Happy 4th Birthday to the most vibrant little boy I have ever known!!
Xavier has filled our lives with such an abundantly pure joy – in a way that I never knew existed before he made our family whole. I thought I knew what love was before – but there is nothing like the love a Mama has for her baby.
When I was pregnant, I became obsessed with reading other family’s birth stories as a major source of inspiration for the type of birth I wanted to experience. So today, on Xavier’s 4th Birthday, I will share his birth story with you guys.
Xavier’s Birth Story: A Natural Birth at The Birth Center
Our midwives gave Xavier an approximate birthday of February 7th, 2011.
He had been kicking and somersaulting around in there for 40 weeks and 2 days on February 8th, when I decided to do some things to coax him out, gently. I drank red raspberry leaf tea, ate some spicy Thai food, danced around the house and made Mike have some uncomfortable sex with me :). Because, you know, what got you into this mess will get you out.
Around dinnertime on February 8th, I was feeling a little bit crampy and generally off, but nothing crazy. Hearing the echoing words of my midwife, “Eat something before labor that you won’t mind throwing up”, I made some bland pasta with veggies and popped in a movie to watch to try and relax.
During the movie, I continued moving around on the exercise ball to keep things flowing and alleviate my minor cramps. Mike was cleaning and finding it difficult to relax. He kept saying, “I think we should be timing these contractions, I think we should call The Birth Center” but I was playing it cool and not 100% convinced that I was in actual labor. My biggest fear was to get to The Birth Center and be only 3 cm dilated, so I was determined to wait as long as humanly possible to make any moves. I got in the shower and putzed around the house until about 930pm, when finally I agreed that I was in fact, in labor. The contractions had suddenly gotten stronger and I had to move through each one to get to the other side. I stayed with my ball almost the whole time. Mike called The Birth Center to let them know my contractions were about 6 minutes apart, but this was my first baby so Jamesina told us to relax and stay home, it would probably be a while.
I got in a warm bath to ease the back pain I was having with each contraction. During birthing classes, I was told to “not come to The Birth Center until you are unable to talk through your contractions”. Around midnight they were coming fast and strong, about 2-3 minutes apart but I was still able to talk through them so I figured I’d wait a little longer. Mike called Jamesina to keep her in the loop and she told us to come right away. By this point, each contraction required me to make some type of awful noise (Oh what my neighbors must have heard!) and it took me a while to get out the door. Mike packed the car and came back to help me down the icy steps, stopping in the middle of the street to yell like a maniac, although I’m certain it was more graceful than that
This car ride was probably one of the worst in my life. They were tearing up our neighborhood streets and it was BUMPY! I put the front seat back down as far as it would go and got on my knees (butt facing the front of the car for a visual) and used the seatback to hold on to as each contraction came & went. I will never forget that car ride. I don’t remember much except that I was making jokes and my friend and doula, Susan said I was texting her that we were on our way but not to come just yet because it was still early.
We got to The Birth Center at 1:45am and Jamesina gave us the yellow room. She asked me if I wanted to be checked to see how far along I was. I was so nervous for this part. But I had to know, so I laid down and boom! I was at 8cm dilated! I had never felt happier in my life than at that very moment. I jumped up and hugged her. And no wonder that car ride was so awful, I was in transition.
She started the whirlpool for me while Mike called Susan and my Mom and told them they better get there… quickly. The conversation went like this:
“Hi, its Mike, we are at the birth center and Sarah is 8 cm dilated, you better get here, like, now”.
I got in the bath and soon Susan was there (within 12minutes of the phone call – she’s ON IT) by my side talking to me, soothing me and rubbing my lower back. Her, Mike and I were hanging out in the dimly lit bathroom when Jamesina came back in to ask me if I wanted to push. I wasn’t sure, and she reminded me to listen to my body. I stayed in the tub a little longer and then decided I’d like to start pushing.
I started out standing up holding onto the side of the bed, bending my knees and giving in to each contraction. In the beginning I was only pushing once with each contraction. Then my mom showed up and I will never forget the look on her face as she walked into our room mid-contraction.
We shifted positions a few times but I spent most of my pushing with Susan behind me, supporting my thighs with hers, my mom in front of me, allowing me to pull her hands and arms for counter pressure and Mike to my right. I think I was holding onto him as well, but I remember him wiping off my neck and head with a cold washcloth.
My body wasn’t 100% ready, but our baby was coming fast and hard regardless, so I had to move to lying on my side to make things easier on my body. Mike held up my leg while Susan and my mom still had my hands and back with each push. Jamesina and a nurse came in and put on their gowns. I asked them what they were doing and they said, “Getting on our party gear, are you ready to party?” I was so ready to party. Let’s Do This!
Now I was pushing 4 times with each contraction and soon Xavier Marat Kurliand was born @ 3:37 am! Mike got to catch him and announce that we had a baby boy. He was surprised because he was convinced we were having a girl. Mike put him right onto my bare chest for skin to skin contact and he immediately began sucking. He was 6lb. 13oz, 20 inches and completely bald. He had the longest fingers and toes and was just so perfect.
Because my body wasn’t fully ready for him to be born, I experienced 4th degree tearing. With no medication, my midwife and nurse stitched me right back up. When I asked how many stitches, they would only say, “more than 100″, but that’s a story for another time. My vagina hurts just thinking about that. Ouch.
It was the most peaceful entrance into the world I could imagine and everything I had hoped it would be for all three of us (minus the tearing of course). The Birth Center was outstanding and I couldn’t have asked for a better support team.
By 3pm the next afternoon we went home to begin our life as a threesome!