“When I was pregnant with Siriana, I was like most of American society and saying, “I’m getting an epidural! I don’t want to feel anything!”.
There’s this girl, Chelsey, that was 4 months ahead of me in her pregnancy and was planning an all natural childbirth; I loved reading her blog. It was so inspirational to me. The day finally came and she had her baby. Her birth story was beautiful and it sounded so amazing. I would cry every time I read it. I wanted to experience something like that, but I didn’t know if I was prepared enough. When my water broke with Siriana, I said I would see how long I could make it without an epidural. My contractions started 3 hours after my water broke. They were manageable at first, but being in a hospital, I was stuck to a bed, hooked up to IV’s, and laying on my back, so they could do all this monitoring.
It started to become too much for me to handle. No matter how many times I said no to the epidural, I kept getting pressured into getting it or some kind of other pain relief. The nurse caught me at a vulnerable moment and said, “Quit trying to be a hero and just get the epidural!”. I totally caved and through tears said, “Fine. Give it to me.” Siriana’s heart rate started dropping after a couple of hours. Once it came time to push, my whole left side was complete mush! Michael had to hold my leg up for me. After 10 minutes of not really knowing if I was pushing right or not, the doctor scared me into letting her vacuum suction Siriana out. Despite the unnecesary interventions, my baby girl is here, she’s beautiful, and she’s healthy. It was one of the best days of my life! But I knew that when I gave birth again, things would be different.
Fast forward to being pregnant with baby #2. I was at home and my best friend, Nancy come over. We came across a documentary on Netflix called “The Business of Being Born” and we decided to watch it just to see what it was. WOW! So happy I watched it! My whole vision of the way that birth should be completely transformed. I realized just how cheated I was while in labor and birth with Siriana. I went back and read Chelsey’s birth story about her son, Elliot, and I decided right then and there that I was going to birth this child all natural and out of the typical hospital set up.” – Kashema
Last night (3/19), I told Michael, “When the time finally comes, I feel like I’m going to give birth to Jaxson early in the morning.” Little did I know, Jax agreed with me!
I had been having false labor for a week and I was so over it! I had a woe is me moment (again!) and cried while asking God to bring my baby to me, IF he was healthy and ready to come out. I laid in bed earlier than I usually do (around 8:30pm) and cuddled with Siriana until we both fell asleep. I think my body was trying to tell me something and I’m glad I listened. Sure enough, I woke up to some consistent contractions at 2AM this morning (3/20).
They were very strong and back to back almost instantly. I was in denial for a little while, so I didn’t bother Michael. He woke up on his own though because he heard me moaning into the pillow through each contraction. He asked what was up and I said, “I think I’m really in labor this time.” The contractions were 45 seconds to a minute long and coming every 2 to 3 minutes. Sometimes shorter durations. I quickly started to remember what contractions with Siriana felt like and I laughed at myself for thinking I was in labor a week before. After 45 minutes, I was certain that THIS was it. I decided to call the birth center and Michael got up to get our stuff ready. I told the operator that I was pretty sure I was in labor and she said the on call midwife would call me back. I called my mom and told her to be on stand-by because my best friend, Nancy (who lives only 5 minutes from me) was SUPPOSED to come get Siriana, but she didn’t answer her phone (go figure). After about 5 minutes, Jasmine called me. I had to put the phone down while a breathed through a long contraction. Once it was over, she told us to come in as soon as we could because it sounded like I was already in active labor.
I called my mom back and told her she had to get to our place ASAP because this baby was coming fast! Another contraction hit after I got off the phone and I had Michael to get behind me and squeeze my hips together. He humped my butt and it made me laugh while I was in the middle of a hard contraction. That man, LOL! I appreciated the good laugh. After 20 or 25 minutes, my mom arrived at our place. Siriana woke up from all the noise, so I took her out of her crib. I held my baby girl during a few contractions while swaying my hips and it actually took my mind off of the intensity that was starting to build up. She was hugging me and rubbing my back. So sweet. I love that girl! I walked her to my mom’s car, told her I love her, kissed her bye-bye and told her I’d see her later that day. I went back inside and grabbed my iPod, so I could listen to my HypnoBabies scripts on the way there.
The car ride wasn’t too bad. Only took 10 minutes to get there. About 2 minutes before we pulled up though, I wanted OUT! It was 4AM at this point. We had to go through the emergency entrance since it was after hours. The front desk lady immediately pointed to the emergency room door, until she looked down and saw my belly. She said, “OH! Birth center or labor and delivery floor?” I quickly answered, “Birth Center.” I was beyond answering any other questions at this point and my headphone was in one ear, so she spoke to Michael. He ran outside to park the car. I stood there for a few minutes with my head down on the counter, moaning, swaying my hips, and saying “peeeeeeace.” Michael ran through the door with all of our stuff and we made our way to the elevators. It felt like enternity waiting for those elevator doors to open!
We were greeted by the midwife (Jasmine) once we got to the 4th floor. She started to ask me a question, but stopped as soon as another contraction hit. Once again, Michael squeezed my hips together and I leaned into our midwife while saying, “peeeeeeace.” It was SO nice and quiet. I was the only woman in labor. After the contraction was over, Jasmine showed us to our birthing suite. I absolutely loved how calm and peaceful the atmosphere was. Everyone spoke in really low voices. Our room was perfect; very big and beautiful bed, huge amount of space to roam around, relaxing, and the lights were dim. The nurse (Stephanie) checked me and I was dilated to 6cm already! Saweeeet!
I asked if I could use the tub to labor in it, so they started to fill it up. I sat on the birth ball during a few contractions while we waited… ehhhh I didn’t care for that position, so I stood in a squating position and leaned into the side of the bed. I yanked my headphones out of my ears because there was no way I could pay attention to what was being said in the HypnoBabies scripts anymore. I had on a comfy dress that I really like and Stephanie knew it was going to be ruined soon, so she said, ” You should prooobably take that dress off.”, so I took it off and walked around with just my bra on. I told Stephanie, “Uhhhh, I need to go to the bathroom..” But, she told me, “No, it’s just pressure from the baby’s head.” (She was right) But, I still thought differently, so I went in the bathroom, sat on the toilet, and that was seriously heaven! Just sitting there relieved so much pressure during each contraction. Michael and Stephanie were both in the bathroom with me because I DID NOT want to move from that comfortable spot. I didn’t want Michael to leave my side, but at the same time, I didn’t want him in the bathroom because I was still convinced that I had to go to the bathroom. He kept laughing at me. I eventually got to an ‘I don’t care’ frame of mind because if it was going to happen, it was going to happen, and Michael was going to be in there with me. Stephanie left us alone and we just talked and laughed in between a few contractions while I sat my happy self on that heavenly toilet.
All of a sudden, the urge to push completely took over my body. Pushing felt so good and pushing through contractions while sitting on that toilet was a-maz-ing! (I always read that some women loved the pushing phase and other hated it. I loved it!) I told Michael to, “Tell Stephanie I’m pushing! I can’t help it!” Before he could turn to leave, she stuck her head in the bathroom and said, “I’m here. I heard you grunting.”
Michael was standing behind the toilet. I wrapped my hands around the back of his neck for support and hovered over the toilet while my body pushed down. I still didn’t want to move back to the bed, so Stephanie came in the bathroom, sat on the floor, and flashed a light up my hoo-ha whenever my body would push during a contraction. The baby was descending more with every contraction. She stood up and said, “Yeaaa, you’re not going to make it into the tub. I’m going to go get Jasmine.” My doula, Marissa showed up but everything was happening so fast, that she didn’t have much to do. I came out of the bathroom and made my way back to the bed. It was 5:08AM at this point. I had one leg up to get on the bed, but had to stop and squat down while holding on to the top of the bed post. I could feel him moving lower and lower. I didn’t want anything on my skin now, so I snatched my bra off and tossed it on the chair. I felt completely free. I finally made it onto the bed and leaned into a mountain of pillows while pushing down and moaning through the contractions. All of a sudden, my water bag broke and amniotic fluid gushed down my legs. Michael got on the bed from the other side. I leaned back in between his legs and started pushing more. I moved where ever I felt my body telling me to go.
Jasmine wanted to check me to make sure I was completely 10cm dilated. I laid down and she checked me really quick. In her sweet voice, she told me, “There’s only a little lip of cervix left around the baby’s head. Could you TRY not to push during the next contractions?” The thought of trying not to push made me want to cry. I said, “You’re crazy. There’s NO WAY that’s going to happen!” She laughed and said, “It’s ok, there’s only a little bit of cervix left, so you can keep pushing.” Well good, because I couldn’t stop my body from pushing even if I tried! I was trying to get up and lean into the mountain of pillows, but I only made it to Michael’s lap before I was in another hard contraction and pushing again.
Michael was so wonderful to me! He kept kissing my forehead and telling me how much he loves me and how amazing I was doing. He kept reminding me that it was only pressure (HypnoBabies script), not pain. Here’s where it got really exciting and SUPER intense! The baby’s head was starting to make its way out. I was on my side, laying on Michael’s lap while moaning so loud (apparently, I wasn’t as loud as I thought I was in my head. They said they’re used to women screaming.). I lifted my left leg up and started to “Ahhhhhhhh” the baby out. I wasn’t in pain at all, but the pressure of feeling him go lower and lower was so freaking nuuuuuuuuuts! (Thank you, hypnobabies! Pain free!).
Once Jaxson’s head was starting to crown, Jasmine looked me in my eyes and said, “Ok, Kashema. You’re going to want to push really hard, but you need to find your center and let your body slowly ease his head out, so you don’t tear.” It took everything in me to not want to push with all of my strength and just get him out, but I listened, found my center, and went completely limp as if I was sleeping. I would have a contraction, my body would push, and I could feel his head come out more. Once the contraction was over, I would hold his head there with my muscles, until the next contraction (that was intense!) and then slowly push it out a little bit more. Jasmine said, “Put your hand down there and feel his head!” (Sweet, sweet Jesus, it’s almost out!) I loved all the excitement I could feel in the room and as I reached down, I said, “Oh my God, Am I about to hold my baby?!” I didn’t feel the ‘ring of fire’, but I felt my vag streeeeeetch and then there was some super intense pressure. I seriously thought my butt was going to explode. Then his head popped out. Oooooh my GOODNESS, it felt SO good! I thought his whole body came out! The rest of his body was a piece of cake. They had me turn around though so my midwife could move his hand from being by his face. She told me I only had one more big push!
He slid out, I turned back around and leaned back in between Michael’s legs and they laid Jaxson on my chest (5:49AM)! NO STITCHES NEEDED! Hooray! I burst into tears and just kept saying, “I did it! I did it! Hi baby!”.
They waited for his cord to stop pulsing, so they could clamp it. Michael cut the cord. I pushed out the placenta. They cleaned us up. Jaxson nursed (like a champ!) and laid on my chest for an hour before they took him to get measurements.
The emotions you feel after you push a baby out with no drugs, is overwhelming (in a great way) and so amazing! You instantly forget about any “pain” you felt prior to that and you’re stuck in this euphoric moment. I didn’t want it to end.
I went into this birthing process, super confident and knowing God was on my side, and that there was no way this wasn’t going to happen naturally. I never had that moment of feeling like I was dying or wanting to beg for epidural. I don’t even remember when I hit transition. I was VERY vocal. Crazy primal sounds were just coming out of me (it helped me relax my body and to not tense up), and it probably sounded like I was in an immense amount of pain, but I wasn’t. Thank you, God! And once again, thank you HypnoBabies! Jasmine, Stephanie, my doula, and Michael kept telling me how beautiful our son’s birth was and how amazing I did. It was truly amazing. I did make it over the biggest wall I’ve ever had to climb and I would totally do it all over again. Ahhhhhhhhh, Jaxson Grey is HERE! Our family is complete now.
Estimated Due Date: March 31, 2013 | Born: March 20, 2013
Weight: 7lbs. 7oz | Height: 19 1/2 in
3 hours and 49 minutes from start to finish!