Sunday, January 23, 2011

TMI alert. Birth story for baby #5.

I was asked by Tammy Smith, one of my midwifes apprentices and now "her own" midwife in Palmer if I could write a birth story for her website. I'm not big on talking about body parts and fluids, at least not on here, so it's fairly clean. I might be embarrassed a bit if I knew any male friends read it, but it won't kill me if they do. It's a fact of life, just don't tell me if you do (and you're a man).

I have not posted on here for so long and it's part of our family's history anyway so I'll post it here and send to her. Here is Tammy's link: and then the link for my totally kick ass midwife, the one and only Kirsten Gerrish with Pioneer Midwifery now located in the "barns" across from the new hospital on the Parks Hwy: Now I'm torn, do I have my next baby in the barn just so that special child can say, "Indeed, I was born in a barn." Or do I have another cozy home birth? I suppose I can wait and decide when and if we have another.  Here goes...

So, Tammy... You’d like a birth story? Which one? I have not birthed as many as you but I do have 6 to choose from.

I’ll just start with the fact that they were all hard but wonderful at the same time. Some longer than others, some at a birthing center and some at home. My midwife, Kirsten, has delivered the last 4 of mine and has a very special place in our hearts.

One of my quicker ones was the 5th. Or was it the 4th? Now that I think about it I may be blurring the two together. We had our last three girls at home, I do remember more people were there at my 4th and not as many “spectators” came to the 5th. I’ll write it as if it’s my 5th.

The hubbub of calling everyone to your house at 4am-ish can sometimes interrupt your regularly-scheduled-contractions. They had been a good 10 minutes apart or I would not have called in the troops. Kirsten got her gear all set up, oxygen tank in the corner for “just in case”. Hubby filled the nice big jet tub in our bathroom. I was hoping to try for a water birth this time like I’d had with our 2 boys (numbers 2 and 3). My husband had installed it just for me for our first girl born at home, but I never had a chance to use it. When the babysitter arrived and they were up there greeting her and getting everyone settled into their couches I quickly hung a picture in our bedroom that was intended to go up before I had the baby. I put a shirt over the nail to try to muffle the sound and got it in and the picture up before they came down and took the hammer away from the crazy pregnant lady. I wanted it up before I had the baby, the room had just been finished and it had to be perfect. I knew this one was going to be a girl as I had peaked earlier when I was finishing our downstairs. I wanted to know weather I needed the big room for the “girls” room or the “boys” room. I’d made a special pretty rose quilt for the cradle in the corner of our room and matching bumper pads. I'd been in a partly sheetrocked room for so long, this was the bedroom of my dreams.

Well clearly I was not having a baby any time soon, so the ladies went back upstairs to take some naps and my husband and I laid back down to settle me so the contractions might begin again. They came back steadily and I’d open my eyes to look at the digital clock to see how long apart they were, I don’t remember now, but I slept between them. Then, my water broke. This surprised me, since only once before had it broken on it’s own. And then I needed to push - bad, it was very sudden. One moment I was trying to sleep between contractions and the next I needed to push. My husband had to run and wake the midwives and when they came back down asked if I wanted to get in the tub? NO, I'm PUSHING! I grabbed onto his robe tight, he's right there for me, I think I'd miss him if he caught the baby, he says all the right things. This birth he was in pain right along beside me. Reason? Apparently when I grabbed his robe I grabbed is right nipple and twisted along with the robe. Kirsten’s apprentice was the only other person that noticed his pain and had to cringe herself. He appreciated that someone knew what he was going through as well. My super human strength was still not too much for him to bear and he was silent and supportive.

Pushing is like an extremely intense work out. Put the chin down and make the low grunts or none if you’re really good. In my head I can see the uterus squeezing in on that baby and I can help it by pushing hard. For the last two babies I realized that if I think of myself as very strong and them telling me it helps sooooo much. It hurts, but it will be over soon. First push is over, waiting between contractions can sometimes be the hardest part, and it’s so close. Second push HARD and out comes her head, AHHH what a relief. Wait for the next one, push and then her body. It’s OVER!!!! The most amazing feeling I have ever felt is right after the baby comes out. Pure exhilaration. You are so excited to see this new person and most of the time we forget to check the sex. When I was at my friend’s homebirth the midwife asked her husband, “what is it?” and he exclaimed, “It’s a baby!” What an amazing feeling. It’s almost like it’s a surprise to us every time even though you know what you’re doing it for, you almost can’t believe there’s someone new.

Like the rest of my kids she was in the 9 lb range. She was so chubby. I don’t really think newborns are particularly cute or pretty. They are mushed up and slimy but oh so perfect because when I have a new baby on my chest that means that it’s OVER! Now I can rest with my brand new infant that my totally awesome self delivered. I feel like a superstar afterward and it’s such an amazing feeling to know you have accomplished it. My family is proud of me and my midwife is always impressed. What a great feeling.
The following week is never peaches and cream, but getting to know the new baby is the best part. And soon when they make even a peep you just want to grab them up and cuddle them; they make you feel so good.
Kids just woken up so they could see their new sister, except oldest, she got to watch.