My third birth was quite a bit different than the first two, filled with twists and turns--but with a lot of humor, love and camaraderie. Due to the bleeding after my second birth, we decided to birth at a hospital again, but with a carefully worded birth plan and a fully complete (with doula) birth team. At this point of being a mommy, I learned how to really hone in on my self care during pregnancy to create the labor experience and postpartum recovery I desired.
My doula sister was flying into town one day after my due date. I got my membranes stripped the day before she came and had hoped to accomplish three things before going into labor: take her to Carrabba’s, give her a massage to thank her for her time, and to watch “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” together. We were able to accomplish all three of those things on that day! As I was lifting things and making dinner that night, I kept having to change my pad as it kept filling up with fluid. I didn’t realize at that point what it was. I labored all night while everybody slept. I woke my birth team right about sunrise. I got in the tub and my mom made me a scrumptious meal of eggs, toast and cherry juice. We talked and laughed and ate while I labored in the tub and then, out of nowhere, I pushed my empty plate to the side and started groaning. We knew that meant it was time to head to the hospital. Once I got there, it was clear that my “leaking” the day before was my amniotic fluid because I couldn’t feel the usual padding that it usually provided. In turn, I was running out of steam a little faster than usual and considered an epidural. At the point I considered one, I was already dilated to a 9 and baby didn’t seem happy during contractions, so they asked me to start pushing.
After coaching and a little rotation to unwrap the cord, he came tumbling out, with a very smashed nose! He would vacillate between being peaceful and looking up straight into my eyes and then quivering his little chin, scrunching his squashed nose and roaring with tears. As if to say, “that was no fun getting my nose smashed, and why is it so bright out here in the hospital room?!!” That actually proved to be very true of his sensitive but reactive nature.
My self care before this birth was better than the other two and so my physical recovery was much better. The excellence of my birth team brought me through this birth feeling light and happy when I walked through my front door for the first time as a mother of three.