Silas’s birth story. Born April 12th, 2010 at 42 weeks 2 days. A VBA2C.
On Saturday, April 10th (42 weeks exactly), I started having contractions around 20 minutes apart but they were not strong or painful. By that night they were 10 to 15 minutes apart, but still not feeling like labor. I went to bed and slept through the night waking up every 10 to 20 minutes with contractions.
I had had lots of prodromal labor the weekend before that felt much stronger so I really did not expect much to happen with these contractions. As the day went on the contractions never stopped but most felt really mild.
I had some friends over on Sunday(4/11) and we timed the contractions for awhile and they seemed to be getting closer and were around 8-10 minutes apart at this point. I ended up cooking a big dinner and was eating when I felt a slight trickle. For a split second I thought I was leaking urine, but then I felt a funny pop near my belly button and this huge gush came out(this was at 7:15 pm). It was so shocking since I’ve never had my water break naturally.
My husband helped me up and I went into the bathroom and called my midwife. I went about 15 minutes with no contractions, but my midwife and I decided someone should come out and check me.
I had a midwife team that consisted of two midwives and an apprentice(she’s one month away from finishing), so the apprentice was sent out. I live far out, but she still got to my house within an hour. By that time my contractions were anywhere from 8 to 5 minutes apart and I was worried I was just wasting everyone’s time.
When she arrived she asked if she could check me and I was dilated to 6 cm all the way through my cervix(I had been 4-5 on the outside and 2 on the inside during my last visit) and she could feel babies head! At this point the contractions still felt pretty mild to me, but I had to breathe through them and was focused on relaxing when they hit.
I sat in a rocking chair in my room and watched the midwife set up up all the birthing supplies. We talked and I was still smiling and laughing between the contractions. I think an hour or so went by and the two other midwives arrived. One of them checked me again and I was 7 cm so they started filling the birth tub. I was so excited to get in the tub after hearing how wonderful its supposed to be for labor.
When the tub was full I got in and although it was very relaxing between contractions, I had a hard time feeling grounded to focus during them. After trying some different positions I found something that worked and decided to stay in the tub.
At this point time is blurry, but I think it was around 10:30 pm when I got into the tub and my water had broke at 7:15 pm. I remember the contractions were getting more intense, but I felt in control and could focus to get through them. I know my best friend arrived around midnight and I was relived to see her since she lives 3 hours away.
I remember worrying because it seemed my contractions were not regular and I still felt I was having long breaks between them. Also some were very intense and other felt more mild. They never felt super painful, but they were still intense and I started praying during the worst of them. I started to get really nervous because they were strong, but I kept waiting for the transition feeling you read about.
I told my midwife that I did not think I could do it, because I figured I had hours and hours left to go. I also got very restless and could not find a comfortable spot. I even started to get out of the tub, but when I stood up the gravity on my body felt overwhelming after being in the water.
Shortly after that I felt a contraction coming on and suddenly my body arched on it’s own and pushed. It was the most shocking sensation and I felt the baby coming down. There was no urge, it was just like my body took over and I had no control. It felt like the baby was coming out my bottom instead of where he was supposed to and it scared me like everything was going to rip open.
I had another contraction where I felt like I had no control and then they changed or else I figured out how to work with them. The midwife really wanted to check me to make sure my cervix was out of the way, but when she tried I could not handle the feeling of her touching me so she stopped. She got a mirror and a flash light to see (since I was in the tub) and during the next contraction it was apparent he was coming and nothing was in the way.
My other two midwives had been sleeping in the living room thinking I had a ways to go so the one rushed out to tell them I was pushing. Everyone came in and I felt very secure and not scared by this point. I remember that during each contraction I felt like pushing, but would feel a burning sensation that would make me let up. I kept saying I was worried he was going back up when I would stop, but they assured me I was doing great. My body just knew to ease him out with small pushes instead of trying to bear down through the burning.
After a few more pushes they told me I could feel his head and it was so strange to feel!
Finally I was told to keep pushing even with the burning feeling and his head came out. I kept waiting for him to slide out, but I ended up having to push each part of his body out. He never slid out after the shoulders and I had to push his chest out too. It was weird to even feel his legs and feet come through, I thought I would just have a sliding sensation after the head.
After he was out my midwife laid him on my chest and it was so amazing to see him and know that I just pushed him out myself! I felt so relived that it was so much easier that I had pictured and worried about. It really was not painful for him to come out like I had thought it would be.
Once he was on my chest he did not want to breathe right away so they had to suction him and rub him. They did all that on my chest and he started to pink up after a bit. Then he just looked around and I looked at him and it was wonderful. I was so amazed by him and it was so surreal that I actually did it. I gave birth to him right then just the way nature meant it to be.
By this time the cord had stopped pulsing and my husband was able to cut it. Then I handed the baby to my husband while the midwives helped me deliver the placenta.
Once that happened they helped me out of the tub, dried me off and tucked me into bed. I got Silas back and we cuddled skin to skin and nursed for the first time. He latched right on and was a natural little nurser.
My midwives cleaned up everything and fed me a snack and then examined Silas. He was weighed and measured and examined all right there with me. I was also checked for tears at this point and luckily I just had a small skid mark and abrasion, but no real tears!
After we were both checked they tucked us both into bed and we were left to bond in our own home. It was the best experience and I’m so glad we chose a home birth!