Personal Tags: Ergobaby Birth Story Series
This is the story of one of the most amazing days of my life. This is the birth story of my little Grant.
Of course, my daughter’s birth nearly four years earlier was amazing as well. In fact if my birth experience with her hadn’t been as great as it was (in a hospital) I probably would not have sought out Breath of Life to ensure a completely natural childbirth, nor would I have convinced my husband that a birthing center is for us… And it did take a little convincing. ;)
My pregnancy with Grant went smoothly from beginning to end. I kept up my workout routine through most of my pregnancy and my pelvis/hip didn’t have me limping around like it did with my daughter, I was definitely happy about that. I experienced Braxton hicks contractions very frequently starting around 16 weeks. I joked that with all this practice my uterus was doing this baby was going to fly out. I practiced my hypnobirthing relaxation techniques and meditations almost every night. I had tried using the hypnobirthing methods with my daughter but it turns out I didn’t practice quite enough. Her birth still went quickly and smoothly but it definitely wasn’t a hypnobirth. I wanted to do better this time around.
At 37 weeks exactly, it was the night of the super moon. People joked, myself included, that maybe the full moon would coax the baby out. I woke up that night around 2 am to contractions that were coming around 8 minutes apart. I lied in bed for a while thinking there was no way this could be it. I got up, took a shower, laid back down until around 6:30 am at which time I finally fell back to sleep because the contractions stopped. Just as I was thinking this might be the real thing it went away. I was okay with that though, he needed to cook a little longer.
Jump ahead to 40 weeks. I was so anxious to meet him and see what he looks like. I couldn’t really complain because I wasn’t at all uncomfortable but I was so ready. On Tuesday, exactly 40 weeks, I asked my daughter when the baby was going to be born and she said, in a very matter of fact way, “The day after tomorrow.” Early Thursday morning, on the day she said he would arrive, I woke up around 5:30 am feeling a little wet down there. I got up to go to the bathroom and it definitely was pretty wet. I wasn’t dripping any fluid but I thought it was possible it was a small leak. Shortly after waking up my contractions started. I woke up my husband and told him my fluid might have leaked a little and that I was having contractions and he better call in to work because today is the day. I got a shower and as I was drying off my water definitely broke. It was time to call and inform the midwife of the happenings of the morning.
My husband called his mother to come over and help with our daughter. We all hung around the house. Contractions were irregular and slow so I decided we should walk. My husband and I went outside and started walking the neighborhood. We lasted for a little over an hour and decided it was too hot. We were sweating and it was only about 10 o’clock in the morning. So we decided to go and walk in the mall. Our daughter could play on the playground with her grandma and my husband and I could walk laps inside the air conditioned mall. So we walked, walked, and walked. We walked for over two hours I think. Contractions would keep coming fairly regularly as long as I was walking, but we both wore flip flops and our feet were hurting so we decided we were done walking.
We get back home, hang out a while and then I decide I’m going to go try to rest for a bit. It is while resting during my daughter’s labor that things really got serious, so I figured I’d give a try. I lied down for maybe an hour, maybe a little more, and contractions started getting stronger. I got up to let my husband know that things were starting to move along. I could still talk and laugh through contractions so I didn’t think it was getting close. By this time it was about 3 pm or so. My husband convinced me that we should go ahead and leave for the birth center. We live about an hour from the birth center and my husband was hungry and wanted to get food on the way. I told him I thought it was too early and reluctantly gave in. I called Vikki to let her know we were coming but that it was early yet.
On our way down good ‘ole US Hwy 19 we passed three car accidents that somehow had just occurred and traffic wasn’t backed up yet. (Thankfully, as you will see.) On the ride down I continued to have contractions but still nothing serious. We went through Chick Fil A for some food to satisfy my hungry husband. We made it to the birth center just after 4 pm. I could still talk through contractions but they were getting a little stronger. We got settled into our room and my husband started taking pictures of the room, the birthing tub, and the clock which showed it was 4:40 pm. I was lying on the bed on my side and a few contractions later things started to get serious. I told Richie to go let Vikki know things were moving along so she could call the birth assistant, Mary. Vikki had just been in our room about 20 minutes earlier when I assured her it was not that close. While my husband was out I had one serious contraction which I felt a little nauseous through and I felt Grant move way down. Up until this point I was breathing up with my contractions, as I had been practicing with hypnobirthing, but with that last contraction I automatically switched to breathing my baby down. It was time.
Vikki came in and said I could get into the tub whenever I was ready. She didn’t have to say that twice. I knew it was time for things to really get going. I got into the tub and felt a lot of relief. I wasn’t sure what kind of position I wanted to be in. I ended up sitting on my knees with my knees out wide. I worked through a couple contractions, breathing my baby down, when I said to Vikki that I’m feeling pushy. She told me trust my body and push when I felt I was ready. So with the next contraction I continued to breathe the baby down until the contraction peaked and then I began to push. Hypnobirthing practice doesn’t include pushing but my body told me to push so that’s what I did. By the second pushing contraction I felt the baby really moving down and begin to crown. Vikki told me to reach down and feel my baby. I felt his little head and it was full of hair. In the water all his hair made his head feel soft and squishy.With the next contraction his head started to emerge and Vikki told me to slow down and allow him to help me stretch. I stopped pushing and rocked a little for a minute until the next contraction started. With the next contraction his head came out and shortly after the rest of him was out. I could feel Vikki guide him out a little and then she told me to reach down and grab my baby. For me, this was the most amazing thing, that I reached down and caught my baby and pulled him up myself. He started crying immediately and loudly. I was in awe. His back was covered in vernix and I got it all over myself, including in my hair. Either Mary or Vikki asked his named and I proudly announced, “Grant.” Moments after he was out my mother in law brought my daughter in and they were both ecstatic. My daughter was especially happy that he had “black” hair. In reality it is very dark red, almost brown, but it did look very dark when he was born. She is a true red head and I think she didn’t want to share any of the attention that brings her.
In the four hours we remained at the birth center, and the days following really, I could not stop repeating the word amazing when describing Grant’s birth. It was an amazing experience. It was amazing that he came so quickly and easily. It was amazing that I caught my own baby. It was amazing that I basically just gave birth with nearly no assistance. Vikki and Mary were amazing with their words of support and encouragement. And it was amazing to just trust my body to do what it was made to do and it did it perfectly.
Grant was born at 5:49 pm on Thursday, May 24, 2012. He was 8 lbs. 9 oz and 21 inches long. He is absolutely perfect.(I kind of wish my husband and I were having more children just so I could give birth at Breath of Life again.)