Thomas Gerald Dettinger
I was a little more than three weeks past my “due date” and anxiously awaiting the birth of my first child!! On Tuesday night I started having contractions around ten o’clock. These contractions felt a little different and I thought this actually might be it. My contractions were seven minutes apart and strong enough that I couldn’t sleep. Finally at one in the morning I decided to repack my baby bag, wake up Josh, my husband, and call Paula. Since we live 2 hours away from the birth center Paula told us to begin driving and call her when we get closer. We decided to give birth at the birth center after both of my sister-in-laws had amazing natural birth experiences. I wanted my baby to be born naturally and in a calming environment. We called Paula and told her the contractions were still seven minutes apart and about the same intensity. She advised us to go to my parent’s house, they live 30 minutes from the birth center, and try to get some sleep. I tried to sleep, but I had to get up out of bed and reposition through every contraction. Josh called Paula again about six o’clock Wednesday morning and told her my contractions were stronger and still seven minutes apart. Paula asked us to come into the birth center and she would check me. When we got to the birth center Rosalyn, a midwife from Pennsylvania who had been working with us the past couple weeks, was there and she checked me. I was only dilated to 2cm, but she told me the baby’s head was right down there!!
At this point Paula and Rosalyn discussed with me my options. I could stay at the birth center and wait, go to a hotel and wait, or go back to my parent’s house and wait. I decided to stay at the birth center. I felt comfortable at the birth center and I thought maybe things would progress soon! I took a walk around the gardens, sat in the tub, and waited for something to happen. Unfortunately by three o’clock that afternoon I was still only dilated to 2cm and the contractions were now ten minutes apart. So Josh and I decided to go to the hotel in town and try to get some much needed sleep. Paula and Rosalyn encouraged us to call them with any questions or concerns and to call if anything changes.
When we were settled into the hotel I laid in bed hoping the contractions would diminish so I could get some sleep for the night. Then in the morning when I was good and rested the contractions could start up strong and we could have this baby!! Well that didn’t happen. The contractions were still strong enough that I couldn’t sleep through them.
So around seven that evening we called Rosalyn and gave her an update. She said she would come to the hotel and check me. When she checked me this time I was 3cm. I asked her what the plan was for tonight because I was exhausted and I didn’t know if I could have another sleepless night. She got a prescription from my back up physician for something to help me sleep. While my husband was picking up the medicine Rosalyn stayed with me and thank goodness she did. I started having more frequent contractions and then I vomited. Rosalyn checked me again after an hour and this time I was dilated to 5cm. Rosalyn advised me to not take the sleeping pills and come back to the birth center.
When we arrived at the birth center I got back into the tub and the girls had some wonderful soothing music playing. I felt so comfortable and I was excited for a water birth. The water lessened the intensity and frequency of my contractions so I could rest in between contractions. After awhile I walked up and down the stairs a couple times and then I decided to try and rest. At about three o’clock Thursday morning I was beginning to lose faith in myself and my body’s ability to give birth. Paula and Rosalyn comforted me with encouraging words. I will always remember what Rosalyn told me after I said that I was so exhausted and I didn’t know if I could do this much longer. She said, “Remember the Lord said he will give strength when you have none left”. They stayed by my side until morning and helped me to rest my mind and body. I made it through the night, but still no baby. Rosalyn said she was going to rotate the baby’s head so it can move down the birth canal. An hour after that she checked me again and said if I can breathe through a couple more contractions then I can start pushing!!! I was so excited. I got back into the tub!! Then I decided to get out and walk around to see what might happen. And sure enough my contractions were one right after another and I wasn’t sure I wanted to get back into the water. So Paula got the birthing stool and Josh was right behind me just like he had been throughout the whole birthing process. Soon after I started pushing Paula told me I could feel his head now. After feeling my baby’s head I knew the end was near. I was so excited I focused on my pushing so I could meet my baby! Then at 9:40am I had my precious little baby in my arms!!! All I could say was, “You’re so beautiful.” I couldn’t stop staring at the miracle we were blessed with. We had a beautiful, healthy boy. We named him Thomas Gerald. I was in a state of euphoria. The exhaustion and discomfort I once felt had vanished. There was an instance when I thought if I was at the hospital maybe they could give me something to make this easier, but I think we all know the easy way out is not always best. Thomas was brought into this world peacefully and naturally just as God intended. Tommy’s birth was like a marathon, with adequate training and friends and family to cheer you on along the way the end result is amazing. I thank God for the wonderful Morning Star staff and of course my husband and mother who were so supportive throughout my pregnancy and birth.