Birth Story:  Persephone

Though baby was showing no signs of distress and I remained relatively comfortable at even 41 and a half weeks pregnant, I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of our baby in order to avoid any of the induction methods that were scheduled if our little one were to wait much longer to make her way into the world. A long walk through the mall that day seems to have worked as at about 10:30 that night I felt a lot of pelvic pressure that lasted for about a minute then stopped. It happened again at a greater intensity, and I wondered if it could be a contraction and decided to time things. My husband had already fallen asleep, and I decided not to wake him so that he could rest up.

Since I had had no noticeable Braxton-Hicks contractions in my pregnancy, I was unsure if this was real labor or not, but the contractions persisted and very quickly got stronger and more painful. At about midnight, things got pretty close together (2 minutes apart), which prompted me to go ahead and make a call to the midwife. Given the erratic timing of the contractions, she concluded that I was probably in early labor and to give her a call in the morning. That night I was only able to focus on laboring and did not get any rest. When my husband awoke in the morning to me in painful labor, he was understandably much more urgent minded than myself and wanted to us to leave for the birth center as soon as possible. My contractions were about 3 minutes apart, so the midwife told us to go ahead and come in for a check at 11am.

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At the birth center the midwife checked to see that I was at 4cm dilated which was too soon to officially admit me, but given my fear of having to drive back and forth, she said that I could just settle in there. Once there, my contractions decreased in frequency, but they eventually picked up again after a good amount of walking and relaxing into the new space. Things eventually got intense enough that I really wanted to get in the birth tub. Being in the tub slowed my progress so that I was able to sleep a bit between contractions, but allowed for a much needed break after laboring through the previous night. After a while of this, the midwife suggested I speed things back up again by getting out of the tub and walk, lunge, and squat around the birth center. She emphasized that I needed to get uncomfortable to get the baby to move down more. I complied and after a while of prancing about, I felt pretty miserable and especially exhausted. Thinking back, I was probably going through transition at this point. Since my water had not yet broken, the midwife offered to break it to possibly speed things up, but I wanted to see where I was. Her revealing that I was at 9cm made me decide I would just wait for the water to break on its own (which it did as I labored on the toilet right afterward). I then had them fill the tub back up, as I wanted to push and birth the baby in there.

As soon as I moved into the tub again I felt an urge to push. Seeing the midwife prepping herself and the room for baby’s arrival encouraged me, as I knew that the time was near. These urges got stronger and stronger as I worked to bring the baby out. During this the midwife suggested I turn to a side-lying position in the tub, which was horribly uncomfortable to do, but within a few pushes in this position baby was nearly was out. I didn’t know this at the time, but the baby’s umbilical cord was wrapped around her head twice, so the midwife was very adamant in me getting her out quickly, resulting in some tearing.  But all ended up safe, and at about 1:30 am we had our daughter in our arms.

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