Midwives Eva and Heather doing the newborn assesment
Abbie is two months old now, and I figure I need to write down her birth story as some of the details are starting to become fuzzy, and I really want her birth to be recorded.
It all started early in the morning of August 4th, I woke up about 3 am on Saturday morning feeling some contractions. They were about four to seven minutes apart, and considering they were mild, no pain, and a little irregular I went back to sleep figuring that I still had a while and I would need my sleep. I had no idea at that time how much longer I would be laboring.
Later that morning I was still laboring, and spent the majority of the time resting in bed, the contraction were about the same, they got my attention, but were not painful and regular enough that I knew I was in labor. I called my doula (who is also my sister), so she would be on alert, and let my midwife know. At this point I didn’t feel the need to have anyone come over just yet, I was fine to just labor quietly at home, with only my family around. Mostly I spent time in my bedroom by myself, exactly how I wanted to be.
Saturday evening my sister (doula) arrived. Then my midwife sent a couple of her assistants to my house to check my progress. I was so excited, thinking I was going to have this baby tonight, after all I had been laboring for about 18ish hours and this was my seventh baby, I should be really close. Right. Right! Well, I was dilated to a 2. Yes, a TWO! My sweet sister was quick to remind me that I don’t dilate at all unless I am in labor, which meant that I really was in labor, and that just because it took this long to get to a 2 didn’t mean it would take that long to get all the way. The midwives decided to go home and wait for things to pick up a little more, which I was happy about, I wanted to labor quietly with Dadzoo and my sister. The midwives left me with some homeopathic remedies to help with the labor, and some essential oils to use on my feet and belly and also showed my sister the pressure points on my feet and ankles.
Some of the punks watching the newborn assesment
Dadzoo and my sister got the kids to bed, and then we focused on laboring and relaxing. While I paced around the house, Dadzoo and my sister bonded to Downton Abbey. They took turns rubbing oils on my tummy and feet, rubbed my back, and took me for long walks in the dark. Very early Sunday morning we fell asleep for a few hours.
I had been in labor now 24 hours.
The next day was much the same, lots of walking, contractions about 2-4 minutes apart, oils, pressure points, homeopathics and a lot of good food, good company (loved spending all that time with my sister) and Downton Abbey. Later that evening one of my Midwives called, Eva, wanting to know how I was feeling and how things were going. I told her that I was still contracting, and that the contractions were getting more intense. She decided to come over and check me. I was dilated to a 4. I was a full day and a half into this labor and I was only at a 4. She did see to think that baby was in a posterior position, making the dilation a bit uneven and hard. She left to go put her kids to bed and gave me somethings to do and I was to text her when I was done. I was to up the homeopathic remedies to a pill (or two, I can’t remember, my sister just gave them to me, I didn’t pay attention) every 15 minutes and use the oils on my feet after taking each pill. Then I was to walk outside for an hour. Then I was to labor for as long as I could on my hands and knees, to get the baby to spin in the correct position, while using a breast pump to make my contractions harder. It was nice to have something to do.
(This is where the timing of everything gets a little fuzzy, but I will do my best)
About ten o’clock Eva came back and brought the birthing kit with her. I was ready to have the midwives there, I was tired, I had being doing this for almost 48 hours at this point and I was so tired. Eva checked me and said I was about the same, but my cervix was much softer. A little while later my midwife, Heather, came with two others, a midwife and a student midwife. She checked me, and I was at a five, but my cervix wasn’t thinning evenly, the baby’s head wasn’t pressing down evenly on my cervix which was making the labor not as effective as it could be. We then decided to break my water to see if that would help. I then went for a walk with my husband while the midwives settled in. When we got back two were asleep and the other two were visiting in the living room. I labored for a while, pacing the house again and finally early Monday morning settled in my room to labor with Dadzoo, my sister and my second oldest child (who just couldn’t sleep).
About 4 o’clock Monday morning everyone, except me, had fallen asleep. The house was quiet. I felt very low. My contractions had all but stopped, my water was broken, and I was so tired. I cried a little, and then I prayed. I asked my Heavenly Father to help me, help my body do this, I told Him that I needed His help, that I couldn’t do this anymore without Him. My contractions didn’t start up right away, but something did happen. I felt calm, and a voice said to me “rest”. So I layed down next to my daughter and sister and slept for two glorious hours, with no contractions or discomfort.
I know our Heavenly Father watches over his daughters during birth.
About 6 am Monday morning, 51 hours into labor everyone started to wake up. My contractions still hadn’t started back up and I was at a very low point. My body felt refreshed from the sleep, but my spirits were tired and discouraged. My midwife, Heather, checked me, I was at a 6, but my cervix was thinning very strangely. One side of my cervix was still very thick, the other nice and fully thinned (not like the very typical cervical lip some women get at the very end). I was in my room alone when Heather came back in to talk to me, she said I could labor like this another 24 hours, we could go to the hospital or we could do one other thing. She told me of a woman who had had a lot of children, like me, whose uterus would tip forward during contractions making them not as effective at dilating the cervix during contractions. She wanted me to start to push, while Dadzoo held the baby back against me so her head would press on the cervix correctly. I thought of each option, I didn’t want to labor for 24+ hours, I was GBS positive and I felt that would be dangerous to the baby, since my water was broken. I didn’t want to go to the hospital, I didn’t want pitocin or a possible c-section for failure to progress, so option number three it would be. I didn’t know I was about to do the hardest thing I had ever done.
Dadzoo and Eva weighing the baby
I sat on the birth stool and using the breast pump got my contractions going regularly and very hard. Each time I contracted I would push while Dadzoo held my tummy. When we would do that the baby’s head would press on my cervix correctly and I was slowly thinning and dilating. We used many different positions, on the stool, standing up and then ended up laying on the bed with pillows under my back. It help keep my uterus tilted back and I could lay back and sleep a little between contractions. It wasn’t until the very end, as I was transitioning that I really started to feel pain. It was hard too because I didn’t feel the need to push yet, I was just pushing and couldn’t really tell where I needed to push, if that makes any sense. Finally, when I thought I couldn’t do it any more, when the pain was too bad, when I felt like all this work wasn’t doing anything I felt the baby’s head push through my cervix into the birth canal, and it felt so good! I had the urge to push, my body knew what to do and we were going to have this baby!
A couple more pushes and baby started to crown, we called the children in and in two more pushes she was out. At 10 am, Monday morning after 55 hours of labor and three hours pushing, our beautiful Abigail Grace was welcomed by her whole family and into the arms of her parents. She was immediately put on my chest and Dadzoo and I rubbed her little back to stimulate breathing. Dadzoo was lying next to me his arms around me. I loved that as she was being born, crossing the veil into this world I was lying in the arms of her father, it was so beautiful and intimate. I loved having my other children around us as she came into this world, they all one by one came around to the side of my bed to see their new sister, it was so peaceful, so family centered. The midwives did what they needed to do, but they were so quiet that I don’t really remember them being there. It was perfect!
After a while, and when I was ready, they weighted and measured the baby (well Dadzoo weighted her) and did the newborn examine on the bed at my side while the children gathered around. One of the midwives, Eve, showed the kids the placenta and told them how it worked, they were fascinated. After a couple hours the midwives left, I was tucked in my own bed with my baby in my arms. I was wonderful.
Abbie a few hours after birth