27.01.08 und 30.07.2012

What a wonderful birth!
On the evening of the 27th of January 2008 I had pretty steady contractions. I called the midwife who would be my post-birth midwife to come over and check me out. She said something had definitely progressed, so I had her call the Geburtshaus hotline to inform the on-call midwife of my status. The morning before, which was the day after our birthing class had finished, I had seen the mucus plug and figured the birth would be very soon. I decided to head out because I felt sure that the contractions might amount to something, given their frequency and intensity. When we got to the Geburtshaus at around 8 p.m. we were met by Chris. We had just finished the birthing class with her and were handling the contractions as she had advised and as we had practiced. She said she would leave for a while and leave her cell phone number for us to call if things got more urgent. After a couple of hours, I had my husband Dan call her because I felt the contractions were getting much stronger. After that, things progressed much like a runaway train. The contractions got stronger and stronger and with shorter and shorter breaks. Chris had me try different positions, some of which hurt but helped to move things along. I don’t know when it happened, but at some point the body started taking over and thoughts were not streaming but just focused on repeating things like „I can do it!“ (to which Chris responded with „You’re doing it now!“). At some point I was fully dilated and the pressure was on. I could feel Jasmine descending and the pressure was overwhelming. I just HAD to push. I growled at a low pitch and was clawing at Dan’s leg (he was sitting behind me on the bed while I was on the ground). I was making noises and pushing with such intensity – I had no idea something could be so intense. I even said „I had no idea!“ at one point. I also had no idea that I had this power. Dan said later that he had never seen me like that before and was also overwhelmed by the intensity. Chris said later that my eyes had an intense, almost angry look, like that of an „angry Indian goddess.“ Speaking of eyes: Dan was facing Chris as he was behind me and could see her eyes during the birth. He said later that Chris was cool, calm and competent. Just what you want in a midwife! The last position before Jasmine was born was the squat: that did it. At around 2 a.m. on the 28th, Jasmine came out head, shoulders and all. The feeling when she was born was pure relief – everything before was almost immediately a memory. Vroni helped during the birth, and as soon as Jasmine came out her eyes sprung tears of joy. I looked down and saw my sweet Jas: beautiful, pink and with a full head of hair!

What a wonderful birth! Part 2…
Alex was born on 30 July 2012 at six in the evening, face up and in three hours. Of course, contractions started at about three early that morning but weren’t really regular. I called Constanze (she was first on the hotline) and we headed out to the Geburtshaus. As we live outside of Stuttgart, I didn’t want to wait too long and end up in Monday morning traffic. We were at the Geburtshaus by 4:30 am. Constanze wanted us to wait for a while, walk in the garden, walk up the hill etc. and then she evaluated my contractions. I still wasn’t regular. We decided to go the Stuttgart zoo instead of going home. We basically sat at the restaurant and had something to eat and once in a while I would get a strong contraction. Then we went to the butterfly house and after a while I got tired, so I told my husband Dan that we should go back to the Geburtshaus and take a nap. Constanze had mentioned that someone else might be due to give birth that day, but luckily the room was unoccupied. We took a nap for a couple of hours. At around 2 p.m. we woke up and talked about whether we should go home or stay. I had a feeling I might be trickling amniotic fluid, and Constanze suggested over the phone that I test it with a pH strip: I was definitely leaking. She didn’t feel comfortable sending me home, so she came to the Geburtshaus to check me out. At about 3 p.m. Constanze arrived and Dan went to the store to get some food as we figured we would be staying a while. At exactly the same time, my contractions started regularly and in earnest. By the time Dan got back from the store 15 minutes later, it was go, go, go. I had a feeling that Alex was face up based on previous examinations of his position. Constanze positioned me on my knees during my contractions facing Dan as he sat on the bed. I did a lot of „ah-ing“ and „oh-ing“ at a low pitch. At one point I got tired and tried to lie on the bed, but that was really uncomfortable so I was back to the other position. Even when there were moments of anxiety, I kept telling myself silently (while Dan told me vocally) that I can do this. When the birth was imminent, I was in a standing position with Dan and Constanze supporting me. I had to push so hard, and I remember with a groan saying „let go!“ Finally, with a warm gush he was out, head, shoulders and everything, faced up. All I could say to Alex was „You’re so sweet!“ over and over again. Constanze kept telling me about the amazing strength of my uterus, so strong and powerful. Dan was astonished at my presence of mind – so was I. Even though it was intense and quick, there was no trauma, no fear. There was just the feeling of being a woman warrior.


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