Coleson’s Birth Story
January 26, 2009
Early in the morning of January 26, around 2 a.m., I woke up with Landon because he had been sick and was running a small fever. He was tossing and turning and couldn’t fall back asleep. I lay down with him for quite a while in his bed, brought him into ours, and finally got him settled back to sleep. When he was finally sleeping, about 3:30 a.m., I noticed that I felt some uncomfortable cramping feelings. I lay in bed for a while watching the clock and trying to get some more sleep. I figured if this really was the start of labor I should get as much rest as I could. I noticed that the cramps were coming every 7-12 minutes, with most of them being around 10 minutes apart and lasting about a minute.
I was able to stay in bed until about 5 a.m., but didn’t get much sleep. That’s when I noticed that I needed to breathe a bit through the cramps (I still wasn’t convinced they were contractions) and decided to get up so I didn’t wake Landon or Tyson. I told Tyson I thought I might be in labor, but to get some more sleep because I was handling it fine by myself.
I went out to the living room and sat on my birth ball. I got on contractionmaster.com, but it wasn’t working right for me (maybe because I have a Mac?) so I gave up trying to time things. I put on my Hypnobabies Birthing Day Affirmations CD and rocked my hips on the ball whenever a contraction would come. I posted on MDC and updated our blog saying that I thought I might be in labor. I finally realized that I was really working through the contractions, so I put on my Hypnobabies Easy First Stage CD. It really helped me remind myself to relax during contractions, even though I never really got into a hypnotic state. I started chanting “relax, relax, open, open” to myself through contractions and leaning over the birth ball.
Around 5:45 a.m. I went into our bedroom and asked Tyson to get up so he could call my mom to come get Landon and call the midwife to let her know I was in labor. Both of them live about 45 minutes away, so I thought we should get them headed toward our house sometime in the near future. He came out and called my mom. When he told her I was in labor and she needed to come, she said she had called into work ten minutes ago and told them she wasn’t coming because she was having a grandson that day. Crazy, huh? Then he called the midwife and let her know that I was in labor. I told him to tell her not to come yet, mostly because I didn’t want her sitting in our house watching me labor. I have nothing against my midwife, but I was enjoying being alone. So, he told her not to come yet and we would call her if we needed her. About 10 minutes later I told him to call her back and tell her to come!
At this point I knew I was in pretty active labor, but I wasn’t sure how far along I was in the process. Through the last part of my pregnancy, I had been doing what Hypnobabies suggests and visualizing my perfect labor, one that is quick, comfortable, easy, and without any complications, but I wasn’t sure if that’s what I was getting or not. By this point I was pacing the living room, doing deep “oooohhhh” sounds and chanting “relax, relax, open, open” during contractions. I kept reminding myself that the contractions weren’t painful, just full of pressure. I also talked to my baby and asked him to move down. All of that really helped me focus on the work I was doing and not tense up.
During all of this, Tyson was cutting up some fruit for me and getting me water. I had pretty much told him I didn’t want his help with laboring (mostly by swatting him away at one point) so he did a good job letting me do my own thing. He also got on the computer briefly and sent some emails to work and to cancel some appointments for the day.
Around 7 a.m. Landon woke up and came out to see me. He asked me to pick him up and I told him I couldn’t. So, he just gave me a hug and went to get something to eat. Tyson told him what was going on and Landon watched me have a couple contractions. I assured him that I was ok, and he was going to get to see his new little brother soon. He was totally fine with the whole thing and just watched with curiosity. My mom came about 7:10 a.m. and gave me a quick hug. I was having contractions pretty close together at that point, and barely acknowledged her. Landon came to say goodbye and then left easily with my mom.
At about 7:15 a.m. I started to feel like I didn’t really want to do this labor thing anymore. My rational brain told me I was in transition, but the other part of my brain was feeling really overwhelmed and just wanted things to end. I just kept reminding myself that it would be over soon and I just needed to relax. Then, I realized that I was giving tiny little pushes at the end of contractions and it felt really good to be doing that. I started hoping that my midwife would arrive soon!
Five minutes or so later, around 7:20 a.m., my midwife arrived. At this point I was kneeling on the floor and had just asked Tyson for some pads to put under myself because I could feel things leaking. He was working on setting up the tub back in the bedroom, since I had requested it right before Landon woke up. I heard my midwife tell him that there wasn’t time for that and he needed to come out to see his baby being born.
We briefly tried having me squat with Tyson supporting me, but it didn’t feel right, so I got back into a squatting/hands and knees position on the floor. Tyson and my midwife spread a bunch of pads under me and I really started to push. A couple of pushes in my water broke everywhere and it was clear. I felt much less pressure after that and knew that we were getting so close to the end. With Landon, I pushed for three hours, but with this baby I knew he would come out much faster. At first, I wasn’t pushing very efficiently because I was so focused on how intense it was and how I really didn’t want to do it. Then I decided to really bear down and make things happen. My midwife and Tyson were both encouraging me at this point and that really helped a lot. The midwife was behind me rubbing my back and Tyson was up at my head whispering to me and telling me I was doing great.
My midwife got up to warm up some water for hot compresses and while she was gone I reached down to feel for the baby because there was such a strong stretching sensation. I realized his head was quickly emerging and shouted for the midwife. She asked if we had a head and I said it was coming! I guided his head about halfway out and then waited for the next contraction. I could feel part of his face and feel myself stretching around him. It was amazing. With the next contraction his head came the rest of the way out, with me guiding it. His body rotated, and with another tiny push his body slithered out and the midwife helped me bring him up to my chest. I had been hoping and hoping to catch my own baby, but I didn’t realize it would actually happen! I was so thrilled! He was born at 7:45 a.m. He was crying, and Tyson and the midwife helped me get settled in a seated position so I could hold him well. About 10 minutes later I pushed out the placenta and immediately felt much better.
He cried for a while and we talked to him and admired him. The midwife brought us hot towels from the dryer and wrapped us in them. Eventually we got into the bath where the baby floated contentedly and fell asleep. I started to get uncomfortable so I asked to get out and have the midwife do the newborn exams so I could crawl onto the couch and really get comfy.
The baby was weighed and measured and came in at 7 pounds 14 ounces and 21 inches long. He latched on and nursed like a champ after we got out of the bath, and I was so pleased. We had problems nursing Landon in the beginning, but that has never been an issue with this little guy. The midwife stayed for a few hours, cleaning up and chatting with us. Then we spent the day getting to know our new little boy and deciding on a name. He never once left my arms, and everything went so perfectly. It was exactly the birth I wanted!