I've recently had many people ask about the births of my two children. It's been a while since I have shared their stories with anyone so I thought I'd share them here.
Quinn's birth started with a splash. I was 39 weeks exactly. My water broke and splashed all over my bed at about 6am. Talk about a wake up call! We cleaned up the mess and called the midwife. Because the amniotic fluid was clear and no contractions had started just yet we were in the clear to stay at home and enjoy the morning. We also called our doula just so that she knew that we were likely going to be having a baby that day. Light contractions started shortly after at about 6:30. They were light and only felt like bad menstrual cramps. We enjoyed the morning together thinking about how our lives were about to change and we went out to the grocery store to get some labor snacks and to walk around some.
Contractions slowly got more intense and more frequent through out the morning. We went into our midwives office at 9am to talk with her and see how dilated I was. She could see that I was handling things well and let us go home for a while longer. She did call the hospital to let them know that we would likely head up there in the afternoon.
At this point in time our doula came over to check on us and chat. Because things weren't too intense at this point she headed home to feed her kids and was just a phone call away. I spent a lot of time on the birth ball and I was in and out of the shower. We also decided to make a birthday cake to enjoy after coming home from the hospital. The morning continued slowly. I remember sitting on my birth ball in the shower and having one really long, painful contractions. We called my doula and she came back over to be with me. As contractions started to get more intense I started to have what they call leg labor. This was the absolute worst part. I could labor all day long if I didn't have the leg labor. Everyone has heard of back labor, but I had never heard of leg labor. During each contraction my thighs would burn as if I had just run a marathon. They hurt!
For a few more hours I labored at home. I was most comfortable sitting on the ball with Lawrence in front of me to lean on during contractions and my doula behind me rubbing my back. At about 2pm I decided that I was ready to head to the hospital. Contractions were about 2 minutes apart and were lasting about a minute. We still have the paper that Lawrence used to time my contractions. I was dreading the car ride, all though knowing that it was just a few minutes drive made the thought more bearable.
Upon arrival we learned that I was 7cm dilated and 100% effaced. My midwife knew that I didn't have long. They immediately filled up the jacuzzi tub and I spent the next hour relaxing in there. The warm water felt so good and made the contractions much more tolerable. I was able to relax enough in the tub that I was able to really relax and rest between contractions. I know that this helped me a ton! I still had the leg labor and my doula did some awesome massage to help with that. After being in the tub for quite some time I began feeling the urge to push. Because of hospital policy I had to get out. This was probably the worst part. When I got out and started walking I felt my son drop quite a bit. Ouch! I had to take a minute standing up to get through the next contractions and then quickly made my way back to our room.
My midwife checked me just to be sure I was complete , which I was. I was allowed to push in any position that I wanted to. I tried being on my hands and knees, but my legs were just too exhausted from the leg labor. I decided to try laying on my side and it worked out great. I was able to rest between contractions and not use my legs much. My husband had the wonderful job of holding up my leg so he got to do all of the hard work. He really did get quite a work out while I was pushing. I didn't noticed this at the time because my attention was else where, but he had to change quickly because he had gotten wet while leaning in the side of the jacuzzi to support me, and he didn't have time to put any shoes back on so he was in socks on a slick floor trying to hold up my leg and brace himself. I was also using his other arm to pull on to give me some leverage. While he wasn't the one giving birth he was pretty sore afterwards. We laugh about it now.
I pushed for about 45 minutes before our beautiful son was born. I remember my midwife telling me that he could be out during the next contraction so I made sure that he was. I pushed as hard as I could and he was born. Knowing what I know now, I wish I would have taken it slow so I wouldn't have torn so badly, but now I know better. Quinn was absolutely perfect and my immediate postpartum went smoothly except having to call the OB to come help with stitches, but it wasn't a big deal to me.
I love to think back about his birth. It couldn't have gone much better. Labor progressed pretty textbook and everything went so well. I was able to avoid just about all unnecessary interventions and I was ecstatic. I couldn't believe I had done it! His birth is also what got me started studying pregnancy and birth in depth and began me down the road of becoming a birth professional.
Wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. A passionate birth doula and childbirth educator.
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