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Birth of Gwen Veronica April 21, 2003 8lbs 6oz 19 in.
It was Easter morning and the kids had just finished hunting for eggs. I knew today was the day the new baby would be born. I could feel the low deep pains while I took a shower. There was something different about them though compared to my other labors and I was a bit concerned. But mostly I was just relieved that the day was finally here.
Around 11 am I called my parents to ask if they could come take our two kids to their house for the day. I packed overnight bags for them too since I knew they probably wouldn't return home until the next day. Once the kids were kissed goodbye and on their way, Dan and I took a walk down the street. It was such a beautiful day and I wanted to take advantage of the warm Spring weather. We saw some neighbors along the way and said hello but didn't mention that I was in labor. The pains were getting more uncomfortable and so we headed back home. I parked myself on the big swing in the backyard and enjoyed a delicious hard-boiled egg sandwich that Dan had made for me. I decided it was probably a good time to call the nurse to tell her I was in labor so that she could start heading over to our house. While we waited for her to arrive, Dan set up the Birth Pool upstairs in the bedroom and I sent out some emails to tell friends and family the news.
After the nurse and her assistant arrived, she asked a list of questions and did an exam to check my dilation. I was 3 cm. But she noted that the baby was in the posterior postion. So that's why my pain felt so different - back labor! She suggested I do a lot of pelvic rocking on my hands and knees to try to get baby to turn. I have to say these exercises only made the pain worse, but I tried to do it anyway. Soon we were all getting hungry again and decided to order some Chinese food for dinner. I found I couldn't eat much so I left the others in the kitchen and went up to the bathroom to labor alone for awhile. The pain and pressure was getting much stronger and I was starting to wonder if I was going to be able to cope with it. I got in the shower to see if that would help relax me, but it didn't. I actually found the stream of water very irritating and so I got out right away.
A while later the nurse checked again and found I was still dilated to 3! I was devastated. I felt like I was failing, like I wasn't doing a good job laboring. She explained that the posterior position of the baby was making it really difficult for my cervix to open up. And so I was back on the floor for more pelvic rocking while I cried. It was at this point, I started to think I couldn't do this homebirth, that maybe I should just go to the hospital. But an hour or so later I was checked again and declared to be 6cm. Wow! Okay, now I knew everything would be fine. I was so immensely relieved to finally be making some progress.
Soon after that, I hit transition. I just laid on my bed trying to get through each contraction. I could hear one of the nurses say quietly, "She's really working hard now." After a while of this, I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to get into the water. I remember thinking, "I cannot give birth on dry land." And so everyone helped me into the birth tub. The water was warm and just sort of swallowed me up. It was a great comfort and helped me focus a little better on what was happening. It was nighttime now and all the lights were off and it was dark, but the windows were wide open and the cool night air along with the soft moonlight streamed into the room.
The contractions were so strong now and I moaned deeply and pushed just a little with each one. Dan, my rock, knelt behind me pressing his fist into my lower back to help with the back labor. I heard the doorbell ring and soon the doctor was in front of me holding my hands as I sat up on my knees and leaned into the side of the pool. Her presence brought me such comfort and I suddenly had the thought that this was the birth I always wanted. Surrounded by these three women in the dark of night, my loving husband supporting me and offering his strength, as the universe worked through me to bring forth new life.
I reached down and could feel the baby crowning. I cradled the child's head in the palm of my hand and pushed again. I continued to push determinedly now whenever I felt that undeniable need for the better part of an hour. Soon I flipped over onto my back, resting against the back of the pool and pushed a few more times. Out the baby slid into the warm, gentle waters. I reached out and brought my newborn child up onto my chest. My husband with tears in his eyes, exclaimed, "It's a little girl!" I held her in the water for a few quiet moments. She hadn't yet cried as she had no need for she was warm and comfortable. She just looked around at everyone with wide open eyes seemingly wondering what all the fuss was about. We all just looked back at her and welcomed her to the world.
Earthy-Birthy Tree-hugging Mama to 5 (6 for now) great kids:
SciGuy,14 Butterfly Girl,12 Wyldchild,7 FlowerFairy,5 and Babybird,3