Melissa & Adolfo ~ Mercy Jewel's Birth Story, 5.21.2008

I was one week overdue and my backup doctor was trying to pressure me into having another c-section. I had tried every possible thing that I could do on my own to get the baby to come out. 

There had been a fair amount of contractions over the past week or so, but that Tuesday morning they were much more painful. I was hoping that it was a sign this would be the day she was coming but the contractions had pretty much stopped that evening.

 Wednesday morning started just like Tuesday and I told my husband to take off work as I was really hurting. I didn’t want to be home alone all day with our son Azrael in that kind of pain. That Wednesday also happened to be Azrael’s 2nd birthday. My Mother & Father-in-law were coming over that evening with a birthday cake. 

I tried to lie around and take a nap and called Karen to let her know I was contracting but told her they were not regular at all. I wasn’t sure if I should be doing something or resting. The contractions were stronger and more frequent when I was moving but I didn’t want to be in pain needlessly if this wasn’t the real thing.

Karen suggested getting rest while I could then get moving around and repeating this process. This way I could keep the contractions going and also get a lot of rest in case it was the real thing this time. 

While doing this I had a really bad contraction that just felt different than the others. I thought my water was about to break so I jumped off the bed just as it did. I called for my husband and told him what happened. I then called my mother who had been trying to decide when to come over and after that called Karen again. 

It was about 4:00 PM by now. I went to my bathroom and stayed on the toilet because I was still leaking water and then because of the pressure that made me feel like I needed to use the bathroom. My contractions were still not in a regular pattern yet though and I was getting very frustrated. 

Adolfo started to fill the birth tub as Karen had just suggested. Although the tub was fully assembled in our bedroom filling it was proving difficult. The attachment to connect the hose to the sink kept popping off the faucet because of the water pressure. 

By now I had been hurting so much I hadn’t been able to focus enough to time my contractions. I told Adolfo to stop working on the faucet and time my contractions. We were surprised that they were now 2 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute each! Adolfo called Karen and she was on her way. 

My mom and dad arrived, “Thank God!” My dad, who was nervous and didn’t want to stay for the birth, fixed the faucet problem by running everything downstairs to the kitchen sink. Then he took Azrael, who was getting upset at this point, downstairs to the basement to play. My mom came and sat with me and Adolfo was running around checking the water and calling people.  Around this time I felt like I had to push with each contraction.  The tub was not even a third of the way full, so we kew that a water birth wasn’t going to happen. 

  Karen arrived at 6:05. She checked me right away and said things were moving along.   I was thrilled when I heard her in my bedroom telling Laura that they had to hurry and set up because the baby was really close to coming!  After a few minutes she gave me the option of staying on the toilet or moving to my bedroom.  I wanted to use the birth stool she had lent us so she and Adolfo helped me from the bathroom into the bedroom.  My sister arrived right around that time.  I began to really push as Karen coached me. Mercy Jewels Rivera joined us on May 21st 2008 at 6:25pm, exactly two years to the day that her brother had.  She was 7lbs 15oz. And 21.5 inches long.  I was overjoyed to see all the black hair she had!  I was helped into the shower and then my bed.  

My in-laws arrived shortly after that and everyone was very happy and relieved that the baby had come without any problems.  Mercy nursed for about an hour, as everyone took turns coming in for a quick peek.  It was awesome to be home, in my own bed with all of our family there. Karen stayed with me and the baby while Laura checked the placenta.  Then most of the family went downstairs to celebrate both birthdays as Karen & Laura examined me. 

It was such a cool experience to have birthed my baby without intrusions, yet still with so much care and support.  I felt so proud of myself for having had my baby the way I wanted to.  I am so grateful to Karen & Laura for everything!  I never would have had the birth I’d hoped for without them.  I am so thankful to know that I don’t have to go through another C-section or hospital birth, and that I have this amazing choice of using a midwife.  

Karen Webster

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

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