Our First Baby – A UC!
I started “researching” childbirth about a year after I got married. In my reading I progressed from more mainstream books to where I read Lynn Griesemer’s Unassisted Homebirth: An Act of Love. I knew after reading that book (and all along talking these things over with my husband) that my ideal birth was UC. I had an uneventful pregnancy (thankfully) in which I did my own prenatal care. My husband and I took Bradley classes (which don’t promote UC, but we got a lot of useful info out of).
On July 11 (I would have been 40 weeks on July 13), I felt pretty energetic – went to the swimming pool, shopping, etc. At 8:45 pm I started having a bloody show. Since we had read that it’s one of the most unreliable signs that labor’s going to start soon, we didn’t think much of it. My husband left to drop off the vehicle we had borrowed at our parents’ about 5 minutes away.
In the mean time, I started feeling weird. I had my first contraction and walked through it. A couple of minutes later, I had another in which I decided that I had to lay down – it hurt too much! I had another and decided to time them – they were 4 minutes apart. My husband called asking what he was forgetting to bring back and I told him to come home right away!
When he got home, I was in the bathtub – the contractions were SO overwhelming (painful isn’t the right word…). The first thing he did was pray, “Dear Lord, be with Mindy and help her with strength during this time – and keep the baby safe.” That calmed me down so much (later he laughed because he said he couldn’t tell that it helped any, I was so stoic). He timed a couple contractions (3 min apart) and realized that was silly – the baby was coming quickly. I got out of the bathtub, went to the bathroom, threw up and kept thinking “I can’t do this.” I knew these were all signs of transition, but it hadn’t been that long since everything started – I couldn’t believe that it actually was transition.
We went to our bedroom where my husband had set up our nest, blankets and pillows on the floor. I could not get comfortable and kept trying to relax through the contractions (still thinking I had to be in first stage). I was moving my legs and realized that I was more comfortable moving than trying to relax. I thought, “This could be pushing contractions, if it feels better to do something. Maybe I’ll try pushing…” I still could not believe how fast things were going. I tried pushing and it was awful – but I knew that’s what my body wanted to do! My husband supported me while I squatted.
After a couple of contractions I felt the baby’s head starting to come down, so I pushed harder. My husband said that when he first saw the baby’s head (because it was wrinkled), he wasn’t sure if it was the placenta or not (I had been spot bleeding through each of my pushing contractions). I hadn’t told him that I felt the head coming, so he wasn’t sure what stage things were at. And, I asked, “What is it?” (wanting to be sure it was a head, not a butt), but that didn’t help him realize that I knew it was the baby!
Then the head was born and my husband said, “I see ears! I see ears!” He was so relieved. I got on my hands and knees after I felt the head turn and my husband caught the baby! We heard him sputter and then he started crying. We were both so relieved that he was breathing and everything seemed okay that it wasn’t until I had sat down and he handed me the baby that I saw it was a boy. My husband thought to look at the clock right away – it was 11:15. This was our first baby and the whole thing only took 2 hours and 15 minutes! When we weighed Anthony a couple hours later he was 9 lb 8 oz.