Saffron’s birth story
I had been having contractions off and on for several days. I had gathered all my supplies together, inflated the pool so it could get rid of that gross plasticky-smell and generally been thinking ‘ready-for-baby’ thoughts.
On the night of the 26th, I started having what felt like real labour contractions. Quite a distance apart though. I didn’t bother timing them and just went to bed as I figured resting was more important.
I woke up a few times in the night. Finally got out of bed at 5am and the contractions were every 7 mins. Went that way for about 4hrs. As they grew in intensity I moved to the bedroom and tried the birth ball. Hated it. Decided to look out the window and watch the snow falling, leaning on the sill when contractions came. My friend M came in to sit with me.
I focused on working with the contractions; trying to relax into them and let my body respond rather than drawing back in pain. Swaying my hips and doing small squats seemed to help.
I started feeling a bit of adrenaline coming. Had a bit of a cold sweat and felt trembly. I asked M to get my husband to prepare the pool as I felt I might need it in an hour or so and wanted it to be ready. I felt like transition might come soon and I didn’t want to be stuck without it. Either just before this or just after my water broke. Contractions got way more intense. I tried going on all fours to see if it would help. It was ok. I kept changing positions depending on how I felt.
As they got more and more intense, I told K (husband) and M I should probably go downstairs to the pool while I still could.
The water wasn’t too high and we ran out of hot water. It was good though. Almost as soon as I got in I started to feel pushy. It was actually a really scary feeling – my body took over and started pushing whether I was ready or not. The minute between contractions was heaven. Then another would come and the insane urge to push was back.
I started to feel a lot of stretching and could feel something there. I reached down and it felt really fleshy and rubbery. I freaked because it didn’t feel like a head to me, I thought it was my unopened cervix or something (I was totally out of it). I started to panic. Another contraction came and I was too scared to push but my body did it anyway. I asked M to feel it and tell me what it was. She said she was quite sure it was the scalp of the baby. I was a bit irrational still. I bent in a way so K and M could see it (there I was, between contractions with a baby’s head partially out, lol) and they said they could see hair. I felt it and yes, there was definitely hair there. Next contraction came and the head came out. Before I knew it, in the same contraction I felt the shoulders rotate and baby was propelled right out! I was so surprised! I caught her and brought her to my chest.
She was a bit purple but started crying immediately. Pinked up pretty quick though her limbs stayed a bit purply. I hung out in the pool for a bit until I felt like I could stand. She wasn’t into the idea of nursing. We went upstairs to my room.
I sat on the bed for a while, kind of waiting to see when I’d feel like pushing the placenta out. Pushing was the last thing I wanted to do, lol. With my first, the midwives went in and yanked mine out for some reason (I’m still mystified) so I had never really delivered it before, M told me that with hers she didn’t feel like pushing, but when she did it kind of slipped out. I tried, nothing came out but blood. Decided to just hang out and look at baby for a while. She latched and nursed very well!
My husband was a bit impatient to hold her, he couldn’t really though as she was still attached to me by the cord. We waited about ten minutes, then tied off and cut the cord when it was done pulsing. K took the baby, and I took a bowl, put it into the toilet and tried pushing the placenta out. It came out fairly easily and M checked it over to see if it was complete. It appeared to all be there.
I called my doctor a few hours later and asked him what we should do next. He asked me to go to the hospital later and he’d meet me there to check us over. We were both just fine. I had a tiny bit of retained membrane which he removed and a tiny tear not even worth noticing.
Saffron weighed in at 7lbs 15 oz and 18.5 inches long. Born 11:40am March 27th.