Niah Renae's Birth

Birth Story

I started having cramping and lots of tightening about one month before Niah was born and wondered if she’d actually come early. I was dilated to 3 cm and 70% effaced at the time of my due date. By the end of the week, on Friday, one week after my due date, we wondered if she’d ever come.

It was Friday evening. Wade came home from work; it was a long hard week at school for him and I was tired of being cooped up and bored around the house (Aris was at his grandparents for the week). So we decided to go out for dinner in Ludington – about 45 minutes from Hesperia.  I was having regular mild contractions (cramps) in the car there, during dinner and on the way back (about every 7-10 minutes), but nothing new since I’ve had plenty of periods of regular contractions for the last few weeks.

I went to bed around 10pm and woke up about midnight with contractions again, but this time the cramping was a little bit stronger than the others, but still quite mild.  I couldn’t fall back to sleep because I wondered if this was the start of labor. I got up for a few minutes to see if the contractions would get stronger or closer together, but after a few minutes, decided to just lay down and try to sleep. I laid on the couch so my restlessness wouldn’t wake up Wade. Contractions were coming every 7-8 minutes. I couldn’t sleep. By 3am I got up to see if things would progress. And did they ever!!

Almost immediately, they got stronger and were coming every 2-3 minutes. I ate a cliff bar, went to the bathroom and called Patrice (a homebirth midwife who was going to be my labor support) at 3:20am. Had three contractions while talking to her and she said she’d be on her way soon. I told her to take her time. I was handling it okay so far and the contrax weren’t lasting very long. Well, I got in the shower and told Wade to call Patrice back and tell her NOT to take her time, but to hurry up instead. Decided she’d meet us on the corner in Hesperia and she’d follow us to the hospital. Wade said he was going to take a shower but I said “no way; there’s no time.”  Contrax were coming fast and I needed some help getting through them. I was walking throughout the house, getting ready to go – standing, sometimes leaning on the counter or bed, sometimes even walking during contrax.

I was sitting in the car by 4am, waiting for Wade to get in and drive but he was taking too long. He couldn’t find his wallet and needed to go to the bathroom, etc. I was yelling from the car that we needed to go now. I don’t think he realized how serious I was. (When I was in labor with Aris, I was saying that I needed to get to the hospital right away and when I got there, I was only 4cm).

We left the house at 4:08 and drove 75 mph in a 55 mph zone to Gerber Hospital. Contrax were coming one on top of another with no break. I was tolerating them pretty well though…..rhythmically sighing “ah, ah, ah, ah…..” on my out breath. I kept telling myself to hold on, relax, etc. We got to the hospital, walked to the elevator and into the labor/delivery room. Arrived at 4:23 am. (times according to Patrice).  Felt pushy by 4:28 and was 9 cm dilated. My 1st real strong urge to push was at 4:32 – standing at the side of the bed – and my water broke with that push. I got on the bed on my knees and wrapped one arm around Wade’s waist, another hand holding the bed rail. Felt a few strong urges to push and I was quite surprised how painful it was. It felt completely different with Aris.  I was having lots of doubt at this time about not being able to do it. Time seemed to be going so much slower than what it was.

At 4:40, after maybe 5 (?) agonizing pushes her head was born and I was so relieved! At 4:41am baby girl was born!  (Yes, this is less than 20 minutes after arriving at the hospital, and only an hour and a half of active labor.)

They laid her on the bed under me as I leaned over her and stared. Her eyes were open, she was breathing and was quiet and calm. I turned over and baby was put on my chest. She was quiet and peaceful, like nothing ever happened.  The nurse was concerned that she wasn’t crying, but the rest of us weren’t. The nurse took her briefly to check her over and she was fine. She nursed after about 20 minutes of being born. She latched right on like she’d done it before.

I had a minor tear (nothing like before!). She went to dad for skin-to-skin while I was being stitched up. After about 45 minutes, the placenta hadn’t delivered yet, so I squatted on the bed and pushed and there it was. I felt so great afterwards, that after an hour and a half, I got up, went to the bathroom, got some clothes on, put her on my chest and sat on the couch with Wade.

Niah Renae   8 lbs 1oz

I didn’t experience the gentle, peaceful birth I was hoping for (in the tub, music, massage, relaxed). The birth on the other hand was fast, intense and powerful.  In the end, I was glad to have experienced it. I was pretty scared during Aris’ labor and birth, it was a long and agonizing 3 hours stuck at 9 cm, plus I was not happy with my pushing experience with Aris (very much directed and forced by the midwife, not by me). This time it was ALL ME and I am glad to have experienced it.