October 17, 2009

The Long Awaited Birth Story

Wow! So our little girl is now almost four months old and I still can't get over the story of her amazing birth. It was so overwhelmingly breathtaking. I tell complete strangers my feat of smarts and strength. I usually am wearing baby when I tell them and they see how safe and sound she is.

To start off with, Gabriel was born two and a half weeks over due. Almost all of the children in my family are "over-due". I expected my next baby to follow suit. Thank God Cory is a good Eagle Scout and always comes prepared for any situation. He was so worried that she would come earlier than expected and I would panic and therefore be in pain.

We were on Cory's family reunion in
Colter Bay Wyoming, right out of Jackson Hole for the 4th of July week. For those of you who don't know, I was burned on the 4th of July when I was four. Needless to say I abhor the holiday, so when I woke that morning with cramps I never thought that day would bring anything but a painful reminder. I will never again look at the day and not have a memory that that outshines such a dark day of my past. This is something known as perfect timing.

Cory was set for a short river rafting trip with his father and I wished him well, thinking the whole time my cramping would lessen. Doubting myself and not wanting to believe I was truly in labor for fear of slowing it down. When I went to the bathroom I discovered I was having my bloody show. Ever so excited and at the same time a little scared I came out and tried to call Mr.
Coryson. Leave it to him to have left his cell phone on the nightstand charging in case I went into labor. I went over to Trevor, his younger brother, to see if their dad Earl had his cell phone. Without a doubt he had left his phone too. Luckily their uncle had his phone on him and they had not left camp yet.

Cory came inside the cabin so excited and started bustling around like a mother hen setting up our birth tub in a box. (A gift on loan from our midwife back home in Oregon, who in her opinion thought I was cutting it far too close traveling so close to my due date.) He was the master of Duct Tape, a poorly fitting hose and shower setup. I thought it was far too early to begin setting things up, but knew it wasn't hurting anything. Besides it gave him something to do.

I took a walk with Gabriel and Earl to speed up my contractions. Gabriel babbled on about bugs, trees and rocks. It was just lovely, knowing everything was going to plan and also having my family around me. But at the same time, knowing just how conventional Cory's family can be at times was a little hard. Never the less they were all very supportive and caring, only wanting the very best for me and the baby. Offering to drive us into Jackson to be near the hospital, or into Idaho to a midwife run birth clinic, or the direct number for the paramedics should anything go awry.

After a while it started to begin to bring fear into my mind. I spoke with Cory about it and he took charge, telling family they could voice their concerns all they wanted. Just as long as it was away from the cabin so that we couldn't hear it. It rocked that he handled everything so I could focus on what my body was doing and birth our baby.

I bounced and rocked on my birth ball, listened to music, joking with Cory that I should pick out music I might like in the birth. It was something on my to-do list that I hadn't gotten around to yet. After a little while that tub started to looked oh-so-nice to me. I stripped, got in and Cory and I started to play rummy with each other. Card shark I am I kicked his ass in the two hands I could focus. Kudos to me! After those couple of hands I had to let my game go and just rock my body in the tub. I let the water ease me into each moment.

As soon as I shifted my frame of mind from pain to "An Interesting Sensation" it all changed for me. While it was never "Oh my God! Help! Save me, this hurts so bad!" (Like it was with birthing Gabriel.) It wasn't fun in that moment. When my thoughts changed, it became so easy. Drifting from one moment to the next, rocking on my hands and knees, feeling and breathing. I became this centered core listening to myself. The apprehension fell away and I floated in the water. My contractions were cool in the way that a large one would come and the next would be small. I was able to manage and breath and best of all know that everything was okay. That part was fun! F***ing glorious is what it was! Water rocks! I highly recommend it to EVERYONE!

It was so nice to have our family all around us. Most people had left the day before and another bunch earlier that morning. We never had to worry if Gabriel was taken care of or if he was receiving enough attention. That day he swam at the pool and watched a movie, hanging out with his Uncle Trevor and Grandpa Earl. I felt so at ease knowing if we needed any assistance all we had to do was shout.

After a hour and a half in the tub I went to the restroom and entered transition. Oh that sucked being out of my nice warm tub! I got scared for a moment going to the bathroom. I wiped and saw blood. I asked Cory if that was all right and he said yes. (You kind of loose your brains while in labor. Looking back I can say, "Well of course it was okay! It was just the last bit of cervix melting away." But in that moment I saw blood and got scared.) I am eternally grateful that Cory kept his wits and calm through the birth. He believes in birth, which is so beautiful, but best of all was educated in what birth can look like.

I wanted Aunt Alison to be there with me, so we called her on the phone and she came right over. I was just getting back in the tub when she arrived. She is an
E.R. nurse and is one of the kindest women I have ever met. I love Ali! I gravitated to her like a charged magnet. Cory said later, he was so glad to have her there, so I would have a women with me a that time. Her energy just felt so good and right. She kept telling me I was doing perfectly and that I was okay. Her being a mother and a women, I just trusted her judgment completely.

She and Cory spoke quietly while I labored. Cory showed her where the birth supplies were. She told us she thought it would be a wait before the baby was here. Under ten minutes later I gave birth to our daughter. Little did she know! Ha!

I felt inside and could feel the head inside about two inches from the brink of born. I didn't want to push too early but then there was just this urge. I allowed my body to control everything. I cried out once and the babes head came though. Alison started screaming, "You did it! You did it!" Cory and I both shushed her, knowing that it wasn't over yet. It made us smile seeing her reaction.

I asked if I could push again, but Cory asked me to wait. He felt around her neck for the cord and told me it was clear and I could push when I was ready. I looked down and saw a baby looking back at me, blinking under the water, a rosebud mouth in a little oh! The next rush came and I yelped as her shoulders passed though. Then Cory and I both brought this baby up to the air. I asked for the time, Cory asked what sex it was, and Alison was smiling ear to ear. It was 4:04 pm on the Fourth of July and a little girl was born to us in a cabin in the middle of the woods. We named her Malachi Rose Tanner. I cut her cord, while Cory held her and Alison spoke on the phone with our midwife.

Weeks later Cory told me if I wanted anything more from that birth I would just be being greedy and I have to admit he may have been right. I didn't tear, I was up and around right afterwards, barely sore. I had an unassisted birth and it was just beautiful! I was never put on my back, tied to machines, or told that my body wasn't working properly or that my baby was in danger and may die. I was supported and loved. I was a SUPER GODDESS for that moment! I rocked it baby! Our daughter is none the worse for it and yet again it just proves that BIRTH WORKS!

Thank The Trees 4 Faries

These photographs have made Cory and I just smile. Malachi looks like a little woodland fairy.

Malachi @ Four Weeks

At long last our photo's have arrived.