Tara Gallup – 8/12/11 at 0225am
Bastian Rhys Gallup was born Friday August 12 at 2:25 am. He came fast and furious, especially considering I was a first time Mom! I delivered him at midwife run birth center in the birth tub. =) He is 7.5 lbs and 21.5 inches with a full head of black hair. We had a Bradley Method birth. =D
I started having bloody show and menstrual like cramps around 9:30 am at work on Thursday. I called my midwife after a little bit and she said to go ahead and leave work because I might go into labor that night and so I should head home and get some rest. So, I wrapped up everything and grabbed some stuff that I could do from home just in case it ended up being a false alarm. I called my Mom since I was working kind of near her house that day and decided to go ahead and pick her up and have her drive me home in case I went into labor that night. I called my husband and told him that I might be in early labor, but that he didn’t need to rush home. Luckily he wrapped up and went ahead and left work at lunchtime. Traffic was awful and my Mom and I didn’t get back to my house until around 1:30 pm. We called the birth center and they said to try and take a nap and call them if contractions got 5 minutes apart. I put on Planet Earth series and fell promptly asleep for about 3 hours. I was awoken by a strong contraction and noticed everyone was napping. Which made me happy. I knew that we all needed our rest. I cleaned up a little bit and decided I wanted to get on my ball for a little bit and then go to Target. We left for Target, but there was ranch dressing on my window =p from lord knows where… apartments… so, we left to a car wash first and then Target. It felt like I was in the car forever and I was afraid that my contractions were slowing down and that I might not progress tonight. So, I wanted to get walking! We had also been in touch with my doula to let her know what was up as well.
My phone had died, so we couldn’t use the contraction timer anymore. So, we started timing them by me telling my Mom and husband when I was having one. They were very light, so I was able to talk through them. We picked up various fruits and drinks for the labor, looked at baby stuff, etc. My contractions started to get to be 5 minutes, so we wrapped up and headed home. We called the doula and asked her to head over to our house and I rolled on the ball for a little while and then my Mom and husband were making me cranky. We called the doula and I told her and Jason that I was afraid that I wasn’t going to progress and didn’t want too many people knowing I was in labor in case it stopped. The doula suggested nipple stimulation. I didn’t think at the time that it was doing anything. But shortly after, the contractions started to be actually a little more painful where as before they were not very bad. I asked Jason to run me a bath and soaked for a little while. Not long after I got in, the doula got here. We decided to go ahead and head out to the birth center. As we were walking out the door, my undies felt a little damp through the pantiliner. I wasn’t sure if it was from the bath or my water breaking. By the time I got down the 3 flights of stairs and to the car, it broke for sure. We had a 45 minute drive to the birth center and I started gushing water in the seat. Luckily, my Mom had put a towel there!
The car ride there was horrible! The contractions started coming on strong and 4 minutes apart or less. We listened to Dead Can Dance and Delerium in the car and I sang to distract myself until the next contraction. I usually couldn’t finish a song before the next one would start. By the time we pulled up, I was cursing to get out of the car. We beat the midwife there by about 5 minutes, so I started freaking out on the patio. She pulled up at about 9:15 pm and we headed in. They started the birth tub immediately and I stripped off my dress and headed to the shower as I was grossed out by sitting in my waters for so long. They tried to check me, but I couldn’t stay still on the bed long enough for them to get a real check.
We weren’t there for long before I believe I went into full transition. I started throwing up and the pain was so intense. The contractions were one on top of another. My birth team did a wonderful job of keeping me hydrated and I would eat a strawberry or a banana here or there. I tried to go pee, but couldn’t! I was hydrated but he was so low, that every time I tried, I couldn’t. I also felt the need to push when I sat on the toilet, but didn’t believe I could be there yet. So, I would just get off the toilet. We tried standing, that was rough. Bio-freeze didn’t really help. I was having a lot of tailbone pain and lower back pressure. We tried hands and knees, but my belly was so heavy it hurt my back. I really thought I would be using those positions from when I took the Bradley class. I couldn’t wait for the tub to finish filling. I got in when it was not quite full yet. I labored in the tub for awhile and it was REALLY intense. Squatting was my favorite along with lean squat into my husband who was behind me.
I was vocalizing a ton throughout the labor and the midwife kept reminding me to keep the sounds low and to try to not wear myself out. I was already worn out though and they decided to get me out so they could try and check me again as they still hadn’t been able to.
So, we really had no idea where we were as far as progression went. I was able to tell them that I think I was partially afraid to be checked because I didn’t want to be this overwhelmed and be told I was only 4-5 centimeters or something. I felt like I must be in transition from what I learned in Bradley class, but didn’t want to get myself thinking I was… I dunno. I also remember apologizing to everyone a million times and then they got me to the bed. That was AWFUL. I was into hard core, I can’t do this mode. I was asking to be knocked out that I just wanted some sleep. Someone give me ANYTHING to give me a break for a minute. I swear I was having contractions every minute to 30 seconds at this point. It was like they never stopped! My birth team was SOOO wonderful reminding me of all the reasons I wanted to have my baby this way and reading some affirmation stories I had brought. I also requested that they turn up Dead Can Dance. They got me in a side lying position and we tried that for a few minutes, but it was so painful. The baby’s heart rate dropped a little for the first time too, so we moved to all fours and then my back to be checked. After many heating pad socks and a popsicle, I think, I was able to be checked. I also got some kind of sugar crystals or something to relax and honey sticks. I threw that up shortly after. My midwife, Andrea looked up and said something along the lines of “No wonder, you’re complete!”. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. I seriously was waiting for the news that I was nowhere near finished.
We got me off the bed and back into the tub and that was nice. I got in the squat position and leaned back against my husband. The contractions started spacing out some and so I was able to catch my breath and rest in between. That was NICE. My doula had popsicles for me to sip on and I drank lots of water and rested on my husband between contractions. Once I felt not AS exhausted, I started deciding to push. I think I could have started earlier, but I did need that little break.
I had been feeling his head for awhile, but he had so much hair and it was so soft that I didn’t believe that it was him. I thought maybe for some reason that my cervix was still posterior and I was bulging or something. They got a mirror to show me his head, I couldn’t really see it through the murky water, but it did reassure me to go ahead and start pushing. I pushed only when I had a contraction, and rested after. I vocalized a lot and probably wore myself out a bit doing that. But, it was nice to have something to focus on. I just had to be reminded to go low with it a lot. I kept thinking of Ina May’s book and saying “I Can” and something about being a flower. I also recalled her story about the opera singer and opening my jaw with the pushes. I was classically trained in opera as well, so her story stuck with me.
Let me say this, because I never read this in the many birth stories I read. Pushing was HARD. I honestly had it in my head that pushing was going to be the easy part. It was a lot more work than I was expecting. I must have crowned Bastian and had him slip back in a bajillion times it felt like. I started to get discouraged, but they told me it was ok because he was just stretching me out. I pushed against my sides of my birth canal a lot and that seemed to help. I tell you though, it felt like the worst constipation you have EVER had and that you may have just given up on and come back to another day if it had been a bowel movement.
But, seeing as how it was my baby, I decided I need to get him out! I was SO done! I wanted to be done done done. I got the ring of fire once, and then he slipped back in. I rested and pushed some more. After about an hour or more of pushing I had it. I felt I was going to rip upwards, but I didn’t care anymore. I screamed, “I’m going to split my clitoris!” but pushed anyway. Next thing I knew, his head was out. I had to catch my breath and wait a minute to push the body out and my midwife flipped him as soon as he got out as his cord was wrapped around his chest like a bandoleer. He also came out with his hand on his face. The cord stopped pulsing not long after he was on my chest. So, they clamped it pretty quickly. The placenta came out very easy a few seconds later. They put him right on my chest when he was born and he cried big and strong after a few seconds. My husband cut the cord and I asked them save the placenta for me. He latched on for his first feed almost immediately and latched perfect and fed for a good 15-20 minutes or so. I was getting cold, so we got me out and they were going to refill the tub for me so I could use this herbal bath that my husband’s sister had sent for postpartum and first bath. I was so happy Karla was there as she remembered that I wanted to do that. =D
Then, I had to get stitches and that was AWFUL and took forever! I kept making them stop because I was just soooo over being in pain by that point and wanted to be with Bastian. I could see his Daddy rocking him outside the room and holding him skin to skin and that helped. Man getting those was almost as painful as pushing! I didn’t have super deep tears they were just all up and in such a sensitive area that it was super ouchy. I didn’t tear my perineum at all though, so bonus on that I suppose! I had to pee about halfway through too and that was 0_0. Going to bathroom… no fun. Peri bottle… friend. I can’t remember when I took the bath with Bastian, but I know we did and it was very nice. Jason got all the stuff packed up into the car and after his exam and discharge we were out of there around 9 or 10 am?
I still am in shock that I did it but I seriously mean it when I say that I could not have done it without my birth team. Jason was SO wonderful and loving. He was amazing and was everything I needed in a partner. I feel so close to him going through this together and how perfectly he took care of me. Our doula, Jessica was the perfect team match up to Jason and she was always predicting my needs and really supporting Jason too so he could support me. My midwife Andrea was totally amazing and she really kept me focused and from completely losing it. She was the midwife I had seen the most since I had started going there, so I was so happy she was got to deliver Bastian. =D My Mom was perfect and made sure all the background stuff was taken care of like my herbal bath steeping during labor and she was so perfect and there when I needed her. Karla, the birth assistant was great making sure we got that herbal bath and last but not least the super awesome photographer Kim Turner who took wonderful pictures. She was a ninja! This was her first birth and we had never met. But, I am so glad she was there to help us share our birth in photographs.
Ok, I think I am done!
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