The Homebirth of Tirsah
I had a very easy pregnancy, besides one small bleed that happened only a few weeks after finding out that I was pregnant. Thankfully it turned out to be nothing, but I have never been more scared in my entire life. It is incredible how great a love you can feel for such a small person that you have just found out exists and who you haven’t even met yet. We had texted all of our families to be praying and were on our way to the sonogram when my mom texted me the Bible verse Ezekiel 16:6, “Then I passed by and saw you lying in your blood and I said to you, “Live!” and as soon as I read it I knew that our baby was going to be fine.
Besides that little scare I had an easy pregnancy. I think I assumed that my birth would be easy as well. But little Tirsah decided to make things a little more complicated. The entire pregnancy she had been laying in a perfect birthing position. But the day I went into labor she turned facing forward.
I am going to have to guess about the times and order in which things happened, everything is hazy because I was kind of in an exhausted daze.
I woke up Sunday morning, 6 days after my due date, at 5:30 AM with light contractions that were about 7 min apart. I didn’t think it was the real thing because I had thought I had been in labor before but it turned out to only be braxton hicks. I tried to fall back asleep, but eventually I got up to use the bathroom and had bloody show and I texted my midwife, Jenee. I knew I was really going into labor so I woke Sterling up to tell him. He texted our pastors to let them know we wouldn’t be coming to worship practice or church and encouraged me lay back down with him and try to sleep.
We got up around 8 or 9, I was anxious to tidy up the house and get everything ready. Jenee had texted me that it is good to alternate being active and resting. I wanted to take a walk but it was drizzly and chilly outside, so we went to Wal-Mart to walk around and get some easy snack food for the midwives and ourselves. I remember that the contractions were very uncomfortable in the car and I was glad that I would be giving birth at home and not have to drive to the birth center later.
After we got home we sat around and played Little Big Planet on Sterling’s PS3. After a while I went to take a bath and relax. When I got out the contractions started getting stronger and I couldn’t play the game any more so I sat on the floor leaning over on some pillows and Sterling rubbed my lower back. They continued to get stronger and I started feeling discouraged and weepy. Sterling contacted Jenee to come over to check on me around 5 pm.. My contractions weren’t close enough together for me to be very far along so she didn’t think she would be staying. When she got here, she laid all her supplies out and observed me through some contractions. I was really glad she was there. I had gotten pretty upset and worried. She said I still wasn’t far along, but that my contractions were pretty strong already so she would go ahead and stay.
I got in the tub for a while to relax. It made the pain so much easier. But after a good while it makes you fell very hot and thirsty. When I got out we tried different things, walking around, swaying, sitting on the birth ball.
Tirsah was still turned the wrong way and I wasn’t progressing or dilating, so we called a chiropractor, Dr. Dodge, to come adjust me. That was hard because he had to stop every little bit when a contraction started. But I also remember it being very calming and relaxing, especially since I was laying down, because I was so tired.
After Dr. Dodge left Jenee told me that she wanted me to try a position, I don’t remember what it was called, that it would be very painful but it would help Tirsah to roll over. I was scared, but I knew I had to do it. I laid on my back with pillows stacked under my hips on the edge of the bed with my legs dangling off the end for three contractions. I am not sure if it worked or not, I don’t remember Jenee saying. She never told me how far along I was or what exactly was going on, even though I kept asking her. Which I know now was a good thing so that I wouldn’t despair.
Around midnight I was exhausted and she had us lay down on the bed to try to rest. Sterling fell asleep, but I couldn’t. After a while Jenee said we should try different exercises to and get my labor to move along quicker. I wanted to wake Sterling up because I wanted him to stay by my side, but Jenee said he needed to rest now so that he could be rested and awake for when Tirsah arrived. She encouraged me to eat and brought me a Greek Yogurt cup.
We first did lunges on a chair, and then I sat on the ball for a while. I remember being so sleepy I was afraid I would fall off the ball. Then we did squats, which were hard for me to do and stay calm through. Around four or five Monday morning Jenee had me lay down on the couch and sleep through contractions. I remember it feeling so good to lay down and sleep. The only way I could focus on breathing calmly through the contractions was for Jenee to slowly caress up and down my arm, and I would focus on that and breath in sync with the motion and try not to think about the pain.
Around 6am Jenee said she was going to call for another Midwife to come and assist so that she could get some sleep. I was worried about feeling comfortable with someone I don’t know, and she did not know to rub my arm so that I could stay calm with the contractions. But Jenee said that she wouldn’t call someone unless she knew that they would be good with me, and she would tell her what I needed.
When Judith arrived, Jenee went to sleep and I slept a little more. Then I remembered it was Monday, and I told Judith that my husband was supposed to go to work soon, so he needed to wake up to tell his boss that he couldn’t go in today, so she knocked on the bedroom door, but Sterling was already awake and had already talked with his boss.
I was so glad to have him awake and with me again. I wanted to rest more but couldn’t lay down any longer, so I asked to get in the tub again, which I did and slept through more of the contractions.
I don’t remember what time it was when Jenee woke up, but I was glad to have her there again. My friend Leah had been there taking pictures the whole time and she went out on a food run and brought me back a large Smoothie King.
I got out of the tub again and went back to sitting on the ball. Then Sterling did squats with me. My favorite thing was walking around with Sterling and then leaning on him and swaying through the contractions. It was the most comfortable position for me even though my legs were so tired.
Around three in the afternoon Jenee checked me and said I had finally progressed and I was almost a 7! We then realized none of us had had lunch yet, so Sterling and I went into the kitchen and started making pasta, I would just have to stop to lean on him and sway when a contraction came. During one of my contractions in the Kitchen I heard a pop and felt something rush out of me. I yelled, ”Something is happening!” Jenee came into the kitchen and I told her what I felt and she told me it was just my water breaking and assured me it was good news, although I was afraid it would make the contractions a lot stronger.
Lunch was made, and I tried to sit own and eat, but I was having about a contraction a minute so Jenee suggested I get in the tub to slow them down so I did and it got much better. While in the water I ate some crackers and sipped on my smoothie.
After a while Jenee noticed that I started yelling out during my contractions. She told me to get out so she could check me - it was about 5:30 in the evening. After she checked me she told us that I could push! I used the bathroom first and then got back in the tub.
I tried pushing on my knees for a while but it wasn’t comfortable. So I laid against the side in front of my husband and Judith held my right knee up. I was afraid of tearing, but I tried to ignore that fear and I kept saying, “I love you Tirsah!” in my head.
It felt so good to push! All the pain went completely away, I was so focused on pushing with the contractions and it was so easy. I could feel her coming closer to me. Thankfully I only had to push for about 20 minutes since I was so tired from such a long labor.
Tirsah arrived at 6:16 Monday December 30th. She was so beautiful and it was so wonderful to finally hold her close and kiss her sweet face. It was such a hard two days, but I would never trade it, our little Tirsah Grace was so worth it.