You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. -Isaiah 26:3
Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created -Esther 4:14
I’ve been trying to find the words for Maren’s birth story for two weeks. Nothing I can write could ever compare to the wonderful experience of bringing her earthside but here goes....
On Sunday, July 29, one day after my due date, I tried my hardest to sleep. After 3 weeks of prodromal labor, I thought this was going to be another long night of contractions that lead to no baby. Ironically, at 1:30am, the same exact time I called in my birth team for Marlee’s birth, I decided this was the real deal and called my team. I did not think they were going to make it. My labor quickly became very intense; however, when everyone arrived, labor stalled.
I labored all day. Some surges were hard waves of pain, only to fade into little to no contractions. I had an amazing chiropractor that agreed to come do an adjustment to see if she could get things moving a little more quickly. Baby wasn’t in the optimal birth position either and I was hoping she could help. The first adjustment stopped contractions completely so I rested. She returned for a second time a few hours later. This adjustment put baby in the optimal position for birth but did not speed up contractions. I went for a walk, did squats, changed positions, got in the water, and changed my environment. Despite my efforts, the cycle continued until 9:45pm. Small tiny contractions then hard crashing waves.
I was done. Not because of the pain but because of frustration. My contractions were never longer than 1 minute and never closer than 3 minutes. This baby was going to take days to get here and I just knew I couldn’t do this for days. At this point, there wasn’t much else for me to do except try to rest again. I got into bed with a heating pad on my back. At some point I had strained a muscle only to add to my pain and frustration. I was ready to give up. I made up my mind that I was not going to continue if my baby was not here when I woke up. This birth was going to end just like the last. Only this time not out of necessity but because I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t have what it takes.
I made one last attempt to change my mind and looked through my birth affirmations one more time before I dozed off to sleep.
I felt like I was asleep for hours but it had only been about 30 minutes. I woke up to my water breaking and this baby was coming...NOW! I screamed out of surprise and pain..like nothing I had ever experienced. The only thing I could think about was getting in the water. I had to get in the water NOW! The birth pool was cold and stagnant so that was not an option. I jumped in the shower which was the next best thing I could find while in the depths of deep pain and pressure. Half of my birth team had left to take a break. My midwife, doula (also midwife assistant although this was not her role for this birth), sister (birth photographer), and husband were all that remained. Joel and my doula were working on the birth pool because that is where I wanted to be. While I’m not sure why I didn’t tell them, in the back of my mind I knew I was not going to make it to the pool. I couldn’t move and it wasn’t going to be ready in time. I only had just enough time to get into the warm shower and get on my knees. Two pushes later, she was here. I did it!!! The relief, the confidence, the emotion...I really did it. I was in awe..I really just birthed my baby with no intervention. My body did it on its own. I wasn’t broken. I did it!! She was earthside and I brought her here. I would not trade those moments for anything. It was absolutely the hardest thing I have ever done but I would not change one thing. No one directed me on how to labor or birth. No one told me what I could and couldn’t do. My team kept me and my baby safe and let me birth the way my body knew how. I am so grateful for a team that believed in me and my body. They gave me the time and support that I needed. After a traumatic hospital birth years prior, being at home made all the difference for me. Looking back at birth photos, I see all of the love and strength that surrounded me. I see me in my home creating my family right where it belongs.
#homebirth #vba2c #ican
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Musings of a Traditional Midwife in Northeast Mississippi