Little crumb's birth story

Nico Countryman Peele | April 5, 2004

Our Beautiful little tadpole was born on Monday April 5, 2004 at 12:04am weighing 7lbs even, 20 in long.

I woke up early on April 4th, got up to pee and noticed a little extra "water" running down my leg on the way to the bathroom. "Hmmmmm," I thought, "maybe this could be my water breaking." As I sat on the toilet, I ask crumb: this isn't the day, today, is it? But didn't get a clear yes or no. Saw a little rose-pink tinge on the toilet paper and really started to wonder. Went back to snuggle with Chad and told him.

We had plans to spend the day prepping for the birth: took belly THANK YOU photos for our thank you cards. Had a lazy morning, set out to gather birth supplies. Around 2 pm we were in computer gadget shopping (for Chad to look at joysticks for his computer games!!) and suddenly, more fluid running down my legs! Quick! Find the bathroom! Damn, knew I should have brought underwear and pads, had that intuition!

Called Mom and Elizabeth-no answers, left messages. Kept up with the errands to gather birth supplies . . . in the drug store, I noticed beginning of period-like crampy feelings, said "Chad, I'm pretty sure something is happening, this is definitely something!" Mom (a homebirth midwife herself) returned our call, told her the details, she said she thought it could be early labor, suggested we continue errands, but that I rest/relax and Chad to "all the work." We decided to drive by Elizabeth's as we hadn't yet heard back from her . . . well no wonder! I'd completely spaced that she was out of town for the weekend! So we called her back up, Flame and left a message. Continued errands, noticed contractions getting stronger ……

Chad finished all the shopping and errands while I rested, stoked up on the water and counted contractions. We finished in town and headed home around 6:30 pm or so, Flame called back, and we chatted. She too said yup, early labor! Confirmed that we were comfortable with a homebirth at 37 weeks: YES OF COURSE! We made plans to call her at 8 pm to update and check in . . . . On the drive home, I had to have Chad drive real slow on the curves and in our driveway during the contractions, otherwise I couldn't focus on breathing well.

Got home and got started on a flurry of activity-well, Chad did, I got to be directive and focus on breathing through all the contractions. In the span of 30 seconds, I gave Chad 101 things to do: make the bed with plastic sheet, make a pasta dinner, light the stove, get all our groceries and birth supplies inside, call my work and the neighbors to cancel my "tomorrow," blah, blah, blah – he handled it all REALLY well, stepped up big time and got it all together. Between contractions, I organized birth supplies and nested in the bedroom. I ate some pasta, stoked in the water, juice and glass of wine (drank it through a straw!) and realized we had no labor food for later. So I asked Chad to call the neighbors to borrow some of their yogurt – I remember hearing them drop it off - it was GREAT to eat it through labor!

The contractions were such that I had to stop and really focus on breathing, low moaning, and squatting/dropping my weight and energy to the floor during the contraction. It helped a lot when Chad would use downward counter-pressure on my sacrum. As they became more intense, walking, hip gyrating, low moaning, focused breathing and hanging were all GREAT coping methods. Although super intense, I felt confident and strong and capable with almost every contraction. I remember a few where I didn't "get on top of it early" (by breathing it into my body) where I got really high-pitched and everything moved UP my body instead of down . . . had to ask Chad to help me get it all lower, back down with voice and sacrum counter pressure.

I remember he called Flame and said she was on her way.

I remember he was looking for a "contraction table" in the birth books to determine where I might be in the grand scheme.

I remember he told me Flame wasn’t bringing the birthing tub and then I knew we were actually pretty close to a baby in our arms.

I remember LOVING the squeezing of the little green birth ball from Kate.

I remember Sadie and Raisin (the dogs) being curious and even confused, but out of the way and even relaxed.

I remember feeling so glad Chad was with me and that he was being so great, handling it all so well, being so available and supportive and joke-y.

I remember Flame arrived as I was in the bathroom, having contractions and hanging off the window sill. I briefly remember her coming in and saying hi (I think she did a visual check at that time, but don't remember it, only heard it in the stories later).

Sometime before Flame arrived, the contractions shifted into a new "style." I first noticed this when lying on my side in bed: they seemed almost double-peaked, my body involuntarily began to feel like pushing with my uterus muscles. It was almost like I was going to puke in the middle of the contraction, but I didn't.

Once Flame was here, she got me to lay in bed, side-lying of course, to slow things a bit as we waited for her midwife assistant, Sena. "You want me to what?" I said, because lying down was so counter-intuitive at this point. But I knew why it was important , so that made it easier to do it. At some point, Sena arrived, and I got onto my hands and knees and propped up on all the household pillows and labored this way for a while.

Eventually it got to be time to focus on my pushing. . . . Flame coached me to use less sound and focus my breathing and energy on pushing down and out. Chad kept telling me how great I was doing and how beautiful I looked (that meant so so so much to me!). I moved from hands and knees to lean/squatting on Chad to a supported squat with Chad and then back to hands and knees.

Baby began to crown! It was so cool to feel his head and to get it figured out in my body how to push baby down and how to hold him down. Feeling the tissues stretch and open (like pushing an orange out!), feeling how intense it was, but knowing, just knowing I could do it. Each contraction had a purpose, each push at the right time.

Pushing contractions were so "easy" and so very different than all the others. I could just tell that my body was "doing exactly right" and that breathing him out with pushes was the way to go . . . . Vhoooom, he head was born-damn that was a big stretch for my tissues! But his head felt so small compared to what I thought it would feel like and then, here comes the shoulders, even bigger, but faster, stretch. And then we had a gurgling, wet baby! Chad helped me onto my back, baby placed on my belly and covered and Chad and I got to see our little one . . . . WOW!!!!!!!! I thought we’d both be bawling, but I think we were a little bit in shock and very much awe. What a tiny, skinny, gurgle-y, wet, sweet, little tadpole.

Flame and Sena suggested we wait 20 minutes to find out baby's gender-se we could love and bond with baby as baby . . . . I was given herbs to speed along the placenta; my body was just still and resting, waiting for the contraction to push out the placenta-it came and went, hardly noticeable in the state I was in. We loved on the tadpole as things started closing down. Seems I lost a little more than usual blood, but not enough to worry. No major tears –"only skid marks."

Love at first sight! Chad held his son for a good while as the midwives attended to me - all was well, all was perfect - couldn’t ask for anything more than this beautiful family we created!

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