Born: October 19, 2008
When Ralph and I discovered that we were pregnant, like all first time parents to be we were a bit frightened. Although, we had some fears, we decided to do all that we could to make this process the best for our baby to-be. I had my first prenatal visit at about 14 weeks. During this visit, the Certified Nurse Midwife gave me some information that included a brochure about the Bradley Method of Childbirth. It was important for me to help Ralph understand this process better, so I decided that we would participate in this particular type of childbirth class. At about 20 weeks gestation, we began these classes. The classes improved Ralph’s confidence and also my confidence in the body’s ability to safely deliver my baby. By the end of these 12 weeks, we decided that a homebirth would be the best choice for our baby.
The pregnancy for me was pretty uneventful; I had very little morning sickness. I was very tired during the last few weeks, but I was sure to get a nap in during my lunchtime. During the Bradley class I learned to pay very close attention to my diet, I exercised, did my kegels and was sure to take my prenatal vitamins pretty regularly. I was able to work both of my jobs until a few days before birth.
On the Wednesday of week forty-one, I begin to have a bit of a bloody show. On Thursday during my night class at the college, the baby begin to move a lot more that she had ever moved before, my students even noticed the obvious movement. I let them go early that night and went home. That night I had some irregular contractions and I set on the toilet a lot. Ralph decided not to go to work on Friday morning, that day, as the bloody show increased, we went to Thai Taste for lunch, and I had an extreme craving for a Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks, so we went to Barnes and Noble afterwards. Still having some contractions, but nothing very long or strong during the day on Friday.
Late Friday evening things begin to change, the contractions were getting pretty strong. We spent the evening and Saturday morning on the couch and toilet. At one point I was sitting on the toilet with a blanket wrapped around me. The only thing that I kept thinking was that after 30 seconds the contraction would not get any stronger.
Early Saturday morning Ralph called Jennifer, my sister, and she came over with breakfast and he called the midwife. He described what was happening and she asked if I wanted her to come over, I said no. While Ralph cleaned the house, Jennifer and I watched television. We watched “Antoine Fisher”, “Down Home with the Neely’s,” and a Pearl Harbor Documentary. My contractions begin to calm down so I went to bed. I couldn’t really rest, so I watched HGTV and timed more contractions. Toward the afternoon Ralph and I found a contraction counter online and we began writing down the contractions. They were getting longer, stronger, and closer together. At that point I was moving between sitting in a rocker-glider, on my knees with my head in Ralph’s lap, and rolling on the birthing ball. Ralph soon felt that it was time to get someone to check me, so he called the midwife again, one midwife arrived at around 8:00pm. She examined me, and I was 8 centimeters dilated. She called the other midwives and they arrived shortly after her call. Ralph called Keisha, she and Jennifer also arrived shortly afterwards. Ralph’s mother and sister arrived, but left not knowing how long the birth was going to take, my parents arrived a bit later and sat downstairs.
The contractions were very strong, so I sat on the birthing ball in the shower and the water helped me to relax. After, the shower, I was told that I had a little bit of a cervical lip and had to do a “rotisserie.” So I had two contractions on my back, two on my left side, two on my knees, and two on my right side. I repeated this twice. I felt an overwhelming need to go to the bathroom, but the midwives assured me that I could go right where I was, and prepped me for if I did go. I stood-up after the “rotisserie” but felt that I needed to squat down, I got down and held on to Ralph for a while, the midwife checked me and my water broke. I attempted pushing on the squatting stool, but because I am short I felt that I wasn’t anchored the way that I wanted to be. I pushed a few times on the squatting bar, and then I go on the bed. The entire time, the midwives tried to convince me to reach down and feel the baby but I refused. At some point in there I asked for someone to “Pray for me,” and one of the midwives begin to pray. After a few more contractions the baby’s head was out. They showed me her face with a mirror, and I was just so overwhelmed. I wanted to stop at this time, and the midwives assured me that it was almost over. I was lying on my back, and felt that I couldn’t push effectively, so one of the midwives grabbed one end of a towel and gave me the other end. She instructed me to pull at the next contraction, so at the next contraction, I pulled and she pulled, the baby literally popped right out. Zoe Rayne Fowler was born at 1:28am. Shortly afterwards I had my placental contraction, Jennifer cut the umbilical cord, and it was over.
Zoe was perfect, they weighted her, and she was 8 pounds and 4 ounces. She was 21 and a half inches long.