Here is the 3rd, but not quite final installment of Isela's birth story! Here is the link to Part One and Two if you haven't read them yet. Also, if you're afraid of hearing about the gory details of childbirth or don't want to imagine them happening to me...you may not want to read on! Yes, that warning is for all the guys who are curiously checking this out...
Part three of Isela Marí’s arrival: The Birth
My contractions were super close together on the ride home so I decided to lie down while listening to my hypnosis. I didn’t want to start timing them knowing they were close together only because of the sweep, I knew that they would most likely spread out a bit again and they did. For the next three hours or so I tried a variety of different positions all while listening to my Hypnobabies to keep me centered, calm and focused.
Each time I got settled in a position the contractions would spread out a bit to 4-5 minutes apart and each time I moved positions they were just about 2-3 minutes apart. I lied down on my side, paced back and forth and returned to my side while in the tub. My favorite position though, was sitting on the birth ball with my head resting on a stack of pillows on the couch. With each contraction I would rock myself this way and that while I hummed though the peak. I soon realized that I was humming louder and louder and my peaks were getting longer and longer.
I remember during one of my pacing sessions, looking at myself in the closet mirror during a contraction. My eyes looked eerily light. I stared at myself and just focused on the pressure, on the purpose and on envisioning my body relaxing and opening up. I remember thinking to myself that it “hurt so good”, you know, like a really intense massage or workout. I imagined the “pain” I was feeling to that of an athlete or a runner. You feel the pain, but you know it’s there for a good reason so you want it, you almost enjoy it, you welcome it. It never got to a point where I couldn’t handle it, but it was there and I wanted it because I knew it was doing its job.
I then realized that I couldn’t talk to Dan while in the middle of a contraction, that I was feeling some waves of nausea during them, I was also trembling a bit as well. At first I thought that I was just wimping out, that I was succumbing to the contractions. I thought that because it had only been three hours since I was checked and only 3cm, how could I be feeling overwhelmed already? Then I remembered that those were all signs of the beginnings transition, where everything starts to get really intense. By 7pm, I figured it was time to call the birth center and for us to head over.
By the time we arrived I was really having to concentrate through each contraction. Yes, there was pain but it was more the intensity of the pressure that I had to work through. The Hypnobabies was really helping to deal, but again, it was a lot of work to concentrate through them. I had to moan through each one, it was a way to release the pressure. As soon as we got to the birth center they got us set up in a room and the midwife, Jasmine, said she would be right back to check me. They gave me hospital gown to change into that I just put over my tank top; I knew I wouldn’t want to be in it for long. Dan had gone to park the car and I found a chair, pulled it up to the bed, and sat there with my head on the bed, alone in the dark. Things were really picking up and my moans had turned into loud groans.
Jasmine soon came in and had me lay on the bed, when she announced I was a 6 contracting to a 7 or 8. I was ecstatic. I knew that was close to the end for me and knew I could get through a few more hours of it. They asked if I wanted the birthing tub filled, a doula, aromatherapy and a birthing ball. I said yes to it all, I wanted all the perks of the birth center! I changed out of the gown and into a sarong and my tank top. We put a Hypnobabies cd on the player and I was comfortable and ready to keep going!
I continued to sit on the birth ball with my head on the bed. Dan sat behind me and I had him push on my lower back, no massaging, just constant counter pressure. It was perfect. I was totally in my own world and dealing. Then I felt pressure down below, lots of it, like I had to push. But I knew that I was probably not dilated all the way so I held back. Jasmine was just watching me and could tell I was holding back and not comfortable and told me that if I felt like I had to push and bear down, to go ahead. To listen to my body. So I did. It relieved so much of the pressure and made it sooo much easier. But then it suddenly got too much and I ended up standing with each contraction. That’s when I saw Jasmine tell the two nurses to get stuff ready. I watched them bring in a tray of tools and stuff and I thought to myself, “She’s crazy, it’s not happening yet, we just got here!”
But with each contraction I continued to stand up and my groans turned into yells. Then I suddenly had the urge to poop! I stood up in a panic yelling, “I have to poop, I have to poop!” I know I probably did, but everybody was nice enough to keep it to themselves. Yes, it happens. Jasmine kept calmingly telling me, “No, it’s the baby, it’s the bag of waters, it hasn’t broken yet, just listen to your body.” My body kept pushing on it’s own and I kept freaking out that I was going to poop everywhere! Jasmine asked me what position I wanted to get in on the bed and I kind of yelled, “I don’t know what I want!” I was starting to lose control and was panicking; I didn’t think she would really be coming already!
I was on all fours on the bed and Dan was near my head, I grabbed on to his arm with one hand and pulled while pushing on his body with my other. My yells had turned into growling screams. I can’t say it was because of the pain, but again, as a means to release the pressure. Jasmine kept telling me that as soon as my water broke her head and body would follow and then suddenly I felt a huge pop and a gush. I fell to my left side and continued to push. I didn’t have it in me to lift my right leg so Dan had to do it for me. He was so awesome; he just jumped right in and became a part of the whole thing and totally got me through this crazy part!
I remember thinking “So this is the Ring of Fire that everybody talks about” because I hadn’t felt it with Joaquin. But as soon as I thought that, the burn went away, then it was just all release. All release from pushing her out. I reached down and felt the top of her head and knew we were almost there. I screamed with each push and continued to push and pull on Dan. Jasmine, Dan and the two nurses all cheered me on and I just kept hearing Jasmine telling me to listen to my body.
At one point it got kind of quiet and as it turns out I had only pushed out her head and then I stopped. They were all waiting for me to push again. I think my body was just taking a little break because I heard Jasmine tell me again that it was OK to keep going and then I started back up again. The weirdest feeling ever is feeling my baby squirm out of me. It didn’t hurt, it just felt really really weird. They picked her up and put her on my chest. I fell to my back and looked down at this tiny little baby on my body. I was somewhere, somewhere very far from reality as I stared at her. I was in awe of what my body had just done…again.
I remember holding her and smiling and giggling, totally in a euphoric daze. Then I looked up at Dan and said, “Holy shit, did you see what I just did?!” He kind of laughed, with the same dopey smile I had and said, “Yeah, I did.”
I still have so much more on my mind that I feel I have to get out. So, I will continue with these knowing that this was the “good part” for most. Don’t worry, my feelings won’t be hurt if you’re done here…it’s just that I’m not.
What more could I possibly write about? Well, there is the post birth stay at the hospital Birth Center, which includes the first time Joaquin meets his baby sister, our first days at home and how that is going as a new family. I also keep comparing and contrasting my two births, it took everything to not make this birth story a big compare and contrast and just the story of Isela’s birth, so I may add that as well.
So, if you’re interested, there is more…and if not, I really hope you enjoyed the story of Isela Marí’s birth.
Click here for Part four of Isela Marí’s arrival: Afterwards