Kali Dawn: The Birth of a Family By Candice Fabian-Jones Print
Birth Stories - Homebirth Birth Stories
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 10:28
On December 8, 1999, I gave birth to Kali Dawn in the comfort of my own home.

My labor started on December 6, only I didn't realize I was actually in labor. I had experienced so many Braxton-Hicks contractions leading up to my labor that I just figured it was a big tease! I experienced a lot of mild cramping all day long, and they continued throughout the night. I knew from the Bradley classes I had attended that it could go on like that for a week or more, so I tried to ignore it and go about my normal activities. On December 7 the contractions were still coming regularly, so at around 5:00pm, I decided I should call my midwife just to let her know "something" might be happening. She assured me that it was probably nothing, that I could go on like this for a week or more, but to call her if anything changed.

My husband and I decided to finish up our Christmas shopping. By the time I started driving us to the mall, the contractions were very strong and regular. They didn't really bother me, though; my husband kept me laughing so my mind was elsewhere. When we arrived, we ate pizza topped with spicy red peppers and strolled the mall for a couple of hours until I had to sit down with the force of each contraction. I remember leaving the mall and gazing up the starry sky as another contraction swept over me; "We're having this baby tonight," I said confidently. Hubby kept me laughing so hard the whole ride home I couldn't tell if it was the contractions or the laughter that made my stomach hurt.

When we got home, I laid on the sofa and watched some television. Suddenly I had a tremendous contraction engulf my body. I called my husband downstairs and he put on the song "Dark Star" as surge after surge swept my body; I was making the most primitive of sounds as I moaned loudly through every one. He called his mother and the midwife as I hobbled into the bathroom; I had a tremendous feeling overcome me like I had to have a bowel movement, and as soon as I sat down, I got sick in our trashcan. I thought to myself over and over again, "What if I'm only two centimeters? What in the h*ll am I going to do?"

When everyone arrived, my husband helped me into our bed. The midwife checked my dilatation and announced that I could start pushing! I was overjoyed, because I felt like I had to push so badly that I was almost in tears. I pushed for about three and a half hours in all sorts of positions: squatting, on the birthing stool, on the toilet, and when I did not make good progress in the upright positions, the midwife suggested I lie down in bed. Amazingly enough, it allowed Kali to descend the birth canal a little bit easier, and at 2:52 am, with my midwife, husband, and mother-in-law as witness, I gave birth to Kali Dawn. All eight pounds, three ounces of her. The moon was shining down through the bedroom window just like I had visualized it for months; I gazed up at the stars as her head emerged.

Technically my labor was 36 hours long, but it wasn't uncomfortable until the very end. I am due with #2 in May, and I am overjoyed at the thought of giving birth again. I may not "get a medal" for going natural, but for me, it was the most satisfying and empowering experience of my entire life. I wouldn't change it for anything in this world!