Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tripp's Home Birth

Since midwifery and home birth have been the main focus of my life lately working to get Mississippi HB207 passed with my fellow board members and supporters of Mississippi Friends of Midwives, it came to my attention that I haven't written Tripp's birth story here.

I am copying and pasting from when I wrote it, shortly after he was born, because one benefit of natural childbirth and the plethora of hormones and brain chemicals involved, is that afterwards, it all becomes foggy and generally, the not-so-good details are forgotten. Only those good ones are left.
Afterall, if childbirth were SO horrible and these body reactions didn't happen, would the human race have multiplied as it has over the past thousands and thousands of years?!?!
I don't think so.

So anyways, on with the show...

We welcomed our first baby into our hearts on Sunday July 8, at 9:29 pm. I had some early signs of his arrival the Thursday night before as I was folding laundry and listening to music and felt some contractions that were different from all the Braxton-Hicks ones I had been feeling. So, I did some yoga and belly dancing (well, kinda) to stretch through it. Of course, I wasn't thinking that these were real contractions. They continued Friday and Saturday off and on. Will decided not to go to work Saturday night just in case and he cooked a wonderful dinner with a salad fresh from the garden and pasta full of yummies from the garden as well. We enjoyed spending what we knew were likely our last moments as just the 2 of us.

I woke up Sunday morning around 8 a.m hungry, of course. He made me some scrambled eggs and toast, my usual. Then, I went back to sleep and didn't wake until 11 am. That was the latest I had slept in ages!! Little did I realize that I needed to for all the work that was in store for me later in the day... 
I woke up because I had awful upset stomach. I went to the bathroom and realized that I was having some contractions as well. So, I asked Will to time them as I sat on the toilet. They were pretty regular for an hour or two, but I was stuck on the toilet. I decided around 1 pm to call the midwives as they had a good 90 minute drive. My midwife pretty much confirmed my thoughts that I was indeed in labor, but we all figured I had a ways to go with this being my first. We called my mom and she, my dad and my sis all headed over. I decided to put on some clothes and put on this awesome green earthy printed wrap cloth that I have had forever and really wanted to wear during labor. And then, back to the toilet where I pretty much worked through every contraction. I was getting up to walk around and chit chat in between. Early labor was actually no big deal for me- just having a contraction and sitting on the toilet. It was SO comfy for some reason!! 
Everyone had arrived by 4:00 pm and after the midwives had settled in, she asked if she could check my progress. I was about 4 cm and 90% effaced. They (my midwife, her mw assistant and their apprentice) decided to go into town and eat some dinner,  in order to give Will and I some time together and get things going. 
They had been gone about 20 minutes which is just enough time to almost get into town. Then, my water broke at 6:45pm. First,  a lovely trickle down my leg in the hallway (on my way to sit on the my porcelain throne) and my sweet black lab so kindly cleaned me off! Then, the next contraction I thought I would try to find a new spot to labor and with a gush, the rest of the fluid rushed onto the bed. Luckily, my midwife had already covered it with one of the sets of sheets and plastic drop cloths. So, my mom called them to let them know that they should probably turn around. Next thing I know I am completely in active labor- full force. Melissa, my midwife's asst.,  suggests that I sit in the shower on the birthing ball because my throne was losing its appeal. As I stepped in,  I felt the urge to push and you could hear it in my voice. I heard my midwife, Kim, say "ok lets get you to where you want to be- its time to have a baby!"
The next hour or so is blurry as everything was so intense and unknown to me, all happening so quickly. I recall puking on Corinne, my midwife's apprentice, as I stepped out of the shower and began walking to my bed. Melissa and Will supported me as I needed to squat through contractions at that point. She kept whispering kind and encouraging words in ear. I recall them checking me to see that my cervix is not quite there. I had about a half a centimenter to go. However, my body was eagerly pushing.

I tried many different positions to get comfortable. I end up in an usual sideways position on the bed pushing with Will behind me as my chair, holding his & Kim's hands. After several good pushes, I feel the ring o' fire and Kim is telling me to touch his head. For some reason, I could not at first. I just could not reach down there.
And, then I did.
  It totally re-energized me to push his head on out. Next, the body is getting ready to come out. He doesn't restitute and I am pushing him out football shoulders style. Luckily, no tearing at all (thanks to my midwives supporting my perineum with warm washcloths). It was the absolute best feeling in the world to push him out- Ah the relief!
It was no orgasmic labor, but the actual birth definitely was! 
My mom caught him as Melissa unwrapped the umbilical cord from around his neck.
  Will looked at me through the tears in his eyes and whispered, "it's a boy!!" 
All I could come up with was "I was right!" 
He was perfect!
Tripp cried and then, he cried some more and finally after 30 minutes of him crying, he decided to latch on and our babymoon began... 
SO, less than 3 hours, I went from active labor, to transition to pushing to Heaven!! 
Wow!! I couldn't believe it happened so fast!
We all celebrated with some homemade strawberry cake my dad had been working on, along with a roasted herb chicken, brown rice and veggies.
I was starving!
My belly was even growling during the last couple of pushes and I told myself not to get distracted by it. 
Afterwards, Will and I laid there in our bed just looking at this beautiful little human we created.
We were in awe for quite sometime, until we finally could wind down and sleep.

 Proud Papa
Sweet baby boy. Very Alert and WIDE Awake!

 This might possibly be the best perk of a homebirth. Sleeping in MY bed afterwards :)
 Snuggled in the sling a few days later