The days leading to the birth of Fiddle became more exciting with each one drawing closer. Overall pregnancy was a wonderful and very joyful time. There was a brief period of uneasiness at the beginning. Including a couple of months of pregnancy nausea, then Jeremiah and I were confronted with quite a bit of discouragement from family members who were “concerned” over our decision to have a home birth. After many lectures and horror stories of pregnancy and birth I began to research the matter more thoroughly.
To my comfort I was reassured that the decision to have a totally natural birth at home was the safest and best choice for our family. I was also grateful that Jeremiah was my main source of encouragement and support. So with that in mind we continued on our journey towards a beautiful and new phase in our lives, parenthood. The next step we took was to look for midwives in our area. Soon we found Beth who instantly became our match. She was very knowledgeable, gentle, sweet and had an encouraging view of pregnancy and birth. The months certainly went by fast. It was 5 weeks before Fiddle’s birth, when I started to have some mild contractions intensifying each week.
Then on June 21st about 9 in the evening the contractions changed into a consistent rhythmic movement . I felt labor was beginning but decided to be quiet, not telling anyone in case I was wrong. I went to sleep and awoke a few hours later to some wetness and even stronger contractions. My water hadn’t broke, but there was a slight leakage of amniotic fluid tainted in blood that quickly stopped.
Beth told me later that sometimes the amniotic sack will get a small tear towards the top and seal up later. There wasn’t any question now. I knew it was labor. I then started to time my contractions which were about 5 minutes apart and waited a while before calling Beth. When I did she arrived quickly.
Jeremiah was still sound asleep when I calmly greeted her in. She commented that I seemed like I wasn’t too far along due to my disposition. To our surprise, she checked to find I was dilated to 5cm. “Wow!” I thought, “This is great! Labor isn’t too bad!” After Beth examined me she decided to go home to get some rest since it was 3 in the morning and suggested I do the same. It was uncomfortable but I managed to get a couple hours of sleep.
My mom came over early and we all started to prepare for the birth. Jeremiah and I went for a couple of walks around the block and around 7:30am Beth and Liz, her apprentice, arrived.
Everyone was cool and casual except my mom whose hands were sweaty because she was so nervous. Beth examined me and found I had dilated to 7cm. She estimated that the baby might arrive before lunch. With everything progressing so smoothly we all figured that’s what would probably happen.
We didn’t know how wrong that would be. That morning we all hung out and talked. We listen to some songs and Jeremiah even played some music for me on his guitar and I felt really good. During a contraction I would just fall into it and sometimes close my eyes, releasing any intensity in my body. I thought it was neat to feel my uterus really at work.
Later I dilated to 9cm and that’s when my things seemed to stall. Hours went by and I was still at 9cm. I was experiencing stronger contractions and I continued to relax into each one but my body appeared to be on hold. I became a little discouraged so I decided to go on more walks and also tried to loosen up on the bed. Jeremiah was by my side all the way and my mom was also close by. During a tough contraction Jeremiah would softly caress me and remind me to relax. Then he would start to count and by the time he reached 2 or 3 I was like pudding.
Later that afternoon I started to feel really nauseated. I remembered reading about the correlation between the mouth and cervix. So with little effort I let myself throw up. Unfortunately that only made me feel more exhausted since I was running on less energy than before. Much later we decided to break the amniotic sack to help quicken labor. I was intentionally ignoring the time but it felt like an hour passed before they said I was fully dilated.
The next stage was the most surprising of all to me. I waited for my body’s cue and some sort of an urge to push but no such thing happened. I was really confused. Beth rechecked me and said that I was actually at 9 1/2 cm. She said that the position of the baby’s head was pressed against my cervix in such a way that it was stalling the dilation.
She wasted no time and manually pushed opened my cervix the rest of the way. She also started to forcefully stimulate the birth canal to help with contractions. I then began pushing, still not quit sure when to do it. I imagined the urge to push would be more abrupt but I just felt like I was constipated and had an overdue BM.
I moved into a few different positions on the bed. I ended up staying with the squatting position on the floor which seemed to be the most helpful. Pushing was a lot of work and I felt like I was burning up. They kept lowing the temperature and I kept telling them to lower it more. Jeremiah was a sweetheart and was softly damping my head with a cool wet rag.
So an hour went by fast and I realized I had started to hold back. So with all my energy left I gave into each push. Fiddle was soon born and we were both wrapped in a blanket.
With total disbelief I looked down at such a wonderful prize and said,”It’s a girl!” June 23, 2009, 12:58 am, 7lbs 4oz, 20 1/4 in long and 22 hours of active labor. At the end I experienced slight hemorrhaging and also needed a few stitches both of which were taken care of immediately.
Fiddle’s head had been turned at an angle during delivery and she had a little bruising not to mention a tilted shaped cone-head. I would describe my labor as a completely amazing experience with like most good things it entailed hard work. I thank the Lord how wonderfully he has made us and equipped to experience such sweet things.