I sit here watching my baby boy, laying with his dad as they take an afternoon nap on the couch. It’s hard to believe that sweet boy will be celebrating his 1st birthday next week.
He was due a year ago today, but I wouldn’t meet him for another 10 days – of course he’d show up late, just like his mother to every function, meeting or appointment.
I was ten days past my due date and here in Oregon the law requires me to have an ultrasound to check on baby’s vitals and growth. I woke up at 6:30 when my husband left for work, and the cramping began. They were subtle contractions and only came 30 minutes apart, probably Braxton Hicks?
I went to my ultrasound appointment that morning like scheduled and continued to have mild cramps all afternoon.
Then they got worse. They kept getting worse and they kept growing closer. In the matter of just a couple hours the contractions went from 30 minute intervals to 8.
As the midwife suggested, I climbed in the tub and poured in the epsom salt. Did I mention the cramping was in my lower back?
That’s right, back labor. Let me tell you, it sucks. It’s sucks so bad.
By the time my husband got home – I called him home early, obviously – the contractions were only 4 minutes apart. Time to go in. This was happening.
It took him an hour to get me out of the tub and dressed. Three minutes between the end of one contraction and the beginning of the next did not make this an easy task. With every contraction I would fall to the ground and yell.
We arrived at the birthing center and I immediately stripped down and climbed into their birthing tub. My plan had been to wear this little swim suit cover type dress for modesty, but with how difficult it had been to put on clothes at the house I wasn’t going to even try at this point.
I was told again and again to write a detailed birthing plan, but I was also told just as many times that your birth won’t go as planned. So I decided to mostly wing it. The only thing I really decided on was no medical intervention unless absolutely necessary.
But no. This boy wasn’t coming out easy. His head was a little crooked coming down the birthing canal, this put pressure on all the wrong places and I never got the natural impulse to push. My midwife was amazing in telling me when and how to push and letting me know if I was doing it right.
After I was all pruned up, we determined this wasn’t going to work. I needed a new position.
I tediously climbed up on the four poster bed and tried to delivery on all fours. It didn’t take long to see this wouldn’t be an option. With every contraction my arms gave way and I would fall, unable to stabilize myself.
We tried laying on my side, this made pushing even harder because gravity and the weight of the baby were not working in my favor and I needed them to.
We tried having me stand, supporting myself on the bed post. We tried squatting in the same fashion. Squatting got my boy closer, but I was getting exhausted at this point.
Finally we got me back onto the bed, and I delivered in the last position I ever thought I would: laying on my back, knees bent – just as I would have in a hospital bed.
Though my birthing position and location were not my first choices, they were right for me and for this baby. My Desmond finally arrived at 10:58 PM.
Unfortunately his shoulders did this weird corkscrew thing on his way out and if I hadn’t torn already, that’s when it happened. This required me to have stitches. Ouch!
But I did it. I delivered my baby naturally and I got to hold him in my arms for the first time; all covered in afterbirth, naked and beautiful and perfect in every way.