The second edition to our birth story series entitled “A Mother’s Story”. If you wish to be included in this series, whether named or anonymous, please send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy and be encouraged,
Both of my births were incredibly positive, and I attribute a very good portion of that to having a midwife. We originally selected a midwife when our good friend who was a nurse raved about what an excellent choice it was for her.
Most recently, our son was born this last fall and was 11 days passed our due date. Since our first birth didn’t go that far past our due date I was feeling really discouraged and I started doubting I could do this, maybe my body had forgotten how. Our midwife’s reassurance was helpful, on the morning of his birth we had discussed trying castor oil, but then I started having contractions on my own. They were seven minutes apart and were consistent but didn’t intensify, they just felt like a clenching and tightening of the uterine muscles. So our midwife came over to our home and gave me a breast pump to try nipple stimulation to see if it would bump up the contractions. They were now at five minutes apart but didn’t feel strong as I could walk through them without any trouble. We then discussed the option of breaking my bag of waters, it seemed like a better option as I knew I was 5cm dilated, so why not. When she broke the waters they were clear (I was nervous there would be meconium since I was overdue) so that was very positive. I went to walk around my kitchen island to wait and see if the labour would amp up, and did it ever! Five minutes after breaking the water the next contraction came heavy and hard! I had to brace myself, after the first big one I went to the bathroom since I was feeling nauseous and had to get on all fours under the strength of the second contraction, labour was here, and as intense as they were I was elated, finally the time had come, he would be here today! Hooray, I wouldn’t be pregnant forever!
The midwife and my husband followed after me to the bathroom after I called out to say I was having another contraction (they were now 4 minutes apart) and she suggested we go to the hospital now (I had hoped for a hospital birth) but I couldn’t see how we could since I could tell it was happening very quickly. We did it though; between contractions we got to the vehicle and drove 5 minutes down the road to the hospital. Once at the hospital and in the delivery room I groaned through the contractions like a strongman pulling a rope in a tug of war, I felt like I was bellowing, it was guttural and I felt connected and almost primal. I remember trying to consciously keep my hands and face relaxed (these were things I could control) the contractions were moving him down and I was happy to let them as intense as they were. The midwife had me get into three different positions in the duration of that hour (it was fast), later she explained that each position were in response to him not moving further down, and me moving helped labour progress and helped him move further down the birth canal. First I had started pushing white on my side, then we tried squatting, and then the last position was leaning over forward with my arms over the headboard of the bed; this last one was the most comfortable as I could rest on my arms and knees. As he was being born I could hear her say “Oh look at his cheeks!”. I could visualize him being born into the world with those words and it gave me more motivation to push. We were so close, and moments later he was born! I felt instant relief as he left my body. They placed him on my chest and put a warm blanket over us, this was the moment I had been waiting for! He was warm and wet and had a head full of dark brown hair. I held him on my chest against me while they delivered the placenta. It was remarkable to look at and to think that pregnancy is the only time a human grows a whole extra organ. He was weighed after I was able to hold him and get his temperature back up. We found he was a great normal weight; I was worried before going into labour that he would be too big to be born naturally since he was overdue. My bottom felt a little sore but overall I felt great, incredibly accomplished, and hungry! We left the hospital to go home four hours after he was born (my choice) and I got a nice shower and went to sleep in my own bed. I remember looking at my husband after we laid the baby in his crib saying how crazy and wonderful it was that he was now here, and we were comfortable at home. It felt amazing.
A book that was very helpful to me was “Childbirth without Fear” by Grantly Dick-Read. Generally I am the type of patient who likes to be ignorant of what procedure is happening, as in dentistry (trust the professionals), however that was not the case with birthing. I found that with childbirth I was a very active participant and knowledge of everything that was happening was necessary so I could do my part, even knowing when to try and relax (and even why) and how to go about it. We are thankful to our midwife and the supporting midwives who was also there for the successful birth of our baby boy! The attention and support we experienced from the pregnancy all the way to the after-care was wonderful!