One of the things I would like to do in this space is to share women’s birth stories. Not only natural hospital births, but all types of births. Every month, Unbound Birth blog will feature a birth story. This month, Heather is sharing the story of the birth of her first child. If you would like your birth story featured here, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with a photo to accompany the story. Enjoy!
One year ago today our little boy arrived.
after 25 hours of labor, he arrived. he laid on my chest, looking up at brian and me. so quiet. it was absolutely amazing.
the day before he was born, my water broke. it was about 1am. we called our midwife, and she arrived soon after. i sat on the floor, just waiting for her to get to our home. she came, checked to see i was ok, and said she’d come back when things got closer. i tried to sleep, which i did, on and off. my contractions were anywhere from 15 minutes to 5 minutes apart, and from knowing how they were towards the end, mild at first. from there, we tried to just wait it out.
i remember having breakfast, going for walks (many walks), and taking blue cohash. at some point, we thought it was time for our midwife to come back. she did, with her apprentice, and they checked on baby and me. seems like things were moving along slowly. everyone left, and we went back to waiting…and contracting…and trying to sleep…and the blue cohash. the apprentice came back again later, for another check. all was well…but still not yet. she told me to call when i was “primal.”
and then…i was “primal.”
it was around 7pm. i couldn’t get off the bed. it was just where i needed to be. my midwife and her two apprentices arrived…gently asked me to get up (laying down is not the best position to be in)…and then the real labor started. wow. it was intense. brian talked me through my contractions…reminding me to listen to the sounds outside, to feel things other than the pain, to remember that baby was going through this with me. we walked outside, climbed the stairs, swayed back and forth. i’m pretty sure a couple of old ladies were pretty concerned when i…a very pregnant, moaning, girl…walked by them on the sidewalk.
i took a shower. i faced the wall, and was about an inch away from it. just moaning. it was the best shower i’ve ever taken. it was warm, refreshing, relaxing. and the last moments i had alone with my little baby tucked away inside.
once i got out of the shower, i went into the tub. it was set up in the bedroom at some point. and it felt wonderful. there, i continued to labor. another couple of hours of that…it felt endless! i literally thrashed around primally. like nothing i’ve ever felt before. brian joined me in the tub, and continued to gently talk me through the contractions. finally, near midnight, the pushing began. the midwives encouraged me perfectly. we made jokes between pushes, and the energy of it all felt wonderful. the pain was like nothing i have ever felt. i couldn’t BELIEVE how much it hurt! they showed me the baby coming out and that’s all i needed to finish the process. she took my hand and put it on baby’s head. we were so close! i pushed for a little over an hour. and then…i pulled our little baby up onto my chest. and our whole lives changed. this tiny little baby laid there…staring up at brian and me. quiet. seeing for the first time. seeing his mom and dad…for the first time. and then he cried. he cried! we soon saw that baby was a little boy…a little leo! the cord finished pulsing as he laid there with us, while brian and i stared. we got out of the tub, and while the midwives took care of me, brian held his little boy for the first time.