Josie's Birth Story 11/8/17
I woke up at about midnight on 11/8/17 having cramps. I was kind of asleep, kind of awake but realized that these “cramps” were not going away and would come and go.
Finally at about 1:00am I woke up Ernest and said that I think that I’m having contractions. They were manageable but I was thinking labor might be in my future. I didn’t want to get too excited so I did what I was taught in our refresher birth class…Eat something, drink something, take a walk and take a bath. So I did all of those things and the contractions kept coming. I downloaded an app so that we could track them a little better before calling the midwife. They were pretty irregular at first but over time they started becoming more regular and lasting 45-55 seconds. I decided to message my midwife Natalie at about 3:00 to let her know. She said to call or text when I felt like I wanted to head in to the birth center. At about 3:45am I texted her again and said that I was ready to come in. The contractions were coming closer together and were feeling more intense. She called me and we talked briefly. She said to get ready and head in and she would head there herself to fill the birthing pool. We woke up Journey and started getting our things ready to head to the birth center. It was a very uncomfortable car ride. The contractions were stronger and stronger and I did not have the space to move around in the front seat. We finally got to Katy Birth Center
Ernest tended to Journey mostly after he called my brother to come be with her. I was with the midwives (Natalie, student Jennifer and the doula Rachelle). They checked me out and from there I labored in a variety of positions. I did lunges on a stool, I had my bottom up on the couch with my hands/forearms down on the ground, and the midwives took turns using a robozo across my belly while I was on all fours. During this time I remember feeling so safe, so strong and so empowered. I was there with 3 women who I trusted completely. The environment was so calm, it was dimly lit and still dark out. I heard nothing but words of encouragement, support and strength. I was able to talk and chat with them between contractions and everything felt right. Ernest finally came back in the room once my brother arrived to watch Journey. We started our music playlist and I continued to labor and do what my body wanted me to do. Natalie then asked if I wanted to get in the birthing pool. I did and it immediately felt so much better. The water was warm and helped ease the uncomfortableness of the strong contractions. I remember feeling sick at several times and dry heaving. I was given a bucket with peppermint oil and that really helped the nausea. I also remember asking the midwives if it was okay to curse. They all laughed and said I could do whatever I wanted. I think I said Fuck. I know as I was getting closer to transition that I kept telling everyone “I don’t want to do this, I want this to be over”. I knew I had to be close. Contractions were coming closer and closer. I kept telling myself over and over “you’re okay, you’re okay”.
I started to feel like I could push but they asked if it was a sharp pain or a relief pain to push. At first it was sharp, so they checked me out and I had a cervical lip. That means that I was full dilated but an edge of my cervix was a little bit swollen and in the way of the baby’s head. So they told me not to push and Jennifer tried to get in and move the cervix out of the way of the baby’s head. I was then in a somewhat reclining position in the pool. This part is somewhat foggy because things happened so fast but I remember Natalie saying turn around and get on all fours. I did and I felt a lot of pressure. She said the head is out. I couldn’t believe it! It didn’t even hurt. (I remember Journey’s head coming out and that hurt the most!)
Then I felt this huge contraction and urge to push, so I bared down and pushed with everything I had. That was a little uncomfortable but I pushed the baby all the way out. Natalie told me to turn around and she had the baby underwater and gave her to me and I pulled her up. She was sooo cute. It was unbelievable. I could not believe how smooth and how fast the labor was. We were able to hang out for a while in the pool and then I had to push out the placenta. One big push and it came out, no problem. They put it in a floating bucket in the tub and the umbilical cord is still attached to the baby at this point. Journey came in the room to see the baby but I think she was a little shocked and nervous. She left and them came back in and seemed to feel better. She touched the baby a few times too. Ernest was then able to cut the cord and they wrapped up the baby to give to him while they helped me get out of the tub. It felt really weird to stand up and the doula said kind of like I bottomed out. And that is exactly what I felt like…there wasn’t anything left down below. Lol
They got me in an herbal bath and also put the baby in there with me. Ernest and I were there alone with the baby for a few minutes and we decided on Josie Stella Baskin. Shortly after I was ready to get out so they took the baby and worked on getting me out of the tub and cleaned up. I settled in on the bed and they checked me out and started measuring and weighing Josie. She was 7lbs 13 ounces and 20.5 inches long and born at 7:48 am. We were able to get her to latch on both sides and that was a huge relief because I had struggled so much with Journey because she was so little. The doula brought me my meal (cheese dumplings I brought) and we hung out on the bed as everything was getting finished up (paperwork, etc). My brother came in and was able to hold Josie too and then he took Journey with him to his house so they wouldn’t have to wait around. Journey held Josie too and we were just so pleased at how everything was going. They went over the instructions for us and what we needed to do at home. And around 11:00am we were getting ready to go home.
Josie’s birth was one of the best experiences of my life. It is exactly what I had hoped for in a birth. It was practically perfect!