22.Feb.2010 Becky’s Birth Story

I started getting contractions Saturday night around 10 PM. Knowing that they were not evenly spaced I tried to go to sleep, but could not because of the pain. As the night progressed, the contractions did not let up. So, I decided to get up and time them. They seemed to be coming about every eight minutes. After much hesitation and thumbing through various birthing guides, I finally opted to call Stacey. Her advice was to take a bath and call her back if the contractions continued the same. The bath brought much relief from the pain and I was able to get some rest through much milder contractions. The sound of the alarm clock signaled Chris to get ready for work, and I told him about my restless night. Although my contractions were bearable, I felt that they could change at any moment. I checked in with Stacey who directed Chris to stay home from work and me to get lots of rest and eat well. I stayed in bed as long as I could, and my contractions continued throughout the morning.

My sister was to arrive at the airport that afternoon, and I arranged for her to be picked up by a friend. I was sure that the baby would come by the afternoon. However, when Mary arrived around 3:30 PM, the contractions continued without much progression. We decided to go on an excursion to the grocery store. I was itching to get out of the house. It seemed that the trip caused the contractions to become more painful. As we loaded into the Volkswagen Bus, I knew that it was not going to be a comfortable ride. With every bump, I felt a pain in my uterus, and my attitude toward my company became cranky and short. While walking through the store, I had to stop with each pang of pain and let it pass before I could walk on. The short trip to pick out a few of my favorite foods seemed like an eternity as we passed from the dairy section to the cracker aisle to the countless bottles of wine. Should we get the Spanish or the Australian? I don’t give a shit!

Finally, we were on our way. When we arrived home, I felt hopeless. Was this baby ever going to come? I called Stacey and relayed the details to her. Because the contractions were not consistent, she told me again to wait a little longer. I felt that each contraction required my complete focus to breathe through it. I ventured up to my bedroom where I could be alone. While Mary and Chris tried continually to help me, the most I would let them do was bring me drinks. If they remained in my presence as a contraction approached, I quickly directed them out of the room. I brought my focus to my breath and to releasing my fear and my instinct to clench up. At some point my sister brought to my attention one of the affirmations which I had learned from Hypnobirthing: “My body remains still and limp and relaxed.” I began to focus on becoming “limp.” Each time a contraction came I would repeat this word in my head and try to locate and release any tension I found in my body. The pain was incredible-more than I had ever anticipated, but I knew that it would not last forever, and soon I would meet my beautiful baby.

The timing of the contractions continued to show no obvious pattern, but their intensity grew. I drank a glass of wine hoping that it would relax me. Shortly after, I threw up the wine and my dinner as the pain became nauseating. We finally decided that it was time to call Stacey again. At once she determined that she better come.

I then moved onto the floor and hugged the yoga ball as I went deeper into myself and my labor. I am not sure how much time had passed, but suddenly I distinctly felt my baby’s head move down. The next two contractions gave me a strong urge to push, but I held back hoping that Stacey would soon arrive. Fortunately, Stacey and Tiffany (her assistant) appeared in the doorway…just in time. I moved downstairs to the birthing tub, got undressed and climbed in. My mind had entered another state void of space and time. I remember the room being quite dark before I closed my eyes and began pushing. The music in the background was soothing, and it helped me to remain focused.

Although I had spent many months researching and preparing for the birth it was not at all what I expected. The pain was unbelievable. With each contraction I felt the baby move down, and my voice made sounds without my control. Stacey coached me through and directed me to make deep sounds and to keep my chin down. So, I focused on growling from the depths of my stomach with each push. From some distant place on the other side of the room, I heard my husband chuckle as I growled.

The bag of waters broke like a water balloon popping out of me. I cried out in surprise. I continued pushing. With each contraction the head would move down. At the end of each contraction the head would then slip back. It seemed that this dance would go on forever…back and forth, back and forth, but Stacey’s encouragement kept me focused, and I knew I would soon meet my baby after all the months of not knowing her but feeling so close to her.

Finally, the head emerged completely, and with the next contraction the body slipped out! I again heard my husband’s chuckle as I caught her and rushed her out of the water. Reality settled in as the lights came on to reveal a baby in my arms. My mind and body were filled with exhaustion and bewilderment as I clutched the new naked body in my arms. Soon I came to my senses and was overjoyed to find out that I held a safe and healthy baby girl-with an unexpected head full of dark brown hair!

Rhea Jade

Great Hair, Rhea!

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