I’ve been over a week past due, and I was ready to have this baby any day. We had an appointment with the midwives at 4 pm, and she “stripped”my membrane, which is just massaging the membrane to trigger labor. She said if its ready, it usually happens within 6 to 12 hours, and I will also have cramps and
blood discharge right after.
[Early First Stage:]
I did start having cramps as we were driving back home. I thought it’s just the cramps that can go away, so I kept going with cooking dinner, and cooking strawberry shortcake for FHE… by the time cake was baked, I could hardly stay on activity when contraction was coming. Lance kept asking me if he should fill the Birth tab, but I kept saying: “maybe it’s just a false labor, so just wait…” finally he decided to ignore my opinion and start anyway, and I am VERY glad he did. Around 7 pm we started timing the contraction and they lasted about 1 min, and came every 4 min.
[Active First Stage:]
We called Linda, our doula and midwives around 7:45 pm. By that time Lance had to give me pressure every time I was having contraction - it was getting strong. When Linda arrived around 8 pm, I was not in a talking mood. I tried different positions as Linda suggested, but nothing helped ease the pain… although her soothing voice of constant encouragement and telling me to breath REALLY helped! Lance was busy getting the tub ready, so I really have no idea how I would have gotten through without her.
Around 9 pm midwives arrived, and now I think about it, around that time I already had urges to push every time I had contractions, but I wasn’t sure exactly how it’s suppose to feel, so I just tried to breath through it… When I got into the tab around 10:20 pm, Michelle (midwife) told me that if you have the urge go ahead and push! Then I was like, wait a minute, I do have the urge to push! It surprised me I could already be pushing.
As I was going through labor, I did think about “what if I just went to the hospital?...it would’ve been so nice to not have this pain!!!” Though having that in the back of my mind, I just kept enduring through, telling myself this is the decision that I made. I asked Linda around a little before I went into the tub, “How close am I?” I think the hardest part was that not knowing how long this will keep going.
[Second Stage / Pushing:]
Anyway, after I got into the tub, the water did make it ease the pain and pressure, enough that I didn’t grunt through contraction anymore…and I started pushing!! Lance was behind me and held my hands tightly as I pushed. It really helped to have him there to hold on to. At this time my water still hasn’t been broken yet, so I was thinking it would take a long time. Then Michelle told me that I’m almost there and that the head and the water sack is bulging out as I was pushing –what a relief! It gave me hope and I just kept pushing, soon the water popped, and it was the time for the head to come out. I remember the term in the book “Ring of Fire” – it was. But when it passed, it wasn’t that bad.
The head came out and I touched his head! What a strange feeling… the body came out soon after, at 11:03 pm. HE WAS BORN! He was white, and had wrinkly hands, didn’t cry too much, he was completely perfectly normal in every way. The first feeling of holding him was hard to describe. I still didn’t feel like I was a mother of this little child I was holding. He just looked so helpless and the first thing I thought of I think is the realization that “this little boy needs me.”
I think the bond and the love grows as you spend time with the baby. Lance and I kissed, adoring our creation, the gift from our father in heaven, and we just kept looking at him (I could probably just look at him all night, but I had to get out of the tub, etc.). Anyways with all that worry and pain, when it happened, it wasn’t bad at all. It only took 20 min to push, 3.5 hours of strong contractions. AMAZING.
[Third Stage / Postpartum Period:]
What happened after was scarier for Lance than for me, I just bled a lot as I passed the placenta (water turned red, I was expecting more of pink…) and when I got out of the tub, when Lance try to carry me out, a gush of blood came out, making me a little bit in shock. I was given 2 bags of IV and Pitocin shot to help contract the uterus to stop bleeding. All I remember was it was SOOOO cold, and I was shaking like crazy. But after about a bag of IV, I was feeling fine.
They gave me the baby and I started feeding him, he was hungry! After a long while of just enjoying the baby, Midwives started weighing and measuring the baby, doing all sorts of check ups. Turns out, he is 9 lb 6 oz, and 21 inches long, with a BIG head! I also found that I didn’t tear much, not enough to get stitches. Oh man I was lucky! I can’t believe how big he was, and
healthy and so perfect he was!
My body was more tired than I expected, (I couldn’t go to the bathroom on my own and I had to use the bowl by the bed…) and was hard to adjust at first but at least the baby slept really well the first day and I was able to rest. Overall, the homebirth with water was a success! It was a first time and I just didn’t know what to expect, and that was the scariest but the whole environment, and how involved Lance was in the whole process was very nice.
I just felt bad for Linda and Lance having a lot of cleaning up to do afterwards, since my blood splashed everywhere, etc. And it is definitely more time consuming for Lance even the following days, he’s the only one who can take care of me. He had to skip some classes for me, continue
cleaning, feeding me, helping with the baby…
Seriously, this is no mother-only thing; it was a group effort for sure--and Lance was a champ partner!
Hello! My name is Linda. I am a Doula CD(DONA), Hypno-Doula, Childbirth Educator, Midwife Assistant and a Registered Nurse (RN) by profession.