Thursday, July 26, 2007

Will's Birth Story

Will’s Birth - 3 months ago today! I wanted to write this for awhile but felt there was so much more to explain - why I wanted a home birth, why I was comfortable delivering alone but I've decided that I wanted the story itself written and I can worry about all the details later! If you're not used to birth stories, you might find it graphic so read at your own risk.

April 26 (40w 6d)

Leah and Nathalie come for a visit this morning. I tell them there is not a sign of labor to be found! We discuss what their practice recommends at the next visit and I agree to consider a fetal assessment next week if there is no change. Hoping I don’t make it that far since I don’t want the baby exposed to ultrasound waves.

It’s a beautiful day and after supper we take the kids to Assiniboine park for a walk. This might be my favorite time of year. Not much is growing yet, just hinting at greening up a bit, there are no bugs and the warmer weather feels so good after a long cold winter. It’s 7pm and we are enjoying the lighter later evenings. We walk through the park and around 7:30 I start to notice some squeezes in my lower abdomen. They don’t hurt – they just tighten slightly and release. This is a new sensation – I’ve never had a Braxton hicks contraction before! I’m encouraged that my body may be responding in some way! At 7:30 we cross the bridge and meet up with our children’s pastor Tori, her parents, and nieces and chat for a minute. On the way back to the van Keith must have noticed that I was slowing down a bit – the squeezes were becoming a little more intense with all the walking we were doing. He and Noah took a shortcut across the field to get the van. Dora and I continued along the path a bit more slowly. Keith picked us up and as I got into the van I paused for a more intense contraction. Keith asked if I was all right and I replied that I was fine – it was quite an uncomfortable ride home – I had to really concentrate on staying focused and I felt every bump along the way.

It’s 8pm and we are home. Keith gets the kids upstairs to read their nightly chapter of Lemony Snickett, and I run a warm tub and hop in. Almost immediately the squeezes feel much better. I find that I can sway back and forth between squeezes and close my eyes and breath during them and they feel very much like holding a stomach crunch. Not a pain at all –more of an intensity. I’m not timing them, but they are coming quickly and passing quickly now. I think, probably they are not doing much but prep work.

At 8:30 Keith pokes his head in to ask how I’m doing. I think I’d like him to blow up the birth pool and tell him we might have a baby late tonight or tomorrow. He brings me the house phone and keeps his cell on him downstairs so I can call him without waking the kids if I need something. I notice that the contractions are more intense when I feel someone watching me and I raise my hand to stop him from speaking to me during one.

I hear the pump blowing up the pool downstairs but I’m mostly in a calm quiet zone. I feel very peaceful and prayerful and amazed at the work my body is doing. At 9 I feel a tap from inside my belly and my water bursts – it’s clear. I reach for the phone and call Keith “my water broke” and he rushes up the stairs. We decide to call Leah, and Keith runs up and down the stairs a couple times to get the right paper with her pager on it. I remember that after my water was broken in previous labors, the baby was born within an hour. I think we may have this baby tonight! I feel funny, and get up out of the tub to sit on the toilet.

Leah phones, and Keith tells her what’s happening. She wants to talk to me. “ My water broke, I say, it was clear with a bit of vernix.” That’s good – how do you feel now? I pause for a contraction – this one feels different – heavier in a way. “I think you should come. “ My body unconsciously bears down on its own. “come right now” I say and hang up, tossing the phone into the hall. The baby is crowning and I feel an incredible force pushing down – I’m not helping it along – just going with it. I’m standing now and I feel the baby’s head crown, then stop halfway out. Keith is concerned – should the baby’s head be halfway out like that? Yes, it’s fine – the baby has to turn. Keith asks what should I do – get a towel, I reply and he turns to grab one from the shelf over the tub. As he does, the baby turns and slips out into my hands. I feel little boy parts at the same time Keith says “it’s a boy!” and we kneel down on the floor together. He gives one small startled cry and settles in my arm - I’m holding him face down to drain any mucous from his mouth.

“it’s Will, Hi Will, happy birthday” I can’t stop talking to him, repeating the same thing over and over . In a minute there is a little tap on the door. “Is the baby here?” It’s Noah – he heard Will’s cry. I drape a towel around me and we open the door to let him meet his brother.

In a few minutes there is a knock on the front door, and Keith lets Leah in. Not quite 10 minutes later, Nathalie arrives. They sit on the floor in the hallway and we tell them about the birth. We decide that he was born at 9:20 – no one thought to look at the time but Leah’s phone registers her call to me at 9:14 and we know he was born a few minutes later. I hop back into the tub to rinse off and find my way to bed while Nathalie wraps the placenta up beside the baby (we’re lotus birthing and don’t cut the cord) and brings him to me. They stay another hour or two, put in a load of laundry, bring up a snack and fill out some paperwork. Then they’re off and it’s just our family, tucked up in bed for the night. We’re a family of five now and I hardly remember being only four.


EternaLee 6:45 PM  

Props to you and all moms everywhere! Having been there for my wife's labour, I appreciate her and all moms so much more.

Thanks for the post on Cara! There's more pics of her at my flickr site:

Alyssa 8:42 PM  

um wow....umm crazy....umm beautiful...I could not do it without the epidural! Congrats again to both of you! Canno wait to meet this little guy in Spetember!

Jobina 10:25 PM  

I cried when I read your birth was so beautiful, so natural. I've always been a hospital girl, and happy with that, but there is an indescribable beauty about a natural birth.
I just don't understand the cord thing. I mean, you're not attached now. If you didn't cut it, what did you do?

Jobina 7:09 AM  

ok, I googled it. I think I get it now. I'd never heard of that before.


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I am mom to 3 kids and in process to adopt another from Ethiopia. I run a home daycare for teacher's kids and enjoy taking pictures. I love God and I love my family! :)

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