I didn’t bother with putting this into nice paragraphs because this is how everything plays in my head when I remember the birth. I hope it doesn’t jump around too much. I tried to capture it as accurately as I could.
To start off I had randomly picked the 26th as the day the baby would come. I had Jake even write it down on the calendar. Well, that day came and went and no baby. But that was ok because it was just for fun. Then we were at my dad’s house on Sunday evening and I realized that both of the girls had been born on a Monday, so of course the baby wasn’t going to come on the 26th, it was a Saturday. I went home having decided that Monday would be the day (because we can decide these things you know) and went to bed. I woke up at 5:45 on Monday morning to a pretty hard contraction. I was surprised at how intense it was. With my other two labors the contractions started out easy and worked their way up to being hard, with these they were hard from the beginning. They were also 100% in my back. As a back story on that a little bit I’ve had problems with my sacrum being out of place and the only way to really adjust it is to lie on my stomach, so it had been a problem for 5 months. I had Jake stay home from work because I figured that this was it. I had contractions throughout the day but they weren’t regular. I didn’t have more than three in an hour but they hurt and they were really tiring me out. I ended up lying in my bed resting most of the day. Ananzi loves to play go fish and she sat in with me and kept me company and helped time go by. The girls went to bed at their normal time and that’s when things decided to get going. At 8:30 they started coming between 6 and 10 minutes apart. Jake had some stuff he had promised a friend to put on his computer and his friend lives 5 minutes away so I told him to go and get out of the house for a while. He was gone for about an hour and the pressure in my back got worse but it was still bearable. When he got home he joined me in our room with his laptop and we hung out on the bed for a while until I told him I couldn’t do any more contractions without his help pushing on my back. I was talking to my sister online a little bit and told her what was going on but swore her to secrecy because I didn’t want the rest of my family to start calling me. Besides, the contractions hadn’t become any closer together so I knew this could go on for awhile. After awhile I had to stand leaning on my bed with Jake behind me putting all his weight into my back through the contractions and I told my sister that it felt like my pelvis was splitting in half. Not a fun feeling. At 10:15 I told Cheryl that having the computer right there was too much of a distraction so I was going to turn it off but that I’d probably be on later. The contractions never got to be closer than 6 minutes apart but weren’t even regular at that. They were still between 6 and 10 minutes apart but were getting to the point I didn’t know how many more I could take without figuring something else out. I had tried sitting on my yoga ball, but Jake had to put so much pressure on my back that I was having to push against the bed during the contraction so he didn’t push me into it too hard and I couldn’t cope with the contraction and push with my arms at the same time, so that didn’t last too long. I ended up sending Jake out to warm up a rice pack for me hoping that the heat would take away some of the pain. When it was done I was in the bathroom so after I got done I just sat on the floor and put the pack around my lower back and it provided some much needed relief. I found myself trying to stretch it around my stomach too and that’s when I decided to get in the tub and see if that would help. I got in at 1:40. The relief I felt was instantaneous. Jake was really tired and wanted to lie down on the floor but I had him stay sitting right up next to me because I wasn’t sure how I was going to take the contractions in the water and sitting up/laying back against the wall. The contractions were so much less than they were out of the water that I didn’t need him at all and the poor guy had the sitting up sleeping head bob going on so I told him to go ahead and lay down. He used my robe as a pillow and was out within 30 seconds. It was around 2 at this point and the contractions went to 5 minutes apart pretty much down to the second. I was so relaxed in the water that I would sleep for 4 minutes, breath through a contraction for one and then do it all over again. It was so peaceful and quiet (with the exception of Jake’s snoring off and on). There was no light except for our nightlight we keep in there and I was with myself doing my own thing and surprisingly enough able to really sleep during my breaks. Around 3 I started getting hot so I woke Jake up and had him open the door to let some air in. Ananzi hit Kayin in her sleep and woke her up around this time and she came out to find Jake and me in the bathroom. Jake put her back to bed and came back in with me. This is when things start to pick up. Around 3:15 I decided I was hungry and needed to have some energy so Jake brought me some yogurt. I was able to eat about 3 bites of it when things took off at 3:30. All of the sudden I wasn’t able to sit nicely through my contractions and I was up on my knees trying to not only add more hot water but have Jake once again push on my back. I was facing sideways in the tub leaning on the side for support and Jake was standing leaning over me putting all of his weight onto my tailbone. It was a great position for him to be in because he could really lean on me. At this point Kayin came out again and was not going to go back to sleep. I told Jake to turn on a movie for her to keep her out of our way. It worked. She didn’t even come back to see what was going on when I was moaning, fairly loudly, through contractions. The contractions were coming about every two minutes and I had to bear down a bit during them. This went on for 15 minutes and I told Jake I couldn’t stay in the tub. My feet were falling asleep in the one position I could be in and I was just uncomfortable all around. Of course by this point every time I moved it would bring on a contraction, so in one movement I got out of the tub, contraction. Then Jake put my robe on me, contraction. Then he helped me dry off my legs, contraction as I was telling him he was too slow and I couldn’t wait for him to dry me off. Then I took off across the hall trying to make it to my bed before the next one hit. I almost made it. I was at the foot of the bed and told Jake I wasn’t going to make it and squatted right there and had a nice big contraction, still having to bear down during them. I finally got over to the bed 10 minutes after getting out of the tub. I think that’s the longest across the hall move known to man. It was about 3:55 at this point. I got up on the bed and was trying to get situated but every time I moved I would contract and at this point I was full on pushing through them and did it ever feel great! The contractions were coming really close together still. Finally after a couple of contractions we were able to get me propped up with my body pillow. Jake had to play midwife and husband/coach and in between contractions I was telling him what to do and where to have things. I’m sure it was a site to see. During contractions he was on the bed holding my leg and since there was no hand to hold I would wad up his shirt in my hands and hold/pull on it. That’s actually how he would know a contraction was coming, I would just grab his shirt and start pulling because some of those came out of nowhere and I didn’t have a chance to tell him it was coming, it was just there. So after pushing for some unknown amount of time I could feel that the head was really close to coming out so in between contractions I asked Jake if he could see anything and he said no. I was a little discouraged because I could feel the head down there so I felt with my finger (my one and only internal exam this pregnancy) and I wasn’t able to get past my first knuckle when I felt it. It was RIGHT THERE and I was the very first person to touch it! It was so exciting and I told Jake it was right there and had him feel too. It was exciting for him too. It was only a couple more contractions before the head was right on the verge of coming out and I remembered from the Ina May book and also Mary’s birth that if you have your hand down there and stimulate the skin it stimulates blood flow and helps you not to tear. Also, Rachel showed me a mixture that you can do that’s ginger and vitamin E oil that you apply when the baby is crowning and it brings the blood to the surface and helps you not to tear. So when I felt the head coming out my hand was RIGHT THERE. I not only felt him come out because he was stretching me all over the place, I got to actually feel him come out with my hand. That was one of the most amazing parts. I was pushing the head out, and telling Jake to “Spray it, spray it!” I was convinced that I had torn on the top (I didn’t by the way). After the head was out to the neck my contraction ended and there wasn’t another one right away. I laid there, totally calm and tired with a baby half in and half out and no urge (or desire) to push again. I was mentally wide awake but physically exhausted and just didn’t have it in me to push without a contraction to “make” me. I looked at Jake and said “I just want it out.” He said “Just give me one more good push and you’re done.” Then I told him, “I don’t want to push, I’m not having a contraction.” Then I feel him touching me (not a pleasant thing) and told him to stop. He said “I’m just going to hook the shoulder and pull it out.” I said ok and next thing I know the baby is sliding out of me. I didn’t even have to push. Talk about easy! I’ve always teased Jake when he said that he was going to deliver the baby by telling him that no, I was going to, he was just going to catch, but he ended up actually delivering the rest of the baby. Kind of a funny twist I think. Anyway, so the baby comes out and before I can even think there were words coming out of my mouth. “It’s a boy huh?” Then after Jake was able to turn him right side up he says (with a small amount of shock in his voice) “Uh huh.” I know highly intelligent response. He was in shock to say the least that it was a boy. He really had his heart set on another girl. He handed the baby to me and I laid him next to me because I was still kind of lying on my side and I couldn’t lay flat because my sacrum was still hurting. After that I called my dad (I was so excited to tell him we had a boy). I seriously thought he was going to jump through the phone, he was so excited. Imagine a child, on a sugar high, on Christmas morning. That was my dad. It was cute. Kayin came in when she heard the baby crying so Jake hurried and covered me with a towel and she got to see her new brother and then Jake convinced her to leave because we were “cleaning up the baby” for her. Time went by in a blur at this point. We were waiting for the placenta and watching for signs hemorrhaging and looking at our cute new baby. I still had pressure on my low back but no contractions. After an hour had gone by I was still laying there with the baby next to me and he started rooting around on the side of my breast. All I did was turn a bit and he latched right on. I didn’t even guide him with my hand. He did it all on his own! I’ve read about this happening, but I actually got to experience it. Him nursing brought on a hard contraction and out came the placenta. I’ve never birthed a placenta. My midwife would do this winding motion to loosen up the placenta and then would pull it out. I didn’t realize that it would be a full blown contraction and I didn’t like it very much. But there was instant relief on my back when the placenta came out and I was able to move the baby too. He was still connected to the placenta and we left it for a little longer and then cut it because there was no more pulsing. Jake was amazed at what an empty cord looks like. With my last birth I told them I wanted to wait until the cord stopped pulsing and the cut it after only a few minutes claiming that “The cord isn’t pulsing anymore.” After Jake saw what this one looked like, he got mad that they lied to us. After that we cleaned up and got a diaper on the baby and the three of us went and slept in the family room for a while.
One thing that I wanted to add was that there were no cervical checks at all. When I started feeling pushy, I started pushing. I don’t know if I was fully at 10 (I’m sure I probably was) or if there was a cervical lip in the way, or anything. My body told me to push, and I did. What a crazy thing, doing what my body was telling me to. If only docs and mw’s could clue back into that.
This was absolutely the most amazing experience of my life and thank you for letting me share it with you.
Eli Randel T...
18 1/2" long