I had been feeling a bit crampy for the week leading up to my guess date, Nov 26th came and went. I had so many things to do still that I wasn’t too worried about this baby not arriving yet. I felt like I didn’t have enough time to finish my to do list as it was. The following day I felt more crampy when I woke up, and quickly got myself into the kitchen to start preparing some food as I felt that the baby would be arriving soon. I didn’t want to leave the house, something was telling me I needed to stay home now. By 1pm Nov 27th I was feeling some stronger cramps so I texted my midwife. At 2pm the sensations were 8mins apart, by 3pm they were 4mins apart. My midwife and doula headed over. My then 6 year old daughter was out with her dad and arrived home the same time as my birth team. My sister was home with me. I sat down for ththe first time that day and did some knitting to distract myself. I had all the birth supplies ready, and had started teas, a labour aid drink and a chicken soup from a traditonal Chinese medicine recipe specifically for after giving birth. I was planning to nourish my body with only traditional Chinese medicine recipes specifically for supporting the postpartum woman for the following 40 days (the sacred window.)
My birth team set up the birth pool in my bedroom, but no water was filled presently. I started to take some skullcap, motherwort and st. John’s tinctures to help with the pain. I had lost my mucus plug around 3pm before my birth team arrived, another indicator of the imminent birth. Thibgs began to slow dow with the arrival of everyone. My older daughter had a lot of energy and I intuitivly knew the baby would not be born until after she had gone to sleep that evening. My labour pains felt mainly like strong cramps and as they came I would concentrate on my breathing and would rub my lower back. My birth team left to get dinner and I put my daughterto bed shortly after. I stayed upstairs and knitted. Soon the sensations started up again and began to get closer and stronger. I had asked for everyone to leave me alone in my room, I turned the lights off except for a warm glowing salt lamp and a hallway light. As the sensations came I breathed a little mantra from a kundalini prenatal yoga DVD by Gurmukh (highly recommended her DVDs.) I rubbed my lower back with my fists, paced back and forth, tried different positions like hands and knees, leaned on the exercise ball, cat/cow yoga postures, swayed hips back and forth, sat on the ball, and an African birth dance. At around 11pm I felt suddenly very tired and decided I should lay down and rest, it felt like the calm before the storm.
I slept for a bit and suddenly I woke up and heard a “pop,” I leapt from the bed and my water broke. I called for my sister and midwife, the doula was still out. It was just after midnight. They came upstairs and began to fill the tub with hot water. I became very shakey all over with the suddent surge of energy that accompanied my waters breaking. My midwife told me to just let myself shake. I let my whole body shake, shudder and my teeth chattered like never before; I’ve never shaken that hard.
I continued to rub my lower back as contractions picked up. Baby’s heart was at 144. I climbed into the hot water and went into my own world. The water was so soothing. I moved around the tub, trying different positions as I rode the waves of birth. My eyes were closed as I surrendered to the birth, as my body took control. I was in a primal place. My doula returned, she placed cool cloths on my forehead and gave me water to sip. This helped so much with the flood of sensations and at this point I was feeling quite barfy. My sister had been helping so much earlier as I moved around the tub. I remember being so annoyed as the liner of the tub kept falling in. The sensations were so strong at this point I knew I just had to breathe through them, I knew my body was doing the pushing and i was afraid to add to it as I felt as if I might tear in half if I did. I remember thinking how much I wished someone would just reach in and pull her out, I had to keep reminding myself I was near the finish line and she would be here soon. My midwife told me later it was only the second time in her career she had not seen or heard a woman physically push. I was not silent by any means, but I had surrendered to it. At twenty to two my baby girl was born, I caught her and pulled her out the water and onto my chest. I asked if she was ok, and was told yes and that she was sleeping; she slept through her birth. Later she weighed in aat 6lbs 8oz. My older daughter emerged from her room, saying how she was scared from all the noise. I climbed out the water with babe in my arms and got into my bed wrapped in towels. There had been no blood during the birth, not until after the placenta had been birthed after two am while baby suckled. My sister cut the cord after as the placenta had been birthed and the chord was empty. I ate my chicken and red date soup sitting in bed with my new baby and my older daughter snuggling. What a beautiful experience it had been, my perfect birth. I was so happy to be at home. My body did everything it was designed for. I was so proud of myself and the perfect human being that lay beside me.