"There's a baby!" and just in time for Thanksgiving; Adrian Benedict born 11/17/2020
We love sharing birth stories on our birthblog and today we give a special thanks to our repeat client and mom of 5, Dallas, for sharing her amazing story of her son's unconventional arrival.
"After a few experiences with what seemed to be preterm labor during this pregnancy, I realized as my due date approached that it might be difficult to discern when the birth process was truly underway. Little did I know what a confusing path our son's birth would lead us on!
I experienced mild, steady contractions throughout Monday afternoon and evening on the eve of being 39 weeks, but the tightening wasn't beyond what I had previously undergone in previous "false" labor episodes. I went to sleep that night and was awakened by contractions at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. Although I was able to sleep in between each one, they were occurring 5 times an hour and startling me out of sleep each time. This was similar to how the birth of our previous child had begun, so I wondered if this would likewise result in a baby by midmorning.
However, as the sun rose, the contractions became more infrequent and weaker. I had a previously scheduled appointment with my midwife for 10 a.m., and although I had a slight worry that labor would take off while I was in the car, I decided to keep the appointment since I really wanted to know if the uterine activity had resulted in cervical change or anything that we could recognize as the start of labor. I was mildly surprised to learn that there had been no dilation or change in position of the cervix or baby, particularly since there was a new, "pressurized" feeling in my pelvic area and joints that morning.
Around 1:30 contractions began to pick up again irregularly, lasting roughly 40-80 seconds and coming every 3-8 minutes (with an occasional 15-20 minute break); however, they were not remotely unmanageable -- more points of curiosity about what was going on. I experimented with a bath around 3:30 to see if that slowed things down, but if anything the frequency only increased. Stopping in between sensations when necessary and continuing to stay in touch with the midwife, I prepared dinner in the late afternoon, decided about 4:45 that I really just couldn't take my older children to their scouting meetings that evening, and let my husband know that I might need him in a bit. He came home promptly, and our doula graciously arrived at about 6:15 since I felt that I really was needing some help at that point. I had reconnected with the midwife, letting her know that contractions were lasting 55-80 seconds with the occasional 25-40 second one, and coming about every 2-7 minutes. She suggested working through things with the doula for a bit and getting back in touch once Tara (our doula) had had the chance to observe and give some input. Tara and I went for a slow walk around the block, pausing for contractions, and then decided to take another lap around. By the end of that second time around the block, I was on my hands and knees in the neighbors' yards while each contraction hit since I couldn't support myself during them any longer, and they were more predictably coming every 3-4 minutes.
Since I was indisputably in active labor by the time we were able to get inside and upstairs at a little after half past 7, we called the midwife to let her know. She said she would be on her way to us, and we decided to try a couple of side-lying releases to make sure baby was in the best possible position. In the middle of the first one, something seemed to break loose inside me and I found that I was sobbing uncontrollably, yelling NOOOOO, and feeling that I absolutely had to find some way to escape from my body. This abrupt shift to the maximum possible intensity was incredibly hard -- almost impossible -- to deal with, but we decided the wisest thing would be to try the side-lying release on the other side to help ensure that baby's position wasn't lopsided. During that second side's release, my water broke, and I realized (based on my prior birth experiences in which the waters released immediately before birth) that it was highly unlikely baby was going to wait 40 minutes for our provider to arrive. While our doula was telling the midwife over the phone what had happened, I asked (or yelled at?) my husband to fill our bathtub, and Tara helped me make my way into the bathroom.
Once I arrived standing at the bathroom counter, Tara attempted to help me into the tub, but I felt unable to move and disoriented as to where the tub was. On top of the overwhelming contraction sensations, I suddenly felt a huge bulge around the perineal and rectal area and experienced a new (to me) feeling of something unbearably pressing apart the bones of the pelvic and sacral area. I think I yelled that "There's something there!" and then, with more certainty, "There's a baby! There's a baby!" With one unthinking push to eject whatever seemed to be splitting my entire pelvic structure, Adrian Benedict was born healthy and squalling into the oh-so-fortunately waiting hands of Tara at 7:55 p.m, weighing 6 lbs 0 oz.
We are so grateful to the Mindful Birth team for showing up to help us navigate the uncertainties of this remarkable birth journey!"
Authored by Dallas, mother of 5 including her littlest love, Adrian Benedict
To learn more about what doulas do, click here.