you every bit of advice I have.
at his phone to check the time.
But I was ready to support girlfriend for the next 24 hours if need be.
She did and was glad for it.
She and Derek were doing SO good. They were a team. He held her any way she wanted, she breathed, she relaxed thru the contractions… You could see her relief to be in her own home. And that is my main excitement over home birth. I mean come on, what do you feel upon just VISITING someone at the hospital? You know, when you leave, you are just so happy to be “out of there”. Well, it’s the same for laboring Momma’s. Our bodies respond to that stress – especially first time Moms. Did you know that 26% of first time Momma’s will have a C-section at the hospital in America (I think the worldwide average is 4%!!!). Don’t get me started…
Anways – Chels wasn’t getting anywhere. She was still at 6 cms and saying how tired she was so we came up with a plan. For hours we had been talking her out of the sleep she wanted to badly. It seemed to us that laying down would be such a waste (since she wouldn’t be able to “use” her contractions to their utmost effectiveness). We were concerned that she would wake up just as tired.
In true Midwife fashion – Debbie allowed Chels to listen to her own body! She gave me the go ahead to go talk to
her and I presented two options -
“It’s 4:30. They’ll give you an IV so you can get some more fluids in you. Your lips look dry – we are worried that you are dehydrated. If you actually think you can sleep between contractions then you should do that. At 7:30 we’ll wake you up and if you feel just as tired as before, we’ll transfer to the hospital – not for a C-section, but for more fluids and maybe an epidural so you can get some more rest. When it’s time to push we’ll have them turn it down because we know you want to be fully engaged.
When you wake up, if you feel refreshed and ready to rock it, then we are gonna rock it Chels (From one Alias fan to another)
Sydney Bristow style!
Deb hung that IV from a hook on Chelseas window and true to her word – she was OUT!
This gave me a chance to run over to my Mom’s (who had come to my house to get my kids) and nurse a
VERY pissed off little baby Julien!
As I was grabbing my keys to head back (a 12 minute drive) Deb texted me
“8 cm and slight desire to push”
ZIP – BOOM- BONJOUR!
WE ARE BACK IN BUSINESS!
When I came running up the stairs to their apartment Chels was rocking’ the “on all fours” position with her head down on the mattress. Now let me tell you this – I have had four babies “au natural” — the first one took 28 hours and those a–holes (pardon me, but I am still mad about it) transferred me to the hospital. It is a PHENOMENAL thing to be in the same room as someone whose body is wracked with pain and you can just get up, and go pee or get a fresh glass of water.
It’s like you are in the same room but WORLDS apart
– it blew my mind.
I knew where she was.
She was delirious with pain.
Frantic at the idea of this taking 2, 4, 6 more hours.
But I could hear the slight grunt and the end of those moaning breaths and I told her confidently, “Chels… we’re looking at less than an hour here. You can do this.”
To quote me & Chels’s favorite workout instructor
See, my sister, God bless her, is always worried about everyone else. It is, frankly, a bad habit.
She’d be walking down the hall and she glance into the kitchen where the midwife and nurse were hanging out and she’d say,
“You girls O.K.?”
Us women KNEW that she hadn’t hit that stride yet – that place in labor where you don’t give a rats you-know-what about anyone else. That place where your world is so small, so focused…
We were waiting for that to happen for Chels.
For her to let go and let labor –
and she finally was.
Desperate to get comfortable, she was on her knees, then standing, then her knees, til’ she told Derek to sit behind her as he had often been throughout the day.
Pushing time had come.
Now – let me pause here, and tell you
about my brother-in-law Derek.
I’ll try to keep it brief, but you know how I feel about men (See all my “Where Have all the Cowboys Gone” posts that thrill or upset so many people). But – if there were more 24 year olds like DEREK in American the world would be a better place. Can you think of a 24 year old man who would support his wife wanting to have a natural, at-home birth… LET ALONE have a wife AT ALL!???
On D’s side of the bed are all sorts of books,
“Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters”
“Wild at Heart”
“The Kid Who Climbed Everest”
On his mirror are bible verses and notes to his wife.
He’s got them on a budget.
He’s leaving’ and cleavin’ the way more men should
(sorry, that’s a Christian joke that may be lost on some of ya’ll)
Now let’s push.
Like me the first time, Chels wanted to be told how to push,
It’s so weird, your instinct is there, but there is something actually comforting, after so many hours of being out of control, to be given an assignment.
She rocked it.
I could see Derek behind her and could only imagine how numb his legs were… Chels would make eye contact with me (kneeling next to the Midwife) as if to say “This is it right? This is happening?”
I encouraged her as best I could. She was working so hard!
And the killer “don’t push” moment to keep
you from blowing a gasket!
And then, head.
Then a shoulder… and
She was OUT!
Screaming like a little 5.5 pound banshee!
When Aidan was born everyone yelled,
“He’s so big!”
When Ivy June was born,
Everyone exclaimed, “She’s so little!”
Chels looked at me like,
“I did it?”
YOU DID IT CHELS!
She beat the odds.
First time Mom.
All the normal things they would consider an “emergency”
-6 cms for 6+ hours
-baby showed signs of meconium early in the labor
-mom very fatigued
You did it Chels.
And not matter how it
would have turned out – You did it!
You have that baby in your arms.
Now you are a Momma Lion.
Now you will fight for someone like never before.
Now you love someone like never before.
Like I told Nic when Sofia was born -
Auntie Ang and Baby Ivy!