Allison's story...

I awoke on Friday, March 9th and made my way to the
restroom.  As I stood up I felt something very warm
ooze out of my vagina.  I quickly grabbed a handful of
toilet paper and wiped.  There on the paper was a nice
yellow chunk of mucous plug.  WOW!  I was very
excited.  Though I was only ending my 38th week of
pregnancy I was very ready to give birth.  My stomach
was so immense I could barely stand, and was suffering
extraordinary pubic pain.  Throughout the morning I
had regular Braxton Hicks contractions and thought
that labor would be within about 24 hours.  Well, I
made it through the weekend without a baby.   Tuesday
evening my husband and I decided to get things going
with some great nipple stimulation.  We made love and
caressed one another.  I lay on my back and rolled my
left nipple and he fondled my right.  After a couple
of minutes of vigorous play the contractions began.
After a while they became so strong that we had to
stop and my nipples were really sensitive at this
point.  I waddled into the restroom to pee and this
time I felt some more warm liquid leaking out of my
vagina but it wasn?t mucous, it was water.  My
excitement permeated the room.  Now labor surely would
come.  It was still fairly early in the evening so we
decided to get up and walk around a bit outside.  We
walked and walked.  I had some pretty good
contractions and thought early labor was starting.  We
decided to follow our early labor plan and started
preparing ourselves for the hard work ahead.  We
celebrated by baking baby her first birthday cake.
But the contractions spaced out and before long, were
gone altogether.  The disappointment was tangible.
Never count your cakes before they're baked.  Back to
bed. 

The next morning I phoned my Midwife, Julia, to inform
her of the previous evening's events.  She had another
client with broken waters as well but this client
ended up going into labor so she stayed with her and
told me to get some rest.  I rested a little while but
was bored quickly.  So, hubby and I walked, washed the
car, made one last trip to the grocery store and
enjoyed each other.  Julia called back that afternoon
(her first client did well---6 lb 12 oz baby girl
named Iris) and decided to come over in effort to jump
start things.  Normally we'd let things go at their
own pace but it was approaching 24 hours since water
had broken with absolutely no labor.  Since I opted
not to get tested for GBS, I decided to receive
antibiotic treatments. 

We made our phone calls to let everyone know that this
more than likely was it!  The Godparents arrived
speedily and my in laws had my son occupied.  I
slipped into my labor garb (a Polynesian wrap and
black tube top---sexy), with hair in pigtails.  Julia
arrived and checked my cervix.  I was three
centimeters and 80% effaced.  She stretched and played
with my cervix a bit and stripped my membranes.  She
was wonderful with that; so gentle and kind, a
complete difference from my previous OB birth.
Afterwards I had my first dose of castor oil,
Echinacea and Vitamin C.  I was then instructed to
walk my neighborhood.  Once I walked as much as I
could, I came indoors and sat down for my first dose
of antibiotics followed by another dose of castor oil
and blue/black Cohosh.  Everyone left to get food so
my Midwife had me saunter around the house as much as
possible.  My husband and her chatted softly as I
paced.  Before long the contractions started.  They
were painful enough to make me stop when they were
present.  They started off five minutes apart.    But
then everyone returned and the change in atmosphere
caused my uterus to shy away and the contractions
stopped.  I then realized why my contractions never
stayed before: Performance anxiety.  I had stage
fright.  If ever a next time, I would remain alone
until labor came on full swing.  Julia saw the look of
despair in my eyes and told me to lie down in my bed,
with the lights off and hubby cuddled close.  We did
just that.  We have a satellite dish and with that we
have stations that play non stop music.  No
commercials, no breaks just music.  We selected adult
alternative and hugged in the dark listening to the
song selections.  I thought about making out with him,
we had planned an erotic labor but rest was more
important to me at the time so I closed my eyes and
surrendered myself to the impending contractions.
Slowly they returned to five minutes apart.  They were
pretty painful.  My sweet husband whispered relaxing
words in my ear and caressed me softly.  Before I knew
it I was in active labor.  I really had no idea
because we were in such a place of relaxation.  I
thought that active labor would be much more
challenging than it was. 

Four hours had gone by already and it was time for
another dose of antibiotics.  I was upset at the
thought of having to sit up in bed with the light on
but it was actually more comfortable.  The
contractions picked up alongside the pain but I was
able to really manage sitting upright.  I closed my
eyes and breathed deeply through each one while
rocking my head from side to side to the music.  I
definitely found my groove and went with it.
Unfortunately, after the antibiotics were finished, I
had to use the restroom.  My body was going through a
major intestinal cleansing thanks to the Castor Oil.
Never have I had such diarrhea in my life.  It was not
the optimal labor sensation but certainly wasn't as
bad as I had read about.  And compared to the evil
Pitocin I endured with my hospital birth, it was not
at all tetanic.  The only thing that scared me at the
time was visiting the toilet because I would be stuck
there for several minutes.  My contractions would come
on top of one another on the pot and I couldn't move.
I would be paralyzed until my body relented briefly
and I was able to quickly get up and out of there!  At
one point I tore the toilet paper holder off the wall
which it was deeply anchored to.

When I came back to the bed Julia offered to fill the
tub and I was very quick to agree to the idea.  My
husband led me into the bathroom which was dark save
the dim candlelight here and there.  What a wonderful
environment for a birth.  I climbed into the tub and
surrendered to the warmth of the liquid hug.  At the
time I was a little disappointed because I thought I
handled the contractions better sitting in bed rocking
to music.  Since my trip to the toilet, I hadn't been
able to cope quite as well.  Little did I know that I
was approaching transition.  I believe I was in the
tub for about half an hour but it seems like I was
only there for five minutes.  Surviving transition is
living only for the moment and not thinking about
anything else.  All I could do was let myself go to
the waves that engulfed me and not think about time,
what was to come, or how to deal with the next one.
It was all just a gigantic combination of surges and
tumultuous sensations.  Thinking about anything was
pointless.  All I could do was lose myself within
myself.  At one point I understood this to be
transition when I began crying and thought to myself
that I couldn?t handle any more pain.  I actually
began to doubt my ability and thought that I was not
coping well and was a failure.  When those thoughts
began to poison my labor, I soon realized that the end
was near.  I suppressed those thoughts by reminding
myself that I had reached the pinnacle and what I was
experiencing was normal transitional fear and pain.
Julia heard my cries and came in to check up on me.  I
sat upright in the tub so she could feel my cervix.  I
was at eight centimeters.  This is when things become
foggy.  Right after she announced my progress, I had a
sensation that knocked me on my back in the tub.  It
was like someone threw me back against the tub and
knocked the wind out of me.  This is when I really
freaked out.  I did not have an urge to push so I had
no idea it was a large head dropping suddenly into my
vagina that had caused that feeling.  So, since I had
no urge to stay and fight (push) I decided on flight
(run away screaming).  My body started heaving out of
the water and I began to scream.  This is the only
time Julia had to try to control the situation.  She
immediately found my eyes and in a very stern voice
asked what I was trying to do.  She brought me down
from slight hysteria and focused my attention once
again to birthing my baby.  My pelvis was still
leaping out of the water so she stated that I either
keep myself grounded or else we'd have to get out and
have a land birth.  I couldn't keep bouncing from
water to air.  I concentrated heavily on keeping my
butt glued to the tub and got my bearings straight
again.  She asked if I felt like pushing and I asked
her if it was that time? (still had no sensation to
bear down).  She smiled and said I could push at
anytime, I was ready.  The head was already visible
through my labia.  I reached down and felt that
familiar wet, fuzzy scalp and felt the urge suddenly
to have a baby!  I grabbed one leg, husband grabbed
the other and I pushed and pushed and pushed and
popped a blood vessel in my eye and pushed and pushed
and pushed.  I felt the burn but did not feel fire.
It was a definite stretching sensation but it was very
tolerable.  The head was out and I reached down to
feel that precious face.  Another push and the
shoulders came? Ouch.  Then all at once a baby slipped
free from my insides and wiggled on my belly.  I
opened my eyes and saw this angel laying there.  Where
did she come from?  Did I really do this?  Oh my,
thank you Lord! Thank you all that is Holy.  It's a
girl.  Miss Caroline Grace Nations is born.  It's
March 15th, 2002 at 1:19 am.  I did not have a single
tear or bruise, my perineum was fully intact.

I held her waist level and was helped onto my bed.
The cord continued to pulse another minute or two and
then Daddy set her completely free.  One good push and
the warm, wet placenta fell from me.  Julia was
excited about my placenta, apparently it was huge.  I
was really anxious to find out how much my sweet pea
weighed.  So without further ado, Julia weighed her?9
pounds 14 ounces.  WOW!    She is 21 and a half inches
in length and has a head of 14 ? and chest of 14 ?,
very healthy little girl.  And she was a week early! 

My labor was 4 hours from the time I was instructed
to lay down until Caroline was born.  Pushing took
exactly 27 minutes.  My Midwife was amazing.  She left
us alone to embrace each other through labor and do
whatever we could to cope.  She was completely hands
off until the very end when I needed her.  Thank you
so much Julia.  And thank you, all of you whom have
dedicated your lives to assisting women have amazing
birth experiences. 

 

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