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  • #16
    Yay! I LOVED reading all these birth stories. Here's mine...

    It all started because of a mouse…

    DH only had one week of vacation, and as a plan to use it as wisely as possible, he tried to work as much as he could instead of accompany me to The Farm. The birth cabin we rented was only 2 hours away and he came on weekends and on Thanksgiving and he did take a few days ahead of time (we thought the baby would be more punctual ). But on November 30th, it was my mother who was staying with me (our families had been so supportive of us throughout all of this and my parents and in-laws were all "taking turns" staying with me).

    On November 30th (9 days overdue and counting…, 16th day at The Farm waiting), I had tried a castor oil–brisk walk–more castor oil–warm shower–and then an enema trying to get things going. (A word to wise: if you're thinking of taking castor oil and then going for a long hilly walk away from bathrooms-don't!) My blood pressure was high, my back ached, and my emotions were frail just sitting around waiting for a baby. In the evening, my mother and I were playing a game in the cabin we had rented for the birth and I saw a leaf on the floor... and then I saw the leaf move. It wasn't a leaf, it was a mouse. For the next 20 minutes, my mother and I tried to locate and brush the mouse out with a broom (I know, it wasn't a very good plan, but it was all we came up with). We couldn't find the mouse, but I just lost it. I started crying and couldn't stop. My mother called one of the midwives over and she brought a humane mouse trap (much better idea). While she was there, she decided to check my blood pressure since it had been a concern. Well, not surprisingly, it was very high and a plan was made that I would see a doctor the next day to test for pre-eclampsia and a non-stress test to make sure the baby was okay.

    The tests showed that baby was just fine and that I didn't have pre-eclampsia, but that I needed to lie on my side to keep my blood pressure down. While we were there, I had the doctor strip my membranes (my midwife had done it twice before, but she had mentioned that this particular doctor was very good at it and might do a better job). Later that evening, DH made it back to The Farm, and contractions began! This was Friday, December 1st.

    We started timing the contractions and they were 2 to 4 minutes apart, so we called my midwife and she came over. She checked me and I was 3 centimeters (I was 2 the last time she had checked). It was late at night, so she advised us to get some rest (which I didn't do a good job at) and she went upstairs to sleep.

    The next morning (Dec. 2), DH followed me around with food and even walked to The Farm store to get me some ginger for nausea. I spent some time in the bathtub. When I was checked again, I was 5 centimeters. I was a little disappointed for going so slow, but I wasn't in too much pain so we kept on…

    Later that day, the contractions kept feeling stronger and stronger and were beginning to be harder to manage (I was making low pitched noises and standing or "slow dancing" with DH through contractions). My midwife checked again and I was still 5 centimeters…

    In the afternoon, we decided to go for a walk. We met with my mother, father, and DH's mom and we all walked. We walked for a long time because it made my contractions barely noticeable. I needed the break, but I was afraid my labor was stopping. A few hours later and I was checked again… 5 centimeters…

    In the evening, I spent some more time in the bathtub. DH continued to be supportive and chased me with food and water. My contractions became very difficult to manage again, and my parents showed up with a pizza and a Frosty. We kicked them out, but kept the food . I couldn't eat, so my husband put the Frosty in the freezer for me for later. I was checked again… 5 centimeters…

    Later, my midwife advised us to get some rest again, so we all tried to sleep. After I realized that sleep wasn't happening, I got up and got in the tub. My contractions were difficult to manage at this point and the water really helped. Around midnight (after over 20 hours of active labor), I was in the tub and called to Chris. When he came in the bathroom, I told him I didn't think I could take any more. I had been 5 centimeters for almost a day. I had hardly slept and wasn't going to get hardly any the second night of labor. I didn't think that I would have enough energy to do the next part. I told him that I wanted to go to the hospital. They could give me an epidural, so I could sleep and finish labor in the morning. DH was supportive of whatever decision I made, so he went to get our midwife so I could talk to her. I told her what I had told DH. We decided she would check me one last time… 5 and a half centimeters!

    Thankfully, the good news enticed me to stay. My midwife showed me how to breathe better (which helped a lot), and I tried to get some rest. Around 2:30, my water broke in bed. More good news! I was starting to get excited. I laid back down in bed and tried to rest some more, but pretty soon my contractions were back to back. My midwife came and checked me again… 8 and a half centimeters!

    She called the other midwife to come over and assist. By the time the second midwife arrived (her house was in sight of the birth cabin), I was pushing. My husband fed me the Frosty in between pushes—nothing has ever tasted so good! It was a huge relief to push and we all chatted and laughed and there was absolutely no pain. I squatted to push until the head started coming closer, and then I got into the bed. Out came a healthy 7 lb. 14 oz. baby boy.

    Elijah Blue was born at 4:53 AM.

    Overall, it was a wonderful experience. My favorite part was that Elijah's first lesson was how safe and secure the world is. Hours after he was born, we all took a family nap—a memory I will always treasure.

    P.S. We never did find that mouse.

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    • #17
      Wow! Great birth story! And so different from mine. Thank you for sharing this!

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      • #18
        Lol. Maybe it was a pregnant mouse and wanted to see how birth is done among humans. Great story.

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        • #19
          I was a week over due and very ready to meet my daughter! I went into labor friday at 4:30am. My water didn't break but my contractions were strong from the start and about every 10 min apart, 2min long. Contractions got progressively stronger and closer together all day friday so we decided to head towards my parents house. We live an hour from the hospital and they live just down the street, so I was going to labor there as long as possible. I called the hospital friday night to see if I should come in because my contractions were 4 min apart and 2 min long. They said" No it's too early you can still Talk!"
          Saturday contractions still 4 min apart and 2 min long. I was in so much pain showers, bathes, nothing helped. We decided to drive to the hospital without calling hoping they would admit me but we got turned away. I was only 3cm
          Sunday still in excruciating pain contractions are like 2 min apart and lasting a long time! At this point I haven't slept since friday. Sunday night we go to the hospital and again they want to send me home. I am still only 3 cm. they say I am having prodromal labor. Its very very strong but unproductive contractions. I beg the nurse to admit me because I dont feel like I can even walk let alone ride in a car. She says she cant so while she is doing the paperwork to send me home she gives me a birthing ball to sit on. I bounced twice and my water broke! I pointed at the nurse and said "HAHA You CANT send me home!!!" I had to have an epideral, which wasn't in my birth plan but I still hadn't slept. I did get 2 hours sleep with it before the pain returned.
          Monday, yes thats right Monday still no baby! By 11am my contractions were 1min apart but I was only 6cm. The Dr, left to do the paperwork for a c-section when I got the urge to push. My husband calls the nurse in who says" its not time I just checked you 10min ago and your only 6m, heres some breathing techniques to keep from pushing". 5 min later I tell my husband call her back in here now I cant keep this baby in!! She comes in says"Fine I'll check you". Then she says "Oh my god your 91/2 cm its time to push!!" I said" I told you!!"
          Well after 3 1/2 hours of pushing I had my baby girl. Unfortunetley she wasnt breathing and unresponsive. They rushed her to the NICU where she started having seizures. But I am happy to say after BOTH of us were in the hospital for 6 days we both returned home healthy, and she is doing fine. So far no reason to think the seizures did any damage.
          In case you lost count I was in labor for 80 HOURS! then pushed for 3 1/2 more hours!! She was also Sunny Side Up so I had back labor the whole time. Literally everything that was in my birth plan went opposite.

          Also if there is a pregnant woman reading this completly freaking out I want to tell you that in the moment it's not as bad as it sounds. You go into survival mode and you do what you have to do. I had no idea, at the time, that I was in labor for so long. All the nurses and Dr said "your so calm" but what else are you
          going to do?
          MORAL OF THE STORY: Stay strong and flexible. Have a plan in HOPES you can follow it but dont expect to, go with the flow and do whats right for that moment!
          Last edited by 1stimemama; 06-22-2009, 11:00 PM.

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          • #20
            Thursday morning, heading to preschool, my son Malachi and I began to talk about his little sister making her appearance. “She will be out soon,” I said to him, “when do you think baby will be born?” Without hesitation my son said “tomorrow baby be born in the pool.” About 10 hours later, leaving the restaurant after a family dinner, headed to daddy’s hockey game, labor began.

            But Ava’s labor didn’t seem like labor at all. Getting out of the car at the ice rink with big brother Malachi, I felt a pain. A slow warm contraction like pain that peaked but did not fall. “Are you okay mama?” my son asked as I hunched over a bit walking to the door. “Yes, boo,” I said “I think Ava’s ready to come out.” Malachi came and grabbed my hand to help me to the door. “I help push baby out?” he asked as he touched my belly. It was hard still and sharp. “Yes, Kai Kai,,” I said gently squeezing his hand, “soon.”

            Inside the ice arena the cool air felt good. I was still in a strange contraction peak that wouldn’t subside. I made my way to the ladies room and tried hot water on my belly, then cold, then squatting in the restroom, then walking again… but still the pain lingered and my belly was hard. We eventually made it back outside so I could get my phone. I wanted to call my doula and let her know what was going on. The fresh air was calming and I made it to a tree by the lot. With my back against the tree, I squatted again, humming down the pain. Malachi followed me to a puddle where he splashed and played. I regained my breath and gave Jessica my doula and Karen my midwife a call. Still not quite sure it was labor, but something was happening.

            Daddy came out of his game, some hockey gear still on, and opened the car door for me. He helped me in and asked how I was feeling. Excited, anxious, amazed, and in some pain, but I was feeling wonderful. Soon we were home and I was pacing around the house. The pain began to rise and fall and resemble traditional contractions. Time to call Jessica and Karen again.







            By now he sun was down and the warm summer air was cooling. I walked into the backyard and into the hot tub, bringing with me my tangerine-lavender birth candle. I lit it excitedly and slipped into the warm water, focusing on the flame and invigorating yet calming aroma. As I hit the water, the pain began to subside, but I could feel my womb contracting- rising and falling like the waves of the ocean. I let the jets hit my back and I rubbed my belly gently, massaging my baby down. “Come down, Ava, come down,” I spoke gently to her, feeling her leg push into my right side as another contraction began.

            Daddy came outside with some water and Karen on the phone. She told me she was on her way. I felt like I was in a dream- it was all falling into place now and in a matter of hours Ava would be in my arms. Daddy and big brother Malachi joined me in the hot tub and we breathed and sang through the contraction waves together.

            Over the next several hours, there wasn’t much progression. My contractions were still a bit sporadic and although I was 100% effaced, I was only 4cm dilated. So I kept walking, singing her down, humming through the pain, talking her into position. Ava and I worked through contractions together as daddy and Malachi headed up to sleep. Almost Friday morning but although I was tired, I could not sleep. Back to the hot tub and the candle- back to the stars and the fresh air. I sat in the water as the clouds began to roll in. Earlier some heat lightning threatened the cancellation of my outdoor waterbirth, but that had since subsided and the night air was full of promise.

            I came back inside and my birth assistant Liz checked my body’s progress. Closer, stronger, quicker, sharper, but not opening up the door enough for her. We decided to help the process along by rupturing my amniotic sac. Waiting for another rush to come, I pictured my bag of waters holding my little girl- opening up for her to find the way out. Warm fluid leaked down and I rocked through the pain. Rocking and singing and seeing her little head come down.







            When I was finally at the point to enter the pool, I rushed into the liquid escape and sunk into its warm embrace. Stretching back my head and shoulders, I looked into the dark, cloudy sky and spied a few stars peeking through. I breathed in the air as several raindrops hit my face. As the pains became more intense, Jason came outside and held me. I leaned into his support, feeling his pride and strength. His excitement and encouragement seeped into me as I held on to him.

            But Ava wasn’t coming down. I was dilated, my body was ready, but she was still floating in her own little world. I flipped to my back and pushed, feeling myself float up – holding my legs… then I left the tub to sit on the birth stool for several pushes. Malachi had woken up and Jason had now brought him outside to see “baby come out” as he had been waiting anxiously for. I was beginning to zone out into another world- seeing only the visions of baby dropping, while humming, singing, yelling, grunting. . . . Nothing else existed for that moment. I began to feel hot and nauseous, but as I lifted up my head it was covered in cool, soothing refreshing raindrops and I tried to drink them in and gather strength.

            I looked at the candles I had lit, several out from the rain but my tangerine-lavender birth candle still was glowing. Strength from the fire, from the fresh air in my backyard, from the cool earth below my feet, from the water coming down onto my face and into my hair as I wiped the raindrops over me, bathing in life- ecstatically. And then I felt that familiar hot pressure. I knew it was her head pushing her way out. I climbed into the water, my husband and son at the edge of the tub calmly watching, supporting, loving.

            “Aaaaaavaaaa,” I said, not sure if it was aloud or in my head, but all I could hear was “aaaavvaaaaa- down – here you come, into my arms, here you come. “I pushed again and again and felt the hot pressure change. Suddenly no pain, no pressure, and I felt a little leg.






            Looking down my midwife was passing this tiny little creature to me from under the water- appearing magically through the warm waves I had made with the pushing. Her arms reached to me and I brought her to my chest. We did it, there she is, my little waterbaby here in my arms. I held her close, looked her over, held her close again, felt her cord, then lifted her up to kiss her, smell her, feel her.

            We sat in the tub for a little while and relaxed, feeling the rain, letting big brother touch her and oogle over his precious sister, as daddy watched in awe, touching her tiny body, delicate hands, fuzzy little head. She didn’t want to nurse but was content as a pea in a pod cuddling in the warm water. As the raindrops came a bit stronger and the cramping in my uterus reminded me our placenta was still waiting, we emerged from the tub and headed inside to rest on the couch. Cord still connecting us, I cradled my little girl to my chest and walked towards the comfy cushions. My wonderful birth team waited patiently as we cuddled and I reached down to feel her cord. It seemed so small and white compared to others I have had and have seen, like a magical little serpent or the snakes on the caduceus. Pulsing slowing… It was so amazing to hold it as I held her and feel the pulse slowly fade, watching her breathe in air. Soon it was time for the separation on one level, as we connected on another level. Baby to chest, baby to breast, breathing in mommy’s breath.

            Daddy leaned over and as he had done for his other two children, made the symbolic first connection to the outside world as the disconnection from mommy’s was already working away on its own. At this moment it was time to go to daddy’s arms. He smiled with joy, pride and elation as he took little Ava against his bare chest and spoke gently to her.








            I slipped off the couch and squatted out the placenta as my husband and son soaked up the joy of our newest family member- the little girl who had been with us behind closed womb walls for so long.

            And then it was time to rest. We had all worked so hard, so strong, and so ready to fall into each other and collapse.

            It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t as smooth as my last birth. It scared me at several moments and for a few breaths I felt like giving up. But it was glorious and miraculous. It was full of poetic passion and pain. Every doubt was followed up by a warm thought, easy breath, vision of my daughter, encouragement from my birth team, love from my husband or smile of excitement on my son’s face.

            And Malachi was right- baby was born on Friday in the pool.

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            • #21
              That was just beautiful! Congrats!

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              • #22
                My natural birth story!

                I started having rushes at about 630 pm on December 21st 2008, they were about 6 minutes apart. They slowly got closer together but were very mild until by waters broke with an audible "pop" at about 10 pm. At this point I could feel more pressure on my pelvis and I wanted to go to the birth center (the birth center was about a mile from our house) so we called Stacey and told her we were on our way. I have to say I would never describe labor as painful, it was a lot of work and intense but I didn't feel pain. I was in a relaxing environment surrounded by positive and calm attendants educated in natural childbirth. Nobody was pushing drugs or telling me to lay on my back. I did what I wanted, when I wanted and nobody bothered me. Mark said reassuring words to me throughout labor to keep me going and everyone let us labor together, as a couple, the way it should be. I got into the tub around midnight when the pressure was getting stronger, this was after I spent a lot of time on the toilet and threw up once ; ) We had sounds of rain, thunder, and waterfalls playing on the radio to relax me, I think I remember Enya also coming on towards the end of labor. It only felt like an hour or so but the next time I looked at the clock it was after 5 in the morning! I could feel Ella's hair and her head was starting to go in and out with every rush. I remember at one point asking my midwife just to pull her out with the next rush but of course Stacey reassured me in her calm voice that I was doing great and the baby was almost out. I'm so glad I didn't rush labor because this prevented me from having any outer tears. I did have one small tear on the inside, they think Ella's elbow may have caught me on the way out because she did a little turn. Ella did come out on her own time and Stacey and Mark lifted her onto my chest, more so Stacey since Mark didn't act quickly enough. I think we were both in shock. Mark said he didn't have time to look so I had to tell him that it's a girl! We sat in the tub for a while staring at each other then we went to the bed where Ella started to try to nurse. We waited a long time to cut the cord since we wanted to wait for pulsing to cease so Ella could get all the nutrients and oxygen for optimal health. Mark cut the cord and we all snuggled up together. We went home only a couple of hours later, I had so much energy and couldn't wait to get settled in at our home as a family! I never felt so alive and full of energy after doing so much work, the hormones release during natural labor are pretty incredible. I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't get to experience that rush, poor men ; ( Here are some photos from the labor and birth!

                For more information on birthing with the love of a midwife or home birth visit:

                http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/
                http://www.pregnantinamerica.com/
                http://www.thefarm.org/midwives/index.html


                Mark's email to announce Ella's arrival:


                Amber and I welcomed our beautiful baby daughter into the world today. Ella Sabine was born at 5:42 am, Dec. 22., weighing in at 6 lbs 4oz. and was 18 and 3/4 in. long. Mom and baby are doing well, and we are so happy and thankful for a healthy birth and child.

                Amber started having regular contractions Sunday night at about 6:30 pm which steadily increased in intensity until her water broke at about 10 pm. At this point we headed over to the Bozeman Birth Center (not the hospital!) where we met our midwife Stacey who let us relax together in a cozy bed by the fireplace as the labor progressed. Then a little after midnight Amber and I moved together into the birthing tub, where Amber started doing the hard work of moving Ella out into the world, and Mark told her funny stories during contractions to keep her distracted and helped her rest in between surges.

                After several hours of Amber's hard work in the tub little Ella emerged into the water and Mark and Stacy helped her onto Amber chest. (Amber was so amazingly strong and listened to her body the whole way!) Ella came into this world wide-eyed, calm, and with barely a cry, which we largely attribute to a relaxing atmosphere and a drug-free birth. She was able to snuggle with Amber without interruption for several hours while Mark looked on with a mixture of pure joy and utter amazement.

                Amber was ready to bring Ella home this later this morning, and we were home a little before 11 am. Ella has started nursing already, but Stacey will visit us tomorrow morning to help us work out any kinks. As I write this, Mom and baby are snuggling happily together in bed.

                -Mark

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