Note from BirthBuddy Doula:
This lovely mother very graciously allowed me to share her birth story as the second excerpt for our birth stories series! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did, and take a bit of inspiration from it that whatever is supposed to happen, will. Enjoy!
Note: I hesitated to share my birth story because it went so well, it might make some people sad if theirs didn’t. if it makes a difference, please note that my first son’s birth was entirely different involving pitocin, episiotomy, and a baby born limp and blue (he’s fine now). I still plan to reclaim the positive aspects of that birth and write them up as well, but thats work for another day.
WARNING includes mention of bodily excretions
Shortly before yom haatzmaut, I prepared a folder which I put in my hospital bag. I put multiple copies of my birth plan, a list of birth affirmations, including one poster size, which i planned to hang in my hospital room. It was a pasuk comparing a laboring woman to zion bringing in the geula. I felt strongly that I was going to give birth on that day. The pasuk is
האני אשביר ולא אוליד אמר [השם]? אם אני המליד ועצרתי אמר אלהיך.
JPS: “Shall I who bring on labor not bring about birth?” says the lord. “Shall I who cause birth shut the womb?” says your god . there were other pesukim about how quick and miraculous it would be* but i didn’t choose them because i was afraid i might find them discouraging and not believable should i have a long slow labor.
Well the day came and went and I didn’t give birth.
But the next day Friday at 7AM i woke up feeling rhythmic cramps. this was not unusual but an hour later they hadn’t gone away. The house was a complete wreck so I started to straighten it up, which wasn’t easy because it began to feel like a painful period but i wanted a nice space to labor in, even though i was planning to go to the hospital.
After a while i started to feel that i couldn’t clean up the house anymore. My husband came back and tried to call the babysitter for our toddler. he tried a few times. No answer! What should we do? I told him not to worry because we still had some time to go.
The contractions were getting stronger although they were still spaced relatively far apart.I called my doula and told her i was getting to the point where i needed some support. She said she’d be on her way to my house. In the meantime I decided to get in the bath. I tried to remember the list of affirmations, songs, and pesukim I had placed in my hospital tik. Of the whole list I could remember just one! So I used that one, although now, i can not for the life of me remember which one it was! i do remember it was a song and during each contraction i hummed it to myself in my head because i didn’t feel able to actually sing it out loud.
My man saw me and told me he thought i should be getting to the hospital but i told him i still had a long way to go! during my last birth when i had been feeling contractions like these i had been only two centimeters! I figured i was coping way too well to be very far along.
I was rather excited to get into the bath because when planning for birth, i was totally fixated that i absolutely HAD to have a bath.well i started to fill up the bath but the water had barely gotten past my legs when the hot water ran out!
So much for what you believe you MUST have in birth and in life!
When my doula arrived I was resting on the bed with a tens machine, looking cool as a cucumber. the contractions were getting stronger but they were still spaced somewhat apart. we both figured thought i had a few hours left to go!
it was getting harder and harder to relax in between the contractions. I heard my toddler crying Ima, Ima from the other room until his dad went to get him. Thoughts started to occur to me that maybe i couldn’t do much longer. how much longer could I get myself to relax and focus on my affirmation?? “what would be so bad about an epidural” I thought. perhaps it was time to go to the hospital. my doula told me she thought it was time. But I didn’t want to move and i couldn’t stand the thought of people bothering me and hands prodding me!
Suddenly i felt these very very strong contractions.but it wasn’t so much the pain that was so awful as the feeling that my bladder was about to explode and not only that but my bowel too! instinctively i began to crouch to the floor between each contraction.
I then realized that i needed to relax and not try to hold my bladder and my bowels in or i was going to experience the most horrible pain ever. the only way out was for me to allow my insides to relax completely come what may. So the next contraction i focused on relaxing my insides, but “HELP! I’M GOING TO POOP!” but i had no choice! i had to relax and let it come out. and come out it did onto the floor!
My husband cleaned it. my doula acted like this was the coolest thing in the world. She was so cool about it that I wasn’t embarrassed. But I started to cry! “are you crying about the poop?” my doula asked.
“no” i answered. and it was true! i wasnt. but i couldn’t expain why. “i just… i feel different. i feel wierd.” but before anything could happen, another contraction came and with it a gush! my water burst.
“You’re having this baby now!” my doula said and told me to go on the bed.
“NO, I DON’T WANT TO GO ON THE BED,” I hollered: Then came another contraction.
“I see its head!” she said.
“I DONT BELIEVE YOU!”
“Don’t push!” she said, getting a little bit frantic.
“I’M NOT PUSHING!” I screamed. I really wasn’t! But my throat was grunting on its own and my insides were doing their own thing! And suddenly the grunt turned into a huge animal scream.
I realized that my doula was right! I got on the bed and assumed the same crouch. I felt my baby’s head against my perineum. And suddenly “it’s out” my doula said.
With the head out, I knew I had to push the body out ASAP. I tried to give a mighty push, like I remembered from my previous birth, but the push wouldn’t come. It was like when you are having a dream and you try to scream and you open your mouth and nothing comes, perhaps just a weak whisper. The push wouldn’t come! My body was just doing its own thing. And just a few seconds later my doula was handing me my little boy, still attached to me by his cord!
He was pink all over. He was crying vigorously. Last but not least, he had a full head of black hair.
Magen David came bouncing in about 7 or 8 people like a small army. (My doula and husband had called at them at some point). They seemed rather disappointed that they had nothing to do.
I agreed to transfer to the hospital, where I got some stitching done. The care my son and I received was courteous and respectful of my wishes.
Deep down I had wanted a homebirth all along. I was too scared to pursue it. The lesson I learn from this whole story, is to follow one’s heart.
But I got yet another surprise when I looked at the calendar. Yom Haatzmaut was yesterday but my calendar said HEH IYAR. How could that be??? It turned out that Yom Haatzmaut is supposed to be that date but had been moved over so people can party harder on Thursday instead of Erev Shabat ;)
So our son was indeed born on the birthday of the state of Israel, I had given birth like Zion, easily and miraculously, as predicted by the pesukim that I was afraid to even include*. We named our son Yinon, a name I had fallen in love with in the middle of my pregnancy. It is a name that is associated with the Mashiach and the Geulah. May the full geulah be realized easily and miraculously as well.
*בטרם תחיל וילדה בטרם יבוא חבל לה והמליטה זכר. מי שמע כזאת,מי ראה כאלה? היוחל ארץ ביום אחד אם יולד גוי פעם אחת- כי חלה גם ילדה ציון את בניה. ישעיהו סו
Copyrighted material, reprinted with permission by the author.