Sunday, September 30, 2012

Iris' home birth

On September 22, 2012, I did the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I gave birth to my 4th child completely drug free and in my home. She was born in the bathtub but there was no water in it at the time. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced.

For me labor started at 3 a.m. Thursday (the 20th). I started having contractions 10 minutes a part. They hurt. I had to focus to get through them. I knew I was probably going to have a long "pre-labor" or prodromal labor, I had with the two previous births. But after the kids went to school I let my midwife know what I was experiencing. The contractions never let up, but they never got any closer together. Friday was the same. I had husband stay home from work. I was living in periods of 10 minutes. Wishing for something to happen. It was funny to be begging for the pain to be worse. Little did I really know how much worse it would get.

So after two days of this my midwife had me try a castor oil milkshake. I am not a fan of milkshakes. I took it around 8 pm. At 11 it came up violently along with all of my dinner. After that I thought I'd try to get some rest. Even if just for 10 minutes at a time. Then the contractions changed. They came every 3 minutes. And they were even more painful. After 30 minutes I called my doula over. I called my good friend who was to be the photographer. After an hour of these contractions I called my midwife.

After this - times become fuzzy to me. I wasn't constantly checking the time. I was in laborville. I don't remember who put the older three kids to bed. I don't remember going back upstairs, but I spent the rest of my labor up there. My midwife came and checked my cervix. She was able to stretch me to a 5. Even though I had felt I was in labor for days - this would be when I was considered in active labor. Within the next few hours everyone showed up. My midwife, her two assistants, my doula and my good friend M. Husbandface was wonderfully supportive.

I was in and out of my shower a lot. My midwife started having everyone do belly lifting through contractions to get the baby better placed on my cervix because of the way my belly stuck out so far forward. It really made the contractions so much worse. I understood why we had to do it - but it hurt. It really really hurt. I labored in the tub for a while.

Then my midwife asked me to get out, there was something she wanted to try. I was concentrating on getting through each contraction. My doula had a purple sarong thing. They wrapped it tightly around my lower abdomen so I was stuck in the belly lift position. Then the contractions REALLY effing hurt. I hated that stupid purple thing. I wanted to burn it and send it to hell where it belonged. I don't know how long I had to wear it for - but it was too long and I hated it. Eventually I cried, "Can I take it off? Can I please take it off? It hurts." So they took it off and let me get back in the tub.

Everyone commented on how serene I was in the tub. I felt a little shaky and weak. Someone made me peanut butter toast. Someone fed me bites in between contractions and gave me ice water. I dozed in between contractions. I looked up around my bathroom and I knew I could do this. I was doing this thanks to all these wonderful people supporting me. My husband, my friend M, my midwife and her assistants and my doula. I smiled at my doula and she asked me why I was smiling. I said, "Because Ina May said to."

While I labored my midwife and her assistants got the bathroom ready. I was pretty oblivious to everything except getting through the next contraction. After a while my midwife checked me and I was a cervical lip away from being complete and I had a bulging bag of water left. I must have had a high leak earlier when I was gushing everywhere.  Soon after that I was pushing. I tried pushing in several different positions. It did feel good to push. And I felt a calm wash over me. I was almost there. This pain was almost over and I would soon meet my new daughter.

My midwife decided to break my water to help the baby down. Once she did that she asked me to STOP pushing because a little cervix had come back. That was so hard. I panted heavily through each contraction trying not to push, but my body did so involuntarily. I'm not sure how long I had to do this for - it hurt, but I knew I could do it. Then they decided to change the water in the tub. As the water drained, I panted. I kept telling myself, "its almost over, its almost over."

As the water was out she was almost here. So we didn't have time to fill the tub back up. Then her head was in my vagina. I screamed. It was the only time I screamed during this labor. It felt as though my body would rip in half. But I breathed and in my giant empty slippery bathtub, Iris slipped out of my body. She had her chord around her shoulder - kind of like a toga. The chord was really long and they layed her on my belly.

She was perfect. She was a tiny purple fairy. She was beautiful. She was quiet at first. They rubbed her getting her to cry. When she finally let out her first cry, tears fell out of my eyes. She was here. I did it. I really did it.


1 comment:

Entwined Essentials said...

Of course you did it! You are amazing and wonderful and strong! Great job momma, so glad you had a wonderful home birth experience. Thanks for sharing this and all your great pictures. I love how she's a little fairy and you call her pixie baby. So very sweet.