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Freya’s Birth Story

August 23, 2018

I do love birth stories, because each one is different and yet so many parts are relatable to many others.  Freya’s birth story isn’t terribly unique, but has some fun surprises.  Well, they’re fun now.  They were decidedly NOT fun at the moment.  I digress…

Sunday was a full day – church in the morning, a big dinner at my parents’ house with Matthew’s dad and his wife, and his brother, who were all in town visiting (hoping to time it with baby, but so far it was not working out), then we middle generation left the older and younger (grandparents and grandkids) to go play some virtual reality at the work site, because the crazy sensations may have started false labor a week prior.  I was five days overdue and many many weeks over being pregnant.  I had been in maternity clothes since 11 weeks along, experiencing more discomfort and pain than in any of my previous pregnancies, and fairly desperate since all usual tricks had, so far, not started any labor.

After the VR game, which was AWESOME and if you’re local to the Boise area, please go play it – you will not regret it.  It was time to head back for our evening church service, followed by a late night in the driveway around a fire with all the Linds in town.  We crashed into bed around midnight, tired but content with a fun day behind us.

At 4:15am a strong contraction woke me.  I didn’t really think much of it, since that had been happening on and off all week.  But another one came along about eight minutes later and I had a sneaking suspicion that it might be real labor starting.  I laid there and waited and sure enough, another came along.  So, I got up and went downstairs to have a bowl of cereal.  I knew eating while I could would be critical to the energy I would need later, when eating wouldn’t be possible.  I then headed into the shower, since I could still smell the smoke of the fire from the previous night in my hair.  Then, contractions still coming every eight or so minutes, strong enough to make me pause whatever I was doing and focus on them, I decided to follow the advice about taking a bath.  I’d been told, and experienced, that if you have some regular contractions and take a warm bath, they’ll either stop, or become more regular.  Just a few minutes into my bath, a contraction came on so strong that I had to make some noise just to get through it.  So, it was time to get into action and wake Matthew.  I hadn’t awakened him yet because 1) there wasn’t really anything I needed him to do and 2) I knew the more sleep he got, the better help he’d be when I needed it.

By now it was 6am.  He showered (because, smoke) and grabbed some food while I crawled back into bed.  I was tired from so little sleep and dozed between contractions.  Matthew called his dad about coming from the hotel to the house to watch the kids and called the midwives about what they would prefer – my contractions weren’t super close together yet, but we were reaching the point in the day of Monday morning traffic between us and the birth center.

We left the house at 7am as my contractions were fairly strong and about five minutes apart.  I couldn’t talk or do anything while I was having them, but between them all was chill and we enjoyed a smokey drive, mostly ahead of the rush hour traffic into Boise.

We arrived just I had a the strongest contraction yet, finished it in the car, and got inside.  A midwife I had really enjoyed getting to know during my appointments would be the lead for the birth, and an intern and a student that had been at several of my appointments would there as well (or maybe they are both students? Or interns? Libby and Camille – I apologize at how uninformed I am).  They got me and the baby all checked in – vitals taken, needs met, supplies out, and then left us to labor along.

One challenge presented itself: baby was facing the wrong way.  While head down, the baby was facing toward my front, instead of my back.  This doesn’t make labor impossible, just much, much more difficult.  Babies’ heads are designed to fit one way, and pushing it out “backwards” would be difficult.  However, there were some positioning exercises we could do during the contractions that may help turn baby around the right way.

So, we did those, ate some food, took some walks outside, and generally the contractions got stronger, but were consistently 3-4 minutes apart.  I was starting to get a bit fatigued and a little worried that I didn’t seem to be making progress with the timing between my contractions – they didn’t seem to be getting closer together, like I hoped.  I got in the big birthing tub, and it helped relax me.  I felt the contractions getting stronger and stronger, but they weren’t coming closer together.  I was tiring quickly and stressing a bit that, through it all, they still weren’t closer than 3 minutes and that baby was still facing the wrong way.

I opted to get out of the tub because I felt too hot and because I wasn’t 100% sure I was ready to push.  My body wanted me to push through the contractions, it suddenly seemed easier than powering through them, but I was really hoping to get the all clear that I was 10cm dilated and I was REALLLLLLY hoping to have the “normal” rolling contractions, that just don’t seem to have a break between them, that makes pushing go so efficiently.

I got almost none of that.  When one of the midwives went to check dilation, I felt my water break, and they were fairly certain that I and baby were ready to push.  And I felt better pushing through the contractions than anything else, but man, I was tired and didn’t feel like I was pushing efficiently.  I have birthed all of my babies on my back.  Yes, I know that this isn’t the most natural position and I could do a lot by having gravity work for me, but I just don’t like it.  And with being tired and feeling like there was more work ahead than I had energy to handle, I especially didn’t want to have the additional task of holding myself up on my hands and knees or any other position.

I did try it for a while, though, at the advice of the midwives.  But, I just didn’t feel like it was helping.  This part of the birth story is difficult to write, because it was simply a lot of effort that can’t be put into words, and slow results.  The pushing seemed to be helping, and at one point a head was announced – but it wasn’t the head!  It was the baby’s sac!  The sac was coming out, like a balloon.  I realize this is a bit of a crazy mental picture, but from a birth standpoint, it is quite interesting.  The sac, seemed to be intact, despite feeling my water break earlier.  This was likely making for even more resistance, combined with baby facing the wrong way, in getting baby down and out of the birth canal.

Eventually, after about an hour (!!!), there was a small amount of progress.  I was losing steam quickly, but knew I needed to literally push through.  Someone told me to lean in, with my chin to my chest, and curl around the baby to push.  And guess what – that worked!  And not only that, but by some miracle, the baby TURNED into the proper position as she came out.  The head came out within two pushes, then my whole body paused.  I’m told her eyes were opened and she was looking around (and her heart rate stayed totally normal – she was so chill with what was happening).  Finally, still waiting nearly two minutes between contractions, I had another one and pushed her out.

Of course, this was the first we learned that she was, indeed, a SHE.  I was so incredibly shocked.  I was also so much more relieved at being done than I have been with previous labors.  I would probably say that this was my most difficult with around an hour and a half of very difficult pushing.  Previously, I had pushed out babies within a few minutes and a few easy pushes.  So, to be done, was such a greater felt relief.

There was a bit more blood than they liked, so they gave me a shot of pitocin to stop it just in case it wasn’t going to stop (it did, whether due to the pitocin or just stopping, I’m not sure).  The placenta took it’s time to come out and required more pushing, which was not pleasant.

Matthew was the most amazing birth coach and he delivered Freya once her head was out.  Of course, he cut the cord once it stopped pulsing, but that allowed him to finally hold her.  My favorite news of the day, besides a healthy baby, was that I didn’t need stitches for the first time ever.  Woo hoo!  I’m also pleased, and even proud, at having a successful VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarian).  C-sections have their place and I’m grateful for mine, but recovery is often so much simpler without surgery.

And so, we finished all the final checks and headed out about two hours after the birth.  Once it was over, I’m glad to say that it was over.  Freya is doing wonderfully.  She’s eating and sleeping like a champ and seems just as chill as ever.

Thank you for your many prayers during my pregnancy and her birth.  We are so excited to be able to call our family complete with her arrival and so excited she has joined us.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 23, 2018 0829

    Sounds like Freya wanted to come forehead first (posterior). My fourth came that way and most of contractions were in My back(baby’s spine against mom’s). Glad you were at a hospital where you could do a V-Back. Some smaller hospitals won’t take the chance. Louisa had a vback. So you and she experienced both types. Glad it’s all over and you did well. So did Matthew!

    • August 23, 2018 0829

      I was at a birth center, not even a hospital, with midwives. It all varies by state and license and insurance regulations.

  2. DEBORAH H. SPANN permalink
    August 24, 2018 0829

    Thanks for sharing! I don’t know how you had time to write all that…So glad it was LOTS better than the last one. The last one was a horror story. Debby Spann

    From: The Lind Family To: dhspann1@bellsouth.net Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2018 9:46 PM Subject: [New post] Freya’s Birth Story #yiv1080796467 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv1080796467 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv1080796467 a.yiv1080796467primaryactionlink:link, #yiv1080796467 a.yiv1080796467primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv1080796467 a.yiv1080796467primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv1080796467 a.yiv1080796467primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv1080796467 WordPress.com | Matthew & Lisa Lind posted: “I do love birth stories, because each one is different and yet so many parts are relatable to many others.  Freya’s birth story isn’t terribly unique, but has some fun surprises.  Well, they’re fun now.  They were decidedly NOT fun at the moment.  I digre” | |

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