This was my 6th baby, 3rd planned UC...others were born at home with a midwife.
I was due Christmas Day but it came and went. I was having a good pregnancy, my last, and I wasn't too uncomfortable. At just past 42 weeks my family doc - who was very supportive of my planned UCs-scheduled an ultrasound. The placenta, fluid and baby were all fine so we just waited...did another one a few days later and all was still well. Even though I'd gone 18 days late before, I was surprised to be so past my due date and was really starting to doubt I'd ever go into labor!! I was seeing chiropractor, acupuncturists, having sex, and was considering castor oil. I started reading stories from Spiritual Midwifery and got into a much more loving and trusting place, and remembered to love my husband. (thank you Ina May!)
Finally at 43 weeks exactly I started having some light yet "real" contractions in the afternoon. I wasn't sure what to do once bedtime came around. A midwife friend suggested I crawl around for a while to encourage good positioning then to go to bed. I did that, but was woken just after 10:00 pm with wild baby movements, like totally crazy big movements! I got on the floor on hands and knees and husband heard me moaning. We timed a few- 3 or 4 min apart! I called my best friend to come over. I was in labor!
I labored in my room with husband and friend while my older son dealt with the kiddie pool downstairs. At some point I felt myself to be 6 cm and tried the pool but I think it was too hot and my contractions stopped so we went back upstairs. I didn't feel all spacey in "labor land" like I remembered, but felt more present and like I was doing a job. I got things going again, and was real aware that I had a lot of control over the strength of the contractions. I could get a break if I needed one or bring them on stronger. I labored on the toilet knowing they'd be stronger there. I felt like I'd be fully dilated if my bag would break. I thought to myself that I'd like a strong one to break my bag and it worked- I could feel my waters tremble like there was an earthquake inside me and felt it pop up high. Phew! After a couple more there, we went downstairs and I got into the pool.
I had some hard transition contractions and then started to push the baby down. The nerves to the right of my sacrum hurt so much and I was frustrated because I wasn't getting the relief I experienced with my last birth in the water. I wasn't finding a comfortable pushing position and felt I needed more room...so I told my husband to get in and hold me up so I could squat. That wasn't really more comfortable but felt like the right thing to do. It took about 8 pushes to get him down and around my pubic bone and I could tell he was big. My friend was there in front of me telling me what she was seeing and encouraging me. My oldest son was there, and now my daughter as well, who ended up filming the birth. I pushed about 5 times to birth his head, then a few more for shoulders. Then I looked down thinking he should've out and he was half out with his arms outstretched and his eyes open but was inside from the belly down! My husband said I needed to push again and I said "What?!" I thought I was done with that! So I pushed again and out he came. My middle son had heard me hollering and came down just then, and they woke up the two younger boys. Baby was snorkly and I sucked mucus out of his mouth. There was a brief moment where worry flashed across my mind but then he cried and all was well again. He was born at 2:40 am. The cord was so short so I got out of the pool as it was hard to keep his head out of the water and I kept sliding down. (This part of birth is so awkward!) I lied on the couch and had a few good contractions. I pushed a little and out came a giant placenta, the healthiest I've ever made. We cut the cord after it stopped pulsing a few minutes later then he nursed.
We weighed him...a whopping 11 pounds 7 oounces but we rounded down to 11 lbs 6 oz because of the hat and blanket. (I had had three boys who were around 10 1/2 pounds so was expecting that again.). Wow!!
I took a shallow bath to wash off while kids got tucked back into bed. I passed out on my way back to the couch (I knew I might so told husband to support me well and he ended up carrying/dragging me to the couch), nursed more and tried to rest.
We named him Robin Taylor.
It was a powerful experience for my two older kids but especially for my son. I have felt so much warmth and love from him since then and I am glad he got to witness a strong woman giving birth.
He's two weeks old now and is a very alert, healthy, good nursling. I thought I had torn initially but around a week I looked again and realized I hadn't! I m dealing with hemmoroids though, which is awful. I'm still resting in bed, and enjoying this abnormal tender time in life.
JENNY, 38~ preschool teacher, birth activist, sun worshiper, singer, married for 17 years and mom to
Karan 15, Fiona 12, Bodhi 10, Bjorn 6, Devon 3, and Robin Taylor born January 16th!