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Luna my Nursling

1 yr old Luna Raye in 2006

It was 10:00 pm on the night of Valentine’s, February 14, 2005. My husband, Casey, and I were in the middle of doing our taxes, my final item on my ‘to do’ list before baby comes, and my water broke. Actually, I thought I had just lost a little bladder control, because it was such a small amount. But from our last experience, Casey said, ‘It’s probably your water, better put a towel underneath you just in case. Good thing we did because after a few more entries on our tax form the big gush came.

This was it! 10:00pm on the nose and we are in labor. My contactions were pretty mild and irregular. We had already sort of packed, but still needed to pack toiletries and snack stuff. We started to get that figured out, but then my contractions began to get very intense. I was on all fours rocking back and forth with my birthing ball. It was only 10:45pm and progressing much faster than my memory of my son Tevan’s birth.

We called our Midwife, Suzanne Ryan, and told her of our progress. At this point they were coming every few minutes and lasting about 30 seconds, but very intense and requiring a lot of relaxation on my part. We decided to hang out a while and call her with some changes. We called her about 20 minutes later, with every 2 or 3 minutes and lasting 30-45 seconds. I couldn’t talk anymore and wouldn’t move from my position on the ball. All of this is a great sign, but defineately a sign of a fast labor and, for us, time to go to the hospital.

This was serious and much faster than Tevan’s birth. My excellent coach, Casey was busy applying counter pressure to my hips and back, as I was experiencing a good deal of pressure in those areas. And in between contractions, only about 1 minute of time, he was bustling around getting us packed in the car.

Now we had to wait for my mom to get there, so Tevan, our 2 1/2 year old, could come with us. We had planned on him being there for the birth, and he was so excited when we awoke him and told him, Luna was coming. It was time for mommy to push the baby out….’uughggggh’ as he would say. Mom got there in just the nick of time. It was now about 11:40pm and I was now shaking and shivering, both signs of transition. Especially since it had happened that way in our last birth just about an hour before Tevan was born.

The car ride was pretty difficult. I was having lots of rectal pressure and sitting in a car only applied more pressure, which feels awful. Casey had heated a flaxseed pillow and put that on my lower back during the car ride and that helped. Contractions aren’t fun in the car when you can’t get into a comfortable position. We got to the hospital and I grabbed my ball and rolled it along the parking gargage and into Emergency at Research.

It was now Midnight. Suzanne was meeting us there. I had a few contractions on the way, one in the Emergency waiting room, one in the elevator, one in the hall of Labor and Delivery and then finally we were in our room. Start the water in the tub! We had been planning a waterbirth, so we needed that tub filled.

Suzanne was there and we listened to the heartbeat with a doptone and hopped in the tub. We didn’t have any IV or hep lock, or monitors and no vaginal checks. Our son, my parents, sister, brother, best friend, and Casey’s parents were all there, so we were ready.

My contractions were still coming every 2-3 minutes and only lasting 30-45 seconds, but soooo intense. “Short and hard”, as Suzanne said. The water felt great. It took the edge of the pressure, but I still needed Casey to apply the counter pressure with every contraction. I suddenly felt like throwing up. So I did. This was a good sign, we knew. Flushing out the system. We knew we were close.

I was now shivering and shaking uncontrollably and making all sorts of vocal noises, some rather rude language might have slipped out too. Casey tells me that after some of the ‘rudeness’, I said ‘Excuse my language’. Pretty funny. It was now about 12:45am and I was feeling even more pressure and was grunting in order to avoid pushing since I didn’t have an overwhelming urge to push yet!

Now Suzanne did the first vaginal check I had ever had the entire pregnancy. I was fully dilated with a little anterior lip. So now I got into the asymetric squat in the tub, in order to wiggle that lip away. Now it was time. It was about 1:15am and I couldn’t do anything but push. So push I did. I was squatting in the tub, with Casey, my mom and Suzanne taking turns applying pressure on my back and hips and giving me a drink and just supporting me.

Just as Luna was crowning I went through some self-doubt. I kept saying, ‘I can’t do it, it’s too hard etc’. And everyone spoke words of confidence and got me through that brief couple of minutes of doubt. Then with another big push, out came our baby’s head. I felt under the water and couldn’t believe there it was. Ok, time to do the rest. One more big push and there was our baby. Casey caught Luna under the water and I pulled Luna up to me. It was 1:25am.

What! Only 3 1/2 hours from onset of labor. We couldn’t believe it. We cuddled breast to breast and everyone shouted, ‘Is it a boy or a girl’? We didn’t have any ultrasounds done, so everyone was very curious. I was enjoying the cuddling so much I had forgotten about that part and I said ‘I don’t care’!

Well then we opened the legs and it was a beautiful baby boy! Tevan first said give him milk! So sweet. Then he said, ‘where is the penis, I need to see it’. Once he did, everything was ok.

We let the cord finish pulsating and then clamped and cut it. Then we made our way out of the tub and over to the bed and nursed a little. Then we found out we had a big boy, 8 1/2 pounds and 20 1/2 inches long. Beautiful Luna Raye Hill. We were all so happy. Our waterbirth was amazing and all that we had hoped for. Suzanne was a fantastic midwife, Casey and I so appreciated her support. And of course I never could have done it without my loving and so supportive husband and coach, Casey. He is so hard-working during labor. I’m sure his hands, arms and back were sore, but I would have never known. He just kept giving me everything I needed. It was our second birth, second Bradley birth, and second son! What a great thing and wonderful family.