This mama had a stellar doula (her mom, Judith Nylander!), her husband, and a fantastic support team for her second birth — a water birth at St. Joe’s. Like so many mamas experience, birth took this mother into darkness and fear before coming out the other side with strength and joy. Whew! Giving birth is a wild and amazing ride, isn’t it, ladies?
Well done, Sarah! You DID IT!
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma
Hi Sarah & Blooma gals~
I never got around to documenting Rowan’s birth (who is now over 2 years old) and I have always regretted it. Here is the story of Sullivan’s arrival. I tried to scale it back but it’s pretty lengthy.
Although my guess date was Oct. 28, I knew in my heart that this little babe would arrive sometime after that. When Halloween came and went, then Nov. 1 came and went, I settled in and resolved to the fact that my “guess date” was off by a week or two. I was assured by my doctor (Dr. Sarah Hammes with Healtheast) that we wouldn’t talk about induction until a full two weeks past due. That gave me time to do everything in my power to NOT be induced. I love a good challenge!
I am blessed that my doula (and also mother) Judy Nylander was there for me in every way possible. I found it invaluable with both births to have her depth of experience and knowledge. She also suggested I do yoga and drink lots of raspberry leaf tea, which I drank buckets full of!
I was getting a little anxious as each day came and went but continued to attend yoga classes plus I got acupuncture and several acupressure massages from Deborah Savran, Amber Kay, & Meredyth Johnson. All very wonderfully relaxing but none “pushed” me into labor like I thought.
I was just about 10 days past my guess date when contractions started kicking in. They weren’t very painful but were about 3 minutes apart. My in-laws came over around 11 p.m. and we decided to have our doula meet us right at St. Joe’s instead of coming to our house.
I feel like I did a lot of the laboring at home while I was cleaning the bathroom and changing the sheets getting ready for my in-laws to come watch our son Rowan. Amazing the things you worry about when you should be focusing on the fact you’re going to have a baby soon!
When we got to St. Joes and got checked in I was about a 6-7 cm dilated but my cervix was still very high and posterior. I had some work to do so I spent the next 4-5 hours doing lunges, sitting on the birth ball, squatting, walking the halls, using the shower and tub in the room for comfort, and also grabbing onto my husband and using him to get through the painful ones.
The contractions kept coming about 2 minutes apart for hours but I still wasn’t dilated past an 8 or 9. The pain was tolerable, and between each contraction I was able to take a deep breath and talk. This was 100% different than my first birth where I experienced back labor and unrelenting pain.
Hours later when I hadn’t progressed, the doctor decided to break my water. The contractions kicked in stronger then & I was able to transition to the water birth room.
I was eager to get in the tub and push this baby out. I knew I could do it because I did one other time. I would say I was naive about the pain of natural childbirth but I had already done it, so how could that be? I was bowled over by the immense pain and went into a deep, dark place inside. Nothing from yoga or past experience was helping me in those worst moments. My husband, doula, and doctor all reassured me over the next two hours that I could do it, I was going to do it, that no one else could get my baby out. I had to be the one…
It was by far the hardest two hours of my life. I lost sight of the goal (pushing out a healthy baby) and focused instead on how much agony I was in and that “I couldn’t do it…” I felt so defeated and was giving up, but knew deep down that I couldn’t and had to keep going. I tried to deep breathe and moan through the pain but it overwhelmed me like a tidal wave. I’m embarrassed to say that I BEGGED for drugs, a shot, ANYTHING to put me out of my misery.
My “team” was strong and steadfast in their commitment to help me through my natural birth no matter what. That is EXACTLY what I needed, but nothing mattered to me in the worst moments. I was convinced I could no longer bear the pain. Then things changed somehow and there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
I finally felt the urgent need to push and there was no turning back. My mind switched off and my body took over (halleluiah!!). I pushed for about 30 minutes and got to pull my own sweet baby Sullivan out of the water. It was the scariest place I had ever been and it was such a tremendous relief to be out of it. Never in my life did I feel so strong and relieved.
Fast forward 8 weeks and as I look at his sweet smiling face, I am delighted that he came into the world in a warm tub of water in the early morning of Nov. 8, 2011 surrounded by a loving team of people and a tired and OH-SO-PROUD MAMA.
Thank you Sarah & all the women at Blooma.