We were willing Bodhi to come on his due date, and so the day before, we set out to make it happen. We had a spicy dinner and Todd massaged my labor pressure points with some Clary Sage essential oil. Not to mention doing a few other things everyone had recommended. I did not have any contractions on the 16th at all and I was generally comfortable so I was not anticipating him to come anytime soon. However, at 2:30am I had a few contractions and by 3am my water broke. I began with contractions 3-4 min. apart and had aparently entered straight into active labor. Melissa, one of our midwives, arrived around 4am to help. Todd had filled the tub for me, and I was in the water doing my hypnobirthing relaxation where I made my body limp, totally relaxed and let Bodhi and my uterus do what they naturally will do in these situations. The contractions were intense. For me it felt like strong menstral cramps in the front of my pelvis with about as much squeezing pain as I could tolerate. The intensity increased more and more. I was envisioning flower petals blooming, telling my body to open, and focusing on surrendering and letting go. I moved from the tub to the bed to the bathroom. I was all over searching for some position that may bring more relief. I felt like I had to pee all the time so I kept going to the toliet, and that sitting position did seem at times to make it more tolerable. The place I could relax the best was in the tub, though it became increasing harder to stay limp. The pain was so intense that at I often wondered if I could bear any more. Would this baby ever come? Could I be strong enough to endure? At one point I think my contractions spaced out to perhaps 5 minutes and I tried to dozed in between. With having to pee all the time and with some relief on the toilet, I stationed myself in the bathroom and I layed on the floor between contractions. That did not last long before I moved again. Heidi and Laura arrived late morning to help as well and between the 3 midwives and Todd I felt encouraged. Todd kept telling me I could do it. I went back to the tub and Todd got in with me. He sat behind me supporting me and whispering encouragement in my ear. He was so loving and kind and never doubted me. Around noon or so things became so intense that I could no longer relax during the contractions so I joined my body in active pushing. The pain radiated through my pelvis and down my thighs. I was nauseous through most of my labor though I only threw up a little bit. I had a bucket always on hand. I could not eat much but I drank water with coconut water in it through out for electrolytes. I was shaking at times from I don’t know what, crying at other times, and screaming and grunting like a wild animal by the end. It was so hard to get Bodhi through that narrow passage way into this world. I could feel his little head when it was getting close. I would push and push with all my might, and it seens he would move a bit and then retract back inside. My midwives said to take a deep breath, hold it and push as long and hard as I could. It was exhausting. They often suggested I get out of the tub and try different things to perhaps help open my hips. They suggested the shower so I made the move to go there. When I tried to move the contractions would come fast. I had one while getting out to the tub as I grasped on the side while on my knees. Then moving down the hallway another rushed in and dropped me to my knees. I made it to the shower and Todd supported me from behind while I labored through a few more with the warm water flowing over me. I hurt profoundly so I went back to the tub. When his head was close and I was pushing hard, I knew we were getting there, though it seemed it may never happen. Another effort to move things along took me to the birthing stool with its foam padded rails. Todd sat on the couch behind me leaning against a birthing ball as he was working hard too, and I pushed and pushed. Bodhi seemed to be stuck trying to get through my small pelvis which despite my flower blooming imagery, did not seem to be expanding to accommodate this process. So off to the bed we went for a new position which I won’t go into much detail about. I will say I think there were 3 people supporting me and with much effort some progress was made. With his head emerging I waddled back to the pool to finish it. My work was not done yet. I dug deep, deeper than I knew was possible, pushing with all my might. I hoped I could keep up the effort and not collapse in exhaustion. And so I did, his head emerged looking like an avocado with its deformation to get through there. His little hand was up around his neck making the next move painful and challenging as well. I pushed and groaned and yelled some more and out he came. I was completely spent. I went limp with closed eyes and held this little baby on my belly with my husband hugging us both. With a short cord we had to gently work him up to my chest. I was happy he was out of my belly and we were okay, but I was exhausted to the point were I could feel little else. We waited there in the tub, the 3 of us for the placenta to come which took about 45 minutes and another burst of energy to get out. What a relief. We did it. And to have this little baby there on my heart melting me even in my tiredness. I felt so grateful. Todd held Bodhi and I made it to the bed shivering uncontrollably . Then Bodhi came to lie with me skin to skin to bond and cuddle. Todd showered and came to be with us. A new family. Bodhi looked a little strange with his oblong head, but the midwives assured us it would return to normal within a few days. I thanked him for molding his head so much to get out into this world. What a joy to have him here!!!
Childbirth was harded than I imagined it would be for me. And in the end, I learned that I am capable of more than I realized. I experienced that when it things get unbearable I can survive. I recognize in myself a strength that I believe will carry me through many hard times as a parent. So what I say to others heading down this path, is that you can do it. We are powerful beyond our beliefs. When you want to give up, push on. When it you reach your edge, your edge moves further away. And in experiencing this you will know you can suceed in anything!