Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Perfect Birth Story from Katy Dill

It took me having 5 children to finally have the birth I wanted. The most beautiful, wonderful, spiritual, perfect birth:

I had visions of calling Ryan as he was in the midst of teaching a class, proclaiming my water broke and it was time. He would announce to his class that his wife was in labor, run out, tripping over chairs, leaving them all bewildered. It's always been a no-contraction-calm-drive to the hospital, first thing in the morning (except Pearl, who was born in the car, but that truly was an exception of all sorts). That's not how it happened. As we went to bed Wednesday night, I commented to Ryan that other women tended to go into labor in the middle of the night, but that's usually when my body would stop any sort of "practicing". Hope, one of my midwives, told me Tuesday she was confident my body would do this without help. Just as her name, I believed her.

2 AM Thursday, I awoke to a familiar ache, though it was enough to be bothersome and deprive me of sleep. I didn't want to wake up anyone unnecessarily, so I got up to walk around to make sure this aching was consistent. I gently squeezed Ryan's foot and told him I was having contractions. I timed them as he fell back asleep. 5 minutes apart. Yes, I wanted to go to the birthing center. I was going to have the water-birth I had dreamed of since giving birth the conventional way with daughter number one.

I awoke my parents, and while they were scrambling to get dressed, I laid some towels in the car and got in. My mom came, Ryan followed, carrying the carseat, juice for me and other odds and ends. The drive was quiet, but hurried. We were there before Sharon, but at least the baby wasn't. She checked me, still just a 3, but very effaced. Her suggestion: walk the halls. I had never been given this luxury. Yes, it was a luxury. I took off my noisy flip flops and began to walk. Up and down. A quiet cricket crossed my path. He seemed to know my need for peace. My only company. No, I didn't want any other company at this point. As I was pacing, barefoot and solo, joy filled my body. My body did know what to do. It knew when this baby was ready to join the world. 40 weeks, 41 weeks, 41 weeks and 4 days, it wasn't rushed by the measurements of time. I was grateful for a supportive husband, midwives, and parents who allowed me to do this on my own. I was surprised to be grateful this journey was taking place in the solemn hours of the morning, with no outside onlookers to invade.

4:30-Sharon checks me. I'm a 5, but as she checks me, my water breaks. I decide to keep walking until that first contraction without my water manifests itself. I quickly return and tell her I'm ready to get in the water. She says it will be 10 minutes before the tub is filled. 10 minutes suddenly seemed like a mountain of pain before me. I waited until there were three inches of water and asked if I could just get in. She turned down the temperature and helped me in. My mom peers in the room and I tell her I now need Ryan. The glimpse she sees in her words: "Then I see her slip in the back room, water running for the underwater birth, four woman, quietly getting ready for a most amazing experience. Each woman knows their task and just join in the dance like it all had been rehearsed for months. I love the way they NEVER leave her side. It is all about Katy, all about her strength and ability to have a baby without anything but her body to tell her what to do." Ryan came to my side and began to pour the warm water on this mound of life preparing to make the most glorious and painful entrance.

3 contractions later, Ryan said he watched as this baby moved from the "pregnant position" to "down, really far down". I announced that I had the urge to push. Sharon asked me to wait for the next contraction. Moments later, it came, and I began to scream and push. Sharon pleaded with me to hold back a little so there wouldn't be tearing. I held back as much as I could muster, but this baby was coming. I continued to push and then she was here, on my breast. 4:56.

I held this new life. Gratefully. Reverently. It, the birth, was perfect. My body did everything perfectly in 3 simple hours. Nothing too soon and nothing too late. I held this new body in my arms, not knowing who it was I held. After some moments of reveling in what I had just experienced, I looked to discover another daughter had been given to us. She was not late. She was perfect. She is perfect.

From Katy of No Big Dill.
Image via ffffound.


Note from Design Mom: for the duration of my pregnancy, I'll be posting advice, memories and stories about pregnancy, childbirth, adoption and growing a family on Wednesdays. You can find them all by clicking here. I'd love to hear your story or memory or advice, feel free to submit it to


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Blogger Jordan said...

You had me in tears, sis. Loved this recollection today.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 10:30:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Karen H said...

What a beautiful story!! What a wonderful birth!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 10:36:00 AM EST  
Blogger Ginna said...

oh how lovely--nice work Katy. In more ways than one!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 11:07:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Laurie S. said...

Sweet. :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 12:38:00 PM EST  
Blogger rebecca said...

Katy! Lovely, as ever.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 12:45:00 PM EST  
Blogger Design Mom said...

So beautiful! And so glad you were able to have the birth you wanted.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 3:06:00 PM EST  
Blogger Martha said...

dude, that's awesome. i'm a big believer in the power of allowing your body to do its thing. the body knows, oh, it knows.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 1:23:00 PM EST  
Blogger Trainer Momma said...

Loved this post. I have always wondered what it would be like to do a water birth. Hhhmmm... Your writing and story were beautiful!

Friday, January 29, 2010 at 8:58:00 PM EST  

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