heehee. The baby was supposed to be Jethro. I "knew" the baby was a boy. I had lots of other experiences that led me to the name. It turns out the meaning for Jethro was supposed to be applied to a GIRL!
How was I to know?
Please keep on mind that this *is* a birth story and will have subject matter that belongs in a story about birth. I no longer use terms such as "squeamish" or "graphic" when associated with birth. But others might, so be aware.
My niece was staying for the week with us to help out with the kids. I had had days of prodromal labor, at least two serious false starts and I was just getting to the end of my rope. I had shed several buckets of tears and just wanted to be left alone. Every well-meaning question was humiliating and uncomfortable for me: "So...You're still here?" "Wow, you're still pregnant?" "Aren't you due yet?"
Anyway, Jared had made some yummy dinner and I had given up eating easily digestible foods as I had given up believing the baby would come. Going back and forth every hour and every day was exhausting. I wasn't sleeping well either and I was looking forward to an early evening. While we were chatting at our picnic table and I felt a pop.
(Aside)When poring over...I mean, reading birth blogs, I had always read that phrase and thought, "they are just joking...I had experienced spontaneous rupture of membranes before and it was never like that. I've never felt anything before the gush. (Aside over)
Well, I shifted a little in my seat and yes, that was fluid and it just gushed, I mean, Gushed, out. It was dripping everywhere and I started laughing. Luckily, I was outside, so there was no mess to clean up. When I told the kids what had happened, they got really excited. We told them that they still had to go to bed and we promised to get them up when the baby was coming. I told them it could take a long time, but they were too excited. They kept coming downstairs all night long. They kept playing upstairs and unfortunately for them, the baby came right when they had finally all fallen asleep, so Rapunzel actually didn't make it until after the baby had come.
We were eating a bit late, so by the time I got cleaned up and called the midwife, it was about 7:30. She asked if I wanted the apprentice to come, and I said I was still okay. I wanted more people there, but not quite yet, and I hadn't really decided *who* I wanted to be there.
As we were settling the kids down, my best friend stopped by for something and when my husband told her, I was in labor, she asked if there was anything we needed. I knew then that it was right that she was there. I asked her to take the photos of the birth if she was willing. Her family was all occupied elsewhere as the night got on, so she made sure they were fed and then came back over. She also asked if it was okay that she call our other friend to let her know. I said that was fine.
I don't remember much in this time. I tried to keep the carpet dry as I had surges. They were not difficult, not really even intense, and they were still over 8 minutes apart. In fact, they never really got closer than that until the very end.
When my friend came back, (I'll call her friend1 and the other friend2, as she was mentioned first...I know..it's so impersonal when compared with what they actually did that night, but I still want to protect their privacy too) she set to working. She started making the miso soup for me. I had bought all the ingredients about two weeks earlier, so I would be all set. I ended up drinking about a gallon, I think, after all was said and done. It just felt so great, salty, and nourishing.
When the midiwfe got there, she was surprised at the huge amounts of fluid I was leaking everywhere. It meant that the head wasn't fully engaged yet. I already knew that...I could feel it. She would rub my back as I had surges. I really tried hard to get them more intense. I would squat during the surge, using my ball to support me and after it was over, I would rest in between. The midiwfe called her apprentice to come eventually and asked her to pick up some more depends on her way over (that way I could be a little more mobile instead of trying to stay on the chux). About that time, friend2 came over as well. She brought some essential oils and was going to do my feet, if I needed it.
The surges were a little more intense, but they did not feel productive at all. With Little, I could really feel my cervix dilating, but with this one, there was nothing. It felt discouraging. I tried to move around, to try other postiions while trying to conserve my energy for when it got more difficult. I was breathing and relaxing rather well, I thought. The hypnobirthing was kicking in just wonderfully...except that I wasn't progressing and I could feel it.
The midwife offered to check if I wanted it and I certainly did not. I was afraid that there would be no dilation at all and I was worried enough that nothing was working. I knew that this was real labor, but I did get worried that we might have to transfer because it wouldn't progress, or I would get too tired. There was absolutely no indication of progress (at least to me).
But I kept plodding along and trying to allow things to unfold as they would.
I had all sorts of support. I had the everyone taking turns with my back during surges and friend2 doing my feet with oils. That part was heavenly. I felt so surrounded by love and support. We labored that way for several hours. Little wouldn't go to bed without her "nursie night-night" which meant that she stayed up very late. I was not even about to entertain the idea of nursing her while I was working like this. She was getting so tired, but would not let anyone else put her to bed. At one point, friend1 was reading books to her on the other side of the room, so she could keep the noise level down (which I needed), and she was also telling stories while folding my laundry.
At about 1:00, she finally went down with Boy. He came out of the bedroom without her. For the whole 15 minutes he was in there, I kept telling myself, "I've got to go outside with just him. Just to be alone for a minute...I'm sure things will move along if we can just go outside and be alone."
When he came out, I told him I wnated to go outside with just him. I left the house and wonderful, sisterly chattering and just breathed. Immediately at that moment, I had a *huge* surge that just about knocked me off my feet. I made Boy squeeze my hips as hard as he could during every surge. As soon as we started walking, I would take about three steps or so and just be washed over by another surge. I remembered the midwife's comments about births with lots of attendees. she said that the woman will often be just fine and then as it gets closer, she will retreat from the crowd to do her hard work. If you leave her alone, things will be much smoother. I couldn't help hoping that this was what was happening for me. Although, there was not much thinking beyond just breathing at that point for me.
I really had to work hard to get through that walk, but I wanted to keep going to make sure I was closer. We walked from my frint door to the far end of our sidewalk around the corner, and then back. I knew that I was close when we got back to the door, but I insisted on going all the way to the driveway and back. I'm not sure of the time, but I think it took us 20 minutes to take that walk.
After we cam back in the house, it was extremely difficult for me to "keep it together". I was antsy, I wanted to move, but I couldn't find the right position. I wanted to escape, to just get away from my skin. I knew it was close, but I became suddenly afraid of the actual birth.
Yeah...good luck with that. It's happening at this point whether you want it or not...
I had been trying to labor standing or using the back of the couch as a support, but moved to the front of the couch using the cushions as support. I needed to be on my knees and I started to be enveloped by the surges. It felt like I was drowning.
(Aside)Even now, as I write this, my adrenaline is going up and my breathing is getting faster...wow. I want to be an anthropologist when I grow up just to study this process(Aside over)
Someone offered to go get the kids at this point, and I'm sure I yelled something totally rude. I was almost to a full yell at this point. I could feel the baby start to shift around and move down. I absolutely was aware and did not care that my toddler was sleeping just on the other side of a door. I was going to yell, and I didn't care who else had to deal with the consequences.
It felt like I pushed *for*ev*er*. I know it was only a couple minutes, but it was longer than Little, and I was expecting it to be as fast as Little. When it wasn't, I started really yelling. I know I begged them to "take it out" and yelled at the baby to get out faster.
When I finally pushed that baby out, my wonderful midwife, turned the baby around and sent him/her right through my legs, so I could quickly turn over and hold him. I demanded that my shirt be removed so that I could be skin to skin and only a few minutes later, realized I was naked and there were people in my living room. I aksed for a towel and a planket and they were immediately brought. I had thought about and planned this moment for a long time. Even before this baby was conceived, I thought about how I would do things differently. I would keep that baby skin to skin for days, not just minutes.
I smelled her. I didn't allow anyone to rub her off or wipe her down. I just held her, felt her, smelled her and watched her. I wanted the full faculties of my hormones to help with this amazing love process. Although, I was still bothered by the fact that the placenta wasn't out. I tried every minute or so to push it out and it did come much faster than my others. It was about 5 minutes after the birth that it came. After that came, I felt *so* much better. It was such a relief.