Channing’s Birth Story

Channing’s Birth Story

Mama: Ceanna

Stats: 6 lbs, 3 oz, 18 inches

Type of Birth: Vaginal, unmedicated

Birth Location: Birth Center

Primary Care: Midwife

Every time I am asked about my experience with my water birth the two words that come to mind are ‘surreal’ and ‘magical’. Surreal because literally a year prior to his birth I had given birth to his older sister, Aubriella. Magical because it was truly an amazing and calm birth experience. 

Channing was the third addition to be added to our family. I had a rather traumatic birth experience with his older sister, which resulted in her having to stay in the NICU for a month. I was pretty scarred from that, so I decided to start researching non-hospital options for Channing’s birth. The two conclusions that I came upon were: I could either have him at home with a midwife or go to a birthing center. The thought of having to clean up the potential mess after birth helped me decide on the birthing center.

My older two children were both early (37 weeks and 36 weeks), so as my 36th week approached with Channing, I knew he was going to be making his appearance very soon.

My daughter turned one on April 19th, and that day I started to have some decently uncomfortable contractions. I decided to have a chat with the little guy and tell him to stay put for at least 3 more days. You see, my birthing center would not let me deliver with them before 37 weeks, as they felt it was too risky. I really wanted to be able to have my water birth so I figured a little negotiating with the little guy was worth a shot. The next two days went by with a few contractions here and there, but nothing major.

Saturday approached and I was 36 weeks 6 days pregnant. This just so happened to be my daughter’s big birthday party day. That morning I woke up in a considerable amount of pain. I started to time my contractions, and they were about 8-10 minutes apart. I knew in my heart that this was the beginning of labor. 

With my daughter’s big birthday celebration only hours away, I had a little pep talk with my belly again. I told him his sister would resent him forever if he decided to ruin her party. He seemed to have listened because my contractions backed off a bit and they were 15 minutes apart now. I was still in pain but thankful the little guy was at least holding off until after her party.

We were able to make it home, have a nice meal together, and get the kids bathed and in bed.

At that point I was utterly exhausted. I laid down at about 9 PM, still contracting every 15 minutes. I was able to get a little 45 minute nap in before I woke up. I knew that I would be seeing my little munchkin soon. I started pacing downstairs and breathing through the contractions. I made it about three hours before the contractions were 3-4 minutes apart. I decided to calmly wake my husband up and let him know he should probably shower and start to get ready. 

Knowing that I had a ton of pictures in my near future and still being able to breath through my contractions, I sat down and started to freshen up my makeup. My husband came in and just started laughing at me. This wasn’t my first time at the rodeo, I wanted to make sure I looked semi-decent in all my birth pictures. After I had deemed myself presentable, we hopped in my car and started the 30 minute drive to the birth center. 

Our car ride sticks out in my memory. I remember it feeling like déjà vu. I literally had just done this whole birth thing a year prior. My husband and I were joking most of the ride. I had my favorite country radio blasting on the radio. Yes, I was in pain but I was still smiling ear to ear. It all felt so “right.” Little man had waited until he was exactly 37 weeks cooked and we were able to give his sister her first (and last) solo birthday party.

We made it to the birth center at 3 am. My midwife had me come into an intake room to check me before I was allowed to go upstairs and get in the birthing tub. I was 4 cm and 100% effaced. She then led us up to the birthing suite and let us get settled in. I was still in a pretty good mood, and able to breath quietly through my contractions. My midwife commented on how calm and collected I was. At that point, I felt very at ease; like I had it all together.

Around 3:45 the tub was filled up and I was able to get in. It felt heavenly. My stomach had all of the weight lifted off and my contractions were no longer sharp, tight pains. The warm water dulled everything. I will be the first to tell you though, it did not completely take the pain away. It just took the “edge” off.

I had my husband outside of the tub rubbing my shoulders and being my birth DJ. He was blasting Dave Matthews band, and I was groaning through the pain. After about an hour, I started to feel some intense pressure. My midwife checked me again and said I was still only at 8 cm but my bag of water was bulging. She suggested I get out of the tub to use the restroom to try and help my bag of water to break.

This was a long process since the moment I stood up I felt Channing “drop.” My husband and the midwife both looked shocked and said “your stomach just shifted down about three inches.” I guess she had yet to actually see the act of a baby dropping into the pelvis in her career. At that point, I was screaming in pain. The water really did help and I just wanted to get back in. My midwife and nurse had to help me over to the bathroom, which I’m pretty sure took about 20 minutes to get me merely five feet. I was literally crying at that point, the pressure was intense.

I was able to get over to the toilet and the second I sat down I started bawling. I had the urge to push so badly, but my midwife kept telling me I just needed to go to the bathroom. I sat there for about 15 minutes half crying/half screaming. They then helped me back into the tub and I asked to be checked again. My midwife said I was still 8 cm and my bag of waters was still right there. I then begged her to use that nifty crochet hook and break my water. She knew that with both of my other births, my water had to be manually broken, so she agreed. It took her a minute to break my water and she said my bag was very thick and hard to get the hook through. At last, she was able to successfully break my bag.

I instantly felt this huge, intense pain and the need to bear down. I didn’t even fully realize what I was doing but I looked down and saw my son’s head was out. My midwife wasn’t even able to get a second glove on before I felt the intense urge again. Before I could even fully realize what was going on I heard her say, “His feet are out! Grab your baby!”

I pulled him up to the surface and just cried with relief. He was perfect, beautiful, and HERE!

After a few minutes and the delivery of my placenta I started to get very cold. As much as I wanted to be in that tub before, I wanted to get out of it now. They moved us both to the bed in the adjoining room. His cord was still attached, as my midwife wanted to allowing it to finish pulsating before cutting it. 

While they were focused on the cord and clean up, I was finally able to get a good look at him. I couldn’t help but notice he was literally blue all over. I called my midwife over and she told me that he had been severely bruised because my body was trying to push him out for those few hours before she broke my water. After I was reassured that he was breathing okay, I laid back with him in the bed and tried to get some rest. I whispered in his ear “we did it little guy, we did it.” I couldn’t help but to beam with pride not only for myself, but for him as well. He had been through the ringer with this birth process as well!

So at exactly 37 weeks gestation, at 6:20 am on April 22nd 2012, Channing Allen made his entrance into the world.

Image by Erika J Photography

Guest Mama Ceanna is a SoCal native and the mama to three wonderful kids. She is highly involved in her church’s children ministry, loves a good bargain, coffee, and is going back to school to become a chiropractor.

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