Rebekah's birth By Michelle :o) Print
Birth Stories - Homebirth Birth Stories
Thursday, 12 February 2009 12:58
Thursday night (3/22) I had been having contractions that were getting closer and more intense so I figured we were getting close. My husband, Tim, called to say he'd finished a job he'd been working hard to meet the deadline for, so now would be a good time to have a baby. The contractions slowed when I went shopping but picked up again when I was at home and when my husband got home. He wanted me to call my midwife, Kathy, to give her a "heads up" that it might be soon. I didn't really want to call but figured she might like knowing so she could get some rest in case I called in the middle of the night. She didn't tell me until later but she just attended another birth and was exhausted. I guess giving her that warning was a good idea.

I was feeling a lot more lower pressure but the contractions came and went never really getting regular and finally fizzling out around 11 p.m. as I was falling asleep.

At midnight my husband turned off the t.v. and that woke me up. I went to the bathroom and heard a big pop and waited for the gush. It didn't happen so I figured the baby just moved past a bone or something. I went back to bed and dozed off only to be awoken by a big contraction 15 minutes later. I got off the bed and felt something. Water? Plug? Went to the bathroom and saw some bloody show. Got back in bed and told Tim, who by then was sleeping and seemed unimpressed. I tried to sleep but the contractions, though not painful, were too much to ignore. I watched some t.v. and finally Tim got up with me and we watched "Anna and The King". Tim kept telling me to call Kathy but I knew it was way too soon. When the movie was over (around 4 a.m.?) he again told me to call. I put it off until 5 a.m. when the contractions were about 6 minutes apart. My last labor had been so fast (4.5 hours) and Tim was afraid this one might pick up and Kathy would get stuck in the morning traffic. I felt silly for calling her, afraid labor would immediately slow. When I hung up the phone the contractions got much closer and longer, but over the next hour they lengthened out again feeling like they were doing nothing by the time she arrived. She checked my blood pressure, my hemoglobin (12.5), checked the baby's position and heart rate, and we talked a while. We all sat in the living room and I felt like the proverbial "watched pot."

Kathy asked if I'd like her to leave for a while and I could call her when I wanted. It sounded like a good idea, but then I felt bad about asking her to leave. I couldn't do it. I got up and paced the floor, and did "laps" around my house. I was still thinking this labor would "kick in" and be over in no time.

As long as I was moving, the contractions kept coming. But I was getting so bored! I thought about walking around the block and Kathy and Tim even suggested it. I don't know why I decided not to. (I don't know why I did a lot of things the way I did!) When I used to think about laboring, I always hoped the weather would be nice enough to walk outside!

My children were watching a video of taped cartoons and some of them were things I usually would not let them watch. But, they were being so "good" just vegging out in front of the t.v. They considered that a real treat. :o/

Kathy left for just a while to go get some caffeine. I knew she was just giving me some time to regroup and I think it did help.

At some point I started ignoring everyone (or not making sense of what was going on around me) and went to lie on my bed. I think Tim and Kathy were chatting and/or reading magazines at this time. I remember bits of conversation that sounded so interesting but I couldn't think fast enough to participate. I think I may have dozed a few minutes here and there. When I started complaining a lot that nothing was happening and it was taking too long, Kathy suggested we all try a change of scenery. We opened my windows for fresh air then went outside. The sun felt great and I wished I were on the beach instead of laboring at home! We walked around the yard and Kathy walked with the children around to the back yard. I stayed in front and squatted through some contractions, pretending to look at flowers or pick up sticks. The baby was putting tons of pressure on my tailbone and it was getting intense. I went inside, used the bathroom, washed my face, brushed my teeth, put my hair in a pony tail and came out feeling a little more hopeful. I resumed pacing the floor and walking from room to room. Before long I was trying to push a little to see if anything would happen. The contractions were just plain hurting, and I was whining. My legs were shaking like crazy. (I remembered this from my previous [anesthetized] labors and took it as a good sign that I was getting close.) Tim and Kathy took turns rubbing my back and legs until I got up and started to push. I was making LOTS of noise at this point and laughed a little when Tim closed my bedroom window. Hey, I didn't want the neighbors hearing me either!

I can't even remember *what* happened, but I said (okay, I screamed!) that something had happened and Kathy said that was the rest of my cervix dilating and assured me that the baby was coming.

The sensation of the baby filling my pelvis was totally shocking! (And I *thought* I'd felt it with the last birth when the epidural "didn't take"!) I was standing at the foot of my bed, but soon felt weak and got on my knees. I wanted to get on my hands and knees but couldn't make myself do it. I started yelling, "Nooooooooo!" and Kathy reminded me not to tell the baby no. I tried to lower my voice to a moan, I tried to breathe, I tried to wait for my body to push. They were reminding me and encouraging me. I just wanted the baby out so bad! I just kept pushing as hard and as fast as I could. I felt like I was ripping front to back but I couldn't stop!

The baby's head was coming and they were telling me about the hair. I felt the head come down but go back up a few times which was very discouraging. The pressure was unbearable and my water still hadn't broken. I think Kathy mentioned it first, but I was begging her to break it. I even tried getting my fingernails in. (Okay, now I know...the bag is much, much stronger than that! *g*) She grabbed a cord clamp and broke the bag with that. Ahhhhh!

Pretty quickly the head (with the baby's hand up over it!) was out, then I pushed like crazy and there was my baby!!!! My husband said it was a girl but I grabbed her up so fast I didn't even notice. I yelled for my children to come in (they had been peeking every now and then but mostly watching t.v.) and the flurry of activity began!

I heard the blood pouring out but thought that was normal. Kathy told me there was a lot and I'd have to stop bleeding. I tried to get the baby to latch on but she would only lick at my nipple. Kathy told me she had to give me a shot of pitocin and I cried at that even though I knew it was the right decision under the circumstances. (She asked me later if I would forgive her for that. *g*)

They had me lie on the floor and they gave me some oxygen. I was making a huge mess despite the chux, towels, etc. Kathy told me we were "going on 50 minutes" when she asked me if I could try to push the placenta out. I could not comprehend that 50 minutes had passed. It seemed like just a few. (I think the exact words were, "Either you push it out, or we go to the hospital, or I go in after it.") so I tried to push. My muscles were not cooperating. (Because of the pitocin, or because of exhaustion? I don't know.) I got up on my hands and knees (very hard to do at that point) and pushed one good time. It felt like having a loose bm. It fell out down my legs. Tim joked that I'd missed the pan. I just knew that I felt infinitely better at that point! All the praying turned to praise!

My older two children were holding the baby, my third was walking around the house singing (he was fine but told us that the baby was "yucky") and Tim and Kathy helped me to the bathtub. The herbal sitzbath was great! I soaked a while, then (stupidly) tried to shower on my knees and wash my hair. When I started to dry off and put the towel on my hair, I felt dizzy. I told Tim I would just sit there a while till I felt better. Why haven't I learned that when you feel dizzy you LIE DOWN? Tim stepped to the doorway and called for Kathy. I don't remember any of this but they tell me I passed out. They called me and Tim said I looked up with wide eyes and moaned and that really freaked him out! I only remember waking up lying in the empty tub sucking on that good ol' oxygen! I felt wonderful! *g*

They got me into a robe and to my bed where I lay the rest of the night with my sweet newborn daughter, Rebekah. (Who, at some point, finally latched on like and old pro!)

Now a week has passed (how does that happen so fast?) and I've had time to think about what happened. I now realize that what seemed like an eternity of pain, was exactly 11 minutes of pushing.

I was shocked at the pain and at the way I acted, after all I'd read and how I *thought* I'd prepared. I have a new and greater respect for the women in the Unassisted Childbirth video, that's for sure! But we are already thinking of what we'll do differently and how to better prepare should God bless us with another baby.

Afterthoughts:
I consider labor to have really started at midnight. I continued to eat and drink what I wanted throughout labor. And it was so nice to use the bathroom when I wanted instead of a bedpan or a catheter!

I am not a fan of AROM and wouldn't have wanted my water broken any earlier, for sure. I suppose she could have been "born in the caul" had I not been so desperate to break it as she was crowning. I do not regret it at all though.

It turned out that all the blood was from a tear along my episiotomy scar. I'm still mad that I ever got cut in the first place! Kathy offered to fix it and I thought for a second about superglue, but decided to let it heal naturally.

My baby was born at 3:02 p.m., Friday, March 23. She weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces (my smallest yet) and was 20 � inches. She was not taken from me for tests or "observation". She was not poked, prodded, or injected! My children love their new sister and my toddler is even over the initial "yuckiness." ;o)

It didn't go at all like I thought it would--all that "breathing your baby out" and "opening like the petals of a flower" stuff were out the window! LOL! But I have to say it was an amazing experience and I feel very blessed to have gone through it.

I can say now, with more conviction than ever, God's design is not flawed! It is in His perfect time that babies are born. Without intervention, a woman's body is perfectly designed for birth. What a wonderful blessing!

Michelle :o)