Clara Jean

Clara Jean Family
Birth is awesome.

Born February 3, 2012

My husband and I arrived at Blossom Birth Center at 7:30 a.m. on February 3.. After a night of very manageable yet consistent contractions, we had spent the morning getting our 2-year-old son ready to stay at a friend's house while we worked on welcoming his new baby brother or sister into our family.. The day was especially meaningful to me because it also happened to be my birthday -- what an amazing gift to receive!

Upon our arrival, Nichelle did a quick dilation check due to the fact that I had tested positive for GBS and we needed to discuss my options for antibiotics. She did an internal exam (my first of my entire pregnancy) and determined I was nearly 8 centimeters. She said the baby would be here very quickly, but I wasn't as convinced.

The room was inviting, especially the dimly lit bathroom with the tub full of warm water. However, before I could decide whether or not to submerge myself in the tub, a contraction came, and my instinct was to wrap my arms around my husband's neck and lean on him to work through it. Nichelle noticed our natural stance and said it was a great way to labor. She encouraged us to slow dance with my legs wide apart, and we rocked to a silent rhythm. A pad was spread out beneath us as we swayed. We didn't stop swaying between contractions; it was hard for me to start swaying once a contraction started, but it was wonderful if we just continued nonstop. Then I looked at Nichelle and said, "I feel something!" She said, "Yes, you're working your baby down." Jeff said he could feel the baby lowering in my belly as it was pressed against him, which amazed me as we had only been at the birth center for about 15 minutes. Was that my baby's head I was feeling between my legs? And then I laughed as I felt my bag of waters burst and splash to the covered floor. I giggled and apologized to my husband for getting fluid on his bare feet. He laughed and said he was happy to be a part of it. :)

Nichelle kept commenting on my giddiness and how I was laughing and talking normally between contractions when I was supposed to be in "transition." I would talk about not wanting to make a mess, or how someone should call my mother and make sure she had proper directions. Nichelle told me that the baby would be here in minutes, but I simply didn't believe her. Having given birth before, I felt nothing like I had during my son's 13-hour natural labor (complete with a 5-hour pushing phase). Today, I was completely lucid, the contractions were easy to get through, and I was still acting like my sweet self.

After several minutes of "dancing," my arms grew tired around my husband's neck, so Nichelle pulled out the birth stool and I labored there while resting against my husband's chest. My eyes, though, kept darting for the bed and I longed to lay my head on the pillow. Before I could say that I wanted to lay down, things suddenly took a turn and began to feel serious. I started shaking and sweating and vomited a few times. I said I wanted to lie down and rest, and so I got into the side-lying position in bed with a pillow between my legs and my husband's arms around me. A birth assistant held my leg up while I let it go completely limp. Contractions now felt more powerful, and I found myself grunting lightly through them. My transition had finally come, and I was losing all of my former politeness. I got more than a little snippy when Nichelle had to push back a lip of cervix to allow the baby to pass through more easily (in my defense, it was very uncomfortable!).. I tried to find my humor and kept saying, "Go team!" when I'd push, and, "Ooooopen, Baby! Oooouuuuuuut, Baby!" to try to psych myself out of my negativity. I reached inside and felt the head of my baby with my fingers. Unreal -- this was taking no time at all. I pouted that I didn't want to push anymore, even though I knew now that we were at the end. Suddenly, the head was THERE. Just barreling out of me without any resistance at all. My hand was over the baby's head the entire time and Nichelle was sweetly saying, "You're guiding your baby out!" I said some colorful things during this short period of intensity. Nichelle asked me to stay positive for my baby instead of holding back and being afraid. A contraction came and I said, "I don't want to! … YES, I DO!" And without a pause, the head was out. I felt a bit of relief because I knew from experience that the body was going to be right behind it with little effort. But there was a slight moment of hesitation as the baby's chord needed to be moved from its neck. "Get the body out!" I yelled, and Nichelle expertly untangled the chord and had my husband and I reach down to assist our baby out ourselves.

And then my husband was crying and saying our baby was here. And everyone was cheering. And I could hear my husband say, "It's a girl! Oh my God, it's a little girl! We have a daughter!"

And then she was on my chest, crying, warm, perfect, and all was right with the world.

Our sweet Clara Jean was born within two hours of our arrival at Blossom, and after only 20 minutes of hard work. She was 8 lbs, 21 inches, and had a head full of beautiful black hair. After a visit from family, introducing her to her big brother, and a short nap, we took Clara home. Thank you to the Blossom team for your support, encouragement and expertise. Birth is awesome.

Clara Jean Family