Lily Beth’s Birth Story
April 22nd 2012
My Birth Team: Christopher Fare, my midwife Cathy Rude, her assistant Amanda, and my lovely friend and photographer Holly Tinklenberg
For a week or two before going into labor, I joked about my water breaking right as we cut into Grace’s birthday cake. Who knew how close to that I would actually be! It was Grace’s birthday and I honestly thought that nothing would happen that day. I was 38 weeks and 1day pregnant and Grace was born at 38weeks. In my mind there was just no way that this baby would be coming at the same time Grace had.
We spent the whole day focused on Grace. We played with Grace, had a family bbq, and watched her eat all of the icing off the top of her cupcake. This was all around 3:30 I think. Afterwards, we decided to do some shopping and see what fun things we could find for the birthday girl. I remember Chris refusing to let me drive because “your water might break” and I was so sure at the time that there was no way my water was going to break today. I was having contractions but they weren’t noticeable at all, the same ones that I had been having for weeks.
At about 5:30 we were shopping at Target. I had one hard contraction that caused me to stop for a
second, but it went away quickly so I didn’t think much of it. I took two steps and decided that I needed to go to the ladies room, and told my family that I would meet them when they were done checking out. I took two more steps forward and felt a small gush. I hurried to the bathroom thinking that there was no way that my water had broken, especially not 2 hrs after having Grace’s cupcakes! My family was waiting for me at the entrance to the store and as I walked to the car I quietly told Chris that I thought my water had broken and that I would text Cathy as we were driving home to give her a heads up.
After arriving home I went straight to the bathroom to change and call Cathy. I was absolutely certain that my water had definitely broken and that baby would be coming soon. She recommended that I try to take a nap since it looked like we were going to be having a late night and I had been up all day.
I tried my best to sleep but I was feeling incredibly excited and anxious, so I just relaxed in the bed and watched food network. Chris would come in every so often and encourage me to go to sleep and call if I needed him. Sometime around 8:30 the contractions really kicked in. I was still able to talk through them, but they were strong and in my back. I had Chris come in and press into my back to try to help me continue to manage them and text Cathy to keep her updated on my progress. An hour or so later I took a shower to see if that would slow my contractions down or if they would lessen in intensity at all. They didn’t, but the hot water felt wonderful on my back, since that is where I was still feeling all of my contractions. I’m not sure how long I was in there, maybe 45 minutes, but we knew that it was time to leave when I got out.
The drive to the birth center was exactly what I expected it to be, painful. I leaned my seat back to
try and make myself more comfortable, but knowing that I was confined to the car just sucked. I was so happy when we arrived and got out of the car as quickly as I could. The contraction I had in the driveway of the center felt so much better compared to the ones I’d had in the car.
Cathy was waiting inside for us and the birth room was all ready with the exception of the tub, which was still filling up. We took my vitals and listened to baby through a couple contractions, everything was looking great. Cathy checked me and I was at 4cm, so it wasn’t quite time to get into the tub yet. I sat on the labor ball and rolled through my contractions for about an hour, and during that time Chris gave Holly, my photographer a call, to let her know that she should start heading our way. I chatted with Cathy and her assistant Amanda in between my contractions and remember feeling really happy and comfortable, almost forgetting that I was in labor!
After a while I couldn’t just sit on the ball anymore. Cathy went to take a quick nap around 11:30 or so and I climbed into the bathtub and used the shower head to run water down my back. Holly arrived shortly after and we would talk and joke between my contractions.
Once my contractions began feeling like they were one on top of the other I climbed into the pool. I wasn’t laughing or joking anymore, I kept trying to get ahead of the contractions and had lost all sense of time. I leaned on the edge of the tub while Chris rubbed my back and Amanda and Holly took turns pouring hot water on me to help ease the feeling of back labor. As soon as a contraction would finish I would roll back over to try to rest, drink something, and clear my head. But it felt as though as soon as I had rolled to my back that I needed to roll back over again, I just could not get ahead of everything. During the contractions I know that I was being very vocal with my pain, which I had never done before, but it just wasn’t possible for me to stay quiet. Chris said later that I was probably waking up the neighborhood. After a bit of this, I was feeling exhausted and lost. I never once felt like I needed medication or that I needed to leave for a hospital or anything, but I knew that I wasn’t supposed to be feeling the way that I was. Cathy told me that I was fighting my contractions, which was why I was hurting so much and that I needed to just relax in the pool, allow my body to turn to jello, and float. Everything clicked from there. I thought to myself “oh duh, you should have thought of that” and with the next contraction I did exactly as she told me. I relaxed completely and immediately felt the difference, it was incredible! I no longer felt in pain, although I was still having back labor. My body was doing its job and within what felt like seconds I felt myself progressing.
I’m not sure how much time passed between that point and when I got out of the tub so it could be
drained a bit and refilled with warmer water. I sat on the toilet and continued to allow myself to just go limp and lean against Chris. While sitting there I felt in control again, not over my body but over my mind, it was easier for me to stay relaxed even though I was beginning to feel sick.
I moved to the bed and laid on my side with Chris behind me and I’m almost certain I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow. I woke up with every contraction and Chris would remind me to relax and when the contraction was done I would try and drink something before falling asleep again. Cathy checked me and I was at 8cm, almost there.
I don’t know how long it was between that point and when I felt my body beginning to push. It was very strange to wake up and feel my body doing that, but I knew that was what was supposed to happen. I whispered to Chris that I needed to push and he let everyone else in the room know. Cathy checked me again during the contraction and helped me get past the last little lip of cervix that was left. I continued pushing on my side, but I’m not sure for how long. 2 or 3 contractions maybe? I knew that we were making progress but I felt as though I couldn’t get past a certain point in that position.
Cathy asked if I wanted to get back into the tub so I could have the water birth that I had imagined
for myself, but I didn’t want to leave the bed. With the next contraction we moved me into a
lunge “runners” position and I felt as though I was able to push better and my back labor went away! After another couple contractions I knew that this was going to be it. I don’t remember feeling any pain, not even the ring of fire, I just knew that I was almost done. I pushed as hard as I could out came her little head and after one more good push, there she was. Our little Lily Beth was born at 1:56 am with a full head of hair. I looked down through my legs and saw Cathy holding her. I remember thinking in my head, “how the heck do I flip over” but by the time I had finished the thought I was laying down holding her on my stomach. My baby was finally here and in our arms.
I delivered my placenta and began bleeding more than we would have liked me too, so Cathy gave me a pitocin shot and massaged my uterus and the bleeding stopped. Lily stayed on my chest while all of this was happening and Chris and I were so focused on her that we hardly even noticed what was going on with me. We waited for the cord stopped pulsing before Chris cut it, and after he did he got to hold and cuddle her while Cathy began working on my stitches. While Chris was out grabbing me an after labor meal I decided it was time to try and feed Lily and she latched on right away and stayed latched on until after Chris had gotten back. She was, and still is, my little breastfeeding champ.
As I got ready for our bath Chris and Cathy weighed Lily and did a more thorough exam. She was 8lbs even and 20″ long, which I could not believe! When they handed her to me in the tub I kept looking at her thinking that there was no way she was 8lbs, she looked so tiny. We soaked in our herbal bath and I held her head as her little body floated in the water. Then I held her to my chest again as we brushed what little vernix was left out of her hair. If the water hadn’t started getting cold I could have sat in there with her for hours!
After the bath I dressed to get ready to go home. This was one of the most exciting parts for me
because I hated my hospital stay after Grace was born. Chris went out to get the car warmed up and make sure the carseat was installed right. I waited in the dark waiting room of the birth center and let Cathy hold Lily for a minute. Then we gave Cathy one more hug and headed for home and our comfy bed.
Lily is now almost 8wks old and I can hardly believe it has been that long already. I will forever have the most wonderful memories of Lily’s birth and the amazing care that my birth team gave me. I really cannot thank them enough!