Monday, December 13, 2010

The Birth Story

After a week and a day of having a newborn, I have some time to write out the birth story of M. If you don't want to read about dilation, contractions and a natural birth I suggest you don't read this. You have been warned.

So, I started having braxton hicks (false contractions) on Wednesday (Dec 1st) evening. I didn't have these at all with G's birth, so I thought it might be labour. However, they went away, only to return every evening for the next 3 nights. They were really irregular and didn't get worse, so I knew it wasn't labour.
On Saturday, my mom was due to arrive here in St. John's. Her flight was delayed from the 4:30pm to 12:30am. I went to bed at 10, then got up to greet my mom at 1am, thinking that the light contractions I felt were just more braxton hicks. With my mom settled in the living room, I went back to bed, only to find that I had trouble settling, as the contractions started to get more intense.

 [a slight digression] Actually, from here on out, I should mention that I didn't actually call them contractions. In (the wonderful) Ina May Gaskin's book on childbirth, she mentions that calling them rushes or waves can help in how we feel them. Contractions is a very medical and loaded term, and makes us think of pain. So, Paul and I were calling them rushes for most of the time I was in labour. [end of digression]

I drifted in and out of sleep, but had a hard time staying asleep, so by 5:30am, I got up and got into the bathtub. Paul was awake by this time and we spent some time timing the rushes and talking about how amazing it was that I was actually in labour - on my due date, and with perfect timing so my mom could take care of G for the maximum amount of time. By 7am, we had breakfast and called our doula and by 8:30 when she arrived, I was ready to go to the hospital, since I started feeling pressure.
I was checked at Triage in the hospital and was 5cm dilated. The doctor asked me about dealing with pain and when I mentioned I wanted to be as natural as possible, he was really supportive. We were sent immediately to a room, where I got in the bath again (yay for water!) and progressed fairly quickly to 8cm.
I mentioned early on that I was feeling pressure that might be to push, so the nurse kept asking me over and over if I wanted to push. It was frustrating. I finally, with the courage of my doula, had to just tell her to back off and that I would let her know when it was time to push.
Getting from 9 to 10cm dialted took me about an hour and it was the toughest part of my labour. The rushes were extremely intense and I could not find a position that would help. But, I took a short rest, laying down between contractions, which rejuvenated me to push. Pushing was a very different experience then my first birth. With G it had been a relief, but with M it was tougher. After about half an hour of pushing, little M had arrived at 1 in the afternoon on Dec 5th, her due date. She was perfect and beautiful (in that wrinkly, slimy newborn way) and both Paul and I cried. She weighed just 2oz more then her sister did.

I am so happy I got to have my natural birth again, and so amazed at the perfect timing of her arrival.

Coming next... the post-partum hospital stay (which was not nearly as good).


  1. Yay! This makes me happy, because it sounds so much like how you wanted things.

  2. Congratulations once again! Thanks for sharing.