“A baby, a baby, she will come to remind us of the sweetness in this world, what ripe, fragile, sturdy beauty exists when you allow yourself the air, the sunshine, the reverence for what nature provides…”
– Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser (in Literary Mama)
Alaina Diana was born at 11:15 a.m. on January 19th, 2011! She only weighed 7lbs, 8oz and was 20 inches. (My other babies were 8lbs4oz and 9lbs, 2oz.) I’ve sent a short-version birth story to a couple of friends over the last couple of days and decided I could work it up into a short blog post as well (of course, a full-length birth story will eventually follow). I actually had a little trouble getting started in writing about her birth—it was pretty uneventful until the end and I felt like the best description would be: walked around the kitchen, sat on the birth ball, walked around a little more, more time on the ball, hummed and ooohhhhhed, seemed as if suddenly things changed and I felt big, big things happening and then baby was born all at once! And, I caught her! Emotionally more than temporally, it felt like a long labor and I felt like I experienced less mind-body integration than with previous labors (the actual moment of birth was much more instinctive and powerful than with the other babies though). In general, lots was unexpected about this labor—-it lasted longer than I expected (about 5 hours that were serious, but some warm-up time before that too) and was somewhat erratic and I had quite a bit of back pain. Right before pushing, contractions were still 4-8 minutes apart and it was hard for me to assess where I was/how “active” of labor it was—I was thinking I could either be at the 3cm point OR the transition point! My water didn’t break until seconds before she was born and I felt like it REALLY needed to break, but wasn’t. My kids weren’t here, because her birth was during the day (also unexpected, and a Wednesday, not a weekend!). It was just Mark, my Mom and me.
After criticizing myself at length for being “too analytical,” “thinking too much,” and not letting “my monkey do it,” I experienced a spontaneous birth reflex and pushed her out in a kneeling position and it only took one contraction—her whole head and body came out all at once, no moment of crowning or head birthed and then body following, just a bloosh of entire baby. I caught her myself. Mom and Mark both missed seeing her come out, because the phone rang at the same time. My mom went to stop it and Mark was moving around to the front of me, and when they looked again, I was holding her (Mark says it was about 12 seconds). So, no birth pix 😦
I did tear again, exact same extra-delicate and non-“traditional” place from what I can tell. Feels better than previous births already though–I know how to heal from this (even though I wish I didn’t have to).
My plan for immediate postpartum worked out perfectly and just like we planned. The midwife came about 40 minutes after the birth and checked blood loss. My doula was here about 20 minutes after and fed me a bite of placenta—and, I ate it! No gagging or anything!
I have very different post-birth feelings this time around—though I still had the “I did it!” moment, I felt less euphoric and triumphant and more relief and the feeling that, “we survived!” Blog posts about this will eventually follow…
And, did I mention that I caught her myself?! 🙂
Congratulations! I know you have been waiting a long time to finally get to meet her and have your daughter! I am so proud of you and you got to catch her! How special that will always be for you. Now rest and get to know this new little one.
Wow, wow, wow, Molly 🙂 Have been REALLY hoping to hear more about your birth, so thank you for filling things in a bit – sounds like an intense experience. Amazing how it all unfolded with the kids not there, and you being the only one who witnessed the actual birth – pretty powerful stuff, and so special. And you caught her yourself!!!! Thank you so much for sharing…I am 35 wks now, and can feel things getting closer and closer, so REALLY appreciate hearing how Alaina (love her name!) arrived. Sending you many blessings and hugs from across the sea 🙂
Thank you, Melissa. It was very powerful! I’m excited for you that your own baby is so close! I have to say that I didn’t stop worrying that mine was going to die until I was holding her–in fact, one of the first things I said to her was, “you’re alive! You’re alive!” I worried less the further in pregnancy I got, but it was still there lurking until the end.
Best wishes for a beautiful, healing, powerful birth in the next month or so!
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! She’s beautiful! Love the 3 generation picture – your mom looks young enough to be your sister.
Try to get some sleep. 🙂
Thanks, Nora! We’re doing a large amount of gazing, marveling, and cherishing! (and some pretty good sleeping too) 🙂
Congratulations! You look fabulous and she’s a cutie! Love the name too, though I have an Alaina as well so I’m a bit biased. 🙂
How exciting that you caught her yourself too! Hope your healing continues nicely!
Thanks, Catey! I haven’t met many other Alainas 🙂
Oh, Molly. I am just in love with this having gone well for you. Blessings and love!
Thank you, Molly! I’m so happy 🙂
Congratulations Molly! I have been silently following a long. I saw you on Kerri’s FB page. I don’t know that you remember me…I was in your MSW classes. I had 3 pregnancy losses and finally with infertility treatment, had twins, then a miracle baby. Anyway…I could so relate to the feelings of trauma, mistrust for your body, anxiety about following pregnancies…I suppose this isn’t the place to talk about such things. SO…
I just wanted to say how happy I am for you and your family that she arrived safely and happily.
How nice to hear from you, Shannon! I definitely remember you 🙂 I went to your blog just now–what lovely girls you have!
I got to help catch Zarah, and that was the most amazing thing. I hope I can do the same with other babies!
It was a great feeling for sure, Amy!
Well, Nora made my day! Also, for your readers — Molly’s version of transition was being “too analytical” and “thinking too much”. Most people start with the self-doubt and the feeling that they don’t want to do it anymore (personally, I was heard to say, “What possessed me to get pregnant again??!!”. Molly is an amazing and focused birthing queen!!!
Congratulations! I love that you caught her yourself. That is awesome!
Enjoy your sweet baby girl.
Sounds amazing. Congratulations!!!!!
It was. Thanks!
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