Our Birth Story II
April 25, 2011
It was Easter Sunday. I was very ripe in my pregnancy. There were two days until my estimated due date. For the past week, I had been having braxton-hicks contractions intermittently. Yet, this day, they seemed longer and more frequent. Little did I know I was in early labor. We went to Easter mass that morning. Afterward with my family in tow, we went to my mother-in-law’s house to hunt Easter eggs and have lunch. We went home later that evening, saying good bye to my family and my husband’s, unaware we would be seeing them again soon. I finally figured out I was in labor about 9pm. I was sitting at the coffee table watching a movie and eating supper with Imriel. I kept having wave after wave of contractions, not painful, but noticeable.
I got up and went to the bathroom and noticed I had bloody show. I knew this was it! I told Elliot and called Jennifer, my midwife. She said, she would pack her things and be on her way (she was about an hour away) and her two apprentices (two of my friends) Olivia and Amissa would be there before her. I then called my sister-in-law, Adrienne, whom I wanted at my birth and lived in Houston (3.5 hours away) at the time and my mother, who lives in Bryan (1.5 hours away) so they could be in route. I had a feeling this would be a swift labor and birth.
I decided I wanted to try to nurse Imriel down and see if he would sleep. When I laid down the contractions continued and strengthened with his nursing and the release of more oxytocin. He felt all of the excitement. Elliot decided he would try to get him down. During this time, I began to set up the birthing suite–my front bed room. Thankfully, the blow up birthing tub was mostly blown up. In between contractions, I added a little air to it, added and lit candles, aromatherapy, my string of birthing trinkets from my mother blessing, etc. An hour later Elliot emerged with a wide-eyed 2.5 year old. There was no way this little munchkin was going to sleep-something was in the air, his mother was having his brother or sister this night! The contractions became harder and I knew I would not be able to “let go” with Imriel’s current energy and need for me. We called Terice, Elliot’s mom who lived 10 minutes away, and she came to get him so Elliot could help me through the strengthening waves. After Imriel and Terice left, it was about midnight. Amissa and Olivia were just arriving and not too far behind was Jennifer. Elliot began to fill the tub and set up the camera. I de-robed, as it felt much better to be naked and labored on hands and knees in a froggy or child’s pose position. I frequented the bathroom as my body cleaned out. After 30 minutes, Olivia asked if I would like to be checked. Jennifer asked me what I thought I was dilated to. I said I didn’t know and she said “of course you do, your head is connected to your cervix–think about it”. I arrived at the number of 6 centimeters. Sure enough, when Olivia checked me, I was 6-6.5 cm dilated. The rushes became more powerful and I really wanted to get in the tub. If I was not laboring on the toilet, I was on my hands and knees. Elliot was there, coaxing and encouraging me softly. When the water was cool enough (as it was too hot to begin with), I slid in with relish. My birth junkie friends were sooo right–water IS a midwife’s epidural! I floated in the water and had a few contractions as Elliot held my head and whispered for me to “relax” and I would release every muscle with his words. I got out once to go to the bathroom again. The contractions were close now. It was about 1:30 am. I slid back into the water to resume my rhythm with Elliot holding me in the water when I started to grunt a bit. I knew what that meant–my body was pushing! I decided I felt like I wanted to push. Elliot thought I was kidding, as our first labor was 12 hours total and we were only at 3.5. Surely, I was not ready to push! I told him to go get Jennifer and the ladies. They came and Jennifer said she was not going to check me, she trusted my instinct. She asked me what I felt. I reached down and told her I felt my bag of waters and a lot of pressure. I had another 2 contractions, bellowing “GOD” at the top of my lungs in a mantra and “Pop”, my bag of waters released and I felt the pressure ebb some. Now instead of the membranes, I felt my child’s head. Elliot was holding me from behind and I pushed and bellowed through 2 more contractions and pushed my baby’s head into my waiting hands. Elliot exclaimed he felt a nose as he reached past my legs to confirm, I indeed had pushed our baby’s head out. Jennifer checked to make sure there was not a cord wrapped around our baby’s neck. We waited for another 4 minutes until another rush came and I pushed the rest of my baby’s body out. Jennifer urged me to reach down and grab my baby. I did and pulled him to my chest crying out “Hi my sweet baby!” over and over in a monumental rush of oxytocin and adrenaline. My sister-in-law walks in right before I birthed my child! She made it! The midwife and her apprentices check my baby out on my chest. I was so joyful about the arrival of my little one, I realized I had not checked to see if my child was a “he” or “she”. I peeked between my baby’s little bent legs covered in glorious vernix and gasped as I noted the baby I was sure was a little girl– is in fact a BOY! We had another wonderful son and Imriel had a baby brother! About 25 minutes later, I birthed my placenta. We clamped and cut the cord and 40 minutes later decided it was time to move to our bedroom. We carried our precious water baby to our bed and nursed and loved and rested. I had the perfect and exact birth I had been preparing for through my Hypnobabies meditations–4 hour easy and near painless labor in the glorious water! Wow! Now we were 4! What a wonderful culmination to Easter Sunday–well Monday !)
Rowan Everett Ahr
8 lbs. 1 oz. 21 in. long
Born at 2:05 am at home in the water