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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sweet Asher's Birth Story
(I am typing this as you lay sleeping in the sling, on your one month birthday.)

Tuesday May 10th, Leon's (DH) last day at work before going on leave for Asher's birth. We attended a baby shower at work in Asher's honor and then headed home for some rest. I was feeling tired. Nana had Jacob (DS) out for the afternoon for gymnastics class so the afternoon would be quiet. We had an uneventful evening and went to bed early.

Wednesday morning Jacob and Leon got up and went downstairs and I stayed in bed to sleep in. When I got up around 8:00, I felt a little crampy but otherwise fine. I told Leon I was going to take a shower. When I got out of the shower and had finished doing my hair, it was a round 8:30 and I decided that the cramps were more like mild contractions, so we decided to call Mary and give her a heads up. She was heading into work and said to call her later if anything came of it. By 9:00, I decided that the contractions weren't that mild any more and decided to lie down on the bed and time them. They were about a minute or so long and 5 to 6 minutes apart, and there was no back labor like last time (what a gift that was). I went down and told Leon I thought that today would be it - Asher would probably be here by the end of the day. He was a in the middle of doing chores and I knew he was hoping to have a few days off to catch up on some things before the baby came. He decided to call my mom and give her the heads up and then called Mary back to let her know this was the real thing. I lit the lavender and chamomile candles that Liz had given me. They smelled so nice and the smell filled the room throughout the birth. I had the rest of the beautiful presents from my mother's blessing arranged on my dresser top and they were wonderful to see between contractions.

Mary told him to time the contractions for ½ hour and call back. Leon called my mom to come over and be with Jacob, she came right over and he came up to be with me. We started timing the contractions and they were getting closer together and more intense. After about ten minutes they were closer to 2-3 minutes apart. Leon called Mary back and told her. She asked to talk with me - I didn't talk much as I was working to concentrate on the contractions. She told Leon that she'd be over soon. I hung on Leon through each contraction and thought about Asher moving down and my body opening up. Before he'd called Mary, he told me that he was here for me and ready for this. That meant a lot to me and I felt very supported both physically and emotionally.

Mary arrived a little bit before ten, and by then the birth tub was almost full. I decided I didn't want to know how dilated I was - felt like the information would either be disappointing or overwhelming. Things felt like they were moving quickly and I felt fine with trusting my body and the process. I got in the birth tub and that was wonderful! As I lowered myself into the water I felt the intensity decrease and my body soften. I leaned on the side of the tub in a squat and Leon pressed on my lower back and hips. As the contractions came I talked to Asher telling him I was opening up for him, and asking him to work with me and move down. And he did! I could feel him responding to me and moving himself down as I opened up. And, just when I'd think - this is too intense, he'd stop moving. He knew me and I knew him, even though we hadn't met face to face yet. We were working as a team.

The assistant midwife, Lisa, had arrived soon after Mary and they were setting things up getting ready for the birth. Mom and Jacob were playing downstairs. The sun was shining outside and I could hear the birds singing in our green trees. I labored and floated in the water and felt the love in the room for me and my baby. I felt so present, unlike at my first son's birth.

A bit before 11:00 (not sure exactly when as I wasn't watching the time) I had a couple contractions one right after the other, and then on the next one, I felt my body push, push, push gently during the contraction. I mentioned to Mary that I felt a little pushy and she said that's fine, let's see how you feel in awhile. She asked if I wanted to get out of the tub, but I was fine where I was. The next contraction I felt the same gentle push, push, push. The whole time I was talking with Asher and telling him I loved him and was opening for him to join us in the world. When that contraction ended, there was a pause and I floated on my belly in the water for awhile. I felt great.

The next contractions made me sit up and Leon held me upright, supporting me under my arms. My body was pushing! It was intense and I reached down to feel if it was Asher, but all I felt was soft and squishy. My first thought, which I said out loud, was that my insides were all coming out. Mary said, no, that is just the baby moving down. When I realized this, I hollered for my mom to come up. She and Jacob were heading up the stairs already - Jacob had wanted to check and see how I was doing. They dashed up. Right after they got there, Asher's head was born. He surprised us all, even Mary. It was so quick, just that one big long pushing contraction. Mary reached into the tub and unwrapped the cord from around his neck. We waited for another contraction for his body to be born. I felt him rotate his shoulders, curl up inside of me, and then as the next contraction started I felt him kick off and there he was. My beautiful boy was here. Mary scooped him up and placed him on my chest. At 11:08 on Wednesday May 11th, 2005 Asher was born into the world. He was pink and lovely and soon let out a little cry and opened his eyes and looked at me. The placenta was out a little while later and I got out of the tub and into our bed. I felt great!

Asher (which means "blessed" in Hebrew) weighed 9lbs, and was 21 inches long. He has blond hair, just as his (very dark haired) brother had predicted. I had a small tear that needed two stitches. I've healed quickly and within hours felt stronger than I did weeks after Jacob's birth.

I can't begin to describe how beautiful and intense and healing this birth was for me. I felt no real pain, just intense feelings as I surrendered to and placed my trust in the process of birthing this new soul into the world. I didn't fight against myself and just moved through the feelings, focusing on opening myself up, both physically and emotionally. I felt the love of everyone there and their faith in me and my body and my baby. I wish that every woman could feel the power and joy of such a blessed birth.

My thanks to everyone involved for what they gave to me. And thanks to all the momma's here at MDC for the encouragement I got from your experiences.
 

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There is a book I read in college entitled, My Name is Asher Lev , a book about a young boy growing up in a very religious (Hasidic) Jewish community who took an interest in art, an unusual pursuit for most Jews, Marc Chagall notwithstanding.

You may enjoy putting your feet up and reading this book in your early PP weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
nak

thank you all for your replies.

applejuice, i first heard the name asher when i read that book a few years ago. loved the book, and the name. i have a secret wish that this son will be an artist like i am.
 

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Aww! sweetc! That is wonderful! My DH named our son 'Asher', by using the Book of Genesis as a babynaming tool.

When he said "Asher", I looked at my newborn in my arms, and agreed.

Asher it is...we have raised him in the Jewish faith. He had his bar mitzvah three weeks ago (it is on the Religious Studies Forum).

I homeschooled my Asher until my DH died when Asher was 11. Then I enrolled him in the Greek Orthodox School where I am the Third Grade Science Teacher. His class was very excited to read the book of Genesis and come to the story of Jacob and his Twelve Sons, one of which was "Asher" in their religion class; it helped him to be accepted.

Enjoy your little Asher. May he give to your DH and you Many "nachis", the many joys that only a parent can receive from watching his/her children grow.

G-d Bless.
 
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