Monday, January 26, 2015

Welcome Emilia!! by Maura

It's Emilia's day 6 and I still find it hard to sit and write about the birth, mainly due to the incredible emotions that it brings to memory and I feel like words won't do justice to the miracle of life.

Though I had started feeling strongish Braxton-Hicks about a week before Emilia was born, stronger and more rhythmic contractions started on Friday December 19. A friend from my college years came to my house earlier that day and we chatted for about 2 hours until I wasn't able to sit comfortably anymore and I said I needed to go to sleep. Unfortunately, sleeping was not something I was going to be able to do until much later. 

My husband Andrew came home around 7pm and I told him that I thought things were starting. I asked him to grab some coconut water on the way home from dropping my mom off at her house - so glad he took it a step further and he shopped as if we were going into labor. Once home, we tried going to sleep but since I couldn't, I decided to move to the guest room and watch a movie so that Andrew could get as much rest as possible. At around 10pm I texted our doula Sophia and told her that it looked like baby was on the way but I didn't think anything was going to happen that night. She suggested I try a bath and some wine to relax. 

Around 1am Andrew joined me in the guest room and helped me through early labor. Things seemed to be progressing, so Andrew called our doula at 4am to let her know that I was having contractions every 5 minutes for about a minute per contraction. Sophia arrived about an hour later and got immediately to work, helping us look for better positions for me to labor and overall just doing things to make Andrew and me feel comfortable. 

As contractions got closer to 3-1-1 we called Maria and she joined us at about 9am. She checked me but I didn't want to know how dilated I was so we just continued with what we were doing. Contractions just keep getting stronger and stronger and around 1pm I started feeling some back labor. After a shower, I got into our tub and from the bathroom floor Andrew helped me through those contractions for about 1 hour. Since Maria knew that we had taken Rachel Yellin's Hypnobirthing class, she suggested we used her guided meditations and so we did. I do believe the "tapes" helped. I was able to take a quick nap in between contractions and generally get more relaxed. 

The mucous plug came out at around 2PM and Maria told me that this was a great sign that things were moving in the right direction since it most likely meant that my cervix was opening nicely.

All sensations really intensified after 3pm, the back labor got a lot stronger and I just felt like my hips were being ripped apart. But every time I said "I can't do this anymore" Andrew would tell me "yes you can, repeat after me, yes I can" and so I would repeat after him that I could do it. I had also made some affirmation cards that Sophia would move around for me to read and kept reminding me that my reward was meeting my baby. 

While in the tub I had also started feeling a vague feeling of pushing. With all those signs Maria decided to check me again around 4pm and thank goodness I was 8 centimeters dilated. I finally felt that I was going to meet my baby! And about an hour later my membranes released. 

Maria called Sue (our second midwife) and around the same time the back labor really intensified. Maria and Sue suggested several positions to try to move the baby but nothing seemed to work until Sue suggested I put my knees on the edge of the bed and my head on the floor and it was almost instant! I got up and walked around the kitchen and immediately started pushing. I was really scared at first but Maria guided me through what to do. Once Maria was able to feel the head she asked me if I wanted to try the birthing stool and so we did. 

We moved back into the guest room, Andrew sitting on the bed behind me holding my arms while I sat on the birthing stool. I continued to push and soon enough I heard Maria said "Maura, reach down for your baby". I just couldn't believe my baby was finally going to join us! As soon as she came out, Emilia was placed on my chest and that was pure bliss. Having my brand new baby in my arms and Andrew holding the two of us, my heart melts just thinking about that moment.

After Maria and Sue finished checking Emilia, Maria asked me to push the placenta.

Everything just seemed to have been a dream after that. Maria gave me a few stitches and soon after the three of us were on our bed just in awe of what had taken place in the last 24 hours. 

I truly feel blessed to have had Maria, Sue and Sophia as my birth team and of course my husband Andrew for being my strong companion. We can't wait for all the memories to start building with our Emilia as part of our family.