I awoke on the morning of
January 20, 2011 and glanced over to my husband, lying on his side of the bed. I was greeted by his groggy morning smile. I snuggled closer to him and wiggled under his arm. “Are you ready to get things going today?” I asked Dereck. He looked at me with an unsure look on his face. I raised my eyebrows a couple of times as to say hubba hubba. He grinned and we snuggled even closer, joining under the covers.
Shortly after, Rhagan woke up and encouraged us to get up and share in some breakfast together. We had a delicious breakfast of pancakes with blackberries and bananas. Upon finishing my breakfast and rising to clean up the morning kitchen mess I noticed a rather large amount of warm liquid fill my underwear, run down my leg, and puddle onto the floor. I studied it for a moment and concluded that the clear liquid was surely not pee. “Honey, I think my water just broke.”
“Really?” replied my husband and he came to examine the puddle on the kitchen floor. He nodded and reassured me that it was definitely not pee. I snatched up the receiver and phoned Delphine, my midwife. It was and she asked me to call back around to update her with any information. I was so excited. It was two days past my due date and it looked like the end was in sight.
We all got dressed and ran some errands, both my husband and I were excited about what the day was to bring. We took Rhagan over to Dereck’s parents’ house so we could finish up some chores around the house before I went into labor. After returning home I called Delphine and let her know that nothing serious was happening, but I was having contractions about five minutes apart, but they weren’t anything different from the contractions I had been having for the past two months. It had begun to snow heavily with no predicted end in the near future. Delphine suggested she and Chelsea, her assistant make their way to my house and just hang for a bit since the snow was only going to get worse.
The duo arrived with everything done in the house I wanted to get done. We listened to the baby, napped, read books, watched a movie, and fixed beans and cornbread. The whole time we were waiting on the baby I kept thinking this is so much better than sitting in a hospital being pumped with pitocin, which is what would have been happening in a hospital setting since my water had aleady been leaking. They brought me a rose.
We planned on having the baby at my mom’s house which was in town, close to a hospital if a transfer were necessary, and the response time would be adequate in an emergency. As the sun left and the day faded away we decided to go ahead and go to my mom’s and get settled in for the night. I was still not having any intensifying contractions.
Our two car caravan battled our way through the snow and wind, making it to Dereck’s mom’s to drop off Rhagan’s over-night bag and finally to my mom’s house where we settled in for the night. We passed a Domino’s pizza car on the way, so before I went to bed I had to have some Domino’s pizza. I ate my fill and laid down, feeling in a way guilt for keeping Delphine and Chelsea away from their homes with no activity going on. Throughout the night I had contractions about every 30 minutes, intense enough to wake me and demand attention.
In the morning we had a nice breakfast, listened to the baby and did vitals on me. While I was waiting to digest my breakfast, Delphine alternately gave me black and blue cohosh to try and get my contractions regular. I sent Dereck to the store for frozen orange juice concentrate to mix with an entire bottle of castor oil to make it somewhat bearable to intake. After downing the mixture, Dereck and I went to Wal Mart to get dyes and rubber bands to tie-dye my labor shirt. I couldn’t even make it out of the car before the castor oil kicked in, producing some intense contractions. I slid my legs back into the car because I did not want to be seen breathing, moaning, or running to the bathroom in the store.
We enter through the door at my mom’s house and I made a bee line straight to the bathroom with a quick explanation about why we were back so soon to Delphine and Chelsea. Dereck came with me to the bathroom and I asked if he would go get the stuff for the shirt at the store. He obliged.
Sometime during my pregnancy, or even maybe during the months before I got pregnant I had a dream about being in labor wearing and over-sized pastel tie-dye shirt. Each time the rushes came I could feel my body open up as did the single rose in the window sill. This is why Delphine and Chelsea brought me a rose and this is why I was tie-dying my labor shirt.
With many trips to the bathroom and a shirt tie-dyed, I was beginning to become impatient, fearing I was going to need to go to the hospital. Delphine and Chelsea still seemed just so relaxed while waiting, and I felt I needed to do something, anything, to get this labor going because I was wasting their time. I was still having contractions and they were more noticeable, drawing attention, but still nothing to encourage me. I did a walking workout video to try and get things going and just for something to do. Dereck and I worked on nipple stimulation and that worked really well. Whenever the contractions would become less regular we would work the nipple stimulation again.
I called my aunt to let her know I could be having the baby sometime soon, since she was the final part of my birth team that was not at my mom’s house yet. I took a shower and was going either go for a walk before bed or go straight to bed. During the shower I asked Dereck to get Delphine so I could talk with her. I was so discouraged. She came into the bathroom and I asked what she thought I should be doing. She said whatever my body felt like it needed to do. If I needed to sleep, then I should sleep and if I should get out of the house then I should do so. We discussed her and Chelsea leaving and me calling them the next day to check in. Delphine assured me I was not wasting their time. Delphine asked if I was moaning. I replied that I was.
When I got out of the shower Dereck and I went for a walk. We decided we would walk for an hour, I made it about fifteen minutes and then I was exhausted. We came back to my mom’s house and informed everyone we were going to bed. I was surrendering my efforts to my body and surrendering my body for the day. It was . It seemed like as soon as laid my head on the pillow the contractions intensified and I could not lay down with them. I would jerk up and yank Dereck out of bed so I could hang from his neck. This felt amazingly good; stretching out my abdomen and my back somehow lessened the contractions. I would lie down and jerk up a few moments later. I was becoming irritated.
I waddled into the living room to ask Delphine if we could fill up the pool or if she thought taking a bath would be best to help me rest. I told her I didn’t want to get into the pool too soon because I didn’t want to stall or stop the labor. She suggested I time the contractions, but first she wanted to listen to the baby during a contraction. I stretched out on the couch. She got the doppler out and I began feeling the rise of the contraction. She listened and felt my belly as I breathed and moaned and wiggled on the couch. After she was done listening she helped me up and suggested we not waste water on a bath and go ahead and fill the pool. This was great news! It was .
Suddenly I had a burst of energy and so did my husband. We watched
’s Funniest Home Videos as the pool was filling and I danced with my husband throughout the contractions letting my lower body hang as best I could. When the pool was filled I stripped and jumped in with enthusiasm. Soon America’s Funniest home Videos were no longer funny and I wanted it off and Native American flute music on, as suggested by my husband. As I hung onto the pool, he stayed right behind me. During the second track he leaned into my ear and began telling me we were safe, God was with us, we were protected. My body melted to hear this. Not only was I protected, we were protected. My mind drifted into labor land and the living room became a dark forest with huge trees and filtered light. Moss climbed the trees and light fog floated among the base of the trees. The flutes on the track were being played by a dozen angels or so scattered around the living room. Peace filled my body and my soul. America
Most of the rest of my labor melts together. I moved to different positions in the pool, letting my lower body wave back and forth during the contractions. I moved onto my knees with my arm clinging to the side of the pool. “Ooooppppeennnn” switched to “Ooouuuuuuutttttt” with the suggestion from Delphine. I moaned and sang and used my hands in a milking the cow motion, squeezing the pool with my arms in an effort to relax my bum and legs. I became “classically transitional”, asking for help and then demanding not to be touched, to have a cold washcloth on me and then throwing it down. Soon after this I began making grunting noises, but I wasn’t sure if I was grunting because I wanted it to be over and hold my baby or if I was grunting because it was getting closer. Delphine asked if I thought I could reach the baby’s head if I put my fingers inside. I said not yet. She checked my dilation, which is the first time she had done so and told me I was about nine centimeters dilated. There was just a lip of cervix that still needed to go over the baby’s head. She wanted me to breathe through the contractions and try to resist the urge to push. This was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
There was no pain associated with these contractions, only an extreme intensity of the baby moving down through my body. I welcomed these contractions and opened. Delphine asked me to turn over, with my husband and my aunt on each side. She instructed me to hold the insides of my legs while she checked me again. She gave me the go-ahead to let my baby out. I pushed with the contractions and rested in between. I was so overwhelmed with love. I was smiling at one point and telling people I loved them. The rushes felt good. I pushed with my body because I could not not push. I felt burning around my perineum and I began to pant as if I had practiced this for this specific moment. Delphine asked if I could reach the baby’s head around my belly. I reached and felt his full head of hair bulging from my vagina. I began saying “oh its so beautiful” repeatedly. The next contractions came and I could hear Delphine helping me, encouraging me. I felt a big pop and then the rest of is body came out and into my arms. The time was .
Immediately I looked into his eyes. I felt protected, beautiful, powerful…I felt like all women should feel. This postpartum period is totally different from the birth of my first child. I didn’t have to fight for myself. I didn’t feel betrayed. With my first child I felt so ugly and overwhelmed with emotions for weeks. I feel so beautiful now and the only emotion I am overwhelmed with is love. Thank you all who were there for protecting me and for not leaving me. I love you all.