The week before Ronin was born, I did a Tarot card reading that said the baby would be born while the moon was in Cancer (April 30-May 2), so I was really hoping for May 1. I got my wish! His “official” due date was April 26, but by my calculations, he was due April 29.
To encourage him along, I took one capsule of evening primrose oil on the night of April 30. I woke up Friday, May 1 at 6:15 am with contractions about 7-10 min. apart. While they varied from 5-10 min. apart for the first few hours, they seemed to be pretty regular (and very mild). I decided to stay home from work (I’d been at work the previous day), but sent Dan to teach his class and Zea to preschool. The morning was rainy, but it soon cleared and was the most beautiful spring day. Part of the time by myself I spent on the front porch drinking red raspberry tea and thinking “What a great day to have a baby!” I remember how alive everything looked and how bright all the colors were. Dan and Zea came home around 10:30 am and the contractions were still about the same. So, I cleaned up around the house, tried to eat a little bit, but wasn’t very hungry.
Around noon, Zea and I went for a walk around the block. The contractions still weren’t that strong. I kept thinking “at this rate, I won’t have this baby until Sunday!” I’d been induced with Zea and had a very fast labor (3 hours. from start to finish), so I didn’t have a clue how a “natural” labor would progress. Then, around 3:20 pm, it felt like the baby kicked me really hard, but it was my water breaking! It didn’t gush out though, so it took me awhile to figure out that it had broken. I went to the bathroom and noticed a pink-tinged mucousy discharge and figured that was my mucous plug.
The contractions started getting harder and closer together, then. I decided to get in the tub. I wasn’t very comfortable in the tub, though, so I didn’t stay in there long. I also remembered something I’d read about using combs to grip during contractions, so I tried that and it worked. But, we only had one comb (poor planning!), so I used a pasta server for the other hand, and it worked just fine!
Things were really happening fast now. I decided I wanted to be on the bed propped up with pillows, so I did that for the rest of active labor. I held my comb/pasta server, and Dan held one of my feet during each contraction. I felt like I had to throw up at one point, and now looking back, I know that was my transition (just like with Zea). Right after that, I started feeling the need to push. I was worried that I might not be fully dilated, so I checked myself and felt the baby’s head! That was great because I knew it would be happening soon. I felt the overwhelming urge to get on my hands and knees to push, which I did.
Dan did some perineal massage with hot washcloths and olive oil. The urge to push was so strong — I was pushing with each contraction. I couldn’t see what was going on, so I kept asking Dan if he could see the baby’s head. When the baby’s head was out, Dan called Zea into the room (she had been in the living room watching cartoons!) so that she could see Ronin being born. She kept running around the room saying “This has never happened before!” One more push and he was born at 6:43 pm. He was very alert, but quiet when he was born, so much that Dan worried if he was okay, so he jiggled him to make him cry a little! I started shaking from the exertion of it all, so Dan covered us all up and gave me some Rescue Remedy. Just about 10 minutes. after he was born, my in-laws showed up (they had an hour’s drive to get to our place). We were still waiting on the placenta, plus I had torn a little, so we decided to leave the kids with my in-laws and Dan & I went to the hospital so I could get stitched up. I delivered the placenta at the hospital and got stitched up with no problem. They released me after about an hour and a half, and I went back home to bond with my beautiful little boy!
All in all, it was an awesome experience — everything I wanted it to be. I feel so thankful and blessed that all went well, and I have this wonderful little baby in my life right now. I felt so empowered by Ronin’s birth — I felt like I was in charge (instead of some doctor) and that I was in synch with my baby. He is now a serene little 4 mos. old baby — a very laid back kind of kid! I’m now a very strong proponent for a womyn’s right to birth where she feels safe — wherever that is. I know that if I ever had another baby, I would want to do it at home by myself again.