J - Superwoman. That is what your husband calls you, Superwoman! Yes, you are, you are a superwoman.
An early morning call awakened to me to the knowledge that your water had trickled, popped, then gushed from your womb. Elated, ecstatic, wise.. you went back to bed and dozed until you thought I would be up.
Minor cramping followed, and I headed over to check on you and found you to be working through some early contractions. We talked about how your birth kit should be arriving today and how you were expecting it to feel different.
You were happy and talkative, and your labor pattern spaced out while I was with you. So we completed our last prenatal (which was scheduled for that day), I reassured you that your labor would start again once I left, I left my doula bag with you, along with my birth tool kit, and headed home.
You called me again around 10pm and I arrived to find you curled up on the floor, working through a much more serious labor pattern. Your face shone with your exertion, and I could tell that there was a lot going on in your heart and mind.
As we were meeting, I noticed your contractions, again, spaced out. We talked about what can hold a labor up, including babies position, mom's worries, and any unspoken tension in the home. I encouraged you to stay upright, on all fours, or in the tub. I also showed your husband, B, how to work with a ribozo and what to expect or look for.
I then encouraged you, J, to think about your expectations, worries, or fears that you might be holding on to and to talk with B openly. I also talked to you about homeopathics you could take in the interim, or calcium, to try to balance the emotions, the intensity of the contractions, and the earliness of the labor.
Again, I left for home, knowing you weren't ready for me to be there.
Around 3:30 in the morning, I received a call that B and you were quite tired and could use my help. Again, I arrived to your home, but the emotions of the room had definitely shifted. You were hard at work and determined. B was loving and encouraging, telling you how wonderful you were doing. Your labor persisted with my presence. It was time for me to settle in with you in your laboring space.
We talked about how you were worried you were doing something wrong because of how short your sister's labor was. I encouraged you that this work could sometimes take time and that you were doing nothing wrong. In fact, you were doing everything right, moving with your contractions, swaying your hips, loosening your lips and breathing deeply.
In the first 20 minutes I was there, your labor picked up and you began to get a little overwhelmed with the contractions. I encouraged you to try the tub, which you hadn't in awhile, and you settled in with me sitting on the toilet. B went to the bed for some much needed rest and you worked hard at relaxing during contractions that came between 2-4 minutes apart and lasted 60-90 seconds.
You were able to dose while lying in the tub, which I think your body truly needed, as it slowed labor down for a good 30 minutes. The moment you woke and decided to interact with me, though, your body picked right up where it had left off.
You were anxious, though, and, at this point, I noticed you pulling away from contractions. So I encouraged you to, although it was counterintuitive, sink into the contraction by bending your knees slightly. Immediately, you began vocalizing and truly surrendering into the labor.
Your vocalization was light and breathy, your breathing deep and full. Your wet and naked form swayed from side to side; your hands on your hips, or brushing your hair from your face, with a stern look and high color - you were standing strong, tall, and imposing - truly a birthing goddess!
You began wondering how much longer you could go on and voiced that you didn't think you could take much more. You asked how much longer it would be and if you were making any progress. You felt nauseous; I felt it might be transition. I reminded you that I couldn't tell you how much longer it would be, but, if you were curious if you had made progress, you could check yourself.
You did and believed you were about 6cm.
As soon as you knew how far along you were, it was like a wall beginning to fall right in front of me. You asked what you had to do. As baby seemed to be tipped to one hip, I recommended that you stay in the tub, since you seemed to do well there, but to alternate which foot you had up on the edge of the tub both while standing and while lying.
You, a might super woman, began to hang from the towel bar, bending your knees in submission to the power of your contractions that were, now, one on top of the other. Your back rested on the tile behind you and you began to make small grunting noises, little holds of the breath, at the peak of each powerful wave.
I could tell we were on the homestretch, but continued to encourage you to do what you were doing until your body was giving you no choice but to push. You squatted, stood tall, and fell to the ground, all completely tuning into your body telling you how to move your baby into position.
You said the pressure was intense in your bottom and you felt like you had to go to the bathroom. I mentioned that you were pushing and you feared that you weren't ready. At this point, B came out of the bedroom and heard that you were feeling pushy. I encouraged you to check yourself again.
You were complete and ready to bring your baby into your arms. You immediately knelt in front of your rocker and, with your brow resting on the foot rest, began to truly push your baby down, toward your hand that rested on her head.
In all of three minutes, your baby came to the opening of your body, crowned, and fell into your waiting hands. You laid her between your knees on the towel and cooed to her, 'hey baby'. The whole time, B knelt beside you rubbing your back and announcing 'you are so strong, you are such a superwoman, you're amazing'.
And, the moment that your baby was born, I saw, in your eyes, that you believed him!
J, you are a super woman! A strong, resilient, determined, and beautiful mother! B, such an encouraging and supportive spouse you are! The home birth of your babe would not have been possible without your loving support and belief in your wife!
Welcome Brianna Rose
born at 7:23a.m. on Feb 9th, 2011
20 inches long