Oliver Michael Mattison
After our first son, Benjamin’s hospital birth, I knew upon walking through the door that Morning Star was exactly the place I wanted for the birth of our next child. And by the end of our first meeting with Paula, I knew that she was just the person who could provide the support I needed for the natural, drug-free labor and birth that I wanted. Throughout the course of my prenatal care, we reflected again and again on just how fortunate we were to have found Paula and Morning Star.
I woke to contractions at 5am on Friday morning, 10 days past my “due” date. I was ecstatic, as I had been waiting so patiently for my labor to begin. This was not new to me…Benjamin was also born 10 days past his given due date. At any rate, I was thrilled to know that today I would finally get to meet this new little person inside of me. The contractions were not too strong yet, so I got up quickly to get a few things done before things progressed. I ate a light breakfast, took a shower, and then went outside to water my flowers and vegetables. What a beautiful day to give birth, I thought! We called Paula to tell her that today was the day.
By 8am we were timing the contractions and they were getting pretty strong. They were coming regularly, about 7-9 minutes apart, but only lasting about 30 seconds. It was all coming back to me…these feelings that I had been trying for weeks now to remember…the excitement and the intensity. My mind was in work mode and I was prepared. Then, at about 9:30am everything completely stopped. I was devastated! I kept waiting for more, but nothing was happening. I was simply tired and frustrated.
After talking with Paula again, I decided to take caster oil. I thought maybe my baby just needed a little encouragement… I drank the concoction at about 11am and then layed down for a while. I got up, restless, after an hour or so and we went for a walk. By the time we were approaching our house on the way back, contractions had started up again. It was 2pm. We were laughing and joking about not being able to remember the correct method for timing contractions, so we called Paula to ask her and to let her know what was happening. I remember having to pass the phone to Drew when a contraction got pretty intense while I was trying to talk to Paula.
Within 20 minutes they were coming on strong and we were timing them again. Drew supported me as I leaned over and swayed my hips back and forth. This rocking motion was my body’s natural response to the rhythmic power of the contractions. By gripping something above my head and pulling with my arms, I could allow my body to relax from the waist down through the intensity of each one. I could hear the voices of Drew and my Mother-in-law telling me what I good job I was doing and how strong I was. I focused on feeling my body opening…I was a little closer with each one.
After only an hour I was starting to feel like I needed to try something new… I felt that I had a long way to go and I was trying to remember all of my options. I had Drew fill the Jacuzzi tub. The water helped me relax through several contractions, but things were getting very intense and we decided it was time to go to the birth center. Drew went upstairs to get my bathrobe and my Mother-in-law helped me out of the tub. I sat down on the toilet to prepare for the next contraction and all of the sudden I was pushing! My Mother-in-law yelled for Drew. I panicked and didn’t want to leave, but Drew reassured me that we had time and somehow got me into the car. I proceeded to push through another 3 or 4 contractions in the car as Drew drove very quickly the 15 minutes to the birth center!
We pulled up along side the curb and Paula was outside waiting for us. I could feel my baby’s head descending as she and Drew got me out of the car! As I paused to get through another contraction, my robe flew partially open and I vaguely remember seeing a woman walking down the sidewalk stop to stare at what must have been quite a sight! They got me upstairs into bed and as soon as I layed down another one came and I was pushing. I remember hearing Paula’s calm voice telling me, “OK, I see your baby’s head.” A few more, and now I could reach down and touch my baby’s soft, warm head! This was all I needed to muster up the little remaining strength I had to keep going. And then, with an overwhelming sense of relief, I felt my baby’s warm, smooth body leave my own. Drew caught him and layed him on my belly. As I pulled him up to my chest I looked down to see that I had another son! My beautiful, precious, new baby boy was finally here in my arms! In an instant, it was as though he had always been there.
Oliver Michael was born at 4:37pm, just 6 minutes after we arrived at the birth center! My labor had progressed so quickly that there hadn’t been time for anyone else to get there to witness Oliver’s birth…not even Paula’s assistants, Karen and Krista! Upon arriving shortly after the birth, Krista asked if that was our Honda at the curb with the passenger door hanging wide open! What a whirlwind those last few hours were…what a magical, glorious whirlwind!