My Birth Story-Iris Sakura

Friday, August 10, 2012

I had been pounding on my thighs to end their pain for two days by the time I went into labor. It was early in the morning on December 8th, and it was gently snowing for one of the first times that warm year. I called my doula, who talked to me about how I was feeling and what I should do. We agreed that I should stay calm and relax, but of course I couldn't. I moved, I danced, I tried to watch a movie, and got a little bit of rest. I asked my doula to come over to my home, and we talked about what I wanted to do, listened to music, and worked through a lot of contractions. She gave me calming massages and reassuring words, and I can't begin to explain the value of that. I also rolled the birthing ball down the hallway with my son, and changed positions a lot. Fast forwarding to a few hours later, we decided to walk around the mall, as I was progressing slowly. We contacted my midwife, who told me I should stay calm and reserve my energy for when I'd need it, and that my baby would come when she was ready. At this point my doula went home to spend some time with her family. I called her back to my house close to midnight, when things had really begun to pick up. We also had Nate and I's mothers come over in case our son woke up.

After a lot of trips in and out of the bathtub, I finally began transition and my midwife came over. After a couple more hours we all agreed things were going slowly and we chose to rupture my membranes. There was an immense rush of water, and my midwife's assistant said "This mam's got a river inside her!" which calmed me down and made me laugh. We tried a lot more positions and finally I was dialated enough to push, even though I wasn't having the urge to. We found out that my cervix had a lip, which my baby's forehead was stuck on, which caused me to not feel the urge to push. My midwife held my cervix open while I pushed to get my baby's head past it which hurt a TON, but was the second time I'd had pain during my labor (the first being my thighs aching).

I pushed for what felt like ages, but it was really only about half an hour. I had been in labor over 20 hours at that point and I was exhausted, and every push felt like I was climbing a mountain. My husband, who had been a constant source of comfort, reassurance and motivation, leaned behind me and held me as I delivered our baby. Crowning was the most intensely painful and beautiful experience of my life. At that point I felt I could understand that she was really being born from my body. She turned as she crowned, and I was asked to reach down and feel her head. It was kind of funny, I told myself they were lying, and I wasn't touching my baby's head, and that what I was feeling was actually my vagina falling out of my body. Looking back now I understand this is a common but ridiculous fear to have, and I always laugh at myself a bit for feeling that way. When my baby was born she was placed up on my chest, and I finally got the meet the little person I'd been growing all these months. I was intoxicated with her. Even though I'd been in labor for 22 hours, I was wide awake and ready to play with her and hold her and feed her and everything!

Soon after, we moved to the bathtub, and cleaned up, then cuddled on the couch. My mother in law took my son out for a day on the town, and my mom stayed at our home and made pancakes for us. My husband and I laid in bed with our new baby, and rested and cuddled all day long. This positive birth experience completely undid my previous negative birth, and gave me the foundation I needed to pursue my career as a birthworker. I will always consider my daughter's birth to be a defining moment in my life.


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