Tying up the posting of my previous births… I’ve been searching for Coen’s birth story for weeks and can’t find it, my heart is breaking! This was my favorite birth thus far and my memories seem to have gone missing. I’ll just have to give a brief retelling here, and sadly, no one even took pictures of the beautiful labor that I had, so all I’ve got captured is the after moments.
The Birth of Coen Syaoran
9 lbs even
21 inches long
13.75 head circumference
5 hours 45 mins of labor (longer than my first 2 combined!)
Just like with Behn I woke up first thing in the morning with an undeniable *real* labor contraction. I’d had a somewhat restless night’s sleep after a horrible evening of feeling like absolute poo. We actually went to get adjusted at Kolby’s school the evening before and ran into some friends who were concerned about me because I looked so terrible. So, I woke up to a crampy contraction and went to the bathroom. Behn came out of the bedroom and I changed his diaper in the hallway, had another contraction, went into the bedroom and leaned/sat on the edge of the bed and had another. They were mild, but different from my usual prelabor contractions. I took a dose of the Cramp Bark/False Unicorn tincture my midwife had had me on for several months just in case it wasn’t really time yet. I was 38-weeks exactly.
I know that I laid down at this point and stayed there but I don’t remember anything except waiting for my doula, who is a friend of mine and lived behind us at the time, to come over. I remember her getting there and feeling relieved. I knew I was very much in labor by that time (about 30 mins after I woke up). For the next few hours I lay on my side and my doula held me through every contraction. I listened to my hypnobabies CD and did my best to keep calm and relaxed. For a while at first my legs were trembling out of control from nerves, but that eventually stopped. At some point the midwife got there and asked what made me think this was real labor and I responded shortly that it just was and she went away (later I was told the 2 midwives, who had recently left another birth, went downstairs to take a nap). I was thinking the contractions were like 15 minutes apart. It seemed like forever before another one would come and I was bored in between, I kept having to tell myself that it was okay that it wasn’t progressing as quickly as my others, that this was the answer to my many prayers, this was my gentle birth, and that this baby was coming in exactly the way he needed to. I heard my doula say to the midwife that the contractions were 3 mins apart and that was a big surprise to me! The contractions were not painful, although I was very aware that I could have perceived them that way had I chosen to, and that I would have perceived them that way in the past. With each contraction I labeled, in my mind, the sensations, “stretching, tightening, pressure”. I welcomed each one and told myself, “This is God bringing you your baby.” I remember being told I need to try and eat a banana but I only got in a few bites and couldn’t do any more, I was concentrating too hard. At some point after several hours of this the energy of the contractions started to pick up. I began needing to vocalize though them. Someone had gotten the birth tub ready right next to the bed and I wanted to get in it before things got too incredibly intense. This is when I lost the ability to relax and use hypnosis during contractions and they became very strong, this is when I began to feel pain. I’d had pressure in my low back the whole time, which I’d not had with my other babies, and my doula would rub my back during contractions. I was on my knees leaning forward into the wall of the birth pool and she was in front of me on the outside with her arms around me. Kolby was nearby giving me sips of water between contractions. Every now and then I would see my little 2 year old, Behn, sneak around us and steal a drink from my big labor cup… so cute! It was reassuring to see him so relaxed and up to mischief, as usual. I don’t remember seeing my daughter at all, I have very little visual memory from any of my labors as my eyes are closed most of the time because I’m so inwardly focused. I only remember knowing she was present toward then end as the kids were getting ready to help daddy catch the baby. All I really remember from this time was just holding on and doing whatever I had to do to make it through the contractions, which unfortunately for my doula involved some biting and scratching. I also yelled at my husband that if I had to go through this, I got to name the baby, as we’d been back and forth about a name. I don’t remember when I started pushing or much about that time, I vaguely remember that my water broke as I was pushing, like it did with Behn. I remember that I’d thought, for some reason, it would only take a few pushes to get this baby out and it was taking what seemed like forever. I just kept pushing and pushing and pushing and felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. Eventually his head came out, and then his shoulders, but his body didn’t slip out like the others, I had to actually push it out. I know my husband caught him, but I don’t know if the other kids helped or if they even got in the tub until after he was out. I’ve made a point not to watch my own birth videos until I’m sure I’m done having kids, so I guess I’ll get to see how it all went down in time!
I felt a little disoriented and overheated after he was born. He looked exactly like I knew he would. We hung out in the tub with him a bit and then Kolby got out with him and the kids got cleaned up, possibly by the doula. I was still having back labor and very strong contractions and trying to deliver the placenta. The midwives wanted me to get out and deliver it on the birth stool but I couldn’t bear the thought of having a contraction standing and no one was there to help me, so I kept pushing and pushing in the tub. They gave me some herbs to help expel the placenta and had me pull on the cord to get it out. Still no go. After an hour I was finally able to brave getting to the birth stool. It was surprisingly comfy there. I had a contraction right away and asked my midwife if I could hold on to her (for whatever reason I cannot push without someone to hold on to) and out it came right away! Wish someone would have helped me out of the tub sooner! I got in bed and nursed my perfect little guy. He was the only one of our babies who looked Chinese. It turned out to be a trick though, about 2 weeks later he totally looked like a Caucasian baby, but he’s adorable either way!