Gentle Birth Childbirth Education
teaching the Bradley Method®
My labor with Thea began on a Thursday and didn't end until early Monday morning. It was 77 hours of active labor. From the onset of labor, contractions consistently got closer together, longer, and stronger. I had a few interventions that we hadn't planned on. I wasn't eating or drinking well, so they gave me an IV, labor was slow-going so I had my bag of waters broken. Throughout it all, I had a doula and my husband as my labor support people. I highly recommend everyone hire a doula, especially if planning a hospital birth. After 26 hours of pushing, Thea was born at 2:42 AM weighing 9 lb. 5 oz. & 23 1/4 inches long. We left the birth center about 10 hours after giving birth.
Astrid's birth was, of course, very different. First of all, it was at home! Second of all, she came at 42 weeks! Third of all the onset of labor was not necessarily active right away. It was kind of putsy-putsy for 2 days, where I'd have contractions as close as 6 minutes apart, then as far as 20-30 minutes apart. So pretty irregular. On Monday morning around 3:30, I woke up for good after sleeping in between contractions all night. And around 6 AM, they became very regular and consistent at 5 minutes apart lasting 60-90 seconds. We called our doula to come over at that point because we needed some extra help with Thea. When she arrived around 6:30 I had my bloody show. Our midwives came over at 9. This labor was much shorter! I pushed for 1 hour 45 minutes, and Astrid was born at 2:59 PM, weighing 9 lb. 9 oz, 21 3/4 inches. We let Thea join us in the birth tub after she was born and she was in love right away; we all were, of course! Total active labor was about 9 hours. We were able to get right into our own bed and rest comfortably right away.
Kiva's birth was another long one. Similarly to Astrid's, it was 2 days of irregular contractions varying from 5-20 minutes apart. On Sunday afternoon, we went for a long hike at Unity Village & I had 3 good contraction in a 45-minute period. When we returned home, the girls helped rub my back throughout the contractions while I walked around the house & leaned over the counter or against Chad's chest. Chad got the tub set up. We called the doula over around 3:30 when I could no longer cope through the contractions without the assistance of Chad. Our midwife came over around 7 PM & she had another mama also in labor at the same time. This labor was very intense. I was feeling discouraged that it was going so slowly, as perhaps I had expectations that it should be faster since I'd done it twice before. Mentally, I had a lot to overcome during this birth. My midwife left around 9:30 to attend the other birth & it was just our doula & Chad & me. The big sisters were asleep by then. I labored in & out of the tub, walked around our house a lot, up & down the stairs, did some rebozo work & had a really hard time getting comfortable. I also think that because my midwife was not there, my mind wouldn't let my body have the baby until she came back. When she arrived back at our house around 1:45 am, it wasn't long before I went upstairs to our room where the tub was set up, & was ready to push. I climbed up on my bed to labor in hands & knees & I suddenly felt immense pressure & knew the baby was coming! I got into the tub & our doula went to wake up the girls so they could see their baby sister be born. After 3 pushes, she came out. I caught her & brought her up to my chest. Her color was great, she sounded great! Born on November 11, 2013 at 2:10 AM, weighing 10 lbs & measuring 21 inches long. My hardest birth & biggest baby, but the easiest one to push out & the easiest-going one personality wise.
The Births of Thea Mayat, Astrid Veda, & Kiva Tatum