Our Birth Story
January 6, 2009
The day started off the same as recent days, with us wondering, “Could today be the day?” I had a feeling, I thought it just might be. We had an appointment at Austin Area Birthing Center with one of the midwives. I was 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant and had a due date on January 10, 2009. Nothing had changed much, according to the midwives. I was still 2 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced. We went home and enjoyed the rest of the day. We walked the dogs, made and ate dinner, and played one of our favorite board games, “Descent” (ironic?). While we were playing, I noticed I was having Braxton Hicks contractions back-to-back. This was about 9:30 p.m. I told my husband, Elliot, and we told ourselves not to get our hopes up, but maybe, just maybe… Nevertheless, the contractions continued. When we finished our game, we decided maybe we should watch a movie, and time some contractions. I sat on my birth ball, while Elliot timed. They were still pretty far apart, but seemed to be working harder and were still constant. If this was real labor, we remembered what our Bradley instructor told us and we should probably try and get some sleep. If the contractions stopped when I laid down, then maybe it was a false start; if not, I would need the rest. So we went to bed around midnight. Elliot was able to fall asleep easy enough. Though when I laid down, my contractions started working harder and I really wasn’t comfortable enough to sleep. I rested for two hours, then had to get up. I took a hot shower, that eased some discomfort. I let Elliot sleep, I knew I would need his help later. After a very long shower, things were progressing. I woke Elliot up. We labored together, timing contractions that were increasing in frequency. Around 4:30, I told Elliot to call the midwife. I had bloody show and my contractions were about 4 minutes apart, at least 1 minute long and I had been laboring like that for at least 2 hours. The midwife on call told us to come on to the birthing center. It was an hour away for us from Temple. It was time to go. By the time we got everything together to leave it was about 5:30 a.m. The drive to the birthing center was pure hell, but not just for me. Elliot was driving his laboring wife through freezing cold rain. Needless to say, I didn’t notice. I was very busy working. It was difficult not being able to move. But I had two wide mouth combs that I would press in my hand with each contraction. I was told by a friend that that would help manage my pain some and make each contraction effective. It definitely helped me focus. When we got to the birthing center at 6:30, the midwife checked me and I was 5 1/2 centimeters dilated. On our way! She showed us to our birthing room and got us settled. She told us she would be going off-call at 8:00, but another midwife, Joan would be there to take her place. Elliot and I tried different techniques to help me work. We soaked in the birthing tub, paced, rocked, massaged, showered. At some point before 8:00, I had a bout of emptying out both ways. Closer, we were getting closer! Thankfully by 8:00, Joan came and offered some new advice. I was having terrible back labor. When she checked me again, she also helped to turn my son. She also told me that I was at an 8 1/2 and if I would push gently when I had a contraction, it would help push
him past the iliac crest and the back labor would subside. Joan left to check on another laboring mother. So when I had a few more contractions, I did as Joan said and pushed. No sooner had I pushed a couple of times then, dramatically, my bag of waters broke! Whoa, what a feeling! I sat up and told Elliot, “Something just happened!” Get Joan!” (I bellowed this last word as a pushing contraction hit). Elliot ran out in the hall and called after Joan as I bellowed her name inside the room. Two midwives came running, knowing that baby was coming! As soon as my bag of waters broke, my son had come barreling down my canal and pushing contractions began immediately and were very strong! I told Joan, “I have to push!” Two nurses came into the room. Joan helped me on the birthing stool. I leaned back on Elliot and a nurse each had a leg and Joan was below catching. I must admit, I screamed things such as “Help me!” and “It hurts!” and then sometimes they weren’t even words, just screams. Then Joan gave me a helpful suggestion, as I had forgotten myself, to use that holler to push! What a great idea! And so I did; I was quieter and more effective this time. I pushed for about 15-20 minutes before my son came out compound presentation, with his arm over his head. He gave a nice, healthy, holler once out. Imriel Alan Ahr was born at 9:25 a.m. on January 6, 2009, weighing 7 lbs. 12 oz at 19 1/2 in long. I had pushed him out so fast, the pressure and descent didn’t have enough time to completely clear his lungs. So Joan used a bulb syringe to suck some of the fluid out. After that she placed him on my stomach. I delivered my placenta about 5 minutes later. After I was settled back against the bed, I held my new son and nursed him. What a beautiful birth it was! About a 12 hour labor from start to finish! Not bad, not bad at all! We recovered in the birthing room for the next 6 hours and then we walked out together. We had a family!