Love, Happiness, and Pride
by Pat Stangl
Our homebirths seem to get better each time — Katy’s was our third and truly the most romantic.
Toward the end of this pregnancy protein began to show up in my urine. I felt fine, the baby was active and I had no other negative symptoms. However, my doctor was concerned and ordered a urine test, blood test and fetal stress test. He said if the tests showed fetal distress, he would recommend inducing labor.
As luck would have it, our little Katy was born two weeks early — before all the test results were back (the fetal stress test was fine).
On Wednesday I began having slight cramps and pressure. These continued for the next few days and by Sunday were stronger and more consistent. At 2:00 Monday morning I was awakened with very strong contractions. Steve woke up and carried our mattress downstairs so we could be near the bathroom, kitchen, wood stove and phone.
I stayed on my feet for as long as it felt comfortable letting gravity help. Zachary, our four-year-old woke up and was excited when we told him what was happening (he had seen his other sister born two years ago). My sister came over to help out at 3:30. Zachary fell asleep soon after that.
By 4:30 the contractions were very strong. With each one I would picture my cervix opening up and I would chant to myself, “Open, open, open.” I really feel that this helped.
I didn’t want Steve to leave my side. He was fantastic — as in our previous two births, he was my strength and my life line. He gave me energy and encouragement through his touch and his presence.
During transition I had back labor. Steve rubbed it for me and afterwards he said he could feel the baby moving down.
Suddenly the contractions were not as strong and there was a little rest between them. I thought for a moment that the labor was going backward instead of forward. But then I felt pressure in my bottom and found myself pushing. On the second push the baby’s head came out smoothly. On the next push the body came sliding into Steve’s hands.
As steve handed me our baby, his face was glowing with love, happiness and pride — I’ll never forget it. All I could do was laugh and cry as I held our newest miracle!