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The story of Rose's birth

It all began on Tuesday December 13th at 9pm. My baby’s waters released. I had just gotten home from prenatal yoga and sat down to eat dinner. I felt a sudden warm gush of fluid. It didn’t feel like I peed myself so I grabbed an amniocator swab to test the fluid but it didn’t change colors! I laughed and changed my clothing only to find it to happen again a few minutes later. I grabbed a second swab and it changed from light blue to dark blue. That’s definitely amniotic fluid! The water was clear, odorless and plentiful - very reassuring. I went to sleep not too long after. 

 

In the early hours of Wednesday the 14th, I awoke to inconsistent contractions. They continued from around 1am until 4am. I dozed in and out of sleep. I used the Freya contraction app to help me gauge what was happening and benefited from the virtual hypnobirthing style coaching. I also used the ElleTENS unit to help with the pain. Contractions sizzled out (and didn’t start back until about 21 hours later). Still some fluid would gush when emptying my bladder or doing spinning babies techniques. 

 

Around 10am, I had a friend come by with her baby and she braided my hair like a boss. I had an in-home chiropractic adjustment in the afternoon and our doula came over for some reflexology and balancing techniques. My doula also brought a plethora of hydrating and nourishing fluids. I know one thing for sure - I didn’t feel ready for labor. I had many emotional releases and took the day to mentally prepare. I lit the candle we had glued magazine cut outs on in our childbirth class. It was a very tall candle, but I remember thinking “oh man, I hope I give birth before this candle goes out.”

Early Thursday the 15th, I awoke to contractions coming every 5-8 minutes for 60-75 seconds from 1am until 4am again. I didn’t sleep in between these but they eventually stopped and I got some solid rest.

 

I woke up rested around 8am and felt it was time to do some natural induction methods. I had another in-home chiro adjustment. My husband gave me a cotton root bark enema around 10am. That was fun! My midwife came over around noon for an examination and membrane sweep. I was 2/80/-2. I took 2oz of castor oil, which only stayed down for an hour before I vomited it up. I did have some long and strong contractions shortly after but for only a brief time. I decided to take a nap because I had a feeling tonight would be the night. Around 530p, I started cotton root bark tincture every 15 minutes for 3 hours, simultaneously pumping on and off for 20 minutes at a time. Afterwards, we went on a walk with our dogs at 830pm.  The few contractions I had while walking were definitely different than the two nights before. When we got back we went straight to bed. We both got an hour sleep before the contractions woke me up. I had let my husband sleep the past two nights while I contracted but this time I woke him up right away. Things shifted and picked up very fast. I told him he could decide when to call the doula, as I feel doulas are for both the dad and the mom. He called at 1113p, about an hour into the surges. 

 

Early Friday the 16th my doula arrived, and around 130am my midwife arrived. My contractions were every 3-5 minutes. They sucked and I wasn’t tolerating them well. My doula said I kept repeating "No REALLY GUYS! THIS IS BULLSHIT!" The Elle TENS unit made the back labor bearable. I had a premature urge to push at the peak of my contraction, probably due to her not so optimal positioning in my pelvis. My midwife wanted me out of the outside tub since it was a constant 104 degrees, and my temp was running high. I had set up a birth pool inside as well thankfully and just used more lukewarm water. The water was essential to me getting through the surges. I was buoyant, I could switch positions more fluidly and relax well in between the surges. I asked to be checked around 5:15am and was 6cm, but baby was coming down funky in a transverse lie (basically very wonky). I got into an exaggerated open knee chest, and my midwife pushed her back up a bit to help her come back down more aligned.  This relieved a lot of pressure from my lower back. We got the Enya going I believe at this time too. Thanks, Enya and your angelic voice. 

My team was so on top of keeping me hydrated and nourished. They were attentive in the ways I needed. Lots of homeopathic remedies were used such as pulsatilla, arnica, caullophylum and cimicifuga. I spent most of labor in my blow up hot tub outside. It was 55 degrees out and divine.

 

At 8:40a I asked to be checked again and I was 8cm. Hard work. I got the TENS unit hooked up again. I checked myself at 10:15a because I had a very strong urge to push in the tub but felt my cervix in the front and right side. I was pushing on and off until I asked to be checked again at 11:47a. I had an anterior lip and it wasn’t budging despite my MW holding it back. We pushed in mcroberts for a bit, which I surprisingly didn’t hate. However, my MW applied lots of sudden downward pressure with her fingers to give guidance where to push. This sucked and wasn’t helpful for me personally. It hurt so bad I screamed to the top of my lungs to STOP! Which of course she did because I had a respectful provider. I  got tired maybe 30 mins in of directed pushing and wanted to go back to the tub and spontaneously bear down. I can’t say the pushing in there was super effective, but she had time to mold her head and find a way to fit, so this was the expansion part of pushing for me. (Her crazy head shape told the story) Around 2pm we went back to the bed for more directed pushing and finally my cervix stayed behind her head! Victory. I then moved to pushing in a deep squat. I did not like that. My midwife brain said to head to the toilet and get this baby out!

 

This was my favorite part of labor. Being in the bathroom, just my husband and I. He made me laugh with some corny jokes, and drilled me like an Orange Theory coach and I got her down from what felt like +1 station to a crown in about 15 minutes.

 

I did not experience any painful sensations such as the infamous “ring of fire”. Bringing her head down and out was the most painless part of my labor. I can’t even say that I “breathed” her out. I was definitely sending power down with the contraction. My midwife walked in just as she was partially crowning. I didn’t say anything but she asked if she could feel. Once she did, she asked “do you want a toilet baby?” and she helped me back to the bed quickly where I got into a semi-lunge (I had a vision in the first few months of my pregnancy that I’d birth her on my bed in a lunge, so this was cool) her head was out with the next contraction, and then with the next, she was born.  At 2:47pm, she changed my world forever. 

  • She had her left hand by her face, a very short cord that was wrapped around her neck. She did not come out vigorous, so I did some gentle love work on her. She needed some drainage, stimulation and two mouth to mouth inflation breaths and then she pinked up nicely. 

  • I didn’t realize it but my two dogs were front and center when I pushed Rose out, they were so calm and sweet, the video shows their little snouts. 

  • She latched quickly and easily within 40 minutes. We were undisturbed and taken well care of by our team. I had minor tearing and did not require sutures. My placenta came spontaneously at 30 minutes postpartum, guided out by my hands. 

  • My hemoglobin and ferritin levels were very low at 38 weeks, so my midwife and doula were even more on top of my bleeding levels. My doula was giving me labor tea and chlorophyll, as well as cotton root bark tincture. My bladder was so full and off to the left side, it looked so strange! So I was having to gently massage my uterus to keep firm. Thankfully I bled minimally and did not need any medication. However, my butthole hurt like a mother (damn Rhoids) and my sacrum and tailbone have never felt so sore. I got up about an hour and half postpartum to empty my bladder and shower. 

  • My mother, whom I did not tell I was in labor, and never just shows up to our house, walked in an hour later, completely flabbergasted and in tears to meet her first granddaughter unexpectedly. After, she offered to take our two dogs home with her. Will and I had the house to ourselves within 3 hours of the birth. Well fed, house tidied and quiet, everyone doing well. Home sweet home birth. 

  • Times: 65 hours 47 minutes of waters being rupture, 6hrs 46m of active labor (6cm onwards), 2hr 46 minutes of pushing. A first time mamas marathon!

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