Kayla’s Tender Beginning…
It was Saturday, August 27th 2011, and the day was like any other. My husband David was working on the computer, and I was in the nursery putting the finishing details on the wooden letters that spelled “Kayla.” David and I planned to run a few errands and enjoy a nice dinner that evening.
Several weeks prior, I had gone into pre-term labor twice. That resulted in two separate hospital visits to have the contractions stopped. Mary Anne was with us both times. She was very helpful in working with us to navigate the path that was the most effective to stop the contractions while impacting the Baby as little as possible. There were several medications the hospital wanted to give us that were unnecessary and we were able to avoid them because of her help. She had even called the hospital to let them know we were on our way, so we could go straight to Labor and Delivery. After finding out that a Urinary Tract Infection was to blame, I was treated for it and put on bedrest until I hit the 37 week mark. While I was on bedrest, I had several contraction patterns that went away on their own. So when I started having contractions again, I didn’t pay too much attention to them since they felt the same as the ones I had before.
I was 37 weeks and 1 day, so I was happy to finally get out of bed and finish up a few things that needed to be done before Kayla made her entrance into the world. After David finished his work on the computer, he helped me hang the wooden letters above her crib. We were thinking we still had 2 or 3 weeks before the big day so we had a list of places to go and things to get done.
One of the things on my to-do list was to get a skirt that I could wear in the birth tub during delivery since we were going to video tape it and show it to family members later. While we were in the store, the contractions were getting stronger. With each contraction, I would stop for a second before carrying on. Our next stop was the Japanese Steak House that I had been looking forward to going to. I was still feeling pretty good, and I was definitely hungry. At the restaurant, the contractions were even stronger, but I was still feeling ok. Once they fired up the grill and started cooking the food in front of us, I started feeling nauseous and knew it was time to leave. David had been in contact with Mary Anne off and on during this time. She advised us to head home and she would meet us there, so we ended up getting our food to go.
On our drive home, I was having one contraction on top of another. We pulled into our driveway, left the truck running with the doors open as David helped me up the stairs to our bedroom. David thought he would have enough time to go back out to the truck, unload and turn it off, but the stairs seemed to make the contractions even more intense which made me stop and squat down with each one. Once we finally made it to our bedroom, about 15 minutes later, I quickly changed into my birthing outfit.
Mary Anne arrived a few minutes later. She noticed our truck was still running, so she turned it off for us. (Thank You, Mary Anne!) She came upstairs to check my cervix and announced that I was already 7-8 centimeters dilated. She then turned to David and said, “If you want a water birth, you better get that birth tub ready in a hurry!” She left the room to call the doulas and make sure they came right away, and then she called our family members.
The birth tub was ready just in time. The water felt so good, but before I had time to really enjoy it, I felt the uncontrollable urge to start pushing. Mary Anne and her assistants, Becca and Heather, were able to give me pointers on how to push so that I was making the most progress possible. We tried a couple different positions and found that squatting was the most comfortable for me and allowed me to make the most progress with each push. As the pressure built with each push, I squeezed David’s hands harder and harder. He ended up asking for his wedding ring to be taken off, since it was about to be permanently imprinted into his finger.
A few pushes later I heard Mary Anne announce that I was crowning. I was happy to hear that, since I knew it would be over soon, and I would finally get to see our baby girl. One more hard push, and Mary Anne announced that her head was out. The contraction was still strong, so I went ahead and pushed again. I heard Mary Anne say, “someone catch this baby!” David grabbed Kayla and lifted her out of the water. Mary Anne then had to tear the bag of waters open, since it never broke on it’s own, and unwrap the cord from around her neck.
David and I were in awe! The team wrapped Kayla up in a warm towel before David had the honor of cutting the umbilical cord. After bonding as a family, Mary Anne had me get into bed so she could stitch me up from tearing during delivery. After that, Mary Anne, Becca and Heather did the routine check-up on Kayla and David got to weigh her and dress her in a Georgia Tech onesie.
From the time we arrived at our house to the time Kayla was born was 2hrs. 15min. It was about an hour and a half of actual pushing.
Every detail of our experience with Tender Beginnings was wonderful. Mary Anne was there for us whenever we needed her. We really appreciated the personal care that we received even during the routine monthly appointments. Both times I was in the hospital with pre-term labor, she was there, even though they both happened to fall on her days off. During the delivery, the whole birth team was ready and knew exactly what to do and they were there to help us in any way we needed. Mary Anne even fed me in bed after the delivery while I nursed Kayla!
I definitely plan to have another home water birth with Tender Beginnings again. Thank you Mary Anne, Becca and Heather for a wonderful experience!