Raquel’s First Birth: Three hours of labor; home water birth; mom receives her own baby

July 31, 2012

My husband Cory and I Took Laura Curtis’ Hypnobirthing class around 12 weeks into pregnancy, we then took a second hypnotherapy birth class through my aunt Debbie Wagner at 34 weeks. It was great getting information through my whole pregnancy and I am so glad I started that early. It gave me a huge head start to research and change my mind as many times as I wanted to.

Our story starts a couple weeks before her arrival. We were in our second to last class with my aunt when she had us stop for a few minutes and take the time to invite family or friends that have passed on to join us for the birth of our little girl. On my list of people I asked to join were my Grandma, Grandpa, Cory’s Dad, and Cory’s best friend Eric.

Jumping forward to Thursday June 14th. I had wanted a massage like crazy and more so to lay on my belly with the help of pregnancy massage pillows. The girl I normally see is always booked up days in advance, I was just a walk in appointment so I didn’t even ask if she could fit me in that day. When I got changed Jessica (my typical massage therapist / energy worker) was there to greet me for my massage. I was ecstatic that I got her by chance that day. She did a quick energy reading and couldn’t believe how my colors were gravitating towards labor. It was hard to believe since I was only 39 weeks and I had always planned on going at least 41 weeks, besides up until this point I hadn’t even felt a practice surge. We continued on with the massage and chatting like normal. Jessica then asked me if Cory and I had all of our grandparents still, after taking a second to think about it I replied “Cory has all of his but we don’t see them often and I have a grandpa on one side and a grandma on the other” Jessica then said “I don’t want to freak you out but I think your grandma is here with us” I asked why she thought that and she told me she could feel someone in the room so she asked who it was. The response she got was “I’m Raquel’s grandma she asked me to be here” holy cow! I never told anyone that I invited them so there’s no way she could have made that up. I was kind of excited thinking my family was literally just a thought away. We finished the massage and Jessica told me again to expect labor soon since my body was definitely preparing and I had family arriving from my request weeks ago.

Saturday came and I had all my appointments to get ready to be a new mom, Hair, nails, and last minute errands. While I was out I started getting some pretty intense surges around 2pm. I arrived home at 5 and layed down so I could time surges, they were pretty consistent but by 7pm they vanished. We continued on the next few days like I still had weeks before we were going to meet our little one.

Tuesday came and it felt no different than any other day. I washed sheets, went swimming, grabbed lunch, and went grocery shopping. I got home at 7:50pm I text Cory and told him I had a surprise for him.. He immediately text back saying “please tell me your water broke.” I laughed and said no we still have a while before that happens, but I think I may have lost my cork (I wasn’t sure since it was hardly anything and not bloody and far from what everyone says it is) I started getting groceries put away and had to walk down stairs to the laundry room where our deep freezer is in order to get all the frozen stuff put away. While I was down there Cory called and let me know he was just leaving work, his boss was calling on the other line so we hung up. As I was leaving the laundry room I noticed a dryer sheet on the floor so I bent down to pick it up. As I bent down it felt like I peed my pants a little and as I was thinking that was odd. I stood up and it started pouring down my legs. I guess I hadn’t peed my pants after all. (8:19pm) I called Cory back and when he answered I said “ya know your little wish, well it just happened” He was so excited! I think we were both really glad he was already on his way home from work. After we hung up I called our midwife to let her know my water had just broke and everything seemed great except the fact I hadn’t had any sign of surges. She told me to get some dinner and sleep so I was ready for labor whenever it starts. She also told me it could be as long as 48 hours until they started and I thought it would really take that long.

I continued on with putting groceries away waddling around my house with a bath towel between my legs, I’m sure that was quite the sight for my cute hubby to walk in and see. He told me to go take a break while he put groceries away. I took my exercise ball out and hung out in the living room while he finished up. By then my water wasn’t leaking so bad and I was able to get up and help set a few things up for the birth and after.

Finally our pizza got there at 10:15 and by 10:24 my first surge hit. It was close to what I expected but it wasn’t un-bearable. By the second one I was leaning over the table to eat while they ran there course, the fourth one came and I was leaning over my kitchen table walking back and forth to the table to get through it. They were so inconsistent with spacing I told Cory I didn’t want to call the midwives yet since I was pretty sure this wasn’t full blown labor yet. I called my best friend / photographer I let her know that I may be needing her to come take pictures that night and braid my hair, but I would let her know when I thought labor was closer so she wouldn’t be bored just sitting there waiting for it to happen. She must have had the sister intuition cause she kept insisting she needed to head over pretty soon.

After we hung up I decided I needed to climb in the tub. At this point my surges were so close together I wasn’t sure how I was going to get my leg up to climb in. Cory must have helped me but I don’t remember how it happened. At that point I asked him to call Tasha (best friend), Melissa and Heidi (our midwives) to let them know to head over. By the time Tasha got there (about 11:30pm) the idea of her braiding my hair was out the window since the intensity of birth had taken over by that time. It was such an incredible and big feeling that I will never forget. My amazing husband never left my side and tickled my back the entire time. I’m not sure why but that connection is what made my labor enjoyable. I was much louder than I ever imagined I would be, but those noises are what energy was overflowing from each surge. It’s not that it was painful just that the energy had to escape somewhere and my voice is where that happened.

At one point Cory told me not to push that my body would do it on its own when it was ready. I looked over mid surge and said “I’m not, it’s doing it by its self” The look on his face was priceless! Our midwives weren’t there and I think it made him pretty nervous. My midwives arrived somewhere near midnight and I didn’t even know they were there until Heidi was next to the tub and asked me a question and all I remember from that was telling her I felt like I may poop in the pool. She then told me “I dare you; I bet you can’t do it.” That made me feel so much better that I wouldn’t totally embarrass myself in front of everyone.

I continued to let the energy rage through my body and voice, letting my body push the baby on its own terms. It was so empowering to be able to do this with just my husband by my side. Once I was pushing the baby out Heidi and Melissa came to the tub and walked me through controlling my pushes so I wouldn’t tear. The first few pushes weren’t so bad but the intensity started to take over and I knew I would tear if I couldn’t hold back just a little.

The next push we had a little head and without skipping a beat her body rushed out, spiraling into the water. Our plan was to have Cory catch her then pass her to me. Well I was shocked when I opened my eyes to see my baby girl in the water below me. I instantly grabbed her and showed her to Cory who had just made his way around the pool. I don’t remember seeing anyone else but the 3 of us in the room for the next 10 minutes or so. The feeling was surreal to say the least. Our baby girl arrived at 1:21am just under 3 hours of labor.

I had absolutely no sense of time, it seemed like 2 hours at the max so I guess that’s a good thing. After I birthed the placenta we made sure the cord had completely stopped pulsating and Cory was able to cut the cord. What a proud daddy! It was so much fun to watch. I was also beyond lucky to have her latch right away while I was still in the pool.

I then got out of the pool and layed on the couch while Brynley and I had skin to skin since she wasn’t interested in eating at the moment. I decided to get a jumpstart on things and had Cory, Tasha, and Heidi make me a strawberry banana placenta smoothie. I’m sure Cory wanted to lose his dinner over the idea but he was a trooper and stayed in the kitchen to help. Once I had a snack and my smoothie I was off to the shower, I was able to get all cleaned up and felt fantastic! Cory and I then crawled into bed and snuggled our little princess.

It was a perfect night that went exactly how I had always imagined it. It was completely magical and I wish every woman were able to experience birth in its most raw intimate form. There is a bond and security that can never be broken or forgotten with my husband after this night. Brynley Lynn Comstock arrived June 20 2012 at 1:21 AM weighing 8lbs 3oz and 20.5 inches long

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