Positive birth stories?

Ruby of the Moon's picture

I am setting up some positive birth stories on my website; http://emeraldeyez.com/pb/wp_ba832fbd/wp_ba832fbd.html?0.7233113055941036

Any mamas want to contribute? if you post it here let me know if i can use it on my site or not. Here is mine.....

Brooklyn's Birth

February 22, 2004 my daughter Brooklyn Star was born, it was one of the most beautiful expiriences of my lifetime. Earlier that day I took my three children swimming at the jr. high-school pool in Amherst. For some reason I was feeling extra flexible and kept bobbing my huge belly around in the water, doing squats and lunges; I felt weightless. At 4:00 pm I had had enough and as we dried off I began to feel contractions, it seemed to me that they were becoming more and more regular but even after three births, I still wondered, "is this really labor?" At home I relaxed and fed my kids dinner, we just relaxed after that. I started to get more excited, this was really happening.... for the fourth time!
Around 12:00 am I decided to call my midwife, I had seen some blood and mucus when I used the bathroom and just wanted to let her know that I thought I was in labor. She asked what I wanted to do, and I knew that I was going to stay home as long as possible, so I told her I was going to sleep and would call back when I was ready to come.
I laid on my bed visualizing my uterus contraction and my cervix opening everytime I felt another one, I knew my baby was coming sooner. My husband was quietly sleeping by my side. My children slept in their beds, prepared to get up when it was time to go to the hospital. I had planned on their attending the birth, but it ended up happening so fast, that they missed it. I was so relaxed and so in-tune with my body that I was easily able to breath through contraction after contraction, resting in between. At about 3:30am I called my midwife back, told her I was coming soon, and my mother came to our house to pick us all up.
The ride to the hospital brought on more intense contractions. I let my body relax, I would vocalize and breath through them; and then explain to my wide eyed kids in the back seat that mommy was okay, the baby was coming and it felt better to make noise. At the exact moment we pulled into the emergency exit at the hospital that my water broke. I stood up, covered in meconium laced amniotic fluid, and held out my hands, "I'm all wet" I said and went into the hospital bathroom. When I sat down on the toilet, I quickly stood up - I remembered that feeling all too well, the baby was coming, and I knew it was coming soon. If I had sat for a second longer I'm sure I would have pushed her out.
A very non-chalant nurse wheeled me up the the maternity ward and I kept telling her to move faster, I guess she couldn't tell how far along I really was because even in the midst of it all I was still pretty relaxed. "You still have awhile" she told me, as I held my legs together trying to keep my baby inside. The minute we got into the delivery room I saw my midwife, she told me to get onto the bed, the nurses helped me to stand, and as my midwife turned to wash her hands, my daughter made her appearance - just in time. I stuck my hand on her head to try to hold her in.... but she was already out! My husband had turned his back to put down our stuff and when he turned around she was already in my arms. Her birth was documented as a "birth without pushing." The meconium in the fluid has not affected her and she was perfectly fine. I held her tiny little body, and breastfed her. It was amazing.
Birth story by mamaruby ( I guess I was my own doula!)


la petite momster's picture

i don't have a birth story... yet. i'm having my first the end of august and i'm hoping that i can get as in tune with my body as you did!

Ruby of the Moon's picture

It is possible as long as you 1.Stay relxed (remember open mouth=open vagina) 2. Focus on baby - not the pain and 3. Believe in yourself! This is what I teach in my childbirth classes, "The 3 key factors to childbirth" Good Luck!!

"If I could tell the world one thing, it would be we're all okay"-Jewell

briefcandle's picture

I tend to be very wordy, and I wanted to capture every detail of my amazingly positive birth (though not without pain), so here's my very long & graphic birth story if you want to use it.

Maia Posey's birth story

Though she was born Monday morning, 6:59am, October 25, the story begins the previous Thursday. I went to my regular scheduled midwife appointment, it was just days before my pregnancy hit the 38 week mark. I had already been taking evening primrose oil capsules to start softening the cervix, and as a matter of early preparation the midwife suggested a brief cervical massage to further help ripen the cervix since I was only 20% effaced and 1/2cm dilated, just to make sure I didn't go overdue as most first time mothers do. It seemed early to me to start doing anything so explicitly labor conducive, but I thought, what do I know, I guess bodies hold on to those babies the first time around. As expected I had some crampy pain and bloody show following the procedure in the next 24 hours.

Well Friday night Scott and I had a date to go see Ralphie May, a comedian we knew from Last Comic Standing, who was making an appearance at the Admiral Theater in downtown Austin. I laughed for two hours straight (bounce-bounce-bouncing baby's head down onto that cervix!), and became aware that the tightenings were becoming somewhat regularly spaced apart. They felt more intense than Braxton Hicks so my internal monitor self began its watch. They were strong enough so that in retrospect, I call this the beginning of 58 hours of labor.

That night I was up more often than usual for my bathroom breaks. The squeezes made me feel like I had to go to the bathroom, which was every half hour instead of the usual two hours or so. The next day, Saturday, I sat down to do my morning internet work, but by 1pm found it hard to concentrate as the contractions continued their regular appearance every half hour or so, with increasing pain. I called the midwife on call and she said it's false labor and that I should go on bed rest, drink a beer & a take a Benadryl to relax & get sleepy & to take pressure off the cervix. My mother was arriving from out of state that day for her one-month stay, so I couldn't go to the airport.

I slept for a couple of hours after the Benadryl in the evening, but after that the night took over as I had really intense contractions, ranging from every 5 to 7 to 15 minutes. I began to use my breathing to get through the pain, grabbing my sleeping Scott every time it got really bad, using his innocent, pain-free, relaxed sleeping body as inspiration. I was shaking and crying and moaning all night. I didn't call the midwife until Sunday 7am, now a different one was on duty. She also told me this was false labor and that I should ignore (IGNORE??) the pain and go about my day as usual. Nevertheless, she later told me that at this point she decided to take a nap during the day, during which she dreamed of two babies being born.

I got up Sunday after a fully sleepless night and continued to have contractions every 15-30 minutes. I could feel the baby's head burrowing down into my cervix. Sometimes she seemed to kick off the top of my belly and push herself downwards. The peak of each contraction was such that I needed to close my eyes and really concentrate on the number of deep breaths I was taking, knowing that at the count of 5 or 8, depending on the length of the sensation, it would start to ease up. There's a sureness in numbers- the logic overwhelmed the raw wildness of the sensation. I knew time was my only ally in dealing with the pain. With time each contraction would be over, with time the baby would be born.

This whole time, because the midwives didn't acknowledge that this could be stage 1 labor, I felt like I was being a wimp if these were simply advanced Braxton-Hicks, that I couldn't fully engage with the process, because I "wasn't supposed to be in labor". They said this kind of false labor could last until my due date, which was still 2 weeks away!! I started to feel nevertheless that there was no way I could endure this still manageable albeit too intense pain for two more weeks. I began slowly to believe that this could be real labor, for it wasn't going away.

All day Sunday I lay on the couch watching football with Scott, taking little walks around the house. The crash of the football players' bodies into each other helped me deal with the pain. I imagined the pain of their muscles, their bones colliding, body parts being slammed down. I called my best friend and paused throughout our conversation to deal with contractions. She said either you'll have a baby in 24 hours or this will go away. False labor doesn't just continue, you know it's real labor when it doesn't go away. This helped feed that part of me that wanted to just lose myself in this experience and call it by its name - Labor - and let run in full force all my prepared dealing mechanisms. It was so frustrating to be told this wasn't 'real'. But it proved to be good practice for patience when my experience was finally christened The Real Thing. I went outside on our back deck in the afternoon, and the air was heavy with impending rain. I looked at our trees in the green gray light and felt their sagging expectation of moisture. I went into the baby's room and paused in front of each object, telling the baby if she comes soon, this is her bassinet for sleeping, this is her nursing chair, these are her little clothes...

By evening the intensity of the pain was reaching another level and I just couldn't believe any more that this was false, and not accomplishing anything. The midwife had said this kind of false labor only dilates you like 1/2 a cm, but I didn't think she understood just how intense it was getting. Well by Sunday night I gave her one more call to let her know they were still only 15 minutes apart but that I was losing my mind at the peak of each contraction. She finally conceded to let me come to the birth center at 9pm so she could check me and probably send me back home. I changed the time to 9:15pm, so that we could all watch Desperate Housewives, our new favorite tv show, heheh.

It seems I appeared tougher on the phone to the midwife than my experience dictated. Upon inspection she said I was 100% effaced and 4 cm dilated! This is when all the women on A Baby Story beg for their epidural! I cried and hugged Sandra, the midwife who would become my pillar that evening, relieved that all that pain had been accomplishing something after all, that I wouldn't have to endure this for another two weeks, that it was no longer a prelude but Real Labor, and that I could stay at the birth center to have an actual baby some time this night!

We were unprepared completely, we hadn't brought the suitcase, the car seat wasn't installed, but there I was to stay until the baby's birth. Scott took off to gather the items back from the house, and I settled into labor with my mom and Sandra keeping me company. My mom began the round of calls to my dad and sister back home, trying to rouse them from sleep to let them know labor had truly begun.

I found many positions which helped pass the time as I dilated. In those first couple hours, while Scott was gone (he chatted with a friend online about my labor, and shaved while at home too), I went from 4 to 6-7 cm dilation. My favorite positions were straddling the birth ball holding on to a solid chair back in front of me & laying on my side on the bed. Sandra sometimes just put her warm hands against my back, sending warm calming forces through me. Sometimes my mom sat by me and just kept me company. Sometimes we chatted until my breath and mind were taken away by a contraction. Scott returned just as the tub was being filled up for some warm water labor. He lit the candles from my suitcase and took pictures of me laboring both before the bath, and in it. This didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. It felt very spiritual and beautiful. He sat by me keeping me company as I labored in the hot water.

Time seemed suspended as I rode the waves of contractions every few minutes. They were so mind blowing at their peak that time seemed reset after each one. There was only the pitch of my moaning, tuning into the frequency of the pain. It helped drown out chatter if Sandra & my mom happened to be talking during a contraction. I reached into my inner strength, the same I tap into when doing Iyengar type yoga: the sense of pushing yourself to withstand "just a couple.. more... seconds...of...this..ok...it's letting up". When you hold a pose for a certain amount of time, and your muscles are aching and the teacher's saying hold for one more minute and you get into that personal endurance zone; this is the kind of body practice that helped me deal, helped me be patient and just count down to the end. In between the pain there was no pain, so I could pretend I wasn't in labor almost. At the same time, it was always less painful than I had been expecting. I thought once I allow myself to treat this as Real Labor, things would get excruciating, but it never quite went there. I guess an overactive imagination comes in handy this way. But the excruciating part was still awaiting me.

It became clear that 6-7 cm was where I was going to stay, water still unbroken. After 5 hours I was still there, something in my mind was holding me back from entering Transition, and I now know that it's the same tenacious sense of staying in control that caused all my bad trips to happen when I was younger. My body was trying to dilate but my subconscious wouldn't let it. We agreed that if by 5am there was no change, Sandra would manually reach in and push my cervix back. I took a super dose of evening primrose oil and some other herb in a tincture and waited out the interim hour, contracting all the while, trying to visualize my water breaking, trying to relax, and preparing to wrap my mind around the idea of entering into a commitment to the pain, a commitment to getting this baby born.

At 5am there was no change and I made the shift into putting myself into whatever natural action would speed along the labor. I explicitly didn't want my water broken, however this last time when she checked me, it tore on its own during a contraction (at least I am fine in believing so.) Clear liquid gushed out and I expected things to change. I lay there and sang along with Sandra a simple repetitive melody about opening up and flowers. Then I sang "Polskie Kwiaty," a Polish folk song from my girl scout days, my favorite that I had been hoping to sing some time during labor, about native flowers blooming in Poland. We tried one last thing- the cat/cow yoga poses and low moaning to help me enter transition. I abandoned myself into the poses arching my back, going for a kundalini breath flow, willing myself into a wilder opening state, a possible sexual ecstasy even. Sandra intoned encouraging opening visualization thoughts, alternately singing and softly talking. My hair became an electric sweaty bush floating about my head, suffocating me, I moaned for my rubber band and wildly tied it up into a bun when Scott's efforts produced a loose knot with straggling sticky strands... still there was no change. My sense of control ran deep, and it was time to commit to the pain.

The midwife reached in and pushed the cervix back around the baby's head, taking me from 6-7cm to 10 cm in the matter of less than a minute. In a way I feel like I missed out on Transition, but in a way I'm perhaps lucky to be ushered through it so quickly, with sure confident hands. I can't really describe the sensation other than it being so shockingly intense that it totally blew my mind. I was committed to whatever came my way.

Then began the two hours of pushing to get the baby to descend and come out. I tried the toilet. I tried the birthing chair, with Scott sitting behind me supporting me. I tried laying on my side with one leg up. I lay back across the birth ball, arching. Anything but the dreaded 'hospital-y' position on my back with feet up. None of these positions did the trick, and once again Sandra was firm in guiding me to accept the next level of pain by suggesting the unfortunate typical hospital pose, but with a twist.

I was to lay flat on my back and make a diamond with my legs, holding my feet together in the middle and pulling them towards me. This has always been a comforting position for me, actually, and sitting down, one of my favorite stretches. I was to keep my chin down, breathe slow and deep and hold my breath as long as possible at each push. At this point it also became clear that another woman was calling and coming in to the center in labor (Sandra's second baby from her dream), and a nurse arrived to assist in my delivery; Charlotta. I couldn't see her, my glasses had long been discarded. I felt for a minute that her 'new person' energy would halt the labor process. You could feel the energy in the room wrinkle up thickly and suspend, like I was a wild animal whose lair had been wandered into. Scott felt it too, but then a contraction hit, and her energy was only kind and helping, so I welcomed her into the folds of the experience. She gave me water to sip and we were friends. She held a long sheet tied with two knots and had me pull against her weight, just like in those pictures from medieval times of midwife births.

To describe the pain of these two hours...The absolute insanity of it: like having your chest cut open, no anesthesia and having your heart squeezed until it starts ripping in places, but it keeps beating, and being asked to plunge in there 3 or 4 times every two to three minutes for two hours to willingly squeeze it again while someone else pries your chest further open. All that in your vagina of course. It's a place beyond mind-dealability with pain. Horror? Wonder? Fear? I could only think of it in terms of higher concepts: commitment to get the baby born, commitment to the sensations, and trust to the midwife, her assistant, and Scott through all their metaphors and encouragement.

Scott whispered in my ear laying next to me, wiping my sweaty forehead with a cool cloth in between contractions. He kissed me. He told me to push like a M---, calling upon my maiden name and my childhood full of my father pushing me to always ski for one more hour, to kayak around another bend, to bike ride over one more hill. He whispered lines from my sheet of inspirational quotes that I had been gathering for months, such as reminding me of my 10 hour solo mountain hiking expedition in Switzerland. Although I have to say most of that sheet became highly irrelevant due to the very physical nature of labor, transcending the intellectual. He told me when I push to do it towards a point beyond the midwife, far out into the room. (He later said this idea came from his kung fu practice). Sandra was saying push through the pain, just when you think you can't do it anymore push some more, for those are the pushes that accomplish everything. Together they brought me to a place of starting to understand what I was doing.

Over and over again we rode the crest of a contraction into at least 3 or towards the end 4 pushes per contraction. At one point Sandra started chanting 'pushpushpushpushpush' the way they do on A Baby Story which has always driven me insane. I held up one finger to Scott from the depths of my pain, and he immediately communicated my need to Sandra: "don't say pushpushpush like that." She complied no questions asked. As the baby's head descended, Sandra would reach in and open me up around the baby's head, squirting & massaging in warm olive oil. It felt like she was reaching into my eyeball and massaging the nerves of my eye socket: like I had my third eye down there between my legs. I held my breath dutifully, tried to breathe deep instead of insanely fast between contractions (each time Scott reminded me I wound it down immediately- this was his job- cheerlover at the top).

The pushes started to yield the head- it felt like a squishy extension of my labia. I had to always put away my disappointment, after each push to the limits of my endurance, that the head wasn't just shooting out entirely. But it could only happen as fast as my body could stretch gradually. I still didn't believe that there was an actual child behind the sensations I was feeling. I knew only that my pubic bone seemed so low and it was weird to realize that I had to push the baby under it, not simply downwards out my belly bulge, and that this was a lot more towards my back than I imagined. So I created that pelvic space in my mind and always tried to push down into it. Sandra assured me that though it might feel like it, my butt was not going to explode. I began to believe in the power of the 4th push, the one that came as if from its own force, born out of the tail end of the 3rd push irrepressibly. A few pushes from the end I could feel a round bulge that didn't go away between my legs- the last of these I experienced the Ring of Fire as her head crowned. It was a smaller feeling than it had been built up to be in my imagination. It was a nice complete feeling, a good, out of my body feeling; a small solar eclipse. And then they were saying the head is out!!!

Scott was compelled to look down at this point, and was shocked since the little miss opened her eyes and took a look around! Her body still in me, and her beautiful eyes were already checking the world out. I put my hand down and patted the head disbelieving until it slid down her face and I felt the little nose. A feeling of total euphoria started flooding me as I waited out the minute or two until the next and final contraction. I held on to recognizing each second of this precious in-between moment in my daughter's life: the threshold between placental and terrestrial existence. Then the push took over, and my mind blocked it out completely, for suddenly there was a crying beautiful shiny wet clean floppy baby being handed up my stomach into my arms. "I love you, oh baby I love you, I love you, I love you" was all I could cry and cry and cry. It was surreal that all that sensation down there had produced this little being now being snuggled, rubbed, and suctioned gently at my chest. Like she came from another dimension, and the pain had all been just the doors opening but she hadn't really gone through me. She couldn't have been the source of what I had just been feeling for three days, I thought fleetingly. I was in total ecstasy, I told Sandra and Charlotta that I love them, I melted all over everyone, but especially over the little being now entrusted to my care. Scott & I just marveled and marveled over her and kissed each other.

My mom and Scott's brother were outside the closed door, with cell phones held up in the air to let my dad & my maternal grandmother and Scott's parents (who were on their way) hear the baby's first cries. We were alone with her until after the placenta was born & I had two small tears receive a stitch each. The whole time she was snuggled in towels and my flannel receiving blankets at my chest.

She came out so clean, with a perfectly round unmoulded head, blinking her little eyes. Silky smooth skin, she must have been washed in the amniotic fluid that came out. We tried breastfeeding and she latched on right away and had her fill of colostrum from both breasts. My little angel being had made it into this world, in my fulfilled vision of a natural childbirth, assisted by midwife at a Birth Center, for which I had spent all those months preparing. We got out our list of baby name choices and discussed what her name would be while family milled around at the end of the room. We chose Maia because that was always my secret name for her (a bumblebee cartoon character from my childhood), despite all other ideas, and Scott picked Posey (a street sign we had driven by on our move from Chicago to Austin) as a choice for middle name, which I seconded. And thus sweet Maia Posey came into this world.

Huge Wonder parody kids shirts
Pocket Full of Posey jewelry

bitch-face's picture
Submitted by bitch-face on

thing way too late. I pushed for 2 to 2 1/2 hours with my teeth clenched so tight that DH thought they would shatter :(
Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do.
-Dale Carnegie

Ruby of the Moon's picture

Thanks for the great additions for my beautiful births page!!!

"If I could tell the world one thing, it would be we're all okay"-Jewell

733t sewz0r's picture

here is my link. You can use it! Anything that supports Mamas & Papas, especially natural birthin' Mamas & Papas!

Nels David Hogaboom
a birth story

Born at home to mom Kelly, dad Ralph, and sister Sophia
1:20 AM Wednesday April 7, 2004
8 pounds 7 ounces
21 inches long

April 6th, 9 AM - is it or isn't it?

A couple hours after I wake up on Tuesday I'm having mild contractions that are only a tiny bit more intense than the Braxton Hicks contractions I'd had throughout the last half of my pregnancy. These contractions are only slightly painful and certainly not too intense. Nevertheless, they are somewhat distracting and never truly subside, coming anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes apart. Ralph senses things are going to go into motion and comes home at noon, starting his two weeks off of work. He calls my mom at about 3 PM and tells her to head up to see us (she leaves about 5 PM). At this point I am hopeful of labor but also feeling somewhat silly at the thought I might be treating everyone to a false alarm. My mom arrives at about 9 PM time and she and Ralph start writing down my contractions, calling midwives, and cleaning the house up a bit.

April 6th, 10 PM - the real thing

My mom and I are watching a movie together and my contractions are still coming about 10 minutes apart. I still claim I am unsure if labor is going someplace. But everyone is noticing I pause the movie during each contraction so I can concentrate on getting though it. I'm undecided if I should walk around to "get things moving" or lie down and rest in between contractions. I'm trying not to be too fearful of another long labor like I had with my first child. Suddenly at about 10:30 PM I hop up from the bed and turn off the movie, since contractions have sped up to about 4 minutes apart. Naturally my mom and Ralph are very excited and go about making phone calls and preparations while I pace the floor and cope with each contraction. It is going quite well but I keep telling myself these are the "easy" contractions and I try not to worry about what's to come.

Around 10:30 my midwives and my doula start arriving and I am focusing inward in the classic "Laborland" manner. I notice peripherally how efficient and friendly everyone is, setting up the bed, laying out blankets and birth supplies and getting snacks. Everyone is wonderful to me and provides me with water and encouragement between contractions, respectful silence and privacy during. I feel very protected and honored and so it is easy not to be fearful. My doula Elizabeth arrives and strokes my back and speaks softly to me. She puts me nearly to sleep in between contractions. I am feeling so grateful for the love and encouragement I am getting. I know I am coping very well and in fact since I am doing so well I don't think I am very far along.

April 7th, Midnight - silliest labor quote

Things are intense but I don't want a check to see how far I've dilated. I am somewhat afraid to discover all the work I am doing hasn't gotten me anywhere. Laura (one of the midwives) suggests I get into the tub. I'd always thought of the tub as what you use as a last resort toward the end of labor so I tell her I can wait. After a few more contractions I decide to get in, hoping for some pain relief. I spend about 40 minutes in the tub with contractions edging up their intensity. Everyone is around me encouraging me and vocalizing though my contractions. Elizabeth holds my hands and breathes with me through the contractions, then puts a cold cloth on my head and neck in between. Everyone helps keep me calm and focused, as does the knowledge I have to take each contraction one at a time. Close to 1 AM I feel the urge to have Ralph hold and kiss me while I rest, and help talk me through contractions (he's repeating something I read from Birthing From Within: "Labor is hard work, it hurts, and you can do it"). I don't realize at the time but I am going through transition. After a few contractions I start to feel a little of that, well -- grunting urge. I know it is perfectly okay to grunt and push a little to help with the pain and I instinctively do so. The midwives clue into what I am doing and are back in the room. Laura says, "Gee Kelly, it sounds like you're pushing" and I reply (idiotically) "I'm not really pushing, it just feels good to bear down a little bit". These contractions are pretty rough but everyone is helping me so much it is still very manageable.

April 7th, 1:10 AM - OUCH, OUCH, OUCH!

Kathy convinces me to let her check me and informs me not only am I completely dilated, but that the baby's head has descended quite a bit. I am completely amazed at this (despite knowing I am feeling the urge to push) and even accuse everyone of just saying that to make me feel better! (I feel a little silly about this later). During each contraction I am feeling the pain in my hips, all the way to the bone, which my midwives tell me is a sign the baby is moving. Kathy tells me later I comment that it is like a crowbar prying my pelvis apart. Despite the pain I am coping well and in between the contractions I am still calm. I comment that I am not feeling any pressure in my bottom yet and I think to myself this means I have a ways to go. Oops, I speak too soon -- with the next contraction I feel the baby AT THE DOOR, so to speak. This takes me by surprise and my labor sounds change from low and powerful and very alarmed and - well - a little screechy. Everyone is talking to me and trying to help me calm down and focus. I am amazed at the pain and pressure and overcome with an almost frantic need to push. I am pushing, pushing, pushing, before I can tune into my midwives telling me to ease off. I do the best I can and manage to ease off a bit and direct my energies more constructively. Despite the pain I am overjoyed to know I am so close and my baby will be here any minute. "I know I will feel so good when I see my baby", I tell myself and this helps me. Kathy tells me to reach down and feel the head and after an initial hesitation I do, surprised again at how soft and smooth it is. I can feel each part of his head I deliver. It hurts! But I know I am close. The head is out and then I am surprised by the fullness and difficulty of the shoulders, which I do not remember from my first birth.

April 7th, 1:20 AM - Nels is born

With one final push I feel my baby being delivered and I am surprised it is already over. I have been kneeling in the tub and so immediately turn around and Ralph tells me later I am saying, "Give me my baby! I want to hold my baby!" to the midwives who are doing their thing. I have a vision of his long, smooth body floating in the water, the room lit by candlelight in a soft glow. Within seconds he is in my arms and I am crying and Ralph is crying and the whole room is full of a collective soft and surprised murmur. I am holding him to my chest and saying, "I can't believe it, I can't believe it" over and over, feeling so filled with surprise and happiness. He is perfect and so soft and I feel wonderful. I realize I have done it, I have given birth to a healthy baby boy in my own home, with my own power.

April 7th, early morning - getting to know you

I stay in the water crying and holding my baby for several minutes before anyone thinks to discover the baby's sex. I hold my child away from my chest and in between squirming legs and the umbilical cord I see we have a boy! Of course, this is perfect. Everything feels perfect! After a few more minutes I am ready to get out of the water and get cleaned up, but I know we have to wait for the placenta. I feel like this takes forever but it probably is only a fifteen minute wait. Another surprising feeling of fullness and then the placenta is delivered. Kathy has to pull the cord a bit and gently massage my tummy to get the whole thing in one piece. My mom is on the phone with my dad and has to pass the phone around so she can cut the cord. I am ready to get out and dry off and nurse my second child.

I am helped out of the tub and into some dry clothes. I am so happy to have so much loving help. I prop myself up on the bed and hold my son to my breast. He latches almost immediately like a pro. I keep asking my husband, "Is this really happening?" because it has gone like a dream and I am so happy. After some time of nursing the midwife eventually takes my son to the foot of the bed to weigh him and check his limbs and reflexes. Elizabeth brings me food -- cheese, bread, apples and oranges. My pulse is checked and found to be high (100) so I am encouraged to drink a huge glass of water (this happened with Sophie too). My afterpains are intense, more so than with Sophie, but I know this to be normal. I breathe through them. Sophie wakes up and is brought into the room, looking cranky and confused. I kiss her and introduce her to her brother (she is unimpressed) and Ralph takes her back to the bedroom to settle her back to sleep. Kathy checks my bottom out and finds only two tiny tears, no need for sutures. The energy of the house is settling, people are packing things, Elizabeth says goodbye. Laura leaves too and I take a shower with Kathy's help. She stays long enough to give postpartum instructions and asks me to page her when I can pee. I am a little anxious about this myself, for vague fear of a catheter. Kathy leaves about 3:20 and as her car is pulling out I am able to pee, feeling now finally that everything is alright.

My husband is looking dead tired. I am wired and unable to sleep. We send my mom off to bed. I hold my son who is still awake! He is drowsy though and wants to snuggle. At about 4:30 AM I finally fall asleep on the bed, Ralph on the couch, holding his son. We are awakened just before 7 AM to the joyful sounds of our firstborn running through the house talking excitedly to Grandma. Grandma looks like she really needs a cup of coffee.

diary of a mad bitch

"Macaroni - let me finish! - salad."