::Birth Story:: Grayson
Birth of Grayson, February 13, 2015 by Sara Skiles, CD (BAI)
The birth of my second baby was nothing like I had expected it to be, and yet everything I had hoped it would be.
My firstborn's journey into the world began with the sudden releasing of my waters, followed by active labor lasting 10 hours. Transition and laboring down were intense, while pushing and birth were tiring but painless.
You know how everyone always says “the second baby will come twice as fast” (and it does seem to be true). So here I was at exactly 41 weeks pregnant - we were all geared up for a fast labor, and I even had some anxiety during pregnancy about the possibility of a rapid, unassisted birth and my attendants not arriving on time. When I had those first few good contractions on the 12th, I called the
and relatives: “I'm not saying I'm in labor and you need to come now, but it's probably going to be tonight.” They all packed their bags, went to bed early with their phones, expecting a call, but I had contractions 7 minutes apart all evening, and all through the night! They were strong enough that I breathed and vocalized through them, but could sleep in between. They picked up in both frequency and intensity between 4 and 7 AM, so one of our loved ones came to care for our older son. My contractions then fizzled out for some time to my disappointment, especially while I was in the bath, so after a while she left, thinking that I might not be progressing due to feeling waited on. I got up and walked around a bit, moving my hips, and burst into active labor, with contractions coming 2-3 minutes apart and lasting 2 minutes long.
My contraction app! It says it's time to have a baby. ;)
In between various contractions I called my birth team. I began texting my doula out of habit...then realized I was texting her! I quickly called her, knowing how strongly I encourage my own clients to call me when they're in labor rather than texting! My husband was doing a great job encouraging me but I was quickly beginning to feel ready for the extra support, so thankfully everyone lived close by and was here within the hour. I think they all arrived at about the same time.
Monitoring the baby during a contraction
Beads from my mother blessing ceremony
I was relaxed and enjoying the company in between the contractions. I tried a few positions with my husband's help and my doula's gentle touch, but soon began to feel the pressure and inability to get comfortable that let me know I was in transition and the baby was coming soon.
My birth team and I all moved to the bedroom, where they had my bed and the supplies all ready for action.
I had planned to deliver on hands and knees, but the position just wasn't sustainable for my body so I tried a semi-sitting position leaning back against my husband. Much more comfortable for this tired, swollen mama!
Lots of vocalizing in low tones and squeezing hubby's hands helped me stay on top of the longest contractions.
Last moment as an only child.
I could feel my baby moving down through my body, but I was missing that overwhelming urge to push that I had the first time. I just breathed him down gently, letting my body push a little on its own, following my instincts and not wasting energy by bearing down. I got so hot and dehydrated during this time – the room was cool, but I was working up a sweat. I had a honey stick and everyone made sure I drank water after each contraction. Someone plugged in a large fan and aimed it at me, which provided a lot of relief but soon had to be turned off so as not to stimulate the baby into taking a breath prematurely.
See the shape of my belly, how he's almost out.
Once my baby had moved down to the birth canal my instincts told me to begin bearing down. I pushed for 20 minutes, in contrast to about an hour last time. I exclaimed in surprise that it hurt! It didn't hurt last time so I was taken aback some. I was off in labor-land though, aware of things and yet not aware. It was kind of a trip from all the hormones. Someone said to me, “reach down and get your baby”, and I leaned forward and placed my hands on his head, ready to receive him as his body emerged. He began to cry while only half born. I delivered my baby, pulling him up onto my chest and half laughing, half crying out with joy!
In the quiet moment after birth, holding my baby to me, I heard my toddler in the living room singing his ABCs...a sweet memory. He came in to meet the baby - “it's a baby!” was all he would say. Later we let him cut the cord.
I decided to practice partial lotus birth, which is a way of respecting the placenta that protected the baby and allowing the baby's transition to life earthside to be as gradual and gentle as possible. We left him connected to his placenta for about an hour before separating them. Excessive postpartum bleeding was something I was anxious to avoid, so my husband took a thumbnail-sized piece of placenta and blended it into a strawberry milkshake for me. I had one almost every day for the first week or so and indeed they did help me avoid suffering the effects of blood loss. I could feel my uterus clamp down each time I had one – amazing.
Baby G weighed 8 lbs, 3 oz – just an ounce smaller than his brother weighed at birth. I was in labor for 24 hours - 5 of it active - far from the precipitous birth I nervously thought I might have, but a blessing in disguise.
I'm thankful for a beautiful birth experience with my wonderful husband and the best birth team ever, and I'll always treasure the memories and photos. Now, postpartum is an entirely different story for me, but that's for another time! Let's just say that I am well equipped from personal experience to help my clients through the challenges of recovering from birth! :)
Please enjoy my birth video!
Happy weekend!! I was honored to be a part of this gorgeous home birth and have learned so much from this lovely momma and friend. Oh, and you might need a tissue or two (especially if you're pregnant ;) ).Please like/share/comment to show the world how BEAUTIFUL and NORMAL birth is! (Oh and clicking HD will make it even better