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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
M*'s Birth Story

M* was my second homebirth and was also born at my mom's house. We started care with midwives in Oregon but moved back here definitively when my husband went for basic training with the Army. Luckily the midwife I'd had previously was able to take me.

I had been having "false" labor- really light contractions anywhere between five and 30 minutes apart, for several hours or all by themselves- for about five days. I knew, somehow, that they were not real contractions. They just were not strong enough, not that intense. But on the night of the 1*th, I woke up at around 2:30 a.m. with a contraction that was really intense. I didn't have to breathe through it but it required my concentration. I decided to go back to bed. I woke up again with contractions at 4:00 a.m. or so, and then again at 7:30 a.m. when I was up for the day. I didn't tell my mom that I thought this could be it yet, but when I had another contraction so intense that I had to leave the room to breathe through it, I let her know and we called the midwife to let her know that this might be it. Like last time, she assured me that this could be it but it might not, so to get lots of rest.

The whole day passed with those contractions. They increased in intensity very gradually and they were pretty inconsistent. I'd have to leave the room for one and hang on the sink to brace myself, but for another one, I could talk right through it. I was using some visualizations I'd got from a book, in which I visualized my breath as a warm light that entered my body and warmed my uterus. That really helped. At 5:00 p.m., because it was the end of the business day, I called the midwife to let her know what was happening. She was still at work and decided to pass by on her way through our town just to check.

She arrived around 7:00 p.m. and it was going the same. She checked me and I was 80% effaced and 4 centimeters dilated, which was pretty good. We couldn't compare it to last time because she'd arrived during active labor so I was already ready at her first exam. She said that given my quick second stage last time, she and her student would stay the night at our place, so we made preparations. We moved the cradle out of the bedroom / birth room, moved the shelves, and put the sheet on the bed. She said we had all better get an early start on our sleep.

Well, I have a two-year-old and I had to put to bed, so my mom gave the midwife some soup and I started to put my daughter to bed. Several times I had contractions that I had to breath and vocalize through. Once my mother was with her and she (my daughter) started to do breathing and rocking as if she were having a contraction. "I'm breathing," she said. Nonetheless, when I had to stop reading her bed-time story, she was worried and I told her to go downstairs and get her grandmother. At that point we all went to bed and the midwife told me to come get her if it got too intense.

I spent about an hour trying to sleep and vocalizing through contractions (mooing, basically) into a pillow so that my mom could get my daughter to sleep in spite of the noise. Finally, and before the student arrived (it was snowing, natch), I had to go downstairs and ask the midwife to massage my back during the contractions. But in-between I was okay. They were still far apart, about 10 minutes, but they were lasting longer and much more painful in spite of my visualizations. The student arrived and my midwife asked her to set up the room, which she did.

When I said I wanted to push, the midwife suggested we go upstairs to the birthing room. That must have been around 11:30 because I remember thinking, "If I can have this baby today, I can make it." That was when it got really crazy. One thing was that the pain and pressure were different from the first time. The pain was sharper and lower down, and the pressure was a lot stronger but directing me more in the right direction, so my pushes were more effective, but that also increased the pressure. My mom woke up around then but mercifully my toddler stayed asleep!

At first I was just leaning over for the contractions, which were probably a few minutes apart. I hung a bit on the chin-up bar (actually an as-seen-on-TV contraption called the Iron Gym) on which I had hung a long kufiah scarf. I twisted my hands around the fabric and pulled to get traction. But then I needed to be on my hands and knees. The pressure was really getting to me (to put it mildly) and I was having a hard time keeping my vocalizations "open", so the "mamamama" and "bababababa" and "bllllpbt" were morphing into "ungh" and "eeee" and "no!" and "ow!".

The midwife suggested that her student check to see if there was any cervix holding baby back. The student checked and there was a tiny bit left, so the midwife suggested that the student pull it back a bit during the next push. I had to push so hard and so I leaned back into the midwife and she gave me her arm for traction and I screamed that contraction out. At the end, my water broke right into the student's face! That was a huge relief. The pains got less sharp after that, though they were still intense. I wanted to joke and ask her how amniotic fluid tasted but I had to brace for the next contraction. (I asked her later and she said, "Very salty!")

Soon I had to get on my hands and knees, so I did. During the contractions I held on to the sheet that was on the floor and pushed back with my knees and feet on the same sheet, bracing myself that way. I was pushing into the contractions like a cat stretching. After three or four contractions like that (or maybe just two?), I felt it was not effective and I decided to stand up and pull on the scarf again. I felt the baby against my butt and I knew that I'd been pooping the whole time but I still said "I have to poop!"

Gravity helped and the contractions were so intense I just had to do screaming pushes, like I were pooping. I tried to visualize my vagina getting huge and relaxing. She was really coming along my back that way. It took four or five of these and her head started to crown. I was asking for support of my perineum in front, then in back, but it never felt like I wanted it to. So finally I realized that I just had to let it go and I decided to "poop the baby out" no matter what it did to my perineum.

It was really hard, and incredibly overwhelming and I was asking the midwives and my mom to please tell me that these were effective pushes and that she was moving but they remained vaguely encouraging which did not fool me- I guess they could not see whether they were or not and my midwife does not make false promises. But I could feel something moving and finally I could feel her head, something physical and not just "pressure" up against my bottom. I knew it would burn but I had to get her out of there, so I gave these screaming pushes and she was out! My mom said it happened so fast.

As it turned out, although there was some burning (more than with my first), just four or five hard pushes got the baby out with the tiniest of damage and not a lot of real pain in that area. I didn't really tear- there was a bitty tear but I still can't feel it! Altogether the pushing just took 30 minutes, and it was only an hour of active labor, but it felt like an eternity. It was 12:** and she came out screaming and red. My midwife said with amazement that she looked like a 10 on the Apgar at one minute.

It was such a huge relief to get her out. They helped me walk to the bed with her cord still attached to the placenta inside me and we sat down and tried to nurse. The first thing wanted to verify was that she was a girl and I realized that she looks just like I did when I was a baby. I thought she would look like her sister, like my husband. She didn't latch on like my first but I expressed some colostrum and she liked that!

Like with my first, the placenta didn't automatically tell me to push it out, and I bled a lot after I did push it out. The midwife gave me Cytotec to stop the bleeding and when that did not work a lot (despite the breastfeeding!) and we were burning through Chux pads, she gave me a shot of Pitocin. Finally it started to subside.

They weighed the baby and she was a whole 7 lbs, 6 oz, and 21 inches long, with a head circumference of 13.75 inches- bigger than my first but not huge.

At some point my daughter woke up, and we could snuggle.

She is my precious gift and we are so happy to have her.

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Wow! What a story. Way to induct the student into the birthing world
I think thats the first time I've heard of water breaking in someone's face. Awesome.

Welcome baby girl! Congrats mama!


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
LMAO, Nancy.
Thanks, everyone!
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