Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mary's Homebirth Story: part 2

if you've just started reading, click here to start with part 1 .  And you can get that recently-opened beer back out of your fridge.

So hubby only slightly rolls his eyes (what a nice, accommodating boy he is), grabs the camera and takes the photo.  Then, because he's awesome let's not forget, he notices that I had started doing the dishes and picks up right where I left off while I grab the phone to give the midwife a call.

"Good morning, this is Linda."

Yes, that IS how she answered her phone at 5 a.m.  Gosh I love her.

At this point my contractions were a little over 5 minutes apart, but definitely getting stronger.  I felt a little silly making a big deal out of things just yet, but Linda had insisted that I *not* wait until I was panicking given that I'd been walking around at 4 cm dilated for at least a week.  So I call and she says that unless she hears from me again, she'll leave her house in about an hour.

Ten minutes later I insisted that Tommy call her again.  We didn't have time for any of that lollygaggin', y'all...

Had I gotten the bed ready before this?  I don't remember.  But at some point I put on an extra sheet, a shower curtain liner, and then another clean sheet on top of that.  And now I'm humming through the contractions with my eyes closed- some of them the "easy" abdominal pain kind, some of them the harder back labor kind.  And it kept switching.  A few of one then a few of the other.  Sometimes 4 minutes apart, sometimes 5- never getting closer together, but still getting progressively stronger.

Now it's 6 a.m.  My darling friend V. arrives with her two girls, all three of them bright eyed, bushy tailed and clad in pajamas.  They were, I think, as excited as my own children that it was finally baby day.  I mean, they'd only been leaping to their feet every single time their phone rang for the past two weeks hoping that it was us demanding they come over and entertain our already-borns.  It was about dang time we actually give them something to do!

For the record, I never saw any of them until after the baby was born.  It was incredible.  At one end of our long, skinny house is our room and the bathroom, where I was holed up for all the good stuff and at the other end, separated from the maternity ward by another bedroom, a hallway, the kitchen, the dining room, and the living room, is the play room/den.  Somehow, unless I was just so out of it that I missed it altogether, all children stayed waaaaay down there and I was in my own private cave of silence waaaaaay over here.  It was glorious.

Did Linda get there before or after V.?  I don't remember anymore.  I think Linda was already here.  I think I was on my side.  I think I was worried that my "pushing slowly" plan wouldn't work out and that I would get all impatient just like I had all the other times and I would regret it.  I think I was hatin' on the back labor. Stinky rolling baby and even stinkier separated abs allowing the baby to roll!

For a while I was on my hands and knees on the bed....rather, elbows and knees with my head down.  I was the anti-gravity lady.  I became that lady that thinks she can slow things down and she thinks that slowing things down is a GRAND idea.  Why?  Why?  Why would I think that?  Those are the words of a fool!  Speed things UP.  Get them OVER with.  Now that is the mantra I'm usually chanting.

At first I would start counting backwards from 45 down to 1 when a contraction would start.  Because the journey to the top is rarely longer than 45 seconds.  By the time I hit 1, I'd be back on the down slope, relief in sight.  And by "counting" I mean out loud, deep voiced, ridiculous counting.  The thing that may have frightened the staff of the average hospital.  But no one asked me any questions or switched on bright lights or tried to "check my progress" when clearly I was progressing just fine without knowing the actual numbers.

And then Linda got me to sit up.  Gravity.  I was at the edge of the mattress, facing the headboard, with my left leg bent as if I was sitting in the lotus position but with my right foot braced against the (fabulous, wonderful, fantastic) hardwood floor.

As the contraction would start, so would my humming, but then as it got stronger, as it got to that point that you're not sure if you can handle it anymore and you're thisclose to being certain that your body is about to split in half, I gave up the counting, and, unplanned, started tapping my foot rhythmically.  And instead of humming, I'm sort of singing a low song.  A low song with no words.  A song that carries me over the waves of uncertainty fear.  I didn't know what the song was at the moment.  I didn't think it.  It just happened and it was good.  It was only after the first week that it hit me:


During those most trying moments, it was the Lord who walked with me.

end part two

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22 comments :

  1. If you had been watching Stephen Colbert dancing to "The King Of Glory", you would've laughed that baby out!

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    1. I love that hymn so much that I can't bring myself to watch it. The way it is in my head is just right :)

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  2. When I was little, that song made me cry at mass once.

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  3. I'll never be able to hear this hymn again without thinking of you!

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  4. Well then you sure know how to tell a story! PART THREE PLEASE!

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  5. That hymn is so beautiful - just like Jesus, our Savior who is so beautiful!

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  6. Love!!!!! Like I'm reading Spiritual Midwifery.And, I love that hymn!!! "Who is the King of Glory? How shall we call Him?"

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    1. I had to stop reading Spiritual Midwifery until I had cleared the 36 week mark because I was getting sympathetic contractions! I really think it helped me relax and not resist delivery (and sort of not notice that I was in labor until I was 6 CM).

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  7. Love love love this birth story, Dwija. Keep it comin'

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  8. In my mind right now, Stephen Colbert just caught your baby. And it was awesome.

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  9. Really enjoying the story! My Mum had two home births out of five and absolutely loved them, said she liked being 'in control' haha. I gather the maternity care is a bit different here than the U.S though.

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  10. Oh the chills I just got at the end of this post. Wonderful!

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  11. This birth story is making my week!

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  12. Tell it, Sister (-in-Love)! Sing that baby out!

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  13. Yeah - Stephen Colbert is all I can think of when I hear The King of Glory. But it sounds like you had all the coping mechanisms you needed for this labor! And you reminded me to finish writing Romans' birth story so I don't forget it!!

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  14. I remember my grandmother and my mom singing hymns as they pushed through chores and different challenges in their days. Makes perfect sense to me that a hymn would sustain you through childbirth.

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  15. Oh, praise The Lord. Birth is such an amazing mystery. I prayed St. Ignatius' Soul of Christ prayer during my fifth labor. Very meditative and turned out to be the right length, until I kept getting hung up at the peaks of contractions on "passion of Christ, strengthen me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me"

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