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Anne's Pregnancy Journal

Birth Story!

HOME STRETCH . . . SORT OF . . .

Around 10 pm, Karen checked and found that the baby was "right there," which was totally meaningless to me, and that there was just a tiny rim of cervix left to move out of the way. I'm told that even though I was expressing being uncomfortable, that I stayed so relaxed even my calves were loose. I wanted reassurance that I was close to being done, but really, there was no timetable. This baby was clearly going to come ONLY when good and ready! Fortunately the heartbeat was super easy to find and hanging out in the 140's (even immediately after surges).

It started feeling right to curl up to let my body push a little. I can't say it felt good to puke, but I was doing that again, too. I know some women throw up a lot during labor. I'm not sure how much of my throwing up was labor, and how much of it was coughed up mucus that my stomach was trying to get rid of. (Being in labor at the same time as having a cold with thick mucus and a barky cough is just NASTY; I don't recommend it.)

About 10:30 I was in total labor-land. I had no idea what would feel good when asked, but I kept moving my body into positions that worked for me, and everyone caught up pretty well. I'm told that I went from beautiful in my resting phase to totally fierce goddess when I pushed. I found myself doing things like pulling my feet up towards my chin like a Sheela-Na-Gig, or a yoga superstar. I guess the prenatal yoga paid off! I remember Christy telling me what a good pusher I am, how strong I am, and stuff like "you go, yoga mama!"

One of my most vivid memories of labor was looking right into Christy's eyes while I hauled my feet up towards my face, noticing the big dark circles under her eyes, and thinking, "Oh wow, she looks soooo tired!" (When I told her this at a post-partum check, she said either I must've been doing really well to be that lucid, or she must've looked really awful. I think I told her it was probably both!) Remember, she'd been at a birth since early Monday, caught a baby at lunchtime on Tuesday, and now it was late evening Tuesday, and she still hadn't been home. Midwives are made of tough stuff!

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At one point, Christy was helping me walk to the bathroom, walking backwards with me hugging her around the neck, when a surge came on. She said it was ok to let my weight go and just hang. I did not realize that I lifted my feet off the ground, too. Oops! Good thing someone else (Matt?) was there to help her stay upright.

Someone suggested I might be more comfortable on all fours with some other support, so around 11pm the sofa bed got adjusted into a kind of semi-reclining position with the top third elevated at an angle. I didn't even know our sofa bed could do that! I had some good pushes in that position, but it was tougher to feel really secure. I kept feeling like I was slipping, or couldn't grab on properly, or something. That seemed to be a theme. I wanted solid stuff to GRAB onto during surges.

Around 11:15 pm I tried the birthing stool for some pushes. It was ok, but I just couldn't quite get comfortably situated. I'm really short (4 feet 11 inches), so we put yoga blocks under my feet to try to compensate, but that wasn't enough. We got Matt behind me almost holding me up, but that wasn't enough. So, even though I got good downward baby movement, I never really felt securely balanced enough on the birthing stool to really let go.

So, it was time to go somewhere I could feel securely balanced - the toilet! I swear, the toilet is the laboring woman's best friend for so many reasons. So, there we were, me on the can, Matt sitting on a birth ball, eye to eye. I tried pushing just looking into his eyes while I lifted my knees up with my hands, but, no surprise, that didn't feel secure and balanced. Finally, I found that the best way to push was to hold onto HIS thighs, with my feet on top of his. I pulled up on HIS legs to lift mine. Can't tell ya why that worked so well, but it did. He said later it was really hard not to laugh because I made such funny faces pushing.

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