It was the middle of January when we found out we were pregnant. Like most expecting parents, we started looking for an OBGYN right away. We found one, like most, yet we couldn’t help but feel like we were cheated every time we left an appointment with her. Always knowing that I wanted a natural birth with little interference, it wasn’t until we asked the question as to what alternative birthing options they allowed that we decided it was time to part ways with her. The doctor, in a very professional voice, let us know that most of what we wanted could not be granted. Since my husband and I had seen “The Business of Being Born” several months prior to becoming pregnant, we started thinking about the possibility of obtaining a midwife and having a water birth at home. So we set out in search for our midwife. We didn’t find Mary Anne right away. Our first interview with a midwife left us discouraged. My heart sank thinking we might not find one in time due to being already almost half way through my pregnancy. Desperate and hopeful, my husband started to search online and that is when we found Tender Beginnings. Within just a couple of days, Mary Anne came to our house for a consultation and we were so impressed with how comfortable we felt with her right away In that one home visit we felt like we had learned more about my body and what to expect during the pregnancy than I had the entire 5 months or so with the OB. Nothing to do now but wait for our precious baby girl to arrive!
By noon on Saturday, September 3rd, 2011, it was 100° outside. I joked with my husband saying that I hoped today wasn’t “the day” due to it being so blistering hot. I set out washing and folding laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, decided to clean the kitchen and then figured I would finish hanging the shelves and place the finishing touches in Rebecka’s room. It was now around 2pm and I had been going at it for a solid 3 or 4 hours and was looking forward to laying down in a few minutes once I had picked up the remaining plastic scraps off the floor from opening the toys and putting them in the toy basket. I stood up…………and I felt and heard what sounded like a small water balloon breaking in my underwear. Had I seriously just used the bathroom on myself? Did my water break? I walked to the bathroom and called downstairs to my husband, Jeff, and asked him to bring the testing strips because I think my water had just broken.
He walks to the top of the stairs and stands there staring at me…..I had to ask him a couple more times to grab the strips for me before I could get a response. You would have thought I was speaking Chinese to him. Dark blue! My water had broken! We called Mary Anne and let her know what we thought had happened. She asked if I was still leaking and I hadn’t been, so I said “no”. She then tells me that it probably wasn’t my water. Oh great! I had used the bathroom on myself……and then I leaked…and then I leaked again……! It was my water and my little girl was on the way! As exciting as this was, I was not having any pressure waves (we took Hypnobabies for our birthing class.) Mary Anne went over the options and the precautions at this point now that my water had broken. We were on a time line to get the pressure waves going. Time seemed to tick by so slowly. 4pm ..…nothing. 6pm …..nothing. At 7pm, Jeff met up with Mary Anne to get some tinctures to help my birthing time begin.
He came home with them and I took one dose of each (although Jeff forgot to mention that Mary Anne had said to take one or the other). Maybe 15 minutes later, I was having regular pressure waves about 5 minutes apart but they were not lasting long enough to be productive. As time passed, my husband and I listened to music, laughed and talked about what our daughter would look like. I wish I could accurately describe the euphoric feeling that had come over me. It was such a pleasurable nervousness almost as my body ramped up for what was to come. We blew up the pool and got it ready to start adding the water. We had spoken to Mary Anne a couple of times by now (around 8pm or so) and she let us know that she was planning on coming over around 3am, due to how I was progressing but to let her know if anything changed. The pressure waves kept getting longer and stronger and around 10pm, we decided to call Mary Anne and let her know that the pressure waves were coming every 3 to 4 minutes and lasting close to a minute or a little longer every time. She felt that waiting to 3am to come over wouldn’t be a good idea—so did we. She et us know that she was going to shower and head on over. We called Jeff’s family in Texas and let them now and told my family to start heading over in about an hour or so. I called my prayer partner, Shannon, and let her know to head over. We were so excited and I was pleased because at this point I wasn’t in any discomfort at all. My prayer partner arrived just moments before Mary Anne did around 12:30am. The family and Kelly, Mary Anne’s assistant, arrived shortly after. The waves were coming about every 2 minutes at this point – but still no discomfort from them. We laughed and joked around and as a wave would start I would close my eyes and breathe through it. It took a couple of hours before I started showing signs of being in transition and being that my water had broken, Mary Anne didn’t check my dilation progress due to a safety concern. But around 2am, she said I was ready to get into the pool. I couldn’t get up the stairs quick enough!! The pool was wonderfully inviting. Kelly and Mary Anne made sure the water stayed around 100°F. The waves continued to come. Between waves, I would drink the coconut water we had purchased for the special occasion to stay hydrated. Mary Anne and Kelly would constantly monitor the baby’s heartbeat to make sure she wasn’t stressed. My mom rested in the massage chair in the other side of the room, while my sister snapped pictures for us to cherish of the moment. Mary Anne and Kelly even took a quick power nap on the bed while I was in the pool progressing.
My prayer partner would pray over me as a wave would come on. As it ended, I was still amazed at how I wasn’t feeling any pain with them.
3:30am, I started feeling that my body was preparing to push. Thirty minutes later, I was. It was the most amazing feeling to feel my body naturally start to push my baby down. It was uncontrollable….it was exciting……it was exhausting…..but it wasn’t painful. I felt everything. I felt her lower as my body pushed, and I felt her slip back a bit when the wave was over. I pushed for 45 minutes. And with the next to last push I felt her head slip out. One more push, at 4:52am on September 4th, 2011, and our beautiful baby girl was born into this world into my husband’s hands. I didn’t tear and she was perfect!!! Mary Anne and Kelly hung out for a couple of hours to make sure we were going to be ok, to measure and weigh Rebecka, to clean up and wash all the towels that we used during the birth, as well as start brewing some wonderful herbs on the stove to help me recover from the tenderness I felt from birthing our little girl. This was a perfect moment in my life. I couldn’t have asked for anything more and I have God, Mary Anne and Kelly to personally thank for that!