Birth Story - part 1
Tuesday Sept 2.
For the last 3-4 days I’ve woken up frequently (every 1.5-2h) to go to the bathroom. I noticed that on my way to the bathroom it would be really tough to walk because of intense pain in my pubic symphasis. By the time I got to the toilet (all of 8 steps), and sat down, things were feeling better. Once or twice, there was even a mild “pop”/”crack” and then the pain would go away. I could walk back to the bedroom no problem. Then, I had a pretty major contraction where I would go “ow, ow”. Only one after going to the bathroom, though… then another one after the next bathroom episode!
On Sept 2, I woke up at 6:20am again, and had to pee; the typical pattern of the past few days. I came back to bed and felt lowsy: mildly nauseous, campy, and just all-round icky. I lay there for a while, hoping that it would go away, and debating whether I should stay home sick from work. There is entirely too much work to do and too few people, though, so I decided I should go anyway.
I checked the clock – 6:46am. DH and I had decided to get up at 6:45am since that’s what we had accidentally got up at the previous day, and we had a good morning with lots of time and little stress getting everyone ready for school – despite it being the first day. I rolled over and asked him if he still wanted to get up at “quarter to”. He sighed and said “I was just having a really good dream. I was at this bar and there were these awesome chicken wings…”. Figures, he was dreaming about food! Then I felt a bit of a trickle and said “uh oh!”
DH said “What, your water broke?”
“I think so. But only a little bit so I’m not sure.”
“It better not have. It’s too soon!”
You see, we had debated DTD the night before, but I had held off for the past couple days because I felt that if we did, it would initiate labour. We both had a bunch of stuff that we wanted to get done at work before baby came, not to mention that we hadn’t even started getting the house prepared for a baby… We wanted to get the diaper service called, change the water in the hot tub so that it was fresh (and not a couple months old with chemical residuals), clean up a bit, finish getting the stuff we needed for the birthing kit (not to mention find the list of what we needed), wash as many towels as we could find, etc… I’d also made a birthday cake for a co-worker the night before, and it needed to be put together still. I’d made a big list the night before…
I got up and went to the toilet. Then I put my bathrobe on and a pair of underwear, and went downstairs to get breakfast organized. I tried to focus on the good things. DSS was with us until tomorrow afternoon, and he really had wanted to be at the birth. If he was at his mom’s, there’s no way she would have let him be here – we went through that last time. Also, it was a beautiful and warm day. Maybe this wasn’t my water breaking anyway. Both other times there was a gush. This was just a measly tiny trickle for a second.
I put out some stuff for DSS to make his lunch, got out the eggs and hashbrowns, and started making breakfast. I packed up the two layers of the cake which I planned to put together at work (I’d made the whipping cream “icing” the night before and grated chocolate and just needed to cut up some strawberries).
I felt another trickle… Shoot. WHY NOW? My due date wasn’t until the 21st (if you listen to my MW, DH and I decided the 19th). That was almost 20 days away! I haven’t had my home visit yet! That’s tomorrow!
I ignored the trickle. I continued putting breakfast together while trying to decide whether I should go to work or not. I decided not, though there is so much I have to get done before I go on maternity leave! I need at least 2 more days! Please? And I don’t really want to drive DSS to school (my usual job), because labour has hit so fast for me in the past that it’s the difference between nothing and contractions 2-4 minutes apart from one minute to the next. Ugh. What to do?
DH comes downstairs and I say “I think I was right”, trying to be somewhat cryptic so that DSS (11yo) doesn’t understand what’s going on. DH looks at me.
“No it didn’t.” (this is in reference to what he said when my water broke with DS.)
DSS says, “You aren’t going to work?”
“I don’t think so.”
DH then explains to DSS that we might have a baby today and DSS gets really excited “Can you feel it’s coming? Now? Will I be there? I want to be there. My mom doesn’t want me to be there. She says that it not right to look at someone else’s privates.”
“You don’t have to look.” Says DH.
“But I want to be there. My mom says she doesn’t want me there when baby is born.
She says that I might get very scared and upset and she doesn’t want that to happen.”
“If you are there, we will have someone there to be with you that you can ask questions to if you want. It’s nothing scary. We will do our very best to have you here when baby is born, but you have to promise that you will be quiet and only ask questions to the person we have here for you. It will probably be Brett (DSS’s best friend’s dad).”
“But what if baby is born when I’m at school?”
“Well, then we’ll get someone to go pick you up and try to get you here in time. We can’t promise, but we will do our best.”
We ate, DH drove DSS to school, called to say he wasn’t coming in to work, picked up some of my work stuff on the way home, while I called the MW, our “birthing crew” friends to give them a heads-up, and then my parents. I was frustrated and upset that baby had decided to come early. I wasn’t ready yet (emotionally).
To be continued...
Can't wait for more!
Mommy to three gorgeous girls
at 6 weeks 22/10/09
I have had such a hard time keeping up with lodges....
CONGRATS on the arrival of your little boy! I can't wait to read the rest of the birth story! I hope that you are feeling better every hour!
Mara & Joel, 2009
What a recovery, you poor thing! Afterpains are expected, mine get worse with every baby and that is (unfortunately) super normal. But everything else on top of that?! You just can't catch a break
The second installment
DH came home from dropping DS off at school and picking up my work computer. I set up my work on the dining room table while DH emptied the hot tub and turned up the temperature on the hot water tank. Then he set to work filling up the hot tub again - which had to be done in increments since the tub is vastly bigger than our hot water tank (it took from 10am to about 2:30ish…)!
Meanwhile, DH vacuumed, picked up some stuff we needed (newborn diapers) and did a million other things that needed doing, while I called the diaper service, read some work papers, lamented that I didn’t want my water to have broken, called work to tell them I wouldn’t be in, etc… Meanwhile I had mild contractions that I couldn’t decide whether they were real or not – they were the same as I had had for the past couple months, but more frequent. I started a paper and wrote down the timing when I felt like it. They averaged between 3 and 20 minutes apart.
DH called a friend to pick up DSS from school. DSS was dropped off, and proceeded to invite the entire neighbourhood of friends to gallivant around the house. I was trying to take a nap with Ivy but the front screen door kept banging closed. My nap finished with a wicked contraction at 3:50pm, followed by absolutely nothing for several hours.
At one point I decided that I wanted to talk to DH and try to clear my head about “not wanting to have a baby today”. I asked DH to put a sign on the door that said “Do not ring doorbell. Do not knock. Do not enter unless invited.” He did – with some added caveats (i.e. “Baby being born!”). We went out to the sunroom and had a chat for a while. Contractions did not return. I still had none for a couple more hours.
The MW came at around 5pm and we did our “home visit” that was scheduled for the next day. I told her I’d had no contractions for a couple hours, and she asked if I wanted to try some tincture (black/blue cohosh with 2 other things) that she had. I wasn’t so sure, and know that I wouldn’t normally except that DH and I really wanted DSS to be there for the birth and he was going back to his mom’s house for a week starting the following day. I figured I might as well try the tincture. I took 3 drops. The MW left at 6ish. I had a decent contraction as she left. DH called to see where the pizza he had ordered an hour ago had got to. He also called a friend (DSS’s best friend’s dad) to come over to keep track of DSS and keep friends out.
Our friend arrived, then did the pizza. I decided that I would go in (I was in the sun room) and have some food. I took 3 pieces and ate all of them. Just as I was finishing the last one, I had a pretty good contraction that I couldn’t chew through. I checked the time on my work cell phone: 7:35pm. I got up, leaned against the arm of the couch with my elbows, and rocked my hips slowly through it. The pain decreased drastically as I did that. Wow! I wonder if that would have happened for either of my other labours? I sat on the toilet for both of them, mostly. I sat down at the table again and felt another contraction start: 7:37. Hmmm… I got up and told DH I was heading out to the sunroom. Ivy, of course, followed me.
Once I got to the sunroom, I leaned on the table there with my elbows and rocked my hips, focusing on opening up. Again, it helped greatly. I grabbed a pen and wrote down the times. Ivy climbed on the table and proceeded to try to get into a chocolate bar that was sitting there. Another contraction started: 7:41. Then another: 7:43. I ask DH for something because I know that for both other labours I felt like I would throw up. Given that I’d just eaten 3 pieces of pizza, I figured I probably would this time! DSS races in and yells “Here’s a juice pitcher.”
I tell him “Be quiet!” He goes back to the kitchen and reports. Maybe I was a little harsh. On the other hand, we had both warned him not to make noise, let alone yell.
I was right. Again, when active labour starts for me, it starts quickly and with little warning.
After another couple contractions, I call DH to get Ivy and deal with her. He asks if he should call the MW and I say “Yes”. As she’s on the phone she asks how long she has – she just got home from our home visit after being at the store and her dinner (pizza) was waiting for her. I tell DH that my contractions have been 2-4 minutes apart for the past 20 minutes. He passes on the message. She tells him she’ll eat and then be over. It’s 7:50pm. I know the MW only lives 10 minutes away (which is one of the reasons we chose her).
After he gets off the phone, he quickly calls the rest of our labour group and leaves messages or tells them to come over. He only got ahold of one of them. She was on her way.
I decide I want to kneel on a chair and gave myself a big gouge with my toe nail on my other foot. Then another contraction starts and I want anything but to be kneeling…
I tell DH I want the toilet and he tells me to stay in the sunroom. I tell him I don’t want to pee and poop all over the floor, thanks, and he agrees that I should go to the bathroom. I guess he thought I wanted to puke in the toilet, not use it for its intended purpose!
We go to the bedroom bathroom. I sit down for a minute or two, do my business, and then a contraction hits. I stand up and lean on the counter. DH rubs my middle back and I put his hand on my sacrum to rub there – amazing! Why did I never get him to rub me during any other labour? That was fantastic! Anticipating that I would suddenly feel extremely hot as I did for the last 2 labours, I ask DH to get me a cool washcloth. He does, and just as I start to feel warm I wipe myself down on my shoulders and neck and chest. That was the extent of the feverishness I felt this time. I wonder if it was because I anticipated it and kept it in check… I certainly was able to keep conscious of everything much better because of it.
I wonder if Barb (the MW) actually decided to eat first or just come over. I hope she decided to eat on the way or skip it since I have a feeling that things aren’t going to last much longer. I am about to voice this when Barb walks in. She walks straight through the front door of the house (I hear the door slam) and then into the on-suite bathroom (where she found me last labour). She tells me to get into the tub if that’s where I want to be. I told her that I was waiting until she got there before I got in. She tells me that she thinks I’m probably at 7-8cm. We went down the steps, and out the back door just as I felt another contraction starting. I put my bathrobe down and crawled over the side of the tub. Leaning my chin on my arms on the side of the tub, I kneel/squat on the seats. DH is already in his bathing suit (with his shirt still on), and gets in behind me. He rubs my sacrum more. Ahhhh… Very nice, and a great position for me. This is why I decided to be in the hot tub and not a birthing pool: squatting in the tub with little gravity, and lots of solid support.
After the contraction was over, I look up. The MW has all her equipment set out in front of me. DSS
and his support (Brett) are sitting on the deck steps watching. At one point I see Ivy sitting on Brett’s knee while he drew on a piece of paper. At another point, I remember that BS dashed to the hot tub and looks and reported “No head yet”.
DH kept rubbing my back. DSS went and got me a cup of water. Ivy came over and gave me a kiss and said “Mommy, Mommy”. I told her “Hello, Ivy”. She took a sip of my water when the midwife held it out to her. Then she spilled it so DSS refilled it.
Over the next couple of contractions I felt mildly pushy. I tried to move around a bit, because I remember that last time I was in labour, moving really helped get cervix out of the way. Barb asked DH if he could feel the head, but I told them that the head was still a ways up.
A couple contractions later I tell them that the head is there. I’m feeling very pushy. All of a sudden I feel that I could push the head out. I try to breathe slowly through it and push it out slowly. I hear the back door close and feel someone else’s hands rubbing my back – it’s the student midwife. The head comes out, and though I expected to wait for another contraction, I feel that this one is continuing so I give another push and the rest of the body slides right out. I’m rather surprised, but DH caught it, and the MW tells him to pass it through my legs to me. I’m rather confused (still not completely understanding that baby is out completely), and it takes me a while to react. I take baby and turn around and sit on the seat. A towel is wrapped around the baby and he squawks. Baby doesn’t seem to want to breathe, though. For the next minute, while I hold Baby, and DH sits next to me, the MW and student use suction to try to stimulate breathing. It seems baby has aspirated something and won’t breathe properly. Baby does squawk a couple more times, but doesn’t start to breathe. Baby’s colour is staying purple-grey. The student MW checks his pulse and it’s 60. Shortly later it’s over 100. They give baby some oxygen but it doesn’t seem to help. They then give it a “breath” with the hand-pump thing. Shortly later its colour turns pink.
DSS wants to know whether it’s a boy or a girl. DH says that he knows, but doesn’t tell. Once baby is a good colour, I open up the towel and see that it’s a boy. I tell DSS that his dad owes him $5 (they had bet on whether it was a boy or girl). DSS is excited and tells DD “you have a brother!!!”
Last edited by sarahsunshine; 09-15-2010 at 12:52 PM.
Skyler Dylan 22 April 1999
Reed Aslan 17 June 2007 ~ 8 September 2008
Ivy Rayne 3 May 2009
Leo Spencer 2 Sept 2010
Forrest Reed 15 Aug 2012
Great story, Sarah! Amazing how well that rocking the hips works, isn't it? I found the same thing with Drew.
Hope you're starting to feel better.
What an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing.
Christy birth doula, Hypnobabies instructor, small business owner & most importantly MOMMY.
Your births are amazing, TFS that wonderful story it's like reading a great novel.