Gina Crosley-Corcoran, better known as The Feminist Breeder, had her due date come and go and was starting to freak out a little. You see, if you hit 41 or 42 weeks (it varies by area), you become higher risk, and suddenly aren't a candidate for a midwife-attended home birth. Obviously, that was the thing of nightmares for Gina, who not only wanted a healing, peaceful birth, but also had grand plans to have her water birth documented live on her blog by her "Documentarian" in a process called "Live Blogging."
Fortunately for Gina, at 41 weeks pregnant on April 20, she just knew it was time. With the aid of some awesome sex, a chiropractic appointment, and nipple stimulation, her body was letting her know it was time to go. But there was just one problem -- little baby Jolene had her hand up by her face and couldn't get her head pushing down on the cervix enough to STAY down and pop out. Enter the type of technique that makes a midwife worth her weight in gold...
Gina's midwife helped her do some pelvic tilts in a way to encourage baby Jolene to move her arm down, and thankfully it worked. At 8 centimeters dilation and shocked she wasn't in pain, Gina and her midwife made the decision to make a tiny tear in the amniotic sack, just to help speed things along. Many birth junkies wince at this type of intervention, but if Gina's labor stalled, stopped, or for any reason didn't continue, the other option would have her landed in a hospital on pitocin. The choice she made is the better, safer choice.
Gina hopped in the birthing tub and relaxed -- a little too much because things began to slow down, so she made out a little with her hubby (after asking for privacy) to get the oxytocin flowing again. Eventually, she got out of the tub and sat in a cool room in the house, then finally took a nap for about an hour and a half. Sometimes, labor "stalling" is the body's way of giving you rest between stages, not a medical emergency -- Gina's body did just that here, I think.
Finally, after waking up and swearing nothing was going to happen, it did. The contractions picked up hardcore. They were painful and Gina clung to the side of the tub, moaning and grunting, being told she was doing great. When she started telling herself "I can't, I can't, I can't!" she changed it to, "I can, I can, I can!" and when she felt Jolene crowning, she told her husband, "Oh my god, John, there's a baby coming out of me!"
Then Gina experienced the common "ring of fire" where everything feels like it's burning and she was at the mercy of her body telling her when and how to push. Despite that, she describes feeling every little part of Jolene's body and feeling incredibly connected to the baby she was bringing into the world. At 8:22 a.m. on April 21, little Jolene was born to her mommy and daddy, at home in a tub, attended by two certified nurse midwifes, an assistant midwife, a doula, her documentarian/photographer, and of course, her amazing and supportive husband.
I can't describe it nearly as beautifully as Gina did, of course, and you can still even see the chronicled Live Blogging part if you want, complete with pictures and intermittent videos, including the actual birth itself. I ended up in tears and am so happy for Gina! Congrats to the Crosley-Corcoran family and welcome to the world, lucky little baby Jolene.
Images via The Feminist Breeder