Clara Elizabeth
8lbs 6oz
March 22, 2019 @ 1:34pm

“They say it’s never too late to switch providers…well, I confirmed that. At 36 weeks I switched from an OB to a midwife because I had recently become awakened to this model of care aligning more with my views of childbirth. At 40 weeks 0 days I had prodromal labor throughout the night so, when it started the next night, I didn’t think much of it, other than to breathe through them as my hypnobirthing course taught me. I timed them, as I had done the night before, and still wasn’t convinced I was going to go into labor anytime soon because they were steadily increasing and decreasing in time apart like an accordion, ranging from 4 minutes to 13 minutes. Around 8am my photographer (Ashley Grimes) checked in on me and I told her what was going on and she was suspicious that labor may be imminent. I checked with my midwife and we decided for her to wait to come over for a couple hours. My doula decided to come over to check on me. Within the time that I spoke to my midwife and the others, the surges had started to intensify. I decided to call the midwife back and asked her to come as soon as possible. Everyone (midwife, doula and photographer) arrived at the house between 10-10:30am.

Upon arriving, I requested to have my dilation checked by my midwife; I was 6cm dilated. Soon after that the surges were getting even stronger. The doula, Megan, had me sit on the toilet in reverse position for a couple surges to help move things along. This was very difficult for me. It was rather uncomfortable and made the surges feel so intense. We returned to having surges on the floor near the bed and knud supported my upper body while Megan tended to my hips and back side. She applied warm compresses and then used fans when I instantly became too warm. We moved to the bed to have some side lying surges which were very uncomfortable, as well. We moved back to the bathroom where I had another surge and lost my mucous plug. Sometime around here is when the double surges started happening. It would seem like the surge had climaxed and would start to wane but would pick up and peak again. I had a couple of these and noticed the baby was kicking me in my ribs which I thought odd. I asked the midwife assistant, Meredith, what time it was, to which she replied 12:35pm. I said in response “this is taking too long! Why is this taking so long?” Megan assured me things were moving at a swift pace and everything is ok. I told them about the kicks I was experiencing and said I needed help…having my baby kick during labor didn’t seem right to me, along with the double peak contractions. My midwife offered some suggestions to help baby down into the birth position after she explained that what I’m experiencing is a symptom of the baby having a hard time getting down and into position. So, she suggested I have a contraction in the position I was already in, arms and body on the birth ball, one knee grounded, and the other leg out, like a kickstand. I replied “I can’t” to her, knowing I had to but it was to the point of being very hard. Knud calmly reassured me that I could and I just have to do it during one contraction. We made it through one and it felt right, albeit hard, so I mustered the strength to do it again with the other leg out during the next surge. And then I continued, again and again.

Between these, Megan had suggested the use of a ribozo cloth to do what is called “sifting” to help take the strain of my ligaments and kind of float the baby and give them a little freedom to move where they need to. She put the big fabric under my belly and slowly starts rocking it back and forth, while gradually picking up pace. This felt so good for me, especially because my waters hadn’t yet broke. So there was a lot of jiggling going on and the relief from the pressure was much appreciated. After about 30 minutes or so of these moves, I got the urge to bear down. I went with it and…pop! The waters broke! Oh, sweet relief, you were so pleasant and just what I needed. The release of pressure was spectacular. And I knew after that moment that my body was going to give me a pause. And I embraced it. I was tuned into my body and yet hyperaware of my surroundings. I basked in the sunlight shining through the window, right where I had imaged birthing my baby. I heard my son outside, in the back yard with Nana. Knud’s presence was giving me strength. Megan was giving me comfort through touch and encouraging words. Morgan was giving me confidence with her belief and trust in my body. Everyone was there for me and my baby.

The urge to bear down came over me and I went with it. It felt like it went on for minutes. And then the pause. And then I pushed again and then Morgan and Megan tell me to pant and to slow down which is the hardest thing to do in the world. I do what they say as I’m locking eyes with them like an animal because there’s no way I could get myself to do that alone. I needed them. Morgan used the mirror and I didn’t see the baby crowning. With the next push I cry out “it hurts! It hurts! It hurts!” the pressure was so intense and it felt like I was tearing. But then, I felt a bunch of stuff passing out of me and the pressure was gone. Then I heard crying!!! I couldn’t believe it was over! It was a girl! She landed gently onto the towel on carpet as it happened so quickly nobody had a chance to catch her properly. It was all ok though. Knud passed me our little girl and I immediately thought she looked like me as a baby. She had an inch of hair already and was nice and cheesy. We walked over to the bed and snuggled. Birthing at home was perfect. I felt like I was surrounded by sisters. Everyone was my champion, and I theirs.”

-Samantha