Welcome to the first edition of the Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, hosted by Authentic Parenting and Mudpiemama!
In the month of January, we start afresh, a new year, new ideas. Hence, our participants have looked into the topic of “Birth and New Beginnings”. Take a look at the end of this post to find a list of links to the entries of the other participants.
This time around, I had sworn I would write my baby's birth story straight away, as it was still fresh in my mind. My baby is now over three weeks and I have not yet written one word. I am making myself write his story for this carnival, because I fear otherwise the memory will fade too much, as it probably has become rather fussy already. The fact is that I am reluctant to write his birth story, because I can't face his birth and ignore the aftermath, the feelings of powerlessness, fear, pain and anguish that brings...
But maybe it's a good thing. Maybe that's a first step towards healing and it will break this pattern of ignoring what happened. If I write this now, it will also be a first step towards mourning. Mourning that we did not get the birth and babymoon I had envisioned, and mourning the fact that this sweet little creature is no longer a physical part of me. Birth - as I see it - is always a little mourning, as it is a transition from one state of deep physical connection to something else.
On Sunday morning, the first of January, around ten AM, I noticed that the contractions I had been having off and on throughout the previous couple of months had actually become regular, at half an hour intervals. I was four days past my due date. I was still in great shape, but getting tired of people's nagging that my baby "wasn't out yet" and that "I shouldn't go too long overdue" and "I might want to go see my OB".
I must have known it wouldn't be a quicky birth, because we called the inlaws to take our daughter to the serpentarium for the day. I had already had a false alarm a week prior to this, so I didn't want to just stay put only to be disappointed, I guess.
During the day, I kept having contractions, and they gradually came closer together. By seven PM, when my daughter came home, they were at 15 minute intervals. They weren't very intense and not painful whatsoever. Actually I welcomed them, because now I knew baby would make his appearance sooner or later... While my daughter was away, my husband and I had taken a long and invigorating nap, so we were ready to face whatever this labor threw at us.
So things went their regular path. We wondered if the baby would still come on the January first or not, but it seemed as if he wasn't ready yet. I put on a tv show and watched a little, while my husband grilled some bread with cheese for me.
We knew that it was serious, because I was this tornado of activity, getting everything ready for the baby's arrival. Organizing the table, making my after birth bed, making a wipe solution and a perineum spray and my labor tea.
Around ten PM contractions intensified and I walked through them, swaying when they peaked. I did lots and lots of trips to the bathroom, as I seemed to have to pee every five minutes. We had filled the tub and my husband suggested getting in. My daughter had had her fun playing in it. Birthing waves were about five minutes apart and the baby was moving down, slowly.
I did get in and my daughter came back with me for some cuddles, but went away when the birthing waves became too intense. I relaxed in the tub for a while, until I got bored of it, and I tried to get some sleep.
By then, my daughter had become tired too and was sleeping on the couch, since she wanted us to wake her when the baby came. I ended up resting a little and was woken by a small pop and a release of fluid. My water had broken and things really picked up. From the moment my water broke, contractions did become a little more tricky to handle, and I really felt the pressure of my baby trying to get down. I went to check the time and drink some more tea, and then hopped into the bath again, as it was really helping me to manage, as walking and swaying and hopping didn't work anymore. It was about three AM by then.
I needed my husband by my side as birthing waves were really intense and I really felt that things were picking up. He sat beside the tub and held my hand, gave me sips of tea when I asked for it and wiped my face when I needed it. I groaned and moaned through contractions.
When it became really strong, my husband asked if I wanted him to come in, and I did. He sat beside me as I was kneeling forward and holding the rim of the birth pool, still swaying my way through contractions, now helped by the weightlessness and gentle warmth of the birthing pool.
But this was really hard work. I felt the baby move down, and - since I knew what transitions felt like - I wasn't scared by it. It actually felt good to know birth was imminent.
But not all of it felt good. I kept repeating myself to trust my body and allow my body to push, not to force anything. That my body would know what to do and when to do it.
I moaned some more and at one point the moaning turned into screaming and it woke my daughter, who quietly came to sit beside the birthing pool, still drowsy. She laid herself onto the floor next to the pool, waiting for her sibling to arrive.
The sensation of my baby moving down the birth canal was extremely intense and felt nothing like what I'd felt with my daughter. It seemed to last forever and at one point I wasn't sure if I could do it. It seemed to take forever.
Then I felt the head and had to remind myself again to just let my body do the work. I supported my perineum through pushes and tried to rest between them. I switched positions a number of times, as it took an enormous amount of pushes to get this baby out. Even after the head was born, I still had quite some pushing to do. By this time, the baby kicked me, or convulsed, between pushes. This combined with the time it took me to birth the body had alarm bells ringing in my head and obviously that slowed down contractions. Times between pushes seemed eternal, and I was getting exhausted. I asked my husband to give the perineal support, but that wasn't quite as effective as doing it myself.
I had asked my husband what he saw, what was going on, if everything was alright, something seemed wrong. He said he couldn't see and wanted to get the lights.
After the head was born, I had switched positions to a semi squat an felt something popping out. I thought it was the body, but it were the arms (we learned later that Little Buddha probably had a nuchal hand).
I needed two more pushes to birth the body and it really seemed like forever.
By then, my husband was out of the tub, and had turned the lights on a bit more. I had put my baby to my stomach and he was just limp.
"The baby is not responding" I said to my husband, while patting the little newborn on the back, caressing him - I had seen it was a boy - talking to him. I saw my daughter's head over the rim of the tub, she was asking me in a shaky voice if the baby was ok. I said I didn't know. I was starting to freak out, black thoughts rushing through my head, and the fear...
My husband asked me if he had a pulse and I told him I couldn't feel it (because my heart was racing), he asked me if he should call paramedics and I said yes.
It was about quarter to five in the morning of January second.
I got out of the tub and sucked his little nose, held him upside down, patting him on the back. He had not made a sound or movement until then. I had come into the kitchen and my husband threw a towel over me. I was bleeding all over the floor. My daughter was in front of me asking if the baby was ok? If he
Baby started making gasping sounds, still quite limp. Paramedics arrived (8 minutes after our call and my husband had been on the phone with the central all the time). The checked his stats and both his pulse and oxygen levels were ok.
They cut the cord and decided to take us to the emergency room to make sure everything was fine. By then I was in such a daze, shivering from the adrenalin, I just went along.
The placenta was delivered about an hour after birth in the hospital. They told me the baby weighed 4kg710 and at first I thought they were joking, though that did explain why I felt like he was huge all the time during the birth.
The whole hospital story would be too lengthy to share for the sake of this post. Both baby and I were well, and in the end, it seems as if he just needed a little more time, and probably his cord had gotten stuck during the birth.
We're both fine now and Buddha is a happy, healthy little baby.
Visit Authentic Parenting and MudpieMama to find out how you can participate in the next Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon January 27 with all the carnival links.)
- Becoming Intentional with My Time Valerie at Momma in Progress shares the beginning of her year-long journey toward more intentional living.
- Alirik’s Birth Story: Sweet Surprise Lauren at Hobo Mama tells the sweet surprise unassisted home water birth story of her second child.
- My Rebirth: An Honest Look Darcel at The Mahogany Way talks a little about some of the fear and insecurity she's felt over the years since starting her parenting journey and her blog.
- Trusting My Body: Ailia’s Birth Story After a very challenging birth with her son, Dionna at Code Name: Mama was nervous about having another natural birth. But practicing relaxation techniques and birth affirmations proved to be just what she needed to have her perfect, peaceful, unassisted homebirth.
- My Homeschool Philosophy Paige a Bay Dust Diaries shares her new year's resulution about homeschooling.
- Yet Another Resolutions Post... Zen mummy's resolutions for a better 2012
- Renewing Green Passions in the New Year Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction talks about renewing a passion for green living in the new year
- Birthing and New Beginnings... And Better Mothering Sheila at A Living Family shares her first ever New Year's resolutions to be a more mindful, compassionate and respectful mother to her two-year old daughter after the recent birth of her son.
- An Open Letter to MTV Regarding 16 and Pregnant Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama delivers a pointed message to MTV about how they misrepresent birth and parenthood on 16 and Pregnant.
- Setting Intentions Megan at The Other Baby Blog shares another way to ring in the New Year.
- Spencer's Birth Story Momma Jorje shares her family's story of birthing her son with Down syndrome.
- Looking Forward, Looking Back Erica @ ChildOrganics shares how she is able to look back at the loss of their daughter and yet move forward with her family at the same time.
- Unique unto Itself. Melissa of Vibrant Wanderings has chosen a word for her second child's birth: awareness.
- The Unassisted Birth of The LIttle Buddha. Laura at Authentic Parenting shares the birth story of her new baby
- Birthing and Resolutions: Keeping Good Things in Motion. MudpieMama shares her VBAC story and why she skipped making resolutions in the traditional way.
- The Birth of a New Era by Mandy from Living Peacefully With Children