What impressed me most about Serena and Sierra's birth story was the fact that it seemed like everything I wanted was manifested. Never before have I had such clear manifestations, nor had I ever had such powerful intuition. It was the single most intuitive day of my life......
I should back up a moment to my pregnancy. I was shocked to find out at 16 weeks that I was carrying twins. I laughed, I told everyone, then I cried. I knew it meant a lot of changes for the pregnancy, birth and life thereafter. I decided I needed to write my thoughts down in my journal and the page I opened onto had an entry from May saying that I really wanted to have 3 kids, but that was an impossibility, as it was hard to talk DH into this one, even. My 3 yr. old daughter, Bella, was asking me why I had 2 babies in my belly, (before the u/s). I laughed at her and said, "honey, that would mean mommy's having twins" Laughed again, but remembered a dream about 2 babies...... So I was getting my 3 kids-- the universe works in funny ways!
So, the birth. I had it in my head to make it to 38 weeks, and the morning I woke up, my water broke and I was exactly 38 weeks. I got my sunny, beautiful day (in Oregon, in April, nonetheless), I had neighbors stopping by, it was the weekend, and I knew early on in the day that labor would start soon enough. These were all important pieces to me. I also wanted to know 100% where the right place to birth would be, and that morning, I knew that our home was the place to be.
The nite before, I had gathered the birth supplies, and filled out the paperwork for my massage license renewal and my daughter's preschool application and finished getting all my bills to be paid online. I guess that was my nesting. I decided to have a bratwurst (protein!) and went to bed about 5:30am. I woke about 7:30am with warm fluid oozing down my legs. I knew. I went and told my DH as he was sleeping in my daughter's room, and she was in bed with me. He jumped up and called the MW. She came over and brought me for an u/s at a nearby place, and confirmed that the babies were head down, as recently baby A had gone transverse. I was 3 cm dilated and only slightly effaced. I was not having contractions at this time, so she left me with directions to walk, eat and rest. My daughter Bella had been picked up by her aunt and was off to Oaks Park (a local amusement park that she had literally talked about all winter). I felt good that she was somewhere having fun, but I was worried about how much time I had. She had been very concerned about the birth, and worried that I would be hurt, so we all decided she shouldn't be present. I called my friend who was at DD1's birth, and we sat and visited and laughed that like DD1, I was not contracting, although my water had broken. We ate big salads and good bread, and after she left, I slept again. When I woke up, neighbors were dropping by, and got to learn of the pending births. My favorite 85 year old neighbor was soooo excited for us.
I talked to my SIL who had my daughter, and she said that Bella did not want to come home, as she was having fun playing w/her cousin. At that point, my labor kicked in. I just needed to know that she was going to be ok before I could really let go. So, at about 4:30pm, we called the midwives, and the first to arrive was Kate, our back-up mw, then Michelle, our CNM, then Angela, the apprentice, then Laura, our main mw. I was in my room on my exercise ball having to focus on contractions and by about 6:30pm or so, I was at 8. At this point, I went to the shower and that helped the intensity of contractions. All the while I was eating and drinking A LOT!
I had a beautiful cd on with a song that went "you are my first born, and I love you so...." I cried hearing the song, as I was grieving the relationship change between DD1 and me. It had already changed during pregnancy, as she weaned, and she was now in her own bed, with me leaving after she fell asleep. I knew I was giving her a great gift of siblings, but I still felt sad for her, and for us. At the same time, I was feeling so elated to finally meet my Serena and Sierra.
I was back in my bedroom, when I felt a strong pressure descending. I felt like I had to go to the bathroom, and when I sat on the toilet, my mws laughed and said "no, that's the baby coming". I went into the tub and Mark my DH got behind me. It got overwhelming for a second, and I screamed and grabbed my mw and said "help me!" That must have been when Serena entered the world, because I just remember them saying "look down" and when I did, little Serena was floating into the world......
She was 5 lbs, 14 oz. and was born at 8:15pm in our bathtub. I couldn't believe how beautiful she was, and how incredible it felt to hold her immediately and rub the vernix into her skin. I realize now how empowering it was to be "trusted" to hold my baby right away, w/o someone else evaluating her in their arms before me. I think they let the cord pulse for about a minute, then DH cut it. We went back to the bedroom, but before I even stood up out of the tub, Serena was nursing.
The next 2 hours were a blur. I ate and drank more and snuggled in with Serena and Mark. I seriously though 15 minutes had passed in those 2 hours. When I realized how long it had been, I said, "hey, I better try to get things going again". My mws agreed, and I felt at that point that if I needed to go to the hospital for Sierra's birth, it would be just fine, as I was at a really calm place. Instead, we broke the water and labor started up again, intensely. I said at about 10:15pm, "Sierra, I need you to come out by 11:15pm, honey". She was born at 11:21pm. I remember being on my bed and saying "I can't do this" and my mw said "you can, and you need to focus now. You have a lot of work left to do". I ended up in the tub again, though the steps to my bathroom were VERY slow. They kept checking HR on Sierra, and when I was in the tub and it was time, I had one contraction that they said to keep pushing on, and she traveled a long distance quickly, as her cord was short, and hence, she wasn't descending as it was wrapped around her neck. They loosened the cord and put her up on my belly, and Serena joined her. I have a picture of the two of them just then, and Serena is pink and Sierra looks blue. But she needed no interventions, and she started to cry right away. We went and tucked into bed, and now Serena was asleep, so I got time to cuddle Sierra and meet her. (another champion nurser, by the way).
The after pains were intense, and I didn't expect them to be so bad. I didn't hemmorage, and the tears weren't stitched, even though one was a grade 2 in the perineum. They said it tore so perfectly, that it would heal on its own, and I didn't hurt from it at all. Just those afterpains!
My story doesn't do justice to my wonderful midwives. What amazing women. Laura was so intuitive, she was incredible. They all were, and I feel so blessed to have these women at my daughters' births. Bella came home before midnite (she hadn't fallen asleep yet at my SIL's and then fell asleep on the way home and didn't wake up until morning.
The next morning we found our washing machine had flooded our garage, and quickly our house was filled with men cleaning and fixing that problem and women bringing and making us food. It was beautiful!
Well, I have to end the story as babies need me. It feels good to finally post this!