Gabriella’s Birth Story
I was due Friday, May 19, 2017. It was about 10 p.m. that night when the contractions started. I showered, ate, drank some water and the contractions kept coming. I went to bed, just to be sure. Sure enough, around 5 a.m. Saturday morning my contractions woke me up. My husband started to time contractions. They were about 5 mins apart. We paged the birth center and went in to be checked by Mary at 7:30. I wasn’t dilated. I was so mad! The contractions were still constant. Mary reassured me that it was okay I hadn’t progressed, it was my first baby after all. Mary offered for us to go home or stay at Blossom. I chose to stay at Blossom so that my mindset stayed positive.
Jacqueline stayed with Trey (hubby) and I. We did the Miles Circuit to help baby girl get onto the correct side. The exercises went on til about lunch time. I ate and got checked again. I was only dilated to a 2 or 3. Grrr! Maybe I was frustrated easily. 😉 We tried to sleep as much as possible in between contractions. I kept drinking my labor tea and water. Trey massaged me, held me, and played my favorite worship songs (as I could tolerate).
Things finally started to ramp up Saturday evening. My mom even made it into town (all the way from Oklahoma) about 7 p.m. I was no longer in early labor. Jacqueline and Trey continued to love on me. Mary and Diane attended as well. I loved having so many people there!
I got in and out of the tub and eventually decided on the shower (heavenly!). My body finally was starting to transition. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my body had started to push. I fought it with tears and groans of pain. My abdomen convulsed with each contraction and I was exhausted. I fought against it! As I begin to dilate more, the urge to push came suddenly. We tried so many positions. I was glad to have the freedom to do what was best for me. Everyone helped me to get into the most “comfortable” position. We tried hand and knees, one leg up on a stool in lunge position, squatting with the support of Trey, on my back with my knees up, and finally the birth stool. The birth stool was the winner!
It was early Sunday morning by now, but I had no concept of time or modesty! I was ready for the baby to be out! I had wasted my pushing power by yelling too much, so rather, I held my breath and pushed. The only thing I heard was my mom telling me to think about the last part of a Cross Country race. Think about that last kick you must give to finish the race. Having ran for so many years, this was just what I needed to hear. I visualized a grassy lane coming around the last curve being able to see the final stretch lined with people. I pulled out my last bit of strength and ran the last few hundred meters. This imagery got me through to the end.
I pushed until I could feel her head with my hand. Apparently, my expression of shock was quite amusing. I pushed, as if I had done this before! After several more pushes, we discovered Gabriella was still in en caul (the bag of waters). Once her shoulders were out, I pushed a couple more times and she was out. The bag of waters burst as Gabriella came the rest of the way out. Diane handed me my new little baby as I sat shocked. I took a few steps back and lied down with her on my chest. Trey was on his hands and knees, bowed down, thanking God with tears of joy.
I remember not really feeling anything other than relief. I felt the urge to nurse. I kept asking to nurse, but couldn’t until the placenta was out. Trey got to cut her cord. She was covered in vernix and had a full head of hair.
Gabriella was wonderfully healthy and so was I. She was born at 5 a.m. Sunday, May 21, 2017. We could go home around 10:30 a.m., that was amazing! I later asked my mom and Trey how long I had pushed. Apparently, what felt like one hour to me was actually four hours of pushing! I had no idea. That 24 hour labor was exhausting, but adrenaline kept me going!
The amazing midwives, doulas, my mom, and Trey were instrumental in the birth of Gabriella. I recall someone praying out loud for me as I labored in the tub and as I pushed. How sweet a gesture, I’ll never forget it! I will come back to Blossom for the next baby, God willing.