Lacey Rose ~ October 5, 2011 ~ 7:25 am ~ 8 lbs 1 oz ~ solo unassisted homebirth
People always say that every labour and birth is different and I always agreed. There were definite variations between my other 3 births but Lacey’s birth was weird….but still oh so very beautiful and incredibly empowering and faith affirming! It wasn’t really that bad of a birth but I get my head wrapped around ideas and then I can’t think my way out! A wonderful trusted friend and midwife recommended a herbal tincture called “gentle birth” to me. It was a concoction of herbs meant to be taken in the last 5 weeks of pregnancy to help produce and quick and easy labour with less pain. Of course, I tried to tell myself repeatedly that this may not happen but my mind is a powerfully treacherous place! I took the tincture and as promised had an increased amount of Braxton hicks style contractions throughout the 5 weeks leading up to my due date. That date came and went leaving my confidence about my due date (set by me, in accordance to my charting dates) shaken as I went on to be 8 days late. This day I took some more drastic measures and employed some labour promoting activities. The next day I began to see some “show” and got incredibly hopeful. Still more “show” coming on Tuesday (10 days past my EDD) but no contractions yet. Discouraged, I decided to distract myself. I took my 3 children (aged 5.5yrs, 4yrs, and 22 months) to town. My confidence as a mother was restored and I had a fun day as we went to Wal-Mart, Dollarama, McDonald’s and Superstore! All without any major meltdowns, fighting or temper tantrums! (from kids OR mom!) At home while cooking supper I noticed that those cramps I’d been having were a little more intense and coming every 5 mins! This was around 4pm Tuesday. My hubby came home and we ate supper, then went to go vote in our local elections. By 7pm, they were definitely contractions and I was super excited!!! Aaron put the kids to bed around 8 while I jumped into our nice deep jetted bathtub. I stayed there for a couple hours with the pains progressing nicely in intensity and strength coping beautifully mostly by just breathing and enjoying the water. I THOUGHT this was going to go quickly! I was praying and thanking God for His blessings and for helping me cope so well.
Fast forward a few more hours and you will see a much less confident woman with a lot less thankfulness and a lot more pleading in her prayers! I was feeling very exhausted and starting to question myself incredibly! It was around 2am and I was wondering what the hold up was. As far as I could figure, I’d been in active labour for at least 7 hrs and my other kids had all been born after about 8 hrs of active labour! This meant that the tincture was useless and what was worse, it didn’t seem that her arrival was imminent! I had asked Aaron to check me (again, I hated being checked by my midwives, but I really don’t find my husband’s checking uncomfortable in any way) and he felt that I was making progress but couldn’t really judge in centimetres because the bag of water was bulging through my cervix. I begged him to break it! Thinking to other people’s birth stories where this would “speed things along”. Knowing full well that I normally wouldn’t be comfortable intervening in the birth process at all, my sweetie talked me out of my foolish thought. Then I began begging to go to the hospital for an epidural so that I could sleep and heck, while we’re there lets just have a c-section and get her out!!! Aaron sweetly suggested that maybe I was in transition? I laughed at him for his ridiculous thought as it did not feel as though this child was anywhere near exiting my body! Then, my next paranoia hit as I felt for her head… what if she’s transverse?? That’s it! She’s sideways lying across my womb and will NEVER come out! Once again, give Aaron a trophy for somehow convincing me to stay home… yet again. What would I have done without him?
3 am now and suddenly it was like everything just slowed down. I could’ve cried. I thought, my labour has STALLED! Now what do I do? I prayed and prayed through all of this begging God to help me and to deliver this baby. Expressing my great inability to continue on with this labour. My wise and humble husband suggested, “honey, why don’t you try to sleep between the contractions?” So I tried, although I wouldn‘t call it sleep exactly I did stay in bed and rest between contractions. This was when my sweetie fell asleep next to me while rubbing my back. 6am, and I HAD to get up! The contractions were finally full force again and barely a break between them! I felt like squatting. I came to my living room couch to use for support and realized that my body was bearing down a bit. I kept squatting by my couch until my legs were shaking and my body was weak and tingling. It was around 7am, I decided I needed the support of my toilet to continue on with this! As soon as I got on there, I decided to bear down with one of these contractions and my water broke!!! I felt for her head, and sure enough it was just a few inches away! I prayed to God to help me breath between the contractions so as not to injure my abs like I had done with lil Wesley’s birth. But I pushed with all my might during each and every contraction!
Finally, after about half an hour of pushing I delivered my sweet baby girl! She started to make noise right away and was a beautiful shade of pink almost immediately! My bathtub was still warm from my last soak and I jumped in to rinse us both off, yelling for Aaron to wake up (he’s a pretty sound sleeper to have not heard me growling through all that pushing!) Finally, Lacey let out a really solid cry rather than her cute little squawks and he came running in! Excitedly saying “oh good, she’s finally here!” I asked him the time, 7:25am. He quickly sprang into action passing me a receiving blanket and getting me a towel to help me out of the tub. Danielle woke up and started following me around excitedly holding her new sister’s hand! I plunked down on a couple chux pads on the couch and tried to nurse Lacey, her cord was a little short to get her into a comfortable position so I just kept her skin to skin and sent Danielle to find a baby hat. After delivering the placenta, answering all of Jack’s questions about blood and umbilical cords, I cut the cord, dressed her and finally was able to nurse her about 8:30am. Wow, what a labour and what a beautiful girl God gave me!
I must say that I don’t really think this labour would have been that terribly difficult if not for having had my mind thinking “quick and easy labour and delivery” I imagine that herbal tinctures to aid labour may work well for other women but I think the psychological damage of such a promise was absolutely hideous for me! Over all, I was able to continually recommit myself to trusting God throughout this process and delivered a healthy baby girl! Thanks be to God for His many blessings!