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July 23rd, 2013

Monday, The 22 of July I woke up frequently throughout the night, knowing I was in labor. I resolved to ignore it for as long as I possibly could and sleep in between the contractions that woke me up. By 7 am Arica was stirring in her bed, so I woke Aric and suggested we go out to breakfast for AJs last morning as an only child.

When we got home from breakfast we started working on set up, luckily about the only thing we had to do was set up the tub. Everything was still in place from going into a three day long practice labor about three weeks earlier. As we got the tub filling my contractions started to get really intense. I decided I needed to do something more distracting than watch water run, so I grabbed a canvas and my brushes and set about painting the “happy place” I go to when I need to go somewhere else mentally. Lately my happy place has been a willow tree on the bank of a reedy pond in the moonlight with lots of lightning bugs.

Shortly after finishing my painting and getting the tub filled, the midwives arrived to assess me. I was POSITIVE I would be at least to a 5 or maybe even 6 by this point. No such luck. I was still a tight two, and had a ton of effacement to go. The good news was Beau was actually head down and engaging. Feeling simultaneously defeated and optimistic, we decided to stay out of the tub and try to rest in between contractions (hahaha rest in labor, whoever came up with that needs to be punched in the crotch repeatedly while trying to nap or lay still). The hours passed pretty uneventfully and Arics mom came to pick up AJ after work to go play until bedtime (which Aric and I are SO thankful for, It really was a huge help).

After Arica got home and was put down to sleep, we really got to work, My body picked up the contractions, the pain was intense and I had to move with the contractions, I could NOT be still through them. We checked again for progress about 10 PM or so and I was at a stretchy 8 or 9 and still coping pretty well. (largely courtesy of Alicia Keys’ Superwoman that I was singing in labor… yes I so went there and it worked for me)

Then came the wall…. I wanted to quit. I think I sobbed to the midwives, Aric and the universe in general that I just didn’t want to do this anymore and you guys can’t make me. I am done… I don’t wanna, you know, full on ugly cry, “I quit!”

Then it happened. I got in the hot shower and then back in the tub when the water started to run cold. Once in the tub next thing I knew I was pushing. I couldn’t have stopped it if I wanted to my body took over and did its thing. I got curious in between contractions and reached down to feel if there was even a head there, and there most definitely was a head there. It was about an inch and a half from crowning and I knew it was almost over, That we were gonna do this.

I kept Aric right in front of me on the other side of the tub and just held his hands through the contractions and pushing. As soon as I felt the early tinges of the infamous “ring of fire” I called to the midwives that we were going to be crowning. They had went to the living room to give Aric and I some privacy and let me get back in my headspace (something I would have never been allowed in the hospital at that point in labor). My midwife came over with the waterproof flashlight and went to check me, well, suddenly a contraction hit and there was a head… and a cord. Ryker’s cord had prolapsed, and wrapped around his neck and we didn’t even know until his head came out.

My midwife unwrapped the cord from his neck, but I could feel something wasn’t right, I wasn’t contracting anymore. I kept pushing and pushing and pushing, but without a contraction to help I was getting no where. We didn’t have any more time, so both midwives and Aric had to physically lift me out of the tub. Aric supported my entire body weight when I collapsed on the outside of the tub. My midwife had to stick her hand inside of me to grab the baby’s shoulder, It was STUCK CHUCK! Aric and I pulled in one direction while the midwife pulled in the other and we finally got his shoulder free. He was not responsive right off the bat and he needed an oxygen bag. The midwives were working on the medical stuff and I kept rubbing his chest with my knuckles (the way you’re taught in the army to help resuscitate someone). I realized Aric was sitting behind me just watching the entire scene kind of frozen in shock and afraid to be in the way. I looked at him and said “talk to your son, damnit!!” He leaned over and stroked Ryker’s foot with his hand and said “Ryker” at a level barely above a whisper. Well, lo and behold little man opened his eyes, coughed and sputtered and we had a responsive baby.

We moseyed from the side of the birth pool to the bedroom to deliver the placenta and work on the after birth needs, like cuddling our beautiful little man and telling my husband what a rockstar he is to me. The placenta came without incident and my uterus did decide to work again and clamp down, so I had very little blood loss.

Aric made me a roast beef sandwich and grabbed me some fruit while I kept my feet up to wait for everything to slow down again and just snuggled Ryker (Who had totally pooped meconium all over everything including the two of us at this point lol). After eating and resting for probably two hours or so the midwives came back in and asked if we were ready to start the post partum assessments. Born at 12:48 on the 23rd, Ryker weighed in at a whopping 10 pounds and 2 ounces. He had a 15 inch circumference head, was 22 inches long and was just a happy healthy little dude. He took to nursing right away and had a good solid latch that he ate on for 20 minutes or so. While my midwife said she could definitely suture the two tears I had, and she had sutured tears not as bad, she would be ok leaving them to heal on their own as long as I was willing to take some extra precautions. To be honest I was so over anything happening any where even near my vagina that I declined. The midwives finished up and suggested Ryker and I both see the chiro the next day, me to get aligned and make sure my hips were ok and to check Ryker out for any shoulder injuries from getting stuck in the birth canal and having to be pulled on like a bad Labor & Delivery slapstick skit.

Its now a couple days later, My milk is in, I am very happy I declined the sutures and little man is still eating like a champ. Arica is slowly adjusting to having a baby brother. She will even give him kisses on the head and tell him “its ok” when he’s upset now instead of running away from him crying. I’m healing much faster than I expected. Honestly I wouldn’t change a thing. I can look at my awesome son, and look at my husband and say “We did this, We made him and we brought him into the world in as calm and peaceful of a way as we possibly could have” I am so pumped that we got to have our home birth, I am equally as pumped that I kind of got a two for one deal. I had both a water and land delivery with one baby and to me that’s kind of neat. If I knew going into this home birth this is how it was going to turn out, I wouldn’t change a thing. We are all healthy and happy.

Mother Earth Midwifery