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I finally got around to writing this as I'm putting together a website for my midwife. He's over 2.5yo now, so it's been a while! Some details are fuzzy, but I hope you enjoy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Pictures linked near the end.<br><br>
The Birth of Judah Samuel<br>
The birth of Judah Samuel, a third baby, second home VBAC and first waterbirth, as told by his mother.<br><br><br>
Judah's official due date (and we all know how conclusive they are) was October 3rd. With my first, I'd "officially" been 6 days "overdue," and with my 2nd - my first home birth - I'd gone into labor a week "early." So, I had no idea, really, when this new baby would come, but we were feeling pretty well prepared by the last week of September.<br><br>
On Sunday, September 23rd, I went to church with full knowledge that I'd be getting lots of questions about when the baby would come. I didn't like giving precise answers (who knew, really?), but felt at that point that I could say he'd be born in the next two weeks. Maybe even, I thought, in the next week. The idea began to creep in, and I was curious whether it was possible.<br><br>
That afternoon, we went to a lovely, upscale Chinese restaurant for a friend's birthday celebration. While we were there, I began to notice very mild contractions that seemed to be coming consistently. They were definitely not Braxton-Hicks, but I also knew that labor was not imminent. Still, I felt more strongly that the baby would be born that week.<br><br>
I have a history of long labors (partially responsible for my c-section with my first), so I wasn't sure when or if to mention these very early contractions to anyone. By Monday afternoon, when they were continuing and getting ever-so-slightly stronger, I finally let my mom know. We needed her help to get a few last minute things ready, and I knew it needed to be sooner than later. She came over on Monday and Tuesday to help us out.<br><br>
On Wednesday evening, I had to sort out a Frontier co-op order that had arrived, so that my co-op members could come and pick up their things before the baby came. I was sitting on the cold, tile floor as I opened cardboard boxes, sorted their contents into individual orders, and checked items off of my list. It was during this time that the contractions picked up significantly in intensity. I had to completely stop, focus, and relax through them, allowing all of me to melt into that cold, tile floor. I had some emotional changes, too, which gave me some hope that, perhaps, we'd have a baby by morning. I called my midwife, Sandra, and called my mom to let her know that things were picking up.<br><br>
That night, though, contractions didn't pick up, and I was able to get some decent sleep in between them. They never did stop, but would peter out to being 10 to 15 minutes apart. This was definitely discouraging, but the rest was much-needed and appreciated. By early morning, I was again working through them with great focus and concentration. I waited as late as I felt I could, and called everyone again sometime after 6 AM.<br><br>
We check in with Sandra again around 10 AM. I was laboring on my knees on the bed, leaning over the birth ball, and rocking back and forth for contractions. That was a wonderful position for me. My husband was trying to inflate the pool, but having trouble with our old "rechargeable" air pump, which apparently couldn't hold a charge. I was worried that he wouldn't get it done in time for the birth, as the contractions seemed quite intense.<br><br>
But, again, they spread out in time and became fairly erratic. My memories of this section of the day are somewhat foggy. Co-op members came to pick up their orders, with no knowledge or mention of my being in labor. My mom brought over a better pump and my husband finished inflating and filling the pool. The lawn crew came to cut the grass, and we asked them to stay out of the backyard (near the bedroom). Meanwhile, I continued to labor in what we would later deem a "semi-active" pattern.<br><br>
It was about then that Sandra came in, perhaps 1:30pm. I decided I'd like to have her check the baby's position with an internal exam. She concluded that the baby was a little asynclitic (tilted), but was working with contractions to move into a better position. I then moved to doing lunges during contractions to try to encourage the baby to move. Sandra went out to cancel her appointments for the rest of the day, which I felt rather badly about, seeing as it was probably going to be a very long time, yet.<br><br>
I decided to call my chiropractor, who had come to my home during my first home birth, as well as a massage therapist friend. My chiropractor had another pregnant client to see before me, but we assured her it would be many hours yet, and not to worry. The massage therapist lived nearby and came right over. At that point, I think it was roughly 2:30pm. She did some massaging of my back and pelvis, working on the ligaments and such. She also had me do some unusual movements which were intended to help get the baby where it belonged. I'm not sure that the movement thing worked, as I could never quite get the right feel. Of course, I was continuing to have major contractions, too, so it all took a while. My favorite spot for contractions at that point was sitting on the ball and rocking, relaxing, and vocalizing quietly.<br><br>
After the massage therapist left, and with my mom and my big boys out (we had assured them, too, that we had hours yet to go), my husband and I sat and visited with Sandra for a bit. I was noticing that the contractions were coming pretty far apart, and was somewhat discouraged by that. She suggested we should go lay down and rest while we could, and I reluctantly agreed. I encouraged her to go on about her day, attend her appointments, etc., but she refused and instead settled into our couch for a nap of her own. We all knew we could be going well into the night.<br><br>
I didn't have much trouble falling asleep, but I had an awful time staying asleep. The contractions would, of course, wake me, but in between, I felt like I was constantly on edge, waiting for another one. I didn't seem to be able to full relax or cope well with them, though I tried for probably an hour. I eventually got up, feeling very frustrated and defeated. I knew that labor would have to get tougher before we could be done, and I was really feeling fed up with this crazy pattern. I went to the bathroom, and then went out to the living room to tell Sandra how I was feeling. I told her I felt like I needed to get into the pool, because I just couldn't cope anymore. Of course, she encouraged me to do so, and I woke up my husband. I wasn't sure what to wear in the pool, but eventually chose my regular tankini, which, while not maternity, fit pretty well.<br><br>
I slipped into the water and was instantly in a better mood! The water felt fantastic, and it was very deep and comfortable. I had purchased this pool, a Birth Pool in a Box, for my birth and had never tried it out. The contractions were so much better and I was very happy - for a few minutes. Shortly after getting in, the intensity picked up, and I began to feel very emotional again. This was probably the third time I'd had an emotional breakdown during this long labor, so it wasn't too surprising - yet I always hoped that meant something was happening!<br><br>
I remember being on all fours, head on the side of the pool, crying, with the sense of two people being in the room, but no idea which one was which. One of them (it turned out to be my husband) was rubbing my back, and that was very comforting. I had asked him to get me the ultrasound photos so I could try to focus on WHY I was going through all of this trouble, and it was very sweet to see pictures of our sweet baby.<br><br>
Somewhere in this, we got a call from the local pet store, where my mom and my boys were looking for a fish net and a water pump for us, a couple of things we thought we'd need. When a contraction started in the midst of my husband talking, I made him hang up, not even realizing that he should tell them to come NOW. A few minutes later, I felt immense pressure and a *pop* as my water broke. Sandra asked if she could check me, and I had no problem with it. She said I was at 6, but tight around the baby's head, and advised me NOT to push yet. I had no urge to push, so that was no problem. But, I knew the contractions would be worse now, and they were. The contractions got very intense, and my best way to cope was to, literally, crawl on hands and knees in circles in the pool. Thank goodness for the big pool! It was so perfect for me, and so easy to move in. I did my best to relax, as well, and to focus on the promises that I'd been given - that I could do this and would do this.<br><br>
Sandra went to the bathroom to change into scrubs, and within those few minutes, I suddenly had a very intense pushing urge. I called out that I was pushing, and because I didn't think I could possibly be dilated enough, I was freaking out a bit. Sandra came back in, encouraged me to blow through them, and to keep breathing (which seemed rather hard to do!). I finally discovered what she meant by not adding to it with the pushes. I was on my knees, leaning over the side of the tub, squeezing the tub's outside handles with every pushing contraction. I discovered that holding and squeezing the handles really helped me release the rest of my body. My body was pushing on its own, and I did nothing to add to it - I just breathed, and calmed down, and felt the amazing sensations as the baby moved down.<br><br>
It's hard to describe (especially without WAY too much information) what it's like as the baby comes down, but suffice it to say it was incredibly amazing and rather bizarre, all at once. The bizarre part was simply that one's brain has a hard time interpreting some of the sensations, and so you can be quite certain things are happening that just aren't.<br><br>
After just a few minutes of my body pushing, Sandra told me to feel my baby's head. That was amazing! The squishy, crinkly, head was right there! I was in awe. A minute or two after that, still on my knees at the side of the pool, came the ring of fire, and then, I felt relief! I thought perhaps the baby was out! Sandra asked me to try to turn over, and I realized it was only the baby's head that had emerged. I turned over and semi-leaned against the side of the pool. I realized how perfect that was, as I had hoped to catch the baby myself, but had given that up as I was sort of "stuck" on my knees. One more push (again, my body and not me) and up floated a baby! My baby! The baby was here!<br><br>
I was ecstatic and in awe. This beautiful little baby, vernixy and tiny, was here, and it was over! I checked to find out it was a boy - another boy - something I had not at all expected. But he was perfect, and gorgeous. About then, the second midwife walked in, and checked the time. We figured it was approximately 17-18 minutes between the time my water broke at 6cm to the time I was holding him. Sandra later said that she had never seen a birth like that - dysfunctional and slow, suddenly turning into precipitous. Clearly, though, it does happen!<br><br>
A few minutes after the birth, which my boys were supposed to attend, I had my husband try calling my mom's cell phone (she'd left it at home), and eventually sent him out to drive around and find them. He came home with no news, and I decided I'd stay in the pool until they got there, so they could at least see us right where he was born. In that time, I delivered the placenta, and it floated in the pool with us in a big pot.<br><br>
After what seemed like forever, I heard commotion as my mom and boys came in. They were all entirely shocked to find a new baby! They brought in flowers, each boy having picked a bouquet - my eldest picked stargazer lilies, and my newly middle son picked miniature roses - to encourage me through labor. Little did they know, those flowers would welcome their new brother!<br><br>
They boys held the baby (and placenta pot!) while I moved to the bed, and then they cut the cord together. They sat and held their baby and kissed him for what seemed like forever. While they had hoped for a sister (as my eldest explained, they each had a brother, so it was only fair that they each have a sister, too!), they were truly in love with their new (nameless) brother.<br><br><a href="http://heatherb.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83478233e69e201348416a054970c-pi" target="_blank">The boys holding Judah<br></a><br>
Sandra and Paula were, as always, fantastic after the birth, as well. They made sure I ate and drank, cleaned up, emptied the pool, and basically took care of everything. Paula even gave us name suggestions; her favorite was, "Paul!" We promised we'd think about it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Even after the very fast second stage, I had only a "skin split" for a tear, which healed quickly. I was thrilled that, by letting my body do what it needed to without any interference, it birthed him with no major trauma.<br><br>
Once again, I had given birth, at home, with a labor that would never have been "allowed" at a hospital. As many times as my contractions intensified, I would either have gone into a hospital far too soon, or never made it after the labor changed gears. The fact that Sandra insisted on staying meant she actually was there; had she done as I suggested, she would never have made it for the birth. I ended up with virtually everything on my "wish list," even though the birth experience was completely unexpected.<br><br>
By the end of his third day, our baby was named: <a href="http://heatherb.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83478233e69e2013484169f21970c-pi" target="_blank">Judah Samuel</a>. He was 7lb 4oz, and 21" long, perfect and healthy, born on Thursday, September 27.
 

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Wonderful story and pictures, thank you for sharing! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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thank you for sharing your sweet sweet story! what a beautiful name you chose for your son, too! it mean's 'praise' and 'God hears', doesn't it?<br>
i love your description of letting your body just do what it was needing to do, and the image of your baby floating up in the water. so beautiful!<br>
i'm eagerly waiting for my newest to arrive any day!
 

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Great story! Thank you for sharing! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Thank you for sharing Heather!<br>
I remember when Judah was born~ we were in oct 07 ddc together and I was waiting for Naomi's birth <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">.<br><br>
What a powerful, beautiful birth story~ thank you and congratulations again <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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A wonderful story! What beautiful boys you have. I can hardly wait to have three beautiful boys, myself. Getting close.<br><br>
My second was acynclitic, and also an incredibly emotional birth--almost like your body brings you to the brink of transition again and again trying as it might to guide/shimmy/force the little one out in the right direction. I was 8cm when my water was broken for me in attempt to manual maneuvre the LO into a better position. That was not needed as the breaking of the water seemed to zoom him into place, and he was literally born about 20 or 30 minutes later. My body was ready, just waiting for a little head to add that extra pressure to the cervix. I was also at home, and incredibly thankful for the fact.<br><br>
Thanks for sharing!
 

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Congratulations!! And welcome to the mom of 3 boys club! It's a fun club to be in <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">.
 
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