MOMMY'S TIME OUT
By then it was 9:19 am and she told me that she needed to do an internal check. Talk about adding insult to injury...just when I thought things couldn’t get more painful. I love and trust my midwife exponentially but when she palpated my cervix I nearly punched her in the face. Wow. It was so totally excruciating and I thought I might pass out for a second. Luckily, the good news was that she felt baby was really ready to be born at 10 cm and 100% effaced, and she encouraged me to use everything I had to push her out. The pushing at that point made me fully understand what the ‘ring of fire’ meant. I felt like there was no way that head was going to fit to get through. Everything was on fire and felt like it was ripping my body apart. I bore down with every ounce of effort I could find and finally felt her head surge through. I could feel that her whole head was out but had to wait for the next contraction to push again. Even though I had watched countless water birth videos where the baby is under water for an extended amount of time, I worried and asked ‘Is she going to be ok with her head underwater?” and of course, they reassured me that she would be fine.
It took a few more pushes and growls on my part before her whole body finally came out. Gabriel scooped her up and Jessica flipped the umbilical cord out from around her neck as I relaxed and leaned back in total exhaustion. Gabriel cried as he kissed me. He placed her on my chest and I said, “I’m so glad you’re here.” A huge part of that statement was because the pain was finally over and the sweet relief of knowing I was done with the physical exertion was overwhelmingly amazing. Of course I was also just overjoyed to see my beautiful little girl with her full head of hair. It was almost unreal to see the baby that I’d had inside of me only seconds before. Baby Quinn was crying and I knew she was okay. She cuddled right up on my chest as the team placed washcloths over her to keep her warm. She was so tiny and warm and soft and I felt a combination of love and peace wash over me. I could feel the cord up through my legs still physically attaching us and that was a truly profound moment. Gabriel, who had one foot in the tub leaning over me kissed me again as I said to him, “Look what we made!”
Around 30 minutes later Jessica said that it was time to birth the placenta which made me really nervous. She made me laugh when she said “this part is easy, it has no bones”. She gently tugged the cord and it basically slipped right out. I must say, this felt really cool and was an unexpected relief to have something that large easily slide out. What a contrast to what I’d just gone through! She opened up the sac and showed us where Baby Quinn had been living for the past 40 weeks and I thought that was really wild. She had me touch the inside which felt just like a cat’s tongue and I was really amazed that it had provided all of the sustenance for my baby for so long. What a remarkable process this all is...It’s really mind blowing.
After 6+ hours in the tub, it was now time to get out, and with help from everyone they toweled me off and got me to my bed. It wasn’t until that moment that I was told that our dog, Figment, never left the bathroom for the entire labor and birth and was an important part of the team as well. She has since earned the title Doggie Doula. It was so awesome