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Jad's birth story - Once upon a time

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December 27th, 2014

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09:21 pm - Jad's birth story
I believe this birth story begins the Thursday before the actual birth. On October 30th, my last day of work, I went to get a prenatal massage and then I went to my midwife appointment. I was exactly 38 weeks pregnant. Diana (my midwife) determined that (as I thought) the baby’s head was on the right side of my pelvis, meaning he was pretty high up and not ready to be born.

The following Monday, I went for a 40 minute walk in the morning and had a prenatal massage in the afternoon. I asked the masseuse to focus on attempting to align my hips. Perhaps things became slightly more aligned, but I could still feel the baby’s head/shoulder rubbing against the right side of my pelvis when I walked.

Tuesday I went to prenatal yoga in the morning. I asked my instructor Michelle for some stretches to help open my pelvis. After class things definitely felt a little more aligned, but I still did not feel like labor was imminent. That evening while the girls were in gymnastics I went for a walk (as I had been doing weekly, but now with the time change it was dark). I started getting contractions while I was walking. They became slightly stronger as I drove Kaia home from gymnastics.

At home I had a slightly hard time focusing on making dinner because of the discomfort during contractions. I retreated to my bedroom to sit on my birth ball while I tried to gather up the will and desire to make dinner. Kaia hung out with me and I explained to her that I was having contractions. Once I had made dinner I had an even harder time forcing myself to eat some of it.

When Joe got home with Inara I was in the kitchen leaning over the counter and breathing through a contraction. He looked at me and asked if this was really it. I told him I wasn’t sure and he said he hoped not since he was scheduled to have his pilot license test on Thursday.

During dinner, Joe suggested I call Diana and let her know that I was having contractions. Though I initially thought this was foolish because the contractions were totally bearable, I agreed to let her know what was going on. At 8:30pm when I called her, the contractions were happening ever 7-8 minutes.

An hour later after lying in bed the contractions had become less intense but remaining about the same distance apart. I continued to lie in bed for the next hour and watch some of a movie on Netflix. At 10:30pm I decided to try sleeping. I was able to sleep between contractions but was woken up by them.

At 1am I checked in again with Diana as my contractions had become stronger and were lasting for a minute and a half, though still were 8-9 minutes apart. She told me she would come when I was ready and I told her I didn’t think it was imminent yet.
I got up and walked around the house. I told Joe (who had been sleeping in the other room) that the contractions seemed to be intensifying. I went to the living room and squatted, holding onto the side of the couch during a contraction and when I stood up I felt something trickle down my leg. I called to Joe that I thought maybe my water broke. Then I went to the bathroom and sure enough there was a small gush of fluid after I finished peeing.

At 1:35am I called Diana and let her know. She said she’d be on her way. I called in my birth crew thinking I would soon have a baby. I called my parents, Josha (my sister), Alice (Joe’s sister), Karen Swinehart and Carissa Markle and let them know that labor had started. At 2:30am when Diana arrived, Alice and Karen were also there and Joe and the girls were awake but not up. Once everyone showed up, around 3am, the house was abuzz. It was such a social time and filled with such excitement that it seemed like Christmas Eve.
At 3:45am Diana did her first cervical exam on me. I was 1cm dilated. I spent my time walking around, lying down in my bed and doing a little visiting. Diana just observed me and listened to the baby to make sure labor was going okay. At 4am Inara and Kaia heard the people hanging out and talking and came to join the party.

At 5am Diana suggested I shut myself in my room and focus on labor or sleep since the intensity of contractions seemed to have died down a little. I went to my room and slept for an hour. Then I got up and went to the bathroom, went back to bed and slept for another hour.

Joe had made everyone pancakes and got the girls ready for school. Carissa and Karen both left for work since my labor seemed to be progressing slowly. Then Joe and I went for a little stroll around a couple blocks.

Most people tried to sleep and I lay down for a while as well. At around 11am I went for another walk. This time it felt like I needed to go alone and went for about a mile and a half, shutting my eyes during contractions, walking slowly and breathing through them. Everything seemed more intense; sounds, smells, the brightness and heat of the day. I also found it amusing that the people who I passed, and said hi to, had no idea I was in labor.
I got home and spent some more time in bed. I pushed on some pressure points to stimulate labor – both on my hands and legs. I also willed the contractions to get stronger and did a little nipple stimulation on myself.

I spent some time on the birth ball sitting and leaning against the dining room table. Diana convinced me to eat a bowl of butternut squash soup. She rubbed my back and my dad sat next to me eating a burrito. I did not feel hungry and I could no longer focus on the world outside my body during contractions.

I alternated between walking around the house, lying in my bed, sitting on the ball and going to the bathroom and having Diana listen to the baby and check my vitals. I asked Diana why my labor was going so slowly and she said maybe I was having a bigger baby. Later she told me she regretted having said that and making me worry.

At 3:20pm Diana asked if she could do a 2nd cervical check to see where I was. While I wanted to limit internal checks since my water was broken, it had been 12 hours so I thought it was reasonable. I told my mom that I didn’t want to be disappointed by what the exam said and felt that I was 4 cm dilated. Sure enough I was!

In the early evening as the concept of time started to fade, I got into the birth pool. It was hot and made me sweat but it felt like a good change. The burning, pulling feeling of my hips being forced apart was increasing during contractions and with it I was feeling nauseous and having a hard time grounding myself. I searched my brain to find some image I could focus on during contractions. During my previous 2 births I had imagined playing the game Zuma during contractions. I thought of shooting colored balls at the areas of my abdomen that hurt the most. This image did nothing for me during this labor and felt forced. I ended up thinking of my pelvis having a brilliant blue band/crown around it with ornate gold designs and jewels. I focused on the baby diving his head under the crown and sliding right out. I also visualized him being lifted up into the air dramatically like you might see in a TV show.

After about an hour and a half in the water I got out and went to lie down on the couch bed in the family room. During this time I was vomiting and dry heaving frequently. Diana asked me if I wanted her to check me and I told her no, I felt like I was at about 8 cm. I have no way of knowing if this was true or not, but it was my feeling.

After awhile more lying on the couch bed my contractions started become back to back contractions, not letting up at all in between. My back was hurting like crazy and I needed someone to push on my hips and back at all times. I continued to feel nauseous and started to shake. I also felt like I was unable to remain calm and focused. I started feeling like I actually wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it and told my mom how I felt. At this point the thought of being at a hospital and getting an epidural sounded like a brilliant idea.

I don’t know how long I had that endless contraction sensation but it seemed around a half hour. Diana asked me again if I wanted her to check my cervix and I told her no (maybe I didn’t want to be told I was at the pushing stage because it sounded like more work). I felt exhausted. Diana gave me Pulsatilla, a remedy to calm me and relieve tension and then left me with my parents while she went to her car to get a birth stool. Joe and Diana had a chat (I found out later) about how Joe wanted to know if I was almost there because I seemed really near my limit and he wasn’t used to seeing me like that.

Then Diana told me that we really should check to see if there was anything we could do to help progress labor, like changing positions or starting to push. I then accepted the idea of having her check my cervix. It was 9:06pm and I was fully dilated, though I did not feel a distinct urge to push. Also she told me that the baby’s head was just 1 knuckle distance inside, nearly on the perineum. Diana later told me that this meant the baby had been moving through the birth canal for some time while I was preparing for the next stage emotionally. She told me that it was beautiful to see how the baby was being birthed without much effort.

Once I got Joe seated behind me on the couch in a semi-reclined position, I began pushing. It was exhausting and my legs kept cramping horribly which forced me to stop pushing and required a leg massage after each contraction. But I kept going. Carissa walk in right as I was crowning and took some great birth (graphic) pictures.

At 9:23pm Jad Joseph Baker-Malone emerged. He weighed 7 pounds exactly and was 20.5 inches long. He cried right away and breastfed easily. Kaia cut his cord after being woken from sleep to witness the birth. Inara had decided to spend the night at Joe’s parents house instead of being home for the birth. The first night was filled with several nursing’s and diaper changes but in the early morning Kaia crawled into bed with us and we dozed together.

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[User Picture]
Date:December 28th, 2014 02:41 pm (UTC)
I love reading people's birth stories! And congratulations on your new little baby :)

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