At 11pm, October 17, 2010, I was saying goodnight to my husband. He was rubbing my belly and telling our baby that any time now would be OK to be born. I was having Braxton Hicks contractions, but nothing regular or even intense. I told him I felt our time was up for maternity photos. It seemed any day our child would come. Not today, mind you, but soon.
Thank you, Jimi for sharing your central-Kentucky Home Birth story!
The excitement of having the birth I had dreamed of was keeping me awake. It certainly wasn’t the contractions. Right? I mean, they weren’t even regular. But all I could do was dance. I wanted to rock and sway. Finally, 3am on October 18, I’d given up on my dancing and decided to lay down. Several twinges later I turned to my other side and heard as well as felt a distinct POP, then a hot rush of fluids. I look at the clock. It’s 3:17… Is this really happening? Before I could register what was happening my husband flung himself from the bed and asked, “What was that?!” One look at me told him the answer as the next contraction had started.
“Like a can of peas hitting your toe,” my previous midwife Jacinda had described it. (My previous birth, 9 yrs prior, in Florida was a Birthing Centre birth.) It was real. Our William was on his way! The proverbial can had hit, making full contact, and sending me to all fours as I rocked this baby into the birthing canal.
All the while my loving husband was calling people in his family, filling the birthing pool, and checked on me during the strong surges, and I called the midwife and my family in between.
Before I had time to hang up with my brother’s voicemail, Karen (my midwife) comes in the room and informs me it’s tub time, if I want my water birth. I climbed in and immediately felt relief from the surge beginning anew. What a difference it made!
My best friend and doula arrived with refreshments and fresh massaging hands. We hummed, moaned, and I sucked down ice chips for the next hour or so. (It was unusually hot that night. Or was it labor?) A cool rag was placed on my forehead by one of the women in the room. (My daughter, best friend, Karen, and her assistant. I cannot sing the praises high enough of a birth surrounded by loving women who understand, by instinct more than instruction, what their sister needs when laboring.)
Less than three hours from my first intense surge came the last. Just before 6am I felt “the ring of fire,” as my child’s head pressed on the perineum and my lungs heralded his upcoming arrival. The self doubt could be heard in the plea from my lips, which prompted the women around me to remind me more of a battle cry was needed to defeat the war than a whimper. My midwife, who up to now had sat back and, aside from occasionally checking heart tones, had let me labor my way, shined a flashlight through the side of the clear tub and informed me there was a little head.
In my head I screamed, “Little, my foot! This was Goliath if ever I thought it!”
Then came negotiations. It was time this guy made his entry. He couldn’t keep pressing on my perineum, and that meant pushing that lip around his head. So I did. I pushed it back, and pushed him out simultaneously. And out he shot!
“Like a squid through the water,” said my husband.
I dove for him! I had to hold him! There could be no waiting for him to surface. I wanted him in my arms. Up he came from the water. 6:02am. We stared at each other forever. My husband cried hard enough for us both. His firstborn son. Here. In our bedroom. With a whirlwind of activity only moments before, all was quiet. All was serene. Everything was as it should be to accommodate a new life coming into the world gently and perfectly.