Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Adele's Birth by Autumn

The weekend before Adele’s birth, my husband and I went on a nice hike at John Bryant State Park outside of Yellow Springs, OH. The day was nice and cool and the trees were just getting their leaves. I remember only being able to walk a little ways on the narrow, rocky path in the cool spring woods. We stopped at a large boulder along the path to rest for a while before turning back. I remember thinking about all my doubts and worries. Would I be able to handle labor and a baby? Would I ever be able to go on a hike like this again? Would I ever be able to leave the house again? Would my identity totally change after having the baby? My husband was there to reassure me before we headed home.

A couple of days later on Monday evening, I began having some contractions. They weren’t painful, but they were noticeable. I had a bloody show earlier and I decided to call my midwife around 8 p.m. when I felt the rushes becoming stronger. Because I was a week from my due date and the contractions were not regular yet and overwhelming, my midwife expected this to be a check on how I was doing. She came over and we talked about what I was feeling and decided together to do a check to see how dilated I was. She was surprised to feel that Adele’s head had dropped to 0 station, the narrowest part of my pelvis and I was about 2 or 3 centimeters dilated. She informed us that Adele would probably come quickly and she needed to get her midwifery supplies from home. She briefed My husband in how to handle the birth if she couldn’t make it back in time! She ran home and grabbed her birth supplies and overnight bag and we waited. My contractions went away after a few hours with the midwife on standby in our guest room and I went to bed that night with my contractions subsiding.

The next evening, I began having the contractions around dinner. This time I wasn’t going to “jinx” them. I did call my midwife but told her not to come over until they became stronger and more regular. Once again, they subsided after I went to bed.

I had an uneventful Wednesday. With my ligaments being quite loose from hormones, I managed to twist my ankle while walking in our kitchen. I ended up having to lie on our couch all day Thursday with a visit and flowers from my friend, Jen, to cheer me up. I felt some light rushes and would put my hand on my belly and pause but it was difficult to tell if they were Braxton-Hicks or real contractions. That evening they progressively got stronger and closer together. I was almost afraid to call the midwife in case they would go away. They kept getting stronger and I ended up calling her around 1 a.m. because I couldn’t sleep through them. I knew that this was it and Adele would be making her appearance soon.

Around 3:30 a.m. I felt a big “POP” and the rushes kicked into high gear. This must have been my cervix popping open during transition. Adele was in a hurry to meet us! My husband and the midwife worked quickly to fill our birth pool in our bedroom. I remember not wanting My husband to leave me to finish disconnecting the hoses. As soon as I could get into the birth pool, I stripped down because I couldn’t get into it fast enough! The warm water felt so good and I was able to focus. Each contraction was intense and I felt the need to kick my legs out. I was leaning back against the pool on my bottom. Fear began to set in and I wondered if I could really do this. Sometime after I got into the pool, the midwife’s assistant, another midwife, arrived. Both were reassuring me that this was normal and to keep my tones low. I flipped over on my hands and knees and labored hanging over the edge of the pool gripping the assistant’s hand. I was already feeling the need to push (around 4:30 a.m.); it was incontrollable. My body wanted to birth my baby. My midwife wanted to flip me over; I remember telling her I couldn’t and she said I had to do it. With her help and My husband’s I was on my hands and knees. The midwife would check Adele’s heart tones and she seemed to be doing well early on but began to drop around 5:15. I soon needed to flip back over, which allowed Adele’s heart tones to go back to what they should be. I remember thinking of how I couldn’t possibly flip over, but they helped me with it. Shortly after, Adele began crowning and made her entrance at 5:30.

Adele was immediately given to me. I cannot describe the intense rush of love for my baby and the fact that My husband and I had made this little one. Soon after, I had to use traction to pull the placenta out. Adele nursed within the first hour of birth and we got to know each other while the midwives checked her and me. After 3 ½ hours My husband cut Adele’s cord. We spent that day cuddling and resting with our new baby. I have never felt so empowered by an event in my entire life. We feel so blessed for such a great birth experience.

Autumn and her husband welcomed Adele into their family on March 30, 2007. She weighed 6lbs. 3 oz and was Autumn's first birth. Autumn is a Dar a Luz leader and is currently opening a chapter in the Emerald Coast region of Florida.