To my beautiful daughter,
Four months later, I have finally sat down to write the story of your birth; you are a handful!
The funniest thing I will remember about your birth is the night before I went into labor with you. Daddy and I spent the previous day at the pool since it was the Fourth of July long weekend. Daddy had dove into the pool and ruptured his eardrum, but we spent the day there anyway. I did a lot of swimming and stretching to get ready for you! That night he said to me, “Please don’t go into labor tonight, my ear hurts so badly.”
At 2 am I woke up to use the restroom. As I finished up, I stood and liquid came dribbling down my leg. Now, I had done a lot of reading and knew about urinary incontinence during pregnancy. I also knew that when your water broke it was supposed to be a big gush of liquid! I became a little angry and sat back down to clean up my mess. As I was finishing up for the second time, more liquid came pouring down my legs. At this point I decided to wake up your Daddy. I remember saying to your Daddy, “I’m so sorry, I think my water broke!”
I was having no contractions at this time and it made me a little nervous. I remembered the midwives Claudia and Debbie telling us that if she went into labor at night to try to get some rest and call them in the morning. I finally started having contractions at 3 am and decided to rest as much as possible. In the early morning Daddy and I called Debbie and she told us to relax and call her back when my contractions were 5 minutes apart. I took a shower and went down with Daddy to walk Jasper thinking that walking would help progress my labor a bit. During the trip downstairs, my contractions got pretty strong and we had to come up quickly.
Around 9 am Debbie came over with one of her apprentices. She helped us finish setting up the birth pool and hung out while my contractions got stronger and closer together. At this point I should stop and tell you that I had decided bringing you into the world was going to be a powerful experience and not a painful one. As the contractions got stronger and stronger my lower back would go numb and tingly; Daddy was AMAZING because he rubbed my back through every contraction, over 17 hours! Halfway through the day you decided you weren’t ready to come out yet and you stayed pretty comfortable with your back to my right side. It slowed my labor down quite a bit, and you made me work really hard for you! Debbie, her apprentices and Daddy helped me do “duck walks,” squats, and lunges up the stairs to try and help you turn and get closer to coming down the birth canal. At one point I had to lean over onto an exercise ball and during the contractions Debbie and her apprentice would push my hips to give you more space.
In the evening I got back into the birth pool to try and relax. I remember randomly telling Debbie that I wasn’t ready to give up on having you at home. She told me I was doing great and that she wasn’t worried. Every time I would have a contraction my body would feel like it was convulsing and I wouldn’t be able to control the urge to push. Debbie asked me if I was okay with getting out of the water and onto the birth stool. She said that gravity should help me get you out. I moved to the birth stool and a short while later, at 8:44pm, you made your way into our lives. You were immediately placed into my arms and I tried to get you to latch on and nurse. We were so busy loving you; we didn’t even know you were a girl! You umbilical cord was between your legs and we didn’t check until a few minutes later to find out.
Daddy and Debbie helped me walk to the bed where I held you while we waited for your placenta to come. You stayed attached to your placenta for a really long time and got all of your cord blood, almost 3 hours! Once we knew you were nursing nicely and I had gotten a chance to shower Daddy then got to cut your cord. Once you were weighed, measured, and dressed you slept between us for the night! On a side note, you’ve already done something amazing just by coming into the world; we donated your placenta to help train search and rescue dogs. Your birth was an empowering experience and you are my biggest accomplishment to this day. Your Daddy and I are so in love with you!!
All my love,