18 Jan 2012

AOI’s Birth Story: Week 39 +4 days

You can start by reading AOI’s Birth Story: The Day Before.

18th November – 39weeks and 4days.
At 1.45am a sharp contraction pulls me out of bed – Hollywood style. I throw my cover off and, without thinking, bounce and run into the bathroom. After cleaning myself I see a very faint blood. I knew it was showing because weeks before I asked my sister-in-law “How would I notice that I am in labour?”
“You will see the showing.” So I kept eye for that. But that morning I was not convinced I was seeing right therefore I called AMI to come double check “Is that blood?”
“Yes, light blood.” Good! I was afraid that those contractions were tricks of my imagination because for the past weeks I have been daydreaming about the encounter with my baby.
I made numerous trips to the bathroom. When I returned to bed it was difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep in. I couldn’t sleep because contractions were coming every five to ten minutes apart lasting one minute. However, at this point they were not uncomfortable therefore both AMI and I thought they were preparatory contractions. One thing that bothered me was contractions getting me caught lying on my side, because it felt as I was frozen. I tried various positions on the bed, such as open knee-chest to help me relax and hopeful fall asleep. But I couldn’t sleep so I snoozed. I made another trip to the bathroom, I felt as if my menstrual circle was imminent.
I didn’t keep track of the time, but AMI was timing each contraction. I couldn’t sleep so I brought my exercise ball onto the bed. I embraced it while kneeling on the bed. It felt great; suddenly the pressure on my back was relieved. I managed to relax and fell into a comfortable position. I was about to sleep but decided to check the time. It was 6am so I opted to get out of bed.
Once up I called A., my doula, to inform her of the events. I was talking to her when a contraction hit me. I passed the phone to AMI who finished the conversation. I believe A. said to keep doing what I had been doing the whole morning, focusing on my breathing. With each contraction I relaxed my body and concentrated on the breathing letting all the jabs wrap me without fighting them.
After the telephone call we decided to start our day. I still felt sleepy so I made AMI bring out of the studio the desk chair, a sleeping bag and my exercise ball. I sat on the chair wrapped myself warm and lifted my feet up. I slept for nearly one hour. The contractions kept coming but they were not uncomfortable, just annoying. I got up at seven and went for a shower, I let the hot water run on my shoulders and then my lower back to relieve the pressure.

After the shower I ate fried eyes, then played on the Wii Fit alternating between Rhythm Parade and Obstacle Course.
{what the… was I really wearing that? LOL}
We phoned D., my midwife, at eight o’clock to let her know that labour contractions have started. She told us she was coming around 11am to check my progression.
AMI had a meeting that morning so I told him he could go because this stage could last 6-12 hours. But he called it off because he wanted to help me all the way. I loved having him fussing about me, making sure that I was comfortable, eating and drinking water. He became my focal point at each contraction; he would breathe with me while looking in my eyes, it was good to see his relaxed face. It made me feel secure and strong. At one point I even said “Why did we pay for a doula? You are doing so well by yourself. But maybe it will be difficult later on.”
Around 11am D. arrived. During one of our many telephone conversations in the weeks leading to this moment, my mother had told me that my birth will be like Jerusalem birth. I guess she meant calm and peaceful. I phoned her as soon as D. came because knowing that a specialist was with me would have cut down her guilt for not being near me during this miraculous moment. My mother sent me her best wishes and prayers. When I phoned her that day she told me that everything will be fine. She thanked D. and asked her to take good care of me and pray for me. She said she was sorry she couldn’t be near me. I was not sad because the thought that we were in her prayers set me at peace. I phoned my sister but she didn’t answer because she was at work. After some contractions D. decided to check how much I was dilated. During one of our visits she told me that she stays with the pregnant women once they are 4cm dilated. I was worried that I was not dilated enough for her to stay but I was fine with the thought.
She examined me and I was 7cm dilated. “What?” we were all in disbelief but every excited. After the examination D. told AMI to phone A. to let her know. After the phone call D. asked if we needed something for the house because we might not be able to get anything after today. Both AMI and I agreed that we need milk and bread. We phoned A. once again. She said she would come home first.
In my mind the loving thoughts began to overlap each other “What? I am in labour, is she right? Am I having the baby? OMG, am going to see my baby maybe today or tomorrow?” Because I thought it could take us the whole day even if to get to 7cm didn’t put too much strain on my body.
I was going by the book.
A. arrived around 1:30pm. Before she came I told D. how I envisaged snow outside while I was in labour and that I’ve already told A.. “It would be nice to have some pictures in the snow.”

We found ourselves, at 1:45pm, taking pictures as the snow picked up falling down.
Outside the cold air eased some contractions.
I walked for a minute or so and then I posed like a super-diva pregnant woman, kicking the snow and laughing.

When we got back indoors, D. pointed out to A. “She doesn’t look like she’s about to give birth.” We all smiled pleased. I was jolly and chatty, and they contractions were like special drugs to me, I was in this peaceful place. Meanwhile AMI, A. and D. were covering the living from floor with plastic shower curtains, old towels and blankets ready for the birthing pool.
I went into the water around 3pm when the stronger contractions began, AMI came in to support me.
I believe that was the beginning of the second stage of labour. This time I started to believe that maybe, just maybe I would see my baby tonight. It felt good to be in the warm water (37ᵒC), because each strong contraction was felt less. Throughout the day I had Berry Birth Playlist Love playing. The music was on loop and I believe some songs played more than others. After about an hour of being in the water I came out because I was getting cold.
I went to change into a different outfit.
To be continued…
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