I love this birth story. I love the way that this mama writes and how she talks about the emotions she experiences in the last few days of pregnancy. She describes so beautifully and succinctly the feelings of birth. It made me re-experience my own. Thanks so much for sharing this mama!
I didn't get much sleep last night. Woke up early to get to the acupuncturist, and couldn't really breathe. A shower helped a little.
It was a profound experience, actually. Like I guessed, as soon as anything went near my lower back,I burst out into tears. She could feel and perceive my being on the edge, being overwhelmed. She could see everything I was trying to say but on a body level. It's funny how you think you can smile things away but they're always there, under your skin. And when I started talking about stuff I was crying too. When the needles were in me my thoughts went back to before the babies,all the babies,to my brother and that trauma. Holding it together for my family. Being close to death myself, but hanging on so tight and talking incessantly... the unbearable tension in my family when Andreas was depressed and being a dick. The "holding it all together" feeling, the desire to be weak and simply loved, not worried over, not lectured, just trusted and loved in my weakness, to be allowed to simply float through the water of destiny, of motion, and let it all take me. This is what I wanted, what I needed to find, and began to find it with some carefully placed needles. Weird.
Came home with an uncommonly clear head, like everything was new. Still sick, but calm. Came home, fed the kids, went to bed. Peter peed his pants, my 8 year old first born, and Gabriel was screaming a guttural, no-holds-barred scream while playing some game. It was a play scream and it was NOT OK with me. I looked at him at lunch and he had a rash everywhere, all over his body. It's gone down a little now, it's so weird. Some kind of allergy? A virus? I'm not sure what to make of it. For awhile I'm keeping him in the spare room upstairs. All this,NOW!! Why now? I don't know if Gabriel is contagious or not. I want him to see a doctor, so I'll take him, or Ben will take him when he gets home. Despite Ben's reluctance to see a doctor, I'd like to know what the hell it is. Gabriel is itchy and red everywhere in blotches and he pooped on the floor last night. His appetite is gone and he's more absentminded than usual. Can you imagine that.
Now that I'm up I feel terrible again, I'm going to lay down once more. Can't do anything but sleep. Don't know how to manage the kids. They're outside right now, even the sick one.
Friday,Feb 5, 2010, 3:11am
I slept for six hours. Like I'd never slept before. It was a painless, deep sleep, and somewhere along the line, I lost my sinus cold. I woke around 6pm, Ben came home from work minutes later. The kids had been on their laptops all day. They've discovered the world of chat. At 8 years old. Caused me a little concern. We talked. Gabriel's rash thing went away.
But I was so centered and still. So rested.
So since about 2am I've been feeling new contractions. They're impossible to ignore. I've timed them to about every 5 minutes or so, and they last 20-30 seconds each. They're slung down through my ... that was one. Down through the bottom of my belly, through my groin, ending around my ass. Sort of mild lower back but not really. Should I call Barbara? Yes, they're real. Not BH. Not hunter-gatherers. *
* "hunter-gatherers" I wondered why I have to call Braxton-Hicks contractions that name, named after men who "discovered" them. Can't begin to adequately mock the idea that a couple of male scientists discovered them 100 years ago. So Ben and I call them "hunter-gatherer contractions".
***My Birth Story. ***
I went back to bed after that last entry and tried to relax. They were steady but not regular. I had to breathe through them, but sometimes they'd come at 15 minutes, sometimes 9, and then back again. I stayed awake the whole night, and called Barb around 5am. She called back around 6 and I told her they were the real McCoy, but still pretty casual. She said she'd wait for my next call. At six, I decided to get back to bed and sleep, I even remember thinking that maybe I could turn them INTO BH contractions if I relaxed and just forgot about it. This is maybe my dad coming out. When I got engaged, I called him while he was working in Warsaw, it was about 3am and he was very asleep. When I told him, he said "it's OK, Naki, just relax. There's no engagement. Just go back to sleep." When my mom told him it was time for me to be born it was the same thing... he said "it's OK. Just go back to sleep. There's no baby."
Well, going to sleep must have done something. Between 6 and 7:20, I only had about 5 contractions. They were strong though, and required all my breathing and presence, and woke me up out of rather deep sleep. I remember being so aware that they were stretching over a head. I also remember telling myself what they were. IMagining the ligaments, the rarely-used muscles, the bones holding me together. IMagining
(I wish I hadn't waited 3 months to finish this story, but I will write everything I remember now)
I was receiving texts while I ate breakfast from Monika who wanted to snatch one last belly cast from me. I told her that I thought if she could do it in 10 minutes between contractions, she was more than welcome to try. As far as I was concerned, the contractions would remain relatively far apart for quite some time, since the pace was so slow and regular and easy. Monika texted me that she would bring Michelle for an extra pair of hands right away. At the time, I was convinced this would be a purely social thing, that labour hadn't really REALLY started, that the baby was still aways off. In retrospect, I wish I would have summoned the rest of the gang (Tony wanted so badly to be there but I didn't want an audience for hours), because things moved so quickly from this time on.
I went upstairs and mopped the bathroom floor and cleaned the toilet, making things more or less ready in case anything happened in the bathroom. Ben was ghosting around and I announced the bathroom was ready with a smile. Then I went into the bedroom. I asked Ben to bring the ottoman,so I could sit on it and lean forward against the edge of the bed. He also asked if we should fill the pool.Again, in retrospect, of course the pool should have been filled... but I was still so casual about the whole thing that I thought bothering with filling it now would be a waste of energy. Plus I felt like I needed him around, not busy doing stuff.
When Monika got to the house, I heard the door downstairs open while I was face down in my blankets breathing through a contraction. It was a mild set still, and when she came upstairs, it was like she was a spring breeze. She was wearing comfy pyjama type clothes, and had some things with her. She brought a little bouquet of pink tulips and set them in a cup on my dresser. She lit a tea light. Then she brought out her oils. I remember her saying hi, and I said hi back. I conversed little, I felt like I should get up and be a hostess, and that I was being silly sitting here in one spot with Monika puttering around in my room. Another contraction reminded me that I was doing my job just fine. Monika had four little blue spray bottles with essential oils designed for each of the stages in labour. She let me smell them and choose which one I felt most keenly about at the time. Her hands were cold. I coached her through pressing down on my shoulders, and pushing my lower back. Her touch at first was light and cool, and I needed hot and heavy.Michelle came in at some point later, made herself breakfast in the kitchen downstairs and was quietly present. I'll have to ask her again what her experience was. She took photos and was just "around", but I'm not remembering much detail.
I remember sitting on the ottoman and now the contractions were very big. I could feel the baby banging hard with its feet under my ribs, head at my cervix. I could feel it everywhere, and I could feel the contractions working like a machine. I was now at the end of my ability to smile and joke and just surrendered. It was like a little tragedy. Ben was there in the room and I reached my arms up and he stood in front of me with his arms rounded in a supportive frame. I just filled in his frame with mine and the tears came as a contraction rolled through me. I wept sort of helplessly, nothing to say or do. He whispered good things, that everything was good, that I was doing a good job, that he loved me. The light was white and gentle in the room and my face was turned up with tears on it and we were just together. After the contraction subsided, he went to start filling the pool.
I got on the phone around 11:15am and called Barb. I got her machine and mentioned that I was started to make noises now and things were really moving. At this point now, the only thing I could be responsible for was existing. At 11:30 I told Ben to call again and make sure they were on their way. He got a hold of Barb and she said Tehlia would be first, and she would be there soon after. I moved the ottoman away, or someone did, and I got on my knees. Being seated was starting to ache. Soon I felt like I had to pee, and thought it would be a good idea to have something waterproof under me. Just in case. Through all of this, Monika can continued to push my my back or shoulders through contractions. I remember having a light conversation when quite suddenly the contractions were one on top of the other and I couldn't talk anymore. I remember noticing a slight pushy feeling and quietly remarked on it. I don't think anyone heard me. When I felt again like I had to pee, I asked for help to get up, so I had Monika and Michelle heave me up, and as soon as I was on my feet I felt massive pressure, like a planet dropping down through me, and all I could say was "no," and drop to my knees. I thought, if I have to pee, I'll just have to do it here. The next contraction came fast, I was still wearing my dress and and panties, and felt that I'd just pee now, just let it happen to release some pressure. As soon as I released a little, that huge unavoidable push feeling happened, i grunted a sexual noise and CHUNK, my water broke. It felt like when you bite into a freshly cooked German sausage and the skin just cracks and bursts. It went everywhere. I said into the blankets, low and quiet, "that was my water"... I felt the hot liquid everywhere under me. I was astonished this was NOW. No one told me what was coming, no one gave me a timeline. It was just now. No one heard me say my water broke, and no one saw it, my dress was still covering me, and I was in the zone. I felt the baby's head right there. halfway through me. I knew it was there, and no one else did. Even though Tony wasn't there, and I was keenly aware of it, I knew there was nothing I could do about it and thought to myself "I'll just do this now." The next contraction came fast and I yelled to everyone to get my underwear down now!!! They scrambled as I was pushing, got them down to my knees and the baby's head was suddenly there. I pushed it out, I felt it emerge, Ben was there supporting my tissues. I paused and just absorbed the fact that the baby's head was just there, in the light. I asked if the water was clear and Ben said it was a little pink but clear. The next contraction came and with a mighty roar into the blankets (that no one remembers me making), I birthed that body into the world. I panted and breathed and smiled. It was 12 noon. Ben held the baby and I sat back on my knees. I looked back to see the baby and analyzed this wet thing, this long wet thing. Dark hair, lots of it. stretched out hands. Scrotum. A boy. Fourth boy. I took him, told him to breathe and cry and he crackled and let out a cry. I rubbed him, saw pink coming into him, placed my mouth over his face and sucked out his little nose. He cried again and I told him how good he was. Ben was right behind me drinking him in. The midwives weren't there, it was just me and Ben and the women. And this new creature. I was so awake, so alert. I was a little dazed, It happened so fast with nearly no work, and here I had this baby. So much hair! Al over his forehead, shoulders, bushy eyebrows, down his back, on his ears, sideburns, lanugo everywhere. Dark hair. Ruddy skin. I could head the pool still filling behind me.
I watched and helped this new boy. I didn't feel elation and love yet, it was so practical. I felt a little distanced from the whole thing. I felt like I was just me, that I'd just finished doing the laundry or something. And here was a new creature, just like that. We called the boys up to take a look and they came and said hi briefly. i remember hearing a little bit of disappointment that it was another boy, but that gave way to excitement. The kids were casual about the whole thing, and soon went downstairs to play more games.
Ben was leaning over me and soon my wild mom eyes took over. The hormones must have been doing their thing because I examined him like an animal, I leaned over him and placed my mouth over his mouth and nose again and sucked more goop out. He tasted and smelled perfect. I nursed him a little. His suck was so strong. He was beautiful. At some point, Ben turned off the hose filling the birth pool. And then I heard laughter as the midwives arrived. They came up with smiles on their faces and we marvelled about the whole thing. I decided to climb into the pool to relax with my new baby. The water was sort of cool so Ben poured big pots of boiling water in. It felt great. Nate nursed, and the midwives puttered around. I felt mild waves of contractions as Nate nursed, but my placenta wasn't coming. After waiting awhile, my midwife suggested that it might be held up because I was sitting on it in the pool. She asked me to lift my bottom and pulled very gently on the cord. The placenta slid out beautifully and I felt relieved.
After going to the bathroom and cleaning up a little, baby and I climbed into bed and relaxed. Girlfriends were on the bed with me, kitty was purring, sniffing at baby and rolling on his towel, and midwives examined the placenta. Intact and perfect, it was cleaned and frozen, but not before my midwife made a cord bracelet, and cut off a piece of placenta. She cooked it gently and gave it to me to eat along with some other warm goodies on a plate, and some sliced oranges. It was heavenly as usual, and sent my head spinning with love juice. Even my girlfriend tried some and didn't mind it at all.
Our new son weighed 10lbs, 12oz and was born wise-looking and peaceful. There was a never a moment of hesitation or worry during his birth. He is happy and healthy, and so am I. There was no choice but to have him on my hands and knees in my room, and I'm forever delighted that I could do so peacefully and with strength, without a moment of pause in my mind. We are now a richly blessed and happy family of six.