Apparently, I need quite a bit of time to get all these stories written down. And I’ve had many inquiries about our recent experiences (from those of you who haven’t already heard), which I alluded to in a previous blog. First, my apologies for teasing you all by telling you something big happened and then leaving you hangin’ and not telling you the whole story for so long. I had every intention of getting it written down sooner but I’ve been a little bit busy taking care of a charming little girl named Mia. Second, and for whatever reason, I feel that the stories (i.e. the birth story and the other story) must be told in chronological order. So, I am going to give you the short version of both stories . I will keep working on — and eventually — post all the details on this blog…but no guarantees as to when that will happen. Here goes the condensed version…
The Birth Story
My water broke in the middle of my Tuesday night prenatal yoga class (on September 20th) at High Desert Yoga, which provided a good bit of excitement for all the ladies. Prior to that, I had no contractions or any indication that the Little Bean was going to come early (recall my due date was Oct 1st); in fact, I was thinking — perhaps wishfully thinking — that the Bean would be late, as statistically probable for first time moms. So my water broke, I called Aaron, who immediately knew something was up because it was in the middle of the time that I am always in yoga. By the time I got home, he was setting up the tub. Mild contractions began somewhere on my way home, and I wasn’t even sure they were contractions until about 7 or 8 PM. We called our midwife, explained the situation and she said something like ‘call me back when you are SURE you’re having contractions’.
Our midwife’s apprentice, Diana, came over to ‘labor sit’ at 10 PM because my contractions were still short (less than 1 minute) and 4-5 minutes apart. She called Jenny, our midwife at 11 PM and told her I was definitely ‘in labor’ and Jenny was there by midnight.
I was in the tub by 9:30ish. The water was immensely helpful with the contractions. The Hynobirthing training was very helpful in that I was able to remain pretty relaxed, thus the contractions were able to do the work they are designed to do.
The whole time, I could feel the Little Bean moving around, especially before each contraction. Jenny and Diana would periodically listen for the Bean’s heart rate right after a contraction, and it was always going strong, which Aaron and I were always so pleased to hear.
At a little after 3:30 in the morning (although I had no idea what time it was), I started feeling the urge to push. At that point, the Bean’s head only had about 1 inch to go (I had just checked myself…that was VERY encouraging!). I hadn’t been pushing yet, so that meant that the Bean had moved all the way down and past my pelvic bone just with the contractions. I only pushed for 20 minutes — although it seemed like longer than that — and the Bean was born at 3:56 AM!
Mia came out in the water. I reached down and “caught” her, and brought her up above the water, keeping her body submerged in the warm water but allowing her face above the water. (Aaron and Diana were helping me with leverage while I was pushing so Aaron’s hands were holding me.) Jenny was immediately next to us, with her hands over mine. Mia was a bit slow to take her first breath, but Jenny was totally calm and talked to her, saying “you’re out now, time for you to breathe, little one” and running her hands up and down Mia’s spine. She took her first breath, let out a few cries, and I held my child to my chest as I sat in the warm water. Aaron was right at my shoulder with his arms around us. A few minutes later, I realized I should look to see whether we had a boy or girl. I quickly saw that the Bean was a girl and, after a quick confirmation that our chosen name for her was appropriate, agreed to call her Maria Constance Moore.
We sat and admired this amazing little person for what seems like a long time. Then, Aaron held Mia to his chest, while Jenny and Diana helped me move to our bed. Once I was situated in bed, and Mia had finished eating (she latched on right away, without difficulty, which I attribute to her being born without any drugs and being given the breast immediately after birth), Jenny examined Mia and took all her initial measurements. She was 5 pounds, 12 ounces and measured 19.5 inches long. Jenny and Diana cleaned everything up, and Aaron started bringing me food and fluids. With Aaron, Mia and I all cleaned up and cozy in our bed, Jenny and Diana left our house around 7:30 that morning.
See Aaron’s original post on her birthday for more photos of our precious girl: https://onemooreintheoven.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/maria-constance-moore/
People ask if it was what I expected. I can only say that I knew that I would never, could never know what to expect. It doesn’t matter how many books I had read (and you all know that I am a dork and read a million books); none of them could have possibly told me what to expect.
Mia’s birth was so many things: difficult yet easy, exciting yet peaceful and calm, tiring and also energizing. At times, I felt I couldn’t possibly continue dealing with the contractions or that I couldn’t actually push my baby out. But I did. At other times, I worried that the Bean (since we didn’t know she was Mia at that point) was under too much physical stress. But the Bean was (and still is) in perfect health. Her birth was simply amazing. Although I know birth is a common experience, to me, her birth was miraculous. I think all births are miraculous. That experience has forever changed me, for the better.
I am so glad that we birthed our baby at home. I am so happy that Aaron was there with me through every moment. He was an amazing partner and is an amazing father. I am so glad Mia came to us and I feel privileged to be her mother. I am proud that we were able to provide her with a safe, drug free, and gentle entry into this world. Her birth was only an 8-hour process. Now we have set our sights on the rest of her life, one day at a time. I hope that I will be a good mother to her throughout her life; that is my new and most important job. I will do my very best, Mia.
You are already both doing such an amazing job. Days can be very long, but the years will start to fly by. We love you and are so happy for you.