroom, I had my first internal check. I was 8cms and stretchy to complete. What a relief! Charlie said that she thought you were posterior, meaning your spine was against mine. We didn't want that, so I got up on hands and knees to try and get you to turn. I had a stack of pillows in front of me that I propped myself on and I rocked back and forth. The movement felt good. I started talking to you, asking you to come, telling you I wanted to meet you. I was starting to get tired. I felt queasy too. I kept coughing and my stomach got more and more upset. I finally threw up, not pleasant, but I felt better.
I continued to work through the contractions, willing you to move down and out. Charlie asked if she could check me again and I said okay. She kept her fingers up during a contraction and I did not like that, it was painful! But she discovered that you had a hand by your face, and when she pushed my cervix during the contraction you pulled your hand down. That was all it took for you to get through my cervix and on your way! I began having pushing contractions instantly. I felt like I was rushing along in a river, it was a powerful and overwhelming feeling. I had the same feeling with Cassidy's birth.
Lisa was a true blessing at that time. She was beside me, looking in my eyes and helping me to keep control, to stay on top of those powerful rushing sensations. It felt like forever to me, but in just a few pushes you were crowning. Alex helped you come into the world, cradling your head and my tissues gently. I remember Tracy and Cassidy being in the room too, watching your arrival. And though I do not remember it, Tracy took wonderful pictures. You were born with the cord looped a little around your shoulder; perhaps it held your hand by your face while you were inside me. I reached out to help pull you from inside of me, my hands were tingling and numb-feeling from the effort of birthing you, but I wanted to hold you, our baby. Then in a rush I had you up on my tummy. You were there, you were beautiful.
I was worried because you seemed blue. Charlie suctioned you for just a second and gave you a quick breath and you started right up. You turned pink and you were ours, wonderful. I lifted up your leg and looked at your tiny body, a tiny boy, a son! Only a few minutes after you were born Alex and Charlie helped me up to a squat and your placenta was born. It was large, the organ that nourished you and gave you life within me. Your placenta was very special; one day I will tell you about it.
I settled back down with you and you latched on, the warmth flowing into you and peace flowing over both of us. Cassidy climbed in bed with us to see you. It was wonderful. Welcome to the world our young warrior, our golden arrow.(NOTE: Want Real Mom Tested Techniques for Handling Labor Pain? Use these 11 proven natural childbirth techniques to handle labor and keep things moving right along. Get them here.)