My beautiful Marcella was born in the early morning hours on a Spring morning. This is her story.
I awoke Saturday morning at 4am, March 21, 2009 to a trickle of water. My husband, Josh, wanted to call the midwife but I assured him labor had not begun.
We went back to sleep and woke up around 8am and called the midwife. Per her instructions, we headed over to the birth center a couple hours later.
The midwife gave me a strip to check the fluid and it was indeed amniotic fluid. We left to do some walking around and get some lunch since labor had not started yet.
Around 2 pm the midwife recommended we go home and get some rest since I was still not in labor. After a couple stops (one for Red Raspberry leaf tea), we went home and did just that.
Around 7pm, I went and laid down. Contractions had begun. I had remembered from my Bradley Childbirth classes that if the contractions fade out after a bath, it isn’t real labor yet. So my mom got the tub ready for me. The water felt wonderful. My mom gave me her chicken and rice soup prepared especially for my labor. The contractions were still coming so we called the midwife and headed back to the birth center around 8:30pm.
I labored for awhile before getting into the tub since I was only 2cm when I arrived. When I was finally able to get in the tub, it was instant relief! I had no concept of passing of time or anything else. I mostly had my eyes closed and was focused within during my labor. I tried with every contraction to relax my whole body and just let it float in the water. Josh and my mom were helping me by rubbing my arms, legs, putting a cool cloth on my face, reminding me to relax, etc. and that really helped.
At some point my mom put in my Hypnobirthing Relaxation CD’s which really helped me relax. A couple times I actually slept through some of the contractions because I was so relaxed.
There were times were I would start to panic and tense up, but my mom or Josh would remind me to let go and relax into my contraction.
Finally I started to feel the urge to push. The midwife checked me and informed me all that was left was a little bit of the cervical lip, and I had made great progress. She said I could start pushing and she would move the lip with each push.
I never actually went through transition and thankfully when it was time to push I got more time before each contraction came. I pushed for 45 minutes.
Finally her head came out and I could feel that if I gave one more push, she would be out! Then there she was swimming in the water!! I was absolutely amazed! I could not believe that she was real and she was here! My mom said the look on my face was priceless and she wished she had a picture of it. I looked at Josh and said, “She’s perfect.” They put her on my chest right away and I held her and it was amazing! Both my mom and Josh were crying.
We got the first hour alone with her on my chest (although the midwives were there) and it went by like it was 5 minutes. During this time the midwives were trying to stop my bleeding. Up until this point, my birth had been everything I had hoped for. I had a natural, drug free labor and my little girl was strong and healthy with no complications.
Things started to get bad when they started to move me. I remember nothing. I passed out and lost a lot of blood I’m told. Josh said I started having a seizure in his arms. He started moving me over to the bed, and I woke up and saw his face and was really confused. I asked him where I was. I had no memory for a second of just having a baby. They put me back on the bed and I saw that everyone was really concerned. I remember being confused and scared.
Once at the hospital, I was stitched up and my hemoglobin was checked. They had told me I could be released once my hemoglobin level was up around 8 (it was 7 when I arrived), and I was able to get up and move around. Later that afternoon it was 6 so they recommended a blood transfusion of 2 pints to get my level back up to 8. I had to stay the night for the transfusion.
Sometime twice in the middle of the night they came and drew my blood again to check my hemoglobin. I remember at one point begging them not to stick me again.
My hemoglobin had only reached a 7 after the transfusions, but I was able to walk around so they consented to my being released. I was so ready to leave even though I had only had my daughter the day before. The hospital staff were wonderful, but I just wanted to be well again and get to know my lovely daughter without interruption.
My birth was a dream up until it wasn’t, but when remembering I focus on the beauty.
This post was submitted by guest blogger Julia Mangan, as part of our Every Mother Counts Birth Story Series. This post is edited from a previous post published on her blog, A Little Bit of All of It.