Birth Story of C
Born March 1999, 7lb’s 10 oz. 20 inches
I found out I was pregnant the day of my missed period. I had been off my birth control for a whole month. I thought it would take a lot longer to get pregnant because of the problems my sisters had. But nope, not me, I got pregnant right after I was gone for a week visiting my sister who had just had a baby. I had a good pregnancy no major problems I barely had any morning sickness or I was just to busy working to notice. The rest of the pregnancy went well J and I took Bradley Method childbirth classes which were very informative and gave me the confidence to deliver the baby naturally. I learned about the classes in a massage class and that there are dangers to using the drugs during labor and there were natural ways to ease the pain that are safe for the baby and the mom. So I signed up for classes even though we did not have much money to pay for the classes and the whole birth was being paid for with cash because we had no insurance and did not qualify for Medicare. My brother in law even offered to pay for the epidural because no one could understand why I would not want it and thought it was because of the money. But I thought it was the best thing for me and was more afraid of the drugs than having a baby. I am so glad I made that decision it has affected so much of my life. Childbirth and birthing is a very important part of my life. I used a midwife named Diane Heubush and had the baby at St. Marks Hospital.
I went into labor at about 5:30 Am on Saturday March 19th, this was my due date. I had slow and light labor for most of the day and spent it at home trying to get J to get off work, but I was not far enough along to make him come home so he finished his day at work and came home at about 5 PM. I was ready to go to the hospital by then, I had spent the day alone and it was hard not having anyone to encourage me to move and try to get labor going. So I sat most of the day and was kneeling over my rocking ottoman during a lot of the contractions that helped but they did not really hurt just were a very different sensation. I got to the hospital and was only 2 cm when they checked me so Jason and I were sent on a walk. Walking was hard as it made my contraction longer and was not easy to keep walking through. We went back after an hour and I had dilated to a 4 so they kept me at the hospital. I continued to walk still having what did not seem like hard contractions to me. I did not want an I. V. and did not have continual monitoring so I had the freedom to move around. My brother was in the area and came by while I was in labor so that made a change for a few minutes but I wasn’t up to a long visit.
Around 9 pm I decided to get into the Jacuzzi tub that was in my room. I did not want the bubbles but just relaxed, it was great I even was reading a little. I no longer wanted any clothes on (a gown) when the tried to put them on me when I got in the tub. I just did not want any clothes. I now know that that means I am nearing transition. So I labored in the tub until I felt the urge to push. Got out and threw up my apple juice that they had given me (I did not want apple juice for a long time after that). So for some reason that was a sign to not give me any more fluid except ice chips which was bad because I needed the water even if I threw it up again. They broke my water at this point about 10 PM (standard practice to check for meconium there was just a slight tint). So; I pushed for about 2 ½ hours and was very tired. I got mad at Jason when he was just giving me the ice and told him to give me the water in the bottom of the cup, I was getting dehydrated by then ( I found out later that is why my pushing stage took so long and the baby was so sleepy when he came out we were both dehydrated). My Midwife had me get up and walk after I had been in the pushing stage for a while. Walking made it so hard to stand, the contraction were one after another with no break, I made to the toilet and back than wanted to go back to the bed so I could rest during contractions. My midwife was very helpful during the hard labor contractions and gave me great advice to just let the contractions just flow through me. They asked if I wanted to have a mirror to see the baby come out and decided I did I am glad it was neat to see. The head kept crowning than slipping back inside when I stopped pushing, My midwife tried to get me to do a full squat but I did not have the energy to do it so I had the baby in a sitting squat with J holding one leg and my midwife holding the other I had an apprentice midwife actually deliver me. I finally got the head to stay after the third time. Than I got the ring of fire that was the only time I wanted the drugs that really hurt. But I managed to get the head out, the cord was wrapped around his neck once but it was easily removed and he was put on my stomach skin to skin. I did get a tear; the babies hand was by his head and pulled down as he came out. C was born Sunday Morning. The cord was cut later after it stopped pulsing and J cut the cord. I had the baby for a little while than they took him and did his vitals.
When it was time for his bath I wanted to go with J who was going to give the bath but my blood pressure was so low and my heart rate so high that they said I had to drink picture of water before I could go with them or I would be given an I.V. (I would not have had this problem if they had given me the water during delivery). But I drank a lot and went with them to bathe the baby. When we got back to our room I was so tired it was about 3 Am by then and J too that we had to sleep but the hospital had a no rooming in policy unless some one was awake so the baby went to the nursery. I kept waking up and asking for the baby because hours went by and they did not bring him into nurse. They said he just wasn’t waking up and was sleeping when they did finally bring him in later in the morning (he had never nursed) I tried to feed him but not a lot happened. I tried trough out the day still having to ask the nurses to bring him into me. And he sort of latched on but never very well when we went home on Monday morning.
We had a hard time I could not get him to nurse and he was still very sleepy. I finally gave him expressed milk in a cup he took that a little bit. By Wednesday I was just panicked he still had not nursed well and I was afraid he wasn’t going to he still slept a lot and I called my Bradley teacher Andrea and she came to my house and helped me with latch on and told me to just do skin to skin all day the next day and just offer the breast every time he woke up. That finally worked by the end of the day he was nursing very well and we did great from that time on. I attribute the no rooming in policy for our bad start nursing if he had been in the room with me I could have had a lot more bonding time and done the skin to skin contact from the start. I learned three important lessons this first birth drink a lot, walk during early labor, and baby is always with me. We did not circumcise the baby and did not want to, but he actually did not have much to cut he was born partially circumcised so I did not have to fight over that issue. It was a great learning experience for me and I am so glad I had the baby with out any drugs he was tired enough as it was drugs would have made him comatose. I learned a lot about my body and what it can do that labor was not as hard as I feared. That I can trust my body and that the lord created women as perfect vessels to deliver babies and that labor is not a punishment and with a little bit of knowledge can be a rewarding and beautiful experience.
The Birth Story of A
He was born May 2005 at Andaluz Water birth center in Tualatin Oregon. My midwife was Kate, Ondra (apprentice), and Misty (apprentice). I had two student Doula’s Christine, and Ginny to help me with labor and help take care of C and Q. J, C, and Q were all there to support me and be a part of their new brothers’ birth into our family.
My pregnancy with A went well, I had more morning sickness than with the others and was sure he was a girl, but that is beside the point. When we had the ultrasound we found out it was a boy. I was disappointed at first because, I so thought the next baby was going to be a girl. But after a few days I started to get used to the idea of another boy and started looking for boy things and boy names. My pregnancy went well I loved my midwifes and how the Birth Center allowed me to make informed choices about my care. They always told me the pros and cons to every test. Most of my appointments lasted for about an hour, they asked me about my mental and emotional state not just my physical. The only stress I had during the pregnancy was I had a lot of anxiety. I was worried about something wrong with the baby if he did not move and just overall anxiety that would not go away. I finally had my friend T tell me to ask J for a blessing and when I did that my anxiety almost completely went away. I saw two midwives Kate and Carrie but saw Kate more, so that is who I picked to help me with delivery. I never got an exam until I was past due and only to help me along to go into labor. I did not get tested for gestational diabetes because I had no family history or physical reason for it to be a factor. Just did one ultrasound, blood work, and the Strep B test which I failed the first time. I was able to use an herbal cream that cleared it up, and tested negative the next time, so I did not need antibiotics for the birth. The only other note worthy thing about my pregnancy was at 37 weeks when I went to my midwife appointment the baby had turned transverse. He was now on his side with his head by my left hip I think he turned a couple of days before. We went on a boat ride on the Portland Spirit down the Willamette River and he moved a lot that night. By morning he had been really low in my uterus. I just thought he had engaged his head in my pelvis because he had been head down and LOA the last few visits. Fortunately Kate was able to easily and gently encourage him back head down. So she did a successful inversion, that did not hurt, and he stayed head down after I went into a deep squat for a few minutes. I did lots of squatting and pelvic rocks for the next few days to keep him down there.
I had a lot of Braxton hicks contraction for most of my third trimester but they were not to bothersome. Until I had regular contractions all day and they were getting slightly harder but not painful, the Thursday after I was due. I was sure they would develop into something more and had J stay home from work thinking, I would go into full labor in the night or morning. But that did not happen, when I went to bed the contractions and everything just stopped and were gone by morning. So J went back to work that night and I continued to wait for the baby to be born. I went to my week over appointment and needed to schedule a non stress test and amniotic fluid ultrasound. For a few days later if I had not had the baby to make sure he was doing ok. So a week and a half past and I went in for the tests they showed the baby was fine (although the midwifes there acted like there was something wrong the whole time). So I had to schedule another test for two weeks if I did not have the baby. Two weeks came I had another round of tests and visited with my midwife. Baby was still doing fine but the baby needed to come soon because I cannot deliver at the birth center after three weeks, and would end up back in the hospital which I did not want. So my Midwife stripped my membranes that visit (first vaginal exam) and I was at a 2 and 50% effaced. She also had me get some homeopathic herbs to try to encourage my body to go into labor. I had to schedule another series of test for Friday (this was Tuesday) and I was really stressed out about the test. I ended up getting pitosin to help my labor progress because Q showed signs of distress with those test and did not have enough amniotic fluid. So every test stressed me out and I thought there were going to be problems. I prayed a lot and had J give me a blessing because I was getting so upset with me being so far over due and about the test but my prayers where always calming and that everything would turn out fine and it did. Wednesday I once again started having regular strong but not painful contractions that were regular but did go away when I napped. I thought for sure I was in labor and it would turn into something that night or next day. I had J stay home and we even went down to where the birth center was and got a hotel room. Thinking that if I went in to hard labor in the night we would be right there and not have to drive the hour from home and J could bring the boys back to the hotel after I had the baby. But when I went to bed that night my labor stopped. By morning I was a basket case I was ready and needed the baby to come. So I went to the Birthing center that morning and got checked again to see if all that pre-labor did anything I was a 3 at this time. So tiny bit of progression not much. We talked about more proactive steps to get me into labor and I went and had an acupuncture treatment to help stimulate me and try to get me into labor. I felt more calm and peaceful after, but am not sure if it helped it might have. We than went back home and J decided to help and take me for a walk. We took a three hour walk all around town with the boys J drove the route and it was about 4 miles. Amazingly enough the boys did great and we all made it home with out being too tired.
Nine PM Thursday the 19th after my walk, I started to have painful contractions about ten minutes apart. I was not sure if it was the real thing or not and I was trying to decide if I wanted to go to Fred Meyer for some caster oil to help induce labor when I decided I was to tired and that we could get it in the morning. I went to bed about 10:30 pm and slept till Jason came to bed at 12:30 am when he came in the room I woke up to a contraction. I could not really get to sleep after that I kept waking up because the contractions were getting harder and I could not sleep through them. After getting up to go to the bathroom every contraction and still trying to sleep. I finally just got up at 2:30 am and decided to call my midwife and let her know I was finally in labor, but that the contractions were still ten minutes apart. So she told me to call back in an hour. At 3:30 am I finally started having five minute contractions and that I was ready to go to the Birth Center. I woke up J, called my Doula’s, and J got the boys dressed and we left to go to the center at 4 am. The trip wasn’t bad, but next time I will turn off the music, it was not calming and distracted me during contractions. I needed to deep breathe and visualize the contraction going all the way through me but couldn’t with the music, so it kept stopping and not flowing through, so it hurt more.
We made it to the center; I got into the tub to labor for a little while. J got the boys set up watching a movie and they were really excited. I only stayed in the tub for a little while, it was a bit too hot, and so I got out. I than labored in the room with everyone the kids were watching star wars clone wars, so I watched that in between contractions. I stood up and leaned over a lot during contractions it felt better that way. I was encouraged to drink lots and the Doula’s helped me with some massage during the contractions and they timed them and could tell they were progressing. I did threw-up a lot, once, in the bathroom but did well most of the time I did get shaky as labor progressed. At about 8 am I threw-up one more time and got back onto the tub I did not want any clothes on anymore so I thought I was in transition.
J came in and gave me love and support both of the boys came in too. C was especially sweet he wanted to stroke my cheek and stay by me and just touched me to give me comfort he also put the little star wars action figures we brought for them around the tub. He was adamant about them staying there to protect me and the baby it was very sweet and he was wonderful. Q was good too he wanted to give me loves, but got distracted and did not stay the whole time. After I had been in the tub for a while I started to get the urge to push and told J to get the midwives. Everyone came in and Kate came a few minutes later I was already pushing alot and it was quite strong and hard. It really hurt my rectum probably because my bowels were not empty like they should have been. I kept needing to go but couldn’t after I started hard labor so I ended up having a bowel movement in the tub but they just scooped it up and cleared the water. I also had my bag of waters break after I started pushing so they cleaned that up too. The water was pretty gross after I had the baby. The pushing was great in the water I was able to have so much movement and change positions a lot as I pushed to what felt the best mostly on my knees. I never had anyone check me I checked my self when I had pushed for a while and I could feel His head and just told my midwives how far down he was and did that a couple of time until he started to crown. At that point my midwives told me to slow my pushing to help me crown gently so I did not tear. Sometime when I was starting to crown I realized Q wasn’t there so I had someone go out and get him. So both the boys were there when the baby was born and they thought it was great they were fascinated the whole time and did not stop watching. I pushed out half the babies head and he stopped at that point, where his eyes were not quite out so he had red marks around his eyes, but they went away after a day. Then I pushed out the head it was neat because the pushing was so slow I felt his face as I pushed him out. When I got his head out I realized the cord was around his neck but Kate just told me to keep pushing. I birthed his shoulders and felt the cord around his arm and than body. I pushed him all the way and Kate just gently unwound him while he was still under water than lifted him out onto my stomach and chest and we rubbed him to get his breathing going. It took some work but he got all the stuff out of his lungs and he did not get all this suction shoved in his face. He actually got a homeopathic that helps dry out the lungs instead.
He stayed with me until I pushed out the placenta. Than J cut the cord and that was the first time the baby was out of my arms. He was just wrapped up and immediately placed in J’s arms. They actually did not do any vitals or fiddling with him until much later that day. His birth was actually a miracle that I was able to deliver him vaginally, because the cord being so wrapped around him is usually cause for a c-section but he never had any distress during labor and the cord was very long. Kate said that all the pre-labor was for a good reason it stretched the cord so it was long enough to be delivered. I also think being in the water helped him going trough the birth canal, because it caused less compression than what he would have had out of the water. Something interesting was my pushing was never hard pushing it was all instinct I pushed as much or little as I wanted. I only held my breath for a few seconds and grunted and said ouch. It was very instinctual I caught the baby and was in the tub myself (for some reason J did not want to get in the Oh so clean tub of water) But that was actually good because I needed all the room for me. Right after I had the baby they made me a smoothie and gave me that to drink, very refreshing and hit the spot after birth, not food but good for giving you back energy after all that work.
Both of the boys wanted to touch the baby after he was born and thought it was neat to see him born. They now think all babies are born underwater. It was so nice that after they handed the baby to J the women cleaned me up and helped me to the bed where the baby was placed skin to skin with me. We stayed that way most of the day and it wasn’t til he had nursed and we had gotten some sleep before they measured and weighted him. He was 8 lb 6 oz and 22 ¾ long his blood type was O negative very weird because J and I are both A but apparently he got my dad’s recessive jean. No rogam shot at all this pregnancy and another negative baby. I also did not get the baby his vitamin K shot or the eye drops because I do not have any STD’s and that baby did not have a traumatic birth.
For postpartum pain they gave me a homeopathic that tasted gross but worked great called Cramp Bark (I will defiantly have it on hand next baby). But I did not have any tears or even a scratch on my perineum. I felt good enough that we went home that night. I had very little bleeding and only had bad after birth cramping. I could not find the Cramp Bark and used Tylenol and Ibuprophen to help with the pain it did not work nearly as well just took the edge off.
This was a beautiful and extremely peaceful birth exactly the way the lord intended. It was hard work and my pain may actually have been more that other births but it was so amazing and such great bonding. He had his first bath with me in the shower the next day.
Birth Story of Q
Born November 2001, 7lbs 6oz. 20 ½ inches
Q's pregnancy started off similar to C’s where I was only off birth control for a month before I got pregnant and had just gone to St. George for a week and came back and got pregnant. This time I went to St. George to visit my family before we moved away to Portland Oregon so I was trying to get some family time in before we moved. So I got pregnant right off I was sick for our move I was having a lot more morning sickness with Q than C But I came to realize that some of it might have been from my prenatal pills that had high Iron and that was making me sick when I switched to lower iron pills I felt better but still a little sick. It was hard moving to a new city when I was pregnant because I had to find a new Midwife. We had good insurance this time but I did not know any one in the area to ask who to go to. I just used the midwives that were on my insurance they were the main ones in the area anyway and delivered at the hospital I needed to go to. Although I was worried about the rotating midwife schedule and who I saw was not necessarily who I got. I depended on who was on call that day so while I saw Debbie Durnan-Snell I ended up with Mary Popekes as my midwife.
So while C was on time Q was a week past his due date and still was in no hurry to come out I had a lot of false labor the week before and kept expecting something to happen. Finally after me getting less and less sleep the next week we had thanksgiving. J woke up earlier to help me make dinner before work and went to work that night the next day I had a Biophysical profile scheduled so we went to the midwife in the morning. I got attached to the machines and the stress test which measures the babies heart beat continually was dipping during the contractions I was having (they started about 6AM) and he was having some mild distress so the midwives wanted me to check into the hospital for an ultrasound and maybe stay to have the baby. So J, C, and I went to breakfast and dropped C off at home where a friend was going to watch him (this was really hard because C did not know her very well and we were probably going to be gone a while). We finally got to the hospital at about 2 pm they hocked me back up and the baby was still dipping in his heart beat during contractions and the ultrasound showed low levels of amniotic fluid. So they told me I needed to stay in the hospital and have the baby in the next day or so. This did not seem a problem I had been contracting regularly all day but they just were very light and not getting any harder. So J and I walked alot around the hospital we he was getting really tired by this time so went back to my room and he tried to sleep (he had been up for over 24 hrs by now) and I tried to encourage my body to hurry up. By about 8 they had checked me again and I was still only about a 4 or so and so we went on another walk. The contractions were getting a little harder and stronger but not much. I wasn’t to worried I knew that sometimes it takes longer with some babies than others.
The midwife thought otherwise at 10 pm she came in and checked me I was only 5 cm and not softening up so I had not progressed very far. So she told me what my choices were I could get pitocin to induce me and help speed up labor so I could have the baby tonight or I could take a sleeping pill and try to sleep through the night but if nothing was happening by morning I would have to have the pitocin anyway. Neither of those options were very good I was afraid of the pitocin because it causes much harder labor contraction and I was not sure I could handle the increased pain and I did not want to use any medication for labor. The sleeping pill was not much of an option because I did not know what effect it would have on me and what happened if I went into full labor but could not wake up enough to help. Also I did not want to wait all night just to end up with pitocin anyway. I wish I had been given the third option of try to sleep on my own and see how I was doing later on in the night I probable could have done that the contraction were not that hard to deal with. So after Much thought and a blessing from J I went with my only option the pitocin at 11 pm. They gave me half a dose to start with and it got my labor in high gear it was very hard to deal with but I think it was the shaking in between contraction that made it so hard the drug was making me shake all over in-between each contraction and then stop a second before the contractions started. So I was using all my energy to relax through the shaking that I did not have much resources to draw on with the contractions and J was asleep so he could not help me but if he did not sleep then he would not be able to stay awake for the birth so I was letting him sleep and the midwife was with me but not very helpful (which is why after this birth I was going to have a doula just incase this happened again). Well I made it through the shakes and the hard contractions and started to get the urge to bear down sure enough I was ready to go they broke my water and it was 8 minutes from the point that Q was born at 1:56. I was afraid of a long pushing stage like C and the ring of fire but Q was so quick he was out before I even noticed. The hardest part was trying to keep my leg up to push I had helpers on both side with C and just had J this time. I was to busy pushing to worry about my leg. When Q came out the cord was wrapped three times and was too tight to unwind so it was cut right away which I was sad about he could have used the extra oxygen. But that is why his heart rate dipped; there was compression on the cord and not enough water to distribute the pressure evenly. The midwife told me not to push when she cut the cord but I could not stop his body from coming out just as she was done cutting. The took him and helped him breathe and did other stuff before they finally gave him to me to hold but only for a little why they wanted to take him to an incubator to warm him (although why I could not have done that with skin to skin contact and warm blankets I do not understand). He warmed right up and they brought him back after about 30 min but those were probably the longest 30 minutes of my life I felt so alone I had Jason go with the baby so I was just by myself with no baby to show for my efforts. I also had an evil nurse come and kneed my stomach really hard that hurt more than labor. I kept pushing her arms away and she kept telling me to stop. I did not have any thing like that with C, my midwife made sure she was very gentle when she kneaded my stomach with him. Finally I got the baby back and was able to nurse he latched on quit quickly. We went to the recovery room and J went home to sleep and get C. Q stayed with me the whole time and we snuggled happily until it was time to leave. J brought C late the next day to see us and he was a little shy about the new baby but quickly warmed up to him. Before Q and I could leave he had to pee and he hadn’t yet so they wanted to catheterize him to see if he was making urine and he was but there seemed to be a small blockage that the catheter broke when it was inserted. It still took a few days and a trip to the emergency room before it was decided he was definitely peeing.
So Q was a learning experience harsher than C but it allowed me to think of other options. Because I did not want to be railroaded into decisions like that again, where I later wonder if some of it was necessary. It freed me to think about an out of hospital birth next time where my midwife was someone I new and trusted and not just who was on call, that would offer me more than just the two options. That I wanted to have my boys at the next birth so I would not miss them, miss being apart for so long and them not knowing what was going on. Q freed me of my fear of pushing I felt I could easily handle the next one after his birth. He sure was a cute little black haired baby, he nursed great, and except for a rocky start we did great together he was a very happy and content baby.
Birth story of K
K was one of my hardest pregnancies, I had a miscarriage a few month before (very early onset I barley new I was pregnant), then I got pregnant with K a few months later. I was more anxious this time waiting til I could hear the heartbeat to know she was ok. I had morning sickness til about 20 weeks and very little appetite. We found out she was a girl at the ultrasound but were not 100% sure because it was not a clear view. So while I felt it was a girl I was not going to count on it til she was born. At about 20 weeks just as my morning sickness was subsiding I started getting a lot of groin pain and realized I was having pain around my pubic synthesis I think I strained it while exercising and I had continual pain for the rest of the pregnancy it did get a little better after I had a chiropractic adjustment. I was worried it would be a problem in labor but it wasn’t at all the pain was getting better by then and went away after her birth. I had a lot of pre-labor contractions. At about 36 weeks I had some days with very regular contractions and wondered if they would turn into anything real they were so consistent and like my pre-labor contractions I have a day before or the day I go into labor. I had 2 due dates the 17th of February was my LMP date and the 23rd was my ultrasound I fully expected to go til the 23rd or later.
The Monday before I had K I had a lot of pre-labor and was doing a lot of cleaning and trying to get everything ready for the birth. My parents were going to buy tickets to come out next month, (we were still thinking I would go late) and I called them to tell them not to buy them, I just did not think I would go late this time. I really thought I might have the baby that night or the next. But the contractions stopped at night and went away again. This was the third time I had had contractions all day long. Wednesday 11th I woke up at 4:30 AM feeling like I had a little leakage so I went into the bathroom and my underwear was a little wet but no other water was coming out. So I think I had a small leak in the forewaters of my amniotic fluid. I started to have real contraction then they were 15/20 minutes apart and short only about 15 seconds so nothing to bother me and I continued on my day. I did call my midwife Joy and my Doula Veronica to let them know my water may have leaked and I am having some contractions and that I would let her know if I progressed. After J got home and napped I made him take me for a walk so we went to Wal-mart and I walked there. Contractions got a little stronger while walking but still only about 20-30 seconds long and 10 min apart. Buy about 5 pm my water actually broke and every time I changed positions I would leak a bit of water. At 6:30 I was trying to decide if I should go to Enrichment or not, but the contraction were still 10-15 min apart and 30 sec long so I decided to go instead of stay home and watch the clock. Plus J was watching a Jazz basketball game and that would not have helped me keep my mind off of labor.
I went to Enrichment which was service bingo, so it was a bingo game we played. I slipped in back and played while eating all the tasty candies that were the bingo place markers. When I got up to get some water I had a gush of fluid and was afraid my maxi-pad was not enough to handle it so I went to the bathroom to check where one of the women Heidi Durant (who also was pregnant ) joked that she hoped my water hadn’t broken. I had not told anyone I was in labor I did not want any to freak out that I would have the baby right then. But the pad was enough to catch the flow and I continued with the game. When it was time to go I then let everyone know I would probably have the baby some time soon. They were floored that I would come to Enrichment but there was nothing else to do and it got my mind off of my labor which was still progressing very slowly still only 10 min apart and 30 sec long.
I came home decided to call my daycare kids and tell there parents I would be having the baby soon and to start their backup daycare. I also called Joy and Veronica to let them know that my water had broken and hopefully things would be going by morning.
I decided to try to get some sleep and see where I was by morning. I laid down about 10:00 pm and slept til about 12 when I started to have major gushes of water every time I moved and kept needing to pee. I also started to shake a lot and had a harder time relaxing through the contractions since I was shaking so much usually I don’t start shaking til transition. My contractions were getting harder but only a little faster and still not very long. I tried to keep sleeping but by 2 I was up and in my rocking chair trying to sleep in a more upright position. I was also trying to time my contractions til they got close enough that it was time to go in. This was hard since I kept falling asleep inbetween my contractions to tell how close apart they were. By 4 am I was ready to go the birth center but my contractions were about 7 min apart and 45 min log still not quite time to go so I waited longer so J and my midwives could get some sleep before I came in and labored in the birth center. Finally, by 4:30 I was ready to go called Joy. I called her and she asked if I could be at the birth center in an hour so they could set up the room. I remembered to call the Doula Veronica on the way to the center.
At 5 am Thursday morning I got Jason up and the boys up so we could go the birth center we got into the car 5:15 and drove to the center . When we got to the Portland Andaluz I went in and J got the boys all set up in the upstairs room so I could labor peacefully as long as I needed. I got set up in my room and the apprentice Ternen checked my vitals and listened to the baby’s heartbeat through a contraction then I decided to get into the tub to help me relax. I was still shaking a lot and hoped the warm water would help. I got into the water sometime after 6 am and it helped my shaking but also seemed to space out my contractions I was afraid I would have to get out of the water so they would speed up. I stayed in the water had a couple of regular contractions about 10 min apart then I had a contraction where I felt pushy at the peak of the contractions. The next one also very spaced out I felt the need to push at the peak again. I think at that point I was almost fully dialed but maybe had a small amount left and the pushy feeling at the peak finished dilating me. Next thing I knew my body was pushing the baby out. When I started getting full pushing contractions someone asked if they should get the boys but I thought I still had a longer pushing stage so I said no. But I was having such fast powerful pushing; that she didn’t even seem to crown her head was out very quickly, and after what seemed like maybe two long contractions. First contractions tried to check to see if she was crowning didn’t feel anything, next contraction a moment later her head was out. No rips, tears, nothing, I was fully intact, and I bled the least out of all the kids. When I realized I was crowing I motioned to have someone get the kids but they did not even make it to the room before I had her head out. I still was having these few fast contraction to get her shoulders out but they seemed to not want to come out very easily. I could feel her legs pushing from the inside trying to help get her the rest of the way out. I tried a couple of contraction to birth her head when my midwife told me to move into a different position. It took a moment for my primal brain to figure out how to do that. But then I realized I could lie back in the water and was able to easily push her shoulders out in a sitting position. She came out with the cord wrapped maybe once but it was not in the way at all. I checked to make sure she was a girl before I even looked at her face. She was very purple and cried right away after she came out, very loudly, she had good lungs. We snuggled in the birth pool while her brothers admired her and when the placenta was delivered we gave her to J and I got up and took a shower before getting in to bed. After not to much trying she nursed like a champ.
So after a long but easy labor since the contractions were never very long I made it to the birth center barely in time to deliver and thinking I still had lots of time left. I wanted to film the birth but it was so fast we did not get the camera out in time. I brought lots of stuff to help entertain the boys but it wasn’t needed we did not even get their gifts from the baby out. The doula was so I had someone there to help with the kids or me if the kids needed J but that wasn’t really necessary either. It was an amazing last birth the with the fetus ejection reflex. This is not very common because so many women have people interfering with their labor and pushing it is not usually experienced. But that is how I had K I did not help her birth at all she came out with any help from me, except to change positions to birth her shoulders. I could not have asked for a better birth and as always I am very thankful I found the wonderful Andaluz midwives to help me with my last two births. They were everything I could ask for and more, truly what birth is meant to be.
Fun side note K’s placenta was heart shaped the midwives showed we her placenta while I was cleaning up after her birth saying it was not very common to see a heart shaped placenta.