Written by Erin Eichorn, Birthsmarter Educator and Doula
I got up to pee for the millionth time at 4:30 am December 8th. I went into the spare room and took one look at that bright, full moon, and thought ‘if that doesn’t bring me into labor’… I always said the full moon in December would bring me into labor…I just had a feeling. 30 minutes later, I began to have contractions. And they didn’t stop.
We labored at home, as comfortably as possible. Adolfo readied the beds, and checked off the “when labor starts checklist” that I made because I'm a control freak. We called our birth team and let them know things were happening and steadily progressing. I knew I needed to acquaint myself with these sensations alone with my husband. I wanted to find my footing within the surges. How else was I going to navigate this shit? The delusion I had about having a fast 4 hour labor like my mom quickly vanished as those waves took over me completely. After a few hours I found a groove. But then that was not working, and I struggled to find my comfort within the most uncomfortable sensations I had ever had and they just kept coming. Over and over like waves trying to crush me from the inside. Our amazing doula Emily came over with Gatorade’s and an abundance of support. She used reiki to connect with me and Birdie energetically. Most of the time we didn’t need to communicate outwardly, she felt where the baby and I were both at throughout the day just with her hands. I had added an extra person to our birth team. Our old roommate and Massage Therapist, Erin, because I knew very early on in pregnancy when I thought about my birth, I felt I would need as many hands working magic on my body as possible. The two of them along with my husband saved me through early labor and into active. Many hours were spent moaning and groaning and wriggling around trying to “get comfortable” or whatever that bullshit is because I absolutely could not get comfortable the majority of the time and I felt myself starting to spiral as active labor began to kick in. One thing that was very clear to me the moment I began my birth work and fertility journey was that I wanted and deserved a birth experience that was autonomous. Where I felt safe to do anything I needed to do to bring my baby earth side. I needed a collaborative team. People that listened to me and heard me. Trust, that I could blindly follow when I went to another dimension during active labor. And I definitely did go to another dimension.
I was super hesitant to get into the pool because I instinctively knew that would be my last stop and the idea of it getting more intense freaked me the fuck out. I didn’t think I could handle more. I didn’t WANT to handle more. I was in and out of reality. I knew the rest of our birth team had shown up and were in the apartment but I was elsewhere. I knew in order to get to the end of this I had to walk through it. I looked at my affirmations on the wall. Big stretchy pussy energy in bold sharpy just staring down at me from the wall where my husband taped it. I channeled every birthing person before me for strength. I told myself I’m a bad bitch, and I dug in. I dug in deep to the sensations I was feeling. I found that with 4 really good deep inhales and exhales the surge would start to descend and I could rest if only for a moment to keep going. I felt my hips shift and her getting deeper with each contraction. I’m thinking “are we there yet?” I asked our midwife if I was in transition. I was having conversations and having self doubt, crying about how I'll never sleep again. Surely I couldn’t be fully dilated. I had just lost the rest of my mucus plug a few hours ago and my water hasn't broken yet. There hadn't even been much bloody show. So where the hell was I in terms of delivering? I found a little corner of the pool in front of Adolfo where I locked and loaded myself on my knees with my legs closed, ankles crossed with a heel shoved into my ass crack. It was the only position I could do to ride these waves. I wasn’t moving for anyone. Nobody asked me. Nobody bothered me. Everyone left me alone and offered encouragement and support when I needed it. The fetal ejection reflex! I was extra curious about this stage of birth and delivery because in the medical system they will actually tell birthing people not to push yet. As if they have a choice! Let me tell you, the feeling I had in the bearing down stage was insane. It’s a train that is not stopping. I told myself to let go, I barely had to push. The ejection took over. Wild.
She shot out like a greased up sausage down a hallway which was another one of my affirmations but one that my dear friend had made for me. 20 hours later, but we made it. Together.
I love you my Bird
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