Birth Services

Joyce Kimball, CPM

Birth Stories

Anthony's Birth

Anthony, this is your birth story, as told by your Mom. You were born on Sunday, June 8th, at 12:45 am, at our home in Worcester. Here is how it happened.

Things started on Saturday, June 7th. I had Braxton Hicks contractions every day for about a month, but that evening at dinner the contractions felt a little different: there was some cramping at the bottom. Since I was only 39 weeks pregnant, I wasn't sure if you were ready to be born, or my body was just practicing for later. So, I started timing my contractions around 7 pm while I rested on the couch. They were about 10 minutes apart, but not very regular.

In the meantime, Daddy was putting your two older brothers to bed for the night. After he was done, I told him that contractions were not going away. They were 5-7 minutes apart and about 30 seconds long, but not very strong. He suggested that we let the midwife know. I texted Tammy a little after 8pm, and she said she would drop off a birthing tub at our place just in case. (I told her earlier that I was interested in a water birth.) I got in bed and tried resting between contractions. By 9:30, they were stronger, but still 6-9 minutes apart. By that time, I was pretty sure you were going to be born soon.

Midwife Tammy came to drop off the tub around 10 pm. Daddy told her that I was resting, so they talked quietly, and she almost left, saying that she can come back whenever we want. Well, I definitely wanted her to come back, so Daddy caught her in the driveway. She walked into the bedroom and we talked for a couple of minutes. Then she saw that I had to breathe through a contraction (things were really picking up then!), and said it was time to blow up the tub and fill it with water, if I was still interested in using it. So, Daddy got busy setting up the tub in the master bedroom, while Tammy left to drop off her dog. Joyce (the second midwife) came in about 10:40pm, and Tammy came shortly after that, around 11pm.

As soon as the tub was ready, I got in. The water felt good. Tammy listened to your heartbeat a few times, and it sounded good. You handled contractions well. I was in the tub for probably an hour, trying to relax, and mentally telling my cervix to open up for you. It was hard to get comfortable, and I started to feel discouraged. That's when I remembered that when I feel this way, I must be in transition, which means that you are almost here! And that was true! All of a sudden, I felt like throwing up, and a little container magically appeared out of nowhere (thanks to Tammy and Joyce). I felt better after that, and soon felt like pushing! You were really low in my pelvis and ready to be born!

I told the midwives, and they were very positive, encouraging me to do what my body wanted to do. Up to this point, I hadn't gotten a single internal exam (that means Tammy hadn't checked my cervix). So, I asked her if she needed to check me, to make sure there was no cervical lip or anything that would make pushing not safe. She calmly said, "No, we don't need to do anything. We would know if there was a problem." That was reassuring, and I felt calm.

Then came one mild pushing contraction, where I made enough mama-bear noise for Daddy to come back into the bedroom. He was getting a break from setting everything up for birth and finally getting himself something to eat. Then, for about 5-10 minutes, nothing was happening. You and I were getting a nice little rest, and I was chatting away with the midwives. I was still sitting in the tub, relaxing.

Finally, I felt the urge to push again, except that this time it was strong. Mama-bear noise again, your bag of waters broke, and you came right out! All in one push! You came out with your hand under your chin. Tammy caught you in the water, and then put you on my chest. That was at 12:45am.

What bliss! What a wonderful, amazing feeling to hold you in my arms! My baby! You were perfectly healthy, and started crying. After a while, I looked and saw that you were a boy. I was so very happy to have a boy like you! (We didn't find out your gender during pregnancy. In fact, we didn't have a single ultrasound with you.) You looked great, your Apgar scores were 9 after 1 minute and 9 after 5 minutes. You were perfect and healthy, but your feet were a little blue, otherwise you would have gotten a 10. (Apgar is a quick test to determine the health of a newborn baby.)

We got out of the tub after a few minutes, I had you in my arms, and got on the bed. For some reason, I felt very cold and was shivering a lot. So, Tammy and Joyce put several blankets over us. Pretty soon I was taking the layers off though. I was enjoying holding you and bonding with you. Your Dad was right there, too, admiring you.You latched on 45 minutes later and nursed well for about 15 minutes.

The placenta still hadn't come out by then, so Tammy gave me a "Placenta Out" tincture. Dad cut your cord, which had stopped pulsing by then. Finally, the placenta came out about an hour after your birth.

You were almost 2 hours old when Tammy and Joyce gave you a newborn exam. You looked perfectly healthy, weighed 8 pounds even, and were 20 inches long. The midwives left around 3am, and all three of us got some good rest in our bed for the rest of the night.

Your brothers woke up around 7am. Daddy told them that you were born at night, and they came in the room to meet you. Both Jonathan and David were immediately in love with you. They wanted to keep looking at you and touching your tiny hands and fingers. Our friends Kristen and Jonathan came and played with your older brothers for a few hours while your Mom and Dad rested after the eventful night.

We didn't know what to name you at first. After three days, we named you Anthony. We liked the sound of it, and it worked in both English and Russian (your Mom calls you Антон) In fact, this name was on our short list with your brother David. We chose Steven as your middle name because it means "crown". We felt that there was something special about you being our third son, and we felt a sense of pride for having you.

I really enjoyed giving birth to you at home. It was an empowering experience: if I can do this, I can do anything! I felt safer at home than in the hospital. The midwives were wonderful: gentle and respectful in addition to being very skilled. Prenatal care and labor were not invasive. In fact, I had very few tests done, didn't get any medicine, or even a single internal exam. And the best part was that we could sleep in our own bed right after the birth, with no one checking our vitals every couple of hours. I wish I had all my babies at home!