Birth Story: “The Most Gratifying Moment of My Life”

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This blogging wonder mama’s birth story is one not to be missed! From her mantra of “loose on the top, loose on the bottom,” to her  beautifully-worded descriptions of labor and birth, this story is filled with gems!

Love,

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

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Family first{by Sarah A.}

I’m not going to bury the lede here — the arrival of Edwin was, to-date, the most gratifying moment of my life.

But I couldn’t have known that 24 hrs before his arrival. Twenty-four hours before, I was weary from an unshakable sinus infection. I couldn’t tell if my midwife’s suggestion to break my water the next morning (I was 40 weeks and 4 cm dilated) would relieve the stress of life at the moment, or add to it.

Knowing we wanted to labor with our midwife, Deb Stealey, my husband Chris and I decided to go for it.

The night before we broke my water, I continued the tradition from my first pregnancy of meeting my best friends for a steaming bowl of Pho* (Vietnamese cure-all soup) and got to bed early. (*I seriously swear by the stuff.)

The next morning at Abbott, we broke my water and with the encouragement of nurse Jessica and Deb, we got to gettin’!

“I don’t want you to shuffle the halls cooing at the nursery. I want you to WALK-walk!” Jessica said, swinging her arms with vigor.

first mamaAfter a couple hours of walking and talking and pausing and swaying and slow dancing in the halls – it was clear to Chris and I that the labor was really taking it’s course. I moved out of the public eye and hunkered down in the shower on the birthing ball with my husband showering me with what would be the first of many gallons of water.

With my face an inch from the tiled wall – support bars firmly in hand – I got my “Blooma on” and  swayed and blew each new contraction away; though not without doubts, fears and looming anxiety.

Our two mantras – “Loose on the top, loose on the bottom” and “as is on top, so is on bottom” constantly reminded me to keep my shoulders and jaw tension-free and my mind quiet.

It was after 45 mins in the shower (where little did I know – I had already done my hardest work) I said – “I don’t think I can tolerate this anymore.”

“Good,” said Midwife Deb. “That means we’re getting somewhere!” She checked my progress for the first time and after three hours of laboring – I was already at 8 cm! My wonderful team was praising me -” You’ve got this!” and I knew that if I’d come this far – I could go all the way.

first lookDeb suggested the water birth we’d planned on and I said let’s get in there.

I had to move to the tub room across the hall – but didn’t feel compelled to dolly myself up for occasion. I staggered across the hall wrapped in nothing but a blanket. Like a scene from Thriller, I felt like a laboring, toga-wearing zombie! The looks on the nurse’s faces read, “We’ve got a live one!”

In a moment of brilliance – the hubs thought to bring my birthing playlist and speakers into the water-birth room.  For me, the bath and the music were a tipping point. I went into a mindspace, that for me, was a direct link to the divine.

I want to pause here to address the music. For me, music is my “it thing” – always has been. And I was embarrassed about bringing the docking station to the hospital. But to those reading this – I say – integrate what works for you into your labor. You favorite pair of cozy sock may be just the creature-comfort you need to power through!

Back to the birth, I know this is a wild thing to say, but water was my medicine during this labor.  Forty-five minutes in the tub – where I was able to glide from one position to another – allowed me to follow my intuition, stay comfortably when I needed to focus and move when I needed to move.

I felt my angels in the room (Chris, Deb and Jessica) literally and figuratively pouring over me. And I felt my angels above guiding myself and Eddie through the final stages of his birth.

one week oldTaking cues from my body – and gentle affirmations from Deb and my husband – I pushed when the time felt right. Chris would later say these final moments in the tub were like peering into a fountain for coins. It was all very soft around the edges,  but clear enough to fully witness the big moment.

Deb asked if I was ready to meet my child and I reached down and pulled my little sweetheart up to my chest. We didn’t know his gender yet – but I knew it was Eddie just by seeing his face. He was born after 11 a.m. at 7 lbs 14 oz on November 29, 2012.

I exclaimed “That was the best experience of my life!” – though Chris and Deb would tell you this statement (and the entire labor) were far more profanity-laced.

And as for the sinus infection … what sinus infection?

*{A little note from Blooma: We joyfully share birth stories sent to us by Blooma families, however, Blooma does not claim responsibility for and does not endorse individual choices made by families or their care providers. We seek to share an array of birth stories to showcase a wide range of experiences.}

Family of 4 with sister Eleanor 2

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One Response to “Birth Story: “The Most Gratifying Moment of My Life””

  1. caringdoula Says:

    Beautiful pictures, congratulations!

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