Birth Story part 1

I realize that over month has passed…but we have been busy around here.  I have been slowly working on this post, typing here and there when Piper lets me put her down.  We don’t get much of that!  Let’s hope I was able to remember everything now!

Monday (April 27th) I was feeling pretty good.  It was Piper’s due date and I was a little bummed out that I was not even feeling like she would come anytime soon.  Blake came home from work and we started doing our normal evening activities.  It was really nice outside so we decided that burgers on the grill sounded good for dinner.  We went outside and sat for a bit talking about some of the things we would like to do in the yard.  I was feeling a little weird but just figured I was hungry.  At the point we went to Blake’s parent’s house.  His mom was fixing some soup beans so I thought I would eat some.  They didn’t seem to help.  I was feeling like I had menstrual cramps and like I had to go to the bathroom.  I realized that I was having some contractions so I told Blake that I was going to walk back home and start timing them.

6pm- I sat at the computer so I could use contraction to help me time the contractions.  The first ones were 2 minutes apart.  That really freaked me out!  I just kept thinking there was no way that I was feeling them right because they just came out of no where.  I knew that I had to time them for at least a half an hour or more before I could call my midwife (Sarah) so I just kept trying to stay calm.  The next few contractions started timing consistently at 4 minutes apart and 1 minute long.  I still felt like I needed to time them for a little longer before I called my midwife but Blake was getting impatient with me and said if I didn’t call her he would.  Poor Blake started getting very impatient and stressed out.  He went ahead and grilled the burgers in case I wanted something to eat and of course he needed to eat.  I tried eating a burger but couldn’t get past the smell.  I was thankful I had ate the soup beans for the energy I would need!

7pm- I finally got a call from the midwife and she said to keep timing them over the next hour and call if they got to 3 minutes apart or call in an hour.  Over the next half an hour I decided this baby was coming that night and I really needed and wanted a shower.  We told the midwife to go ahead and come over and I got in the shower.  Blake cleaned up the kitchen and did some laundry.  He had the house feeling so clean and cozy by the time I got out of the shower.  He had a candle burning and the lights turned down.  Blake decided he wanted a shower before the midwife came too so I went into the bedroom to try to get comfortable.  I absolutely could not find a comfortable position anywhere until I tried the kitchen counter.  The height of it was just right to lean on and sway my hips.  I kept feeling the intense feeling of needing to use the bathroom so I started going in there and sitting.  I found the toilet to be very comfortable so I stayed there for awhile.

8pm- Sarah arrived and I was still in the bathroom.  She came in so she could listen to the baby’s heart rate and see how I was feeling.  The heart rate sounded great and we talked a bit but I don’t remember what about.  She asked if I wanted her to check to see how far along I was.  She checked and I was about 4 centimeters.  I was already in the point of not wanting anyone to talk to me or touch me during contractions.  I felt bad because I kept hushing Blake and shooing him out of the room.  He learned really quickly what he could do and was just great.  All I needed was his reassurance between contractions and most of all just his presence there.

The times from this point on just became a blur.  I labored sitting on the toilet for a bit and then would move back to the kitchen counter.  Sarah suggested I use my TENS unit on my back at some point for some relief.  This did help relax the muscles where I was having some back labor.  I caught a glimpse of the clock around midnight and remember thinking that the time was going pretty fast.  Sarah continued to monitor the baby’s heart rate throughout my labor.  This was hard for me because in order to get in a position that would allow her to hear the baby I would get very uncomfortable.  My contractions seemed to fall right on top of each other and were very intense.   I was getting really tired and having trouble finding any position that was comfortable.

I was beginning to have very intense uncontrolled urges to push.  This started to scare me because I didn’t think I should be that far along yet.  Sarah told me to push as long as it felt okay but if it hurt I should stop.  I couldn’t really tell if it felt better or not but I felt like I couldn’t do anything other than push.  I sat in the bathroom threw a few pushes before deciding I had to change positions.  I was starting to have so much pressure in my bottom that I had to move.

My legs were starting to hurt and I decided that I had to lay down and get some rest or there was no way I could finish.  From this point everything really became a blur.  Blake says it was a big blur to him too!  I had trouble getting comfortable when I laid down but I was just so terribly tired!  All I could think about was how bad I wanted to go to sleep.  I had to tell myself to stop thinking that way or I would not make it.  I laid on my side and the contractions just became more intense.  With every one I had uncontrollable pushing.  I was starting to feel panicked because I was feeling like I had lost all control over my body.  I was not sure what to do.  Blake continued to sit by my side and tell me how great I was doing and how proud of me he was.  He kept reminding me that we were getting ready to see our little girl that we had been waiting so long for.  After I laid on the bed Sarah checked me again and I was 9 centimeters.  I felt some relief that we were almost done but scared because I didn’t know what to expect with the rest.

Before I knew it my water was breaking.  At first I wasn’t sure because it was just a little trickle.  I told Sarah that I thought it had so she gave me a piece of paper that turns blue when it touches amniotic fluid.  It was blue!  I had some very painful contractions after this and had to push with each one.  I could feel more water coming out each time.  This was the most painful point in the whole labor.  I guess this was the transition period.

After this I started to relax.  In between each contraction I could just lay there and get a little rest.  It was nice!  At one point Blake even thought I had fallen asleep.  I was just in a really deep relaxed state.  It was nice.  I was actually wishing I could fall asleep…but then I had another contraction.  The contractions were coming a little farther apart now but they were intense.  I was feeling the baby moving down and beginning to crown.

At some point in all of this Sarah called another midwife named Karen that was going to help.  She seemed to get there just in time for the big event.  Sarah tried to get me to get up into a more comfortable position but I was so tired I didn’t care anymore.  I was afraid to move because I was afraid it would cause more pain.  I should have tried getting up on my hands and knees because I think it would have felt better in the long run.  Thankfully we have a very comfortable and soft bed.  I think my back would have hurt worse if it wasn’t for that.  By the time the baby was coming though I was just ready to get her out and have some relief!

I think I pushed for about an hour.  This part was actually not as bad as I had ever imagined it.  I would even say that the most painful part was the contractions leading up to my water breaking.  During the pushing it burned like crazy!  I was able to stay controlled and push slow even though mentally I just wanted to give a big push and get her out.  I didn’t want to tear so I knew I had to go slow!  The funny thing through this time was that I went from screaming and heavy grunting to saying “ouch” like a little girl.  I guess the baby would move and go back in a little and it would hurt but it was such a different hurt that I would just say “ouch” in a small voice.  I think everyone was laughing at me a little over that.

As she started crown more the midwives asked if I wanted to see in the mirror.  I didn’t have my glasses on so I couldn’t see but they held up a mirror for Blake.  He was holding my hands, or maybe I should say I was trying to break his fingers.  Whenever I would push I would squeeze his hands and I knew that it was hurting him but didn’t care at that moment…sorry Blake!  I think the pushing could have been easier, if I would have gotten up in a different position.  I was having gravity working against me and she kept moving back in after I would push.

Finally I heard “we see some eyes, and ears a nose”…and her head was out!  What a great feeling!  Next came her shoulders and Blake freaked and said he couldn’t watch anymore after that.  He said the head was no big deal but the shoulders were too much.  I think the weirdest feeling was the rest of her body!  I couldn’t believe that long baby was inside of me!  The first thing that Sarah said was how big she was.

Blake grabbed the video camera, because he had not recorded anything up to this point and wanted to capture some of the moment.  He quickly put it down as Piper didn’t start crying right away.  They laid her on my chest and were trying to encourage her to breath.  She was taking little shallow breaths but hadn’t started crying.  She was slowly turning pink so she was getting some oxygen but of course we were waiting for the cry.  Sarah was using a bag mask to help encourage her to breath but they decided there was no time to waste and called 911.  Blake couldn’t see her as close as I could so he didn’t see her taking little breaths.  It was such a scary moment.  He started praying over her as Sarah kept working on getting her to breath.  Karen went outside to meet the ambulance and they were there very quickly.  We live maybe 5 or so minutes from the fire station.

By the time they arrived she was breathing better and crying!  We decided that they should go ahead and take her to the hospital to make sure everything was okay and I went as well to be with her.  They gave her an Apgar score of 10 so obviously she was doing just fine.  When they cut the cord the midwife realized that there was a true knot in her cord hence why she was having problems breathing.

We got to the hospital which I will make another post about.  It was a long story from that point.  The doctors were terrible!

Piper was born at 1:55 am on Tuesday April 28th.  She weighed 8lbs. 13oz. and was 22.25 inches long.  I loved having the home birth, even though we did have a little scare!  Of course when you plan a home birth you know that things could arise that would cause you to have to transport to the hospital.  Of course you never think it will ever really happen.  I would have another home birth again, it was so much easier on me that it would have been at a hospital.  My tail bone hurt a little afterward but I didn’t tear.  I healed up very quickly.  I am so thankful for a great midwife!  Of course Sarah had never experienced a baby that wasn’t breathing well but she did a great job getting her to breath and stayed calm the whole time.

Stay tuned for part 2, our adventure at the hospital.

You can now find Part 2 here.


9 Responses

  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing your wonderful story. I’m so glad Piper began breathing well on her own. She sure is a beautiful baby girl!! 🙂

  2. I think I might’ve been holding my breath while reading! I’ve been looking forward to reading your story, can’t wait to read the rest.


  3. I love hearing birth stories. It gives me such encouragement to hear what others have gone through.

  4. I love the story thus far 🙂
    I can’t find your email address- but yes- everything is going well here on my end. Email me again if you still have mine, and we’ll catch up!

  5. I’m glad things went so well for you. Tony and I took Bradley Classes to prepare us for a natural medicine free birth with Tristan. So, we did that, but I was too chicken to do it at home. My midwife allowed me to do it at the hospital and was there the whole time with me. She also allowed Tony to deliver Tristan while she held my hands through the pushing. She just coached him on how to hold me and so forth to prevent tearing. Tristan also did not cry right away and was having retractions when he tried to breath. He had a little fluid on his lungs, but was just fine. It is a great experience!! Especially being able to get up and move around to relieve pressure and pain. The whirlpool helped me a lot as well.

    I don’t know how smoothly things will go with the twins, but I know God is in control. With Natalie being breached, they won’t even allow me to try a natural birth. So, we’ll see how it all turns out.

    Thank you for sharing Piper’s birth with us. It is so awesome what God has designed us to do!

  6. Do you have a follow-up to this (tried looking around but couldn’t find it)? I would love to hear the rest. We are planning a HB so this is very interesting to me. I have had one hospital birth induction and one waterbirth at a free-standing birth center. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • I have not been blogging much but I will try to get the follow-up posted. Being a new mother has kept me busy!!

  7. […] October 3, 2009 by Erin Craig You can find part one of this story here. […]

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