The Home, Water Birth of Silas Daniel
June 8, 2013
39 Weeks 1 Day Pregnant
June 8, 2013
39 Weeks 1 Day Pregnant
Friday, June 7th, 8pm
I felt really weird Friday night and went to bed when the kids did around 8pm. I kept having contractions but thought they were Braxton Hicks and would go away with some water and sleep. I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open. In retrospect my body was shutting down to give me rest before the "party" began. I just didn't know it yet...
Saturday, June 8th, 1am
I woke up at 1am to find Daniel still awake.
The dinner dishes weren't done and the floors needed a serious
vacuuming as our cattledog is shedding so I started cleaning and told
Daniel to clean the litterbox. I had this sense that the time was coming but at the same time I was thinking, "This can't be it!" I was 39 weeks 1 day pregnant. Denial should be a first warning sign, ha ha!
We went upstairs after tidying up and I asked Daniel
to change the bed and put the plastic on it. It was already around 2am
and he asked, surprised, if we were having a baby tonight. I corrected him that it
was already morning and that I thought we might have a baby today! I wasn't completely optimistic about it but I wanted the sheet on in case my water broke. So we put down a clean sheet, then the plastic, then another sheet over that.
Daniel fell asleep almost instantly. I tried to sleep but kept having contractions. They were intense and
required breathing so I began to time them with an IPhone app. They were about 5-6 minutes apart for a few contractions and then quickly came closer together at 2-3 minutes apart and would not relent no matter what I did. I hesitated about calling my midwives so I texted my midwives when they
were 2-3 minutes apart and woke Daniel to fill the tub.
Saturday, June 8th, 3:35am
Daniel was dumbfounded (and still half asleep) and stood there for 20 minutes before it
registered. He inflated the big birth pool and started filling it with water and put dogs out while I called
the head midwife and told her it was time to come over. I was still in denial that anything was happening and was going to feel so stupid when the midwives got there at 4am and said, "You're not in labor, girl!"
After speaking with me on the phone for a few minutes I don't think she was convinced birth was imminent by my tone so she asked to speak with Daniel. She asked him, "If you were not having this baby at home would you be putting your wife in the car to go to the hospital right now?" Daniel said YES and so the midwives were on their way.
We texted and called Daniel's sister next as she was going to be taking pictures. We didn't get in touch with her so there's only a few labor pictures and then a few of sweet Silas post-birth. (See below!) I felt bad that it was the middle of the night and she did come over as soon as she could and took some post-partum pictures I haven't seen yet so I will show those later!
I stood there watching the tub fill up, sometimes doubling over with a contraction. I was having a hard time of it and started whining for the water to hurry up. I wanted to get in the tub so badly. Daniel was still running around getting things ready. Before I got in I felt this weird pop and trickle sensation and thought my water broke. I went to the bathroom and found blood and the mucous plug. I think it was just the plug as there was no other trickling or leaking as would typically happen with the amniotic sac breaking.
We turned off our bedroom light and I got in the tub before it was completely full. I let it fill up around me as I tried to breathe through more contractions. I honestly didn't think it felt any different from being out of the water in regard to pain management but I was having serious back labor.
Saturday, June 8th, a little after 4am
I was leaning over the tub, vomiting into a bowl when the midwives came in. They quickly got to work getting their gear set out. I started having to vocalize during contractions. The nurse that came along kept putting counter pressure on my back during contractions but even that, which usually helps, did not.
After 90 minutes of laboring in the birth tub I got
out for a potty break and my water broke. Blood poured down my leg and I remember standing there just staring at it and then kept apologizing for leaving a trail of blood to the bathroom. I went pee, had a few
contractions on the toilet while they listened to baby's heart because I
was bleeding a little more than most women. Baby's heart rate was fantastic so no placental tear was indicated.
Saturday, June 8th, around 5-5:30am
The midwives told me I could get back in the water or they could check me (I hadn't had any cervical checks at all), which I wouldn't have minded, but the thought of climbing into my bed was too daunting so I got back in the water. I was struggling so badly and had lost all control. I kept talking to myself, telling myself to breathe, to relax my muscles. We tried different positions in the birth pool, like a runner's lunge and squatting, laying back, etc. but there was no respite from the pain. I don't recall ever finding that "transition la la land". I was so aware of everyone and everything around me and could not doze or rest between contractions as in previous births.
At one point Daniel said I was doing great. I opened one eye and said "That's easy for you to say..." Trying to lighten the mood, for everyone's sake, including my own!
I could feel the baby move lower and lower. I could feel baby move in the birth canal between contractions. I had never felt that sensation before and it hurt but was so amazing at the same time because I was just so aware of it. I kept telling everyone what I was feeling between contractions and when I mentioned feeling the baby moving down and twisting about they assured me baby was getting into position. I just kept crying out, "Baby!" over and over again. It was a double meaning. I was calling out to Daniel, calling him Baby but also kind of begging baby to hurry up and vacate their current premises, ha ha.
The midwives kept telling me to check and see if I could feel baby. I couldn't feel the baby near crowning at all. But I felt baby moving down, for sure!
I'd grab Daniel's arm and/or hand while leaning over the tub in a kneeling or squatting position like it was my lifeline! It was so good to have him there. There wasn't anything he could do except be present.
I was encouraged to push if I felt the urge to do so. I did a few practice ones and the nurse did something to my back that, I think, helped baby finally get in the right position. The *real* pushing began. And by that I mean that it was uncontrollable and my body was taking over. I was roaring and pushing and screaming while clinging onto my husband. They had to tell me to slow down so I started panting and saying, "Okay, okay, okay" over and over. But it didn't last long! I pushed again...
Saturday, June 8th, 6:06amI felt my baby's head emerge into my hand as I wanted to catch my own baby. Wow, what a feeling. I was in shock and just rubbed their little head while the rest of their body was still nestled in the birth canal. It felt very slimy (mucous) and I could feel a little hair. It felt so tiny and yet so huge at the same time, for where it was coming out of! Another roaring push and our son slid completely out into the water. I brought him up and just started beaming (see the pic below; momma was all smiles as soon as he was out!).
Daniel is so funny. He yelled something like
"Oh my God! The baby!!!" He had no idea that the baby was crowning and out until I pulled him up out of the water! In fact he was about to ask the midwives if they thought baby was close to being born (they had a mirror at the bottom of the pool so they could see what was going on).
I saw that baby was a boy as I lifted him up. But Daddy didn't know yet so I showed him and everyone was so excited!
He was SO peaceful. He didn't cry. He just kept trying to open his eyes and look around and was so
quiet in the water. While we waited for the placenta we oohed and aahed over
him. He was covered in vernix to the point his eyes almost wouldn't open. He had a thick, fat umbilical cord that one midwife kept exclaiming over. His Apgar was 9 at 1-minute and 10 at 5-minutes. He wasn't even purple; he was perfectly pinked up!
will admit this wasn't the peaceful, controlled labor that I imagined it
would be where I easily breathed my way through each contraction nor was I anything like the women in the videos who smiled and breathed their babies down like it actually felt good. And you know what? That's OKAY! I'm not everyone. Did it hurt like nothing I've ever felt before? Yes! But I would not exchange it for anything. Every contraction and painful twinge was worth having such a peaceful entry into the world for my baby. That is the one major difference I noticed right away between Silas' birth and his siblings' births. His was the most peaceful, just resting in the warm water with me, no one rubbing him with rough towels or suctioning him or trying to make him scream.
My midwife cried after he was born and kept praising Jesus for a safe birth. She
said it was a hard labor and she just wanted to jump in and take over
for me. So sweet! She also said it wasn't fair I looked so beautiful
laboring which was sweet. I felt anything but, lol!
We cut the
cord after the placenta was birthed into the water. Once the cord was cut Silas was handed off to Daddy and I
got out and into bed. Daddy handed the baby back and Silas started nursing. Little dude
is a rock star and latched on without hesitancy, like a pro! Easiest start to breastfeeding that I've had. And easiest recovery (more on that later). What a blessing after a "fast and furious" labor!