It’s been six weeks now that our little angel baby decided to join us on earth’s side. She was born at 37 weeks and 4 days. It all began at 9:50pm on Sunday, November 13th, just as the supermoon was waxing. Albi and I had just finished watching an episode of Westworld. I got up to use the restroom. And noticed a light pink hue in the toilet. Also, a fluid kept trickling from my vagina. I called Albi to come see and asked him to call the midwife. I did my best to stay calm while on the phone with Claudia. I described everything that happened and she calmly responds, “Wow…well, it sounds like your water broke.” Albi and I were completely surprised. Liviana wasn’t due for another 3 weeks!
Thankfully we had everything prepared just in time. Claudia then informed me that Johanna (our doula) would stop by to drop off the birthing tub. After my water broke I started to have mild contractions every 15 minutes throughout the night. Then around 7:00am the next morning, active labor began… The contractions were more intense. I would have one every 5 minutes lasting a minute long. On top of that, I had to use the restroom every 30 minutes to an hour. Labor is far from glamorous I tell ya…
During my pregnancy I read a lot of other women’s birthing experiences. And no matter how much you try to prepare yourself, especially if it’s your first time. You will not be prepared for the intensity that labor entails. I understand that every experience is different for each woman. But, I honestly thought I’d be in labor for (at max) 4 hours. I remember thinking,” Geez, a 13 plus hour labor, that’s crazy. I think I’ll be able to do it in less time.” Boy, was I wrong…I labored for 19 hours and each contraction would intensify as labor progressed. So, I turned my focus inward and concentrated on each breath. Reminding myself, “It’s a wave and will soon pass.” Also, my doula would give me pointers to help ease the pain. Such as, “Relax you face while breathing…Try deeper moans that come from your abdomen instead of high pitched screams…”
Even though 19 hours in labor sounds long. I don’t ever recall thinking about the time during labor. I didn’t realize how long I was in labor until after Liviana was born. I do recall two times in particular when I had thought that I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to birth this baby…But, I had to let go of my fear and reminded myself, “You got this! You’ve already come this far and you’re stronger than you think, mind over matter…” Also, if it wasn’t for Albi, I don’t think I could have been as strong. During each and every contraction I would have extreme lower back pain. And he was right by my side to make it all better. He was amazing and a trooper, especially for having worked a long shift prior to my water breaking. And on top of that, not getting a wink of sleep the following night. I’m truly blessed to have him in my life and that he’s the father of our child.
I am happy that I made the decision to have a home birth. I can’t imagine birthing my baby in a hospital. Now, if it was absolutely necessary. Then yes, I would have done just that. But, thankfully I had a smooth and heathy prenancy. Plus, if an emergency does arise during a home birth. There is always a backup plan…At some point in the afternoon my midwife suggest I try going for a walk to help move things along. Apparently, to them I was handling my contractions extemely well. They thought I still had a while to go before baby arrives. They even considered leaving to grab lunch…You see Claudia doesn’t believe in constantly checking the mother to see how much she’s dilated. She believes messing with the mother too much can cause tearing. Even though I didn’t really feel like going for a walk. I did try, but didn’t get very far. My legs felt extremely weighted down. Which could have been from the pull of the super moon. And the contractions were starting to become more intense. I remember standing in the sun next to the tree that’s in front of our complex. I had felt at ease for a bit by their energies. Then I remember telling Albi, “I just want to go inside.” I ended up in our bedroom trying to get comfortable. Then all of a sudden as a new contraction started I began to throw up… I asked Claudia, “Is this normal?” She replies, “Yes, it’s a very good sign. It means labor is progressing and you’re getting closer.” Maybe an hour after Claudia checked on me. I remember being in so much pain and feeling as if I needed to push…Claudia informs Johanna that I want to get in the tub. So, Johanna and Albi start filling the tub with warm water. Claudia stayed by my side monitoring the baby’s heartbeat with a Doppler. It seemed like an eternity for them to fill the birth tub. I remember feeling impatient… I wanted to be in the warm water. It sounded very relaxing and I figured it would help ease the pain, which it did.
When the tub was ready I removed my clothing and stepped inside very carefully. At first I laid down on my back. But, my legs kept sliding around and I couldn’t get comfortable. Then I decided to squat. I stayed in this position until Liviana was born. Next, I started to feel the need to push again, so I did…It felt strange to me because I had no idea what I was doing and if I was even doing it correctly… But, the feedback my midwife and doula were giving me made me feel confident. I remember reading one women’s birthing experience and how she described pushing out her baby’s head. She said, “…it felt like a ring of fire.” This was spot on, for me at least. When I started to feel the ring of fire I knew right away it was Liviana’s head. I didn’t mention it to anyone. I just kept pushing. Just so you know, that after each push it feels like a few inches of the baby gets sucked back up inside you. I remember thinking, “All that hard work and I’ve got to try pushing it out again?” The hardest and most painful part was definitely pushing out Liviana’s head…
By now I had been in the tub maybe 30 minutes. Claudia decides to check my progress. But, she wasn’t able to see from the way I was positioned. So, she started looking for a mirror. Since she wasn’t able to find one. She felt with her hand and to her surprise Liviana’s head was a third of the way out. I didn’t realize this because I was so focused on my breathing. So, Claudia instructs me to give a big push. I ended up giving two (maybe three) big pushes and Liviana torpedoes out from behind me. I was completely zoned out and didn’t realize Claudia was instructing me to lay back. Since I didn’t respond quickly she grabs me and lays me on my back. Then Johanna placed Liviana on my chest. She wasn’t breathing right away, but she was moving. So, Johanna ends up blowing some air into Liviana’s mouth and she began to cry…I remember feeling a little worried, but I just kept talking to Liviana. “You’re okay baby, we did it Liviana. We worked together and now you’re here.”As soon as Liviana left my body all the pain I had felt was gone… Albi says that it was like night and day. When he saw me smile he knew that I was back… He didn’t like seeing me in so much pain. Birthing a child is the toughest thing I’ve ever experienced. And I thought my dad’s death was hard…Going through all that pain without any interventions makes me feel empowered. And I am stronger in my mind, body and soul because of it. Thank you Liviana for allowing me to see just what I’m capable of in this life. I love you more than you’ll ever know. Liviana joined us at 4:47pm on November 14th, 2016 weighing 5 lbs. 11 oz. and was 18 inches long.If you’re interested in hearing about the birth from Albi’s perspective. Check out his podcast episode here! Curious Radio podcast, episode 12: Supermoon Baby.Thanks for reading my long post. We are stoked to be parents. Happy Holidays from our growing family to yours!