Born November 20, 2007
10.95 pounds or about 10 pounds 15 ounces
Born at home, unassisted, in the water
Brian - my husband
Declan – Our 7 year old son
Morgan - a mama friend
Donovan – Morgan's adorable toddler
Rebecca – a mama friend
Clove - a friend
Tunna - a friend, Clove's live-in boyfriend
Erin – a mama friend
Sean – a friend, Erin's husband
Charlee – a friend
Eric – a friend, Charlee's live-in boyfriend, our camera man
Keith - our next door neighbor and long-time friend
It's funny to me that while I journaled obsessively about every potential labor sign, when I finally went into labor, I was completely silent. I was tired of saying, "Maybe?!" out loud and it be nothing. So, on November 19, at about 4:30pm, when I started feeling regular contractions, I thought little of it. I was 1 day past my due date and had no contractions all weekend, but I just thought it was prodromal labor starting up again, convinced I was going to 42 weeks, yet again. I felt very relaxed about it and had a list of projects to keep me busy.
So, I go about my normal day, making dinner and generally doing household stuff. When Brian gets home at about 6pm, I let him know I'm having regular, somewhat painful contractions. I tell him this not because I believe I'm in labor, really, but more that I'm pleased I'm at least having contractions again, at all. He made a bit of a joke, which he didn't intend meanly, but I was feeling hormonal and decided he didn't believe me, so I clammed up. Over the next hour or two, the evening was normal. We ate dinner. I didn't feeling like eating, but made myself. I was a bit excited that I didn't feel like eating, but restrained myself, trying to not get my hopes up. We watched some TV and futzed around on our laptops.
Eventually, I pulled up a site Rebecca gave me and tried to time my contractions, just to see if they were as regular as I believed. I'm hopelessly bad at timing. I start getting nervous about when the beginning of one really is, then don't push the button quickly enough, then forget to push it when it's over, or rather I do and it doesn't work, so I push it again, and then it hears me do it twice and starts another. F#ck! It looks like I'm having them about every 7 minutes, for about 50 seconds. I think. This whole time, I'm chatting with Clove online, because I have to tell someone.
I think it was about 8pm that I went to the bathroom and saw actual bloody show! I've never seen bloody show before I was in heavy labor. I was extremely excited. Still, I reminded myself of the water leak (hindwater, maybe?) that had been nothing, days ago and tried, once again, to not get my hopes up. I figured I should tell Brian, though, so I did, also communicating that his joke hurt my feelings. He apologized and was very understanding. About this time he started timing my contractions. He didn't announce he was doing it and I didn't confirm that I noticed him doing it, mostly because I was trying to not think about timing. I don't even know why either of us bothered, as we weren't going anywhere. It was a way to kill time, plus, we'd invited friends over for the birth, so we were trying to determine when/if to call. I'd already decided to call when I had that first, "Holy crap!" contraction. I remembered Morgan telling me that she'd had early contractions with Donovan and had wondered if it was labor until she had one contraction that knocked her over and she said, "Holy Crap!" Yes, that's the one I was waiting on. I had told Clove and Morgan about the bloody show. So, they were both waiting to hear. I hadn't told anyone else.
We watched Heroes and I got out my supplies to make my labor hoop. I spent most of my early labor making it. I never hooped it, as I was nearing transition when I finished, but it was a great labor project. I stopped occasionally to breathe and make horse lips. It still wasn't that painful yet. I think it was 11:30ish when I finished the hoop. I looked up at Brian and said, "I can haz Morgan now?" (Just like that, in internet lingo – very silly!). I then clarified that I wasn't 100% sure this was it. I still had not experienced a Holy Crap contraction, but I was 100% sure I wanted Morgan. NOW. He laughed and I called her. When I did talk to her, I had to stop to breathe through one, because I couldn't talk through it. I realized they were picking up, after all. One of us called Clove and Tunna. I don't remember who. This is about when the specifics and times start to get blurry, for me.
I said I was hot and Bri wisely opened the sliding glass door and closed the screen, rather than turning on the AC. He said I'd be cold later. I felt nauseated, but I never throw up. I didn't then, either, but started to feel as if I wished I could. I had the thought, "Transition?" but then ruled it out. It didn't hurt enough, yet. I don't know why I still ruled it out, even when it did start hurting, shortly afterwards, but I did. I vocalized once, to Clove, "This can't be transition, already?! I couldn't already be that lucky!" So yeah, I'm guessing transition started around 11:30pm. I was starting to feel frightened during contractions. I'd wished and wished to be in labor and now I found myself wishing, inwardly, not to be, even just a little. I was petrified of crowning and knew that was coming soon, if this was transition. I'd worked so hard to get comfortable with my big baby. I'd told myself if I could birth a 10 pounder on my back with an epidural, I could certainly birth a 12 pounder at home, naturally, in water and unhindered! Still, in the moment, I still had silly thoughts of blowing out my vagina. Yes, I really did.
I also felt like I needed to be up and moving. I began to pace the living room, tidying this and that. We have an ottoman and a footstool for my glider rocker. At one point, I looked at them and moved them to their place, until the TV, where I'd decided they'd be stored to clear floor space for the pool. I looked at the blank living room floor and realized, "Wow, this is it!" I think Brian started calling everyone else about then. I walked around, doing this or that and by now the contractions were getting painful. I was crying out and dropped to my hands when I had one. For some reason, going all the way down, like sitting on the toilet or going to hands and knees hurt lots, but I loved putting my hands on the bathroom counter, or the stairs, or the arm of a chair and rocking my hips, so that's what I did. I remember thinking It's awesome when they stop! after a contraction ended. During this time, I wasn't very aware of Brian. He was moving around the house, organizing stuff and calling everyone on the phone. I anal-retentively had a call list on the dryer, listing everyone's contact info and order to call them in. Yes, I'm that organized. I also had placenta prep instructions on the cabinet.
About this time, I decided I needed a shower. Really, I wanted my birth pool, but wanted to wait for more people, so Bri wouldn't have to leave me and set it up alone. Soon after we got me into the shower and water was heaven! Clove and Tunna showed up. I asked Clove to stay with me so Brian and Tunna could set up the birth pool. She said, "Yeah, I figured, that was the plan." There were so many times when my friends knew what I wanted before I said it. This was so wonderful. I felt so supported, surrounded by people who loved me and got me. There is power in speaking for yourself, but there is an entirely different kind of power in people who've loved you and known you long enough to not need you to. I felt it so much that night. By now, I'd found a labor sound that was working for me. I sang the scales. My sounds changed later, for a while, this was perfect. My birth music played and when a surge hit, I sang the scales.
At some point, I asked for Brian again and he and Clove traded places. I then realized that there was an issue with the birth pool. I could tell they'd been trying to keep me from hearing this. I got a bit panicky. "The birth pool was my whole plan!" I said. Apparently the battery was dead on the pump that was to blow up the pool. They had it plugged in, but it wasn't charged yet! (Funny aside, later Brian remembered we could use it while it was plugged in and charging. He totally forgot in the moment! D'oh!) I came downstairs, in a towel, just as Rebecca came in. She saw that I was panicky and said the exact right thing, "What do you need me to do?" and "I'll fix it!" And thank goodness for Tunna's lungs! He blew up the pool, with some help from Rebecca and Clove on the small hand pump. Soon enough, I was in the pool. They'd filled it with all of our hot water and of course, still needed more, so boiled some. I let go of my worry that this wouldn't happen in time and trusted them to manage it and they did. My friends are AMAZING! I got into the pool with Brian, facing him. We breathed together and I rocked and sang, my birth music filling the room. I began to beg people to sing with me. I feel badly for them, in retrospect, as they didn't know all the songs, of course, but I felt that if the music was louder than the pain, I could manage. I sang as loudly as I could manage, thinking "Mouth Open – Cervix Open" and begged them to sing with me. I finally said, "It doesn't matter if you know the words! Hum! Make noise! I need noise!" and they obliged. I loved the feeling as the surges swelled with the music, carrying me over them. There was a point where I could barely sing or hear the music anymore, but it wasn't yet. Now the music was perfect. I was surrounded by love and music, lifting me.
After that, I've lost recollection of who came and when. I remember being so happy when Morgan finally made it. (She'd had to wait for Jon to get off work.) She had Donovan with her and he did amazingly well! He didn't get worried or panicked until near the end, despite the chaos and screaming I did later. What an awesome kid! I remember Sean and Erin getting there. At that point, I was thrilled that Erin was there.
I had my 3 Mamas, as I was thinking of them, Erin, Morgan and Rebecca. They'd all been where I was and each knew how to support me in different ways. The mostly sat in front of me, holding my hands and letting me lean on them, speaking words of comfort and encouragement, giving me their eyes when I needed to focus.
I remember barely acknowledging Sean or Tunna, at this point, which I felt badly about, on some level, but while they were my friends and welcome, I needed Mamas right now. Brian was behind me. He was pushing his fist into my back and holding me up. Part of me wanted him in front of me, too, but there weren't enough Brians! I wanted him in front of me and behind me. So, I told myself I had to pick and I felt like no one else could hold me up like he was, so I satisfied myself knowing he was there and stealing glances back at his eyes, from time to time. I needed eyes so much! Just looking into their eyes centered me. Charlee and Eric were the last to arrive, I remember that. Earlier on, when the pool was being set up, Bri asked me, "Did you call Charlee and Eric?" I looked at him like he was nuts and said, "No! Do I look like I've been making phone calls?!" or something like that. Then I said something about the list having the correct order. He called them and they made it in plenty of time. Eric got set up with the video camera, which was really ideal. Eric has a way of looking at the world with fascination, which was a great eye for the birth! Mostly he did a great job of capturing everything and staying out of my way, but I do remember once barking at him to keep filming, but for god's sake, get out of my eye line! I needed to not focus on the camera and he quickly complied.
I was told later everyone was there by about 1:30am. I had back labor, again, just like with Declan. I remember thinking, "Why do I always get posterior labors?!" I swear, Bastian felt like he was positioned well before labor. I guess that's how they needed to move. The contractions were the worst in my back. I began to cry out for pressure, more pressure. When my contractions started I'd say, "Back! Back! Back!" I remember Rebecca was doing this for me out of the pool, but then Brian took over inside the pool and later Clove and then I think Erin and even Eric took shifts, as I wore out people's arms over the course of the hours. Clove told me later that my back was actually humping up with each contraction and that hump was moving down as my labor progressed. I'm actually glad I couldn't see this. It might've freaked me out. As the labor progressed, I began to need the pressure all the time, not just during surges. I did sometimes yell for more, but really they did an amazing job!
I also felt like I needed a hard-sided pool. If I had it to do again, I'd spring for one. As it was, I had plenty of people and bodies and hands and they were all amazing! I had at least one person at each limb, letting me bear down against them.
I was on my side. I remember Morgan suggesting this. I think I'd been on hands and knees and my knees were getting sore. I remember looking up at her gratefully, because I'd meant to tell her I wanted her to suggest positions, if I forgot to move, but I'd forgotten to ask her for this. Yet another time someone knew what I needed without me saying so.
I told Morgan later that I wished I'd had more grace. I've read stories of UCers who didn't scream or beg or ask for help. Oh, but I did. I cried and screamed and made so much noise. I thrashed around and whined some. I cried and begged for help from no one in particular, at the same time saying, "I know no one can help me. I just need to yell for it." They all understood. I was so scared and said that, over and over. The power of it all was terrifying. I've never been very quiet – or very internal, so I guess it's appropriate! At some point my noises became more deep and loud. I remember Morgan or Rebecca saying, "Breathe" at one point. I knew they were trying to help, but I simply couldn't manage to do breathing techniques, right then. I remember saying, "Screaming is breathing." And also, "I can't make the noises I'm supposed to make. I can only make the noises I make." At some point I started saying, "I can't do it!" at the beginning of a surge and then by the end I was saying, "I am doing it!" as if I was talking myself down. That felt very powerful. I remember mumbling, "I can't, but I am!" in between. It seemed just miraculous to me. I was completely sure I had nothing else in me, one moment, and then there was so much more.
Despite all of my research beforehand, I became completely body and comfort focused, in the moment. Many times someone would ask if I wanted this or that and I'd say, "I don't know anything!" Morgan summed it up nicely, reassuring me that I didn't have to know. She said, "Your brains not invited to this party." That idea made me feel better. I trusted my body with what it was doing, but I didn't understand it and even trying, well, it threw me off. I tried very hard to just be in the moment and not analyze, which is the opposite of my normal personality and probably exactly what I needed. Strangely enough, when I didn't want to do something, I'd just say, "No." but when I thought I did want to do something, I'd say, "I didn't know." It felt like such a big decision, every little thing! The idea of just trying it out seemed entirely alien. So, I think we all figured out that, "I don't know." meant I thought it might be a good idea. Even once I knew this is what I meant and went with it, simply saying, "Sure!" or "Yes." seemed impossible! Go figure.
The pain was…alot. I'd forgotten how much. Don't get me wrong, I honestly believe that some women experience pain-free or even pleasurable labors. I was completely prepared for that possibility and certainly did some work to open myself for it, but when it hit, that all went out the door. So, I'm truly jealous of the pain-free mamas, but I guess I'm not one of them. I remember looking up at Morgan and saying, tiredly, "Orgasmic birth is bullsh(t!" She smiled and said that'd been her experience, too. There were times when I felt bowled over and mostly just survived the contractions. I remember saying, out loud, a few times, that all I had to do was get through it. My baby would be born, however I managed that. I could pass out and still have my baby. Not that I planned to, but this was comforting, at points! Then there were other times I'd hear a bit of a song and even manage to sing or manage to breathe in such a way that it lifted me above them. It came and went. There were times when I felt fine and capable and times when I'd cry when I felt one coming, because I couldn't bear another second. I guess it's always like that, isn't it?
I knew I was probably in for one big baby, here. Declan was big, at nearly 10 pounds and I thought Bastian was bigger. I certainly was! I felt very relaxed and capable about this, until transition. Then, I said several times, "I want a 4 pound baby!" I realize now this is just dumb, but I was petrified of crowning with such a large baby, since this was my first time crowning without any drugs at all. Crowning with Declan hurt a lot, but it was a general, non-specific sort of "Ouch!" I knew quite well it'd feel differently this time. Mind you, I never doubted my body's ability to birth this baby, I was just plain petrified of how much it would hurt. Morgan said, "Let's try for a 7 pound baby." And I said, "Yes, 7, that would be alright." As if my negotiations made any difference at this point!
The thing that was the most remarkable, to me, in hindsight, was that I never inwardly gave up. There were times in both of my other births where I gave up and let them do whatever. It never occurred to me that anyone else was getting me through this or that anything was needed to do so. It sucked and I definitely wanted to not be in labor during the height of it, but I certainly didn't want interventions, or medication or transfer. Oh f*ck no. I didn't want to leave the pool. Maybe this shouldn't have surprised me, but I honestly did wonder how it would be. It was never an issue. I knew that this was mine to do and I just kept doing it.
I'd asked Morgan to describe Bastian for me as he was crowning. She'd done this for Devin and I really loved it and kept feeling that I'd birth on all fours, so figured I wouldn't really be able to see. I remember, at one point, her saying, "Let me know when you feel like pushing, so I can make sure to move to tell you about the baby." I said, "I think I am?!" This was the first I acknowledged that I was pushing. It's not really that I decided to push, more that I decided to stop trying to not push. At first, I tried to push the way I'd pushed before, bearing all the way down. I noticed that it didn't feel good, after a certain point. This worried me, at first, but then I realized it was my cervix! I'm guessing I started pushing at 7 or 8 cms, not that we checked me, obviously. During Declan's birth the CNM told me I couldn't push at 8cms, even though I was feeling pushy because I'd blow out my cervix. Yes, I know now that's bullshit. At the time, I believed her and I spent much longer than I needed in transition, waiting for it to move on its own. So yes, I'd all about laboring down, but it was so empowering to feel it. I realized there was no way I could hurt myself. My body told me exactly how to push! I was thrilled.
I was on my right side, then later on my left, pushing as much as my body said to. Changing positions was scary! The surges were coming so close together and the idea of being in motion during one, well, that felt awful! My friends all helped me move in between contractions and I was so grateful, because the idea of moving myself! I'm sure I could have, but it was a lovely luxury. I was on all fours some more, but it seemed like it was taking forever!
At one point, Rebecca and Morgan both suggested squatting. I'd previously said I did not want to birth in a squat. I hadn't practiced squatting and didn't want to tear so badly that I needed a transfer. For whatever reason, laboring squatting and moving to birth never occurred to me. Really, the suggestion was a stroke of brilliance. When they suggested it, I said, yes, I know it would move him down faster, but I do not want to tear and I'm pretty sure I would squatting. They reassured me that they could all help me get into a squat and also help me get out of it so I wouldn't birth there. I believe I made them promise that they'd move me, no matter what, even if I couldn't move. They agreed and that was good enough for me. Getting into the squat felt very hard, but being in it was surprisingly easy. Pushing in the squat felt amazing and Wow, he moved down really fast! I remember looking at them and saying, "I think I'm going to tear, but I can't stop pushing!" all this while grunting. Then someone asked me, "Do you want to move?" and I said, "I don't know!" while pushing again. They quickly helped me to move.
I was back on my hands and knees, my arms outside of the pool, leaning on Rebecca and Erin, I think. I pushed the rest of the time, this way. I was aware of Morgan and Brian behind me. Pretty much everyone else was behind me, too, but most of them were back, against the wall, watching quietly.
Declan, my 7 year old, was brought downstairs after I'd been pushing for a bit, really before the squatting, but I don't recall where. I'm pretty sure he was downstairs for about an hour before the birth, I think someone mentioned that. I was nervous, at first, about him being in the room. This surprised me, because I'd wanted him there and we'd spent a lot of time watching birth videos and educating him. He had a totally positive attitude about it. When I first looked up at him, coming in the room, he was grinning! He said, "I didn't think it was going to be tonight!" I worried my screams would scare him, but they didn't. He touched me a few times and said, "You're doing a good job, Mom." He was great. Once, when I said, "I can't do it!" he said, "You have to, Mom!" I said, "Someone please tell him not to say that!" I just couldn't handle anyone telling me I had to do anything. I remember asking Sean to keep him out of my eye line. I believe I managed to tell Declan it wasn't about him, but that Mommy needed to focus and when I heard his voice, it pulled me away a little. So, Sean sat down with him on the couch and I liked knowing he was around and could see everything, but he wasn't distracting my focus. I also liked knowing that Sean had him and could comfort him or answer questions, if needed. That was good.
So, back to pushing. Bastian had moved down so much with the squatting. I could finally feel his head about to crown, before I moved. When I moved, I felt him slip back in and expressed annoyance with that. I remember saying, "Don't put him back in!" I think it was Brian I said that to? Poor Brian! (Still, Clove told me later I was likely right and would've torn badly in a squat. Apparently he was about to shoot out!) I remember Rebecca reminding me that there was a deeper way to push and I knew what she meant, but I hadn't found it yet. I was still yelling. I went from yelling things like, "Come out, baby!" to "Get. The. F@ck. Out." Just like that, with every breath in a deep, growly voice. I screamed so much my voice wasn't fully back for 3 days! Sometimes I'd talk about Bastian or someone would mention him and I'd say, "I love him so much," in a dreamy voice, but mostly, I wasn't thinking about him, by then. I wanted him out, but it was more about making the pain stop. I couldn't see past the pain. He was so low that the pain was no longer gone between surges. I could feel myself spreading and stretching and I was so scared. I've never been the kind of birther that wants to reach down and touch the baby's head or use a mirror. I know that my body is working, but the idea of it scares me so much, in the middle of it, I find it easier to just focus on my head and let my body do its thing. I expressed this to them once, I am the big giant head and I wasn't worrying about the rest of it. It was working, I knew that.
I'd asked Brian to do some perinneal massage. I know it gets mixed reviews, but I felt like it helped me a lot with Declan and I wanted it again. Brian had watched the CNM do the massage and caught Declan himself, so he felt more than confident doing these things, as I told him I was likely to birth in a position where I couldn't do it for myself. So, I felt him down there, occasionally wiping or some such, heard he and Morgan talking.
I kept feeling like he might be crowning, but then he'd slide back. I know some of this is normal, but it felt…different. Then it all made sense. Someone said that his water hadn't broken, yet. He was still in the caul! So, what I was feeling was the water bag bulging out and then sliding back in, not his head, yet. No wonder! This seemed to make it much harder. At some point, I found my deep pushing. Just like before, it required quiet of me. The screaming and growling helped, to a point, but to really bear down, I had to go silent and scream down, inside. My eyes bulged so much my contacts got blurry and almost popped out. At one point I remember thinking it was good I had spares.
As I felt him slip back, over and over, I seriously considered asking Morgan or Brian to break my water. I almost wished for it, in my head, but couldn't bring myself to say it, out loud. I remember thinking, "Sarah, you're an idiot. You're going to make this extra hard and tear for crunchy points, really?!" Still, it didn't feel right. My dream for this birth was for it to happen as it was intended to happen. This was Bastian's birth and he was coming out that way and that must mean it was right…right? I remember I told myself I'd just try once more, just for a few more pushes, and if I still couldn't, I'd ask. Then, almost like magic, I pushed and he began to crown. I heard my friends, excited and happy and that gave me strength. I heard Morgan. She said his head wasn't that big at all. I kinda thought she was lying, but chose to believe her! I remember she also said he had a lot of hair, dark hair. Then she said he had the most beautiful lips and I thought about nursing my baby. I wanted to see him so badly and I pushed with that wanting…and his head was out.
And there we were Bastian's head out of me. My husband later said that it almost looked like bit of cauliflower sticking out of my vagina! And Clove said that Bastian looked like a bank robber, the sack was pulled over his face, smushing his tiny features. It was funny, but that was all later. Then, I was kneeling, mostly looking down at the ground. Morgan said, "He's ready whenever you are." in a calmly happy voice. I said, "I'm waiting for the next contraction." And we all waited, almost frozen in time. I think someone later said it was about 2 minutes. I tried to focus and kept repeating to myself, inwardly, The shoulders are never as bad as the head. The shoulders are never as bad as the head. Then, the surge came and I rode it and pushed. I thought, "Bullsh^t! The shoulders were absolutely as bad as the head!" and then he was born and that divine squirmy feeling inside me as the rest of him slid out. I heard cheers and, "You did it, Mama!"
I thought about turning around to see him. Needed to. Wanted to…but I was weak and couldn't contemplate how to move. Rebecca said, "Turn around and see your baby." with a big smile. I don't remember if I asked for help or just looked at her weakly and she got it, but either way, she helped me turn around. She said later that she thought, "Oh no, placenta!" just a minute too late and worried I'd yank my own cord turning around. I didn't, I moved just right. I'd actually planned how to move, working it over in my head so much that it was second nature. I always knew I'd birth him like that and I was prepared. Oh my, yes, I am a control freak! I'm a big believer in being so prepared that you don't have to think when the time comes. And it came and I felt prepared and boy, I didn't think!
The rest of it was a bit of a blur. I remember my baby, so wet and squirmy and crying and long…goodness was he long! I put him to my breast just about first thing, but he just licked me, then. That was okay. I kissed him and smelled him and I remember feeling almost indulgent. I kissed him as much as I wanted, being almost sloppy on the top of his head, tasting the birth goo both of us, really, on my lips. I hadn't expected it to taste so clean. The top of his head still smells like he tasted that day. I smell it and remember. I looked up at Brian as I held our baby. I looked at everyone, so happy, all of us and said, "I did it! I did it!" over and over. I couldn't believe it was over!
I began to feel slightly painful contractions again and wanted the placenta out so it would stop hurting. The cord had stopped pulsing, but I wasn't in a good position to birth the placenta, sitting in the pool, and couldn't bear the thought of kneeling again. I wanted to go to the toilet. I passed Bastian to his Dad and I asked Morgan to help Declan cut the cord. The knife we had didn't work well, at all, thank goodness for Tunna's trusty plastic scalpel! Still, it was a bit too slippery for Declan to cut, so he held it while Morgan cut. I remember asking Charlee to come to the bathroom with me. I felt a bit weak like I might pass out and wanted someone nearby, just in case.
Lots of things happened afterwards, not the least of which was the fun and bonding with my heart family and my new baby. We sat around talking and Oohing and Aahing. Some people had to leave quickly, to return home to their own kids or to go to work. Everyone pitched in and helped tidy up. Bastian nursed twice, on each side and with vigor and was very alert and content. We weighed him and were all in shock! Some time around daylight, Brian went and got McDonald's biscuits for whoever was left. I inhaled not just my food, but any that anyone left sitting around. Wow, it was good.
Oh, I ate my placenta. Charlee, Erin and Clove all helped prep my placenta. (Good friends!) Charlee brought me a fresh chunk, as I asked, to hold under my tongue. My first thought was, "I didn't lose much blood." But then I figured how many times am I going to get to do this! And I went for it. It was really, really good. I'm a medium-rare steak kinda person, but wow, it was the best meat I've ever had. I ate two pieces and they were amazing for recharging me. I felt stronger. I later had a smoothie and there was enough for 8 days of that. I really feel like it helped.
Days later, I pondered whether or not it was an unassisted birth. I had a lot of people there, but I'd always been a social birther. In the hospital, both times, I'd had the maximum number of people allowed in my room and been annoyed about the cap. I've never been private or quiet. Truth be told, I'm loud and messy and intense. I have these amazing close friends and, in a way, pretty messy relationships. We're all up in each other's business, for the most part and there's a really high level of intimacy. It felt so appropriate to me to have them all there, my family, my community, my birth. Morgan said, wisely so, that unassisted doesn't have to mean unsupported. As much as I admire those Mamas who birth in complete solitude, that has never been what I dreamed of or wanted. I had my dream birth exactly on my own terms and I feel complete in a way I never have before.