honestly, matt and i really were hoping to get through a few more days before she was born because he is an instructor at DMACC and it was the first day of classes! Jan. 11. NOT the best time to have to miss class…but apparently we are not at all in control of which day a baby comes! 🙂 i had lots and lots of contractions with this pregnancy. so it’s hard to say when labor really began. i didn’t take the contractions seriously until that morning. matt got up at 6 to get ready for work. i told him i’d had some contractions overnight but that i was able to still get good sleep. i told him to keep his phone on and nearby because i wasn’t sure if this was it or not. he went ahead and went to work, calling his mom to come get the other kids so i didn’t have to be in labor alone watching the three boys. good call. 🙂
my contractions were totally manageable at around 10 minutes apart at 8am. i got breakfast for the kids, showered, dressed, did laundry, etc. matt’s mom got to my house at 9:30 and left with the kids by 10 or so. now my contractions were 5-8 minutse apart. my mom came at that time too to help me get the bed sheets ready and check on me. i was fine. talking through contractions. i proceeded to do some last minute chores around the house. got food out and ready for midwives. at this time i thought i’d be having the baby sometime later that day or in the evening. at 10:30 i called my midwife. i started to feel a little confused. my contractions were getting stronger but i didn’t want everyone coming up here if it was going to be way too early. i was still getting a good 5 minutes between contractions. my midwife said that if i was getting confused, it was probably time for everyone to come on up! 🙂 i called matt, apologizing for cutting into his first day of school but suggested he might want to go ahead and come on home. from 10:30 until 11 or so, I was still able to get housework done. changed sheets, made beds. around 11, i got more serious. i put on this song and listened to it over and over as well as a beautiful CD some friends and family of mine made for me with my labor in mind:
i also grabbed a favorite book with spiritual thoughts and truths to read. i hunkered down in my room with these peaceful things surrounding me.
now would be a good time to share my history of births with you. i always labor fairly well until that last hour. i spoke at length with my midwives, friends, family about this. i spoke with teresa and she told me to tell myself 100 times a day that my labor was going to be beautiful, free from fear, and that my body would do EXACTLY what it was created to do. I did that. cosette told me her story and how she repeated to herself “do not fear this” over and over. she also told me that all through labor and even during contractions i should move and change postitions as often as possible. i spent a lot of time throughout this last pregnancy thinking and praying and meditating on positive thoughts about this labor. i wanted to keep perspective this time. i wanted to not freak out and lose control or allow fear to reign as i have with all my other deliveries. i wanted a powerful, emotionally moving, deeply empowering experience.
i’m humbled to say that my labor was all of those things. i was not afraid. i welcomed the strength of the contractions as a completely natural, powerful force that would be bringing my sweet baby into my arms. i can honestly say that i didn’t really believe until this day that it was true that so much of our experience in labor and delivery has to do with our own minds. what we tell ourselves, how we are prepared emotionall and mentally.
cosette had also, just a few days earlier, given me 3 articles to read about “primal birth”…which in a VERY abbreviated version just talked about how when women are allowed to labor and deliver in a completely comfortable place, undisturbed by other people, the birth experience is by far quicker, and less painful. this is due to something called “fetal ejection reflex” which most women never get to experience because too many people are talking to them, touching them, monitoring them, etc. but when this goes undisturbed, and women are allowed to stay in their “zone”…most women do almost the identical things during the pushing phase. and i did all of those things! this is why i sent matt out of the room and why i decided not to call any of my friends/family who had offered to be at the birth.
anyway, matt got home around 11:15 and i still just wanted to remain alone at that time, so he went downstairs and waited for the midwives. cosette got here around 11:45 and her assistant kari arrived about 12, i think. when she came in the room, i said, “i’m not sure if this is it. the contractions are strong, but they’re still pretty far apart. should you check me to see if this is too early?” she said, “no honey. this is it! i can tell by your contractions. you are doing great.” for a split second i began to be afraid. cosette put her arms around me and whispered softly in my ear…”don’t fear this. your body is doing exactly what it was meant to do.” that worked immediately.
so i got into the birthing pool. right about then my body naturally started to push with the contractions, which actually gave relief to the intensity of the contractions. with one of the contractions i felt my water break. cosette told me that if i wanted to i could probably feel the baby coming down. for the first time, i was able to feel it and not give in to fear. i breathed deeply. the next contraction, i felt baby move down, i pushed…completely relying on and totally trusting my body to tell me when and for how long. the next contraction i pushed again. i felt “the ring of fire”. i did not fear it. i pushed. strongly but quietly. and sweet scarlett rose alberhasky was born. the time was 12:24pm.
i was amazed. inspired. it was a surreal, supernatural experience. i share it with you because i have experienced 4 delieveries now, all very very different from each other. but this by far, was the most beautiful and breathtaking one, which i truly believe has so much to do with how i chose to fill my mind in the weeks and months prior to the birth.
thank you to all who contributed to this experience! i felt the love and the support from so many of my sisterhood!
love to you all!