Evangeline's Birth Story: Part II
My midwife asked if I wanted her to check my dilation. I was concerned about the tub so I said sure. I was only five centimeters, so she suggested I labor outside of the tub again for a while. I got out and break time was over! I was doing all sorts of squatty, squirmy moving without thinking much. I was simply trying to get comfortable, but I couldn’t. Later my midwife told me that was exactly what I needed to be doing! The body truly is amazing and knows exactly what it needs to do. The tub was still getting warmer and had reached a perfect temperature, so I got in again. And again… my labor pretty well stopped. At almost five o’clock my midwife asked if I wanted another check. I was not even six centimeters yet. Now I was frustrated!
It had been over an hour and I was assured the last five centimeters went more quickly than the first but not even six yet?! Argh!! My midwife’s assistant kept reassuring me that the baby was really really low and I was almost completely effaced, which were both good signs. But I was not to be consoled. I was beginning to feel like this was never going to end. So my midwife offered to break my water and see if we could speed up the process. Yes please! Let’s get this over with!
Unfortunately I had to get out of the tub for this, but it was worth it I felt. I got out with the agreement that I wouldn’t get in again until I was ready to push; this way my labor would stop stopping. But after she broke my water the contractions were immediately more intense and way too close together. I asked to get back in the water, she told me to wait three more contractions. I could do three more, but after three I was right back in.
The water surely didn’t slow it down this time, but the weightlessness helped me get on top of the contractions. I felt like I could labor in any position and it was effortless to move around. Transition came very quickly. I felt a little panicky and was trying to find a way out of this! But there wasn’t… I kind of wanted to run out of the house and escape, but when I realized I would have to get out of the tub to do that I scratched the idea. Before long I felt my body starting to push on its own; I told my midwife that I was pushing and asked if it was ok; she assured me it was fine.
And then I definitely felt the I NEED TO PUSH NOW feeling. She checked me and said that I was 9.5 but there was nothing in the way of the baby coming out. I could feel her moving down the birth canal on her own and with the next contraction I made the effort to push. Her head crowned! I reached down and could feel her head. I told Jake to get in the birth tub so he could be there for the birth; I knew she was coming quickly. The funniest part of labor, I thought, was when Jake said “I think I feel it, but I’m not sure.” And my midwife responded, “It’s the part that’s not usually there.” I gave him a hard time about it afterwards. :)
I pushed again and her head came half way out. Jake and I were both surprised at how quickly that happened. I could have pushed more but I was afraid of tearing so I didn’t as much as I could have. There wasn’t much burning though; it was a lot easier than I had expected. And when I heard someone say that the head was half way out I figured it was only going to get better from there. I gave another great push and felt her head come all the way out. With a third push her body came out and I leaned back to bring her up to the surface of the water. She was all purple and waxy and the most beautiful thing I had ever seen! Jake and I stayed in the tub for a few minutes just admiring our little blessing. We were so enthralled we even forgot to check the gender until someone reminded us! We had a gorgeous baby girl.
After all the excitement had died down a bit, we transferred from the tub to the couch. I delivered the placenta and Daddy cut the cord, as I marveled at how bright and colorful it was! I had a lot of bleeding afterward, but nothing too major. We talked about the name and decided she definitely looked like an Evangeline. We named her about an hour after the birth. She recognized her Daddy’s voice immediately and calmed down whenever he sang to her; it was so sweet! Evie had spent a little too much energy breathing the first hour, so she was too tired to nurse. My midwife had me give her a little powdered sugar on my finger to stimulate nursing. It worked wonders! So her first food was powdered sugar. Boy are we in trouble!
We spent the rest of the evening cuddling and rejoicing. And also enjoying milkshakes and fries… hey I earned it right?
The two of us the night she was born.