Nursing in Labor and a Placenta Smoothie, What More Does A Birth Story Need?

My favorite thing about this birth story:  that reading other empowering birth stories helped this mama have the birth she wanted.  Thanks to all the wonderful ladies that have donated their thoughts on life's most sacred event to be shared here on the blog.  It does make a difference!

On the 22nd of December, Aiden awoke around 9am, later then usual. Typically I start by day before she does but I felt exhausted like I couldn’t even keep my eyes open if I wanted to. Yesterday I had an intuition that our new little one would be making his arrival within the next 24-36hours.

I had began losing my mucous plug right after some alone time with my husband. I had told Kyle since the middle of my pregnancy that he would come before Christmas although I also thought maybe I had just been trying to prepare myself mentally just in case he didn’t make it until January. I had been hoping that Aiden would be able to enjoy her last Christmas as an only child.

 Kyle took Aiden downstairs to get her started on some breakfast. I got another hour of rest, I woke up and had a contraction, I knew this was it. I started running around tidying up upstairs, I had 5-6 more in the next 30minutes. I yelled downstairs to Kyle and told him that this was probably happening today and to vacuum our room and wash our bed sheets so we would have an extra pair.

He had been dozing off downstairs so he was pretty lethargic, moving around really slowly not believing I was in labor but I knew it was time, the same way I had known from the 1st contraction when in labor with Aiden. He came upstairs and watched me clean, I asked him why he was just standing there, which seemed to snap him out of it. I went into the main bathroom and started timing contractions, they were irregular 10min, 6min, 2min, 2min, 5min just like with Aiden. I used the bathroom and although the contractions weren’t anything I had to concentrate through I started using my birth affirmation
  My body is meant to do this, I can do this

and for a brief second I worried and I said I can’t do this, I quickly told myself that I knew that wasn’t true and the thought never came into my head again.

    I hopped in to the shower because I looked like hell and my hair needed washing. Aiden joined me, she hugged and kissed my belly during a few contractions. I think the entire week she knew that something was going to change soon. I started swaying my hips side to side during contractions and bouncing my bottom up and down at the peak. When I got out I went to our room and brushed my hair and sent a text to my doula, L(11:22AM) to let her know that she might want to start getting ready. She was baby sitting today so I wanted to give her enough time to get everything situated. Then I called my midwife, J  (11:24AM).

She also didn’t think it was the real deal. I told her contractions had been going on for 45minutes irregularly and now every 5 minutes for the past 30minutes. She asked me get in the bath, drink fluids and time them to see if they would go away. Once again I knew it was time but I got in the bath in our room anyway. Kyle came and sat with me, timing contractions. I started zoning out, raising my head toward the ceiling, eyes closed, shifting my weight from butt cheek to butt cheek and saying my birth affirmation in my head
This contraction is not bigger than me, it is me.

I hadn’t planned on doing a hypnobirth, although I read the mongan method but it seemed I was using a sort of hypnosis the entire time.

Kyle had put “Wallace and Grommit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” on my laptop for Aiden, she was sitting on our bed watching it but would come in every few minutes and see what I was doing and stick her hands in the water, I let her know the baby was going to be here soon. I told Kyle to text my dad to let him know I was in labor. (11:54AM)

J called back to see how things were going. Kyle told her my contractions were every 2minutes and lasting 45-55seconds she said she was on her way and gave him directions of what to do in case she didn’t make it. I laughed, I knew she arrive in time. I was still extremely relaxed during contractions, talking to Kyle and saying random comments about what was going on, wanting to keep the mood light.

J called, (12:14PM) she was just arriving at the gate (we live on a military base). I was just starting to not be able to talk during contractions and asked Kyle not to speak to me when he saw me having one since he kept trying to ask me questions. I was telling myself to open in between contractions and I had switched to my favorite birth affirmation
I am strong, I am focused, I am relaxed

J asked him if I was feeling pushy, I wasn‘t. Everything was happening so fast, before I knew it everyone was there and getting set up. Kyle was out of the bathroom a lot trying to help get things ready. Aiden was still watching the movie with L on the bed and running around excited that everyone was there.

They started filling the birth pool down stairs, in the end it was only filled about 7 inches before we ran out of hot water which has never happened before. I was still sitting in the bath tub, J would come in every so often and ask how I was feeling but I was mostly alone during this time. She told me if I felt pushy I‘d have to get out because the water was way too cold.

I enjoyed being alone and I liked hearing everyone in the back round talking about how fast things were progressing. They kept encouraging me to drink which I really didn’t feel like doing but since I hadn’t eaten I didn’t want to get dehydrated or weak.  L made me some miso soup which I enjoyed sipping in between contractions. J used the Doppler twice to check his heart rate during contractions. D, the back up midwife, got a different reading and was concerned with his heart rate so they asked me to get out of the tub. I laid in bed on my side for a few minutes, Aiden beside me.

They checked his heart rate again and he seemed to be doing great. J asked if I minded if she checked me, I told her that would be fine, this is the 1st and only time I was checked through out my entire pregnancy. She said I was 8-9, stretchy and bag of waters was bulging, this was 3 ½ hours since my 1st contraction. I remember being happy about the dilation but not wanting to get my hopes up and just focus on what I was doing and not the number. I don’t think I truly thought I was in transition because although I had felt nauseous I never entered that labor land fuzziness, threw up or had the shakes.

She asked if I would like to sit on the toilet as it might help break my water and speed things up, at this point I didn’t feel like speeding things up was necessary but I decided to try it out. The contractions instantly became more intense on the toilet, Kyle was finally by my side from here until the birth. He had still been running around lot. At 1st I tried resting my head on his shoulder while he rubbed my lower back but the position wasn’t favorable and was making them feel worse. 

I was quite the multi-tasker and set the settings for this picture in between contractions.

I’m amazed at this point how in control I was, I never felt overwhelmed by the contractions at any point. I started leaning back during contractions and had Kyle rub my thighs during them.  I decided I liked it when rubbed them myself so I did. He repeated the affirmation that I had 1st used “Your body was meant to do this you can do this”, he told me I was doing so well. My last 4-5 contractions on the toilet were much more intense and I finally vocalized through them with low pitched moans and rubbing my thighs. I had been pretty silent up until this point. I rested in between them practically falling asleep.

J asked if I wanted to stand and see if that helped move things down, I did and a bloody mucous plug fell right out on to the toilet seat. Standing was extremely uncomfortable so I sat back down. Then I felt the urge to push, I said so and J said to do what I felt was right. After the contraction was over I said I didn’t want to push on the toilet. So I did a speedy little walk to my bed which was about 20feet away.

*Later on J had said she was surprised I didn’t give birth on the way to the bed since she had seen his head bulge out when I pushed on the toilet* But I made it to the bed and I got on all fours and J asked if I wanted to take my bra off so that I could be skin to skin with the baby. I took it off and waited for a contraction it felt like a while before I had one. Aiden was sitting next to me and as soon as my breasts were exposed she took that as a cue that it was time for milk.  

This picture was time stamped a minute before I started pushing. So I was moment’s way from a baby and nursing my 28 month old, which I found amusing and so did everyone else.

Then I felt a contraction come, I asked Aiden to get off and L got her to come and sit with her. The contraction came and went, then another right after. I pushed, my water splashed everywhere. I think I might have laughed. Then another came and another big splash then his head crowned and I vocalized with an “ohhhh”, J reminded me to breathe to stretch and I inhaled deeply in through my mouth and out through my nose a few times resting my head on the wall beside the window.

I didn’t feel like I was doing a good job at letting myself stretch but they assured me I was doing great. I breathed through it then I couldn’t not push anymore so I pushed and his head came out, relief. I then switched to my back to birth the rest of him. J asked me to push I told her I wanted to wait for a contraction, as soon as I finished speaking one came. One shoulder then the other, Kyle with help from J slowly guided him out and handed him to me. There was a total of 1 minute between him crowning and me grabbing him on to my chest.  He was purpley and covered in vernix.

I looked over at Aiden and I smiled, her face was priceless she had this surprised, “oh my god, where did that baby just come from?” look. I laid him on my chest and Aiden came to look at him. He was quiet and alert; he took a little bit to cry and didn’t do so for long. I had a gush of blood 6 minutes later and J asked if I felt like pushing I said no, Aiden latched on which helped me contract, I pushed and my placenta came right out. J clamped his cord about 4 minutes later and Kyle cut it and then they put the cord ring on.  

First family photo Aiden kept trying to yank his hat off and poke him in the eye. Things settled down pretty quickly after that. I was on cloud 9 and felt so energetic. The midwives monitored my bleeding for a bit and his breathing since he sounded a little gurgly on one side. Switching him to my other breast cleared it out. After D looked over my placenta with Kyle, J and L took it downstairs to cut it up and make me a smoothie. I ate a parfait as well. Aiden was going on no nap all day so she was fussy; she was downstairs for about an hour with L.

Then came up to nurse with the baby, she held his hand as she did so.  After the midwives left I continued to relax in bed with everyone while L drained the pool and started a load of wash leaving us to enjoy this new little guy by yourselves at 5:30pm.

Atlas Jorson was born on 12-22-11 at 2:12pm, 6lb 11oz 19in, 13cm head, 37 weeks 5days (2 weeks and 4days before his sister had arrived) with beautiful black hair, a hairy little back, chubby cheeks, little elf ears and little chinky grayish-blue eyes. He seems like the sweetest little guy when he is awake and his big sister has grown very fond of him and calls him Baby “Alice.” Aiden holding him for the 1st time

My daughter’s birth was a 10hr hospital birth, with an epidural which most likely caused the meconium which resulted in no skin to skin immediately after birth. It wasn’t what I wanted and I was disappointed with how it went. I felt like I had missed out on what a birth should be. I wouldn’t have changed a thing this time; it was the most amazing experience I could have asked for. I remember reading hundreds of birth stories while pregnant and I imagined being able to say that my birth was empowering.

Reading someone else’s birth story about the empowerment they felt through their birth always made me feel like I was receiving some of their strength and I am grateful to all those women who have not only written their birth stories but also were gracious enough to share such an amazing and intimate experience with strangers. Every woman should have the opportunity to have a birth that makes them feel as strong as they know they are.
New Years Eve

Atlas, 20days


miss charlie said…
dagnabbit I cant see the pics...whata lovely story, I so need to see the pics of this awesome momma and kiddo!
Anonymous said…
Lovely, wonderful story except for the racial slur at the end.
scooping it up said…
This was an awesome story with great pictures, and I was so grateful while reading it. I too was thrown off by the racial slur at the end. perhaps the writer doesn't understand that "chinky" is an ugly word and hurtful to people of asian descent?
Mama Birth said…
OK- I didn't even realize what it meant. Not familiar- sorry
Anonymous said…
I am the writer of the story, I am part filipino. Didn't realize chinky was a racial slur (I know without the y is if describing someone of asian decent) as that's just how my family has described my dads side all who have the same almond shaped eyes.
Oh my gosh I love, love, LOVE this story!!! Our daughter is 14-months and I too had a hospital labor. Never again!!! We aren't pregnant with #2 yet but I have had my mind made up for quite some time that (God-willing) our next, and all future births will happen at home!! Also still trying to get hubby comfortable with the idea, although he knows that in the end it is my decision.

Thank you so, so much for sharing your story in such detail, I felt like I was right there with you!!! And the pictures of Aiden nursing right along side Atlas are just so precious!!! My daughter is still nursing as well, it is one of my favorite things, I love the idea of her being able to nurse along side a baby brother or sister one day. Oh, just precious and priceless, thank you again for sharing!!!