I wasn’t great at being pregnant.
The first trimester, I was overcome with incredible depression. Which of course, made no sense to me. I finally had everything I wanted and I was in a funk like no other. Super frustrating.
Then there was the time I fell on my belly at a restaurant in downtown Seattle and used my elbow to break my fall. That little event resulted in an ambulence ride, a cast on my elbow for 8 weeks, a lawsuit (ask me later) and ultimately was the final time I would deal with my OB and perpetuated my switch to my amazing midwife.
Of course, there was the standard emotional baggage that comes with being a pregnant woman who has lost multiple babies. I didn’t even know of the term “Rainbow Baby” at this time – but carrying your Rainbow Baby has such an emotional impact on a mama. The fear you live with is debilitating. My sweet midwife got MANY calls asking if we could “please just listen to his heartbeat….” She was basically a saint.
Towards the end of the pregnancy, my blood pressure started to creep up a little too much. I remember the appointment where my midwife had to tell me that she thought we should go tour the hospital she had privelages at because we might need to use the hospital instead of the birth center. I. WAS. DEVASTATED.
We toured the hospital (I hated it) and my midwife offered me bedrest to see if my blood pressure would respond. It was a pretty big financial hit – but home I stayed. I was 34 weeks pregnant. While I was home, I took alot of naps and watched alot of movies. My mother in law worked around the corner from our tiny 1 bedroom condo and she would come bring me food or take me to lunch. That was pretty nice. Bed rest is lonely… the rest of the time, I just prayed that God would honor my desire to not birth at the hosptial. I prayed alot.
On Friday the 13th, my mother in law wanted to know if I wanted to go on a walk during her lunch break. It was mid September, and the weather in Seattle is GORGEOUS in mid September. The idea of a walk sounded lovely, but I was SO DANG TIRED. I turned her down and stayed in bed and slept all day. I got up only to go to the bathroom and my cats followed me to the bathroom each time and then followed me back to bed and the curled up ON ME, never leaving my side.
Chad came home from work and we decided to rent a movie and have a quiet night. We watched The Mothman Prophesies with Richard Gere. I slipped in and out of sleep eventually falling asleep before the movie was over.
It was great sleep. Interrupted only by an audible “POP” that woke me at 2:30 am. I stood up to investigate only to have my water soak my carpet. I woke Chad and told him that my water broke. He said “are you sure?”
I called my midwife. I called my doula.There were no contractions yet. The fluid was clear so the plan was to go back to bed and try to rest and to check in at 7 am if nothing had started.
Telling a first time mama whose water is broken to go back to sleep is such a waste of breath.
Chad and I sat in bed, unable to sleep, talking about what was coming next. How things would change and how this would be our last time alone in our little condo in Edmonds. it was a sweet 15 minutes that I won’t ever forget.
at 2:50am I had my first contraction. It was short and just stung a little. They were 7 minutes apart. Well, the first 4 were. The 5th contraction was 5 minutes. We called Midwife Charlotte and Doula Deana with the update. It was about 3:30 am. The plan was to leave for the birth center at about 4:15am. Chad and I got dressed, had a snack and got the car packed. By 4:00am the contractions were more like 3-5 minutes apart and pretty tough, so we called everyone and let them know we were leaving a few minutes early. The ride to the birth center was about 20-25 minutes. It was the longest car ride of my life. Active labor in the car is NO JOKE. Also, a police car had merged onto the freeway next to us about halfway through our drive, so I made Chad go exactly the speed limit.
We arrive at Cascade Birth Center in Everett Washington at about 4:30 am. The contractions were hard and I was so thankful that my doula was there. Nobody else was laboring at the birth center, so it was dim and quiet and I got the birth suite that I liked the best. We got settled and they filled the tub for me. Im not sure how long I had been at the birth center when I started throwing up. It felt so violent and the idea of the mess stressed me out. They took the bowl away to rince it out and I yelled at them. My doula wiped my face with a wet wash cloth and they brought my bowl back. All was well. That bowl and that wash cloth followed my every move and even though I only vomited a couple times, I could NOT be without those items.
I labored on the toilet. I labored in the tub. I didn’t love the tub. I needed the fan to blow on me. Nope, I needed the fan to NOT blow on me. TURN THE DAMN FAN OFF. Wheres my bowl? Wheres my washcloth? Why is the fan off?
My blood pressure wasn’t cooperating so eventually midwife Charlotte had me labor on my left side on the bed to see if we could stabalize it. It was hard to labor there, but a few minutes before 8am, I started feeling like I had to push. Charlotte checked my cervix.
The urge to push was powerfull and made my legs shake. I hated it. I pushed when my body told me to. My sweet midwife reminded me that first time moms sometimes have to push longer; sometimes for a couple hours. I remember thinking…”hell no.”
Midwife Charlotte went over to the vanity to put her make up on and her student Christina stayed at the bed with me. At 8:13am Christina said “crowning” and I remember seeing Charlottes mascara go flying. It landed in a plant (isnt it funny what details you notice in labor?)
A couple more pushes and then Charlotte said “reach down and pull your baby out Jetta.” She placed my hands under his little armpits and then she set her hands in her lap and at 8:17am on September 14 2002, I pulled my dream come true baby boy onto my tummy.
My Rainbow Baby.
I loved every moment of that day. I loved everything about giving birth.
This is my story. Im crying as I type it.
Happy 16th Birthday Isaac!!! You are quite literally, my dreams realized. I LOVE YOU.
© Family First Midwifery 2018
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