Happy Birth Day

Monday, November 15, 2010

Well, it finally happened. As we all knew it would, for all babies come out in time. I had little Daemon Saturday afternoon. What follows is my birth story. I cannot capture in words what happened to me during those 60 hours. It was... painful, exhausting, life-changing, epic, magic, terrible and wonderful. I've never been through anything like that before... and I have come out the other side different. Almost exactly 60 hours of being within in my own body, with no one there to comfort or protect me from the process. It was excruciating. And I wouldn't undo it for the world.

Anyway... here is my story. :)

Thursday morning I woke up about 4 AM with strong contractions about 8 minutes apart. I couldn't really sleep through them so I got up and puttered around the house. By noon they were good and strong but still 8 min apart. I spent most of Thursday with my mom. We puttered around my house, went to D.I. and just mostly tried to keep my mind of my contractions since they were still 6-8 min apart all day. My midwife suggested a walk, and we tried that. Thursday night Honey came over and the contractions started to get closer, about 4 min apart.

Thursday night I got no sleep, and my contractions still hovered at about 4 min apart with no let up. I spent most of the night trying to get some rest between the contractions, but it wasn't restful. It was one of the longest nights I'd ever had. I remember Honey fell asleep at one point, and my mom was already in bed and I felt so alone. I just cried and cried for a while. I didn't want to go through another night in labor. I wanted to have that baby by Friday!

Friday all day the contractions were about the same. My midwife came and checked me, and I was dilated to 4. She knew I'd be going for a while and left to go some things she needed to do. Friday night came and we were at the same place. 3-4 min apart. Honey and my mom were exhausted from the previous night of no sleep, and our doula came over to take care of me while they slept. Another night with no sleep for me... my contractions were about 3-5 min apart all night (for the second night in a row!) That night I was able to get almost an hour of sleep, but the exhaustion, mental and physical, was really beginning to set in. The doula called my midwife in the wee hours of the morning to come check me and see what we could do. I'd now been in active labor, with no sleep, for 48 hours.

My midwife came while it was still early, I think about 6 AM. She said we could do one of two things, we could slow it down with herbs so I could get some ok rest, or speed it up. But all would depend on my dilation etc. I was so exhausted at that point, but slowing down labor to let me rest didn't sound good. I had already had two hellish nights of trying to sleep through labor... I just wanted to be done! I was so scared she'd find me still at a 4 or 5, and say it was better to rest. I prayed. I prayed that I would be dilated enough to keep going.

She checked me again and found me to be dilated unevenly to about a 6. I had a bump on my cervix, and baby was crooked in my pelvis making me dilate almost completely on the back with 2-3 cm still remaining in the front. My bag was bulgy so on my next contraction she pushed on it and bammo, my water broke. Then we used black and blue cohosh and who knows what else (I just drank the vile stuff) to augment my labor. Every hour or so they'd give me more of the tincture, and within 10 minutes my contractions would get rolling again. I think at that point they were like 1-2 min apart, but I have no idea. That was 6 am on Saturday the 13th, from then on I was in crazy active labor until about 3 PM when I started pushing. Saturday was like the crazy day from hell. After all that time with no sleep, doing 8 hours of hard labor was pretty crazy. I really felt like giving up SO many times. Thank God for my midwife, she was like my rock. I would just stare into her eyes during contractions and watch her breathe. I could keep my breathing even if I watched her. She stayed with me for what must have been hours. What's time when you're in labor?? My mom kept telling me I could do it, and not in that meek supportive way... because she knew I could She'd been there before... and survived too. Because of all these women in my room I was able to keep going. I didn't give up.

I started pushing about 3 PM. I had hoped pushing would make the back labor go away... not so much. Finally after over an hour of pushing I got the cries of joy at his head crowning. My midwife wanted me to slow down as I pushed him out but there was no way. After 60 hours of labor I pushed that baby out in two pushes, head, then body. Daemon Anthony was born at 4:34 PM on the 13th. He had his cord wrapped around his head and hand three times, but was just fine. What a cry on that one! We laid on the couch with him on my belly as they cleaned us both up. He stayed attached to the placenta til his cord stopped pulsing, and was warm and red and perfect!

After an hour or so of laying with me and Honey, I handed him to her so she could feed him. She and Kirk were just elated as they fed and burped him that first time. Then was time for his exam. He was so still and alert and happy during the whole evening. He weighed 8 lbs. 6 oz and was 21 inches long. He got his vitamin K shot and didn't even cry! He spent the rest of the evening swaddled warm and wide-eyed. What a happy, happy baby!

He went home with his parens at about 7:00 PM and they had a wonderful night together. I got cleaned up (no stitches necessary!) and washed up and finally about 9:30 the adrenaline and endorphins wore off and I fell into a peaceful coma-like sleep. After over 60 hours with no sleep it was amazing!

I am so happy with my choice to do a natural home birth. If I had been in a hospital, I would have had a repeat C-section. My labor was too slow, but pitocin increases your risk of uterine rupture on someone who's had a C-section. They wouldn't have been patient with my body, and I'd have had surgery. My midwife was amazing. She supported me, made things go faster, monitored me and the baby and since we were both fine she kept us going.

The best part of no drugs is that after that baby is born... you feel amazing. There is no foggy feeling, no numbness, just elation.

I was in bliss watching Honey and Kirk hold their little man for the first time. I would have cried had I not been full of endorphins. They were amazing to see. It was like their world just finally completed itself right in that room. Kirk was such a typical dad.... he was scared and clueless and doing so well. And Honey just jumped into the mom role immediately. Asking our midwife all these questions about what to do with what, and bossing Kirk around... it was adorable.

 weighing the baby

I am so happy with everything. I'm happy to be back in my own body again, to see Honey and Kirk's life start... and to get my own fresh start. Amazing!


Murphy Family said...

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story! I was really hoping that you would! Congrats on having a natural child birth. I have to have my meds... I can NOT tolerate that kind of pain!

K.A.R. said...

You are so amazing I would have been a crying, whining mess the whole time. I'm so happy that everything went so well and there weren't problems. Congrats to all!

Leah said...

I literally got the chills as I read that. Such an amazing story. You are awesome Toni!

Beckstreet said...

Wow! Just plain wow!!!!! This is just beyond amazing. And seeing the beautiful pictures up on facebook too. I would have died without meds. I'm such a wimp! Great job Toni, this was quite the feat. I'm so happy for you!

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