Our original labor plan was to be together as a family until my labor got intense, then Matt would take Tain somewhere until I was pushing. When I started pushing, my mom or Kirsten (my best friend) would call him home and hopefully they would make it shortly after the baby was born. We had decided that Rowan would be born on Saturday, June 26 since my labor support (my mom and Kirsten) were flying in on Thursday. We kept telling Rowan that Saturday was his birthday and I did lots of opening visualizations. This method worked well for Tain, he only missed his target day by 2 hours, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to try it again.
I had been having practice ctx for about a month so it is hard to say exactly when my labor started. I know that around 11:30 pm on Friday, June 25 I asked Matt to time them for a while. They were coming every 11 minutes so around 12:15 I decided to try to sleep and see if they went away or not. I woke around 3 am to go to the bathroom and laid back down, but they were keeping me from sleeping so I got up around 3:45 am. At 4:00 I woke Kirsten and we went for a walk. They intensified toward the end of the walk and I was ready to be inside by 5:00 am. Around 5:20 they were coming every 3 min and, while I could talk through them, it wasn’t comfortable to do so so I called my midwife, Lori. She and I talked for a few minutes and decided that I would call her when things got a little heavier. By 6 am they had really slowed down so I went back to bed. I checked my cervix and it was still long, but I could feel the bag of water bulging through it slightly. I never thought that I could check myself with my first birth, so this was a very strange and awesome feeling.
I woke at 8 am and the rest of the house was up by 8:30. Lori had called around then, but we didn’t notice until later because we had turned the ringer off. Matt called her back and told her things had slowed down and we’d call if they picked up again. I don’t remember what my ctx were like after I got up, I had them but for the remainder of the day I didn’t bother to time them. I just floated through the day, hanging out with my family: my mom, Kirsten, Matt and Tain. I took a bath for a while, got out and wandered around the house, chatted, watched some TV. I ate and drank frequently. Matt was supposed to work at 4:30 pm that day and after some discussion we decided he should go ahead and go and I would call him home if I needed to. He originally thought he’d come back at 6:30, but with the way things were going, I didn’t think it would be that fast.
I decided to get in the bath again around 4 pm since they were making me uncomfortable (I had just put Tain down for a nap and even nursed him down!). Matt left for work and I asked my mom to time them for me since we hadn’t done that all day and I wanted to see if they were regular at all. Before Matt left he suggested I take a walk when I got out of the bath. I sat in the bath for about an hour, my mom timing them at about 9 minutes apart and me starting to vocalize a little. She talked to me a little about whether or not to shut my eyes and suggested I focus on relaxing my forehead during the ctx. She suggested I get out and walk around a bit. Since everyone seemed so convinced I needed to get out, I decided I might as well. I checked my cervix and it was thin and more open, but still very there and the bag of water was bulging more. I figure I was around 4 cm or so.
The ctx came on fast and heavy as soon as I got up-4 minutes apart and lots of vocalizing. My mom told me to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. Then she, Kirsten, and I had some friendly banter about whether or not they should be telling me how to breathe and whether or not it made a difference (I didn’t notice one). It became a little joke about my breathing and taking a cleansing breath at the end of the ctx so everyone else could tell I was done. I exaggerated it a bit and it helped keep the mood light. I don’t think the whole breathing thing really mattered physiologically, but it did help me stay on top of the ctx by not focusing on them so much. Mom also wanted to make sure I wasn’t shutting my eyes-she asked me what I was focusing on after one ctx and I told her “did you know that there are 15 calories in a teaspoon of sugar?” I had been reading the sugar bag on our counter. Everyone laughed. It could have been annoying, but it wasn’t. It was nice to have these women that knew me so well with me when things got intense. There was a feeling of ease and happiness in the room. Though I didn’t want them touching me, having them there to laugh with and talk to, just to know they were in the room, kept my labor so serene.
At 5:15 pm my mom called Lori and told her she should probably come over and check things out. My brother came over and we decided to have him take Tain for a while since he had just woken up from his nap and my labor was getting heavy. A little before 6:00 I told my labor support to call Matt and tell him to come home at 6:30. Right after that Lori arrived and told me she only had to do 2 things: listen to the heartbeat and check me to see if she needed to call her assistant. I asked her if I had to lie down and she told me yes so we waited out the next ctx then raced to the bed. She listened to Rowan’s heart, then I got up through another ctx, then back down for a quick check. I was at 9 cm!! I felt so glad since the ctx had started to make me shake and I wanted to cry after every one, though I couldn’t figure out why. It wasn’t the pain or even the memory of the pain, just a strange raw emotion that I still can’t describe.
Matt got home at 7 pm and I felt such a sense of relief. I had no idea I would want him that badly, but I can’t express how much I needed him when he walked in the door. He held me through a couple ctx, telling me how strong I was and that I should welcome them and say yes (thanks, Vanita). Then he said he was going to go be with Tain and I almost lost it. I KNEW Tain was fine with Dale and I knew I couldn’t do the rest of the birth without Matt. All that came out was “Please don’t leave me. Please.” He stayed. I had him sit in my chair and I got down on my knees, leaning on his lap. I had a few really strong ctx and I just had to push to get through them. The pushing was harder than it was with Tain, I felt like I was splitting! I think that I wasn’t quite as ready as I was with Tain or the position I was in wasn’t as optimal. The pushing itself helped with the pain, but I didn’t allow my body to relax and open as much. Silly, since I had planned my whole pregnancy to take the pushing with this one slower. One ctx and I could feel his head come out, Lori had me wait while she checked for the cord, then another strong push and his shoulders were out-they were hard to push out like the head was. But suddenly he was out and my body felt so released! They told me to reach down and get my baby and there he was under me. With Tain, I couldn’t feel him progress out of me, when they told me he was here I thought they meant his head, but with Rowan I could feel him move down and then each part of him come out. It was amazing.
I was only holding him a few minutes when I felt the placenta slide out. I didn’t have any ctx or pushing for that, just this slippery feeling as it emerged. I said “Here comes the placenta” and I handed it to Lori who was still right next to me. She said that was the first time the mom had ever handed her the placenta. She also said that it was the healthiest placenta she had seen in a long time. I felt pretty proud. I was introduced to Jan, the assistant, who had come in sometime after Matt got home and before I started pushing. It was the first time I saw her face.
I held Rowan and he nursed right away. I loved being able to fully look at him instead of lying down and not being able to see him on my chest well. I loved being able to look at Matt as I held our new son. Eventually I turned around and leaned against Matt’s legs, and Tain came home. It was perfect timing, I wasn’t even dressed yet, but all the birth stuff that would have scared him was over. My mom stalled them at the door while I put on a nightgown (my brother was still with him) and then Tain got to meet his brother. He was fascinated, pointing out his eyes and ears and mouth, his hands and feet; giving me drinks of juice and in general being very lovey.
After a while they transferred me to the bedroom and checked me out. One tiny tear not worth stitching and two small skid marks. Not bad for fast pushing. Lori started going over the postpartum instruction sheet with me. About halfway through, I just glazed. I was suddenly so tired. It was about 8:30 pm. I thought I would want to dress Rowan myself, but I am so glad someone else did it for me because I was in a total fog by then. I invited my mom to cut the cord. She was so delighted, out of five children and ten other grandchildren, this was the first time she was cutting a cord. I was so happy for her I thought my heart would burst.
We were finally able to sleep around 9:00 pm. Later on Matt and Tain came to bed and we all slept together as a family for the first time.http://share-photocenter.bestbuy.com...EeBMXDJw5ctXdQ