Personal Tags: Ergobaby Birth Story Series
After 10 months of soaking up our beautiful baby girl, I've finally decided to write out our birth story. My recollections grow more in depth everyday remembering something new or experiencing the old memories over, in a new way. Let me start by saying that we willingly decided to give birth in the comfort of our home, in front of our Christmas Tree, in the presence of my Mother, my Midwife and her assistant. I had the privilege of exposure to home birth before I got pregnant by watching the documentaries "Business of Being Born" and "Pregnant in America." Seeing these two films really opened both mine and my husband's eyes to know that, without a doubt, homebirth was for us.
December 1, I called my midwife saying,"Um... I think I'm in labour," followed by a very unsure giggle. She replied very calmly, "Ok... describe to me how you are feeling," I told her I could see my stomach contracting but I was completely comfortable and excited! She explained to me that I should try and rest as much as possible, eat a good meal, relax with a bath and if things start to progress then we'll know what is going to happen! As she was telling me this, I'm running through my simple mental checklist. *Fill the birth tub- that's all I really cared about. I have boobs, diapers and blankets.. I wasn't too worried about anything else except, fill the birth tub. She informed me that she was currently awaiting a baby any minute and another Mama and baby starting on their birth journey, so I should take it easy. I was only 37 weeks and she knew I was not in labour by the sound of my voice. Unfortunately, I was going to do this to my wonderful midwife three more times before the real deal. She was incredibly patient with my lack of experience My estimated due date (Dec. 23) came and went and took Christmas with it. I was feeling huge, uncomfortable and that I would be forever pregnant.
New Years Eve I woke up feeling more calm and content than I ever had. I knew in my soul that today was the day. I kept that completely to myself the whole morning until my Mom clued into the fact that I was doing squats about every 4 or 5 minutes. Well if this was anything like the weeks before when I was just practicing for labour then that meant the contraction timer on the iPhone was coming out. The timer and I didn't have a good relationship due to the stress it seemed to induce. Luckily, this time I did not care, I knew it was real. From the beginning I knew I wanted to bake cookies during labour. I love to bake so I figured that would be a good way to stay distracted. At about Noon I decided to partake on my baking/ birthing activity. Inside I was feeling so in control and focused, with each surge feeling the purpose. My husband cluing into my slow dance that had begun in the kitchen. By this time the birth tub was almost full and you could see the warmth glowing off of this perfect circle that our child would arrive in. Seeing the Christmas lights bouncing off the water and the snow falling threw the blinds, I had to abandon my cookies and get in that tub ASAP! At 12:45pm, Before I got in that glorious tub, I made a very sure phone call to my Midwife that this was happening. She said, " We are packing up and see you very soon." Her voice was so pure with love and joy for us, she knew we were meeting our sweet baby very soon. I waddled down the stairs and more graceful than ever climbed in our birthing vessel. As the water warmed our bones, I began to drop into my trance. Months before we prepared ourselves with a method called HypnoBirthing. The idea is to relax, release all fear and trust your body and baby to know exactly how to birth. Every night I would take a bath and visualize exactly how I wanted our birth to go, down to every detail. This was important for me so that the day of I wouldn't have to think about anything, I would have told my brain what to do every night for almost nine months. As labour progressed I was tranced and collected. I knew when my Midwife and her assistant showed up because of the rush of cold air and snow flurries that flew in, I loved it though because the tub was starting to get a bit steamy. This also so delightfully meant "all systems go!" Isla Blue can make her grand entrance anytime now! She very politely asked to listen to her heartbeat, so I quickly stood up and she found her little heart so fast. While she's listening, I inhaled the aroma of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and homemade chicken noodle soup in the air. I thought a good choice of a meal before giving birth was a PB&J, well that wasn't the case when it started coming back up. I had learned though, "If your throwing up, the baby isn't far behind." So I was thrilled to barf :) That just meant the peanut butter cookies were not on the after birthing menu. The smelling and barfing was all happening about 3 or 4pm.. I'm guessing. Time didn't exist there. I was so far in labour land that a monster truck rally wouldn't phase me. I could grasp what was going on around me but I really cared less. Then I heard Grant's voice ask me if I wanted him to get in the tub with me. I had no clue he wasn't already in here with me... he said, " let me go change really fast!" And then I felt my hand suddenly get cold from the air hitting it for the first time in hours. Every surge/ contraction up to this point was completely manageable and I was actually thoroughly enjoying myself. The one contraction that Grant left to change his clothes was the only one I was tense for, that meant I felt it in it's full glory. I was tense because I felt alone for that one second. I could hear him running down the stairs faster than ever and alas he was embracing me from behind. He wrapped his arms around me so tight and whispered, "You're incredible." This gave me so much strength. I knew he thought I was beautiful and powerful, his breath poured over my shoulder with so much love. My body, brain and baby all knew this was exactly the moment I was waiting for.. this was what I had visualized. My body in full active labour, husband/best friends behind me ready to bring our baby up together and the atmosphere was absolutely perfect. Perfect. I could feel the top of her head peeking out and at that moment it was surreal. Within the next surge her tiny precious head came out. " I can feel her ear!" was the first thing I had said in a while with such amazement and love. In the next surge and the grandest moment of my life, we met our perfect little babe! Squatting in tub, now the three of use together for the very first time I quickly noticed something was missing. I said with concern " Her cord broke." Fear sprinted up my spine. My midwife jumped in with us without hesitation and clamped the cord. Our plan originally was to have a cord burning ceremony I guess not everything worked out exactly to plan.. but hey, I'm just fine with that. All three of us cuddled up on the floor, I had Isla skin to skin as the midwives closely watched her progress within seconds Isla regained her color and latched on exactly 15 minutes later. I did it. We did it! "Wow," was all I could muster up,"She's beautiful!" On December 31, 2011 at 5:19pm, Isla Blue Anders showed us her perfect self, weighing 7lbs 6oz. The rest of our evening was so bonding and peaceful My husband and I sipped on our chicken soup as we gazed in awe of our new love, Isla Blue. We love you!