I think I had three functioning brain cells that were in doula mode. I remember thinking maybe a full bladder was keeping the baby up high. So I went into my bathroom. Kevin and the midwife followed me. I was feeling really out of it. I leaned on the wall as I sat there. I glanced over at the tub and thought about how that had eased my pain from the scar tissue over the last few months. I was so out of it I just sat there and croaked out, “Water.” The midwife said, “I’ll go get you something to drink.” Kevin said, “No, she wants the tub filled.” They turned on the water.
I remember thinking, “If I get in, I may not get out…” Then those same three brain cells started trying to remember what was on the list for a water birth that I didn’t have. I got in and as soon as there was enough water to float a bit I tried a push. Then I said, “It’s coming.” Kevin came right over and said, “I see the baby’s head!” I heard the thunder of feet running in from the bedroom. I realized I didn’t have enough side to side room to spread my legs enough to let the baby out, so I hiked up one leg to the edge of the tub. Kevin reached out and caught our baby and lifted the baby onto my chest. It was all of about 90 seconds from when I said the baby was coming to when the baby was born.
I sat there cuddling the baby, and Kevin and I crying, completely oblivious to everyone else. Clara came close and I realized she was waiting to see if the baby was a boy or girl to announce it. I lifted the baby up a bit and spread the legs. Clara announces, “It’s a boy!” I said, “Are you sure?” She said, “Yes.” We did this exchange a couple more times before she finally said, “Oh it’s a girl!” Apparently the cord really messed with her head.
Eventually we got out of the tub and moved to the bed. Everyone was taking such good care of me I didn’t have to think of anything. It was nice just to be able to lay there with the baby. We did weigh her because everyone kept saying how big she was, she looked normal sized to me. She weighed 10 lbs. 2 ozs. Eventually everyone left Kevin and I alone for a bit with the baby.
I was fed, bathed, clothes and pampered. Calls started coming in, kids started getting excited and it was a wild day. But it was an amazing birth. All told I really only pushed about 30 minutes from after my fore bag broke. It sure felt like longer. The midwife’s head shake that had concerned me was apparently her just wondering why it was taking so long, which was apparently related to her weight and the fact that she was born with her hand next to her ear. Baby was 22 inches long and perfectly healthy.
It’s been a week and I’m still mostly in shock. She’s wonderful and adorable and well loved by her siblings. I never planned a water birth and it happened unexpectedly, that's what they mean by go with the flow in labor. I was well supported and unhindered, allowing me to make the right choices, the choices that came naturally for myself and my baby.
Born Sunday, August 31, 2008
10 lbs 2 oz