I wasn't sure how it would be to have my precious 7 year old watching me through the intensity of labor and delivery, yet I was trusting that if things became too intense she would either excuse herself or The Lawyer would protectively step in. As confirmation to me of her desire, she was up nearly all night with us, waiting for G. As The Lawyer filled the birth tub (in her room!), she roused and came to me. After the midwife arrived and I decided to sleep for awhile, she climbed into bed with me and we slept like spoons for an hour or so. When I got up and left the room, she awoke and came out to find me. And she was a powerful reason for me to follow through with my vision of a peaceful and calm birth experience.
I had seen a wonderful water birth on the Ina May Gaskin movie and had been mentally replaying that as MY birth experience this time. In the past, my midwife has come during the intensity of transition and I've felt that I was hanging on to a steam train for dear life, the contractions barely subsiding until a baby was born within an hour. This time, our midwife and I had a different plan. I would call her early so that she wouldn't be rushed (or miss the birth!) and we would strive for a calm and quieter delivery. One main reason for this approach was to avoid tearing, which had happened during every baby's birth since I had an episiotomy at the hospital with O. Our thought was to use the water to help warm and stretch tissues and to allow a little recovery time between contractions to keep things more manageable.
I am so happy to say that this was a beautiful birth- the most calm, the quietest, the most aware, and without any tearing. But I can give more of my story later. Here is what our daughter wrote:
The Story of Graham's Life- by Livia Curtis
|This is the "good long hug"- and L's flannel nightgown in the corner.|