Stacey F’s Story
I had enjoyed a fabulous pregnancy and aside from some exhaustion and aversions to certain chemical scents in my first trimester, I couldn’t relate to other women’s complaints of heartburn, back pain and sciatica. I loved the way by body grew to accommodate the little being inside me and I even loved my extra curves. My husband Matt, and I live very holistically and it was a given for us that we would work with midwives and have a home birth.
I am a chiropractor and spend most of my days on my feet. I had planned on taking at least 7-10 days off for a little r&r but my daughter had different plans. My last day of work was Friday morning and as busy as they come. I woke up Saturday after a little sleep-in, feeling great and happened to notice after using the washroom that my vagina was a little more engorged than usual.
I proceeded to clean the house and have a shower as my parents were coming over to take us to look at houses. The four of us headed out and after looking at one of the homes around the corner on Roncesvalles and while standing on the driveway my membranes ruptured! This was at 4:15pm. I felt an instant rush of energy, excitement and possibly a little anxiety as I looked down at my wet flip flops. Seeing as we thought we had several more days to get organized…the apartment we were living in was not prepared.
We all zipped home and with eagerness called our midwife to let her know what was going on. I was not yet feeling anything and she said she’d contact us by 9:30pm if she hadn’t heard from us. My parents were already invited to join our birth ‘crew’ and my mom started vacuuming as Matt slugged a mattress downstairs to be on the same floor as the bathroom. I decided to go upstairs to relax and prepare mentally for what was to come.
At 5:15pm I experienced my first surge. I was on my own and timed it. It lasted for 1 minute and was fairly intense. The next one came 5 minutes later and also lasted 1 minute. This was when I called Matt to join me. Again, 5 minutes later and lasting for 1 minute. I moved downstairs and now my dear friend Stephanie had arrived. Matt started videotaping and by 6:30pm my surges were lasting 1 ½ minutes and were only 3 minutes apart.
Matt decided to call the midwives to make sure they were close and it turned out that they were only a couple of blocks away. My main midwife Manavi decided to check me because of the duration and frequency of my surges. As it turned out, I was already 7-8 cm’s dilated! What an awesome feeling. I next transitioned out of one outfit and into my ‘birthing nighty’ for the next 2 surges on my hands and knees using a ball for assistance. Off came the ‘nighty’ and into the tub I went. Heavenly I must say!!
Matt drizzled water over me and I just loved every minute. My midwife checked me again and now I was 9-10 cm’s dilated. We all moved back to the dining room (the birthing room) and onto the birthing stool. I must say that up until this point, I found that the entire experience was very manageable with my visualization, breathing techniques and support. By this point, my sister and aunt had joined the ‘crew’. I will say that I did not like the birthing stool. I felt I should have been lying down and perhaps with the next birth I will trust even more greatly in my innate intuition and wisdom. I think that it’s possible that I may not have had to push in that position. That being said, with tremendous support, gentle reminders from the midwives to make deep, low sounds, and vocal toning together (everyone was around me in a semi-circle), I ended up pushing for 30 minutes and at 9:19pm, with a full moon outside, out came our beautiful little girl. What an intensely enriching experience for Matt and I and our loved ones.
I think I was in a little shock when she was born that I was the only one not crying. Apparently my mom cried for 4 hours! I heard her sniffle from time to time but she disguised her tears. My eyes were closed for the better part of the entire experience as it helped me stay focused. At all times I was holding onto hands. Most of the time they were Matt’s but throughout the evening they changed and I knew I was being supported by everyone involved.
The labour experience was everything we wanted and expected. We went into the labour confident that everything would unfold as it should. The confidence emanated from the deep belief that natural birth was as nature intended it. I did everything within my power to make sure I had the healthiest pregnancy I could. This included weekly yoga, regular walks and bike rides, excellent nutrition, monthly massages and most importantly, weekly or bi-weekly chiropractic care which I know ensured a balanced nervous system for optimal balance and expression of life.
As important as all of that was, a clear vision of what I wanted and expected was paramount. I knew that my labour would be less than 6 hours total. The HypnoBirthing helped reinforce our beliefs and helped us eliminate any lasting fears so we could focus on what we wanted. I share all of this because I believe that everyone can create the birth story of their dreams. 9 months into parenthood, we are in love, slightly sleep deprived, yet excited to use these principles while parenting and growing as a family.