My First Birth

Jody’s Birth  (excerpted from the book from Spiritual Midwifery

6 months pregnant, 1974

When Cara came she said it looked like I would be an easy baby-haver and she was expecting a good birthing. That really made me feel good and I agreed with her.

My rushes were five minutes apart and I was two and a half centimeters dilated when Cara came. She called two other ladies to come. When they got there they gave me an enema. I was sure glad of it, too.

Cara left. Denise and Carol let Douglas and me be alone and tell each other how much we love each other and get some energy happening. From time to time Carol or Denise would come and check to see how dilated I was.

I got to four or four and half centimeters and then didn’t seem to change much. I didn’t realize it then, but I think I was just waiting for Cara to come back.

I was surprised at how fast time was passing. I kept thinking, “I bet I have a baby before dark!” It was a very pretty sunny day and not too hot. It was also very peaceful. For that matter, the whole thing was so relaxed that I could hardly believe it
was real.

I half expected everyone to get up and leave, saying, “Dress rehearsal is over.”

When Cara came she told me to breathe very slowly during rushes, hold it, and exhale slowly. The next rush I went from four to seven centimeters!

Soon I started getting the urge to push. II was propped up in an almost sitting position with Douglas at my side. When Cara told me to push I was to raise my head up. take a deep breath, pull on the back of my legs and push.

As soon as pushing really got going, everything else vanished. My back had been hurting a little and my legs were cramped, but that went away.

Pushing was like swimming under water–when you want to come up for air you can usually stay just a little longer. So when l’d feel like giving up during a push, I’d say to myself, “Push a little harder, this may be the one!”

After a while I could see the head. It looked tiny. Once I was crowning, Cara wanted to take it slow so I wouldn’t tear. When the head was almost out Cara told me to pant so that I wouldn’t push (and she could check to be sure the cord wasn’t around the baby’s neck). I thought she was crazy, but it worked.

Then another push and out came the head. It sure did look big-bigger than the little thing we’d been seeing. I was watching in amazement. Another push (was I still pushing? It seemed so easy now!) and out came a shoulder, then the next shoulder and—wush—a baby!

He had started crying halfway out. Cara said, “lt’s a boy!” before I’d had time to notice. He peed before the cord was cut!

Douglas and I kept looking back and forth from each other to Jody. I felt like I could do anything – I felt so grateful and happy. Carol gave Jody to me after cleaning him up. What a nice baby!

He was born around 6:30 that evening and weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces. Cara told me l was a nice lady and thanked me for a good birthing.

I thanked the ladies and they gave me a hug and left the three of us together.

 

He cried a lot at first and wasn’t interested in nursing.

About eight hours later he stopped crying, and had his eyes open. He looked at me real hard and then started nursing.

Read My Second Birth

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