Birth Services

Joyce Kimball, CPM

Birth Stories

Carter's Birth Story

by Kira

I’m not going to lie, but it was for some reason a lot harder during labor than it was the first time (with Chloe). I don’t know if it was the expectation that I thought everything would be easier and quicker, or just how the actual labor took place. I fully expected to be able to Hypnobirth like I did the first time.

I practiced for weeks, and weeks, and weeks, before he was born with the relaxation and affirmation mp3s on my ipod. I even used it to center myself during early labor, thinking I would be relaxed and in a tub giving birth to my son. I also thought he would be early based on how active this little guy was, however he didn’t arrive until 12 days after my “due date”, 2 days “longer” than Chloe was in utero, and literally the day before my sister’s wedding. He just wanted to show people who was boss, either that or he was just too comfortable!

My water broke on Tuesday morning August 27th at about 3am. I was getting out of bed (to pee, or so I thought) and realized it was trickling down my legs, no whoosh that I was expecting even though I knew that didn’t always happen. After I went to the bathroom I went back to the bed expecting to see it wet but it was completely dry. In doing this, I woke up Jon and he asked what I was doing so I told him I thought my water had broken. Our midwife, Joyce, had given us some pH strips to test, so we did and it appeared that this was the case. I called her (per orders) at 3-something in the morning to tell her, and she said to get some rest and she’d be over in the morning.

I got some (a little) sleep and waited anxiously for contractions to start. Much to my dismay, I did eventually fall asleep, so labor was not on me yet. Joyce came over in the morning and gave some tips on how to get labor started. I tried walking, which I had been doing for weeks and was getting completely sick of. I even ran some errands to just kill some time while walking around stores which was much more interesting. Finally that afternoon I called and scheduled acupuncture, which I went straight to Marlboro to do.

Acupuncture was very interesting. Having never had it done before I did not know what to expect. She placed the little tiny needles in my back, shoulders, legs and head, which I could hardly feel at all. When she placed the one in my head I broke out into an instant sweat, so she said I was very responsive and took that one out. I lay down on the table and she let them sit for a bit, which actually got contractions going a bit stronger and more regular (I had been having contractions, just nothing close together or strong). Once I had 4-5 in a row she took out the needles and placed the tack stickers in their place and sent me on my way. Thankfully I did make it home fine, however I did not think this would take another 24+ hours.

When I got home, Jon and I decided to call our mothers and let them know that contractions were more regular and about a 3-4 on discomfort/pain level, so that if they wanted to head to our house rather than risk having to drive in the middle of the night, that was probably a good idea. Of course, being a second pregnancy, it’s hard to say when things could happen. My mom actually brought a crew – Kristi, Missy, and Gail came up with her. Kim got here at about 8:15, so she got to see Chloe, but the Wareham crew didn’t get up until almost 10. By then, I was so tired, I literally saw them for about 20 minutes, then I was falling asleep on the couch. Hoping for a sleepless night ahead, I went to bed. The next morning I woke up well rested again, much to my dismay.

Contractions had slowed overnight and were about a 5 on the scale but not close together. Missy, Kristi, and Gail had to head to Boston early that morning, so my mom and Kim were the only ones left at the house. Kim and I went to drop off Chloe at daycare, and I had Kim walk her in because I was not comfortable. Joyce was supposed to come and check on me, but she ended up tied up with another client, so she had Dina come over to check on me. During her stay, she actually ended up deciding to stay because she thought things were progressing enough (contractions went up to a 5-6 and a little closer together while she was here) that she should hang around and see what happened for a bit.

During some more contractions, we found out that she had called Alexis and Kim to have them start heading over. This day lasted so long, because contractions went between stronger and further apart, then easier and closer together. Also, this was over 24 hours from water breaking, so we had to keep an eye on possible infection. I had been monitored with thermometer, blood pressure, and fetal heartbeat since Joyce was over the day before, and all had been very good. I also had to do Hibiclens washes every 6 hours, due to a trace of Strep B in my test a few weeks back. The midwives went out for lunch, then came back to check in, and the afternoon went the same. Finally, as evening approached, they suggested me getting out of the house to relax and have some fun, while they went to Dina’s to get some dinner. So what did we do? Play mini-golf of course! Kim, Jon and I headed out while my mom took a nap.

Thank goodness the course was not busy, because I think I had about 1 contraction per hole. We had a good time, and it’s a fun story to tell now. Kim even got a video of me during a contraction totally zoned out while “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” played in the background. Like I said, I practiced Hypnobirthing all during this time, assuming it was going to be similar to delivering Chloe.

At about 8pm the midwives came back. Joyce was still with another client at this point. I would say that time after this point lost its way with me, and I would consider this the point of hard labor. I had contractions measuring a 6-7 and constantly needed to move around. I took turns walking, going to the bathroom, sitting on the yoga ball, bending over the couch, squatting, and hanging on Jon, and nothing seemed to be 100% comfortable for any amount of time. I asked them if it was time to go into the tub and they said that was fine, since labor was further along and shouldn’t slow things down at this point.

The water felt so good. Contractions slowed a little but didn’t change intensity. I was in the tub for a while, and of course of all times, the tub had a leak and they had to keep refilling it with air and try to patch while I was in it. It got to a point (I was so much more aware during this labor and really enjoyed hearing them talk in the background) where they said that I would probably not be able to deliver in the tub, because they were worried that I would cause water to spill over while trying to push. I said, "That’s fine - let’s head inside" (I think this might have been about 2am). I made it to the kitchen in between contractions that were spiking to a 9, grabbed the counter, and dropped to the ground in a squat, and I seriously thought I was going to give birth to Carter on the kitchen floor. I could hear everyone buzzing around me, prepping for what could possibly happen. I don’t know how, but somehow I made it into the bedroom and got on the bed. Bending over felt good, and so I took turns between the yoga ball and bending over.

I finally heard Joyce say to Jon that gravity may help move things along, and to have him hold me up. After that, it was all over. All I remember, and I REMEMBER this time, was the contraction, contraction, contraction, and then I actually felt the need to bear down. I don’t remember what I said, but I remember being much more vocal, I think I growled? All I know is that I had a raspy throat afterward like I had been yelling at a concert. Thank goodness I had Jon to hold me up, because otherwise I would not have been able to do it. I just remember pushing as hard as I could so I could get him out, I just wanted him out! I couldn’t see the rest of what happened but apparently he didn’t crown, but in fact made it all the way to his waist and yelled out with a set of good lungs! I honestly thought he was out, so when they said I had to push some more, I slid him right out, I was so determined. I think it ended up being a total of 10 minutes of pushing. I learned afterward that Joyce told Jon that I probably wasn’t ready to push, but he knew better!

So, Carter Thomas Watkins was born at 4:30am at home, as I always wanted. I remember bending over and crying the minute he was out because I was so happy it was done!