I have split the birth story into two versions: the short PG-rated version, and the longer uncensored version:
Short Version: tells you everything you need to know about how labor progressed, and how our baby was brought into this world. To read, just keep reading this post.
Uncensored: tells the ENTIRE story from beginning to end. It describes every feeling, every thought, and it gets explicit on body experience (such as going to the bathroom, feelings of labor, and goings on during and AFTER delivery). To read, which you could only possibly be interested in if you are a future mother yourself, or if you are just a pathologically curious individual, you can go to the The Birth Story (Uncensored) post and type in this password: veryexplicit (Enter at your own risk!)
— The Birth Story begins here —
THE BIRTH TEAM
- Midwives: Birth Matters Midwifery Care
- Doula: Motherbaby Doula Services
It took 4 days of labor, but only one hour of pushing to welcome little Greg into the world.
Day 1 (Wednesday): I started feeling the contractions on my lower back when I woke up to get ready for work at 5:30am, so my midwife suggested I waited a few hours to see if they went away. I decided to work from home that day. The contractions continued throughout the day, but only became regular that evening. At midnight, I asked my husband to put together the birthing tub, and I called my doula over to keep me company. I refrained from calling my midwives until I knew labor was imminent.
That night I slept propped up on the couch, since the contractions were very uncomfortable to go through in a lying down position.
Day 2 (Thursday): I woke up with every contraction throughout the night to track them (using a Blackberry app called BirthBaby). The contractions remained at 10min apart all night long. Nothing seemed to be going anywhere fast, so at 7am I sent my doula home and took my mother out to breakfast (Baby Apple at Bickford’s — yum!). At that point I really couldn’t pretend I wasn’t in labor, so I called the whole team over (1 doula, 2 midwives) and we spent the whole day in and out of the tub, having lunch and dinner, watching a movie, and taking walks. By midnight my contractions had gone from 5 min apart all day to 10-15 min apart. Everyone went home, except for one midwife who stayed behind to make sure the baby’s HR stayed up throughout the night. She allowed me to take a Benadryl to get some rest, and it worked wonderfully. I still woke up with several contractions, but I was able to rest until 8am.
Day 3 (Friday): My midwife left at 8am. I woke up cautiously, had breakfast, went back to sleep for a couple of hours, had lunch, visited my neighbor, and tried my best to get distracted. The contractions were about 10min apart but they had gotten debilitating and intense. By the early evening I didn’t want to eat, and I lived in fear that another would strike any second, because these contractions did not seem to care for ‘timing’: they were guaranteed every time I changed positions in any way! I couldn’t even speak or look straight during these. I looked like I was in a trance. I just tried my best to relax my whole body, close my eyes and wait for them to pass after 30 seconds or so.
That night I slept in my bed, but propped up in a sitting position. I thought maybe I would get lucky and get another good night sleep. No such luck.
Day 4 (Saturday): At 3am I had to wake Brian up to help me track the contractions (they were back to being 5-6min apart) and to help me try different positions for relief. None were working. We called the team over at 6:30am and they were there at 8am. I spent the morning feeling these intense surges, and the only relief I could get was when my doula or my husband would apply counter-pressure around my hips or on top of my lower back.
I got in the birthing tub at 12:30pm and my body would no longer let me relax my muscles during contractions. Every contraction I got would make my body PUSH. I was trying to help it! I was trying to relax my muscles, but it was a completely involuntary reflex. At 1:33pm, announcing to everyone that “something was going to come out” the head popped right out! The only person to see it was my husband Brian, whose hands I had been holding onto the entire time.
Everyone rushed over to our side and took the baby out. He was born in the amniotic sac. I never ruptured membranes! I was so proud of this little guy.
The cord was also tied around his neck, so my midwife had to cut him out of the sac and unwrap the neck before giving him to me. And that is when this picture was taken:
Baby Greg came out by complete surprise just 1 hour after I had started pushing. My mother didn’t even know I was pushing at all. She thought that the noises I was making meant that the contractions had FINALLY gotten to me (ahem, 4 days later) 🙂 She was one of those people extremely concerned that I wouldn’t be able to handle the labor without anesthesia, so she had been waiting for me to scream and freak out at any moment.
And so our little bundle of joy was born 🙂 10 fingers, 10 toes, perfection all around 🙂