The birth of Karma Sim

I’d been having some good warm-up contractions since Saturday, so I didn’t think much of it when I began having some more on Thursday. I went to visit my midwife and had another uneventful visit. She went over her protocols for reaching and passing the 40 week mark, offered me an exam (which she knew I’d decline) and I left pretty sure I wasn’t going to have the baby for nearly another week.

As the day progressed, however, the contractions continued. They weren’t lasting long and were sporadic, so I just ignored them and carried on as usual. My mom and I went to my girls’ community meeting at their school at 6:30pm and I tried to sit and listen. I was still contracting and they seemed to be forming a pattern. By 8:30pm, I had to leave. I was breathing through the contractions and my mom could see they were becoming more intense.

I arrived at home and we began preparing. I was surprised that things hadn’t stopped! I couldn’t believe this baby was trying to come only 9 days late! All of my other kids had been at least 11 and as many as 13 days late, so this was unusual for me. By 10:30pm, my mom had called my midwife, but told her I wasn’t ready for her to come yet. My husband, began setting up the birth tub and we found we needed some duct tape, so my mom ran out to the store. Within 10 minutes, my contractions went from about 10 minutes apart to 3-5 minutes apart.

At some point, through my labor fog, I called my midwife and told her I was ready for her to come. I also called my brother and his girlfriend and told them they should head over. I continued to labor, still thinking in the back of my mind that they might stop any moment. I’d had no mucous or blood, but the contractions were definitely steady and strong. I couldn’t find a good position, so I just kept moving. I told my husband that he needed to fill the tub… I had to get in!!

My mom got home and she and my husband filled the tub as I labored on the bed. My brother and his girlfriend arrived and began taping and photographing. Then, my midwife arrived and I got in the tub. They turned down the lights and lit some candles… ahhhhh…. The hot water was such a relief. My oldest daughter woke up at some point and came to hold my hand. I felt like I had to pee so I got out and tried. As I sat on the toilet, I felt a little pushy. I couldn’t pee, so I got back in the tub. There was some debate about what music I wanted to listen to, although I had a hard time interjecting my opinion. My mom was putting something on and my daughter was insisting that I wanted James Taylor. Between contractions, I thanked my daughter for remembering.

With each contraction, I noticed I felt just a little pushy, and could feel the baby’s head moving down lower. I’d always had a very strong urge to push before and I was confused as to whether or not I was ready to push. During all of my other labors, my water had broken or been broken by this point and this time, it was intact. I think that’s why I had such little urge to push. I remember deciding I was going to give a good push and see how it felt… so I did. It didn’t create any more of an urge, but I definitely felt the baby’s head move down. With the next one, I pushed again and as I did, I put my fingers in to see what I could feel. I felt the baby’s head… still high up, but I knew I could push.

Everyone sat and watched. My midwife's assistant had arrived… we were all ready. I began pushing with every contraction, even though I still had very little urge. I felt hot. My younger daughter was awake and in the room. My son was still sleeping in the playroom where my husband had put him while setting up the tub.

Every time I pushed, I felt the baby’s head moving down. It was incredible. I could feel the roundness and hardness… in my mind’s eye, I could see this black ball moving lower and lower down my body. My fingers felt the head from the inside moving down as well. I felt so powerful and strong, moving my baby into the world.

I started to feel stretching and began pushing harder. Almost at once, the head was at my perineum. I could feel the bag of waters bubbling up over the baby’s head… wow… I felt like the baby was crowning forever and I think my midwife was a little concerned when his head came so slowly. Instinctively, I tore at the sac, felt the water break, and his head came out almost immediately. I turned on my side a bit more and felt the baby’s shoulders rotate inside of me with an almost clicking feeling. I reached down and pulled up my new sweet baby into my arms.

The baby had some problems breathing at first, but his heart rate was good and he was nice and pink. I rubbed his back and told my mom to go get my son since at this point, everyone was still calling the baby a girl. I had already seen he was a boy, but wanted my son to be the one to announce it. He came in and amidst it all, announced that he had a boy baby… a baby “brovah.” My midwife put oxygen on the baby for a moment or two, but what ended up working was when she picked the baby up and tried to move him away from me. He cried a little, sputtered and began breathing just fine.

I couldn’t hear very much of anything and I remember saying something about how sore my bottom was. My midwife wanted me to get out to deliver the placenta, but I couldn’t wait. I pushed it out… felt great! LOL

All in all, it was everything I dreamed of. I sat on my bed, nursing my sweet baby Karma, surrounded by family. I don’t know how it could’ve been better…

Baby Karma was born on September 12th, 2003, 12:27am, weighing 8lb. 15oz., 21 inches long, 14 inch head and chest. He’s a nursing fiend and has been from the start.

Homebirth is wondrous, simple… its just so right… an amazing journey. In retrospect, I'd have had all 4 of my children at home. All of my labors and births were unmedicated with little intervention, but having a baby at home was the best experience I could've imagined. For low risk women, homebirth is as safe as hospital birth... I wish more women realized the possibilities and made their birthing choices based on facts and on their primal instincts rather than on fear about the birthing process. We really are made to do this!   :)


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