Day 709. In peace (The birth of Dóri)
From the 38th week on, I was very antsy about the birth. On the day when I finished week 39, I decided to harvest strawberries in the evening to make some jam the next day if nothing happens and the weather is not too hot. I spent the afternoon in front of the TV, resting my swollen legs and between three and half past three I felt something. It was such a tiny feeling, barely registering in my mind; I would not call it contraction. I realized only afterwards, that I was already in labour at that moment.
The contractions became stronger around six o’clock when I first thought that something would really happen here today. My parents just arrived but I was not telling them anything, since my father shuddered from my homebirth plan. I thought this is my first baby and even for those who gave birth several times before, this can take a long time, so I won’t be done before dawn, no need to worry.
Five minutes before they left, I had three stronger contractions and after that I felt a popping sensation, the bag of water broke and some of the water leaked. Quick run to the bathroom, changing and when they left I reassured them at the door that “I am just fine”. When their car left the street, I told my husband that my water broke. “Now?” – he asked with frightened eyes. “No, before” – I answered. It was at half past six and I got an immediate answer to my question when we should call the midwives: “Right now”. It was the right decision, since the events sped up so quickly from here that I could not even make two steps.
It was hard, because very strong contractions came very quickly. However, I did not feel time passing slowly like others and I was not getting exhausted from contractions. Every time I looked at the clock, I saw that another half hour had passed… I was standing in the dining room, leaning on the table, squeezing the table. My husband huddled himself on the armchair next to me, with scared eyes like a little boy; I smiled a little bit inside. I took a shower while waiting for the midwife and the doula, who arrived at half past eight. I had two more contractions while they unpacked and the expulsion phase just started.
Then we moved to the bedroom, where they examined me and found me completely dilated. We did not leave the room anymore, even though I wanted to give birth in the bathroom; looking back it was better this way. I was standing again, clinging onto the drawer and my helpers massaged my back, put warm compresses onto my belly, protected my perineum and checked the baby’s heartbeat from time to time. It was quite an intimate atmosphere: just the three of us, women, waiting for a new life to be born, the light from the floor infiltrated into the semi-darkness – it was not disturbing, and everything was silent.
The silence was very important for me. I am quite an introvert person and cannot really tolerate to be ordered around or goaded, so it was especially good for me that they left me to labour in peace and let my body lead. They did not tell me to push or not to push, to breath or not and it was great. If they were talking to each other behind me they did it in a low voice and they always told me in advance if they were doing something with me. Previously, I had thought I would need my husband’s presence, to hold his hands and have him next to me, but I didn’t, maybe he would have bothered me. He was sitting on the stairs, three meters away from us looking into the bedroom. I saw him too, it was enough. He was present and not at the same time.
I was in this position almost the whole time, when my midwife suggested to change position, hoping it would help, so I kneeled on the bed (here my husband could not see me anymore). During the second contraction, I already felt her little head streching and after the third or fourth the head was out and contractions stopped. I really did not believe before that mothers feel no more pain when the baby is born, but it is true. I did not even have any more contractions after the head was out. We waited a bit and my midwife told me to try pushing her out. I pushed twice and Dóri was born at 21.46, weighing 3200 g and being 54 cm big.
They placed her on my belly, called the new father in, who was really surprised that she is already born, since she was not crying just looking around streching herself and started crawling up to my breast to eat. Between my two huge boobs she crawled up to my neck and started seeking food there. My doula helped me to put her on my breast and she started feeding immediately. We covered her and cuddled for an hour till the umbilical cord was not pulsating anymore. My husband cut the cord even though he was telling me during the whole pregnancy that he does not want to do that, but he got curious. Then he held the baby while I was giving birth to the placenta which he did not want to see before either, but now he liked it. Like a little boy: “Whoa, really ugly but so cool!”. Next morning he was even showing it to his parents when they visited us…
Later my helpers left, I took a shower and my mother (who was there again) did not believe her eyes how fine I was, like I hadn’t given birth a couple of hours ago. She said the same thing when I called her 15 minutes after Dóri’s birth, that my voice was not tired or exhausted at all. I was not, that is the truth, I was totally excited! I was almost yelling when explaining to my father that his granddaughter was really born.
Then my mother left as well and the three of us, having our little daughter between us, slept till morning (OK, me only a half an hour after seven because I was only admiring Dóri). I drew the conclusion the next day: Dóri did not want to make strawberry jam!
I think it was one of the best decisions in my life to give birth at home. It was important for me how they treated me, but more important how my baby was welcomed into this world. I can say only one thing: they are not administering but accompanying childbirth, just as they told us during the information week. As I said before, they did not order me to push and I did not have to concentrate on contractions and push with all my strength right away. I surrended myself to an primeval power and let my body do what it has to do and it worked! I was not doing anything consciously, I was not thinking about anything, not even about the fact that I am giving birth, and still everything happened as it should. No episiotomy was necessary, I was not torn and there was almost no bleeding. It was a real undisturbed birth.
Z. H. Á.
Véletlenül kiválasztott mesék.
This post is also available in: Hungarian