((hugs)) remember this is why you didn't want to shout to the world your HB plans beforehand. The average American doesn't get it. Doesn't have the same thought process as you. And all the research. This Average Person would be lucky to have things go so well.
You rocked your birth and should be proud. In the future tell them of how much you love to read about birth and that it was a wonderful calming experience that you had confidence in.
Although if I were you I'd be wanting to stand on the roof shouting. Lol.
Amazing how normal birth is lucky!
August 20, 2012
9lb 14oz, 22.5"
Here's the birth story
Sunday August 19th is when early labor started, although I didn’t really know for sure. I started having contractions but they were nothing more than just Braxton hicks type contractions and they were only every half hour and half a minute long. I started timing them about 4:30 on Sunday and decided at 11:30pm to go to bed and see if they died out. They must have petered out because the next thing I knew it was 4:40 Monday morning and something had awoken me.
I wasn’t sure if it was a contraction or if I just woke up so I went back to sleep. At 5am I woke up to a pretty painful contraction that had me jumping out of bed. It was much different in intensity than the ones from the night before. I got out of bed, well it was more like I jumped out of bed. I went in and talked to Scott for a minute and told him to get some sleep because this could be the real thing.
I went downstairs to time the contractions and see where I stood and try to get comfortable. The first two were 7 minutes apart and the next couple were 5 minutes apart. At 5:17am I called my midwife to tell her this was probably it and she could tell by my vocalizing through one I was having on the phone with her that it was definitely much different than the night before when I had talked to her. She said she would call her assistant and they would be on their way.
As soon as I hung up the phone with her they started getting even closer, down to 3 minutes and then 2 minutes and by the time I got upstairs to Scott again they were about a minute and a half apart. I was having a very hard time with them as they seemed to be doubling up, some were double peaking and they were just really painful. I was trying every position I could think of to see if anything helped. I can say for absolute certainty the worst was the one time during labor that I sat on the toilet to pee and I had a contraction that it was by far the worst position/contraction I had the entire time.
I tried kneeling on all fours, laying down on my side, sitting on my birth ball, leaning against Scott and rocking my hips, no, no, and double no. The only thing that worked and kept them even tolerable was walking, almost like a speed walk when they peaked. I was pacing like a wild animal, frantic like. DH was filling up the pool in our bedroom and trying to help me out as best he could but there was just nothing he could do for me. I told him a couple times in between contractions to please just don’t let me freak out.
As a contraction would start I would remind myself to not tense up and to not scream, to put effort into making growling noises instead and to keep my lips loose and not tighten them. I was flashing back to everything I had ever read about what to do and what not to do when you’re contracting to keep everything loosened up and keep control. I’d say we’re now around 6am. I knew I couldn’t do too many more hours with contractions this intense but since I didn’t know how this was going to go I was just trying to keep focused on one contraction at a time and get through each one and remind myself that it was one less I’d have to have later, something my wonderful natural birth mommas have taught me over the years to focus on and it came in very handy.
I started sweating buckets. I turned on a fan and wished so badly that I could somehow carry it with me as I paced. In between the contractions I would stand in front of the fan and try to absorb all the cool air I could. I was searching for my shorts but couldn’t find them so Scott had the brilliant idea for me to just take my pants off. I say brilliant because honestly it hadn’t crossed my own mind so to me at that moment it was genius. Within 5 minutes I was pacing with my shirt off as well. I could not cool off.
I started making my way towards the pool with full intentions to dive in head first. About 3 steps from the pool my water very loudly popped and slammed to the floor, it was 6:17am. I looked down to see if it was clear and it was. Scott promptly started cleaning up the soaking wet carpet. I made the last few steps to the pool and JUMPED in. It was so hot though that I asked Scott to turn on the cold water in the hose that was still working to fill the pool. It was heaven!
I knelt on my hands and knees and put the hose over my shoulder to spill cold water down my back and knew this was it, this was where I was going to spend eternity because at this moment that hose and it’s cold water were the only thing keeping me alive. Dramatic? Yes, absolutely. But at the time it’s seriously all I could think about. I started using the hose to soak my hair, to splash on my face, I took a couple drinks out of it, it was HEAVEN!
The first contraction I had when I was in the pool was different, my body was pushing, not too hard at first but the sounds I was making gave it away and pain had changed to pressure. The 2nd contraction I had in the pool it was beyond obvious that I was pushing, the shear force of my body bearing down had me in awe. I looked at the clock and realized there was absolutely no way my midwife was going to make it for this birth. I told Scott my body was pushing and I saw him glance at the clock as well. At this point he was hauling water out of the pool with an ice cream bucket and dumping it in the bathroom across the hall because I wouldn’t let him turn off the cold water that was my lifeline and the pool was filling up too fast.
He hauled bucket after bucket of water just to keep me comfortable! A few pushy contractions in the pool and I could feel the baby moving down ever so slightly. It was about this time that Scott informed me that he knew I was pushing because I was also pooping. I started to freak out for a moment but in a very gentle and calm way he reassured me not to worry about it he would scoop it out as well and take care of it for me.
I had a couple more pushy contractions, they felt great in comparison to the contractions pre-water breaking. They were intense and hard but weren’t a sharp pain, there was power behind them, a force that I couldn’t control. There’s no great way to explain the feeling when your body takes over with a force you’ve never known before to do exactly what it needs to do to get your baby out. I could feel it then, I felt his head start to emerge. I told Scott that the baby was getting ready to come out and he should get ready. He said he couldn’t see anything at that point and I felt his head go back up inside. I knew that was okay though, at this point, time was either moving like molasses in December or the time between contractions was increasing somewhat. Between that contraction and the next I was repeating out loud “Take it slow. You don’t want to tear. Just take it slowly!”
With the next contraction my body pushed, I beared down with it but didn’t do any more than it demanded. I felt his head start coming out, it felt great, but I could also feel that fire, the ring of fire I’ve heard about but had never felt before. It hurt and burned but Scott was doing a perfect job of cheering me on and telling me what all he saw. He was saying, “there’s the head, yep, there’s the forehead, there’s the eyebrows, the baby’s got blonde eyebrows, there’s his nose, his mouth” and then my body stopped pushing and the contraction ended. It seemed like forever until the next contraction but I made myself be patient and not push until my body told me it was time.
I reached down and felt his head for myself, it was then that I realized I’M DOING THIS, I’M BIRTHING MY BABY, no one is delivering him, it’s all me! In that instant I was overwhelmed and empowered and could have done absolutely anything! With the next contraction my body pushed with a force that could have moved a mountain, I felt my baby making his way out of my body. Scott reached down and held him as he emerged into the water and brought him up. As soon as he was clear of the water he let out a wonderful yell that was music to my ears. Scott handed him to me and grabbed a towel to lay over him as I sat there with eyes the size of half dollars trying to grasp the fullness of what I had just done.
Scott informed me just before he handed him to me that we had another son. All I could do was stare at him in wild amazement. Scott went downstairs to tell my mom, who had come just 15 minutes earlier to pick up the little kids, that she could come up and meet her new grandson. Grady and my mom came upstairs to see the baby. Mom said she had heard his cry from downstairs and I think she was in complete shock that we had actually just had the baby.
I looked at the clock again and realized that it was going to be a little bit before the midwife arrived and I should probably get myself and my son out of the cooled off pool pretty quickly. Scott worked to get a tarp laid out on the floor with a comforter on it so I could move to there and birth the placenta. He held our son as I worked to get into a position where I could get that done but since there wasn’t any contractions yet I wasn’t having any luck. I decided to try to get our new baby to latch on to bring about contractions and after a little bit that finally worked and I could feel a contraction. It was about 20-30 minutes after he was born that I finally pushed the placenta out. We just put it in a bucket and sat there and held the baby.
Scott talked to the midwife on the phone and she told him to get a cord clamp out and get a knife and pour rubbing alcohol over it and cut the cord so that’s what he did. I got up, cleaned off and moved to the recliner with the baby and started nursing him. Scott started cleaning up the mess we had left behind. Had I not known any better I would have sworn he was a midwife and had helped deliver hundreds of babies and knew exactly what he was doing. He was my rock, my absolute necessity during this birth. He took care of me and our son and worked tirelessly to make me as comfortable as he could. He cleaned up everything and not once did he complain or growl about any of it, he seemed to instinctively know what I needed and what needed to be done. I fell in love with him more deeply than I could have ever imagined that morning. The midwife arrived about 45 minutes after the baby was born and in the meantime Scott and I had decided to name him Noah Joseph. We had liked the name Noah already and when Scott pointed out the correlation between him being born in the water and the biblical Noah we knew then it was the perfect name for our little man.
The midwife examined us. She did Noah as he lay against my chest skin on skin getting all warmed up. It was so nice that no one was trying to take my baby away from me. After a while they weighed him and he was 9lb 14oz and 22.5”!!! I could NOT believe it. After he was done she checked me all over, no tears, yay!!!
After all was said and done I have spent the last 6 days in complete amazement at what we did, at Noah and at how each one of my births has changed me over the years. Each birth story I have is something special to me, each one has taught me something and has brought me to where I am and helped shape me in ways I probably don't even realize. DD1's birth and Noah's birth could not be any more different from each other but in order to have this high from Noah's birth I needed Andrea's birth.
Mama to Kostas with the Mostest, born 07/10/07
and Marek "Cricket" Joshua, born 12/07/12
What an amazing story, Christa. Amazing, amazing, amazing. There was nothing lucky about all that. you went into it prepared to handle a normal, natural birth, and that is what you did. And you didn't just handle it, you rocked it!!
Mara & Joel, 2009
What a beautiful story! Brought tears of joy to my eyes.
AMAZING story! You are awesome and you did amazing! Huge congratulations to you! Okay you just made me so much more comfortable about having an unassisted delivery. That was my biggest fear with Lukus and had the midwife not been the one to assist my body into staying in active labor then he could have very well been an unassisted baby. Oh and oddly enough I never felt the ring of fire until I had my water baby. I remember telling everyone as he was crowning , "oh that's the pain everyone is always telling me about!" lol. You really did awesome and I am so SO happy you got the birth you wanted!
DS1-7/18/08, DS2-2/23/10, DS3 1/18/12
TTC in fall/winter of 2014
What a truly amazing story! I loved every bit of it. I am so happy for you and for your DH. He sounds absolutely wonderful! The part where you describe pushing and taking it slow and feeling his head and just all of it brought tears to my eyes.
This story is just so beautiful I can't even stand it. I'm so, SO happy for you that you got to have such an amazing experience! And thank you for sharing it--I could almost feel what you were describing as I read it, and it brought so many of the positive aspects of my birth back to me. I had the same experience in the tub with being way too hot, except in my situation DH was standing there dumping ice water over my head and back between pushing contractions. I will always remember that heavenly feeling!!
Wow. I love your birth story. Honestly, I'm jealous (despite your baby being sunny side up!). When I'm in labor, I really want to do like cats and dogs, and find some dark place to hide until I'm done. This whole mw thing is just a concession to all the medical what-ifs. The idea of delivering before the mw arrives really appeals to me.
DS 1 b. 1/19/09, DS 2 b. 1/12/11, DS 3 b. 3/3/13
Thanks girls! It was an awesome experience and I'm so humbled to be able to say it was mine.
If we were going to have anymore kids I would still hire a mw and still plan to have her attend the birth because there just aren't any guarantees and while I do trust birth and the process there's that small chance I may encounter a problem I don't have any knowledge on or couldn't handle and it would be really nice to have that experience. The mw I hired first that couldn't attend because of family problems has the philosophy that she is there to supervise in case of problems but she is NOT an integral part of the birth. That is exactly what I had wanted, someone there just in case but not involved unless she's needed. She said she doesn't like catching babies, she prefers DH's/SO's to do that, she told me "baby doesn't want me, he wants you guys". She'll do as much or as little as you need or want and that to me sounds perfect.
And btw, he wasn't sunny side up, I was on my hands and knees, which is why DH could see everything so clearly. I guess I never really said that in the story.