Let me set the scene…Friday June 20th 2003. I am 9 months pregnant with my third daughter. My mom and two sisters (Vanessa and Liberty) have been here for about a week; they are my only help with my other two daughters. I am very scared because their plan is to leave Monday morning. If I don’t have the baby until after they leave then I do not know who will watch Skyler (4 years old) and Sylvia (23 months old) during the birth, My mom picks up some (gulp) castor oil at the store. Luis best friend Eric (and owner of the house we are living in) comes over with his family to work on the house. They are here from Flagstaff, AZ. We are moving in July and they would like to sell the house.
I feel that the baby and my body are both ready to have this baby so around 12:30 PM I take 2 oz of castor oil with some orange juice and ice cream. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Luis comes home from work around 2:30 and leaves right away to go deposit his paycheck. I take another 2 oz of castor oil with the O.J. and ice cream. I had had about 5 small contraction in the last 30 minutes but that wasn’t a big change from the last week so I paid them no mind. 15 minutes after my second dose of castor oil my water broke. Just a small gush, enough to cover my panties but enough to make me take notice. I was sitting in between my mom and my oldest sister Vanessa. “I think my water just broke” They kept talking “I SAID I think my water broke” They both jumped up. I jumped up laughing with excitement and waddled to the bathroom. Another small gush on the toilet. Yep it was my water. Excitement filled the air. We are going to have a baby; I wasn’t going to be pregnant forever. I went upstairs to change and put on a pad and then waited for Luis to get home to tell him the news.
Luis boss from work called to tell him that he could work on Saturday like he wanted to but I told him that wasn’t going to happen, that we were going to have a baby instead. I decided to have Eric, who was outside working on the house, tell Luis. Just a few weeks ago Eric had jokingly told Luis that my water had broken. So when Luis came home Eric was waiting for him with the news. Luis of corce did not believe him. When he got in the house I told him that he wouldn’t be going to work on Saturday because we were going to have a baby. He was as excited as I was.
Luis decided to have a BBQ for dinner so he rushes off to the store to get food for all of our quests. I call my midwife who lives about 2 hours away and we decided to wait an hour before she heads to my house. I am having some contractions but nothing to really take notice of. Still looking for some bloody show too. The castor oil has given me a bit of a bellyache so I pass on dinner. I drink some juice instead. By now the ‘cleansing’ from the castor oil has also taken effect so I spend some time in the bathroom.
I then update my computer friends and lie down on my bed to get some rest and spend a quiet moment to reflect and ‘talk’ with the baby. I want her to know how excited I am too meet her. Still not many contractions. I then wander down stares where dinner is being finished and cleared away. Eric and Kim (his wife) ask if I want them to stop working on the house. I tell them no. I also invite her to witness the birth if she would like to.
I find Luis on the porch chatting with Rico our neighbor. I ask him to please fill the birth pool. I know it still might be awhile before I need it but I wanted it ready. While it was being filled up Luis timed some contractions just for the fun of it. I was on the floor leaning over the bed and we both watched TV. I was surprised that they were 3 minutes apart. They were very short; around 30 seconds and I could easily talk through them. It was around 6:30. Vanessa, Liberty and Kim took turns rubbing my back. Oh the pampering….nice. We keep this up for a little over an hour and then I hope on the computer to update my computer friends again. Brenda gets here around 7:45. Sitting at the computer desk has slowed things down a lot. I chat a little with Brenda and my mom and then I get up and get moving. Perhaps walking up and down the stairs will get things going again. I also take a minute to sit in a rocker in the living room and chat with every one.
Eric and Luis and in the living room. Kim, who is trying to keep busy is scrubbing my bathroom, my mom and Brenda are still up stairs chatting, Kim and Eric’s kids are out side with my two and being watched by Liberty. Vanessa is with me making sure I have every thing that I need. Wow, what a house full. Like the 4th of July picnic and not a birth, LOL. It felt great to have so many loved ones around. Sitting on the rocker had picked things up again. I move toward the stairs but linger in the hallway just outside of the living room. I am afraid that if I go up stairs that things will slow down again. Standing in the doorway I have a few pretty intense contractions.
When I have them I step out of the doorway and into the hall and lean on the wall moaning quietly. When the contraction end I step back into the door way to again become part of the crowd. I then decide that it is time to get in the pool. I had gotten in once earlier in labor and it felt so heavenly, I wanted to feel that warmth again. It felt WONDERFUL! How could anyone give birth without water? As soon as my body sank into the water I was comfortable. Water has always been very comforting for me and this was no exception. The inflatable pool was soft and made the experience all the more comfortable. The water level was perfect. I spent the first part of pool time sitting up with my back on the side. The water was right at chest level, uterus completely cover with water.
It was now about 10:00. Sylvia was asleep at this point and Skyler as well as Kim and Eric’s two were getting very tired. My mom and Brenda went down stairs and left Vanessa and I alone. Contractions were getting stronger, yahoo. I was working through them by some light moaning or humming. Liberty put Skyler to bed and came in to join us. She put on soft music and lit candles. I felt very comfortable and this is what I believe allowed labor to really get going. Kim/Eric and family decided to go because their children were tired and the house was very quite and peaceful. Luis got on the computer to ‘pass time’ and my mom and Brenda joined us in the bedroom. They said that they could tell by the way I sounded that things were really picking up. This was just after 11 PM. Luis then joined the women folk in the bedroom as he could also tell that labor was really going. I needed him there too.
I lost tract of time but shortly after Luis came in I began to get some killer contractions. There were becoming hard to work through. I began to wonder why anyone would want a home birth, let alone a natural one. Then I threw up. It is a good thing I had my waste bucket close by. I heard my mom say in the background that I must in in transition. I was so mad at her for saying that. I wasn’t in transition, I couldn’t be. I threw up with my other two labors around 5-6 cm. The next few contractions I spend leaning forward on all fours. I had Luis hands in my hands and for some reason when a contraction would come on big and strong I would kiss his hands and tell him that I loved him. It seemed to help with the intensity. A few contractions later I needed to go to the bathroom.
During labor the contractions I had when I was on the toilet, thanks in part to the cleansing castor oil, were really hard. Hard is too light of a word to use for this contraction. I lost all control that I had. I half sat up and was really out of my mind with pain. Grabbing for something, anything! Brenda came in and stood in front of me. I buried my face into her stomach and wrapped my arms around her. Her calming voice was wonderful and it brought me back to earth. “Breath deeply” I think she said “in through the nose out through the mouth” By this time the contraction was over. I made some comment that I wish I could just blink and be back in the pool but I didn’t wait, I didn’t want another contraction to start until I was in the water again. As soon as I hit the water another huge contraction hit. I think this is the one where I said something about not being able to do this for very much longer. I still had no idea that I was in transition. The next contraction I felt my body give a little push. Could it really be? The next contraction my body really was pushing. I said “I am feeling kind of pushy” to no one in particular. And then with the next contraction the feeling was more than ‘kind of’ pushy. My body was pushing and pushing hard.
I was still in a hands and knees position and there was no moving. While my body was pushing I managed to get “GET SKYLER” out. She really wanted to be there and I knew that we didn’t have much time. Liberty got Skyler up. She was tired but excited. She had asked me over and over if she could touch the baby’s head when it was coming out so when the baby was crowing Brenda picked up Skyler and helped her reach into the pool to feel the baby’s head. Luis was still holding my hands and I told him that he better get down there to catch. I could feel the baby enter the birth canal and my body felt like it was going to split in two. I adjusted my legs a little and the pressure subsisted a little but it was still very intense. I could feel the head crowning so I slowed down the pushing so I wouldn’t tear.
Brenda was coaching Luis on what to do. It was wonderful to feel her head slip out. As soon as the head was out I felt fantastic. I was giggling and said “I am just so excited!” I could also still feel her moving from the inside. It took a lot more work to get her shoulders and body out than it did with Sylvia. With Sylvia I didn’t even need a contracting, just a tiny little push and her shoulders and body slipped right out. I had to give a huge push to get the shoulders out and another push to get her body out. After the shoulders were out I could still feel her moving from the inside and that hurt. I wasn’t expecting that. Then out she came. I lifted one of my legs and Luis and Brenda shipped her to me, still under the water. I lifted her out of the water and sat back on my heels. There she was, oh what a beauty. Look at that hair, dark and very curly. More vernix than my other two, how neat. She wasn’t moving…is she breathing? It doesn’t look like it. She is pink and that is good.
Brenda sensed my thoughts and told me not to worry, that she was still attached to the cord. While I rubber her and talked to her Brenda used the bulb syringe to sucken her but the syringe was faulty. It was new in a sealed package but had a huge tear in it. After listening to her chest with a stethoscope Brenda was confident that every thing was fine. She was just sleeping, LOL. After all of that, she wanted to sleep, guess it really was a peaceful birth. I woke her up a little by rubbing one of her feet.
I then sat back and enjoyed a few moments with my new baby girl. She was born at 11:37 about 30 minutes after the intense contractions started and after only around 4 minutes of pushing. I got contractions fairly quickly to push out the placenta. We cut the cord (I think it was about 15 minutes after the birth) and I pushed the placenta out in the pool. Brenda took it to test the blood for the rh factor.
I handed Sage off to daddy and I got out. I nursed her at 20 minutes old and boy oh boy was she excited about nursing. Strong little latch this one. She was 8 pounds 4 oz (aunt Liberty guessed it right on just like she did with Sylvia) and 21 inches long. Head was 14 1/4 inches. Her blood type is O- just like Sylvia’s. Three births and three rh- babies. No need for the rho-gram shot.
It was a very wonderful birth. Sage is a wonderful baby and I am a very blessed mommy. It was wonderful to have a birth with very little introventions. Not even one vagional exams, 🙂 just trusting my body and trusting my baby and trusting in my Father in Heaven. Candice Mom to three wonderful daughters
Skyler Elizabeth 2/4/99
Sylvia Marie 7/16/01
Sage Liberty 6/20/03