Birth of Isla Olive
I was 14 days past my due date feeling enormous, like I would be pregnant forever. We walked every night in hopes of starting labor. My midwife had me taking lots and lots of essential fatty acids to help ripen my cervix while also recommending I now take herbs to help stimulate labor to begin. I had a bottle of castor oil on deck, just in case. But, I really did not like that idea at all. April 15, I started to feel a little cramping around 11 pm. I went to sleep hoping that this was the night.
I woke up with contractions around 2:30AM. I knew this was the real thing and I was so ready! I let Adam sleep while I downloaded a contraction timer on my phone which told me my contractions were close enough together to
call my midwife. I woke Adam up to tell him we would be meeting our little girl soon. He had work to do, filling the birthing tub, calling his mom, and calling our photographer friend. I then called my midwife, she called her assistant, who showed up about 30 minutes later. She helped me with different movements to open and try to get comfortable. She applied a hot compress to my lower back which really helped. Adam filled the birthing tub, which seemed to take forever. The contractions were getting really intense. I used a birthing ball to try to get into a comfortable position and tried some different movements to help open.
As my labor advanced and my cervix dilated, I experienced some nausea and vomiting. My midwife arrived and checked my cervix. She said I could get into the water. I felt instant relief as soon as I got in the birthing tub. After that, I went into a trance. I went deep within myself like I had never been before. I felt like I was in the middle of the ocean riding ferocious waves, yet I was peaceful. When a contraction would come, I breathed deep and rode it out. I was in a deep state of meditation. Adam was outside the tub, right behind me, encouraging me to dig deep. As intense as the contractions were at times, I never once thought that I could not handle the pain. I never wanted drugs or a hospital. I enjoyed the peace and comfort of my home and select people who made our birth so special. I loved being able to drink water, eat spoonful of honey for energy, and get in and out of the birthing tub as I desired. I labored on and off the toilet which helped my labor progress. I appreciated the privacy my midwife gave me. She was so unobtrusive, giving me all the time and space I needed and she was so supportive and encouraging.
I started pushing around 10:00 AM. My midwife recommended I use a labor chair. That seemed to help a lot. My final birthing position was on my knees holding onto the door knob for leverage as suggested by my midwife. It
seemed to work, my baby girl decided it was time to greet us. She needed a little assistance. My midwife got a hold of her shoulder and helped her out. At 11:30 Am, April 16, we met our sweet pudgy little Isla Olive. They examined her and she weighed in at 10 pounds 8 oz. I was so shocked to give birth naturally to such a big baby girl! I know if I had been in a hospital, I would not have been allowed to experience a natural un-medicated birth. I would have most likely had a cesarean. Instead, I got back into the warm water and nursed my new baby girl. Sushi was on the way! I could not wait to sink my teeth into a rainbow roll.
I was never so elated. I was in a state of disbelief. We made a baby. What an amazing, wonderful, miraculous moment. Having a home birth was the best decision I ever made. Our midwife was truly amazing. I trusted her completely, and even more importantly I trusted myself. Women have been birthing babies out of the hospital up until quite recently (1950′s). I felt a deep connection with myself and to all women. I hope if my Isla Olive ever becomes a mama, she gets to experience such a perfect and peaceful birth.
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