Monday, October 24, 2011

DD#3 History repeats itself.. (a birth story)

If you know me, or have stumbled unto my previous birth stories you know that  birthing my first daughter wasn't what I had hoped for. It was a birth center transfer to a hospital your typical:  membranes ruptured,  labor didn't start right away, 24 hours passed so here comes the hospital!!,  got pitocin and an epidural as well as a baby in the special care unit for 3 days with an IV of antibiotics :(  Boo!!  anyway...

I had a healing birth with my second daughter, a long homebirth that was amazing and empowering, everything I had hoped it would be and nearly perfect.  I always thought It was like I had my "do over"  like this birth made up for my first...  boy..... was I wrong!!

It was early morning Friday 4am more or less (the day after my "due date") .. my 18 month old had a cold so she woke up in the middle of the night to nurse,  (I nursed through my pregnancy)  She snuggled next to me nursed, rolled over and went back to sleep she had me at the edge of the bed but as bed sharing families know it's something you get used to.  I was trying to fall back asleep when I felt that familiar gush, ahhh! my water had broken! what are the odds of that happening again!! I was very calm as I knew what this meant, labor was imminent but given my last experience with membranes rupturing before active labor started I also knew it could mean I would still have to wait.. although part of me didn't want to believe that.. I mean./. what are the odds of my body doing the same thing it did 5 and a half years ago right?

I woke up my husband who helped me out of the bed and handed me towels to help me get to the bathroom..   We both went back to the bedroom to try to go back to sleep until labor started or the sun came up, whichever came first.  I couldn't sleep though I was starving and excited,  I ate a peanut butter and Jelly sandwich and some soy milk, went of facebook and then thought; what if labor starts now?  So I called the midwife to give her a "heads up"  I did not go back to sleep due to the excitement..

finally everyone was awake and so we cleaned the house, ate breakfast etc and nothing was happening, evening came and so we walked around the beach, walked around the block and nothing was happening.. I was having sporadic contractions but nothing too strong and nothing to indicate labor had begun I was getting VERY frustrated... I knew it could even take a couple of days before labor started and that as long as I got nothing going up my risk for infection was low..   this reminded me soo much of my first birth.. why couldn't I have labor after my water broke I felt for a moment like I wasn't normal!  I started to wonder if I was going to end up at the hospital again I was very frustrated and angry but my midwife assured me that labor would come..

the whole day I tried to rest but laying down would bring contractions.. at some points I would lay down on purpose to see if this would kick start labor but once I would stand up .. nothing!   Resting or sleeping? forget about it!  as soon as I would drift I would get woken up by a contraction as well..  night time came and contractions started picking up but they were not regular.. at around 11pm I told everyone to go to sleep  no sense in having them be tired for when I really needed them (my mom and hubby)  I did however tell my husband to stay in the livingroom with me and sleep on the futon that we use as a couch,  I did not want to be by myself in the livingroom..  there is something so depressing and scary about being in pain and alone while everyone sleeps.  I've had to do that twice before.. once with a tooth ache and another time with a bad UTI,  it horrifies me.  He managed to sleep,  I don't know exactly when but sometime after that contractions started coming hard..

I was sitting on a glider chair, watching TV and I would feel a contraction.  I went from taking them silently to feeling the need to vocalize with them..  I would close my eyes and let go a long "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm"  The "ah" peaking at the most painful and the "mm" becoming silent as the contraction  disappeared. I spend a good amount of time like this.. from the chair to the bathroom to relieve my bladder..  all the while being scared to get a contraction on the toilet.. there is something about contractions on the toilet F*ck! they hurt!

at about 3am  all of this had exhausted me.. I had not slept in almost 24 hours and the night before I had only slept 4!  as a matter of fact I had slept horrible the past few nights.. heartburn, movement, full bladder, prodromal labor.. exhausted was an understatement  at 3:30am my hubby woke up because  I had a very strong contraction which made me louder.. he stayed up after that.. at about 3:45am I started crying  I told him I was so tired and maybe we should throw in the towel and go to the hospital maybe I could get an epidural and some pitocin to  get my labor going (when I think back I realize I must have been delirious with lack of sleep to think I wasn't already in labor)  See I wasn't crying because of the pain I cried because I wanted to sleep but it was impossible at that point.

at around 4am I started getting more painful and more constant contractions, I  had downloaded one of those timer apps on my phone but I never got the famous "5 mins apart" deal.. which was frustrating at this point I was sure they HAD to be 5 mins apart..  they just HAD to.. I was not going to listen to anything telling me otherwise..  SO I called the midwife.  (poor midwives get woken up at all kinds of crazy hours if you see a midwife hug her! lol)  She got to my house in 15 minutes!!!! turns out she was sleeping at a her SO's house nearby,  she assessed me,  baby was good (what a relief as I was also worried about that) I was good, and she checked my progress.. she did tell me thought that once I got that pelvic I had to have that baby as she was introducing bacteria, I was 3-4cm  70% effaced and baby was engaged CRAP!!!! only 3-4 cm??? WTF??  I was thinking of how long my last labor was and thought at this rate I was in it for the long haul.. not something I wanted to think about or was willing to deal with ....... but I had to.  While she was there she was trying to time my contractions but lo and behold they stopped! It was like a I got labor stage fright, I was so embarrassed and angry at myself, but she said no big deal.. take your time I'll be close by.  She left again and told me to call her when they became 4 minutes apart and were like that for a while.

5am came and I tried eating but I only felt like barfing...  so my hubby put "caprica" on netflix and we started watching I would drift off to sleep on the glider and wake up to another contraction... drift off and wake up again, the next 3 hours included a lot of trips to the bathroom and more dozing off and what became my best friend.. a rice pack I would microwave to place on my lower back.  at around 8am I got stronger, closer and constant contractions.. at one point I cried "I can't do this fuck!! fuck!! I can't" and hubby replied "We can call the midwife now"  not only were they close enough together but those were what we were looking for.,

I had him call her as I was "in the zone" and could not deal with being on the phone at that moment.. she gave him instructions to have me go into the bathroom tub to slow things a bit and help me labor until I could transfer to the big tub.  at this point time was not something that seemed to matter or exist.. I had no idea how long of a time frame it was.. I only know from reading my records.

I got into the bathtub and it helped a great deal, I kept getting 4-3 minute apart waves... and in between them I started blacking out..  I was so exhausted my body apparently did what you do to a cell phone when you need it and the battery is about to die and you're nowhere near a charger.  You know what I mean?  you try to prolong the life of it by turning it off and turning it on only to check voice mails or make a quick call.  That's what my body was doing to me.. I would black out and fall asleep  my husband said my eyes were rolling to the back of my head,  and I would wake up with each contraction.  this part is such a blur.. if you were to look at it from my angle you would see black then tile... then black.. then tile... over and over again. Midwife got there and started setting up and my hubby went to finish filling the big tub I kept blacking out and having contractions and all of a sudden ..

I got one then another then another.. 3 in a row! my hubby walked in and said "do you want to wait until after the next contraction to move to the big tub?"  My brain immediately turned back on and I realized this was it.. the break you get before you start pushing a small period where you don't get a contraction at all.. so I told him no! We have to go NOW!  I got out and into the big tub... oh my goodness it was bliss! I got 2 contractions that made me feel like pushing  I got scared for a second.. at that point your body is taking over the pushing and you can't control it.. and it's scary.. but if you let it happen it'll be much better and faster and so I gave in right away.. the feeling was familiar.. I let go of my body and in return I got peace.

I always wondered why some women in birthing videos were so quiet when pushing the baby out.. did it not hurt for them? I didn't get it.. but this time around i did..  once I let go and let my body do its things I got peace the pain stopped completely.. I got really quiet, I got on all fours as I remembered from my last birth that this position was comfortable for pushing and I pushed  half of it was my body and the other half my efforts.. and baby crowned..  I told my midwife and husband "she's coming"  and indeed she was..  my husband reached in and I pushed one more time and out she came.. it was over!  I immediately felt relief, and joy.

They put her on my chest and she didn't breathe right away but no one really panicked well at least I didn't feel like anyone was, I felt calm.. she wasn't purple and the cord was still providing oxygen, we stimulated her and our midwife blew some oxygen in her face, finally she had to take out some mucus out with an aspirator but even then it was through the nose and gently not shoved down her throat like all hospitals seem to like doing to poor little babies.

We hung out there but I wasn't delivering the placenta so I  got out and I nursed her on the futon in our living room right alongside my 18 month old.. and that brought the contractions needed to deliver a perfect 40 week placenta and an almost perfectly whole bag of waters that had one hole in it, it was quite amazing. (if you're into that kind of thing lol)

Overall I think this birth was PERFECT!  slow start but once it got started it was fast paced, the pain was not overwhelming, I didn't tear,  I loved that for the most part it was just my husband and I ..  very little intervention from our awesome midwife  just as I wanted.  Just 3 days post partum I felt great!!! I still do!  by far the easiest birth ever and..... believe it or not... I can't wait to do it again!  well.. maybe... ask me again in at least 2 years lol....  Once again I didn't get many pictures of the birth.. I realized that having someone snap pictures of me while in labor is not my thing.. I can't have too many people at my side when I'm in labor the less the better in my case but it's ok  that's just the way I am.

this is how birth should be!  Intimate, empowering, exhilarating, healing!  Birth is awesome! :)

So here's my little one.. Baby Briar, Born 10-15-2011  9:33am  8lbs 2oz  

DD#3 with DD#1 


  1. You are so awesome! So strong and confident in your body. Amazing job...she is perfect!!!

  2. Aw, beautiful birth story. Congrats, she is gorgeous

  3. You are so awesome! I was looking forward to reading this birth story, and it was wonderful! You are so strong and inspirational! Sorry I'm being a cheese-ball but so many mamas would not have been able to hold out that long. And I love how involved all your family was. I could cry looking at the picture with your younger girls! Ok, no more drinking wine and reading birth stories!

  4. Congratulations! She is gorgeous! I'm glad you had such an amazing birth



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