Angelfish: Mallory's birth at home
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 12:33 PM
Mallory's homebirth story:
The Contractions Begin
On March 8 2005, my EDD, I felt my braxton hicks change. I’d been having them for upwards of two weeks. In the evenings they would come every 5 minutes for HOURS on end and then just stop in time for bed…what a tease! But, on my EDD, they changed…they got slightly more intense but farther apart; 30-45 minutes apart. I dealt with them all day…we went out for lunch and had a nice day. At 3am on March 9, a contraction woke me up…and then another one 7 minutes later made me stop to think. I got out of bed and puttered around a bit. They came every 5-8 minutes for a couple hours and then slowed down to about 30 minutes between again. Sigh. So, I went on with my day. I packed up Nolan and got on the bus to my mom’s house. We had a nice lunch with her…contrax coming every 15 min or so. We hopped back onto the bus and came home around 3pm. That’s when I got out my pump. With the help of the pump, I got them coming every 4 minutes…and STRONG. I called my sister and had her come over…I called Chris at work to warn him but told him to continue his work.
As soon as I stopped the pump, the contrax eased up a bit. They came every 7 minutes or so and weren’t as strong. We watched Dr. Phil at 5. Chris came home and Jordan went back to mom’s house for a bit. This is where it starts to get a bit hazy…Chris went to the store at some point to get juice, bread, milk and such just in case this was the real thing. I think it was before Jordan went home. The contractions were still bearable at this point but I called the midwife anyway…she was nervous that I’d go fast. She told me to call back when the contractions last longer than 1 minute…they were only about 30 secs at this time. It was still VERY managable. I still wondering if this was *it*. Probably about 6pm.
Yep -- This Is It
Around 7pm, I called my mom’s house and told her that I thought we were going to have a baby tonight...I used the word "thought" because I didn't want to have to eat my words if this wasn't it. Still very managable. She laughed…all the women in our family go ridiculously overdue…even Nolan, my first child, was 2 weeks past. However, she said that we should walk the mall to get things going. She cancelled her hair appointments for that night and came over with Jordan. They arrived around 7:30…that’s when things picked up. I’d just lost my plug and decided against the mall. I needed to hold onto someone for a contraction…I couldn’t talk through them anymore. They were coming every 2-3 minutes but still only lasting 45 seconds so we didn’t call the midwife back yet…she only lived down the street anyway. I started to get nervous (around 8pm)…this is probably where I entered transition. I NEEDED to have someone by my side, standing, at all times so that I could hold them during a contraction. Jordan lent her tiny body, my mom did too…and so did Chris. It felt great to have people so willing to let me hang my 180lbs frame off them…I knew it wasn’t easy…especially for Jordan who weighs barely 115lbs herself. I got nervous when Chris wandered off to set up my music and commanded mom or Jord to stand with me (even though they were only two feet away on the couch). Hahaha.
The Floodgates Are Open
We got set to watch American Idol while I laboured…I moved over to the couch and that’s where I popped. It felt like a balloon popped inside me and then warm water ran down my legs. I was THRILLED!!! My water broke on it’s own!!! We headed to the bathroom to get a pad. I argued with my mom about standing in the bathtub...I wanted to and she told me it was dangerous. I wasn't thinking clearly at that point. I sat on the toilet and we checked my pants. My biggest fear had been cleared…the fluid was clear. No meconium. I was so excited that my water broke…I kept talking about it…and then it hit me: the contractions would get more intense now. Oi. When I got off the toilet, there was some show in there. YAY! Chris called my midwife, who, in the couple hours since we talked to her, had gone to another birth. So, she sent her back-up: Carolyn. Carolyn arrived around 8:30. She offered to check my dilation but I refused and kept labouring. This is where my mom told Carolyn that I was in transition and Carolyn laughed at her...said I was too cheerful. Mom explained that I labour cheerful. I truly don't remember being cheerful or grumpy as I was too far into my own head. Jordan’s husband, Greg, was sent to the store to get more juice and to pick up my other sister, Alison.
Around 9pm I felt the contractions change…I was getting pushy. I started grunting at the end of each contraction involuntarily. So, we moved to the bedroom. I knelt on the floor beside my bed. We joked that the baby would arrive before Greg got back with the juice…Greg has been known to take his time…but we love him. I started to really feel pushy. I stared at the eye on my fish-shaped hot water bottle during contractions and concentrated on not pushing until I couldn’t help it anymore. Apparently, I would look into the hallway at random times, smile at Chris and tell him that he was going to be okay…this was going to be okay. Hahaha At 9:30ish my primary care midwife arrived: Lisa. She brought her birthing stool so I sat on it. My mom held me up from behind and Jordan donned some gloves infront of me to catch the baby. Greg and Alison arrived at this point although I don’t remember it happening. I started pushing involuntarily…I just couldn’t help it. I pushed when I wanted to and everyone cheered me on…no directions…just cheering. All of a sudden I felt a *POP*! The head had come down and was out now! I asked, “Is it out??? Is it out???”(meaning the head) and my midwife misunderstood, thought I meant the baby, and said, “No, not yet.” I was disappointed but doubled my efforts. She barely managed to slip the cord from around the baby’s head when I pushed out the rest of her body. It was too quick for even Jordan to catch her. I pushed for 2 contractions…5 minutes in total.
I grabbed the baby onto my chest and I climbed onto my bed. I lay there with this child on my chest and she started crying. I’d never heard Nolan cry before he was taken to the NICU…this was incredible. They didn’t suction her…she didn’t need it. I just held onto her for 5 minutes before Jordan said, “Well, WHAT IS IT???” So we checked…A GIRL! Born at 9:39pm. Nolan came in to visit me with my mom…he’d woken up. Then he went right back to bed. 45 minutes after the birth, I cut the cord that held my daughter and I together…what a crazy thing. I nursed Mallory. My sisters helped me to the bathroom where I showered. I put on the nursing nightie that my mom bought me. I climbed into bed with my little girl and we all hung out. Jordan brought me juice and muffins. Chris and Alison took pictures. Mom sat with us. It was great. Just after midnight they did her assessments. 9lbs 5oz. 21” long. 14.5” head circ. 9&9 on her apgars. Good respiratory noises, good heartrate. She was perfect! I finally went to bed around 2am. Sigh…much needed sleep! I think that covers everything. It was the best experience…I haven’t stopped smiling since. Everyone was perfect…respectful of my wishes: no vag exams, no directed pushing, no suctioning baby. It was fantastic and peaceful.
Thanks for letting me share,