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
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
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
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