In continuation of Tyde’s Birth Story: Part I False Start…
7:18 am August 2009, I had just laid down from going to the restroom when I felt a “pop”. Followed by a massive cramp straight up to my belly button. My first thought: what organ did that little sucker hit now? Approaching 40 week mark in two days, after waiting an additional 4 weeks, I was tired of being anxious, anxious analyzing every move, and moving to get comfortable as I was tired.
Then, I immediately knew I needed to run to the bathroom! Thinking of a friend’s birth story, where she described breaking her water, I made it without incident. However only roughly ½ cup came out. Strange?, I thought there should be a lot more…but, I still hollered to my husband Jake that I thought I my water broke…more out of what to do next.
He, just waking up, asked if I was sure. I replied semi-confidently only because of disbelief and not wanting this to be another false alarm. Jake of course was skeptical since he too did not want this to be another false alarm, so we began our morning.
Tyde and his Fairy Godmother
My instinct was to call my girlfriend Gwen, Tyde’s Godmother, as she lived 2 hours away. But Jake was still skeptical, and I was not too confident yet, so off I went to shower and make sure I shaved my legs (thought of my mom telling me she had to do the same thing when I was born). Some things are just hereditary.
But then, when I was finished, I knew it was time to call Gwen and my mom and let them know Tyde was on his way. Jake had made me some eggs and bacon, told me we were not going to be the couple that swept the floor and cleaned the house (lol), and off he went to cut his hair, shave, and shower. Very calmly and patiently I might add as he did not think we were going to be in any hurry.
I could only eat the bacon and then got up to at least sweep the guest room, as Gwen would be staying with us. By this time the contractions had very much set in and were 3 min apart for about 20 min. Keep in mind they were only up front – not side or back; but I must add the ‘can not talk’ part is because they take your breath away. Very manageable though, just take them in stride – I don’t recommend cleaning when they come on, ha-ha.
Soon I found myself bracing in the hallway arch to hold myself erect; the fast pace took Jake by surprise. I let him know I was heading out to the SUV and we needed to go now! This was about 9 am; proceeded to call my mom stating if she was not at the house in 5 minutes to meet us at the birth center. By this point I could not even fathom to talk (ironically never a problem for me) between contractions so Jake passed word on to Gwen (who called in), whereby he then really knew I was serious.
On the drive, Jake called his brother. He was driving easy to be nice to my body, but after a few minutes into a 25 minute drive, I signaled to step on it as contractions were frequenting the 2 min mark! Jake then called his mom and we were soon at the center. [Why the calls stick in my mind, I do not know…seems like maybe Tyde needs to know when he can read or be read his story.]
I was asked to wait in the lobby for a minute, at Breadth of Life, before proceeding into the Ocean room. Found out another couple in one of the rooms (how exciting) was also in labor, and to wait a bit as the tub was filling. When I got to our room. immediately I leaned over onto the bed and rocked my hips back and forth – seemed to ease the pressure, and I forgot my yoga ball. Jake brought in our stuff, the tub was soon ready, everything came off (no modesty at that point) and in the tub I went.
Ahhh, the pain subsided more that I can earthly describe, the water was refreshing.
My mom and Gwen soon arrived and I was quickly annoyed with Jake’s verbal coaching; for some reason I only wanted to feel his support – specifically with ice/cold water cloths on the back of neck and forehead. Hindsight, I think annoyance was occurring as I was attempting to get into a zone in between contractions and the verbal communication was bringing me out of it; but never grabbed him by the neck to yell “you did this to me!” like you see on t.v. or the movies.
Soon, my contractions went to 1 minute apart and things began to feel different…I thought I might be needing to push, and I was very concerned that not enough time has passed for my hormones to kick in to prevent tearing – I have no idea why. All of a sudden I felt so hot, I felt like I was on fire! I knew I wanted out of the tub and it was time to head into action. I proceeded to kick my mom and Gwen out of the room as I headed for the bed. [Mind you this was not the plan, I just knew I needed to calm the energy in the room at that moment.] Pilling pillows on top of each other (to act like a birthing bar), I got into a modified squat position and would lean up and on top of the pile for support.
Now contractions are contractions, they are a little rough, but that is the marathon we trained for (I took Bradley Method classes) – pushing is totally different. When it first comes on, your mind takes over and will stop the process if you are not relaxed = I would not relax. I was worried about pooping, the ring of fire hurting too much, and about what an epidural would feel like at this point even though I hated needles. So, I yelled out that I could not do this anymore!!!
Shouting out my thoughts was the best thing I did! Felt good to convey, and only then did I realize I was in transition. With some physical support from Jake and verbal support from my Midwife, I realized I was not willing my body to take over to do just what it needed to do – I was stopping the process = causing me and Tyde much uncomfort.
I began to visualize my son proceeding down the birth channel, focusing on going inward to rest in between contractions/pushes and proceeded to try and kick out my midwife’s assistant, which could not happen (this also became the joke after the birth).
Our First Nap
To explain, and maybe because of my belief in projecting, I was getting distracted by other people’s energies and only wanted Jake’s and Chris’s, just as before in kicking out my mom and Gwen. Since I could not get my wish (as she was a sweetheart and Chris needed her nearby for records), I headed back into the tub. I soon began pushing consistently which actually did not hurt – just an extremely overwhelming urge which takes over your whole body…go with it, it actually feels more life relief!
At this point I must state a reminder to pee every hour in the beginning. Jake and I remembered to make sure I was drinking water, but forgot about the pee thing. So what did hurt was right before and right after a contraction/pushing as I was experiencing full bladder pain.
With full-on pushing underway, I kept focusing on pushing his head out. Tyde was coming through my cervix and I only slightly touched it. I was afraid of his head going back in as I was experiencing the 2 steps forward one step back for quite a while. But once his head was truly presenting, I was pushing like a fiend. I used to play co-ed softball and began to visualize summing up all my energy like I used to hit the ball as far as I could but focused it to push Tyde out as far as I could. The ring of fire hit and I thought it started intensifying – three pushes later and Tyde was out. (The intensity was not the ring but me pushing so hard I tore at both ends. )
Tyde loves water
Tyde, my handsome baby boy, looked like he was swimming in the water, wide-eyed and alert. Chris pulled him up after a minute and he was quiet, let out a cry, and was laid on my chest. Tyde scored a perfect 10 on his APGAR and I was so proud of him and thankful! He was completely looking around and his cord pulsed for a while and Jake cut it.
Tyde had all ten fingers and ten toes so I could finally relax.
Chris sent Jake and Tyde aside as we had to focus on pushing out the placenta; 20 minutes had gone by and I had no urge. After what seemed like forever, the placenta was out and looked like a slightly deflated volleyball. Again, Chris knew, I need other energies to be released for action to happen. Seeing the birthed placenta, I opted for not taking it home and burying it under a tree – as I had originally written in the Birth Plan as at that point, I just wanted to hold my baby.
Jake was awesome, so full of patience and awe, and Chris was the best midwife a girl could ask for; I would not have made it without either of them. And many thanks to another great unnamed friend for loaning me Hypnobabies, I am sure I would have run out of energy if I had not applied their awesome techniques.
Jessica Respondek is owner of The Sales Source, LLC, as well as, providing Business Development for Enliven Wellness Works, a company specializing in workplace wellness and health coaching based in St. Petersburg /Tampa Bay FL. She is an MBA graduate from the University of Florida. While happily married and a mother to Tyde, a precocious 4 year-old, Jessica loves spending time with her family and friends, volunteering for environmental organizations, organic gardening, and strives to encourage sustainable living for everyone.