Julianne’s Birth Story

Posted on March 1st, 2016 by vapro

My Dearest Julianne,

I am sitting down today, on your fourth day on this earth, to tell you about your legacy, your life, your birth.

We had been taught in our birth class that only 10 percent of women’s water breaks before labor, I was in that 10 percent this time. I woke up at 2:45 am. Wet. I wasn’t sure what exactly had happened, so I ran to the bathroom. That’s when I realized that my water had probably, more than likely, broken! Now, to wake up Dad? I still wasn’t 100 percent sure, I felt a little silly because if my water HADN’T broken… After standing there for quite a few minutes, I thought it would be better to wake him up than to let him sleep in “whatever” he was on the bed. At first he didn’t realize what was going on and told me to “just put a towel over it” and get back in bed. I repeated myself a little louder and he seemed to catch on then. We talked about what we should do, should we call Joyce, our midwife, should we wait, were we even sure what had happened?

After testing the pH of the fluid and deciding that, yes, my water had broken, I made the call and a peanut butter sandwich. I told Joyce that the fluid was clear, you were still a little wiggle worm and that I wasn’t having any contractions yet, we decided to hang out until the contractions were 5 minutes apart for an hour and I’d give her a call back. Dad and I rested and waited for the big event, the first contraction. After about an hour, I felt the first one. I breathed through it and let it go. It wasn’t really painful and they didn’t become painful for several hours. At 7:30 am, I called Joyce again and told her that the contractions were 5 minutes apart and lasting for a minute for the last hour, she said she couldn’t believe I was in labor because I was so chipper. But how could I not be!? I was about to meet my baby! I had a contraction while I was on the phone with her, I breathed through it and let it go, like I had been doing for the last four hours. Joyce needed to cancel appointments at the birth center and needed to go see one new mom in our area before she came over to check on me.

Around 9:30, Robin, the assistant midwife, showed up to check my dilation and see how I was feeling. I was still in a great mood, having very little pain, with patterned contractions and was just happy to be on my way! Before my water had broken, I was already 3 centimeters dilated and we were happy to find that I was 5-6 centimeters dilated at that first check! Yay, about half way there! Your dad made a sandwich and we just relaxed and waited for Joyce to come, everyone excited. When she got here, we talked about our plan of attack and lots of other things. I showed them your room and of course they loved it. We hung out for a while more, I had a yogurt and they decided it was lunch time for them too. They left and suggested that Dad and I go walk the neighborhood and to work up some “good, strong contractions”. So, we filled up a big glass of water, put on our shoes and headed out. We made it around the neighborhood once, emptied the water glass and headed home for a refill. Just as we were going back out after Dad fixed me a turkey sandwich, Joyce and Robin had come back and were ready to check me again.

This time I was 8 centimeters and still in a great mood. I sat in the living room on my exercise turned birth ball and chatted while they quietly observed my contractions. After a while, I needed a change of scenery so we headed to the bedroom where I used the birth ball while I rested on all fours. My next check I was 8 centimeters. Had only taken 3 hours to get from 5-6! Still in a good mood, things were progressing steadily. We moved on to the bedroom for the final check. Robin discovered some molding on your head, meaning, you had a big ol’ cone head forming! Later I was told that because of the molding, the position of your head and what they felt was an EYEBROW, they almost weren’t sure that you could be born at home. Joyce called you a “Twisted Sister”! They never let on that I couldn’t birth you though, they kept that to themselves and continued to encourage me. They did suggest that I lie on my right side to see if your little head would turn into a better position.

Dad and I stayed in bed for about an hour while taking the contractions one at a time while Joyce and Robin took turns resting, reading and chatting with us. Our photographer came in around this time. She was so awesome, quiet, out of the way and just started shooting pictures. The next check I was pronounced 9 centimeters and the contractions were definitely pushing you lower! One more centimeter to go! After a little while we thought the birth pool sounded like a good idea. Dad started filling up the tub while I waited and rested. It was sooo nice, the warm water really relaxed me. I sat and relaxed, but the contractions started to space out, so we decided after a short hour in the tub, it was time to get out. Robin checked me again when I got out and found that I hadn’t progressed and there was a small lip so we decided that it would be best for me to lie on my left side, and try to get some strong contractions going again (and boy did they!)

Joyce used some Evening Primrose Oil to reduce the lip, hoping she could just move it out of the way, but it wouldn’t budge. The contractions were getting stronger and stronger while I was lying down. The overwhelming urge to vomit and the intense urge to pee were a force to be reckoned with. As soon as I got to my feet, a contraction hit me like a ton of bricks, sending me to my knees. I am so thankful that Joyce and Robin have patient, loving kindness because this next part… is pretty embarrassing. While on all fours, I simultaneously peed and puked. Yay! We have hit transition. Joyce used some peppermint oil on a rag to flavor the air and help my nausea go away. At that point, I gave pushing a few tries. Not an easy job. Joyce suggested that instead of all fours, I should lean on Dad while sitting on the floor and try pushing that way. This is when the pain really began to get a little hard to control with breathing.

Sitting on the floor hurt, lying on the floor hurt, but I was completely dilated. I had been working for you all day! I tried squatting at the foot of the bed while Joyce tried to hold the lip out of the way. What a sight we were! Even though I didn’t need to go anymore, I went into the guest bathroom and tried sitting on the toilet. Front ways, back ways, it didn’t matter. It wasn’t comfortable at all! At this point I decided that I thought it would be a great time to go walk around the house. Bad idea! I went back into the bedroom, definitely feeling the urge to push or at least I what I thought was the urge. I squatted, I swayed, I tried to avoid what I knew was the next step. Joyce and Robin switch between “Mom” and “Midwife” and the Midwife really started coming out now. Robin told me that I had two options and asked if I wanted her to choose for me. I said, “No! I just want to LIVE!” The pain and pressure were so intense, rational thought was fleeting. I don’t know who, but someone suggested that I lie back down on the bed on my right side and “push my baby out!” so that’s what I did. Almost twenty hours after I discovered my water had broken, I was effectively pushing you out. A few minutes later I was told to reach down and feel my baby’s head. It was the weirdest, slimy little thing. But it was that quarter size patch of you that made me know in my heart that I could push you out, I was strong enough and it was what I had to do.

After forty minutes of mind blowing work, pain and love, I had a “natural, spontaneous vaginal delivery of a vigorous baby girl”! Your time of birth was 11:10 on your Paco’s birthday. They laid you up on my stomach, your dad and I talked to you and loved on you and you let out the sweetest little cry. The cry I’d waited nine months to hear. After a few minutes, your dad cut your cord, the last thing connecting you to me, and set you free. It’s so amazing to know that the first people that touched you loved you; that you were born in the bed where you were made, and that we had all that love in our house. All the love for you. Your dad supported me through the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through and we all three came out on the other side. It was truly a miracle.

Family Centered Maternity Care

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