The Birth of Baby M
My birth story is such a long and complicated one that I have never posted it before. I made some choices, I don't really know if I would make again. I didn't want to open myself up to criticism. However, it was a good birth. I am so pleased with it. I have finally decided to share...
My water started to leak on a Thursday night. I was just about to get in the bath tub and since it was only a few days before my due date, I contemplated inserting my first evening primrose tablet. Suddenly a tiny splash of water, with little white flecks in it landed on the ground.
Though I'd had contractions on and off for weeks, on this particular day I hadn't felt a single thing. I called my midwife and let her know what was going on. She told me, it would be OK and not to panic, that my labor would most likely start within the next twenty-four hours. She said to call her if anything changed and she would prepare to come to my home just in case.
The leaking pretty much stopped as suddenly as it had begun. My husband began filling up the birth tub, I called my mum and gave her the news. We told my brother-in-law who was living in our garage apartment at the time. Then nothing happened.
The next day my midwife and doula came over. I told them I'd had a little bit of bloody show and a drizzle of water every now and then, but nothing big. It had been thirty hours at this point and I hadn't felt a single contraction. We spend the next day waiting, walking, listening to music. My family came and then I sent them home. Still nothing. I asked my midwife to check for cervical dilation, she said I was at four and baby was engaged.
Saturday my water had ceased to leak most of the day. I had one or two contractions. Nothing else happened. My family took our older kids with them, they lived about two hours away. My husband and I tried to focus on being positive and not getting disappointed, just letting nature take its course.
Sunday my midwife came back and I sent my one year old to stay with my sister-in-law. I'd had this big plan that my kids would be there in the pool with me to usher new baby in the world, but my midwife and doula both noticed that I seemed extra stressed with the kids around, so we decided to opt for childcare instead. We tried an induction, using some herbs and other things after a amniotic test strip came back positive. Several times my midwife noted that I was having a contraction, my stomach was tensing up around the baby in a very visible way- but I hardly felt anything.
Monday morning I went to my backup obstetrician. He said I was a stretchy four, maybe a five. He offered to induced me, but I refused. I had no fever and at that time and I was not leaking. The OB and I decided that it was probably a forewater leak that I had experienced earlier.
Tuesday morning I woke up at 10 AM on the dot with a gush of clear water. It was immediately followed by my brother-in-law knocking on the door to tell me that the toilet was overflowing and he needed my husband to come help him work on the plumbing. GREAT!
The water continued to flow out all over the place, all day. It was clear, tons of tiny white flakes of vernix were in it. It was very obviously my water. I still had no strong contractions.
My doula came to sit with me for the night. We walked, I drank RRL tea. We went to the store, where I had two contractions and one on the way back home. We talked about how maybe I was just not comfortable in the house we were in. I complained a lot about it, it was dirty and drafty. I said numerous times over the previous nine months how I couldn't imagine having a baby there. Something was always breaking and going wrong.
Over the next day hours I checked my temperature and blood pressure every four hours. I drank gallons of water. I walked, I cried, I danced. I took frequent showers. I will admit, I felt pretty gross and highly discouraged at this point.
The next day at 10 AM, I was still pouring water. My midwife was going to come later that day so that we could try another round of induction. She lived over an hour away and was upheld by a storm that had been raging, ironically since around the time my water broke.
I felt OK that day, I knew it was coming. I knew there would be an end soon, I would be holding my baby soon. I read lots of positive stories. I would never admit this anywhere that I thought my husband would find it, but at around noon I walked in our bedroom and he was crying. He was worried about the baby in my stomach, worried about our son who was away from home for the first time. It was a breaking point for me. I suddenly felt like I couldn't do it in this house, the house was holding me up, and it wasn't fair to keep this up any longer. It had been over twenty-four hours, I was getting nervous too. I missed my other kids too. Nothing seemed to be working. In all my other labors, the water had broken in the middle of labor. I had not prepared for this outcome.
I called my midwife, without telling anyone what I was about to do, and told her that we were likely going to transfer. We talked a little about what that would likely mean. I cried some more.
At two we left for the hospital. I stopped on the way and had a huge lunch. When we arrived I found out that my awesome doctor wasn't going to be there. I told them how long my water had been leaking/broken. I agreed to IV antibiotics. They nurse brought me some water and my doula and I sat up the birth ball. Right before I got on the birth ball, the nurse checked me and told me I was eight centimeters. I had felt three contractions in two days and still I had four centimeters of changed. I couldn't believe it. I wanted to go back home, but at that point so much had happened, everyone was so emotional. I opted to stay at the hospital.
I got on the birth ball and it seemed that I immediately fell into a trance. It was like nothing I had ever felt before. My whole body relaxed, my mind let go. I just focused on getting that baby out. I kept imagining her crowning, thinking of opening lotuses. The contractions finally came. I thought of so many things while in labor, every thought seemed to totally wrap itself around me. I thought of being on vacations with my husband, love, my other babies. Everything smelled stronger and the colors seemed so bright. When I closed my eyes and visualized those things, I felt like I was there. It was almost overpowering how intense my visualizations could get during labor. The contractions hurt, by the twenty or thirty seconds between them was so intensely wonderful feeling. I felt like I was on some sort of hallucinogenic drug.
Finally after two hours of contractions, I felt like I started to lose focus. I screamed I couldn't take anymore. The nurse checked me and told me I was complete. Suddenly everything stopped for what seemed like an eternity- though it was probably only a few minutes. I suddenly felt a warm sensation in my whole bottom and with it the urge to push and I went with. My midwife had not showed up yet and my OB wasn't there either, someone I had never met was supposed to come in and catch the baby. In the meantime, a midwife-turned-nurse came into the room. She started to talk to me about her own births, about the beauty of natural birth as she did a perineal massage. I felt so blessed that she was there.
It's funny how time has no meaning when you are in labor.
After two pushes, in a semi-squat, the baby's head crowned. The midwife nurse told me I was pushing too fast and would tear, but I honestly had no control over it. I reached down and braced my perineum with my hand. That was the first time I touched my beautiful little baby girl, as her head was bulging.
I pushed once more and her head and shoulders came out, no tears. The OB whose name I do not even know scooted in just in time to swap with the nurse. Out came the rest of my little one. I had a rush of emotions and warm feelings that I could never describe to anyone who hadn't felt them, ever. It felt like an orgasm and the greatest day of my life combined.
The doctor laid the baby on my chest and I just starred at her, thanking my husband who had been squatting next to me unable to move for two hours and my doula who had held my hand the whole time. I proclaimed quite loudly that I didn't think my husband should get a vasectomy anymore, we had to have more.
I kissed my baby over and over again. Though I was in the hospital, something I greatly feared after previous bad experiences, everything was incredible. I was able to breastfeed immediately. My baby never had to go to the nursery, not even for the horrible blood sugar tests - I was a gestational diabetic. I bathed my own baby, I co slept. She never left my arms. I swear, other than the ride in the car seat, I think she may have been a month old before I put her down and it was wonderful.
She weighed 8 Lbs and 2 Oz. She was 21 inches tall, born the day after her due date. It was natural with the exception of antibiotics and a little bit of pitocin when I first got there. I agreed to both, due to my own emotional distress. I probably would not agree to the pitocin now that I know a little bit more about early rupture of membranes. I do sometimes regret that I didn't stay home, but it was the most incredible experience none the less.
Thank you so much for sharing your story - it is moving and powerful. Unexpected outcomes can take us on a different journey and that journey can still be very positive. Do you feel now it was the house and maybe some underlying pressure you may have been feeling that prevented the contractions from coming?
What a wonderful birth story mom2many - sounds like you let your body take control and did an amazing job. Thank you for sharing this.
Sorry it took me so long to respond to this question, but yes, I do feel that it was a combination of the house and some residual pressure. It was definitely a learning experience. There are many things I will change if there is another baby in my future.
Originally Posted by aussiemidwife