Clara Eileen Manor
6lbs. 9oz., 20in.
My birth story begins long before labor started. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, a journey of self and love began. I was just getting a new grasp on life after learning how to recover from an eating disorder. Things were going well, and my husband and I wanted to expand out family again. So against the advice of my doctors, not for health reasons, we decided we were ready to do this together.
I remember the day I found out I was pregnant. I felt different, so I asked for a pregnancy test at one of my appointments. The wait took forever and the results finally came when my husband and I were driving to Eau Claire; I was behind the wheel when we found out. We were thrilled, I probably should have pulled over until my tears cleared up, but we made it safe and sound.
That afternoon I called and made my first appointment with Paula and was surprised to get in the next day. We did all the paper work and discussed any concerns we had about this pregnancy and my past disorder and figured how we were all going to work together to make this a success.
Through the experience of working with Paula, I have learned so much and have a much better perspective on many things. The pregnancy was looked at as such a natural process and I was constantly reminded that my body would do what it needed to and I should just go with it. Listen to my body and trust its cues, something I hadn't done in a long time, but it sounded so right and necessary that it just seemed to happen. In fact, all the advise and talking about the journey of birth brought me to a new understanding of how great a creation a women's body is in itself, and nothing else seemed to matter. I was in awe at the process of growing this baby and accepting with open arms the changes that were occurring within by body.
Embracing everything I had learned, I began labor on November 2, 2007 at about nine in the morning. I was so excited to meet this little person that I wasn't convinced I was actually in labor. I called Paula that afternoon and told her what was going on. My contractions were about four minutes apart, not very intense, but I thought this could be it. She advised me to keep track and call her when they were closer together and more intense, exactly what I had been thinking to myself. The reassurance was nice that I was aware and able to do what Ii needed for now and she would be there when the time was right. I let my husband know he should come home and we called our team that was going to help us during the labor.
After taking a walk and moving around a bit I decided to get back into the bathtub. I watched the clock for awhile and noticed the contractions were lasting about a minute and were only about a minute apart, so we decided it was time to have Paula come over.
She arrived and came to check on me right away. I was dilated to 5 and doing well as was the baby. She sat with me while my husband finished a couple things around the house before our helpers arrived. He then joined me in the bathtub and sat behind me for support while Paula got some things ready.
Everything was going great. I was feeling each contraction and the work it was doing for me and my baby. The intensity was growing as time moved on and when I was struggling, I was reminded to relax and remember the baby was coming down and out. I held onto this saying for the rest of labor, repeating it with each contraction. I was able to relax and let my body do the work and remember this was meant to be. Then my water broke.
It won't be long now, I remember being told as my 3 year old daughter came into see her new baby being born, but left to play as the labor grew more intense. I couldn't focus; I didn't think I could do it any more. I just wanted the baby out. Talk to my baby Paula told me. "Get out of me," I thought. I was at nine. Transition, the time I thought I had planned for, but I was struggling to stay in the moment. When could I push, what was that going to feel like? I thought it would be more intense, something I couldn't resist. I was at ten now, the contraction came. Push. I thought I was, but nothing was happening. Paula gave me her hands and had me pull as I pushed. I saw an incredible shift in my body. I didn't think it could do that. I yelled and pushed again. Paula showed me to feel my baby's head, it was almost there. One more push and the baby crowned, the burning sensation was welcomed as I saw my baby's head. The last push for the head and a moment of relief as Paula removed the cord from around the neck. A couple more pushes and out shot my baby, a girl. I had a healthy, precious and beautiful baby girl indeed. The baby came right out of me and was placed onto me. Paula checked her out while she was lying on me; I was able to nurse her before I even had to move. My daughter came back to meet her new sister and just smiled while she looked at the brand new person I held in my arms.
Wrapped in warm towels, my baby and I moved to the bed. Erin had gotten it all ready for us so we could just snuggle in. I nursed some more and stared at her in awe. Clara Eileen would be her name, and I was meeting her for the first time. She never left my side, during the newborn exam and my own exams. I held her in my arms the whole time. I had no concern in the world. Everything was taken care of by the midwives or my family so I could just enjoy this miracle I was holding in my arms.