The Birth Story, Part Three

March 31, 2009 at 6:09 am (Baby Stuff) (, , , , , )

Click here for Part One.

Click here for Part Two.

This won’t be a chronological retelling of what happened after the birth, but I just wanted to type out a few other random things that I don’t want to forget:

I was apparently very polite during my labour.  I remember apologizing to Chris for freaking him out (“I’m sorry, I know this is scary honey”), saying “no thank you” when offered a popsicle, saying “yes please” when asked if I would like some ice chips, etc.  But I did lose my cool once: during all of my contractions, Chris was saying breathe, breathe, remember to breathe, and finally after forty minutes of pushing I screamed at him, “SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY!” I remember everyone laughing, and the shocked look on his face — and then I apologized for yelling at him.

My legs were trembling — from exhaustion, anxiety, and god knows what else, after Maia was born.  At some point as she laid on my chest, I felt a jabbing pain in my left thigh, and yelped.  The midwife had jabbed me with a needle to inject some sort of hormone (I could look it up, but I’m lazy — pitocin?) to help ensure contractions would bring out the placenta quickly, but she hadn’t given me warning that she was about to do it right then.  We’d discussed beforehand that she’d do it, I just hadn’t expected it at that moment.  I was kind of caught up in my baby.

I have no memory of delivering the placenta at all, but I do remember the umbilical cord stretching down my stomach and into my body.  It was hot and pulsing, and unexpectedly grayish and translucent looking.  Chris did not want to cut it, so once it stopped pulsing, the midwife did.  I don’t think any of us even paid attention to the placenta coming out or what happened to it afterwards, so when I found it in a tupperware in the freezer the next day, well… I was pretty surprised, to say the least.  Our initial plan had been to give it to our primary midwife, Georgia, who couldn’t be at the delivery, and she could take it to the hospital and burn it — but our plan has been revamped, and my mom has it in her freezer in Connecticut.  When we go down to visit this summer, we are going to bury it and plant a tree over it.  It will be awesome!

We all chuckled about her being born on Friday the 13th, but at one point the midwives all gasped, and one said: “She’s a very lucky girl indeed” and held up the umbilical cord.  It was knotted.  One good yank and my baby would have been in distress.  The thought still haunts me.

I dealt with the discomfort of stretch & sweeps just fine, as well as, obviously, labour — but when, after the birth and some skin-to-skin time, Sarah took me into the bedroom to check out my tearing and see if she could stitch it, I had a hard time.  She and the other midwife poked at my coochie, running their fingers along my tears to check their depth and length, which really fucking stung.  I said, “Sarah, that’s REALLY uncomfortable,” and it was — like what I imagine being jabbed with searing, red-hot needles in your most sensitive, battered area would feel like.

What hurt more was when I got to the hospital to be stitched, and the doctor sprayed saline over the tears to clean them.  I honestly thought I was going to jump through the ceiling and need to be sedated.

I was separated from Maia because I was at the hospital from 2:30am (she was born at 1:07) until 5am.  It felt like an eternity.  A midwife stayed at home with Chris and the baby until 4, but he was alone with her for the next 90 minutes.  That must have been so crazy for him.  As for me, I started to get pretty grouchy with my doctor and her student (the student was doing the stitching) because I really wanted to get home to my family.

That’s all I can think of, for now.


  1. Maria said,

    My stitches were totally the worst part.

  2. Jinxy said,

    I wanted Lily cord to stop pulsing before it was cut but because of the c-section and her being early that didn’t happen.
    I love that you are going to plant her placenta, my hubby would never go for that. He told me from day one that he wouldn’t be cutting the cord either. “Those people went to school for that stuff”

  3. EricaB/CrazyMomma said,

    Burying the placenta is not for me…good for you guys 🙂 Just not for me.

    So….you’ll be in CT this summer? ‘Cause you know, I am only a couple states north in NH. 😉

  4. Tatiana said,

    Well, we felt really weird about throwing it away, you know? and it was kind of in our freezer and we kind of needed to figure out something to do with it 🙂 it’s funny, because I’ve never thought of myself as an “all natural” kind of chick and yet here I am with the homebirth, midwife attended, no medication, planting the placenta, blah blah blah.

    NH, hmmm…. !

  5. pastelprincess said,

    We have a WHAT in our freezer? That’s fucking gross, dudette. Lord knows I love you…but there is just NO way that I’m going to be able to look in the freezer at Mom’s again. Forget it.

  6. Tatiana said,

    once upon a time, you too were attached to a placenta, my darling sister!

    also, just think of the comic possibilities it offers on April Fool’s.

  7. Gala said,

    LMAO at pastelprincess!! I didn’t tell her or Jared about the mystery container in the big freezer!

  8. Ms.Core said,

    I love the placental tree idea. I was super pissed that I didn’t get to see mine (Kevin claims I did but I don’t remember). Next time I am going to ask them to save it for me too.

    BTW, I think that all parts of your birth story are incredible. You were so brave and strong, I hope that this gives you new found confidence to do anything in all other parts of your life.

    Further away from my birth I have new reflections and wondering if you do too. I felt the pushing part so empowering and wish that I felt like the dilation part was the same but for now it’s water under the bridge. I have a wonderful healthy baby boy and that’s that!

  9. Tatiana said,

    When I look back on it, I am pretty amazed at the entire process — and that I was so lucky to have -exactly- the birth experience I had hoped for. I honestly don’t think of myself as being strong and brave, but I appreciate you saying so :] I just felt like had the strength of millenia of mothers behind me — if they could do it, so could I.

    I still think about the entire experience a lot. I think “empowering” is an apt word to use!

  10. becky klingensquiggle said,

    oh my god theres a what in the freezer????!!!!!! hahaha jared just had a pot pie from that freezer a couple days ago. hes gonna freak xD but the placenta tree is gonna be pretty sweet

  11. Tatiana said,

    it’s not like the placenta is going to leech into the food! hahaha

  12. becky klingensquiggle said,

    hahahah good point xD i dont think jared will see it that way tho lol so is the placenta tree gonna like, sprout little babies? lol

  13. Tatiana said,

    haha! Chris wants to plant a fruit tree… all I can think is that we’d be eating placenta peaches, which cracks me up.

    Don’t tell Jared yet… spring it on him when he really pisses you off one day.

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