So, my birth plan got chucked out the window. Turns out, all for the better!
The plan was:
Natural labour with J and my Mom attending at:
#1 - Birth centre
#2 - hospital if the birth centre wasn't open yet (or there was some complication)
#3 - we prepared the home birth kit because it's winter. The blizzard in mid December, and the ice storm a week later scared me, and I didn't want to be at home scrambling because we couldn't leave and an ambulance was taking forever.
To start, it was a Pickle (my 16 y/o stepson) weekend! The original plan was to go to Grandpa W's in Tottenham. We decided Thursday maybe that wasn't a good idea. So Pickle was going to come down Friday night, or Saturday morning. Well, being a 16 year old boy, he slept until 3pm! But first, back to the beginning...
Saturday I had
regular, not strong contractions in the early morning 5/6am ish. I decided to have a bath, and
they slowed down some, but I called the midwife and was instructed to rest,
and to call back when they got frequent and more intense. Around 8:30 I called my
mom, and she came over late morning (after a shower and breakfast) My contractions where fairly mild, so she went out and bought fixings for chicken stock, as I probably wouldn't want to eat, but would need something nutritious. I called the midwife around 2:30
again with stronger contractions and got checked. 80% effaced and 1 cm dilated. I called SisterS as she
was supposed to pick up my mil and bring her back here when we left for
the hospital. Midwife left so I could continue to labour in peace. I
overheard hubby tell the her that we are prepared for a home birth if it
needed to happen. The stock smelled really good so I had a cup and half a grilled cheese,
contracting stronger and regular. We finally found out that Pickle had slept until 3. I suggested that his mom, who was driving him, pick up mil, as things where obviously progressing. J and I moved to the bedroom to try some hypnobirth techniques. SisterS arrived. I got in the bath. Things really revved up. My mom was amazing, and coached me though. J called the midwife at 5:30, again he said we where ready for
home birth. I got out of the bath and onto bed and asked J if a home
birth was really ok with him. He said yes!! (I have wanted a home birth all along, but J was very uncomfortable with the idea, so I compromised with the idea of the birth centre) I started having crazy
contractions, wanted to push. I was on my hands and knees, and kept thinking I sounded, and probably looked like a gorilla! I went with it. I think I need to send a thank you to Ina May Gaskin who talks about 'letting your monkey do it', and imagining yourself as an animal. The midwife arrived after 2 contractions like
that. She checked me again, had a small lip of cervix and waters still intact. She got busy getting all her gear ready and called back up midwives. Transition sucked. It was very scary. I wanted to stop, but my body wouldn't. Got shaky and dry
heaved a few times. My mom's continued coaching, and J's comfort where so so helpful during that part. I've never felt so scared. The midwife wanted me on my back to push (she gave a reason...I don't remember, I just wanted it done!). J was on one side, mom on
the other. I was given the go to push. My waters broke in a streaming
gush, almost in the midwife's face! The crazy part was the audible "pop!". The midwife was an amazing coach. I would have had
to push way longer if weren't for her. I was stopping during the most
intense parts because it was so scary. She got me to continue. I felt
the babies head, and that gave me more strength. J got up to catch
the baby. He had his first poo all over all of us immediately after his exit. I had to ask if it was a boy or girl!! We got to do skin on
skin for a loooong time. J cut the cord and I pushed out the
placenta. I had one small tear. The midwife said it was his hand and that I got his
head out with no tears!! Lionel pooped all over me again while we cuddled. The midwife gave me 2
stitches. I breastfed with the help of another midwife with some success.
I'm still in disbelief that it happened so quickly, and so perfectly. 15ish hours in labour, an hour and a bit pushing. I went from 1 cm to fully dilated in 3 hours! unbelievable.
I am thrilled that I am in the care of midwives. They are so caring, and thorough. I can't imagine being in the care of even the most caring obstetrician. The doctor would not have gently cleaned up the poo, including mine! It's just not in their training.
We have had 3 home visits from my two midwives, with one more tomorrow. I will have a total of 6 weeks care from them. I'm already feeling sad for when being in their care is over.
We have the placenta in the freezer, and plan on burying it near the same tree we put the sacred herbs for Rizo.
On the subject of having a graceful labour: It never felt clunky or ugly. My midwife said it was beautiful. I think I achieved my idea of a graceful labour ("...accepts things as they come, with beauty. Accepts the good and bad with beauty and openness."), even if, or maybe because, I was a gorilla!