The Birth of Cruz
Our featured birth story for today is from a fellow Austin photographer, Mariah Milan. Be sure to check her out!
Photos by Michele Anderson of Pinkle Toes Photography
Where did you give birth? In a birth center
Was your birth medicated or unmedicated? Unmedicated, VBAC, Waterbirth
Is this your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc child? 3rd
Who attended your birth? Nurse, Midwife
Overall, are you happy with your birth experience? My birth experience was incredible and amazing!!!
The day started out with the excitement of my son Kai Boy’s first day of preschool. We got lunches and extra clothes ready in the morning for both Ry and Kai and then Gams helped me get both kids to school.
On the way to the playground, I felt a little gush of fluid and figured I’d had a tear. So my midwife asked me to come up to be checked out. She figured that perhaps it was mucus and not amniotic fluid, but a check under the microscope proved that there was fluid and I had to stay at the birth center and start antibiotics since I had tested positive for Strep B. Since there was a tear in the sack, we had to get labor going because “P3″ had 24 hours to get out or I’d have to go to the hospital (for risk of bacteria getting in the sack).
The labor journey began with me by myself at the birth center attached to an IV getting antibiotics. Contractions hadn’t yet started and I was feeling a little nervous, but my midwife, Roswitha said she had some tricks up her sleeve and something was going to work to get labor going!
Gams picked up both kids from school and stayed with them while Peter drove up to the birth center after he woke up (he works a graveyard shift and sleeps all morning). We got settled into our room and Roswitha started me on some herbs and then hooked me up to a breast pump to stimulate contractions.
Contractions started out slowly but then got stronger. The big contractions began at 6:20pm and they were very intense. My favorite place to labor in the beginning was sitting on a green bouncy ball holding Peter’s hands (and squeezing them). At 9pm I was hooked up to IV again for another round of antibiotics and I had a very big contraction while I was on my back. Roswitha assisted the water bag breaking and I think it was one of the most intense contractions of the night. I felt like I wanted to leap out of my body! I was dilated to 6cm at this point.
Shortly afterward I got into the big tub to labor in warm water. The stream of the faucet of warm water felt good on my back and Peter sat on a stool by the side where I could hold his hands and squeeze them when I had contractions.
The contractions really started to hurt and I would squeeze Peter’s hands, close my eyes, and concentrate on focusing the contraction on the baby. I felt as if I were pushing the baby down and I could start to see my stomach changing shape.
It was after 10pm when Roswitha checked me again and I was 8cm. She said she was going to step out of the room for a moment since we still had time. But with the next contraction, I felt I had to bare down and I could feel the baby slide into position to come out. Peter yelled that he could see blood and he thought the baby was crowning. I felt down and could feel the babies head. The next contraction brought the baby even closer to being born and we called Roswitha back in. She was amazed that in only a few minutes I had gone from 8cm to now having the babies head almost out.
Getting his head out was challenging and hurt a lot. The baby had his arm wrapped around his head. Roswitha had to push his shoulder back in to move his arm. Once his head was out, I felt like all my energy had gone away. Everyone kept telling me to PUSH! but I felt like I was already pushing and nothing was happening. It was a very frustrating feeling for me. I had to catch my breath. So while everyone yelled to push, I just took a moment to catch my breath and then bared down again. In an instant, I went from feeling like “GET THIS BABY OUT!” to a rush of his body leaving my body into the water – like 20 pounds had been lifted right off my system. Cruz was born at 10:34pm.
Roswitha immediately placed the baby on my chest and he was covered in vernix and a familiar purple color. I gazed at the baby and immediately recognized the upper lip – the same as my own and Ryenne’s. I smiled. And then I lifted the leg to discover that I had a brand new baby boy.
I gazed up at Peter who looked amazed and in disbelief all at the same time. A proud look came upon his face – the nurse assistants all cheered. I felt great, exhausted, and cold all at the same time.
Peter cut the babies cord and then everyone helped me out of the tub and we went to the bed where the placenta was delivered. We discovered that the original tear in the sack was near the top. The placenta was healthy and the cord was thick and long. I couldn’t resist touching it. Such an amazing piece of equipment!
We had family bonding time and Cruz was a little lazy starting to nurse but then became a champ. We were discharged just after 4:45am and drove home where we tried to catch a few hours of ZZZ’s.
When I went upstairs at home, Ryenne was asleep but immediately woke when she saw me and told me how much she loves her new baby brother. Then later in the morning we introduced him to Kai and Kai’s first word was “Hi!” and then he said, “Baby!” and he gave him a kiss.
You can click here to view a slideshow of this birth on the Pinkle Toes Photography blog.