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February 16, 2010

Birth Story - Amy's Perspective

It was a great and blurry experience for me. Bit was due on Feb. 12th and our midwife told us to add 1 week to that date since we were first time moms. Therefore we were expecting Bit around Feb 19th not on Feb. 7th.

Melissa started having contractions early Friday morning and they continued to Saturday afternoon. I assumed it was warm up labor and that we would see Bit within the next 3-5 days (Boy, was I wrong). Melissa and I chose not to ever check to see how dilated she was because it would cause us to constantly watch the calendar anticipating his arrival. I was always being told that contractions needed to have a clear pattern and Melissa wasn’t experiencing a consistent pattern of length or frequency. We contacted the Saturday evening midwife to give them a heads up and to try to get some advice on how to get some sleep before the big day. Our midwife told us to drink a glass of wine and to try to get some sleep. About 9 pm, we busted open the wine but it didn’t seem to work so I gave her a half a glass more. Her contractions were getting closer together about 9 minutes apart but we still didn’t believe it was time. Melissa was becoming very uncomfortable and her contractions were now coming about every 6 minutes but lasting inconsistent lengths. We called our midwife around 12:30 am (2/7). I don’t think they thought we were in labor either and I kept thinking it was going to go away. By the time the midwives arrived and checked her she was already dilated to 5 cm and we were officially in active labor.

I will admit I started to panic because I wasn’t prepared mentally that this day was here. In my mind I still had one more week to prepare. Our dog Campbell was driving me nuts and was overly excited with all the action so at 1:30 in the morning I called our good friend Marili to take Campbell for the night. Looking back this was the best decision and we were so lucky to have such great support.

The labor went so fast it seemed like it was only a couple hours. Our midwife told Melissa that positions that make her uncomfortable were the best because it would speed up labor. Therefore, I tried to help Melissa the best possible way I could. She would sit on the exercise/birth ball and I would sit behind her and put pressure on her lower back. I also made sure she kept getting enough fluids in her system. After a few minutes, the midwives made Melissa sit on a birth stool to speed up the labor. This was VERY painful for her and I did all I could do to help her. Our midwife suggested a bath and Melissa was very excited for that so we moved to the bathroom. While in the bath (surrounded by candles), we put a wet towel on Melissa and I poured water on her belly to try to help relax her. She loved this and it was the best part of active labor but it was about to get a bit more difficult.

Our midwife checked Melissa again and she was about 7 cm dilated. We decided to break Melissa’s water so we could get things going. It was after this point everything went 100 miles per hour. She lay on the bed and I put pressure on her back. Contractions were close together so we didn’t get much of a break. After a few minutes, Melissa wanted to go to the bathroom and we would spend most of the remainder of our time in bathroom while Melissa went through transition.

Transition Labor is a bitch and it is where I felt the most helpless. Melissa was in so much pain at this point. I just tried to stay in and kneel down at eye level and give her water and cool her with a damp towel. The apprentice to our midwife, Meg really helped Melissa during transition. Melissa was asking when is this going to end and Meg told her she has to go through it. Meg told her instead of tensing up and trying to escape the pain she needs to let go and relax into the contractions to make this part go faster. I won’t lie I didn’t think Melissa could relax into the contractions and to suggest so was crazy. I was wrong it was at this point Melissa went to another place in her mind and she went with it and relaxed and got in rhythm with the contractions. Labor is a dance and song and Melissa was finally in perfect rhythm. It seemed to not hurt her as much when her mind got to this place. We left the bathroom to the bedroom for the final chapter, pushing.

I was never told so but I had the feeling Bit was not 100% at this point. I believe his heart rate was lower or higher than it should be. Our midwife normally would have slowed Melissa down during this point to prevent tearing but instead she made her hurry. Melissa would push during contractions as hard as she could. I think Melissa thought nothing was happening because she kept saying I am not doing this right. She seemed to be losing motivation and seemed to be getting worn out. Once we saw his head we put Melissa’s hands on the head so she could see all the work she had done. It was the first time I saw Melissa smile and she started pushing like a champ. I don’t know why but for the next three contractions the midwife asked Melissa to take a short walk to the living room and back in between contractions. It seemed to work. Bit’s head was out with a cord wrapped around his neck and arm which our midwife easily slipped off.

In all the excitement I forgot the thing I was most nervous about doing was about to happen. Our midwife asked me to get ready to pull out Bit and put him on Melissa’s belly. I did it and told Melissa it was “a Jackson”. I got to see a glow around Melissa that I have never seen. She did it without a hospital or drugs at our house! This even seemed more amazing when we were told Jackson weighed 9lbs 8oz. Her strength and bravery amazes me and I can’t believe what she had done. No one believed she could do it and I think we even doubted it sometimes. Melissa’s active labor lasted less than 5 hours total including less than an hour of pushing.

Melissa looked at me after he was born and told me she would do this again. I told her to tell me this again in 3 days…and she did. Jackson has amazing parents who fought hard to conceive him and showed strength when he was delivered. I will never forget this moment when our life changed for the better.


22 comments:

piecesofgray said...

So beautiful! It's hard to believe he's here. It all goes by so fast when you're watching from far away. & it seems forever since we all started ttc.

Love to you all!!

N said...

Beautiful pictures, and beautiful telling. I love to hear these stories.


(And I'm with her - right away, I knew I'd do it again.)

anofferingoflove said...

Wow, I am in awe of Melissas strength. Enjoy your baby boy!! :-)

Just Another Jenny said...

He's gorgeous! Congratulations! What a great job!

Growing up Clangley said...

wow! 9lbs 8oz! great story. glad it went so quickly for you. Great name too!

2momswithaplan said...

What an awesome story! Thank you so much for sharing. Jackson is such a beautiful baby! Congrats to you both!

Farmer Femme said...

I'm just going through tissue after tissue. I've so looked forward to hearing about the birth and am so proud of you both. You are such amazing, strong moms. Congratulations! xoxo

Next in Line said...

Wow what an amazing birth. I am so happy for you two and little Jackson.

Mina said...

How beautiful! I especially loved the part of how Melissa was able to relax into the contractions, it almost seems unimaginable! He is absolutely gorgeous. :)

Gayby Rabies said...

What an amazing story! Thanks for sharing more pics too, he's absolutely beautiful (but you already knew that, right?)

Kelly said...

Your blog has been nominated in the Best Lesbian Parenting Blog category for a Lezzy Award. The Lezzy Awards are an all lesbian blog award hosted by The Lesbian Lifestyle Blog. For more information on the awards and the steps that you should take to make it to the voting round please visit http://thelesbianlifestyle.com/the-rules/

Rainbow Family (B and J) said...

What a beautiful birth story. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your beautiful little man

Shannan Riemer said...

I am so happy for you guys, what a beautiful story!
xoxo

Lisa said...

This is the first birth story I've read from the non-carrying parent (male or female). It was a great perspective and so loving. You can tell how proud of her you are. I had no idea you had a home birth planned and so glad you were both able to experience it. Enjoy these moments with Jackson.

This Mom said...

I'm so glad that you wrote your perspective. It's beautiful and so full of love and pride for Melissa and Jackson and even yourself, as it should be. What a wonderful memory and you captured it perfectly. Thank you for sharing it and the pics as well.

jessie said...

Such an amazing birth story!!! Wow. Good job, mamas!

tireegal68 said...

amazing story! And it's all true! I could barely breathe as I read it. Sounds like you all did wonderfully! Congratulations - you are stars and troopers!!!!
And now you are my inspiration too!

oneofhismoms said...

Where the F are my tissues?

Thank you for sharing your birth story. It reminded me so much of my own. And to hear it from your point of view was amazing. I am so happy for all three of you.

Abigailsmom said...

wow. I cannot imagine not having a baby without a hospital. That is truly amazing

Anonymous said...

What a moving story. I am so proud of u both. Aunt dd

tiff said...

So inspiring and beautiful!!!! I AM SOOOO happy that you both got to experience how amazing a natural homebirth is!!! HUGE congrats to you both and thank you for sharing this story of strength in labor. What a birth!!!! What an adorable little man!
xo

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