Emily’s Water Birth: 17 hours of relaxed labor, then easily breathes her baby out

July 10, 2011

On Sunday, June 12, 2011 life was getting pretty uncomfortable, but all for a really good reason. I was anticipating the arrival of my baby boy. It hurt to walk with the continuous sharp pains in my cervix. Just going for a walk around my parents neighborhood was very difficult, but I wanted to walk to see if it would help me go into labor. I continued having practice surges and I tried to embrace them and hoped with each one it would turn into something more.

On Monday I was cleaning the house like crazy. The nesting had really set in and I couldn’t keep the house clean enough. It almost drove ME crazy. My poor kids didn‘t want to come around me, because I was always saying “pick this up, put that away, do this, do that,” but they were sweet and helped me really well. Monday night came and as usual we got the kids ready for bed. Brigham and I got ready for bed and I drifted off to sleep.

Nights had become pretty uncomfortable at this point in my pregnancy. I would wake up 5 to 10 times a night to pee, but there was something different on Tuesday morning at 4:20 when I woke up to use the bathroom. What I thought was my bladder kind of hurting was actually the beginning of my surges.

Hooray, it was finally starting to happen!!!! I thought, “this is perfect, I got sleep, this is my 4th baby, labor will be quick, Jaxton should be here by noon.” I was so excited I wanted to get the last of my cleaning done, so while hubby slept I went and cleaned the bathroom, folded a basket of laundry, all the while thinking about and anticipating the arrival of Jaxton. I was so thrilled that the time was finally here and I was really going to meet my sweet baby boy!

I continued to have surges every 5 to 8 minutes, and I was just waiting for them to get closer. When Brigham got home we went and ran a few errands. That was kind of interesting! Our first stop at Target wasn’t too bad. The surges at this point were too strong to keep walking through so I had to stop. I would just go in an aisle, relax on the shopping cart and breathe through each surge. When it was done we’d just get going again.

The next store we went to was Costco and that was a little more stressful. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, but finding an aisle with no people was next to impossible. I tried to walk through the surges slowly, but some I just couldn’t walk and had to stop and do my hypno-breathing that I‘d mastered. Being at Costco with all the people brought me much anxiety, and yes, anxiety really does make things hurt. I told Brigham we just needed to hurry up and get home!

We got home and I immediately got into the bath. It felt so amazing. I was able to lay there and relax for a good hour while enjoying a huge éclair from Shirley’s Bakery, still having surges every 5 minutes. I was getting tired and decided I would get out of the tub and try to lay down and sleep for a little bit. Brigham did some light touch massage while we had our Rainbow relaxation going. I was able to get some rest.

My surges started to get stronger and more consistent at about 5:00 pm. They were coming every 2 minutes. When a surge would start I really liked to put my hands around Brigham’s neck and drop my body weight onto him. I surrendered to my body and breathee through the surges. I really thought baby Jaxton would have been here by now. I kept reminding myself that each baby and labor is different, that he would be here soon, and that I didn’t need to worry. Thank heavens for hypnobirthing!

At dinner time I decided I wanted to head to the birth center instead of going out to eat with my family. I was dreaming about the big tub, rather than laying in our exceptionally small bathtub. Brigham called the midwife and she said she would meet us there.

I told the midwife I wanted to get into the water. She did an exam to see if I was far enough dilated to get in the tub. I was so nervous that she would check me and I would be at a 3 or 4, but she said I was a good 6, if not a 7.

I was able to get into the water and it was pure HEAVEN. They got me a cold Gatorade and I chatted with my mom and sisters as if I were at the spa. When I’d start to surge I’d just stop, drop my head back and take in my deep breaths and let my body do it’s thing, while I listened to my hypno-birthing practitioner, Laura Curtis’s CD. Her voice was so calming and relaxing to me. Whenever I’d hear another relaxation CD come on, I’d say, “turn it back to Laura’s”.

At about 9:00 pm I was getting tired. I just wanted to be done. I’d been laboring for about 17 hours at this point and I just wanted him to be here so I could hold my beautiful baby boy!

I could tell the way my body was surging that I kind of wanted to bear down a little. I had the midwife check me to see what I was at. I was at a 9 and my water was still intact! This was a good thing because I was GBS positive. The midwife had asked if I wanted the membranes ruptured when I was at a 7 and I said NOPE!

At this point in progression I naturally wanted to change my position to my knees with my arms rested on the tub. Brigham was in the water with me and he would pour the water over my lower back, which I totally loved. When a surge would start I would rock my body up and down, while opening the back of my throat to breath out. I was breathing down baby and I did not feel any pressure at all. I almost wondered if he was really as close to coming just because I didn’t have any pressure at this point.

At 9:35 I was dilated to a 10 and my waters released on their own. It was at that point I started to feel some pressure like I needed to have a bowel movement. When I felt a little sting-y sensation on my perineum I stopped, panted and told my husband to push on my perineum. Brigham was absolutely amazing!

I didn’t even really know Jaxton’s head had come out yet and within seconds someone was saying, “Emily, reach your hands down and get him, he’s here.” I reached my hands down and there was my baby, boy. He was absolutely perfect and beautiful. My body was filled with an amazing amount of love for my child that I had longed to hold in my arms for so many months and that time had come.

I was holding him, looking at him and thinking how beautiful he was. His hair, was light brown, almost blonde in some spots. His face so innocent and dependant upon me. I held him in my arms and so close to my heart. He hardly even cried. He was so calm and peaceful.

A few minutes after birth he was interested in breast feeding and my placenta came out so beautifully. Resting in Brigham’s arms and holding our sweet, baby boy was a moment in time I will never forget. It was truly one of the most beautiful nights of my life.

Brigham and I showered off. I got into dry clothes and on to a comfy bed where the midwife told me I didn’t even tear. It was the first time I didn’t tear and didn’t need stitches.

My kids came into the room and they were all able to hold and see him. They could hardly believe he was really here. My family had all gone home and we were left there a lone to share this precious time with Jaxton and our other children.

By midnight we were ready to go home. We could have stayed until 7 AM, but I just wanted to go home. I walked right out of the birthing centers doors without having to wait for nurses and doctors to give me instructions on how to do this and how to do that, signing papers and making the going home process such a big deal. The midwives waved good-bye to us and told us if we needed anything to be sure and give them a call.

This was by far the best birth experience I have had, and I am so grateful that I trusted my body and had people at my birth who also trusted my body. I was able to labor the way I wanted to and I am so extremely grateful for that, because it made birthing Jaxton not scary. It was incredibly beautiful and intimate.

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