Sofia’s birth was a beautiful thing.
Yes, I know every birth is beautiful, but I had no idea what a transforming experience it would be until I went through labor myself. It was the hardest, most amazing, and most terrifying experiences of my life!
I have been having a lot of dreams about the birth, and as I sit here typing it out I am remembering each detail so vividly that it’s like I can feel the contractions again.
A woman’s body works so perfectly to bring life into the world. After the birth I sat there staring at her, sobbing, just in awe of this little person that we made!
So, here goes the birth story you all have been waiting for 😉
December 5, 2018, 8:00am
Contractions woke me up, and I realized that they had been going on for awhile, probably since before 6am. I didn’t get excited about it because I had already had 3 intense practice labors and I didn’t want to get my hopes up. It was already two days after my due date but I kept telling myself that I still had a few more days to go.
They kept going all day, staying about the same. Luke was hurrying to finish painting the bathroom floor so that we could get the washer and dryer back in there, so we could wash all the sheets and everything after the birth, in case I really was in labor. He is such a good husband! 🙂
I didn’t even tell anyone, even my midwife, Sandhano, that I was still having contractions until that afternoon. I didn’t want to have another false alarm. When I did finally tell her around, she said that it sounded like early labor, and then at that point I couldn’t help but start to get excited!
I practiced breathing through the contractions and relaxing my whole body. Even though they weren’t very bad yet, I wanted to be practiced up for when they got intense. I visualized an ocean wave surging up with my contraction, peaking, and then flowing back down.
I texted Sandhano again around 9pm to say that they were getting bad enough that she could start heading down, and she got here around 10:30pm. When she arrived and got all unpacked she checked to see how dilated I was and said I was 5cm dialated, 100% effaced, and the baby is at 0 station.
So we settled in on the couch with my tv show and Luke went to try to get some sleep before the transition. I tried to sleep a little but they were getting too painful to get relaxed enough to sleep.
I was in transition and called for Luke to wake up because I needed some moral support. After this point I lost all sense of time. The contractions were too intense for me to relax at all and I was having a really difficult time not panicking and just breathing through the surges.
Luke and Sandhano started filling up the birth pool. It seemed like it took forever for it to finally be ready. And once I got in it felt so nice! I was in there for maybe 15 minutes and suddenly the sides of the pool begin to sag. We realized that our cat Suki, who had been playing under the tarp on the floor snagged the pool and popped it!
Man, is she lucky she’s cute!
So the two of them had to quickly bail all the water out of the pool with 5 gallon buckets before it all leaked out onto the floor!
I just went and sat on the couch and labored there for awhile, and tried to ignore the chaos.
I moved from the couch to our bed and Sandhano checked me again and I was at 9cm. But I was getting so tired that we decided to break my water so that it would start progressing faster. After she broke my water the pushing contractions started. But since I wasn’t totally dilated she had to reach in and pull my cervix out of the way with each push.
It took me a little while to figure out exactly where to push to get the most effect. And it was so painful! During each contraction I felt like I was dying. And after each one I was positive that I couldn’t do it again. But then another one would come and I would have to.
I was laying on my side on our bed for the first while. When I would feel a contraction starting I would yell for help and Luke would help me hold my upper leg up higher so that my pelvis could open up.
Before the labor I was sure I could handle the pain just fine. I’ve always handled pain really well, I kind of freeze and just focus really hard and get really quiet. But nope, I am apparently not one of those “dignified” birthers. I’m surprised that I didn’t wake everyone in the neighborhood up with my screaming! After each contraction I would fall asleep from exhaustion! I was even having dreams about contractions!
Eventually I decided I wanted to change position (even though I was terrified to move) and we came out to the living room and I labored on the birth stool in front of the couch for a long time.
If I reached down I could feel the top of her head coming out with the contraction, but then the contraction would end and it would suck back inside! It was so frustrating! I felt like I wasn’t progressing at all! I kept asking Sandhano “how much longer?” Even though I knew she couldn’t tell me that. And she would say “not too much longer”. Then I would say “you said that last time I asked!!” Haha
Then all the sudden with one extra painful contraction, where I could feel things tearing, I felt her head be born! (Afterwards Luke told me that when he saw her head come out, all he could think was “I can’t believe that fit through there!!!” Hahaha) Then the next surge came, and nothing happened. Her shoulders were stuck! So Sandhano reached in and helped her a little, and when her shoulders came out it dislocated my tailbone (which was apparently bent the wrong way from a horse training accident a few years ago, so Sofia fixed it!).
And then there she was! All bloody and gooey and finally there in my arms! I just stared at her and cried! And Luke cried. I couldn’t believe that she was here and all that pain was over! That was at 6:15am…I was shocked to find out that I had been in labor for 24 hours and just in the pushing stage for a little over 3 hours! When you’re in labor you don’t have any sense of time or of how long each stage is.
Then Luke cut the cord and a little while later the placenta was born. It was amazing to see that organ that had been keeping Sofia so healthy for 9 months!
Luke and Sandhano helped me stand up so I could move to the bed, but as soon as I stood, blood started gushing out, and we realized I was hemorrhaging. So they helped me back down and Sandhano pressed really hard on my stomach to make my uterus contract to stop the bleeding. She also put a pill in and gave me a shot in the leg. While all that was happening I offered Sofia the breast and she just latched right on and it was perfect!
The bleeding finally stopped and I was able to move to the bed. Luke held Sofia, who was still wrapped in heating pads. Sandhano checked me and found three tears, so she sewed me back up. That was really not fun because I hate needles with a passion!!
Sandhano took her measurements, got her dressed and cleaned up the birth mess, then left the three of us to take a nap. I could hardly sleep because I was so excited and happy that she was here! It was like I got a boost of adrenaline after the birth. I managed to get an hour of sleep though, I had been awake for 27 hours after all!
The three of us came out to the living room and just relaxed and basked in the joy of having our daughter here finally!
I’m still recovering but we are both doing really well! It was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it was so worth it!