A Birth Story
Written by Cassy M
My sister, my mom, and I went to a play, “The play that goes wrong”, on Sat 4/22/23. I had mild contractions during the play that I didn’t think anything of as I had already had a lot of false alarms. The play got over at around 10pm and then we all stayed up and talked until about 1130 and then I drove home. I got home a little after 12am and decided to stay up and watch a little bit of tv. At about 1250am I had been sitting up in bed when I heard and felt a pop. It sounded like a ballon popping under water and felt like a strong, kind of painful kick. I immediately knew that my water had broken. I carefully got out of bed and took a step towards the bathroom in my room and a large gush of fluid leaked on the floor, that happened with the next two steps as well. Leaving about 1.5-2 cups of fluid on the floor.
After putting on a pad I went out and woke my husband up from where he had fallen asleep on the couch to tell him my water had broken. I immediately started shaking and freaking out a little bit as I realized it was baby time. I had to pray and say some affirmations to calm down and get in the right headspace.
At 1:11am I decided to call my Midwife as I had already started having contractions about 5 minutes apart and my water was blood tinged and I wanted to be sure that was normal. She told me it was normal and to go ahead and set up the pool but wait to fill it. We kept in contact via text over the next 2 hours. At 3am my contractions were about 3.5 minutes apart and I started to feel a little groany. My Midwife decided to head over and be there for labor support. I really thought that the baby was coming soon as the intensity increased so fast. My midwife and her students arrived about 4am, my mom getting there right after.
At about 630am the intensity had hit a new level and it was definitely hard to walk or talk through contractions and they were basically back to back. I asked my midwife to check me and I was only at 3cm, I was so depressed, most of the labor was in the form of intense back pain that wrapped all the way around. My midwife was concerned that baby’s position was not optimal so we tried some different positions to labor in to try and get baby in a better position.
At 930am I wanted to be checked again as I was getting so tired and was hoping we were getting close. On the way to the bedroom I started having a contraction and I just stopped at my pantry shelf and cried. My midwife hugged me and was very reassuring. I was at 3cm again. I decided to get in the pool to try and relax and get some relief from the constant pain. At this point I needed constant support to get through.
Everyone there was taking turns pressing on my back and hips.
The relief on getting in the pool was pretty amazing. The contractions slowed down a tiny bit and allowed me to rest a little in between. My husband made everyone breakfast, I was too nauseated to eat much of anything. I stayed in the pool for a little while and then we tried some other positions.
At about 1230pm I wanted to be checked one more time. The intensity had been at the same level for about 5 hours now and I needed to know if we were nearing the end. This time I was at 8cm. Finally! I wanted to get back in the pool. I started feeling very sick and ended up throwing up at one point. That transition period was so hard, every contraction I wanted to give up. My groans changed to guttural yells that I had to work to keep at a low pitch. I had to constantly remind myself that the only way out was through it. The baby would be here before I had time to do anything about the pain. I said more than once I can’t do this, but every contraction I forced myself to give in and relax by chanting “OPEN OPEN OPEN” in my head while actively loosening tight muscles. More than once I opened my eyes and focused on the baby’s car mirror as it said “baby in sight” on the box. It was an accidental affirmation that really helped me.
At about 130pm I started to feel a lot of rectal pressure and started instinctively bearing down with contractions which felt so good after all the pain. Around 2pm I really started pushing hard and could feel baby descending and felt the ring of fire. That ring of fire did not go away the entire time I was pushing. My oldest daughter was there and was asking about baby being born and my midwife was explaining to her that baby will come down a little and go back up and come down a little and go back up. I interrupted her and asked “how many times?” Which made everyone laugh but I was so ready for her to be born. My midwife realized while checking her progress at one point that her hand was up by her face and tried to move it to help her come down but it wouldn’t move.
Finally at 2:18pm her head (and hand) was born and at 2:19pm after another really good push her body followed. I had wanted to reach down and catch her but I was using my hands to press against the pool while pushing.
They brought her up to my chest and immediately all the pain was gone. It was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But nothing compared to the feeling of holding my baby after all the work it took to bring her out. I just held her and laughed and then cried.
The placenta didn’t want to come, I tried nursing to see if that would help and after about 20 minutes we decided to cut the cord and pass baby to dad, then I was able to bear down and get the placenta out with the aid of an herbal tincture from my midwife.
I ended up having 4 superficial tears from baby’s arm and hand coming out with her head. My midwife said that the duration of labor and the fact that it was intense back labor was most likely the result of her hand being up the entire time. The total time from my water breaking to baby being born was 13.5 hours.