By Jennifer S.
In honor of Caleb’s first birthday today, here is his birth story. It is always an honor to be present at any birth, but the birth of a first baby always feels especially triumphant. Happy Birthday Caleb! And happy birthing day to you, Jennifer!
I started having menstrual like cramps on Thursday morning, February 16th, two days before my due date. Not much else happened the rest of the day, and I only noticed a little bit of blood and mucus until Friday morning. Around 3am on the 17th, I woke up to go to the bathroom and that’s when I lost my mucus plug. Later on that morning I started to feel what I thought were actual contractions. Turns out they were, but I was only feeling them every 30 – 45 mins at most. My husband came home from work and we got the rest of what we needed, including some groceries from the store, and headed to my in-laws home to prepare for the birth of our son! We got there around 4pm that afternoon. I had called the midwife earlier in the day to let her know that things were starting to happen.
Saturday morning comes around and I had taken some calcium/magnesium supplements to help me sleep but I was waking up every 20 minutes or so with a contraction. They continued at the same pace until about 1am on Sunday morning, the 19th. My husband and I kept in touch with Aly every hour until about 4am when she and Sky started heading our way. By that time my contractions were getting a lot stronger and were 3-5 mins apart. Aly and Sky were both at the house before 5am and got busy warming up the birthing tub. To my disappointment, my contractions decided to slow down during all of the commotion so Aly suggested I go sit on the toilet for a while. That turned out to be a very good idea as my contractions picked up and got stronger and closer than before.
As soon as the tub was filled with hot water, I was more than ready to get into it. Being in the water felt amazing. Very soon after getting into the tub, I felt my water break. It was like a small explosion! I’m not sure exactly how much time went by, but it seemed like I was ready to push in no time after getting into the tub. The pushing proved to be a LOT of work. My husband, Aly, and Sky were all making sure I was drinking and eating to keep up what little strength I had left, as I was very tired from not getting much sleep the past two days. The pushing lasted a few hours, but seemed to go by quickly until the end. I would give a few good pushes, then have to stop, catch my breath, and start again. I tried several positions, and the last one proved to work quite well. Squatting towards the side of the tub, leaning slightly backwards, and holding onto my husband’s hands, I was able to use all of my remaining strength to push Caleb out completely! Though his head had been birthed a few minutes before the rest of his body, his heart rate stayed steady during the entire labor. Caleb was born at 9:27am, perfectly healthy and very calm. Just five short hours after the midwives arrived, I had my baby boy in my arms! It was the most incredible thing I have ever gone through. And I did it all without pain killers, and had no tearing!
I did not experience my labor as that painful. More than anything, I felt that it was simply a lot of pressure, and a lot of hard work. The entire experience was better than I had imagined it would be. I’m sure it helped that I had a good perspective on childbirth from the beginning. That it is natural, and that women were MADE for it.