Stella’s birth story
Here’s how I thought it would be…
The kiddie pool is in the sunroom, all filled up and warm, It’s nighttime and a few candles are lit and the lights are dimmed. I’m wearing all the beautiful beads friends and family sent, and reviewing all the blessings they sent. My special relaxing cd I made is playing, DH is rubbing my back, and the contractions are coming predictably about 5 minutes apart…the midwife and her assistant are here at the house.
Here’s how it happened:
From 11:00 Friday night through 11:00 Saturday night, I was having contractions about an hour part, decreasing to about a half hour apart, and lasting 15 seconds to about thirty seconds. I knew it was different than Braxton-Hicks…not sure how different, just more intense. Friday morning through Saturday I had a little bleeding, mucous-y and such…the famed “bloody show”. (Did a Brit come up with that term or what?) I felt an increase in lower back pain, and felt crampy, like bad menstrual cramps, but all down low in front. I felt a little withdrawn, quieter than usual, but the pain wasn’t all that bad, and it wasn’t anything I couldn’t get through fairly easily. Although, my morning shower felt better than usual in relieving my back pain, and for some reason, that felt significant to me. DH and I went to the local Grower’s Market Saturday morning, I did light housework around the house Saturday, and had friends over for dinner Saturday night. I even walked the dog when they left. I had called my midwife Saturday morning to let her know what was going on, but I was expecting that first stage of labor to last a while, or back off and go away. It was 5 days before my due date, and everyone says first-timers go late and labor long, and I wasn’t feeling anything imminent, so I just figured I’d have a normal a day as possible, and just tried to keep my expectations for progress low. When I went to bed Saturday night, the contractions were intensifying, and coming more frequently, but I wasn’t really watching the clock. I thought I’d just have these contractions throughout the night and then maybe…the next morning, I’d have some kind of progress.
About midnight, the contractions picked up enough for me to wake up DH to rub my back and let him know they were really starting to hurt a little more. He rubbed my back and for the next hour, I went to the bathroom several times, did lots of pelvic rocks for the back pain, and tried to relax as much as I could. I still wasn’t paying attention to timing. They didn’t seem five minutes apart or a minute long, just more intense than usual. It was getting late, and I didn’t even think about calling the midwife because I didn’t wasn’t to be a middle-of-the-night false alarm call, or putting water in the pool because I didn’t want to prematurely waste all that hot water.
About one o’clock AM, the contractions starting coming stronger and harder, and I kept feeling like I had to go to the bathroom. I swung from being hot and sweaty to cold and shivery, and started feeling a little nauseous. I was leaning on DH for the contractions, on all fours on the bed, leaning over the bed, etc, but no position seemed to relieve the pain or the intensity. I’m still not watching the clock, or paying attention to timing, until about 1:30, when DH starts to write them down, by that time, they were a couple of minutes apart, and without clear beginnings or ends, just like waves of pain that kept coming. For about ten to fifteen minutes, we debated calling the midwife, or filling up the pool, until finally I hit the panic stage and realized I was going to need both water and a midwife…and soon!
At this point, I am making all kinds of noises I never thought I would or could make, just getting through the contractions. DH is between helping me, calling the midwife, filling up the pool, opening up our gate, etc. About 2:10 AM, I go to the bathroom one more time, it just feels better to sit on the toilet, and I start to feel pushing coming from deep inside. I can feel something soft coming out, and I start to panic. I couldn’t tell what it was and I was terrified it was a prolapsed cord or the placenta or something else. I called for DH and dropped to all fours on the bathroom floor. He got behind me and told me it was the bag of waters, intact, just dangling, and for about 3 minutes, I stayed on the floor with the bag slowly emerging, intact, and dangling. I held it with one hand so gravity wouldn’t make it descend any faster. By this time, I am really panicking, shaking my head and saying no baby, stay in, stay in, the midwife wasn’t here, and I could feel another contraction coming. A really strong push (screaming and grunting by me) and a burning sensation preceded the baby’s head, and in one push, her head was out, and the bag of water broke. A minute later, another contraction (and scream) pushed her entire body out in a wriggly motion and she was born! On the bathroom floor, with DH behind me catching her beautiful perfect crying-like-all-hell body.
He handed her through my legs to me; I sat back on my heels, and cradled my newborn daughter’s body, and then a minute later, the midwife got to our house. Stella was crying and covered in blood and vernix, but I could tell she was ok, and DH and I were ok, and I knew everything would be all right.
The super quick birth tore me up a bit, so after we were all cleaned up and the baby was cleaned, I delivered the placenta, and the midwife stitched me up. I had a tear from inside my vagina all the way to the edge of my anus that required 14 stitches. (OUCH!!) The midwife was there caring for us until it was light out, and then we tucked into bed for our first day together as a family.
A day and a half later, Stella is nursing like a champ, a little broken out in newborn rash, but all healthy and well, and I could even sit down in a chair long enough to write this story. All in all, a perfect birth.http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL121.../175767665.jpghttp://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL121.../175767655.jpg