Analia Lynn Brown
9lbs 11.5 oz 21 ¾ inches
Sunday July 18th – Dan comes home from work out of town. He’s been on the road for some time and I’m just counting the days until he comes home for two weeks. I’m not due until August 9th…but being that my other two babies were born 2 weeks early, we are hoping and praying that this one makes an appearance early as well. This will give Dan the best chance of being there for the birth. I have this feeling…call it mother’s intuition…that this baby will be early as well. I’ve been measuring very large and have been having contractions on and off for weeks now. I’ve stopped walking with the kids in the morning because I don’t want to start anything with Dan away. Contractions start a regular pattern at about 10pm that night. I can’t sleep and get up to watch TV. fold laundry and time the contractions. Finally at about 12:30am I call Paula and discuss options with her. I decide to come in. But as the morning sun arrives…I realize that today will not be the day. Disappointed, we return home.
The rest of the week I can hardly stand the wait. I feel as though things could happen at any moment. At least once a day I have contractions consistently for an hour or two and then they fade. I remember both my other babies coming this way too, but it does not make the wait any easier.
Friday July 23rd - Finally on Friday I resign myself to the fact that the baby will not come that night either. After naptime I take the kids to the library and then for a treat at Panera Bread. I even get a movie from Red Box for Dan and I to watch that night. While the kids are eating their scone I start having hard contractions. I decide maybe I should go home, and without getting too excited, start preparing. I call Paula, my parents and Dan. My son Amos asks where I’m going and I explain that I think it’s time for Gabe to come out. (Amos pet-named the baby Gabe months ago)
The ride is very bumpy and thankfully we are going the opposite direction of traffic at 5pm. When we arrive Paula greets us at the door and hugs me excitedly. She says, “Are you ready to have your baby today?” It makes me excited too.
She checks me and only finds me at 4cm. I’m somewhat disappointed, as I was at a 3 the other day. I get in the tub and find such relief! In the hospital with my other two births the tub was not helpful, probably because it was not deep enough to cover my belly. My doula McKenna arrives. At first I am nervous. I decided rather last minute to ask her and part of me doesn’t know what to do with her. But quickly I find that she is an amazing support and am so thankful for her hand holding mine during the harder contractions. I try to stay very focused at staying relaxed, realizing that if I tense my body, the pain will be greater. A couple hours later I am only at 6cm and still feel discouraged. Paula encourages us to try nipple stimulation. The contractions are painful but not really accomplishing a lot. I cringe at the thought of more aggressive contractions. I try the birthing ball, the sling and standing and swaying while holding onto Dan. Finally I make it to 9cm and they break my water to bring the baby down. I’m so thankful that they let me make the decision. With my first daughter I felt strong-armed into having my water broken. I remember them commenting that “I could be there all night otherwise, we just couldn’t have that….”
I didn’t think things could get more intense but they did. I felt scared and directionless. In the hospital they were so structured and routined. They told me when to push, for how long and how to hold my body. Here, they left it up to me and at first I didn’t know what to do. But soon, my body took over and did what it knew to do. I got back in the tub and put my arms up over the edge. Suddenly I found myself pushing and quite quickly brought the baby down into the birth canal. I could feel her head coming and the burning it brought with it! Her head out, they kept telling me to push. This part was not so easy. Finally Paula told me to get out of the tub. This seemed like a mammoth request but realizing the urgency, I did what I had to do for my baby. On the floor on all fours, Paula reached in to wiggle out her shoulders and Analia was here! Dan handed her through my legs up to my chest and they helped me up to the bed. We took some time to take her in.
They gave her oxygen for a while because she was breathing a little rapidly. Dan cut the cord. We all commented on her large size, although I was not surprised in the least that she was big. Dan got me food, which I wasn’t hungry to eat. We put her in a heating pad to keep her temp up. We all sat on the bed and digested the whole experience. It was a priceless experience to be able to talk through my emotions and feel validated as a woman and mother. I nursed her and Angel checked on us periodically.
The kids came the next morning. Amos was beside himself with excitement. Emelia seemed a little confused. We all packed up to drive home as a family of 5!
As with all my births, it was an amazing experience that I will never forget. But this time I had achieved what I had dreamt all along…a drug-free natural birth that went as I had always imagined it could.