Aine’s Birth Story
All January I wondered when our new little one would arrive. I figured she would arrive close to the “due date,” but I was sending her vibes to come early. Erin was in town and wanted to be at the birth. It didn’t work. Just like her brother, Aine came 1 week late. Here is the story of her birth.
On Thursday, February 3, 2005, I awoke around 3am to go to the bathroom. This wasn’t odd, since I had to go to the bathroom often toward the end of my pregnancy. After I crawled back into bed and curled up with Eamon, I had a contraction. At first I wasn’t sure, so I just laid there waiting to see if any more would come. I didn’t want to look at the clock, because I figured I would need some additional sleep if today was to be our baby’s birthday. So, I dozed off and on between contractions. They were super mild and I was able to sleep until 7:00am. I decided to get up and test to see if the contractions would end. I checked email, started some laundry, put the special home-made cinnamon rolls in the oven and began making our birthday cake. The contractions continued and were about 10 minutes apart.
Eamon and Dave woke up around 8:15am. I told Dave that today was the day. He asked how far apart they were and if I had called Marinah, our midwife. I told him that it was early and we had a ways to go. We had breakfast and played a bit. The contractions continued, but were mild and continued to be about 8-10 minutes apart. Dave wanted me to call Marinah to give her advance warning, so I called her. We talked a bit, and she told us to call when we wanted her to come. Shell and Mary were in town and all three were ready when we were.
Around 11:15am I was hoping Eamon would take a nap, so Dave & I laid down with him for an hour. He must have known something was up, because he only got more excited. We abandoned the nap idea after that.
Around noon I signed onto the computer to check email and then Marinah called to check on us. I told her the contractions were around 4-5 minutes apart and 30-40 seconds, but that I wasn’t timing them. She said that she and her assistants (Shell & Mary) were going to lunch, but to call when we wanted them here. I told Dave, but I could tell he was really nervous about this. He wanted a definite time to call (e.g 2 minutes apart).
After talking with Marinah, I decided to get into the birth tub. Once in the tub, I decided to time the contractions. They were closer to 45 seconds and 4 minutes apart. I heard Dave with Eamon in the other room and could tell that Dave needed Eamon to leave. He was getting frustrated with him due to his concern over labor. I suggested that Dave call Karen. He did and said she was on her way. She was coming from the zoo. He kept asking about the call with Marinah. I know he wanted definites, so I told him to call her directly. He got off the phone with her and said she was on her way. He still was a bit tense with eamon, and I knew he wanted to help support me, so I also suggested he call Rachel to come get Eamon now. He went to call her, and I yelled at him to bring me a pan. He asked if I was getting sick. Sure enough I vomited – at least I waited for him to bring me the bowl (YUCK).
Rachel came and took Eamon to her house to play around 2pm, so Dave was able to come support me. He was so good. He kept telling me to breathe and relax. The contractions were getting stronger and closer. Marinah arrived and needed to check my stats (pulse, BP, urine, fetal HR, etc). I stood in the tub during most of the exam leaning heavily on Dave. I went to the bathroom and stayed there for a few contractions. Once I stood up I had to vomit again…luckily the toilet was right there.
I crawled back into the tub and started moaning with the contractions. They were just so powerful. My support team encouraged the low moans and helped me stay focused. It was so hard. It felt like I couldn’t possibly do it any more. I started to stand a bit more on my knees with the surges. Then all of a sudden I had an uncontrollable urge to push. I yelled this out as my body went ahead. I had no control over the pushing. My body was working on its own. The women told me to listen to my body. I did!! I felt my water break with that push. It was the weirdest thing – it felt like how a pop sounds. Marinah checked me and cautioned me to go slowly and protect my tissue, since I had torn with Eamon. I pushed with the next contraction and felt lots of pressure in my vagina. It felt like a softball was stuck!! I just kept pushing. I was getting a bit antsy and I asked if she was at least close. I was so afraid that she was high and I would have to push forever. Marinah told me to feel. Holy cow!!! Her head was right there!!! Marinah asked Dave if he wanted to catch the baby. He said he would wait and see. Marinah said there isn’t time to wait she is coming now. I pushed again mindful of my perineum with my mouth open and relaxed. Her head moved out. Marinah said to wait, but I could only for a second. It was like my body had a will of its own. One more push and Aine Catheribe was born. It was 3:46pm. It was unreal feeling her body move from inside me to the world outside.
Since I was on my knees bent forward, she was born behind me. It was kind of weird, because I had to move my leg over the cord to sit back with her and Dave. She let out a little cry immediately. She was so beautiful. I looked at her and said, “We did it baby”. Then I just looked at Dave and smiled…We all had done it. We stayed in the tub for a few more minutes before relocating to the bed to birth the placenta. I wanted to bring Aine to my breast to start nursing, but the cord was a bit short, Dave cut the cord after about 15 minutes and I started nursing her. I started having some cramps and delivered the placenta. My birth team left us to have some family time. Dave said it was so much better than in the hospital. He kept telling me how amazing I was I felt so powerful and strong.
Dave called to have Eamon brought back. He was so impressed by all the people and his new sister. He just wanted to touch her. They continued the checks on me & baby. They did her assessment. Just like we thought…perfect!!! 10lbs 6 ozs 21.5 inches
It was the most amazing, empowering experience I have ever had. Eamon’s birth was incredible, but having Aine at home without drugs on our own terms was something that words cannot describe.