TMI warning, this IS a birth story. :)
Here is the birth as I remember it.
The midwives never checked my dilation and I wasn’t watching a clock. So I don’t really have a clear timeline for it all. I am sitting here amazed at how our bodies are Created to bring new life into this world. My home, water birth with D was very different but yet very similar to my unmedicated, hospital delivery with W. Both amazing and empowering experiences! I’m sure I’ll be writing about that more later.
I woke up early in the morning of Sept 21st with strong rushes (contractions). I stayed up a bit, but then fell asleep on the couch. I had been having strong “practice” contractions off and on for about a week so I didn’t think much of it. They slowed down during the day and were not regular at all. I think my body knew Papa K had to work and I had to care for Wes during the day so it put everything on hold.
About 6pm that night I noticed that the rushes started coming in a regular pattern of about 7 minutes apart. I took Wes on a walk around the block a couple times. Then I called the midwife and she said to keep her posted. I wasn’t sure that this was the real thing yet, but since I was a couple days past my due date I figured it would be sooner or later. I called my doula and she was more convinced than I was, but I told her to stay put for now. When K got home from work we tidied up the house and got a few things ready just in case.
I went to bed around 11pm to try and get some sleep. At 2am the rushes were strong enough to wake me up. I got up and called my midwife and doula. I still was thinking that maybe this was a false alarm, but they were steadily getting more intense. I wasn’t really timing them anymore, but they seemed to be coming at about 5 minutes apart. I knew my doula and the second midwife had to drive an hour so I figured better safe than sorry.
J, my main midwife was the first to show up since she only lives about 10 minutes away. She listened to the baby’s heartbeat on the Doppler and all was well. (She checked his heartbeat regularly throughout the labor as well.) A little bit later Kristi, my dear friend and doula, arrived. I took a couple walks and watched a few episodes of Flight Of The Conchords. (Thanks to my bro for getting me that DVD. heh.) Nothing better than comedy, right? I sat on an exercise ball while watching TV. I know I got at least part of the way through “The Tough Brets.” As the intensity increased Kristi started doing some hip squeezes and counter pressure on my lower back. They asked if I wanted to get in the tub. I remember saying “I keep waiting for it to get worse before I get in.”
Meanwhile, Papa K filled up the birth tub and fought with the hot water heater a bit. Thankfully there was only one casualty, the faucet in our guest bathroom. :)
I tried to take another walk with Papa K but didn’t get too far. I remember that the sky was clear and I could see the constellations. I leaned on K during the rushes. They started coming faster so I wanted to go back in the house.
At some point W woke up and walked into the living room. I think it was around 4am. He was a little surprised to see all the people and would only go back to bed if daddy took him. He went back to sleep fine after that. We called my mom to come down to watch Wes in case he got up again.
After a few more really strong rushes, I decided it was time to get in the tub. Things were getting serious now and there was no doubt the baby was coming. I focused on breathing through the rushes and staying as relaxed as possible. The hot water helped me stay calm, but I also felt really hot. They put cold washcloths on my face and neck to cool me down. K and Kristi stayed by my side rubbing my back and encouraging me. The midwives did a wonderful job of staying unobtrusive yet making sure all was progressing normally and safely. After I was in the tub awhile they had me get out of the tub and walk to the bathroom to keep things moving along. I had a few more rushes out of the tub. It was nice to cool down a bit but I still wanted to get back in the water after that.
I remember at some point thinking that I might be in “transition” because I was having a hard time staying relaxed and started to get scared at the intensity of the contractions. I briefly thought to myself, “What the hell was I thinking doing this again?! I don’t want to do this.” Oh yeah, a classic emotion for transition! I knew that meant we were nearing the end.
I tried to focus on thinking/saying “open open open” and “peace peace peace” with each rush. (Both were Hypnobabies key words which I quickly ran through the last couple months.) I could literally feel my cervix pulling and opening up! I felt keenly aware of what was going on in my body. (Even though my first birth was unmedicated, I don’t remember feeling things so clearly. Probably because I was much more fatigued.) This was an amazing and scary sensation.
I don’t know what time it was, but I know that when I got in the tub it was dark, but it started to get light out before I hit transition. I could hear mom talking with W in his room. At some point she got him dressed and took him out of the house for a few hours.
With my first labor, “transition” lasted a couple hours. So I was surprised to find myself pushing all of a sudden. I told my midwives that I felt like I started to push on that last contraction. I think they were a little surprised too, but they reassured me that it was good and that the baby would be here soon. Pushing was so intense this time! It only lasted about a half an hour but it was hard work. Some women describe this part as a “relief” but I didn’t think so. I knew I was at the end and I just wanted him out. I had my eyes closed and I remember hearing everyone telling me what a great job I was doing. I felt my water break at some point during this stage.
I was tired and hurting and ready to meet the baby already! It was very primal. I think they described me as roaring. LOL My throat was sore afterwards so I definitely was loud. I kept checking to see if I could feel him, but could only feel and inch or so when he was just crowning. This was frustrating and motivating at the same time. All fear was gone. Kristi told me later that she never saw such a look of determination in anyone's eyes before. I wanted him out NOW! I wasn’t counting, but I think they said it was about 6 good pushes. It was such a relief when I felt his body come out.
His cord was wrapped around a couple times. I was on all fours in the water and the midwife unlooped the cord and caught him. She passed him to me under the water. She noticed one more loop as I grabbed him and said something. So I pulled it off of him before picking him up out of the water.
Amazing! He was finally here! Papa K was crying and I was just so elated to meet him. Keith kept saying, “Is he ok?” I guess because D wasn’t crying right away. But I knew that babies born in the water don’t always cry so I knew he was fine. He was moving and frowning. Then he took his first breaths while I held him and the midwives checked him out. I looked between the legs. It’s a boy! For some reason I wasn’t surprised at all. He reminded me of W when I first laid eyes on him.
I just sat back and enjoyed my new little guy for a few minutes. He was perfect! We hadn’t been 100% decided on a name, but D----- was a front runner. Papa K said, “It’s up to Kaiya.” So I said, “How about D?”
Daddy held him while I stood up to deliver the placenta. I got out of the tub and held him skin to skin under a warm towel to warm him up. Meanwhile J checked us out and everyone else took care of cleaning up the kitchen. I got Dex to latch on and nurse a little bit. He seemed to know right what he was doing.
K called my mom to bring Wes back. He was more interested in them deflating the pool than his new little brother. He was pretty interested in the umbilical cord. (He tells all visitors that Dex has a “uterus cord” and shows his cord stump to them. Heh.) We let the cord pulse for quite awhile. Then daddy cut it before I moved to my bedroom.
I grabbed a quick rinse in the shower and got into bed. I was really hungry and thirsty all of a sudden so I sent K out to get me a bagel sandwich and drank some sports drink stuff. They did the newborn exam in my room. Wes and my mom came in to watch. Kristi took pictures. They weighed and measured… 9lbs even and 22” long. Head measured 13 3/4 cm. D was alert and perfect! They stitched me up a bit at some point. Only one 2nd degree tear and some other minor ones. Nothing worse than what I had with Wes.
Recovery has gone well so far. I am feeling that adrenaline that comes after a natural birth. The best part! The only trick is to NOT over do it because I feel so good. I am following the “in bed for a week” advice and not lifting anything heavier than the baby. With W I admit I spent too much time entertaining and being up and around because I was surprised at how great I felt. I now know that at 2 weeks most babies get fussier, your hormones drop and most of your help leaves. So I am taking it easy, resting up and just enjoying my snuggly new baby boy!
Life is a precious gift. I praise God for I am fearfully and wonderfully made! :)