When I became pregnant, I knew I wanted to have this child as naturally as possible. Prior to my birth experience, only one other person in my family had ever tried a natural birth and unfortunately, that birth ended in a caesarian. However, I still wanted to see how my body would handle birth without intervention. As a yoga and Pilates instructor, I felt very prepared physically for this birth.
As my due date grew closer, my patience grew less. It seemed that everyone was either calling or asking if we had had our baby yet. I knew that our baby would be born when it was ready, but a large part of me just wanted the baby here NOW. I finally convinced my husband (Michael) to try intercourse to induce labor. Well, it worked. I heard a pop. At first, I was not sure what it was but as I proceeded to the bathroom water started to leak out. Since this was my first pregnancy, I was not sure what was happening. After awhile in the bathroom Michael asked if everything was ok—I responded by telling him I think my water broke. The television portrays a women’s water breaking in one huge gush—that was not true for me at all. It was more like little trickles that occurred every once in awhile.
As the reality sunk it, I called my midwife. This was about 10pm. At this point, I was not having any contractions; she said to notify her when contractions started. About a half hour later, I was having 30-second contractions about 5 minutes apart. This was when we got a little nervous, mostly because we lived an hour away from the birth center. Our plan was to go to my brother’s house (who lived a mile from the birth center) when active labor started. Again, we called my midwife; she did not see an immediate need to head to my brother’s but told us to do what felt comfortable. At 11pm, we left for his house. We arrived there an hour later, he was trying to sleep but his girlfriend was anxiously waiting for us. I am so glad we left when we did because having contractions in the car is not much fun.
Once at my brother’s house my contractions started to change. They grew stronger and longer. I did not want to wake my brother’s roommates or scare my brother’s girlfriend half to death so when a contraction started I went into the hallway. During each contraction, my back just hurt, so Michael would gently rub my back. After another hour, my contractions were close to 1 minute in length and about 2 minutes apart. Michael called my midwife and we decided to meet at the birth center in a half hour. At his point my brother had awaken—or did I wake him (not sure).
Right before I was suppose to leave for the birth center, I threw up all over his bed and my clothes. I then had to borrow clothes from his girlfriend (note to self: next time bring extra clothes and have a bucket near by). As we left, I felt bad for throwing up and thought I had ruined any chance that my brother’s girlfriend would want to have children.
When we reached the birth center, my midwife checked my cervix and dilatation. To both my husband’s surprise and mine, she said I was fully dilated and my cervix was gone. What! I was hoping she said I was at least 6 centimeters. I decided it would be nice to get in a warm tub to ease my back pain. The tub was a little bit of heaven. As the baby dropped, my pain increased, especially in my back so during each contraction someone continued to rub my back. During this time, I was pretty much in a daze. I remember little things like soft music playing, my midwife calmly waiting in the chair next to me, Michael calling our family to tell them to starting driving to the birth center, and Michael reporting that a deer was eating the flowers out in the flower garden. This was so odd because the birth center is in the middle of town. At one point, I remember seeing a small fishing net that you use in a fish tank and I said, “Are you going fishing?” I had no idea what it was for—well I soon found out. It was to clean out the water in the tub—yes, stuff does come out when you push. Did I care, not really—by this point, I was too focused on pushing this baby out than to worry about anything else.
During the “dropping” phase I became very impatient—it felt like it was taking forever and plus it hurt. At different points during this phase, Michael would walk in and out of the room—I thought it must be hard for him to see me like this. After about 1 ½ hours a head started to appear, along with some blood. As I continued to push, the head continued to stay out but the rest did not come. After a couple of minutes, my midwife said in a very direct voice, “We need to get mom out of the tub NOW!” Yikes. Prior to this, she was so calm and relaxed so I knew she was not kidding but I could not imagine getting out of the tub now. Well, both of my midwives grabbed my arms and helped me out. I then knelt on all fours. She then wanted me to step one leg forward into a lung—I even commented to her “Are you kidding?” Again, they helped me move my leg up. As soon as I did that, the baby just slide out. They quickly wrapped the baby up. Immediately I asked is it a boy or girl—they did not even look. Therefore, I unwrapped this little bundle with blood and other fluids all over it to discover that we had a girl. Hannah Johanna Christina Mroz was born at 3:55am. Then they gave me a stool to squat on and handed me our new baby. Michael got the honor of cutting the cord. Almost instantly, Hannah latched on. About 25 minutes later, I delivered the placenta—what a breeze. I then moved into the bed to relax and bond with my new baby girl and Michael.
For the next hour, they monitored Hannah and me. My family also arrived to see this new addition to our family. Before leaving the birth center Hannah was weighed, measured, and her feet were stamped. I need to go to the bathroom, which was difficult because it stung. My midwife also checked my perineum and discovered that I had torn a little. She then numbed my perineum and sewed it back up.
Right before we were leaving, they asked if I wanted to see the placenta. As they brought it out my family and husband gathered around. We were all very amazed by the role this organ plays in birth—truly a miracle.
At about 8am, Mike, Hannah, my mom, and I left for our house. My family could not believe I was going home so soon and even tried to talk me into staying longer. Less than 12 hours later Mike and I were back home with our new baby girl—what a neat experience!