Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Leo's Birth Story
Leo Anthony was born Saturday March 7th at 1:13am. He weighed 8lbs 6oz and was 21 inches long. In a nutshell... I noticed around 3-4pm that I was getting pretty strong pressure waves every 15 minutes or so..strong enough that I did not want to talk during them. I decided to go to a church activity at 6pm to have something to do(I've been getting negative about not having him yet). I told Cathy(my midwife) before I left that it seemed like it was every 15 min. or so. I got to the church at 6pm and they were 9-11 min. apart. Then, by an hour later at 7, they were 4 min. apart. I guess this is when I realized that it probably was indeed my birthing time. I was worried I was going to be wrong if I said I was in labor but when I called Cathy and told her the timing of my pressure waves over the past hour, she told me to go home and that she would get her stuff together and head over. That was very surreal. After eating a bit at church and timing my contractions(I am sure people were wondering about me)a friend offered to drive me home(Gary and I had seperate cars) She offered to stick around if I needed any help and I was glad she did. She kept Isabella busy until our friend came to pick her up. She also helped Gary fill the tub. When Cathy got to our house, she checked me and I was 5cm and 80% effaced. That was at 9pm I think. I walked around the house for a few pressure waves(getting oh so strong) and then tried the shower. I just could not seem to find a "comfortable" position. I liked the warm water on my back but I got really frusterated with the steam in the shower..I felt like I couldn't breathe and threw the curtain open a few times. After a while in the shower, I knelt at the edge of my bed. I then got on the bed on my side for at least one contraction. After it was over, I felt like I was going to throw up and Gary got the trash can to me just in time. As soon as I was done, I told him(with all my doula knowledge..haha) that that meant I was probably in transition and getting very close to the end. I guess it was because it was getting more and more intense and I was getting more and more uncomfortable. We went downstairs and I got in the birth pool. It felt better to be in there. Once in the water, I became VERY vocal and tried to keep reminding myself to make low noises. Our living room eventually turned into a soundbooth for everything from a horror film to good birthing drones to sounds from an opera stage. My body kept getting so tense..especially in my legs. It was good that I had 5 people around me to talk me through things and massage my back and legs. At one point I remember some of my birth team joining me in my vocalization. I think I probably started pushing before I was completely dialated but it was what my body started to do so I went with it. I think I was pushing for over an hour - which was pretty dang long for an unmedicated birth(most of the stories I've heard were far less). I got into a variety of positions in the water...floating on my back, on my side and ended up on my knees laying over the edge of the pool. For pushing, I was on my knees and then in a kneeling squat. It seemed like it was eternal crowning! I started to panic a bit but I was determined to end that stage and get him out. I had heard it was a relief to push and I did notice that it felt better when pushing than between the pushes. Finally he came out at 1:13am and I pulled him through my legs and sat back holding him. The room was very peaceful right after his birth..soft voices and pretty music from my iTunes. He was pretty alert and the first nursing went very well. It took a little while for my placenta to come out but I was fine just looking over my new baby. I only had a 1st degree tear which is far better than my episiotomy from last time...that took FOREVER to heal. Eventually, after my midwives finished cleaning up(thank you, midwives!) we all went upstairs to our bedroom for the newborn exam. Cathy gave him a thorough exam and Gary weighed Leo. He was 8 lbs. 6 oz. His head was 14"....is that big? I don't know...it felt big! As tired as they were, my midwives did not leave until I was in bed with food, drink, and anything else I needed. It was a very exhausting experience but looking at my precious little boy and being in the comfort of my own home, I would do it again . Having a homebirth was very special to me; my home actually feels more sacred after bringing forth life within its walls.