Open Door Midwifery

The Birth of Arlo Helix Peregrine

Born:May 3, 2011 7:25pm
Weight: 8 lbs. 6 oz. 20.5 inches long
Parents:Gaia and Guerra

Pre-labor lasted a few days, with slight contractions spaced one to three hours apart. Guerra and I kept up on walking the dogs and hiking. I took the dogs to Hixon Forest to hike one of the trails a few days after my due date to see if that would bring on labor (it didn’t). I also continued to weed the side garden in preparation for planting. May 1st through 3:15pm May 2nd my contractions were about an hour apart, lasting maybe 30 seconds apiece. Once Guerra got home from work May 2nd my contractions kicked into gear, immediately going from an hour apart to five minutes apart and becoming somewhat intense. Guerra called Tavniah to let her know what was going on and since we were going to the Birth Center she asked if we would like to come in now, or wait. Guerra said he would talk to me and one of us would call her back. A few more contractions came and went and we decided we should probably leave since we had to make a 45 minute drive. We grabbed everything we needed and hopped in the car. The drive was less than comfortable during contractions. Once we got there Tavniah let us into the Birth Center and asked some questions and checked me. I was completely effaced and about 2 cm dilated. I continued to experience contractions over the next several hours and they became more intense around 11pm that night. The pool was filled and I hopped in. But the contractions didn’t get any closer together or more intense. Labor seemed to slow down once I got into the pool but the contractions became more bearable. Guerra rubbed my lower back during contractions when I wasn’t in the pool. Denise arrived around midnight (she had been on vacation). I refused most food, though I did manage to choke down a plum, take a couple of bites of a banana, and also had a couple bites of a little energy snack. I was drinking tea with honey, which isn’t enough to sustain a person during a long labor. I just couldn’t eat anything because every time I took a bite a contraction would come on and I would feel as if I was going to regurgitate what I had eaten. The contractions continued throughout the night. Guerra napped for a little while in the early morning hours of May 3rd. I was jealous, but I was dozing off in the pool in between contractions. I was told every hour or so to get out of the pool and use the bathroom. Contractions continued all through the day but we seemed to be making little to no progress. I was checked again and I was nearly fully dilated; only a small lip of my cervix remained. My water had also not broken, so Tavniah asked if she could try breaking my water to see if that would speed up the process (at this time I had been in labor for nearly twenty hours). She broke my water, but the contractions were practically the same. Denise then checked to see which way the baby was facing and he was facing up instead of down (the optimal position for birth). I was given Blue Kohosh around 2 or 3 that afternoon to increase contractions. My contractions strengthened but he was still not coming. Since I had barely eaten anything I was given an IV to keep up my strength, and because of his positioning Tavniah and Denise attempted to manipulate his position inside of my uterus. At this point Guerra was in the other room, understanding that I only wanted to be around the ladies while I was being painfully poked and prodded. After numerous attempts to get him to turn around I got back into the water. At that point I couldn’t take any more of the pain associated not only with contractions but of the attempts to manipulate Arlo’s position. Denise came in to tell me she could attempt one more thing to get him to turn and if we couldn’t get him out after that we may have to go to the hospital. I almost wanted to just go to the hospital, if only for the pain killers (I understand why women choose to use painkillers when they don’t have a really good support system during hospital births). I was losing faith in myself. Denise sent Guerra in to talk to me. At that point my contractions started telling me to “push”. I got out of the water when it was suggested to use some gravity positions. I squatted, using Guerra’s legs to hold to steady myself. At that point I could feel him coming down, and Tavniah was finally able to see him with the mirror. After pushing in that position for a while I went to the bathroom to labor on the toilet which is when I could really feel him coming down into my birth canal. After a while pushing on the pot I waddled back into the bedroom and labored on my side, squeezing Guerra’s hand. We thought Arlo would come out face up, but between their attempted manipulations and his decent he had rotated on his own. He came out face down; the cutest little thing I’d ever seen….even with the intense cone head. It was snowing that morning. Arlo waited for the sun to come out from behind the clouds before his debut in this world.

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