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July 11th, 2007, 12:08 PM
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azchela azchela is offline
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sunny AZ!
Posts: 1,448
Elizabeth Anne’s Birth Story
July 6, 2007 (40 weeks, 5 days)
8:47pm
7 pounds, 15 ounces, 21 inches
Assisted Homebirth and Waterbirth

Early Labor

I had been experiencing “prelabor” contractions for weeks – even some that led me to call my midwife…only to have them fade away after a couple of hours. By my 40 week appointment I was more than ready to have this baby, so I had my midwife check me and try to strip my membranes. When she checked me she found my cervix was still very posterior, about 1 cm dilated and about 50% effaced. She did her best to strip the membranes.

Three days later I started having contractions about 8:30pm – they were a bit stronger and seemed to be pretty regular…but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. So my husband and I watched a movie and about 10pm I tried to go to bed. The contractions were keeping up and actually got worse when I tried to lay down. By midnight I gave up sleeping and just got up. I started timing the contractions and sure enough they were about 5 minutes apart.

At 1am I called my midwife and she arrived by about 3am. Contractions were still very manageable at this point but I was too excited to sleep – so my midwife and I just talked and watched TV. At about 4:30am she did an internal exam and found I was 3cm, 80% effaced, and -1 station. My cervix was still very posterior.

Contractions continued about every 5-6 minutes until about 1pm. I continued to watch TV and talk with my family, eat and drink normally, and try to rest as much as I could. By about 2:30pm the contractions were getting strong enough that I had to “deal” with them by walking around, showering, etc. At 4:30pm I was checked again and found to be at 5cm, 80-90%, and -1. My water had still not broken and my midwife could feel a very bulgy bag.

Active Labor

By about 5pm I wanted to get in the tub so we started to get that set up. I was laboring in the tub by about 5:45pm. It felt really good in the water and it did help me manage the contractions…they were still big but the pressure was relieved a bit by the warm water. At this point I was having to moan with the contractions to stay on top of them and my husband was holding my hand, massaging my neck and back, and helping to talk through each one.

At 7:15 another midwife arrived to help with delivery and clean-up. I was checked again and found to still be 5cm. The midwives suggested we try some Blue and black Cohosh to “boost” labor. They put some under my tongue (tasted horrible) every 15 minutes…I didn’t like it but soon we could tell it was helping. At about 8:20pm I got out of the tub to walk around and see if we could find some other positions to help me cope with the big contractions that were coming every 3-4 minutes. Looking back, this was the beginning of transition. I felt nauseous, I kept telling my midwife and my husband “I can’t do this” and I just felt like I wanted to cry.

Right about then my husband had to leave the room to go sign for a pizza (I am not kidding!) and the second midwife was getting something from her car. So it was me and my primary midwife alone when I sat down on the birth ball and the biggest contraction yet started…I was telling my midwife I couldn’t do it and crying and POP! – my water finally broke!!! I remember feeling an immense relief of pressure for a second, and then the TREMENDOUS urge to push. I started to pull myself up onto the bed and I told my midwife I had to push. She yelled out for my husband and the other midwife to “get back here!” and helped me get back into the tub.

Since I had an epidural in my first labor I had never felt that urge to push before. My midwives were very helpful in telling me to force my body…the baby was crowning so fast they were afraid I would rush pushing and might tear as a result. By this time both midwives were right there and my husband was right behind me. So I took a few deep breaths and waited for the urge to return again – the pushing stage was completely surreal to me – it was amazing to feel your body literally take over…it knew what it needed to do. My midwives had me feel the baby’s head and within two pushes I felt the “ring of fire” everyone talks about (appropriate name by the way). Another push and the head was out!!!

The baby was born about 15 minutes after my water broke!

At this point my midwives had to have me push hard – the baby’s shoulder’s didn’t rotate completely so it was going to take a big push to get them out. I mustered what strength I had and pushed as hard as I could…and the body was born. I can’t really describe the feeling in words when the baby emerged – a tremendous relief, an adrenaline rush, and I immediately noticed that all the pain was GONE! Like it was never there!

My midwife put the baby on my chest and my husband and I just looked at it in amazement. Then it occurred to me that we didn’t know the sex! I lifted the leg and saw that I had a BABY GIRL!!! I had really wanted a little girl, and here she was! I immediately told her that her name was Elizabeth Anne and she was my baby girl. My mom and my best friends were waiting outside the bedroom door and heard me say “baby girl,” so my mom was crying like crazy when the midwives invited them in.

My baby girl is just perfect and giving birth to her in our home without any medical intervention was the most challenging, amazing, surreal experience of my life. I feel so blessed to have two healthy and happy babies and so grateful to my husband, and my midwives for helping me get through labor and never doubting that I could do it!
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