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Verbalizing Fear

Evangeline’s Birth Story

I had never made it to my baby’s due date before.  My two older children were born before d-day so this was new territory for me.  The day came and went with out much fanfare.  My midwife, Heidi, checked me and, as I half-expected, there were no signs that labour was coming anytime soon. She swept my membranes to encourage things along and reminded me to use the evening primrose oil to soften and ripen my cervix.  

A few days later, I was sure my water had broken just as it had with my previous pregnancies.  With my first it was that unmistakable gush that you just can’t deny is your bag of waters rupturing, but with my second, as with this pregnancy, it was more of a slow trickle that could just be mistaken for excess vaginal fluid which is quite common in pregnancy.  I just had a feeling and I knew it was my water.  I began to have very mild cramps that were about 7 minutes apart all night long.  I could sleep through them and they weren’t getting more intense so I kept my breakfast date with a friend the next morning.  I told her, I wasn’t sure but I think I’m in labour and at times during our meal, was quite uncomfortable.  Unfortunately, the contractions weren’t getting any closer together.  After talking to Heidi, we decided to wait one more day before we intervened.  

The next morning, nothing had changed and so we decided that I would take the lemon verbena/almond butter/castor oil cocktail and see if that would get things moving.  Dave stayed home from work and we dropped the older two kids off at my dad’s to spend the day (and night).  At 11:00am I took the cocktail and it did it’s thing. Within a few hours the contractions more intense and coming closer and closer together.  Dave and I enjoyed having the house to ourselves and leisurely watched season after season of ‘The Office’.  Finally, by 7pm I told Dave to call Heidi as I was starting to really feel the intensity of the contractions.  I really had to work through them by breathing and focusing as I leaned over my birthing ball and rocked back and forth.  Heidi arrived by 8pm, checked me (I believe I was at 6-7cm) and we waited for things to progress as we filled up the birthing pool in our living room.  Man, was that relaxing!  

When I started to moan through contractions, Heidi called the back-up midwife and told her that the baby would be born soon.  I wanted to get things moving a little faster so Dave and I went for a walk around our acreage and I stopped and leaned on him every 30 seconds or so to get through the contractions.  When we got back, I got into the pool and realized I was scared.  I was scared to let go and let this baby out.  After I verbalized my feelings her head starting coming forward with an incredible, uncontrollable force (the pushing sensation) but would then pop back.  It was so disheartening since I had not experienced that before and I felt like I was so close, then all that hard work was undone and I had to do it all again.  I didn’t remember my other births being so hard! Finally, after 3 back-and-forths, her head was out and then her body slipped out.  It was amazing!  

Apparently, it was just 8 minutes of pushing, but it sure felt like more! I pulled her sweet little body out of the water and onto my chest and just soaked up the incredible-ness of our new baby.  She was so quiet.  She didn’t cry.  She was so calm.  After a few moments, my husband says, “Well, was it is? A boy or a girl?”  I checked and it was a girl!  It took a moment for me to really realize that because I was so sure we were having a boy.  I was really shocked but oh-so-happy!  A sweet little sister for Harry and Lucy. Evangeline Rachel was born May 10, 2011 (5 days past her due date) and weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces, 20 ½ inches long.