Birth Story of Thomas (2004)
My 2 year old had woken me up at 3:30am because he was sick with a high fever. As I was lying down with him I realized I was starting to have mild, but regular contractions. I spent the rest of the day with my contractions slowly getting stronger. The midwife had come over a few times to check on my progress. Finally at about 8:30 pm, after Jackson was asleep for the night I was having difficulty getting comfortable. This labour was much more painful than Jackson’s. At 9:00 pm Tyler convinced me to page the midwife again. My contractions were 3 – 5 minutes apart, but lasting 50 – 60 seconds long. Faye (midwife) came and checked me out. She talked to me about ways to speed up my labour. She was concerned that I was becoming exhausted since Jackson had woken me up so early. She mentioned labour tincture and breaking my waters. I said I would think about it and talk things over with Tyler. Faye decided she should stay with us for the rest of the labour. Tyler and I decided to go out for a walk while Faye set up all her equipment.
Tyler and I walked up and down the sidewalk outside of the house. Every time a contraction hit I had to stop walking and put my arms around Tyler’s neck. I would rest my head on his shoulder while he encouraged me to rock and sway my hips so that the baby would go down into my pelvis. Tyler would keep reminding me that things were going well and that I was strong enough to have this baby. After half an hour or so the contractions were strong enough to bring tears to my eyes. It was 10:10 pm.
We went back into the living room. I had to stand because it was painful to sit in any chair. I even tried the birth ball, but it too brought on the contractions too strongly. At this point when the contractions hit the pain went around my belly, back, and cervix. I discovered that if Tyler pushed hard on the small of my back it made the pain more bearable. At first I leaned against the wall and then Tyler pushed on my back. Later we found that if I put my arms around Tyler’s neck and hugged him while he hugged me by pressing on the small of my back the contractions were more bearable. By 10:30 the contractions were so strong that I was finding it difficult to cope. Any change in movement (walking, sitting, etc.) would bring on really intense contractions. I decided to go upstairs to have a bath and agreed to try the labour tincture. It contained blue cohosh. My contractions were still 3-4 minutes apart and lasted 40 seconds. I was officially labeled as starting the first stage of active labour at 10:40 pm.
In the bathroom Tyler lit a candle for me and turned out the lights. I sat in the tub for about 10 minutes. I had 3 intense contractions and started to feel too hot, so I got out. At 10:50 I ate a snack I laboured upstairs on the bed in the side lying position. At 11:15 pm I took a second dose of labour tincture and we started talking about rupturing my membranes again. I was feeling really sleepy and was having trouble coping with the pain. My contractions were slowing down when I was lying down. I got up again and they started to intensify. With every contraction Tyler and I would hug each other and he would press on the small of my back.
At midnight Faye checked me again and I was 6 – 7 cm with a bulging bag of waters. We decided to call the back up midwife and I agreed to break my bag of waters. I was really starting to feel exhausted. At 12:30 am, Faye tried to break my waters, but I found it so painful she had to stop. She thought I felt about 8 – 9 cm dilated and I was encouraged to lie on my side. Any movement at all triggered huge contractions. I was so tired I just wanted to sleep. During a contraction I was unable to open my legs, so Faye had to hold them open to encourage my pelvis to widen. After a few contractions I was helped onto my right side to help me finish dilating.
At 12:35 the back up midwife and her student arrived. At 12:45 I was starting to feel some pressure but the contractions were still very painful. I kept expecting the pain to stop because with Jackson’s birth when I was fully dilated the pain stopped and I found pushing enjoyable. With this birth the pain just kept becoming more intense.
At 1:15 am I moved to the toilet and had some contractions there. I also vomited. I then moved back to the bedroom and sat on the birthing stool. I started to push and my water broke at 1:22 am. Unfortunately Tyler was in front of me and I soaked his jeans. There was a small feeling of relief when my water broke. At this point I was moved back up to the bed so Tyler could catch the baby. At 1:30 I felt like my pelvis was being pushed wide open. This baby was descending much faster than Jackson ever did. The head popped out rather quickly and I felt a little relief. I was told to stop pushing as the cord was wrapped twice around baby’s neck. They had to clamp and cut the cord before I could push the rest of the baby out.
At 1:37 am I finally pushed the rest of the baby out. He was laid upon my belly. He was crying and moving but very pale. He was covered with towels and a hat and rubbed dry. I was given a shot of oxytocin and delivered the placenta at 1:43 am.
Grandma Judy was the one to announce we had a boy. Tyler came and laid down beside me. We looked at our son and tried to figure out what to call him. We finally agreed to Thomas. At 1:46 am they put an oxygen mask on Thomas to try and get him to pink up more.
At 1:47 am they took Thomas to the dresser to suction him. His lungs sounded clear and his heart rate was great. They just had to clear out his mouth. Faye gave me one stitch on my perineum for a 1o cut. Thomas pinked up well and I nursed him for a while. Then the two of us went into the bath to get cleaned up. They then took Thomas back to the bedroom to weigh and measure him. I stayed in the bathroom until I finally went pee.
When I went back to the bedroom everything had been cleaned up and Thomas was all bundled up in a nightgown with a hat and wrapped in two receiving blankets. I laid down next to him and started to drift off to sleep. Faye stayed until 4:30 am. While the new family was drifting off to sleep upstairs the midwives helped themselves to turkey sandwiches with potato and macaroni salad.
Tyler and I fell asleep at 4:30 am and our son Jackson (2 ½ years old) came to greet us at 6:30 am. As Jackson approached our bed I said “Come and say Hi to your brother Thomas”. He took one look at him and said “That’s not Thomas, that’s a baby!”. He warmed up to Thomas great over that first day and is learning to be a great big brother.