Mama: Heather Stillinger
Due Date: Friday, April 22, 2011
Birthday: Sunday, April 24, 2011
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I started having contractions Friday evening, but they were only 2-4 an hour and I was very aware that they could come and go, so Justin and I decided to wait and see...
Friday night I woke up twice with pain from contractions, but I was able to go back to sleep, so we just decided to wait and see...
After we got home Saturday I made dessert for Easter at my parent’s home, we watched a movie, and took a nap. At 6:30 the contractions were more consistent and started to get a bit painful. So we called the birth center and spoke with the midwife on call. She gave me some advice on positions to ease the pain and since the contractions were still about 10-15 minutes apart asked that I call when they were about 5 minutes apart. Justin and I tried to settle in for the night, but it was a rough one!!
I did not sleep and neither did Justin...all through the night the contractions got stronger and closer together. I tried lots of different positions to increase my comfort and found that just breathing and focusing on one contraction at a time worked the best for me.
Sunday morning around 4 am I was having contractions about 5-7 minutes apart and it was starting to get intense. I called the midwife and we again talked about what was going on and how I was coping. We decided I would call again when I consistently had contractions every 5 minutes.
Between 4 am and 8:30 am was really a difficult time for us. I will be totally honest here, I was in much more pain than I thought I would and I had no idea if I was even close to having a baby. I felt I was losing my confidence to have a natural birth.
At 8:30 am the contractions were making it hard for me to breathe so I asked Justin to call the midwife and say I was ready to come in to be checked; she agreed and we decided to meet at the birth center at 9:30 am.
The car ride to birth center was again time for some soul searching... was I making the right choice for this birth? I decided that if we went and I was not more than 5 cm, that I could probably not make it to the pushing stage without some other type of intervention.
Sooo we go to the center and I was 8 cm! And my water had broke! This made me cry; I was close! Honestly I had already been feeling the urge to push, but just thought this could not really be the case. I had not given my husband any warning that I was feeling like pushing. He says that if I had, he would have driven faster!
We went to a birthing room and Nancy (the midwife) called in the nurse on call and Jami (a therapeutic message student). Nancy did not tell me until later, but she was not sure everyone would make it in time! I received a dose of antibiotic for my GBS and just kept breathing through the contractions. Bev (the nurse) and Jami arrived within the hour. Nancy and Bev went about getting things ready for the birth and Jami relieved Justin) in massaging my body.
Justin decided to tell our parents we were at the birth center. He was able to send a text to my parents, but then things really got moving and he never finished his text to his parents, because I was ready to push!
I had four contractions about 5 minutes apart and was able to get 3-4 pushes with each contraction. Justin said I turned purple/blue with a couple of them and I did have a popped blood vessel in my eye...but I could see her and oh, I just wanted to meet her so badly! Nancy gave me great encouragement during the pushing and everyone helped me relax and focus between contractions. It was about 20 minutes and then... ROSE WAS BORN!!!
I was able to help pull Rose out and then she was immediately put on my chest. Justin cut her umbilical cord. I was super emotional...lots of crying.
Justin called our parents and they arrived at the birth center around 3 pm to meet the newest member of the family. There was lots of cuddling and kisses! Our parents left around 4:15 pm and we finished taking care of packing up and left ourselves around 5 pm to take our Rose home.
After the birth a nurse came to our home on Monday and we received a call every day of that first week to offer support and answer any questions. The support we received from the birth center has been wonderful and really given us the ability to feel confident as parents.
Again, I’ll be honest here...it was more intense and wonderful then I expected. I am so happy with our decision to have a natural birth at the birth center and would love to encourage other people to consider it.
Thanks so much for sharing your birth story Heather! Rose is adorable. Pinch her cute little cheeks from all of us at Kanga Care! xo