J’s birth Story
My birth story is a story that spans over the course of a about a week. The week before my estimated due date my 2 year old son Finn came down with what appeared to be a mild upper respiratory infection and he became very clingy and nursing a lot again. At the peak point of his illness he was asking for water a lot during the night and constantly waking me up and nursing and I had to keep getting up out of bed to get him water and I kept pulling ligament muscles and just woke up the next day feeling so sore.
It was 4 days away from my EDD and I just kept feeling mild cramps all day and was just very uncomfortable. By the time night time hit I was having irregular uncomfortable contractions. My boyfriend, Joshua, got home after a 12 hour shift about 9pm and I told him I thought I was in labor but wasn’t sure because my contractions were very irregular. So I sat on the yoga ball and that helped a lot and Joshua and the kids all went to sleep. My contractions got more uncomfortable so I drew myself a nice hot bath to help cope with the pain. It helped a lot, which made me more confused about what was going on if my contractions could go away. I ended up spending about 4 hours in the bath tub because I was so uncomfortable and it was the best pain relief option. Finally around 6am the contractions completely stopped and I was able to rest and get some sleep.
I woke up feeling really frustrated about what was going on and sought out help from friends and came to the realization that I was probably suffering through some prodromal labor. Joshua had gone to work for the day so I did my best to take care of the kids on the little sleep I had. As the day progressed on the uncomfortable painful contractions continued. They did end up stopping before bedtime so I managed to get some sleep at the end of the 2nd day but Finn had suddenly changed his entire personality and was stuck on my breasts nursing all night to the point if i even attempted to unlatch him he would flail around violently screaming to nurse. Nursing him would cause a lot of cramping so it was hard to deal between his meltdowns or my pain.
By the 3rd day of prodromal labor I was starting to loose it. I was breaking down and crying constantly. I spent most of my time in the bath tub. I couldn’t handle taking care of my kids. Finn became even more clingy and wanted me to nurse him and hold him every second of the day. I felt my confidence slipping, I started feeling like my body was failing me. I kept updating with my midwife friends what was going on, hoping they knew something I didn’t and they could tell me I’d give birth any second just so I’d have some hope, but they just basically told me what I already knew, it was still prodromal labor, it was early labor and I was dilating but it wasn’t time yet. I did loose my mucus plug and had a bloody show on the 3rd day which restored some confidence in my body. Judging by the bloody show that meant I had to be dilating to at least 2-3 cm. But the pain was starting to really get to me. I had been suggested to drink some wine to help relax me. I don’t like wine so Joshua got me some hard cider and I took a nice hot epsom salt bath and drank my cider. I felt very relaxed but shortly after, the pain seemed to intensify.
I was getting to the desperation point of contemplating the hospital, or hitting up the local drug dealer for anything.I’ve never smoked anything in my life or ingested marijuana in any way but I attempted to smoke some weed for the first time hoping it would help with my pain relief. I took 2 hits, and I’m pretty sure I did it wrong because I felt nothing. I know I inhaled it. But maybe not enough? I dont know but that was a bust for me and just left me with awful smelling/tasting breath. Finn is used to nursing to sleep so I did my best to lie him on the bed and stand over him and nurse him to sleep while i rocked and shook my hips through the contractions. After he finally went to sleep and I spent several more hours shaking my way through contractions in the tub I decided to take one of Joshua muscle relaxers. It helped me feel very relaxed and for a few hours I got some moments of rest until the contractions became so painful again it woke me up.
By day 4 I had reached the point of being unable to leave the bath tub. It was the only place i could get some type of lessening of the pain. I called around and got my friend Nina to come get my kids for the day because I just couldn’t take care of them. I called Joshua and told him how bad it was getting and i can’t handle the kids and we needed to figure something out. He called his friend Kenny to come get the kids to stay the night as soon as Nina would drop them off that afternoon. When Nina came to pick up the kids I was basically locked in the bathroom sweating, crying, and in the worst pain of my life. My stomach felt like it was contracting so hard tha aftt it was slamming into my hips and they would break at any moment. Once the kids were gone I was finally able to get out of the tub and get some water to drink and go back to the yoga ball. As the hours passed I started to feel so much better I could move around and get something to eat and talk to my sister on the phone for awhile. She mentioned how she had horrible prodromal labor at the end of her pregnancy because she had gotten sick and was severally dehydrated. Then it clicked….I am probably really frickin dehydrated!!! Since Joshua had to mind the kids no one was able to help take care of me while I was stuck in that bathtub so I wasn’t eatting or drinking since I couldnt even move to get a drink. I had drank alcohol which was probably making me dehydrate more and thats why the contractions worsened after I drank. I also think Finn was stressing me out. Everytime I heard him cry or whine or even come near me I got a contraction. So getting rid of the kids and being alone and actually being able to focus on myself and drink some water had helped so much to the point all contractions stopped and I felt normal again. Nina dropped off my kids and Kenny was there to pick them up and of course Finn wanted to nurse. I got a few contractions again that made me have to sit down. But the kids left quickly and I was able to relax again. I wasn’t able to sit down though. My hips ached so bad that there was no comfortable position other than standing. But I had been in a reclined/seated position for 4 days so i was fine with standing for hours.
5 hours went by and I didn’t have a single contraction and felt good again. Joshua didn’t get off work til 10pm that night after working a 13 hour day. Maybe a little over 15 minutes after he had gotten home I was in the middle of telling him about my awful day when I had to go pee and as I was peeing POP! my water burst and I yelled “OH GOD!” Joshua came running in to check on me and I told him my water broke. The waters were murky brown colored so I was concerned with meconium. Meconium was turned into a big unncessary mess with my son’s birth so it had me worried and doubting myself. Then blood started coming out so I decided to call a midwife friend just for reassurance. I called a wonderful midwife I know named Denise to let her know my water broke and described the fluids and the blood and she reassured me it was just the 2nd bloody show and gave me some guidelines to follow and just said if it was meconium, make sure I give birth in the water. And to check the babies heart rate. I wasn’t having any contractions at this point but my hips were aching so I had Joshua draw me another bath and told him to get the birth pool set up in the living room. He also checked the babies heart rate 3 times and we had an average of 120 BPM so I felt a little bit better.
As I was getting into the tub I felt like I had to poop, and I thought, oh great perfect timing!
While I was in the bath another gush of blood came out and I just started feeling so unprepared. I hadnt researched how much blood was to much and what was normal. I didn’t want to bother Denise, again, so I called my birth friend Tyler who had given birth unassisted twice. She reassured me it was still probably the bloody show. So I then called my birth photographer and let her know my water had broken but I wasn’t having any contractions just yet and I’d keep her updated. It was now after 10:30pm and after I hung up with Kristin, the birth photographer, I started contracting a bit and started mentally screaming at Joshua to hurry up with the birth pool. Finally it was all ready for me. I told Joshua I was scared. I couldn’t do this. All the prodromal had shaken my confidence and I was terrified. He did his best to reassure me, I dont even remember his reply, all i remember was my fear and my pain. Joshua helped me stand up and I had to go right back in that water. Everything hurt to much. It took a few tries but I got to the living room and in the nice comfy fishy pool.
Joshua pulled a table next to me with our supplies and a big glass of water. I asked him to get a frozen wash rag out of the freezer I had left in there the night before. The contractions started coming on really strong and I had to shake my legs and hips to go through them. Joshua kept trying to ask me questions and I had to just tell him to stop asking me questions and just go with the flow. So he grabbed a chair and sat down next to me.
My contractions quickly escalated and I had to moan and HEE-HOO through them all. They were so intense I had to flail my body all around the birth pool and rock my hips. I kept thinking about how in my Orgasmic Birth book it said that we had to get the baby out the same way it went in. So I would rock and girate my hips the way I would during sex. The frozen washrag was my main sense of comfort through every contraction. The only things I could mutter out were asking for water between each contraction and for Joshua to get me my transition ease tincture. He asked when should he call Kristin? I just muttered, whenever you think. Everything seemed to go so slow and so fast at the same time. I was moaning away and Joshua called Kristin to come because the baby would be here soon. Joshua sat quietly by my side and watched tv. He got up and left the room and I had a really strong contraction and I felt like I had to take a really huge poop and my ass hurt. I knew the baby was coming soon. A few seconds later I had another contraction and I felt like my ass had exploded and I felt the ring of fire and screamed my head off. I kept screaming and screaming and I heard Joshua come back in the room and jump in the pool saying the heads out! He told me to pushpushpush!!!! I wanted to punch him in the face. I needed a split second rest. I did my best to keep pushing and it seemed like eternity passed by. I screamed and push and screamed and pushed and finally….relief. The baby was out! Joshua was holding up the white vernix covered bloody baby. I took a few breathes and asked….”What is it?!” Joshua said “It’s a girl” Look at her vagina!” He laid her on my chest as I tried to calm myself down. I asked him what time was she born…..It was 12:16am. I was so happy it was over and so happy it had gone quickly. I just wanted to look at my baby and view what a baby looks like fresh from the womb. I never got to experience it before. The vernix was so thick.
Joshua tried to call Kristin but she didn’t answer. She arrived shortly after Olive was born and as she came in the door Joshua told her it was to late….Kristin was like…ohh HA-HA funny…and then she seen me in the pool, exhausted, holding a baby. I didn’t plan to have her there and me be completely naked splayed open the way I was, but at that point I didn’t care anymore. I was just trying to FINALLY relax.
I lied in that pool waiting for the placenta to come out so we could cut the cord. I started to get cold and Olive, my baby girl, was starting to get cold as well she kept crying. I was also sick of being in water! It took about an hour for the placenta to finally come out. It felt like liver. I handed Joshua Olive so he could cut the cord and as I raised her up to him the Lion King’s CIRCLE OF LIFE played in my head. He cut the cord and handed me back Olive and he took the placenta into the kitchen. I got a towel and got dried off and put some clothes on and wrapped Olive in a blanket and went to lie down in bed. Joshua cut up a piece of placenta to throw into a placenta smoothie just in case there may be any excessive postpartum bleeding. Kristin took pictures as we went about our postpartum care. Olive pooped all over me and her so she ended up getting her first sponge bath sooner than I planned. Joshua set up a table next to the bed with everything I would need and we said our Goodbyes to Kristin and settled in to bed with our new baby girl. That night I got one of the best nights sleep ever after giving birth. It was so calm and relaxing. The whole experience was amazing. It didn’t go exactly as I had hoped but I couldn’t have asked for a better birth.
I have a new perspective on birth in so many ways. I now understand why some women take that epidural, or even an induction. I was so contemplating an induction at one point. In a way I am so glad that I didn’t give myself a choice on my birth, I had no back up plan so I was forced to only go this route. To go to a hospital having had no professional prenatal care, obviously being an unassisted pregnancy and birth, I would’ve been treated like shit and been treated like a monster, possibly had CPS called on me. The possibilities of what would happen in a hospital was enough to keep me from heading to that maternity ward.
I feel such pride in myself. Joshua has such pride and respect and admiration for me. I gave birth to my daughter completely alone. I did it. It was all me. I got the healing birth I deserved to have. I wish all mothers could have such an empowering experience.