Posterior Home BirthDecember 17, 2019
Heidi’s Birth Story
This was my fifth birth and all my predictions were wrong. It was weird and long and late because I had been sick. I was used to early or on time babies. There were many “firsts” for me in this labor.
It’s hard to say when labor started because I had prodromal labor for about three weeks. During one of these prodromal episodes on Tues 3/26, 11 am, while standing and folding laundry it felt like some water had leaked. During my other births, my water broke as the head came out and one was born in the sac, so this was one new “first” for me. I went to the bathroom and then spent some time sitting in the sun. I twisted a little in my seat and soaked my pants and went inside to change. It was a high leak so I texted my midwife but knew there was no rush.
Another new experience for me was using a breast pump for nipple stimulation. My contractions went from about 15-20 minutes apart to consistently three minutes apart and a lot stronger. They continued like this. What helped me at this point was to say a simple “welcome” to each contraction.
My husband had gotten the kids in bed and we called for the Midwife and two student midwives to come. They placed the IV at 9 pm. Labor started to stall around 11 pm and for a second we were asking ourselves “what’s the rush, this doesn’t have to happen today.” Then we all remembered about the water being broken.
My midwife suggested I do another round with the breast pump, and the contractions came back stronger, picking up to 3 minutes apart. It felt uncomfortable, but what helped me was to say “this sensation is bringing my baby closer.”
Laying down at all became unbearable. Although I was so tired, I stayed standing for the rest of the labor. I spent a lot of time at the edge of the counter, resting my head on my arms and sleeping between contractions.
At about 6 am I told the student midwife I could almost feel the urge to push, but not yet. Then the midwives said that the baby’s heart rate was dipping too much. She asked if she could check me to see if I could start pushing. After leaking amniotic fluid for 12 hours, lo and behold, there was a bulging bag of waters in front of his head, too! I was at 10cm, but along with being posterior, the bulging bag made me feel like I didn’t need to push. And he was also pretty high. My midwife wanted me to push with contractions, but I REALLY did not want to! I had always “pushed with my body” before, so this was another first. I tried lots of different positions to “fake push!” This hurt and I wasn’t giving it my full umpf and my midwife could tell. This is when I wanted her support, she would say,” you gotta push through it, you can give it more”. I think this went on for 1.5 hours. We weren’t sure if I had broken the bag of fluid in front of his head and she checked again. It was still there, but he was a little lower. We thought it was time for her to break the water. But because of his position, she had me lay on my right side with the top leg held up by me and somebody else. After a couple “pretend pushes,” I finally got the natural URGE to push. Yay!
The contractions became longer and further apart, so I had to really push for his head, which came out sunny side up (another first). Then we waited a long time for the next contraction to get his body out. The next contraction finally came and broke the bag of fluid, which gushed over his face and went up to his little nose. (The midwives wiped it off, and he was fine. He just spent the next few days getting it out of his lungs.) Finally, his body was out and I got to hold him!
Jonah Amir (“Dove Proclaimed”) Zeisler, born 3/27 9:14 am.
8lb 9oz. 21” long. 14.5” head circumference.
In the midst of all of this, I cannot describe the amount of peace and comfort that I feel. I am being cradled into Father God’s arms and I am watching this transformation and life grow in ground scorched with grief and pain.
When my daughter crowned I could feel the stretch (ring of fire) and would describe it as the feeling of an Indian rug burn but I knew that I wanted to let it stretch and focused on relaxing.
Instead of countless fearful and helpless hours spent numbed and strapped in bed, at the mercy of the medical staff’s orders, our birth was a joyful, intimate, sacred experience — a powerfully bonding journey for me, for Greg, and for Anna.