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Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Birth Story - Part Three

I had gone to the Birth Breastfeeding and Bonding conference and had met Barbara Harper while pregnant with E. I had heard of the benefits of labouring in water since my first pregnancy, and had used the water with K until my water had broken. I had read all about water birth and all of the positives that came associated with it, "natures epidural" and the like. I was still pleasantly surprised when I got into the water and my contractions seemed to disappear.
I was worried that the contractions would stop all together and then I would have to get out of the tub. I sat pensively and waited for the next contraction to come. When it did it was still intense but bearable. I was so happy that I had this relief, as the contractions out of the water were the most painful of all my births.
Its not that I have had orgasmic births or anything, just that with both K and R the really intense contractions were at the end, and I had very few of them before pushing. I wasn't prepared to experience those types of contractions from the middle of labour on. These particular contractions were much different than that of my other births. They started in my sacrum and flowed into my uterus, down my thighs and into my calves. I could not walk through any of them, and if this had been a first birth I can honestly say that I would have probably asked to be transported to the hospital for some pain relief.
I had absolutely no idea how to cope and was saved by the water. If I had not had the water I am honestly not sure what I would have done.
I rocked through each contraction on my knees in the warm pool. My midwives, knowing my wish for a peaceful and less chaotic birth than that of my first and second, spent the majority of the time chatting with eachother at the kitchen table. Every 15 mins or so they would come up to check to see how I was coping, do a fetal assessment and then leave.
After about an hour of being in the water my contractions ramped up and they started feeling like they had when I was out of the water. I was so happy that my husband was there as he sat vigilantly by the pool side (he refused to get in :P ) holding my hand. I was having a really hard time trying to cope and so I grabbed my husbands hand and squeezed with all of my might. I could tell that it hurt him as well.
As the contractions increased I tried as best as I could to breathe through each one, finding it more difficult as they started to come one on top of eachother. I kept thinking that if they were to continue with such ferocity that I would not be able to cope at all. I remembered reading that one has to open and let go to make labour less painful so I kept repeating "open, open, open, open" through each one, hoping that they would give me some reprieve.
As the last couple went through my body I told my midwives (who had all appeared at the same time) that I did not think that I could do it anymore. My midwives and my husband reassured me that it was almost over.
I kept looking at the bed, thinking that it would help if I just got on it. I desperately wanted to be checked again just so I could know how much longer I would have to endure. I got out of the tub and had the most powerful contraction that I had ever had. I tried to breathe through it, and when it was over I quickly got on may back and demanded to be checked by my midwives.
She quickly checked me and told me that I was fully dilated and that there was just a little lip of a cervix left and if I wanted to push through it, or if I wanted her to move it for me. I told her to move it, and asked if I could start pushing. She laughed and said, whenever you feel like it.


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