8.25.2010

the details, part 2


Very early on labor, I put "A Ghost Is Born" on through the iPod speaker.  We listened to it over and over while I labored.  The songs will forever remind me of Hal's birth.  Half of it's you, half is me.  Listen while you read for full effect! Yay technology!

This is part 2 of my home birth story.  Part 1 is here.

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At 12:30ish I settled back into the tub and tried to let go of the unknowns. My midwife kept assuring me that even though I was totally dilated (minus that stubborn lip) I didn't need to worry about pushing or how long it was going to take, that I needed to relax and get through the contractions one at a time.  And rest.

"Just listen to your body, Erin," she said, "you will know what to do."  I halfway believed her and halfway thought that it all sounded like a bunch of BS and could someone please tell me exactly when the baby was going to come out and how on Earth I was supposed to know the baby and my body were ready for me to push if they hadn't gotten themselves ready in the last two hours of being complete? What exactly were they waiting for, anyway?  What if they were never ready?

After a little bit of time in the tub and a little bit of Rescue Remedy, the contractions spaced back out to every two minutes, which was wonderful.  I started relaxing deeper and deeper, and then I began to have the strangest most powerful feeling wash over me during each break.  I would very nearly go to sleep, my thoughts blowing around until they landed on something or other of no importance at all.  I would think very calmly and clearly about ideas and situations that had nothing to do with labor.  In fact, I would often TOTALLY FORGET I was in labor. Totally forget.  When a contraction would start up again I would blow and vocalize and sometimes lose control, yelling, "I don't know how much longer I can do this," and, "Baby, please come out already!" but the second it was over my head went down, resting and dream-thinking about life things.

At two o'clock, after hours of samesamesamesame, my body began doing something new.  I started to get this sharp funny feeling at the end of each contraction, almost like shocks, and I would grab the side of the tub to brace myself.   And then, out of nowhere, I knew I wanted to push.  So I pushed.  He was moving down, he was coming, and I knew it.  I just knew it. The midwife said I should go to the side of the tub and lean back on Luke.  I did, and then I pushed like crazy.  I pushed right past the pain, right past the feeling that I was going to split into a million pieces, and then miracle of miracles, his sweet little head was out. I reached down and felt it there and then paused for just a moment -- the cord was wrapped around his neck and needed to be loosened -- and then, at 2:11, one more push.  There he was.  All of him.  My baby.  Sweet little boy.  The best feeling in the whole world.

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It turned out his head had been tilted, not applying pressure to my entire cervix.  Without pressure from his head, the stubborn cervical lip just couldn't get the message that it needed to go away  And it never did go away -- I pushed him over it when the time was right.  Why the time was right at 2:11 and not earlier, when I had tried to force it, I don't know.  But at 2:11 I instinctively knew what to do, just like the midwife had promised I would.

The funny thing is that I never had any urge to push with Alice.  The nurses in the hospital coached me into pushing hard, scary hard, for two and a half hours before she came out with assistance from my doctor.  I am so grateful that I spent the two and a half hours before Hal was born sitting in a tub in my bedroom, listening to Wilco, relaxing more deeply than I ever have in my life.  I am so glad that the midwife knew that I would know when it was time.  She didn't force anything.  She checked Hal's heartrate (it was always perfect) and told me I was doing well, but that was that.  And he totally came out.  He came out!  I got him out.  It was amazing.

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57 comments:

  1. gorgeous, just gorgeous! what a story...good job, so inspired by you!

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  2. he is so smooshy and adorable. good job at birthing him! you are a true lady.

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  3. What an amazing story! I'm so inspired and its crazy how that song fits perfectly as you read it! Congrats he is adorable!

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  4. He is beautiful!

    Erin, I am so grateful you were able to experience this natural thing in a natural way.

    Thank you for sharing your family with us this way. It is especially medicinal to our hearts.

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  5. Hi!
    I just found your blog yesterday and I'm so glad I did!
    What a beautiful birth story! Thank you for sharing! You have a gift for writing.
    CONGRATULATIONS!

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  6. What a beautiful birth story, Erin. And a beautiful baby boy at the end. You are a champion.

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  7. What a wonderful story. The two of you look absolutely beautiful

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  8. I love reading birth stories. Gives me the tingles. I'm so impressed with your story. Well done.

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  9. *sob* this is exactly what i needed to read today. i'm so happy he's here, and i am so happy you were able to experience it fully. love to you and that gorgeous baby boy. xo

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  10. beautiful story. Your midwife sounds amazing and your son (and you, for that matter) is gorgeous.

    Congrats Mama!

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  11. I love it! Amazing pictures, too! You look so good, Erin!!!

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  12. i'm so thrilled to read this.
    it almost makes me want to do it again.
    allllmost.
    but not quite yet.

    ERIN. YOU DID IT. AND YOU LOOKED BEAUTIFUL.
    Hip hip hooray for a healthy relaxed homebirth.

    (ps-I had the same lip for 3+ hours and it was a biznatch)

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  13. wow. wow. I just cried.
    you know how people describe trips like to Hawaii or Disneyland or someplace wonderful and you're like, yes I need to go there!
    what you just described? I want to go there. (except I don't think I want to have anymore babies) but still, wow, how amazing what you allowed your body to do. I'm so happy for you. so happy you had a great midwife and Luke and your sunny bedroom. and wilco, of course.

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  14. I am a fairly new reader...can't remember how I found you, but this story is so sweet it almost made me cry and I don't just up and cry when reading a stranger's birthing story! Congratulations to you! And my god woman, you look absolutely beautiful in those photos minutes(?) after giving birth!!! Congrats on a beautiful family :)

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  15. Beautiful story, beautiful pictures, beautiful baby boy! So happy for you.

    I love how you described it as pushing "past the feeling that I was going to split into a million pieces". That describes it so perfectly!

    Way to go!

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  16. wonderful!!
    There's no other word.
    I felt, after having a totally natural birth with Otto, like I'd gotten cheated the first two times.
    This is the way birth is supposed to be.
    Make you feel like you can climb any mountain anywhere, no matter what.
    That baby is perfect. :)

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  17. okay, yeah, great idea on the song while reading! i think i'm going to have to download it to help me through labor. :)

    what a beautiful story you have there. and, erin, i can't get over how gorgeous you are WHILE GIVING BIRTH. unbelievably.

    again, congrats. thanks for sharing your special story.

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  18. erin, this is a beautiful story. i'm so happy that you were able to have such a nice experience at home- and were able to really just listen to and trust yourself. i know that if we ever go for a #3, i hope to have a similar experience. after 2 hospital births (one easy, one really really hard) it's my dream to do it this way, in my own home, at my own pace, to my own tunes. GOOD FOR YOU.
    he is gorgeous. and mama! SO ARE YOU.
    xoxoxo

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  19. beautiful. you brought tears to my eyes - i loved reading your story! our bodies are so amazing - and you don't even truly appreciate it until you have a baby and see that miracle!

    xo

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  20. i love that song -- love this story, and the photos too. you look amazing and the baby is beyond adorable.

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  21. Way to go! I had that sleep-like-dreamy feeling during transition too. I wish I could have felt it the way you described it and not so much a nightmare. :) It was rad, but kind of like the breaks between vomiting. Afterward you feel better, but only to be hit with another bought of nausea, haha. I pray next time I'll be able to have our babe in a tub and try to relax during time. P.S. am I the only one that couldn't stop yelling? Haha. Maybe it was because it was my first ;)
    Beautiful birth story and congrats on the beautiful, precious boy!

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  22. Oh Erin this is perfection!!!!

    I love it, I love you, and I love him.


    Steph

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  23. Absolutely incredible :)
    Beautiful pictures... mama and baby boy!!

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  24. What a wonderful and amazing story! That's just so beautiful that you had such an experience. It is inspiring. You and your son both are beautiful. For heaven's sake, how on earth are you that beautiful just after giving birth? You're simply glowing.

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  25. Erin, these pictures are stunning! I'm so proud of you for how brave and strong you are. Hal is perfect. (p.s. I live on Harrison St and will totally steal a street sign for his room someday.)

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  26. Perfection. All of it.

    He's so beautiful Erin. As are you. :)

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  27. all of this is just wonderful and beautiful and just...sigh...

    and Hal? Oh squishy!

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  28. this is so beautiful. YOU are so beautiful.

    thank you for sharing. hope you're enjoying this sweet, sweet time. it is hard sometimes to do that...i know. as you know, though, they will be gone so soon. soak it up!

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  29. Wow, those pictures are amazing. You look beautiful. Hal looks perfect. Your midwife looks wise and competent. It's such a wonderful story. I'm so, so happy for you.

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  30. thank you for making my night. this is beautiful. And healing and lovely to read. What a beautiful birthing day and baby boy you have!

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  31. beautiful babe, beautiful story, beautiful mama, beautiful song. so glad you got the birth experience at home you wanted:) congrats.

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  32. What a beautiful birth story! Congratulations on your adorable little boy!

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  33. So I'm not sure if a fourth child is in the cards for me, but if it is?

    This post will play a huge role in whether or not I'll have a homebirth or not...

    It's the gradual progression, right? I would love to experience this.

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  34. This story is proof that the female body is made to give birth when it is ready. It's inspiring to hear this story told with such serenity and sweetness! What a wonderful mother and role-model you are!!

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  35. Congratulations, lady! Wow. I'm so very thrilled for you that you had the home birth you wanted. (I tried with my first, but he just wasn't coming...) And your music was just... perfect. YAY!!

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  36. Isn't it amazing what happens when we trust and listen to our bodies? I am forever grateful for my 3 homebirths that have taught me so much about myself and my children. I got to know their personalities through laboring with them. I love it.

    He is beautiful and so are you, Mama. congrats.

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  37. great job mama! i'm so jealous of your beautiful birth story :-)

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  38. Awesome!! :-)

    I assume you were in a birthing tub?? My last birth was (inadvertently) in a tub at the hospital (who doesn't *allow* water births, LOL), and I'm thinking of renting an AquaDoula tub for this little one. Hmmm.... I have birthed at home before (with #2) so that's not a mental hurdle. Where to put the tub might be though. :-)

    Anyway, congratulations on a beautiful little boy & trusting your body--even while in transition. Good work Momma!! :-)

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  39. Such a beautiful birth story and those are absolutely gorgeous pictures! Everyone looks so serene.

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  40. Oh my goodness!! He's beautiful...and you look so incredibly gorgeous. What an amazing birth story. I'm so thrilled for you, and your newest addition. What wonderful, beautiful blessings. I can't wait to be where you are, in December.

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  41. I loved this story. So beautiful and different. A beautiful baby boy too. Congratulations!

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  42. I sooooo appreciate your attitude on birth. The more of us that write out our stories, the better. (I hate pregnancy but love childbirth. Isn't that weird?)

    He is beautiful.

    (I came to you via SortaCrunchy.)

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  43. The beauty of this post just leaves me speechless.

    But I WILL say WOW, Erin...you are so beautiful, and so is that sweet boy of yours.

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  44. What a beautiful story. It does such a good job of highlighting the difference between a hospital birth and a home birth. What are the odds that you would have been sectioned because you couldn't push that baby out over the lip of cervix for four hours?! So happy for you.

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  45. Your story is wonderful!
    Thank you so much for sharing, you beautiful mama you!!

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  46. this? Is awesome. I'm in love with it. amazing...

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  47. Erin! How is it possible that you look that beautiful after giving birth?!? Seriously. You're a stunner.

    Your birth story is lovely. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who yelled a bit during labor. I always hear about women who are completely silent when they deliver...um...not me.

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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  48. What beautiful pictures. I am so, so glad you had this little one at home. I just know it was the exact right place for you two to meet each other...and that your midwife helped you do it exactly the way you were supposed to.

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  49. so beautiful.
    with my first - i had that same "labor land" feeling.
    and that the-last-time-i-did-this-i-was-pregnant thought. especially when you are on your last. (but can i just say ... after having my last baby - nothing is truly as wonderful as watching your last baby's milestones. you relish every second of them.)
    birthing babies is truly amazing. irregardless of it is your birth or someone else's. thanks for sharing.

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  50. I've found my labors so much better when I let my body decide when to push! Such great birth story.

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  51. beautiful. I can't wait to meet him.
    you are amazing by the way.

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  52. Beautiful story. Beautiful. I love birth stories and this one is magic. Congratulations again, you look absolutely full to the brim with happiness.

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  53. This story is beautiful, but also kinda makes me a little sick.....I was cut open essentially because I wasn't "allowed" to push (and God knows I wanted to SO BAD) with a stubborn cervical lip. Beautiful photos and lovely story though. Congrats!

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  54. You've got a beautiful story too. What a neat example of how our bodies are just built for birth.

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  55. wonderful story! I too delivered without medication and wouldn't choose to do it any other way.

    Where did you get his sweet little outfit? Kelly

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  56. That brought tears to my eyes Erin. I dream about having a home birth one day after a less than stellar birth experience for my 1st. I love reading about fellow mommas who have had a home birth. Until my time comes I will live vicariously through others. ha! (I follow you on twitter-seashellster)

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  57. I just found your blog though . . ok, I totally don't remember how I got here :/

    Anyway . . .

    Congratulations on the baby, he is beautiful!
    I love the first picture of the midwife checking his heart rate - the smile on her face is priceless.

    I'm so glad you had a god birth experience, your story early labor and all, is so similar to mine.
    Congrats again!

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