Welcome to the world little Tiago Salinas! For those that don’t know, this is one hell of a birth story. For starters, he was 11lbs, 1oz, 21.5 inches long, and BORN AT HOME. No drugs! Just warm, loving birth energy.
Here’s the long version:
I woke up the morning of the 29th, and my first thought – before I even opened my eyes – was that I was going to give birth that day. I just knew. To this day I’m not exactly sure how I knew, but I knew. It was almost as if my uterus, brain and baby had a staff meeting over night and subconsciously informed me.
I get up around 8am because I hear Magglio calling for me from his crib. We play for a bit and I’m having contractions. This was nothing new, since I had been having contractions for weeks. Weeks. My body was just preparing well in advance for the big day. Usually, I ignored them, and that morning I continued to ignore them.
But once I hit the kitchen to make myself coffee, I couldn’t ignore them any longer. They were strong. I sat down and ate a bagel with cream cheese and some protein rich cottage cheese. I knew that I needed some good food to birth. I started recording my contractions: 8:36am. 8:41am, 8:47am, 8:50, 8:53, 8:56….
Huh. Strong and fast. I was in active labor, the second stage. I called my midwife. “Wanna come catch my baby?” I asked her. As luck would have it, she was on her way over to another client’s house, who had been having contractions since 3am. Once she checked her situation, she would come over. She instructed me to call my doula to have her come over until she could get there. Perfect.
I run a hot bath for myself. Contractions still strong. I’m breathing through them, trying to focus, trying to delegate orders to Edgar and my mom. My mom comes in the bathroom. I say: “Can you take Magglio to the zoo? Have him back by noon for his nap.” She responds, “can I finish unloading the dishwasher first?” I shoot her the look of death. “No. Leave.” I order. I couldn’t have my focus diverted by thinking about what my son was doing in the other room.
10:30am: my doula arrives. By this time I’m back on my bed, having strong contractions and trying to be as comfortable as possible. She explains that my midwife is at the other woman’s home, who is dilated to about 7. My doula may have to join her once the woman is further along and pushing to help catch her baby, and then they’ll both come back for me. At this point I just crack up laughing. What luck – another woman is in labor at the exact same time. Laughing with the universe instead of letting it laugh at me seemed to help my birth energy.
At this point, things start to mush together. Here’s what I remember: I get back in the tub. Bad move. The tub is too narrow and I feel constricted. I have a few strong contractions in the tub – very uncomfortable. I start pushing in the tub. Am I dilated all the way? My doula needs to check. I get out of the tub but every time she touches me I am hit with another contraction. I start to cry, “I’m scared!” I tell my doula. “What if I can’t do it?” She responds: “don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere.”
I calm down and make it back to the bed. Still pushing. My doula gets her gloves on. It was maybe noon at this point? I’m not really sure.
12:45pm(?) – Miriam, another midwife arrives. My primary midwife, Mary, couldn’t make it (the other woman had birth her baby about 30 minutes before Tiago arrived). Miriam greets me softly. We are strangers, but already so bonded. I just grin at her and laugh. What luck I have!
She tells me that the baby is hitting my public bone and I have to change positions. She suggests squatting on the floor. Ok. I squat. I push. They cheer. This happens a couple of times, and the only pain I feel are in my thighs. I have weak thighs. She suggests I turn around and let Edgar hold me as I squat to release some of the pressure off my legs. We try it. In two pushes, Tiago is crowning. Then, he’s out. Life is beautiful.
It is 1:24pm. I’ve only been in labor for 5 hours. The most intense was the last two. Blink of an eye.
And then they took care of me while I crawled back in my cozy, comfy bed, covered up and nursed my baby boy. It was so beautiful. Some people have asked me how I birthed an 11 pound baby, and the most simple answer I can give is: by the grace of God. I never had any doubts and neither did my midwives. None one ever said, “We might have to induce since this is a big baby.” (Common ob/gyn phrase) No one even broke a sweat. (well, except me)