Thank you, Tara
I really wanted this story to be filled with wonderful similes and metaphores for my thoughts and feelings. But my writing is not superfluous, so it is more event based. Despite that I hope this story/experience can inspire others.
Charis Zariah’s Birth Story (Planned Unassisted)
At 40 weeks and 4 days on Tues. March 10 2009 I started having contractions at 7:30 a.m. I woke up with them and found that my two year old was in bed with me (again). Jorge had left for work around 5:45 a.m., but it wasn’t imminent for me to call him at that time. The contractions were mild and a good 30 minutes apart. The boys were all still sleeping so I started cleaning up around the kitchen, put a load of laundry in the washer and finished folding a full basket in the bedroom. The contractions stayed consistent throughout the morning at 20-30 mins apart and I was concerned that they would stop and start later at some point like my last labor. I had prayed that the Lord would grant me the ability to actually labor in a way that the birth would not take me by surprise. The last time I had prodromal labor and then before I knew it baby was ready to crown. I really wanted to be able to be a part of the process this time physically and mentally. By the afternoon they were about 2o-25 min apart so not really “active” labor, but I knew to pay attention to the increase in intensity this time. I took the dog to the vet in town and Jorge was home when I got back. We went about our usual activities for the evening and then had dinner. Things were progressing by then and even at 15 min apart I had to stop and concentrate on what my body was doing. I could still talk some and listen to the boys; I just had to focus more. By the time we had gotten them ready for bed and put them down I knew that it wasn’t going to stop and was praying it would happen during the night so it might be a bit less hectic with the kids and all. My eldest told me it would be cool if they(the 3 boys) just woke up and there was a new baby. I agreed. I fiddled a little bit on the computer and Jorge went to bed around 10. I took the exercise ball out to the living room and tried to watch Law and Order, but it was very hard to focus on that because I would really need to be in my body when the feelings would hit. They were coming around 10 mins, but the intensity was increasing. I leaned/bounced on the ball for a while and then decided to get some sleep. I went to bed at 11:30 p.m. and slept in between the contractions. As the night went on I was making noise with them (and waking Jorge) and by 1:30 I was a bit loud and knew I needed a different position to deal with them. Also, two year old was wiggling behind my back and it was difficult for me to not get screechy every time he touched me). So, Jorge got up and put little one back in his bed and helped me fill the pool. I was so excited by this prospect that I was giddy for a bit. (We had tried twice unsuccessfully to have a water birth, not enough time). It only took about 20 mins to fill half way and then the hot water needed to be replenished. I got in and it was so nice and relaxing. Jorge lit some candles and I had made a playlist of music on the computer. Our room is small so the pool was right next to the bed and the desk which enabled me to put the head phones on and have Jorge hold my hand if I needed him. The contractions were still at 8-10 mins apart, but longer and much more intense. During that time I felt the water was only taking a little of the edge off even though it was great in between. I kept telling myself not to tense up just remember to open and be low. I prayed that I would continue to have discernment about what was happening. I had gotten in the pool at 2 a.m., at 2:30 I got up to pee (I did not want to, but felt it needed to be done) and added hot water. After I got back in I was in the really deep “mooing” by 3. Jorge would ask if there was anything he could do and that I was doing great. As much as I think I want him massaging me or helping me relax physically I always end up feeling like it is too much stimulation and end up asking (yelling at) him not to touch me. Having him near me and acknowledging what was happening was just what I needed. He is a wonderful husband and I am so blessed to have him by my side. The feelings changed at around 3:30 and I signaled to Jorge that my body was beginning to push. At this point the contractions had never gotten closer than 6-8mins apart, but the intensity had steadily increased. It was a relief to push and as the uncontrollable urge would subside I would give a little extra push. The bag of waters broke with the first push and I did a quick glance to see if it looked clear and it did. The room was still only lit by candle light, but my eyes had adjusted and I could tell the water color hadn’t changed. I began to feel the burn when I would push, but had an instinctual need to “help” the urges along. It just felt right and almost like my body wasn’t giving quite enough on its own. This was the first time I felt that way. I remember telling Jorge “…that it hurt so much and I can’t do it.” He of course said “You CAN do it, your doing it right now…” After two of these, I reached my hand down and felt the head. I had felt the other kids heads before, but this was the first time I was the one directing it without a sense of panic (like our unplanned unassisted). It was really amazing. I kept my hand above and around the head as a guide and reminder to not go too fast. I prayed (aloud) that I wouldn’t tear and that I could rest in between. It’s amazing how tired you can feel after only a few pushes...The body really is working hard. I had been leaning on the side of the pool in a modified squat (legs were crisscrossed, my butt was up) and then as the head came out (after 3 or 4 pushes) I leaned back on my bottom and the other side of the pool. With a relief I told Jorge the head was out and asked him to get a flashlight to see. I also asked him to get the camera. Baby was face up and then I swiped my finger around the neck to check for the cord, found none, so I rested. We actually got a few pictures before the birth (never had time before). Jorge was a little freaked at us just sitting there in the water waiting, but I assured him it was alright and that I had to wait for another contraction anyway. I asked if he wanted to catch the baby and he did so as the contraction came on I got on all fours (it felt more comfortable) and I thought he was going to grab the baby before I was ready so I yelled at him (sorry honey) and then the baby came out in one movement into daddy’s hands. I flipped over and Jorge handed the baby (covered in vernix, first baby like that for us) to me. As Jorge went to get towels for us, I went ahead and looked to see what we had been blessed with. I lifted the cord from between the legs and low and behold we actually had a girl…I checked twice just in case. Jorge was equally surprised (we have three boys and just assumed that was what we would always have). As I admired her and Jorge got things for us, we just relaxed in the tub for about an hour. The two year old came in about ten minutes after she was born and was amazed that we had a pool in the room (that’s all he cared about). We nursed right away on and off while in the pool, but I didn’t feel any contractions for the placenta. After awhile I felt uncomfortable and wanted to get out. We had wanted to wait to cut the cord till the placenta was out, but I asked to do it then. Jorge helped me get out and I took a shower. I gave the cord a gentle tug, but it didn’t seem to move so I decided to lie down and nurse for a bit. I felt good and the blood loss was a normal amount (we could still see the bottom of the pool and it was not dark). After an hour of nursing Jorge woke me up and reminded me to go pee and try to push the placenta out (he wanted it out). As soon as I had gone pee I felt the need to push and out it slid. I had to fish it out of the toilet...It looked good and intact. I was willing to eat some if necessary for blood loss, Jorge was not on board with that and since I wasn’t bleeding we bagged it up to put with our other children’s trees. After the clean up (Thank you fabulous husband), the kids were up, Jorge feed them and put a video on for them, then we (Jorge, baby, and I) crawled into bed and slept for hours. It was a great day.
Our decision to not have any one else in attendance at this birth was not taken lightly. It was a journey that went from hospital to home to unexpected unassisted at home and finally to fully embracing the God given responsibilities as parents. We researched and prayed for the last seven months of this pregnancy. We realize it is not a decision everyone should make, but we will advocate and pray that all couples have the right to information about birthing options; whether it is in a hospital; at home; with a doctor; midwife or doula; or unassisted with God.
I was so happy to be able to use all the laboring devices I had never been able to before due to hospital or fast births. This was my longest labor from start to finish with out stopping. It was magical and peaceful. I am grateful that I had the ability and right to take responsibility for my life, body, and birthing. I love that we can experience birth as a normal part of life; that my children do not have to see it as something fearful or subject to scrutiny from the experts. I Praise God for answering our prayers by giving us a beautiful baby birthday and a healthy baby girl.
Stats: 9 lbs 1 or 2 oz
21 1/8 inch
Born at: 4 a.m. March 11th 2009
Name: Charis Zariah Allen
Midwifery Student and Mama to 2 daughters and 3 sons.
I have given birth a variety of ways and I am thankful for what each one has taught me.
Congrats on your little GIRL!!! (I have 4 boys and 1 girl) I am sure you and your boys are enjoying her!!
: : : : : EC:
Peaceful mama to three blissfully-birthed and incredible small people: dd10, dd7 and ds5. Always awed and so thankful to be a midwife.
Jackie and Rafael (4/15/04)
DS (4/25/05) my unschooled airbending pokemon wizard
DD (10/05/06) my spirited pixie, who weaned at 3 yrs 10 months
DD (7/27/09) my UC water baby - I mean toddler!
DS (2/21/12) UC #2! My littlest love
Harlan (11/4/2011)http://www.desertreadingloft.com--Independent Usborne Books Consultant
I'm very curious also- I'd LOVE to read your birth story from your last baby- the unplanned UC.
I have been having tons of prodromal labor and I get the feeling that that will be my story this time around!
So happy for you and your family!
Edited: I just did a search adn found your son's story!
Beautiful birth story
Sounds so peaceful.