I’ve got someone to introduce you all to! Say hello to Kai.
The Stats: Kai William. 6-24-15. 9:31am. 8 lbs 5 oz. 21 in. 39+2 weeks.
The Short Birth Story: I woke up to strong contractions at midnight. I got to the birth center at 3am. My water broke at 9:15am and Kai was born in the water at 9:31am.
The Takeaway: I loved the birth center experience and would highly recommend both it and the water birth to future moms-to-be. Turns out you don’t have to give birth on your back while people scream “push!” at you if you don’t want to.
The Disclaimer: I love birth stories. I seek them out. I devourer them. I love them. I know many people have the opposite approach, so this is your warning to stop reading now.
The (VERY) Long Birth Story: I began having regular, consistent braxton hicks contractions at 37 weeks. All day, every day. I kept waiting for them to turn in to the real thing. And waiting and waiting. On Sunday, after nearly two weeks of this, I started feeling them get stronger and felt some cramping. This got stronger on Monday and stronger again on Tuesday. My mom was scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, so I was hoping they’d hold off. She arrived at 4pm, we went out to dinner, and by the time I went to bed at 10:30, I knew I was going to be having a baby the following day. (Seriously, I’m going to start marketing my mom has an induction method. Forget castor oil, just buy this woman a plane ticket).
Sure enough, at midnight (early Wednesday morning), I woke up to REAL contractions. I tried to sleep through them but couldn’t. They were 8-10 minutes apart so I knew I had time, but with Evan, I never hit that 4 minute stride they want you to hit. I also knew I needed to get to the birth center 4 hours before delivering if I wanted the antibiotics (I was GBS+). At 2:30, when I was sure the weren’t going away, I called my midwife. She told me to start heading her way. We packed our bags, let my mom know she needed to watch Evan, and headed in.
When I got there, the midwife and student midwife immediately got me my first dose of IV antibiotics. They asked if I wanted a cervical check but, having arrived at the hospital at 9cm with Evan, and aware I wasn’t that far along now, I was afraid of being disappointed so I said I’d let them know later. So Ben and I relaxed in the birthing suite, watched some Mindy Project, and I think the midwives went to take a nap.
I have been told (with both kids) that I am unusually calm during labor. I mostly just want to lie back and let the contractions do the work. I know most women want to walk around and bounce on the exercise ball and change position, but I just want to sit back. I even managed to doze off, two minutes at a time, between contractions.
At 6am, my curiosity got the better of me and I asked for a cervical check. I was 5-6 cm, which is further along than they assumed based on my behavior. Things picked up quickly then. I got my second dose of antibiotics at 7:30 and by 8am, I was a “stretchy” 8-9cm.
I wanted a water birth so I got in the birthing tub then. The water was nice because I could move around easily. When I started feeling the urge to push, my midwives said to go with it and bear down if I felt the urge. They told me that they expected him to be born very shortly after my water broke. As things got very intense, I said, “I’d like my water to break now.” On the next contraction, it did. (I then asked for a million dollars, just in case I had a superpower). Three pushes later, at 9:31am, Kai was out!
They immediately put him skin to skin, letting him get all of the gunk out of his airway on his own (it’s pretty awesome to watch babies do things without intervention). I wanted to get out of the tub so Ben cut the cord and took Kai (also skin to skin). I moved to the bed and delivered the placenta. They checked my vitals and Kai’s vitals while he was still on my chest and then they mostly left us alone to bond. Kai started rooting around within that first hour so I nursed him. It was all so natural.
My now, my mom and Evan had arrived, but I didn’t want to be nursing Kai when Evan came in. Evan came in when Kai was probably two hours old. That’s when they took the baby and finally (I’m sure that’s the word the grandmothers would use) weighed and measured him. 8 lbs, 5 oz. 21 inches. I thought for sure he was going to be a 7-something pound baby since he seemed so much smaller than Evan (who was 8 lbs 11 oz).
Ben went and got us lunch (Moe’s burrito bowl) while I got stitched up (very small tear, probably just because of my birth history with Evan). Once Kai and I met all of the discharge requirements, we went home. We were home about 6 hours after Kai was born.
I had a good birth expereince with Evan, but I had a great birth experience with Kai. My birthing team was amazing. The midwives were totally hands-off, letting me labor how I chose. This works great for me, since I mostly prefer to be left alone to quietly labor (I guess I should have been a little more vocal because Kai’s head was out before anyone was even aware his birth was that imminent). I was completely involved in every decision that was made and couldn’t imagine going back to a hospital birth after this experience.
I am thrilled Kai is here to complete our family.