Salena & Rick~Gideon Jonah Garber, 9.18.2009

September 18, 2009

I just finished teaching for the week. I sat in the conference room on my computer at work and got up to use the bathroom. I was washing my hands when I started to leak in my underwear. I thought it was weird since I just peed. I told some co-workers and they suggested I go get a pad from wellness. I did not want to alarm Rick yet, so I went and got some food from dining (pasta salad and lemon cake) and went back to work. About a half hour later my pad was saturated and I checked it. It was slimy with a tiny blood spot. This happened at 3pm. I called Rick on the radio and we called Karen. She wanted us to come over and check to see if it was amniotic fluid. I went to pack up my stuff and started gushing. There was nothing I could do but sit down in front of dining. Housekeeping brought me a towel and soon everyone was crowded around. I felt very loved, but strange because my jeans were soaked. Rick picked me up out front. It was obvious to Karen that my water broke. She checked my cervix and felt the baby’s head at zero. He was in a great position. She wanted me to go home and go to bed to rest up. We went to the chiropractor for a last minute adjustment and then to Karen’s Market for some supplies. As soon as I got home, I took a shower and just plopped in bed. I started to get a little uncomfortable with the cramp pains (contractions) around 7pm. I pooped at the store, but continued to feel like I was constipated. Rick went to Josh and Lacey’s for their video camera and to the store for some food items.

I called Rick because my contractions were so uncomfortable that I could no longer lie in bed. I needed him to get home as soon as possible. When he got home, I was rolling on the birthing ball and he started timing contractions. I was hungry and requested chips and dip. He also came up with Lacey’s homemade apple pie and oatmeal raisin cookies Lacey had baked. From there we went into the computer room and I laid down on a mound of pillows. Our plan was to watch Dexter to take our mind off of early labor. Mom and Kurt came over to help fill the birthing tub. I was in and out of sleep on the couch until I had to use the bathroom. Every time I went in I had to poop and it was runny. Two times I threw up apple pie and cookies. It was time for my body to make some room for the birth. I moved back to the birthing ball and continued to moan through contractions. Rick talked to Karen and told her my time between contractions. They were pretty serious, so Karen was on her way. I found it to be comfortable having contractions on the toilet as I was using the bathroom. Being caught as I was walking was difficult to handle.

Saturday September 19, 2009

Rick, Mom, and Kurt finally got the birthing tub filled. Rick forgot to place the heater underneath so it had to be emptied and filled again. There was no time to let the water heat, so they started adding boiling water kettle by kettle. I was eagerly waiting for them to finish, but did not lose my patience at any point. Rick called Laura around 2am to come over. I was already in the tub at that point. I started having contractions in the tub that were telling me it was time to push. Since Karen was not here to tell me it was okay to push, I fought the contractions. It happened 4 times when I was not able to deep belly breathe and moan my way through the contractions. I strained against pushing and it hurt like hell. It made me call for Rick or my mom and contort my body in the tub. Laura and Karen arrived at the same time. Karen was busy unloading her gear and Laura grabbed our camera to take some shots. Karen checked to see how far dialated my cervix was and I was at the magic number of 10! It was time to push and may have been during those 4 painful contractions I had. I remembered in the Bradley book that I was supposed to take two deep breaths during the beginning of the contraction and then push. This really helped me a lot. If I was pushing the whole time it would have hurt worse and been exhausting. Granted it did hurt pretty badly, but each time I felt him progressing forward. Sometimes he would move inward, but then I learned to hold him in place until the next push. Despite the pain, I was able to focus on my pushing and keep it rhythmic. I felt when his head fully came out. There was a bit of tension released. I reached down and felt his head emerging outward. I knew the hardest part was yet to come, but for some reason getting his head out rejuvenated my strength and I was ready to see my baby. I pushed maybe two or three more times and felt his body slide out. Rick caught him in the water behind me and passed him to me between my legs. I placed him on my chest and Karen put towels and a hat on him and started rubbing his back. His umbilical cord was a little short, so I had to be careful how high I put him on me. He started to cry, which meant he was breathing. I have to admit, he was funny looking. He was purple, had a cone head, and a squished up face. But he was ours and we fell in love with him automatically. We were not surprised to see a full head of hair! I was wide awake and so happy it was over. I have never received such an awesome reward for hard work in my life. I felt ecstatic and full of pride. Rick, Gideon, and I stayed in the tub for a while to get acquainted. I was still having contractions in order to push out the placenta. At that point they were really half ass pushes. It was no hurry though. Laura (Student Midwife) came up the stairs and was so sad she missed it. We were just glad she made it. They carefully helped me out of the tub and I began to shiver violently. It was a combination of being cold and the adrenaline leaving my body. I got into bed with Gideon on my chest. Laura got a bowl for the placenta and I pushed it out. It actually felt good because it had no bones and was nice and soft. Laura started raving about how beautiful my placenta was. I looked at it briefly, but never got a picture unfortunately. It was huge, dark red with distinct veining. It was time for Rick to cut the umbilical cord because it stopped pulsing. She made us a few placenta prints and whisked it away. Then she got set-up for Gideon’s check-up. In the meantime Karen was examining me for any damage. I had a 2nd degree tear and she needed to give me sutures. I looked up right as I saw a needle. That was the worst part, which really was not that bad. She numbed me with lidocaine and went to work. They were all making guesses as to how much Gideon weighed. It turned out he was a pretty big baby for being 12 days early. He weighed 9 lbs 1 oz and was 21 inches long. He was perfectly healthy. There was a little bruising in his eyes, which caused some blood spots and he had a little baby acne on his nose. Laura put a diaper and baby gown on him and he was ready to eat and sleep. I held him to my breast and he took it. It was pretty neat. As he fed, I could feel my uterus contracting. When the sun was coming up, Rick went downstairs and made waffles and sausage for everyone. I was really hungry considering I threw everything up earlier. It was nice to sit around in the bedroom and everyone talk about what a wonderful job I did. My labor was smooth and I was in control. I have never felt so good about myself! I think it was a life changing experience in how I viewed myself.

We needed to sleep, so everyone packed up and left. Rick and I fell asleep with Gideon on my chest. The day was absolutely beautiful. I think it was God’s way of welcoming Gideon into the world!

Karen Webster

WomanWise Midwifery: homebirth & women's health, 257 East Main Street, Elkton, MD, 21921

daughter, sister, friend, mother, midwife, nana, teacher.