Finally, I have a moment to regroup and share the beautiful birth I attended on Friday. This family is amazing - such a close knit, joyful family!
Rachel's account is in italics. All events shared with permission.
Corrine's Birthing Time 9/12/08
Corrine and Dan,
What a beautiful and joyful family you have! I was looking forward to seeing that joy and beauty during your birthing time and gently anticipated it! On Thursday, Sept. 11th, Corinne called me to let me know that her doctor said he 'didn't think' she would be in that weekend to have a baby and that he wanted her in on Monday to seriously consider an induction.
Corinne, you didn't want an induction and we had talked many times about this desire. In fact, that particular doctor's appointment, it took you around 45 minutes to talk your doctor out of an induction yet that weekend. You called me that evening and said you were ready to encourage labor a little more than you had been.
We both felt your body was ready, but was a little low on battery - only needing a small jump to really get going. We talked about some of your options for home and homeopathic means of encouraging that jump and I prepared for a weekend labor.
At 8am, you called to let me know that contractions had begun around 1am that morning, enough to wake you up. At that time, they were about 6 minutes apart and light. 1/2 hour later you called back to let me know that they were quickly becoming intense and you attempted a vaginal exam and found both a low-lying head and were unable to find your cervix.
Nicole called me around 8:30 to let me know I could come on out to Corrine’s house. She said that Corrine was in labor and having contractions every 6 -7 minutes, that she couldn’t find her cervix and that she was very soft.
I arrived around 9:20am to find you working well through your contractions. They were definitely working and this was definitely labor. Your emotions proudly proclaimed 'early labor!', but your body was telling me 'so much work - active labor'.
You were all in very good spirits, and Ireland (4) and Savannah (3) were both being so good for both daddy and mommy. . Your face would become flushed during contractions and, at the peak, you would bend at the waist and lean against the nearest piece of furniture.
I got to the house about 5 minutes after Nicole arrived and Corrine was smiling and cheerful! Ireland and Savannah were on the floor doing puzzles with Dan. They were all working beautifully together as a family!
About every 5-6 minutes Corrine had a contraction and worked with her body beautifully. She would stop, concentrate, move with them and relax through them. I kept wondering how far she really was, because she was doing so well emotionally and handling the sensations so peacefully.
During contractions, Ireland would come and put a protective hand on your belly, back, or arm, and everyone was very respectful of your birthing space, as you turned very inward during your waves, and the energy would expand out from you, creating a tangible birthing space around your body. I could truly say your contractions felt, to those around you, like expansions.
I suggested a short walk and a shower, in no particular order. You chose a walk first, before the day warmed too much. So, Ireland and Savannah hopped on their bikes, Dan walked ahead with the cyclers, while Rachel and I walked with you a short distance behind. Your contractions immediately picked up to about 2-3 minutes apart although they didn't seem quite as intense as when you were in the privacy and sanctity of your own home.
3/4 of the way to the turn-around, you decided to head back.
Nicole wisely suggested that Corrine get in the shower and see if that would move things along. It seemed to be about 20 minutes until she got out. When Corrine did get out, her face seemed more determined... more convinced this was it... more excited that she felt things were progressing.
Not long after this, I noticed Corrine’s facial expressions were different with her contractions. Her forehead tightened. Her face was determined. She was very focused. The sensations were definitely stronger now.
Corinne, your body worked so well with your womb's rhythms! You were in tune with every sensation, every need and accommodated your space, your movements, to reflect that. You could tell the shift in birthing dynamics after your shower - your children were more anxious, Dan became more focused and sensitive to your space, and your cues were securely telling those around you that the space you were moving toward was birth.
What was so beautiful was that even though she was in intense labor and the contractions were so heavy, her tenderness and gentleness toward her two girls never wavered. She was so aware of their need to know mommy was okay. She was so quick to show them love and attention. Corrine is a beautiful, beautiful picture of what mothering is all about!
The girl's so wanted to help their mommy. They would put a gentle hand on your body, talk soothingly to you, and ask if you were ok. But, we could all tell that the excitement they had at the upcoming birth of their 'surprise baby' was encroaching on your needs as you moved ahead in your labor. So, Dan graciously moved the kids into the bedroom for a movie.
Within the space of a few birthing waves, you travelled miles in Laborland. I felt it might be a good time to at least start discussing moving to the hospital. You agreed, knowing that, if you were not far enough in your labor for your comfort, you would not check in. We arrived at 12:20pm.
We waited a short time in triage, where you wanted to remain on the ball or upright, the discomfort in your back coming and going with each contraction. Your contractions spaced out a little, again, in the publicity of the waiting area. But, once were were in your hospital room,
things seems to speed up. The contractions were coming closer together and Corrine was getting more vocal with each one.
The children quickly settled into snacks, coloring books, and play-doh. Your baby showed itself beautifully on the monitor, and you were found to already have accomplished the majority of your work; you were 7cm and 80% effaced at check-in!
Ireland and Savanna must have made their mommy 20 pancakes, “because that will make mommy feel better”! They really wanted to help. They are little troopers who care a great deal for their mother!
In the space of the next 2 hours, you moved from the bed, to the ball, to your feet, to your knees on the bed, and your labor moved quickly along. Sometime during this movement through time and space, I asked if your pressure was constant now and you replied yes. I heard in the next contraction a barely-audible pressure at the peak of your birth song.
Pretty soon after, Corrine said, “I can’t do this”.
I said that that was good - it meant you were almost done. You needed more than Rachel or I could offer you at this point, you needed Dan in your birthing space. He came to your side and put his face next to yours. His touch was cautious, his support was indispensable. You were moving into birthing your baby.
You began to really feel an urge to push and I asked for your nurse. Rachel was with Ireland and Savannah as they watched you with large eyes. You moved onto your side in the bed and your nurse confirmed you were 10cm with only a small lip left. At this point, Dan and I helped you onto your other side and it melted away with the next contraction. You began to bear down with your contractions in an overwhelming urge to bring your baby earth-side.
...the girls got a little upset. They weren’t sure what to think of everyone coming in the room. So I took them out. They wanted to make sure they were close by so they could see their baby “girl” as soon as they could!
A lady in the waiting room asked them what they were having and they said, “a girl”.
Corinne, your body took over and you began to quickly bring your baby down. Within the space of one urge, we could see the bulging bag. Your doctor asked to break it and another wave washed over you. You were sitting high in the classic position, gripping Dan's and my arms. You pushed away from each contraction telling us to 'get it out'.
We redirected your hands behind your thighs and the next wave brought babies head all the way out. We watched in amazement as your babe rotated up to look at you and it's shoulders began to appear. After unlooping the cord from about it's neck, your doctor called to you out of the midst of your labor trance to reach down and catch your baby. He placed your hands on either side of your emerging baby and, together, you brought your babe up to your chest.
Immediately Dan announced "it's a BOY"! With a smile that split the horizon! You both glowed with such immense pleasure!
Your son was showing signs of tachycardia, though, and had to be whisked away after a short try on your chest. Once your son left your arms, Dan leaned in and gave you a kiss before running out to tell Ireland and Savannah to come in to meet their new sibling.
Not long after we left, Dan came in the waiting room with a wonderful look on his face that said everything was okay. All look of worry was gone. Everything about his face said, “we did it! And I have a son!” It was precious.
When I left the room [earlier], Corrine was exhausted and ready to be done!
When I walked back in the room I noticed how radiant and glorious Corrine looked. It’s amazing how fast that transition was. She went from exhausted and doubting herself to realizing she’s a strong amazing woman within less than 10 minutes!
I leaned in to tell you how proud and honored I was to have witnessed such a beautiful birth. You replied without hesitation, with a gloriously euphoric look in your eyes, "I DID it!!! I feel great! I DID it!" You were beautiful and soft, pliant and expansive in your birthing time. You did do it!
Keating kept his little eyes averted from all other faces until he was resting again in your arms (and those of his daddy and sisters). I could immediately see that he was another wonderful knit in the pattern of the Buckley family, falling into the closeness of all who witness you all.
He nursed without hesitation, and each family member had a chance to welcome him properly, doting on his every feature, calling him by name.
Keating is a beautiful strong baby boy born into a wonderfully strong beautiful family. And I have a feeling his big sisters are going to realize that baby boys are just as much fun as baby girls very soon!
8 lbs 6 oz
20 inches long