The Birth of India by Sharon Brown

February 25, 2007 at 8:14 pm Leave a comment

It’s so peaceful. Ian is asleep in the corner of the lounge with India, 2 days old, cradled fast asleep in his arms. She is incredibly beautiful.

Labour started with a pop and a gush of waters at 4 am, Sunday morning. I felt the baby move down a little inside of me with a slight clunk. We phoned the midwife immediately as the waters were broken and then went back to bed. I dozed for an hour and then got up to time the contractions as I was beginning to feel uncomfortable lying down. (I was also too excited to simply stay in bed.)

During the night I had been up and down to go to the toilet several times and felt amazingly hot, waking up bathed in sweat. I timed some contraction which were 7-8 minutes apart and then woke Ian at 6 am. I desperately wanted to go for a walk but by the time we got ourselves organised the contractions were getting much stronger so we only got to the corner before turning back. At about 7 am I had a good chuck. You may think it is a strange thing to mention but what a difference it made. An amazing amount of physical and mental tension was released. I was much more relaxed and handling the contractions much better. After a bath (great!) we again phoned the midwife who said she was on her way. Joan arrived about 9.30 am and Cath and Wendi arrived about 10 am.

I spent a fair bit of time in the kitchen, the contractions coming about 3 minutes apart, leaning on the bench using the teapot and various other objects to focus on. The hot towel brigade began – the hot nappies were a blessing. Earlier on, while waiting for Joan to arrive we had prepared the house for the birth. It was a cold and stormy day, pouring with rain (wonderful weather for having a baby!) so we set up the open fire and stocked up the wood basket. I gave the flowers some fresh water and put new candles above the fireplace. What a wonderful feeling to be able to arrange everything just as I wanted it!

I remember feeling embarrassed and a little self-conscious of all the attention at first but as I needed to concentrate more on the contractions I became too busy just ‘having a baby’. The hot towels were wonderful, really taking the edge off the sharp edge off the pain. It’s strange how time loses meaning during labour. Every minute feels like an hour but the hours were steadily flowing over me. Joan gave me some homeopathic drops which almost put me to sleep, probably to conserve my energy.

Early afternoon, and the mood began to change. The contractions were much stronger and much closer together, sometimes back to back. Everyone could feel the increased energy. My ‘hot nappy brigade’ began to work really hard, helping me change positions, supporting me whilst I was squatting and keeping me supplied with everything I needed. More than once I thanked God they were there.

The baby’s head wasn’t low down enough to be against the cervix yet so dilation slowed down at about 8 cms. She was having trouble turning enough to drop through the mid pelvis area so she decided to try the other way turning posterior in the process. So for about an hour and a half we just had to wait and see if she was going to manage it the other way around. During this time the contractions were extremely painful with mostly ‘back labour’ and it was the only time that I found it difficult to keep my breathing entirely together.

I did some squatting with Ian holding me to try to give the baby plenty of room and also some hip rocking to help her turn. She finally turned and with some more squatting and lots of love and encouragement from everyone I managed to get her down through the pelvis area (my pelvis is only small and for a while we all wondered whether she was going to fit through!) It was really difficult as I had to push a little before I felt like pushing, whilst Joan manually pulled back the small anterior lip of cervix over the baby’s head during contractions.

Cath was wonderful. I used her as a focus point and she was excellent in helping me to channel my energy and stay on top of the contractions. I don’t know if it is because Cath had been through it all and understood as possibly only a woman can how I was feeling, but I found it worked better using Cath to breathe with than Ian. Perhaps Ian and I were too close and his concern for me was colouring his encouragement. I don’t know but all I wanted from Ian was physical contact and support when I needed to squat or simply change positions.

At about 6 pm or so I started pushing in earnest. The contractions were incredibly intense and the urge to push was so total, so overwhelming. After an hour I was becoming very exhausted and couldn’t have gone on without a lot of encouragement and support. (It’s so important to have a good team at a birthing, which I fortunately did) I was getting very grazed across the top of my vagina near the urethra and JOan was concerned at the possibility of a nasty tear and very painful stitches in that area, so on the next contraction she nicked my perenial skin and with one more huge contraction and a bit of a yell from me India’s head was born. She turned and slid out in one almightly rush with the rest of the water following. it was 6.17 pm.

Joan lifted her onto my tummy and all Ian and I could do was cry with joy. After 14 and a half hours it seemed like a miracle that we had finally DONE IT!!I was so relieved. She was pink and very relaxed, breathing very easily with a few gasps and gurgles. (We had made sure the room was warm and very humid ensuring that the baby’s first breath would be much easier; the moist air also prevented my mouth and throat from becoming dry and sore during the times I needed to pant.)

We were too overwhelmed to ask whether it was a boy or girl for about five minutes but when Ian saw it was a girl we both started crying all over again. Joan, Cath and Wendi left us alone for about half an hour, such a precious time. India looked around and then I gave her my breast and she sucked for a short time. The next day as we looked at her, asleep on my tummy, still amazed and not quite believing she was ours, Ian said that he hoped he is capable of guiding a soul with so much potential. I hope I am too.

Nothing is worth doing more.

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Entry filed under: Birth.

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