Thank you so much to Mama Lilly for sharing her beautiful birth story with us! I am so inspired by your story!
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Since over 16 months have passed since Aileen was born in order to give a clear picture of my birth story I decided to copy my journal entry about the experience. I added a few parenthetical notes to clarify. -Lilly
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Aileen was born yesterday! On Monday (6/18) evening I started to have some irregular contractions. By midnight I was pretty sure it was the start of labor, so I went to bed to try to get as much sleep as possible.
By 4AM, now 6/19, I couldn’t sleep through the contractions, so I woke Nicholas up. The contractions were about 5 minutes apart, but short. We took a shower and Nicholas gave me a blessing (a blessing is when an elder in the Mormon church places their hands on someone’s head and says an inspired prayer). In it I was told to have patience, to rely on my mom, to pray throughout labor, and that while my pain wouldn’t be taken away I would have the Spirit.
We called the doula, Bryn, and my mom. Bryn came about 6:15AM and my doula arrived shortly after. My mom got a flat tire on the way! Originally, I was going to have my mom in reserve or in the other room waiting for when I was pushing (since Nicholas was going to catch the baby I wanted someone up by my head when the baby was born), but after the blessing I decided to have her with me throughout.
God knew what He was talking about. I really did need her presence. She completed my team: Bryn was my expert, she had knowledge and advice, Nicholas was my timekeeper and partner, then there was my mom who did a little of everything. She read to me, did chores, rubbed my back, and just sent her clam vibes. I definitely prayed and had the Spirit through contractions.
My progress was slow. My contractions would be long and further apart or short and close together. At 7PM we went to the midwifery. By this time things were getting intense and I was ready for go time. I also felt a little nauseous, so I didn’t want to eat anymore. It turns out I was only 5cm dilated and Aileen was in the anterior instead of posterior position, which is why progress was slow. She told me to go home and do pelvic rocks and lean off the sofa to get the baby to move. It was so hard. She also said progress would be slow because the positioning and Aileen might not be born until 6AM or later the next day. This was a scary idea because the contractions were so bad all I could so was count breaths to relax.
None of the imagery worked anymore. Also they were now less than 3 minutes apart and longer and longer than 1 minute each. I wasn’t discouraged because I remembered the blessing said to have patience. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I knew I could. After I did the exercises at home the midwife called with a new plan. She was worried that if this pace kept up and I didn’t get rest I wouldn’t be able to deliver Aileen in the morning and I would have to go to the hospital. She came over to my house and gave me 3 bags of IV fluid to give me energy and to slow contractions and then gave me a sedative. It was weird because I could feel the contractions and sleep at the same time. She told us all to sleep. This was sometime between 8 and 9PM. It was supposed to last for about 5 hours.
At a little before midnight I woke up from contractions where I also felt the urge to push. Nicholas called the midwife and she told us to wait to go to the birth center at the midwifery until after she got there. It was the hardest wait of my life. When we got there it was go time. Pushing was weird. I still had the sedative in my system, so I couldn’t keep my eyes open and I half fell asleep between contractions. I was in my own world and really nothing existed outside my body. I trusted everyone there and let them help me, but half the time I didn’t know who was doing what. I knew Nicholas was there.
I pushed in the water for an hour then finished pushing while laying on my side. My tailbone hurt and I didn’t want to be on it. I didn’t push that long. At 1:58AM Aileen was born and we didn’t get to the midwifery until 12:15 or so. I wish I could have seen Nicholas deliver her, but at the time the only thing that existed was the pushing. That is the one thing that I missed. They put Aileen on my tummy and it was perfect. Nicholas laid down next to me and we were a family. I was very tired and shaky. We just wanted to take her home. We were supposed to get an hour of uninterrupted time together, but after a while we got the midwife so she could finish the tests and we could be home together. Nicholas took Aileen and I was cleaned up, then we left. We got home and put Aileen in bed by 4:30AM- her first nights sleep was at home.
I love her.
I love my family.
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Since I am now expecting another beautiful baby it is nice to see how positive I was about the experience right after she was born. So often when women get together and swap birth stories it is all about the hard stuff. We swap horror stories. The things that now, over a year later, I complain about [mainly how miserable I was on the car ride to the birth center while trying not to push] wasn’t even important enough to me at the time to include in my journal entry! I think I should try to share the positive, spiritual, and powerful birth story I actually had and shared the day after Aileen was born. – Lilly
- Kelly’s Birth Story: An At-Home Water Birth (kindacrunchy.com)
- When midwives are midwifed (maternalmatters.wordpress.com)