Jackson’s Birth by Michelle

Sep 16, 2012 by     Comments Off    Posted under: Birth Stories

February 18, 2002

I woke this morning with cramping in my lower abdomen. I was pretty sleepy, as I had stayed up past midnight the night before addressing the birth announcement envelopes and putting the finishing touches on all of the birth supplies. After the cramp subsided and the same exact cramp came back 7 minutes later I had a feeling that this was early labor. I got up to go to the bathroom and upon wiping found a tiny bloodstain on the toilet paper. While walking back to bed I had leaking of a clear fluid. This I knew were signs of early labor. I went back to bed and fell asleep for two hours.

No longer able to sleep I laid in bed for about 45 minutes timing and feeling the contractions. I was wide-awake by 4:50am so I decided to get up and shower. I washed my hair, shaved my legs, etc. After my shower I did my eyebrows (don’t know when I’ll get back to these) and styled my hair (for what that was worth). After that I had a couple of bowls of cereal and put the kettle on for tea.

Wasn’t Scott surprised to wake for work and find me wide-awake watching the morning news. This never happens at our house (mommy up before daddy). I told Scott what was going on and he started to make arrangements for a day at home. I called Stacia and Tim and made them fall out of bed looking for the phone. They didn’t pick up when I called but were able to get back to me right away. Contractions were 5 to 7 minutes apart and were not very strong. Luckily, no school today so their whole family decided to jump in the car and drive across the mountains.

Called Marge, the midwife so she could plan her day. She would be in touch later that morning.

On the phone a ton now. Paged the birth tub people. Marge called back and has decided they are coming to check me out. Jacqi is getting her boys ready to drop off at a friends, Kim is coming by soon and Stacia just called and is two hours away. Contractions are still 5 to 7 minutes apart and are not very strong.

11:00 am
Everyone arrived at once! The birthing tub lady, Marge, Tia, and Marissa (midwifery students), and Kim. Jacqi is calling to tell us that she’s dropping off the boys and Stacia has now called and is in town at her mothers. I suddenly feel panicked that my contractions have not gotten any stronger. In fact they almost seemed to have stopped. Marge and the students check my vitals (with Lindsay’s, my 4 year old daughter’s assistance) and check my cervix. Nothing. One, maybe two centimeters dilated. I express that I need to be alone again and everyone is very understanding and splits. Scott and I were so relieved to be alone again. The house full of people at 11:00am with Starbucks in hand was too much. Lindsay was really excited and was looking under my nightgown for the baby’s head. She also would ask me each time I was having a contraction if in fact I was having one. She wanted to follow the labor very closely. After everyone left we got dressed and decided to get out of the house for a bit. We went to the Re-Store and bought a light fixture for the basement. We had plans to go for a walk but I just was too tired. Scott and Lindsay dropped me off at home and I went straight to bed. They went for a bike ride and for ice cream. I slept for an hour and woke up when they got back. I had some lunch and we hung out for a while. By 3:00pm I was ready to go back to bed again. This time Scott and I both laid down while Lindsay watched television.

I’m wide-awake again and finally feel the contractions are much stronger. I’m grateful for this because I know that labor is finally here. I went to the bathroom and sat on the toilet facing backwards just like I did with Lindsay’s labor. Scott called Stacia first and she came right away. Next he called Jacqi who also seemed to arrive immediately loaded down with candles, ponies for Lindsay, snacks for mom, sitz baths for mom, and a lovely bottle of champagne for anyone interested! Next Kim arrived with the midwives right behind her. Stacia, Scott and I stayed in the bathroom and pretty soon my contractions were 3 minutes apart and much stronger. Jacqi busied herself with Lindsay and began setting up the dining room with candles and soft music. I don’t know what else was going on out there as now I was working harder. I remember when Kim came I asked her to check me to see if I had dilated and she recommended that we wait for Marge and that I might consider getting in the water. When Marge arrived I came out of the bathroom I was checked and had only dilated to 3 centimeters. I thought to myself, “Oh my God this is going to take all night!” I came out of the bedroom where I was checked and was on my way to the tub. Lindsay was in the water already swimming around. She said to me, “Come join me mom, the water is lovely!” That was too precious. I got in the tub and continued laboring. I remember Lindsay trying to talk to me during my contractions and I snapped at her to stop talking to me. She also was in the mood to splash a little bit. I couldn’t play that game either and the splashing had to stop.

This was the time when I actually got in the water. The contractions were way stronger now and felt very different to me than when Lindsay was being born. I couldn’t feel my cervix opening like I did with her. However, I could feel Jackson descending lower and lower with every contraction. It also felt to me as though there was no break in between every contraction. Like one just led to the next. As I’m kneeling over the tub wall Stacia stayed with me and held my hand. I held Kim’s hand several times and someone else’s too though I don’t know which woman in the room it was. All I know is that every time I reached out, there was someone to reach out to. That was very reassuring. I felt Lindsay in the water with me and I could feel her rubbing my back and then I know she was rubbing Scott’s back. She also helped to cool my face with a cold washcloth. That felt so good!

I yelled, “The baby is coming out now!” I could feel it happening but the pain was so intense that it just blew my mind. I felt panicked suddenly and paralyzed by the pain. I remember begging Marge to make it stop for a minute. She advised me to blow out, which I think I did but that just made me feel dizzy. She told me to lean back on Scott and I complained that I couldn’t move! I just felt stuck there in that position. Then it seems like I was lifted back to rest on Scott’s lap. Then before I knew it Jackson’s head was born. I could hear the voices telling me that the head was out and one more contraction and our son would be here. I could hear Scott’s voice in my ear telling me that I was doing a great job. I couldn’t open my eyes and I couldn’t reach down to feel Jackson’s head. I remember the women all calling Lindsay into the room that the baby was coming! She came near but didn’t want to feel the head coming out as she had previously planned. I could hear everyone around me preparing for the baby’s arrival.

Jackson is born. One or two more contractions after the head was born and out he came! I was so relieved. The minute he came out the pain was gone. Gone like it had never been there in the first place. Absolutely amazing. I can’t believe we went from 3 centimeters to birth in less than an hour. This birth hurt more than the first one but it was over and we were all here now. He started crying right away. A nice, loud, healthy, sounding cry. I could feel the umbilical cord still pulsing between my legs. Marge was showing it to Lindsay and she was touching it. Many loving hands seemed to be all over him at once with towels and blankets. Warming him and rubbing him all at the same time. My first thought was that he seemed so tiny. I could tell right away that he was quite a bit smaller than Lindsay. I also noticed that his hands looked just like his sisters when she was born. Lindsay was standing near me saying how cute he was and that her baby brother was finally here! We all felt so happy. Lindsay, with the help of Marge and her students, cut the umbilical cord.

I don’t know the time line after that. I felt fabulous after delivering Jackson in the water. Stacia took Jackson so we could all get out of the water and dry off and get warm. I was shaking and needed to lay down in bed and get warm. We had the couch sleeper opened up and it was a perfect place to lay down. Soon Jackson was back with me and he started nursing right away. Then the placenta was delivered and Stacia, Marge, and Lindsay spent some time going over it and Lindsay got to wear her latex gloves and touch the placenta. At Lindsay’s request we have kept the placenta and will be planting it in the garden.

After the placenta was delivered I was checked for tears and gratefully there weren’t any. Kim brought me an ice pack for my perineum, which was nirvana. My bleeding was moderate and my uterus went straight to work contracting herself back into place, which was pretty uncomfortable.

As the students went about their work checking me and Jackson with Marge supervising Jacqi prepared some pasta and warmed the sauce that I had taken out of the freezer that morning. Scott passed some beers around to all the girls and we all had yummy pasta and sat around visiting in the glow of Jackson’s arrival. I couldn’t believe how wonderful I felt.

One by one each of the women left. Stacia was likely to drive back to Wenatchee because she had a test the next morning and Kim had to be up for work the next day. Scott took a very tired Lindsay to bed and wonderful Jacqi straightened up a bit. After everyone had left Jacqi, Scott, and I had a glass of champagne to toast a successful birth and just enjoyed the glow of the evening. Our son was here and he had born into a beautiful, loving, kind, environment with women’s voices, candlelight, soft music and gentle hands and arms to hold him. His daddy and sister were close by and both got to hold him just minutes after he was born.

Our first night with Jackson in the world was peaceful and quiet. We all slept very well and very hard. It was an incredible night, one that we will never forget.

Michelle, mother of Lindsay and Jackson.

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