The pregnancy was fairly uneventful until the last trimester. I had some preterm labor, some elevated blood pressures, and some bed rest. I had a high leak at 36 weeks which re-sealed itself. I had also been 4cm dilated since 36 weeks. At our 39 week appointment I asked Coley to check my cervix and to possibly do a membrane sweep. What I really wanted was to have my water broken so we could get the show on the road. I felt like once my water broke, that everything would just go smoothly, and quickly. By this time Sean and I were both very ready and eager to meet our baby and were beginning to have concerns that if I went into labor while Sean was at work, that he might not make it home. Coley checked my cervix and said I was 5cm. and could stretch to 6 and that the baby had come down quite a bit. She offered to break my water. We were both nervous and excited.
Coley went out to her car to get her supplies, and to call her apprentice (who we later found out was in mammoth and wouldn’t make it). We scrambled to make up our bed with plastic, get the birth pool blown up, and let the kids know that the baby was coming. Coley came back in and broke my water around 3:30. We sat around and talked, and waited for contractions. I had a few piddly ones here and there, but nothing really worth noting or noticing. Around 5:30 we decided to take a walk to the park down the street. The kids wanted to get out, and we wanted to get labor going. By the time we made it to the park my contractions began. I went down the slide once with our youngest, Emma, and a very strong contraction hit me. I knew that it was time to get back to the house. Coley and I walked back to the house, while Sean followed in the car a few minutes later. We got back to the house around 6 and my contractions felt like they were coming fast and furious, about every 2 minutes. I had to really concentrate through them, and they were painful. Sean got home and I had him immediately fill the birth pool and I got in around 6:30 or so. Sean came and went as he continued to get things ready, or bring me water, take pictures, etc. I truly felt like I needed to be alone (meaning not watched but wanted them nearby). Both Sean and Coley were very respectful of this. I remember watching Coley’s reflection in the glass of the shower, as she watched mine as well from our bed in the other room.
It was such a strange feeling at this point. The pain was overwhelming, yet manageable. The peaks of the contractions would leave me feeling like I wanted to try to crawl out of my skin, in fact, I’m fairly sure I was trying as I arched my back out of the water. Looking back at the birth video I labored quietly in the pool, only breathing heavily through contractions and resting in between. Inside, I felt a bit out of control, I had an internal dialogue with myself about going to the hospital for an epidural, but it’s not something I truly wanted or would have done. I had a lot of pressure in my pubic bone and was shaking during contractions. I knew I was in transition, but I never made the connection that soon the hard work would be over and our baby would be here.
I began pushing gently a bit in the tub. Coley must have noticed since she asked me to try and get out and go to the bathroom so I wouldn’t have a full bladder while pushing. Once I got on the toilet, I didn’t want to get off. I was pushing with each contraction, but trying not to let anybody notice. I didn’t want to deliver there but felt like I couldn’t move. Coley never said it, but I could tell by looking at her that she really didn’t want me delivering on the toilet either. She offered the birth stool. I tried it for a split second. I was still only giving gentle pushes. I was afraid it was too soon to be pushing and didn’t want to swell my cervix. Coley checked me and said there was just a lip left of my cervix and said I could push. I let my guard down then and made my way back to the pool. I began pushing earnestly with each contraction. At this point I began asking how much longer, and almost pleading how much longer. It felt like it was still forever away. Coley smiled, and nodded, and just kept saying “You’re doing great. He’s moving down”. At some point I reached down and felt inside and could feel that he was almost there. This gave me just the encouragement I needed to keep going. As he was crowning, I worked hard to stay in control and try not to push too hard. Coley supported my perineum while I supported my labia. I really did not want to tear. Once his head was out I had a bit of a break. His head was out for about 2 minutes when Coley asked if I was having a contraction. I wasn’t having one, but I could tell that it was time for him to come out. I gave another eager push and out he came. I was a bit in shock. Coley told me to grab my baby and I did. Just 4 ½ hours after my water breaking, and 2 hours after contractions really began Ender Logan was born March 28th, 2009 at 7:52 p.m.
I was so overwhelmed with emotion. I couldn’t believe that he was here, that I had done it, and just how quick and smooth it all went. He surprised us all by how much vernix he had. He came out sleeping but was nice and pink, with apgars of 10 and 10. The kids all came into the room to meet him. After a few minutes, the kids left the room while I delivered the placenta. I handed the baby to Sean along with his placenta since it was still attached. Sean was surprised by just how heavy the placenta was. Coley helped me get out of the tub and into the bed. She checked me out and said I had just a tiny superficial tear not worth suturing. I felt great. I was a little shaky, a little in shock, but felt wonderful. The kids crawled up in the bed again as Ender nursed. When he was done nursing Coley checked him out and gave him a clean bill of health. We weighed and measured him, and he weighed in at 7lbs. 13 oz. and 21 inches long. He was perfect.
While my birth was nothing like I envisioned it would be (going into labor at night, candlelight, kids not home, easing into labor gently and building up, music playing, etc.) it was the most amazing experience of my life and the perfect birth for our family. I couldn’t have done it without my husband, Sean, who lovingly supported me every step of the way during the pregnancy and continued on during the birth. He never showed feared, and stepped in when I needed him, and backed off when I didn’t. Or, without my midwife, Coley, who became a friend, and reassured me when things weren’t quite right, and gave me the confidence I needed to ensure a safe delivery at home. We are forever grateful for the presence you brought to our birth and for helping us along through this journey. Thank you.
Ender Logan Stanford
March 28, 2009 7:52 p.m.
7lbs. 13 oz. 21 inches