Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Happy BIRTHday Bram, my perfect boy

*Warning, I love birth, so this is detailed*

To know how tremendous this experience was I have to share my varied birthing history. My first was a c-section after a very long labor, it traumatized me, at one point I had to beg for a nurse to remove her hands from my vagina. It took me a while to heal, but I found a way through. My second was a planned homebirth, expecting to be more like a first timer, and thus a long labor the pain and intensity of the contractions scared me into a non-emergent transfer. He was born 17 minutes after our arrival at the hospital. I now lovingly refer to it as the comical train wreck. When we found we were expecting again in July 2009 I had no doubt we'd be having a homebirth.
I was ready to meet Bram and very done being pregnant. It was a beautiful sunny week in March and we spent a lot of time outdoors. On the 13th I had even shared my thoughts of "pregnancy you've won, you own my soul!" A final surrender of sorts. My husband took my T (4 years at the time) and K (2 years at the time) out of the house to give me a day off, be miserable, wallow, cry, whatever felt good and I took full advantage. I enjoyed ice cream, a chick flick, a hot shower and a nap. When he returned it was time to make dinner, we planned a family indoor picnic complete with a movie. Afterwards TJ and I enjoyed a walk just to ourselves while my mom watched the bigs.

We left a little after 6pm, TJ lost the bet of when I'd go into labor which we joked about during our long walk. During our walk I had started to waddle because Bram got LOW. Then I had a contraction, not abnormal at this point in pregnancy, but this was a little different because I had to hold on to my husband and sway my hips. We had some distance to go to get home so we continued to enjoy our conversation and the warm air. A few blocks later another contraction that I had to stop and hold onto my husband again through. I was not getting my hopes up  for anything other than some work out of the way before my actual birthing time. We were about 4 blocks from home when my mom called us, K (2 years) wanted to know where we were. As soon as he saw me he jumped into my arms, I let go of the thought of labor and the contractions seemed to stop. My sweet "baby" was a welcomed distraction.
The thing about 2 year olds is once they know where you are they will happily run off to do something else, and so he did. I decided to sit down at the computer and check on my other expecting March mamas. After a while I noticed I was having these beautiful sensations, they felt so good I was afraid to move and make them stop. I could feel my uterus pull up on the cervix pulling toward the middle, when it would come to a peak the upper part of my uterus would press down, peak, then both sensations faded together. It was such a glorious sensual sensation. Rhythmic, ecstatic. I thought, *maybe* these are contractions because I had never felt anything like it! For fun I searched for a contraction timer and began to time the sensation. They we coming every 2-5 minutes lasting 10seconds to 1 minute. I watched this for almost an hour before the energy of the sensations required my attention. I expanded the screen to show my husband but he didn't quite get it. "Contractions" I said, he now knew we needed to get to work. I decided we should blow up the tub and prep the bed, just in case it was labor. I told my husband if I was still contracting after we finished getting our room prepped I would call the midwife and let her know something was happening, or possibly nothing. At 8:30, after an hour and half of contractions (and folding a lot of laundry), we were done with the room and I made the call. We both agreed a shower would be good for getting rest but I couldn't stop moving and felt like I had to do a million things, so I didn't really do anything other than tidy my room more, get T to bed, and cuddle with K who could sense the excitement and refused sleep. We finally laid down around 10pm to unwind. We watched some TV and cuddled with K who was still co-sleeping at the time, at 10:30 we turned the lights out. From 10 to 10:30 I had no sensations so I really relaxed and was ready to drift off the sleep and greet the next morning still pregnant.

Within minutes of drifting off I sat up and said "nope I can't lay down" and tried to get in the shower, as my midwife had suggested earlier but I also told my husband to call the midwife. A wave of nausea hit, follow by trembling that I couldn't control. I got in the shower but it felt all wrong, I needed to be submerged. As I went to step out I released some pink fluid, my water broke(or so I thought). My husband handed me the phone, the midwife was letting me know she was in her car and on her way. I couldn't focus so I gave the phone back to my husband. I needed the tub filled so I called my mom down to do that for me. In a blur I got my robe on, my birthing necklace on (beads sent from my fellow March mamas), got candles put up, had my husband light them, got my birth ball, and got to work. The work of enjoying every wave made to greet my baby into the world. Every few minutes, or seconds it felt like, I had to get on my hands and knees and rock against the ball. The sensations were so much bigger than me I had to let them out. Tears of joy would pour from me, I couldn't stop smiling with every wave and I couldn't stop myself from saying "Yes baby!" "I love you baby!" "Oooopen." The bigger the sensations got the louder my mantra got, the bigger my smile got. I felt so right, so good. The room was suddenly empty but I couldn't resist the pool any longer and I got in. I felt so beautiful, so full of love and life. 

Finally my husband came back, I asked him get the camera so he could take pictures, he made me smile for a picture. Out of the corner of my I saw that our clock was 15 minutes fast and asked my husband to change it to the right time since we'd need it to know when baby was born. It was 11pm. My hair was still mostly wet from the shower and sticking in my face. I requested a hair tie but as soon as I got my hair put up I tried to sit down and another contraction, a different kind of contraction forced me out of the reclining position I was in back onto hands and knees leaning on the birth tub's edge and oh my goodness I had to poop! I immediately told my husband "I need to poop, call the midwife." He asked if I needed permission to poop, I smiled to myself at his silly question but just said "yes" because I knew it wasn't a bowel movement, it was the urge to push. 

He got the midwife on the phone. One of the fears we had discussed was pushing and waiting until I had to push. After the first sensation with the urge, the next sensation I said "no,no,no" to and immediately I was in pain. I realized that I wouldn't be able to not push, this was the first and last time the whole labor when anything hurt. With the next sensation I didn't fight and the pain was gone. TJ was still on the phone and I was so in labor land I didn't pay any attention to him. I couldn't help myself I had to bear down. It was a bit of a test push, because if it hurt I wasn't going to push! I'd rather stay pregnant forever. To my surprise and delight it didn't hurt. My husband tried to give me the phone but I was busy, I was birthing. I reached down to feel and the bag of water was coming down. My water hadn't broken after all! I could feel baby's hairy head inside the bag of water. I bared down again, my hands eager and ready to touch my baby. I kept feeling, I could feel where the outer bag had broken but the inner bag was intact(the amniotic sac has 2 layers). I bared down again expecting the infamous ring of fire but once again the sensation surprised me with good feelings instead. His head was born still in the bag of water. Without thought I stuck my fingers in the bag right below his chin and gently tore it away from his head. I could feel a head full of hair. The last contraction to birth my boy came, still without pain, and I asked someone to catch the baby, but no one knew how fast things had happened or that I had been pushing at all. I grunted and bared down for the 4th time and he was out. The first person to know he was in this world. I lifted my leg over him and sat to grab my baby. He was gorgeous and COVERED in vernix, it was creamy and soft, and he was so warm and wet. I was in love, I could not believe that I had just birthed my baby with only his family present. He arrived 8 minutes after my husband changed the time on the clock, with only 4 pushes through a labor I had smile through. He opened his big eyes to look at me then started to breathe.

He turned a beautiful shade of pink. The tub wasn't full enough for my liking and was fast becoming chilled. So I wrapped baby in a towel. A little wobbly I got out and walked the 2 feet or so to my bed where my husband had laid a chux pad on the bed. I sat down and mentally told myself "it's time to let go[of the placenta]" I felt a contraction again and felt the placenta slide down, so I gave a little push and the placenta came out half way. I picked it up and plopped it in a bowl, it was huge and gorgeous as I imagined it to be. Shortly after I birthed the placenta the assisting midwife arrived. She hugged us and told us how fantastic we all were, everything was just so perfect and calm she jumped into the clean up. Our midwife arrived not too long after. Everyone was busy while baby and I cuddled, which I appreciated. I was given drinks and food to refuel though I wasn't hungry. After a while we were ready to cut the cord, for the first time my husband got to cut the cord. This felt like the right time to allow daddy his first moments with his new son. So I got ready to be tucked into bed with my new baby.  My sweet midwives made me a placenta smoothie and sang us a beautiful birthing day song and said goodbye 3 hours after the birth.

Bram and I spent the next 3 weeks mostly in bed, it was a blissful and blessed babymoon. My perfect boy, my perfect birth. Happy birthday Bram. 


  1. Perfect, perfect, perfect birth. Bram was brought here to heal and teach many, many souls...just think if every baby was born this way...or just 50% of babies. We can change the world with these gentle birth stories...and Bram is shining his light to show us the way. Happy Birthday to your entire family <3

  2. What a beautiful birth! Such a gift...thank you for writing this story - Bram's story. Happy Birth Day to all of you. Much love.

  3. Loved this story and your experience. A well deserved perfect birth for you that produced such a perfect soul for all of us to enjoy.

  4. Wow. Thank you for sharing this beautiful home birth story. I, too, have two beautiful home birth stories. Unfortunately, the second ends in death. Our second son was born May 13, 2011 and he died on May 23, 2011. He had a rare genetic disorder called Alveolar Capillary Dysplasia. Because he was born at home, that was the only time he was ever at home. I'm soooo grateful for that. Your story is encouraging and beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
    -Alison G.

  5. Beautiful birth story. Thanks for sharing. Very special baby indeed born with his bag intact.

  6. What a beautiful labor of love. No doubt that he is celebrating his (and your) special day surrounded by angels and in the arms of Jesus. Sam - can you explain what a placenta smoothie is? I've heard of the capsules but never a smoothie. Sounds interesting, and I'm sure benefical! Thank you for sharing his beautiful birth story. Sending love and blessings to you sweet mama.

  7. oh Sam!! that is such an amazingly beautiful birth story! Thank you so much for sharing.... the gift of love and life through Bram. Happy Birthing day mama, and Happy Birthday dearest Bram. So much love.
    ~Mountain Sparrow

  8. Hugs ~ what a beautiful story. Reminiscent of my own recent birth with little to no pain, and at home. What a blessing to have this as a part of Bram's story. Thanks for sharing the love you have for Bram.

  9. Beautiful and perfect. Just like Bram. And just like his mama. Love you.


Thanks for reading and loving Bram!