Griffin Benjamin's Birth Story- Born 11-30-12 at 4:16am- 6lbs 12 oz- 19 1/2 inches long
So my labor definitely did not go as planned, but in a way it couldn't have gone much better. As most of you know, my plan was to have a nice, relaxing(as possible) water birth at our free standing birth center with midwives that I trusted. I was super pumped for it and a little nervous since this was my 1st time attempting a totally drug free birth. I was very confident in my body and mentally I felt like I had prepared my mind for what was to come. Honestly, I think a LARGE part of my confidence came from this board. I read so many birth stories and got so much wonderful information from all the women on here. Each time I read another Lodge I felt more inspired.
On Thursday night, November 29, I had my first contractions. Well, I had been having them off and on for a couple weeks, but they were never consistent or anything. So when I started having them that night, I honestly didn't think much of them. It was around 10:30pm and I was watching TV with DH. I did mention to him that I was having some and I did notice that these seemed to be coming every 6-7 minutes, but like I said, I didn't get too excited. I was 39 weeks 1 day pregnant which is exactly when I went into labor with DS1 too. I decided to go to bed and figured that if I was really in labor, then I wouldn't be able to go to sleep or that they would wake me up. I am pretty sure I managed to fall asleep within a few minutes of getting in bed. DH was still downstairs watching TV when I fell asleep.
I woke up at 2:59am. I remember because I looked at the clock right when I woke up. I woke up because I had to pee. (At least I think. I don't think it was a contraction that woke me up.) I got up, used the bathroom, got back in bed. I noticed contractions that were stronger than I had had so far in my pregnancy. They continued to come pretty quickly so I got my phone which had a contraction timing ap on it. I started timing them. They were coming every minute and lasting a minute. I only timed about 5 or 6 of them because they were so intense that it was quite honestly annoying to me to even be timing them. I knew that contractions coming every minute and lasting for a minute were strange. DH had fallen asleep on the couch(I honestly think he was trying to give me the bed because I was so pregnant and cranky and he snores.) I went downstairs to tell him I was in labor. He was super excited and immediately started turning like every freakin light in the house on. I started fussing at him to calm down and turn the lights down. I apologized for fussing at him later after I delivered. I sat on the stairs trying to talk to him but I just couldn't. The contractions were very intense. I couldn't talk until my break in between them and it seemed like I was getting no break. He paged our midwife and we called my sister to come stay with DS1 who was asleep. I kept trying to get stuff together, but I would just end up on my hands and knees each time I had a contraction because that was the only position that was somewhat comfortable. There was no sense of urgency at this point despite how strong they were. I honestly thought I was being a bit of a baby. I remember telling myself that this was only the start of my labor and I needed to stay calm and not let them overwhelm me.
At 3:40am our midwife called us back. DH was talking to her while I was on my hands and knees in the kitchen attempting to get food together to take with us to the birth center. (Never could get off my hands and knees the whole labor!) The midwife asked Dh if she could talk to me. I think she was skeptical of whether or not I was really in labor because Dh told her I had only been having contractions for 30 minutes. Once she talked to me she said she would meet us at the birth center at 4:15. That sounded good to me because we still had to wait for my sister, and I was moving at the pace of snail, and it takes up about 25 minutes to get there from our house.
I had to go back upstairs to our room & bathroom to change clothes, brush my teeth, etc. I did manage to change clothes, but then I ended up on the bathroom floor with another contraction. I don't think I ever got off the floor again. LOL. I had a very big contraction and when I was done, I could do nothing but rest rather than get up and try to get stuff done to go to the birth center. At the time, DH was still wondering around the house getting stuff ready for us to go. This is when everything seemed to pick up a notch. Suddenly, I could do nothing but focus on my labor. I ended up on my knees and I hunched over the toilet for support. I remember I was having to breathe like a mad woman to get thru my contractions and I would think I was going to die and then it would end and I would totally relax. I couldn't think about anything except my labor. No more trying to get dressed or whatever. I began to throw up. I also felt the baby move down and my water break all in one contraction. I started to feel "pushy." Now I just have to say, that had I not planned on natural birth or read all the birth stories on this board, or read books on NCB, etc, then I don't think I would have felt so "OK" with what was going on, but I did. I wasn't scared which I think it amazing and just goes to show how truly natural childbirth really is. It was like my body took over and I was just along for the ride and I knew that I just had to go with it at this point. All that I learned from other women who had done this before me. Now looking at the situation thru "non laboring eyes" I don't know why I wasn't more scared, but while it was happening it felt like a very natural thing. I don't know if any of that made sense, but I hope it did.
Anyway, so I was feeling like I needed to start pushing. I realized that this was transition. I couldn't walk to go get DH and I couldn't yell for him. I wasn't very vocal and I felt like I couldn't really talk or yell for some reason. I remembered that my phone was on the bathroom counter and I called him. He was downstairs and so he ran up and asked what was wrong. I was throwing up again and I just said, "I'm not going to make it to the birth center. I need to push already." He of course started to tell me how we needed to get in the car right now, wake up DS, etc. I told him no way was I having the baby in the car and that he needed to go call the midwife and tell her I was about to deliver. I have to give my DH credit because he said, "OK." He didn't keep pushing me to try and get me in the car or panic or anything. He just listened and called her and told her I wasn't going to make it. Once again, she wanted to talk to me. I remember he gave me the phone during a break in my contractions and she said, "Claire, you can't have your baby at home. It's going to be a mess. Can you really not get in the car and come?" I started to calmly explain my situation and then my contraciton started and I remember saying in a voice that did not sound like my own, "I'm having the baby! I can't come now!" I gave the phone back to DH. I could hear her and DH talking outside the bathroom. She must have been asking if my water broke because he tried to turn on the light to look and I yelled at him to turn it off. He then relayed to the midwife that I wouldn't let him turn the light on. LOL. He relayed everything I said or did to her. I honestly did not think she would be able to make it to our house, but I could hear him giving her directions. It seemed like I would have one contraction and start pushing and then the next one I wouldn't have to push. The ones where I didn't have to push about killed me. I wanted to push at that point. It hurt and felt good at the same time. Since I didn't think the midwife would make it, I figured I would just deliver alone without DH's help while he was on the phone. It's not that he wouldn't have been super helpful, but I just wanted to be alone. It was exactly how I felt in labor with DS1. I couldn't get my pants off so I figured I would just have the baby in my yoga pants and that way at least they would catch him and then I would immediately take him out. I was on my knees so someone had to catch. LOL my train of thought was not that great at the time. So I started pushing and grunting and all that lovely stuff.
Well, to my surprise I heard a woman's voice behind me say, "Hey!" I thought for a moment it was my sister and I was just like, "Oh hey" but I kept on pushing. When I looked to see her it was the midwife, Lesley! I couldn't quite believe she made it. Turns out when DH called her back she just happened to be right at our exit ramp and was able to make it there in no time. I mean what are the odds? I can't help but think it was meant to be. Lesley came in and told me we needed to get my pants off and that we needed to turn the light on. I knew she was right so I let her help me get my pants off. Suddenly, I thought that I had to poop and I remember finding some kind of internal strength or something to get off my knees and on the toilet. Lesley was like, "What are you doing?" I said, "Please let me! I have to go to the bathroom!" I refused to poop on my floor with her and DH watching. LOL I can't believe I still cared about that. While I was on the toilet she checked me and said, "Claire you can't have your baby on the toilet. I don't think you have to poop." I guess it just felt that way. So I got back off and in the squatting position. Lesley let me lean against her and I could feel him crowning and the ring of fire. It was unbelievable to me how much work my body was doing all by itself. It was so intense. I just kind of went with it and while I was going with it, to my surprise, my damn contraction stopped and he was just sitting there. I tried to keep pushing but it didn't work without my body. I remember saying, "What do I do?!" Lesley said, "Just wait a moment for your contraction." So I did and it didn't take long even though I felt like forever. I was able to push his head and his body out in the next contraction.
Lesley caught him and the cord was double wrapped around his neck, but he was totally fine and alert immediately. In fact his Apgar score was a 9 and then a 10. I think both DH and I were in shock. DH had warmed up some towels and brought me a few pillows and Griffin and I laid back on the floor while Lesley checked us out and helped me deliver the placenta. DH cut the cord and so on. I had a teeny tiny tear but nothing that needed stitches thank goodness! Woo hoo my 1st birth without stitches! Lesley said we had to move to the birth center so that they could monitor us for a couple hours and then we could come back home. At some point right before Griffin was born my sister had gotten there, but she stayed downstairs while I delivered. My sister was shocked and excited as well. She laughed and said that for a minute she thought it was her fault we hadn't made it to the birth center because she didn't get there on time to watch James. So from the time my contractions started around 3:15ish to when I delivered was around an hour. Lesley made it there 5 minutes before I delivered. We woke up DS before we went to the birth center. He was sooooo excited to see his new baby brother. He's 6 so he totally understands what having a new baby means and he too was shocked that I'd just delivered in the bathroom. In fact, my sweet sister cleaned up the bathroom for me while I was at the birth center being checked out. Apparently, DS was concerned that blood got on his toy pirate ship which was sitting next to the bath tub. It didn't though. We were only at the birth center a few hours and then they let us come home. I believe we got home around 8:30 or 9:00 in the morning.
So that's it in a nutshell. I plan to get back on here tomorrow morning while DS is at school and DH is at work and it's just me and the baby. Then I can post some pictures and finally catch up on everyone else's birth stories and lodges!! I can't wait to read them! I am dying to hear how everyone is now, but I need to go right now so I can fold clothes and feed the baby. Yes, totally in baby heaven!
Wow, that is an amazing birth story! You rocked what could have been a scary labor. WTG!!!
Enjoy your baby! Can't wait to see pictures!
That is so amazing Claire! You and your DH did an awesome job through it all! What a crazy, whirlwind birth! WTG mama!
Mama to Kostas with the Mostest, born 07/10/07
and Marek "Cricket" Joshua, born 12/07/12
OMGosh!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!! Congratulations!! I was literally LOLing about the yoga pants catching the baby
Congrats! What an amazing story! I was also laughing at the yoga pants catching the baby. Actually, I think that was a pretty good thought, if you didn't think you would be able to do it with your hands! I got up from squatting in my bedroom and walked to the bathroom and back again less than 5 minutes before Z was born, because I also was sure I had to poop. I had already pooped on the (covered) floor in the bedroom, so why I cared, I don't know. But, I also didn't need to poop, and my midwife also made me get off the toilet.
Way to go again, mamma! You're amazing!
Mara & Joel, 2009
Here are some pics!
Here is a very recent one from yesterday. This is my sweet boy.
Here I am at the Birth Center after the delivery.
DH, Chris, holding him.
Here are 2 that they took for us at the birth center. They put him in a stocking. LOL
Leaving the birth center that morning.
I love this one. James holding him for the 1st time. He loves him so much.