Thursday, August 7, 2014


It's taken me almost 2 months to find the time to get Koa's birth story down on paper, but here it is! Thank you in advance if you make it to the end. :)

On Saturday morning, I took Tai (my four year old) to the farmers market and then the children’s museum. We got home around 1:15, and as I turned around in my seat to unbuckle his carseat, I felt a gush down my skirt. I sat in the car for a few minutes, taking it all in. I had convinced myself that the baby wasn’t coming for another week, so I was in total shock. I called my midwife and she informed me that I had until 7:30 the next morning to deliver the baby at home-- due to regulations around home birth. I started feeling very scared about the idea of delivering in the hospital, but tried to stay calm and positive.

I spent the next couple of hours cleaning the house and readying the birth supplies. Slowly, I began to notice a slight crampy feeling in my lower abdomen. I kept puttering and cleaning—hung up some twinkly lights in the bedroom and had a snack. Little by little, the cramps turned into gentle contractions. I spent the next few hours sitting on my bed, watching a movie on my laptop (and painting my toenails :) Since Tai was born on Mother’s day, I thought it would be awesome to have a Father’s day baby as well, so I was trying to keep labor slow in order to make it past midnight.

My body had a very different plan and the contractions continued to pick up in intensity and closeness pretty quickly. I took a hot shower and tried to relax, but by 7:00 pm, it was obvious that I was getting close to having the baby. Alexis sat with me through a few contractions and after watching me try to breath through them, he said, “I think it’s time to call the midwife.”

My midwife and her assistant arrived at 7:30 (along with my 4 best friends and my mom. My brother and Alexis’s best friend were also in the house and my sister was driving home from TX.) The midwives sat with me on my bed, took my vitals, and used the Doppler to check baby’s heartbeat. Tai and Alexis sat on the bed with me—holding my hands through contractions and giving me kisses on my cheeks. After a bit (I lost track of time…) things started to get more intense—the contractions were right on top of one another—and I was feeling really heavy, so Alexis took Tai downstairs to my mom and the midwives left us to labor alone for a bit.

A few minutes after everyone had left the room, I started to feel like pushing. It wasn’t a strong bodily urge (I haven’t felt that with either of my labors) just a conscious acknowledgment that it was time to get the baby out and that I had to push in order to do that. I called the midwives back in, and began to push, leaning back against the headboard of the bed. After a few contractions in that position, I moved onto my knees, resting against the headboard. I began to feel tired and really frustrated-- I felt like I wasn’t making any progress in either position. It felt like my body had forgotten how to push a baby out, and I began to get very discouraged. I'd been so excited about labor, but in the midst of it, I just wanted to get it over with!

 The midwife suggested I change positions again, so I got up and squatted on the floor at the foot of my bed. Alexis sat beside me and the midwife knelt behind me. Immediately, I felt stronger-- gravity was on my side! After only two pushes, I felt Koa’s head ready to emerge. I pushed through the “ring of fire” and his head was out, followed by his body with the next push—at exactly 9:30 pm.

 Koa cried right away—the most beautiful noise in the world!! The midwife passed him up to me between my legs and I held him to my belly—his cord was too short to get him any higher. I was totally in awe, flooded with instant love, and so glad to be done with labor! We had hoped to postpone cord cutting for as long as possible, but in order to get Koa to my chest, Alexis had to cut it. The midwives got me settled in bed  and began cleaning and stitching me up, while I got Koa latched on to my breast. Like his brother, Koa was a pro at nursing and latched on right away.

After the bleeding was under control and I was all stitched up, my mom, Tai, my girlfriends, and my sister (who’d arrived from Texas during my labor) all came in to meet Koa. We spent the next few hours in bed, surrounded by family and friends, soaking up our new little one. I couldn't have asked for a more peaceful, beautiful birth! 

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