this is one of my absolute favorites. my grandpa always used to take pictures of us on the steps when i was noah's age, and now here i am, the mama of three, on the steps of the same house.
& this one, too.
i really wish i had a mothering mentor, a woman who has children older than mine whose ways i respect & desire. i've got lots of close friends with young children, and i love them & respect them, but i'm missing that nurturing.
i think all the happy hormones have left my body.
(not that i'm not happy; it's just veiled by ughness at the moment).
i need to drink my placenta shakes more regularly.
i had just gone back to bed after getting up to use the bathroom & get another drink
of water. i was a bothered because i *had* to pee again! so, i rolled out of bed
again & as soon as i stood up, i realised i didn't have to pee; my water had broke!
i did a quiet little happy dance all the way back to the bathroom to check & see if
there was mec in the waters or if it was clear, & when it was clear i did another
little happy dance. it was 2.30 in the morning on friday, april 23rd, and i was 42
weeks & 5 days pregnant.
i gathered myself a bit & woke matthew up, telling him my water had finally broke.
he hopped up & started sweeping the floor. (for some reason i asked him weeks before
that when i told him i was in labor it would be awesome if he would sweep the
floors!) i called grace, my midwife, to let her know. (she was pregnant too, &
ended up having her own little girl five days after i gave birth. the night before,
we had discussed a ton of different scenarios, and what we were going to do about
them... if she went into labor when she was attending my birth, if she had her baby
before i had mine, etc etc...) she did a happy dance too! we talked for a few
minutes & i told her i would call her back when things started to pick up.
matthew & i hung out, got some things together for the boys, made coffee, did some
dishes... just sort of puttered around the house a bit for a few hours. i sat on
the balance ball a lot, & was having contractions that seemed regular, (we haven't
*timed* contractions with any of my births), but they weren't too intense. finally
though, around 5 am, i decided to call my parents to come & pick up the boys. as
soon as they were pulling out of the driveway with the boys, the surges definitely
got more intense. i called our doula around 6, and grace again around 6.30.
matthew turned some music on (of course i didn't want the birth mix i had worked on,
now!) & i set myself up in the dining room, sitting on the ball & leaning onto a
stack of pillows on the table. matthew sat with me, holding my hands, through each
contraction. it was really divine, to have a little bit of time to labor with just
matthew. we would talk or just look at each other in between the contractions, & it
just felt very sacred.
i didn't hear eileen come in, but she put her hands on my back & helped release my
hips a little during a contraction. it was great to have her here; she has such a
gentle voice & a very mother-earthy-lovely presence about her. she was a little
more chatty than i expected, but i knew that my senses were extremely heightened so
it didn't really bother me. when grace showed up, she just sat across from me at
the table, holding the space & observing while i was working. i was very quiet &
wasn't being vocal throughout the contractions this time, even though they seemed
to be just as intense as they were when i was birthing jonah. i was really, really
focused on my breathing & praying through each surge. i stood up once for grace to
get a listen to ruby, and noticed my legs were shaking. i thought maybe i was in
transition but then thought there was no way; i was too lucid & things weren't
that intense yet.
around 9 am, i got up to use the restroom & when i came out eileen & grace were
putting the kettle on for tea. we all talked for a few minutes about tea & i said i
was hungry so matthew gave me a granola bar to munch on. we walked around the house
a bit, trying to decide what to listen to, & just chit-chatted for a good twenty
minutes. i remember looking at the clock & seeing how light we were all being &
thinking that i had at least 3 or 4 more hours to go... & then, at 9.30, i sat back
down on the balance ball & the next contraction was much more powerful. i wasn't
comfortable sitting so i stood up. grace asked me where i wanted to have ruby & i
said the living room (we sleep on the futon there), & so she said it'd probably be a
good idea to make our way there. i kind of laughed at her, thinking there was no
way i was close to having ruby, i mean i couldn't *feel* her the way i had felt
jonah moving down... & things just didn't feel heavy enough.
(& we didn't do any cervical checks because i was group B + & didn't want to have
any unless grace felt it was necessary). but anyway, i took a step towards the
living room & had another intense contraction -- those lovely double peaks
with little recovery time -- & with every step another surge came. it
took me almost an hour to take 10 steps!
once i reached the bed, i tried sitting on my hands & knees but wasn't comfortable.
i leaned over the ball on the bed, but wasn't comfortable with that either. i told
grace i wanted to lay down, and eileen sat at my feet & had me put one foot on her
shoulder. immediately my body just started pushing like a mad woman, & i started
screaming (grace, eileen & matthew all say i wasn't screaming, but just sounding
really primal & really serious about birthing ruby. but my voice was hoarse the rest
of the day!) in one push i could feel ruby come down & eileen mentioned she was
going to support my perineum with some sweet almond oil on a washcloth. grace sat
up right beside me. with the next push i felt ruby's head come out, & just then
eileen said i had pushed her out to her cheeks. for some reason, this really
freaked me out & i closed my eyes & i must have looked upset or scared, because
grace very gently told me to open my eyes & to look at her; that ruby was fine &
with the next contraction she would be out so to just focus on that & not worry
about her. (i had asked grace to keep me present when i was pushing ruby out,
because with jonah i was still so torn about the women i knew who had lost their
babies during childbirth that i just Wanted Him Out & pushed with the mindset that i
needed to get him out so that i knew he was okay... & i wanted to let that go this
time & trust God & my body that ruby would be how she was supposed to be, whatever
that looked like.) grace's words definitely grounded me & with the next push ruby
was here. it was 10.55. she didn't make a sound, just looked around &
i just sat there for a few moments talking to her & touching her, asking her to stay
in her body, & then i picked her up & brought her to my chest. her cord had been
wrapped loosely around her neck once.
about 20 minutes later i pushed the placenta out. it had a few very large blood clots
in it & a few calcifications. (grace was pretty certain the clots were formed after
i had birthed ruby). after another hour or so matthew clamped & cut the umbilical
cord & grace prepared my placenta so i could make placenta smoothies
everyday for a few months.after that, she prepared the most wonderful
herb bath for me & checked me before i went to soak; no tearing!
i had tears with noah & jonah & was shocked that i didn't tear this time.
i also had a cervical prolapse with jonah's birth, and this time there was
nothing like that.
i took my bath, fell asleep in it for about half an hour, got out & dressed & went
back to bed with my new & perfect little girl.
She is more precious than rubies,
and none of the things you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are very pleasant,
and all her paths are peaceful.
She is like a tree of life to those who obtain her,
and everyone who grasps hold of her will be blessed.
who knows when i'll find time to sit down & write out ruby's birth story, but it was such a wonderful experience. so thankful that i don't have a midwife that wants to induce right at 42 weeks, so glad that we were patient, (in total agreement that she obviously needed the extra time, since she wasn't big by any means), & so glad my midwife had *her* baby last night under the full moon!
anyway, we saved my placenta & chopped it up & blended pieces of it with juice & froze them in ice cube trays, to make placenta smoothies everyday.
they are amazing.
born at home april 23, 2010
8 lbs, 22 inches