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Eliot Quinn's Unassisted Birth

June 7th, 2011 (Tuesday)
I had been experiencing early labor for about two days. Cramping contractions were mild and rhythmical. I took walks every day on our road and a few by the ocean. I tried to rest, eat and take care of myself because labor could start anytime.

By the afternoon of the 7th, the contractions began to feel a little stronger. I suspected things might be progressing but I didn't want to get my hopes up, in case it was just going on as before. I had been emailing with Christine (our doula) to give her status updates. I was thrilled when I could report a small bloody show. I called her and we talked about when she might come. It takes her about an hour to get to our house. This was just before 5:00pm. I told her she should wait until I was more certain of progress. As time passed, I became very focused on my contractions and also became quite restless. Thinking that things were really moving, I called Christine again just before 8:00pm. She got on her way.

My MIL, Mary, had stopped by on her way home from Sacramento in the early afternoon. We all joked together about me possible being in labor and how auspicious is was that she had arrived. She was at all of our other children's labors and births. Mary decided to hang out and before long we were asking her to stay for dinner. She and DH and DD went to the farmers market and brought home dinner. After dinner it was clear she was staying!

Christine arrived around 9:00pm. We timed a bunch of contractions. They lasted about two minutes and were about five minutes apart. Soon, they were more like three minutes apart. Christine taught DH and I about counter pressure on my back and I was amazed at the difference it made. She also taught Hans the hip squeeze. Both of these, and the yoga ball, we used throughout the labor, which started to progress more quickly once Christine arrived. I expressed to her my worry about everything staying in a holding pattern, as it had the previous days, and it was as though speaking the words broke their charm.

My membranes ruptured at about 10:00pm. I moved then from the living room to the toilet to see if more fluid would drain out. From then on, we stayed in our room and bathroom. I was excited and felt pretty good when my membranes ruptured. I knew things were picking up. I lost part of my mucous plug. DH filled the tub and got his swim trunks on. I labored in there for about an hour and it felt really manageable. I needed to pee so I got out, and from then on, things were pretty intense. I got into a good position on the yoga ball, laying forward into DH's lap while he sat on the edge of the bed. I could manage there for a while, then I felt I had to try something else. There was nothing that relieved the intense waves. I knelt on the floor, I sat on the bed, I crawled on the bed, I leaned over the ball on the bed. Ultimately, I was back to sitting on the ball and laying in DH's lap. I was close to losing it several times and DH really kept me together. He reminded me to breathe slowly, that I had been here before and that I was doing it now. He really kept me from losing it. This was my transition.

I needed to go to the toilet. So we went. As soon as I stood, I was overwhelmed by another wave, only getting about two steps toward the bathroom. Another lull and I made it with DH to the toilet. I felt a lot of poop coming out. Suddenly, I felt the baby come down. His head was right there and I had an intense desire to push him right out. This was really the only true pushing urge I had. I screamed, "The baby is coming!" and DH could feel his head! I was still sitting on the toilet. DH sat with me, holding my perineum. Christine moved into swift action, but couldn't find the emergency birthing kit. Actually, I forgot to tell her where everything was! She yelled not to push! So while I'm panting I'm trying to tell her where everything is. It seemed to take forever for Christine to be ready. I was worried I might hyperventilate from puffing for so long.

DH somehow helped to lift me off the toilet and down onto the floor. Mary had brought in a large blanket for be to birth on. I gratefully went on hands and knees. Baby's head was crowning. Christine asked if I wanted to catch my baby, but I told DH he should do it. While waiting for an urge to push (seemed like none were coming), I am told baby went back up into the birth canal. I gave up waiting for a contraction and pushed a little. Out came the head! From DH's vantage point behind my bum, he could see baby's face! Another push and baby slipped right through so easily. He was caught by DH but his slippery self kind of slid out of DH's hands and onto the blanket. DH passed him up to me and I sat up on my knees to greet our son. He was quiet, good color, eyes open. Christine rubbed him up a bit and he bagan to cry. He had a good long cry with a strong voice, telling us all about his journey. Our older children came in (DD had slept through the whole thing, while my older DSes were out in the living room.) and Quinn held each of their fingers in his hand. Quinn and I sat connected on the floor for a while. I later found out that it was about an hour and a half that we sat there! I had no idea! I finally decided to give a little push and out came the placenta. In a short while after that, Hans clamped and cut Quinn's cord. He was free.

Eliot Quinn
June 8, 2011 @ 12:28 am
9 pounds 8 ounces
21.75 inches

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