Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Where Holy Rivers Meet
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I found birth stories to be very key to making the decision to homebirth. I hope some mama-to-be finds this as inspiring as I found so many of the stories on here to be!
WARNING: I am no writer. If there is some awful glaring grammatical mistake PLEASE let me know!
It had been a busy day at daycare (I had a room of two year olds) and I felt especially tired when I got home that evening. I was thankful that I only had two days of work left. Then I could be home to relax, and most importantly, get some last minute things done around the house before our baby arrived. I was only home long enough to make a bagel with chive cream cheese and cucumber slices when I started feeling stomach cramps. “Shoot!” I thought, “I hope this isn’t that stomach bug the kids had.” The two year olds are notorious for sharing their bugs but I decided to try to ignore it and finished my food. Just as I finished I suddenly remembered a birth story I’d read online. The mom-to-be was convinced she had a stomach bug when she really was in labor. I started watching the clock and was surprised to find my “stomach cramps” were happening every five minutes and lasting for just over one minute. I told Mike and he ran out to the store to get the birth supplies we were going to get that weekend. While he was gone I tried to get some sleep. I was exhausted from a very active day with my class and knew I needed to get all the rest I could before things got intense. I slept on and off until 7:30. By then laying down was extremely uncomfortable and remembering the advice of Mrs. Sears I got up and tried different positions. Pacing was the only thing that really helped. Contractions were now three minutes apart and I was getting worried. What if Mike didn’t make it back in time? I didn’t want to be alone. When he called fifteen minutes later I told him to bring home whatever he had and we’d make due. When he got home he inflated the pool while I supervised and paced. I don’t remember what else we did until we called Regina, our homebirth midwife, around 11:30. She said she’d get her supplies together and call back in 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes was more like 45 and she seemed surprised that the contractions were still pretty steady. She decided to come out and arrived around 1:30. She promptly put Mike to work helping her tidy up (the house was pretty cluttered, something I was going to work on during the 2 weeks between leaving work and my due date). I was only slightly aware of what was going on. At some point Leslie arrived (she had three more births to attend until she became an official midwife). Allison, the CNM who had done my pre-natal care but didn’t have homebirth privileges popped in and out to see how we were doing. Things are very muddled in my memory until sunrise. By then we’d gotten into a pattern. I would sit on the rocking chair until I got a contraction. Then I’d jump up and walk to the bathroom. Mike would walk behind me with his arms around me and we’d do squats together when things got really intense. Regina called it our labor dance. When the contraction stopped I would go to the bathroom. As soon as I was done peeing I would be hit with another contraction and we’d pace around some more until I could sit again. We kept this up until early afternoon. I was so tired by this point that I sat down on the edge of the bed to talk to Dilini (our cat) and didn’t even realize that I fell asleep. I woke up just 10 minutes later and felt a bit better. We danced through a few more contractions when I realized that I’d been in labor for 20 hours. My mom had me in just 8 hours. She could have given birth twice and had time to clean up and rest. This was ridiculous so a couple minutes later while I was in the bathroom peeing I decided to secretly check myself. I was mortified to find that I was only 3cm dilated. “That’s it,” I thought, I’m not leaving this bathroom until I’m ready to have this baby.” I spent the next few hours laboring in the bathroom using the windowsill as a squat bar. I remember feeling drained and overwhelmed. I prayed that God would send me courage and the strength I would need to birth my baby. It was then that the wind picked up. Each gust blew through the open window, over my face, all the way down to my lungs and with each new gust I felt stronger, braver. In The Chronicles of Narnia Aslan frequently breathed in the children to fill them with His strength. It was a concept that I never quite understood until that day and now is one I’ll never forget. I stayed there until I lost my mucus plug and my water broke. Then I moved to the bedroom window, as the bathroom floor was now too slippery and the midwives expected the baby to come any minute. Here transition hit me like a ton of bricks. Nothing felt right. The wind stopped, the hot water ran out, why didn’t God just strike me dead. Then I could at least rest. I should have just had a C-Section. What was I thinking? Regina reminded me that it wasn’t too late and I gave her the glare of “Shut up, of course I don’t mean it.” and she seemed pleased. I meanwhile was surprised that I’d said all those things out loud and not in my head. Regina checked me and I was just 1 cm from fully dilated. Just one more became my mantra. I paced about the tepid pool chanting it. Back in the bedroom I really wanted to push but I knew that something wasn’t ready yet. At my request someone checked me (I don’t remember who) and I had a cervical lip and I replied with “Oh damn.” in the exact voice of Stewie from Family Guy. I’d read enough birth stories to know all about cervical lips. They said if I wanted someone could try to push the lip up. I agreed to let them try once as I really wanted to push this baby out but had heard terrible stories of people pushing on cervical lips. Leslie pushed on the lip while I pushed on the baby and it worked! I could tell transition was finally over and that I was ready to push my baby out. I pushed first kneeling, leaning on Mike’s lap, then squatting. This got the baby crowning but was too intense so I went back to kneeling again. Allison asked if I had any last thoughts before becoming a mom and I told them I was just so tired I couldn’t wait to sleep. I had pushed for 45 minutes total when I felt the burning. I asked if it was the ring of fire and someone behind me said, “Almost, not quite.” and I was worried that it could get worse. It didn’t though and with the next push the baby came flying out. I collapsed on Mike’s lap totally amazed that it was over and I did it. When they told me he was a boy I was thrilled! Everyone had guessed he’d be a girl but I kept thinking boy and I was right! And so it was, on August 16th at 8:03pm, that we welcomed Micaiah Thomas into this world!
Traveling mama to two little boys and a new baby coming with the monsoon