My “guess date” was August 23rd and I was optimistically hoping to deliver the baby a week early (although Hazel had other plans!). My midwife told me that usually, first babies are born 8 days after the due date, which is exactly when Hazel came into the world.
I started feeling some mild contractions at 3:30 am and took a Gravol as advised by my midwife and went back to sleep. I tried to sleep in and take it easy all morning to conserve as much energy as possible. I told my husband, Mitch to go to work and I would call him if we were close. By about 3 pm, my girlfriend, Danika and her baby boy Ezra came over with treats and much needed support. The contractions were starting to feel pretty strong and slowly getting close together. Mitch got home from work and Danika encouraged me to walk so we all went up and down the back alley as I hunched over and held on for dear life every few minutes.
By now it was about 5 pm and we had called Brigette, our midwife to come over. We had planned on having a water home birth and had tried our hardest to prepare for everything. Mitch and Danika got the tub ready while I tried to relax and stay calm using the ball. I felt scared and anxious but it certainly helped to focus on my breathing and positive affirmations which I had playing in the background. Bridgette advised me to get in the tub and that she would be over soon so I took some Tylenol and hopped in the tub. My stomach was oddly queezy and I couldn’t even keep the Tylenol down. I was starting to feel pretty scared as the pain intensified but tried hard to focus on my breathing and relaxing.
By the time Bridgette arrived, it was about 7 pm and she had me get out of the tub and on the couch to check me. We were all pleasantly surprised that I was 8 cm dilated and I got back in the tub. Everyone around me was working hard helping the midwife, controlling the temperature of the water, getting everything ready; meanwhile I was completely in my own world. There was a fantastic thunder and lightning storm going on and we were all a little worried that the power would go out, however it provided an awesome setting!
Mitch was so excited and happy that it encouraged me to persevere through every contraction which were getting very intense and close together. With each surge, I let go more and more and surrendered to the process. Although the contractions were more painful than anything I have ever encountered, it wasn’t the typical kind of pain we are used to; it felt almost animalistic, like my body needed to do it.
Around 8:30, the second midwife, Teegan arrived and we were very close to pushing. Bridgette kept telling me to relax my shoulders and move how my body needs me to move. Bridgette broke my waters with what looked like a crochet hook and I began to feel a burning sensation. Immediately after, I was able to push and with one final surge, the baby was out! She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Hazel was so alert, just staring at her mama and daddy and taking it all in with wide and curious eyes. That moment was absolute euphoria…. between meeting my baby girl to knowing that there would be no more surges and I had done it! Although utterly exhausted, I felt empowered.
Shortly after that, we moved to the couch to deliver the afterbirth. Within a few hours of birthing Hazel, the room was all cleaned up and everyone had left. The three of us were snuggled in our bed by 1 am. It was the most amazing experience of my life. I cannot say enough good things about the midwifery program in Regina. Bridgette and Teegan were there for me every step of the way and then some. They took all of the necessary measures needed during labor and came to my home in the days that followed to check Hazel and I. I felt like I was in such good hands and we were able to truly nest in our own bedroom for the days that followed. And now Hazel is already 13 weeks old and a healthy, happy baby with a very, very happy mama!
written Sarah Taylor, Dec 2011
If you enjoyed reading this birth story, you might also like these two posts.
Jessica is our second child, Andrew is my oldest child and he will be three in October. His birth was fantastic also so I will tell you about his first. We were living in Medicine Hat, and at that time I didn’t know about hypnobirthing. I was taking prenatal class and prenatal yoga, and that’s where I learned the basics for breathing and relaxing through labour and birth, the instructor talked about trusting your body and not fighting your contractions; that really resonated with me. Keep Reading