We all were quite tired though and so after a couple of hours, everyone laid down for some needed rest. This little amount of rest really helped, although it was hard to sleep through the contractions. The whole time I had Britton by my side. He was such an invaluable support. He made a huge difference in every way. I honestly couldn’t have done what I did without him right there. I am incredibly blessed and such a lucky woman. (For the record we have documented proof of the lapse of time. Britton set up our brand new HD camcorder and took some time-lapsed footage). Things continued to progress and the morning came. Labor was hard and painful and to be perfectly honest, I progressed much slower than I wanted to. That was one of the more difficult parts about the whole thing. Our birth plan dictated that there were to be minimal checks and Melody was great about honoring that request, but hours into labor, there were things that we needed to know- just to gauge the progress and to move forward. It wasn’t fun hearing that 12 hours of contractions had only put me to a 5. But I pushed through it and tried to focus even more on my hypnobirthing relaxation techniques and visualizations. I knew that my cervix could open more and wondered if my aversion to the pain and discomfort was holding me back. So I focused more and moved into the birth tub. Labor picked up from there and before I knew it I was at a 7... then an 8 and then a 9. By this point, Britton had moved into the tub with me and Melody had shown him how he could reach up and feel our baby’s head. While up there, they actually helped try to stretch me during my contractions. This was a painful addition to the throbbing of my uterine muscles, but it seemed to be making a difference.
Britton was such a solid support. I know that I’ve written that multiple times already but I really can’t say it enough. He helped me breathe through all of the contractions with coaching and counter-pressure. The team of midwives that Melody had at the birth made a significant difference too. One that especially was great was a woman from Canada named Terri. She was staying down at the Birth Suites in Pleasant Grove, while waiting for her Canadian certifications to come through. Since they’re government employees there things take a bit longer. She was right with me through the hardest part of labor as well and had read the birth plan which I had given Melody. She was definitely on the same page and really contributed to the overall progress and positive experience of my labor.
Time passed and then it seemed that I hit the wall. I was exhausted in every way. I was so tired of feeling the contractions, so tired of breathing them down, so tired and I honestly thought that I couldn’t do it any longer. I didn’t really have any other option though- I had to finish and I wanted to finish and I needed to meet my baby.
My little boy was so low and engaged for so long that, as Melody checked his heart tones, she found that they were starting to drop. This was a concern to her and so she told me that it was time to step up the game and to get my baby out. All along I had envisioned that I would have this calm water birth where my baby would basically roll out of me and into the water, but this wasn’t to be. The exact reason why would later be seen since all things happen for a reason. At this point though, I was still in the birth tub. I had changed positions a few times- had moved to the side of the tub to be able to use more of my legs to push against. When that didn’t work, I moved onto my hands and knees, which also didn’t work and so I was back to the side of the tub trying with all my might to push my baby out. At one point I opened my eyes and felt light headed so they gave me oxygen and continually reminded me to breathe deep and in through my nose. I was focusing with all the energy I had left. I had to just breathe my baby out. I knew that there was so much power in my breath and in my body. I was basically on auto-pilot and in the birth zone. But regardless of what I tried, Melody’s instincts knew that that wasn’t going to cut it and so she had me get out of the tub and onto the birth stool. At that point she told me that I was holding things back and I knew she was right. I had to embrace the pain and focus more deeply on meeting my baby. This focus took every ounce of energy I had left and I honestly can say that I felt empowered by all of the love and support in the room. I was now on the birth stool, breathing with the oxygen, focusing with all my might and trying as hard as I could to get my baby out to meet me. This was when things really started to get crazy...
pictures by christine olson
4x5 polariod by alisha stamper
final part to be posted soon... stay tuned :)