Cora's Unhindered, Frank Breech, Freebirth
May 25, 2018
It was Tuesday the 16th, I was 42 weeks and 5 days today. I had a lot of peace on this day, I felt like I probably had a few more days until baby would make his/her debut and I was being patient trusting that my baby and body knew best. Looking back, I may have had peace because I had just accepted I was going to be pregnant for the rest of my life! Ha! Or maybe it was because even though I didn't know, my body and baby knew, today was the day! I woke up having sporadic pressure waves but this had been happening for days and they would stop. I decided since my mom was here, she could stay with Casen while I ran to Kearney to the chiropractor, I knew I needed adjusted badly and thought this may help labor be able to progress.
I had 4 contractions on the drive there and thought to myself "I've never went anywhere alone while having contractions, good thing I have long labors". I arrived at the chiro and had 3 while in the waiting room and even though I knew they weren't active labor, I did panic a little thinking "hope I make it home". Since Sunday I had this tightening in the bottom of my belly and back and it wouldn't let up, I couldn't tell if it was my body getting ready or because I needed adjusted.
As soon as I laid on the table my chiropractor looked at how uneven my feet were and said "yep we have a lot of work to do"- he started on my pelvis and sacrum, worked quite a while, pushing pressure points on my hips and releasing tension. It was immediate relief of that tightening I had for days, it was crazy. When he was done he said "your pelvis was out and misaligned every way possible! So glad you came in", I felt like a new woman! I thanked him and told him hopefully next time I saw him, I had a baby to get adjusted, too. I then headed home and waves picked up, had quite a few on the way home but nothing to warrant active labor. I started to feel that it may be by morning we would have a baby but didn't want to get my hopes up. I got home and decided not to do much to try to stay in place. My mom made us lunch, we relaxed and I went up and down the stairs sideways quite a few times. Waves still coming but were 20 min, 7min, 30min, 12min, 4min etc- just like my labors with Cash and Casen.
I thought ok, if this is anything like theirs, it'll be Thursday before we actually have a baby, this continued through the afternoon. We were starting to get supper ready when Derek and Cash got home around 7 and as I tried to make the boy's plates I had a very intense wave. At this point I knew things were getting started but I wasn't sure how long it would be. When I'm laboring noise really bothers me, the boys were running around so happy being crazy, I knew I should eat even though I didn't feel like it, so I made a small plate and headed to my room for some peace. I didn't eat much and sat in the dim room, it was so calm- nothing on but my salt lamp. I rolled my hips on my birthing ball and did relaxation breaths. I eventually heard Derek put Casen (1.5yo) to bed, then the shower and then Cash to bed, it was about 9 at this point. My waves were starting to pick up intensity, a lot. Before I came upstairs I had messaged my doula and friend who were coming for set up and support, told them waves were closer and growing in intensity but felt we had awhile. I remember looking at the time thinking "its 8:30, if the baby could be here by 10:30, that would be perfect!" then I laughed at myself because with my previous 2 labors, at this point, I was still at least 8 hours from birth if not more. I asked Derek to turn the hot water heater up to high so we would have plenty of water for my birth pool when the time came.
I wasn't in my room long, maybe 5 minutes and the contractions picked up a lot, this was so much faster than any of my previous labors, I could no longer sit during them or stay quite. I knew active labor was starting but some how was in denial a little that it was happening so fast for me. As each one came I stood up off my birthing ball and leaned on my bed, doing figure 8's with my hips and low tones through them. I had positive affirmations I said to myself "I welcome these waves, this will bring baby, open, let baby move down" as I imagined my baby coming down. I had so much calm and peace in these moments. Id never labored like this before, I never wanted to be alone during contractions and normally didn't stay calm. This was so different and just what I needed. I was almost excited for active labor to start and pick up, I was excited for my birth space. I felt so good, so empowered being alone- just me and my baby. I connected with baby and told him/her I was ready, we could do this together and I would meet them very soon. I decided I wanted to take a warm bath so between very intense contractions I grabbed my clothes that I wanted to labor in and my robe and headed downstairs.
Being in the warm water was so relaxing, I was enjoying going through contractions there. I wanted to stay in but felt I also needed to move around and the tub wasn't big enough. They kept intensifying and I felt they were coming closer together. I'm not sure how long I was in there, maybe 20min and I decided I better get out, have Derek and my mom start setting up and tell my support people I was ready. I was worried Id have them come and things would slow or it would be another 8 hours so I had been waiting to call. I was also really enjoying laboring alone for awhile, so I had decided to wait to have them come. Derek kept telling me to call them, he could tell it wouldn't be long, he knows me and my labors so well, so him and my mom started to set up.
I came into the kitchen, was staying hydrated and on my way in I hit transition, contractions less than a minute apart and so intense, at this point I was no longer in denial that this baby would be here soon and actually started to panic the birth pool wouldnt be ready in time. This was about 10:15. I tried to eat some fresh fruit my mom had cut up and a date roll for energy.
Contractions were so intense and close, I just wanted to be in the water but didn't want to take another bath and use the hot water we needed for the birth pool. I remember at one point exclaiming to my mom and Derek through a contraction "I want to be IN THE POOL!!" They started filling as fast as they could. I couldn't believe how calm I was, usually at this point in labor I am far from calm. I sat on the kitchen chair as they filled the pool and I worked through my contractions remembering to listen to my body and my baby and let it happen. I kept my jaw relaxed and open, breathed and used low tones, I kept repeating my affirmations, I felt comfortable and peaceful for the first time ever while I was contracting a minute apart- I was peaceful, happy even. When one would come my mom would come over and put counter pressure on the back, it was so helpful. I moved to the bathroom and sat in there for a few contractions and I wondered if my doula and friend would make it in time. I came back to the kitchen and the pool was almost ready, I just kept thinking how nice it was in the warm water and I would be there soon.
Marsena, my Doula (who is also a good friend of mine) arrived at 10:45. She was with me for Casen's birth, she knows me and what I need in labor well, she saw Derek and my mom were was busy filling the pool so she immediately came over to give counter pressure through contractions. I remember making my way back to the bathroom because for some reason sitting on the toilet felt good through contractions. I was in there for a few and came back to the kitchen chair, I remember Marsena asking if i wanted to stand or needed the birthing ball and I said no, sitting with my legs out felt good. Finally a few minutes before 11 the pool was ready and I got in. Such relief! A few minutes later my friend who came for support arrived also. We were ready!
I said "this feels like heaven!" and it was! It made going through contractions so much easier. I felt so calm so peaceful, again, I don't think I can say it enough- I've never felt this way in labor. I first was sitting, then went hands and knees, then just squatting leaning on the side of the tub, trying to find what position was comfortable. I had plenty of room to move and ended back sitting, it just felt right. I had a feeling it wouldn't be long but I wasn't sure. I connected with baby, told him/her to move down, I couldn't wait to meet them!
They kept adding hot water and everything was going perfect. I was hot and cool cloths felt wonderful but the warm water on my back and belly helped so much!
At this point I was no longer talking to baby in my head but out loud "come down baby, mommy is ready to meet you!", "Move down for mommy, each contraction is one closer to meeting you!"
I needed Derek this time, to hold his hand and counter pressure, but not like my labors before. He is such an amazing birth partner and always reassures me, but this time I was so sure of myself, I just needed his hand and his presence. I then moved to my knees and decided to see if i could squat through a few. Up until this point at 42 weeks and 5 days and minutes from pushing, I had not been touched or checked. I decided to reach under and feel- I could feel baby! I will never forget this moment- ever! I had never been able to be in total control during labor before and never took the opportunity to feel for myself before crowning. He/she felt about 3 inches or so up still and I knew that we were so close but still had some work to do. I thought to myself "that feels awfully pointy for a head but hey, I've never felt it before so that must be what it feels like!" This position felt good and I decided to stay here. I told Derek that he better go wake Cash (our 5yo son) up, before bed Cash asked that I promise to wake him up when it was time for the baby to be born.
I had a few more contractions and tried to stay with my low tones and keep my jaw relaxed but there was so much pressure, I reached and felt again and baby hadn't really moved. I remember saying "She hasn't really moved". I then reassured myself my body and baby were working together and I couldn't rush it. I got a little more upright and got ready for the next contraction. I then turned back and laid my back against the stool in the birth pool. At this point I remember smiling between contractions, I was happy, almost euphoric. I said "come on baby, are you a boy or a girl, can I meet you" through smiles. I never believed women could be happy during labor and I never understood how they stayed calm. I now get it! Cash was off over by the table and I said "Cash, mommy is ok, don't worry! This is how we get our baby!" A few more contractions and all the sudden I got the urge to get up again, I got up on my knees and leaned against the back of the pool. I knew this is how I would deliver and asked for someone to hold on to. Marsena came to the front to let me hold her hands and support. All of the sudden I felt my body bear down and push without me doing anything (this is called the fetal ejection reflex). It something you cant stop, almost like vomiting but the other way. My body's reflex was to bear down on its own and I thought I may throw up but I didn't, it was just pushing for me so intensely. I had really wanted to let fer take over and me not force push since this helps prevent tearing. "Pushing" didn't hurt this time like in my previous deliveries. My body was doing it and it felt good, this was it! I remember thinking "this is what I spent my entire pregnancy preparing/waiting for and its here, I got this!".
One more push and I felt what I thought was the head come out, my body rested and I stayed calm, let it do what it needed. I asked Derek to reach down and feel and he did, he said "its out". I said to him "ok, I'm not moving I need you to be ready to catch him (I had called the baby a boy my whole pregnancy and labor). It was hard to tell with the position I was in and being under water, we thought it was the head. After resting my body pushed again, so intense and it just kept going, it felt like it pushed for a long time and it was such a good, relieving feeling (kind of like how much better your stomach feels after you throw up) and all at once the body came out.
Our baby was born into my husbands hands (I cant explain how amazing that is). I turned around and looked for a brief moment and I heard him say "we've got a little girl!". I was in shock, I just knew she was going to be a boy! The cord was around her neck 3 times, as Derek easily unwrapped it, Marsena helped me turn around and get my leg over the cord, Derek handed her to me and she immediately cried. She was born at 11:42pm, about 45 minutes after I got in the birth pool and almost exactly a hour after Marsena arrived. Just over 4 hours of active labor! Then my friend said she was positive she came out breech! At that moment it made sense why the "head" I felt was so pointy and didn't feel like a head! They watched the video quick and sure enough, she came out butt first, frank breech. I love that I didn't have to do anything special besides listen to my body and baby. Birth works! Nature works! I held her on my chest and smelled her, rubbed her and told her "I'm so glad you're here, I knew we could do it!" She was so calm, so beautiful, she had basically no vernix and she just stared at me. Her color came quick and she looked perfect, we sat skin to skin in the pool for a little bit. I wanted to let her nurse and let the placenta deliver.
We waited and I tried to latch her but she wasn't ready, so we waited more. Meanwhile Cash came to meet his sister! This is one of my favorite moments of the whole night.
I waited for the placenta for what felt like forever, the contractions for it almost felt worse than labor but that may be because I didn't have a baby for incentive! Looking at the time it had only been about 12 minutes. They continued to bring me clean, warm towels to keep her covered in and we waited. I tried to think back and couldn't remember delivering my placenta with my first two and part of that could be because it was tugged on. At this point I was just ready to be out of the pool and cozy snuggling my baby and nursing. I tried to latch her on in hopes her nursing would move the placenta along but she wasn't interested, yet. I had a hard time staying calm through this part, I just kept saying "why isn't it coming? I want it out!" and "is it supposed to hurt this much???". They asked if she had a name and I said 'No because Derek wont agree to my name!" He said he liked the original name we agreed on before I changed my mind- I replied with "I birthed her, my name should stick" and we all laughed, I was joking!
As they took some pictures I was in awe, I kept staring at her, we did it! I knew we would but being pregnant for almost 43 weeks, every once and awhile I wondered if I would ever get to this moment! I told her I thought she looked a little like her brother Casen and then I begged my placenta to come out. I had tried to move around a little but it was hard while holding her. Finally it was hurting enough I asked that someone take her, Marsena suggested maybe standing up may help. Derek took her and I worked my way toward standing, it was a slow process but I finally got half up and half on my knees, I rested there a minute. Then I felt the urge to push and out it came, my friend grabbed the bowl and I caught it and put it in. I then decided to get out and go rinse off in the shower, since she wasn't ready to latch, I said we could weigh her quick. My friend got my shower ready and got me the things I needed, I showered quick and I felt good. When I was done I dried off and felt the need to sit, for just a minute. She got me a chux pad to sit on the floor on and asked if I wanted to eat. She brought me my water and a date roll. I ate that and felt great, got up and put my robe on and headed to my baby. Grandma had her and was waiting for us.
I knew I should rest while she was but I had such a birth high I couldn't sleep yet, Derek went up to bed. My mom and my friends sat and we chatted for a little bit- about birth, Cora being breech, how amazing everything was and life in general. They decided to pack up and head home and I thanked them. It was about 4:30am. My mom and I sat and talked until 5, I still wasn't tired but knew I had to make myself sleep. She went up to bed and I forced myself to sleep. I have typed a lot of words here, but I don't think I will ever be able to put into any amount of words just how perfect this was, I'm so glad I decided to birth the way I did. Being in control, comfortable and truly listening to my body and baby without interference was amazing. It made this the fastest, easiest birth I've had. I will never be able to thank my husnand, my mom, doula and friend enough for helping set up the birth I dreamed of. This birth was on me, I researched, educated myself, prepared, shared with people who would be here just what I wanted and I did it! Their support, help getting and setting up what I needed during labor and after birth cannot be thanked enough!
Introducing Coralyn "Cora" Rose Samuelson- 11:42pm, 8.8lbs and 19" long. She is so perfect and her dad, brothers and I are overwhelmed with love.