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UndaCovaSis June 10th, 2008 10:21 PM

I wrote this for an assignment (this is only one portion of an 8 page paper on my birth), just added a few extra comments. There are no "feelings" or thoughts in this part of the paper so that's why it's kindda dry. You can also check out this slide show of pictures from the birth (no nudity or graphic images). http://youtube.com/watch?v=AFhg84M8c9A

My first and only child, Zahra Raji, was born April 28, 2006. Zahra’s expected due date was April the 21st originally. This date was later changed to April 23 after an ultrasound at 10 weeks gestation. Zahra’s birth was at a home in the presence of her father, my mother, a primary midwife, her apprentice, a back up midwife during the pushing stage, and an acquaintance of mine who needed to attend a birth for doula certification.

I had read several books from early on in pregnancy about birth so I had developed a strong sense of what I wanted in a birth. I knew I wanted a natural home birth. I knew giving birth was a lot of work and I expected to have my “animal instincts” come out. I joked with my husband that I would give birth on the toilet like Laura Shanely did in one her unassisted home births. I had wanted to birth in a birth pool, but finances did not allow for it so I knew I would utilize the bathtub or shower. Overall, I just wanted an uncomplicated birth at home.

On April 19 the midwife had checked my cervix after I told her I was having sharp pains inside. I was not dilated at all. She said my cervix was shut tight for now. She recommended a homeopathic medication to help bring about labor. She also offered to do the “stretch and sweep” procedure in a week if labor had not started by then. On April 26, my husband and my mother accompanied me to the midwife’s office for my regularly scheduled appointment and to have the “stretch and sweep”. As the midwife did the procedure I had a huge contraction. The midwife said I was now 4 centimeters after the procedure and that the cervix was soft and stretchy. She said, “Go home and get some rest, maybe tonight you will be having your baby.”

It was not until the third day after the procedure that labor started. On April 28, my husband woke me around 9:30am and asked me if it was time. Of course not, I said, I will be the one to wake you up when it’s time. I watched television with my mom for a couple hours. I started to notice slight feelings in my uterus. There was no pain. I went to the washroom and saw my mucus plug. I continued to have small contractions that I barely could feel. My mother began recording them. They were close together so we called the midwife.

The midwife said I probably was not too far in labor because I did not have any real pains. She offered to come and check things out anyway. She checked my cervix around 1:30pm and found I was 6 centimeters dilated. She said for me to go for a walk to help speed things up. I did not want to be outside in this private moment. I walked around the house. I prayed my noon prayers and called the doula. Within an hour of the midwife’s arrival the contractions did start to become painful. When the doula arrived, I wanted to be alone. The doula and my mother went into my bedroom while I labored in the living room with my husband. The midwife’s student came. I labored in the living room, walking around, in the bathtub, and on the toilet.

Finally, around 9:00pm I laid down to have my cervix checked. I was 9 centimeters dilated. The midwife told me to envision the waters breaking. The bag of waters broke immediately. I was told to get up and walk although I wanted to rest. I would rest for a few minutes and then get up. Finally, I said I have to lie down I cannot keep standing. I went on the ground on all fours with my elbows on the ground. Shortly after my body started to push. I pushed for twenty minutes. Then my daughter was born at 10:26pm.

The midwife pushed the baby between my legs so I could see her. I touched her face and verified she was a girl. Then she was wrapped in a blankets and I laid down on my back. I held her on my stomach. At the same time, the midwives were acting fast as I was bleeding a little too much. I asked my husband to take the baby. I was then given two shots of oxytocin in my thigh as the midwife rubbed my stomach. They tried to put an intravenous drip in my arm unsuccessfully, as I have small veins making it difficult. Instead, they continued to have me drink juice. I then had one small suture. I first said no to the suture. The midwife said that it was necessary, as she could not tell if the blood was from the tear or not. The midwives put the baby to my breast for a moment. For some reason it hurt pretty darn bad! Then I said I had to go to the washroom as I was drinking juice continuously for the entire birth. After that I went to the bedroom and laid on the bed while the newborn exam took place. I think I got up to pee 3 times after the birth as they kept me drinking soooo much juice.

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