Birth Story of William James
May 2, 2012
I woke up just after 4 am to use the restroom and wondered if the odd feeling was the start of contractions. I went back to bed and got back to sleep. I probably would have stayed asleep longer but my toddler came into my room and wanted to snuggle with me. My husband took her back to her room around 4:45.
A little after 5 I got up. The surges I was feeling were clearly early contractions. I got online and checked my usual sites. At 5:58 am I posted on Facebook “It would appear that labor has started. I'll resist giving everyone the play by play. It is still very early in the process.” I let my older daughter’s kindergarten teacher know that there could be someone else picking her up. I sent an email to my doula. She had told me the day before that she had a bad cold and didn’t want to infect me. We talk around 6:10. The contractions were about 10 to 15 minutes apart.
By now my husband was up and I let him know about the contractions. Individual ones seemed really brief. I decided to take a shower. The warm water felt great. It seemed like I was in there a long time. I think I had three contractions or so. My husband was just outside. He was trying to keep track and also call our parents and let them know today might be the day. Ha. Little did we know.
I got out of the shower around 7 and my DH took his turn. I felt different. The few steps from the bathroom door to my dresser seemed so distant. I could not decide what to wear. Was I being a wimp right now and still had a whole day of early labor and yet another 11 hours at the hospital like last time.
DH got out of the shower about 7:10. He called my mom to come watch our kids. We started getting stuff together to go to the hospital. Both of our daughters were awake by now and wanting breakfast etc. The evening before our kitchen sink had sprung a leak so the kitchen was in disarray.
My contractions seemed harder now but still brief. I would have to stop and brace myself on a door frame or the arms of a chair. I kept wanting to stand on my tip toes but I made my legs relax and tried to keep my feet flat on the floor. With everything going on it was impossible to keep track. I knew we were moving far too slowly but could tell how.
Things were urgent enough now that we knew we had to go. My mom was still in route. My husband told our older daughter to see if our neighbor across the street was home. I had attached myself to the chair by the front door. I face the chair with my hands on either arm rest. I remember my DH applying counter pressure to my hips. About 7:30 David says he’s going to put the girls in the car and come get me.
“I can’t move.” I say. Just then my water broke and I tell him to call 911. It is 7:33. I can tell the baby is coming. I’m still attached to the chair but now I’m kneeling. I can see out the front door as the paramedics come in. The baby is crowning. Twice in the next few minutes I lean over and close my front door. Howdy neighbors.
My back is to the room. The EMTs want me to turn around and face them. They are taking pillows off of my sofa and trying to prop them around me. I can’t quite articulate that the chair I am gripping for dear life will slide around if I lean against it. I can also visualize myself sitting on my tailbone if I move how they want me and that won’t be good. I just keep saying No. They appeal to my husband who tells them this is how I labored last time and that I delivered squatting.
I cut the conversation short with another contraction. It was either this one or the next and he is born. It’s 7:47 am. I hear the cry! I hear a conversation about cutting the cord. David did it. Now I turn around and face my home, my husband, my son and a birth team of men I’ve never met before.
I looked around for my daughters. A man in a red shirt has them corralled in their room. As much as I would have like to share this with them, the amount of blood on the floor would have freaked them out. Oh yeah, the floor. It is a mess. An EMT hands me my baby! He’s so cute. I try to get him to nurse while they get my vitals.
Just then my mom arrives. At some point they cover me with a sheet to hide the mess and my girls get to meet their little brother.
My front yard is not designed for rolling a stretcher. The path is part cement with long steps and part rough stepping stones. I probably would have been more comfortable walking. In the ambulance my husband is holding the baby who has a ladybug on his little nose! It is a beautiful morning.
I deliver the placenta in the ambulance.
At the hospital I get a lot of “Did you mean to deliver at home?” “No”. I have nothing against home births. For me with my particular issues and the newness of legal homebirths in my state lead me to choose (ideally) a hospital birth.
I get a few stitches. The L&D department is full with a waiting list for inductions so after the first flurry David and I get a lot of time with our new little guy. He weighs 9 lbs and is 22.5 inches long. His head is 14.25 inches around and is very round instead of cone shaped.