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The Birth Story of Zakary Cole

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on Friday, 29 February 2008
in Birth Stories

By: His Mama, Nicole

I woke up Friday, February 29, 2008 – Leap Day – a little over 37 weeks pregnant and getting anxious and more and more uncomfortable. I was having some mild yet consistent contractions, ranging from as close as 3 minutes apart to 8 minutes.

I gave them an hour to fade, as they had done two days before, and called Samantha when they didn't. She told me to give it another half hour and to call her back. When the pattern continued, I called again we decided to meet at the birth center. We loaded up our bags and our almost 2 year old son up and started the 40 minute trip.

Upon arrival, an exam revealed I was around 5 centimeters dilated. I had been at 4 centimeters two days before at my appointment, so I was happy to get this show on the road. They started filling the corner Jacuzzi tub in the Ocean Room, my birthing suite of choice, and that's when it really hit me that I was going to have another baby!

zakary01We arranged for my next door neighbor to pick our older soon up after she got off work, so we wouldn't have to worry about him during the birth. She came and got him around 3 pm, the same time we decided to break my water to aid my progress. There was no way I would have felt comfortable going home that dilated with such a long drive to the birth center! I hopped in the tub right after and got settled in with my iPod and husband at my side.

The contractions really picked up about half an hour later, and I alternated between using the Jacuzzi bubbles, music, my "happy place" imagery, and breathing to cope with the pain. Around 4:30 pm I was involuntarily bearing down with the height of each contraction, and Samantha thought that I was probably complete. I waited another 20 minutes and asked her to check me. The undeniable urge to push that I remember from my first hadn't come yet, and I guess I just needed affirmation that I was ready to push.

zakary02My midwife confirmed that I was fully dilated and ready to go. I think it was around 5 pm that I started pushing. I pushed on my own terms, when I felt the urge, first on all fours, and then sitting up. It was a wonderful change from my first's hospital birth, complete with episiotomy-turned-4th-degree tear and everyone screaming at me that I was pushing wrong.

As Samantha, my husband, and birth center staff watched on and quietly encouraged me, I pushed until I felt the head crown. It was a two steps forward, one step backwards progress, and the burning sensation was unbelievable but bearable.

zakary03I reached down and felt the head several times, and remember when it slid fully out. A couple pushes later and my second son, Zakary Cole, was born in water at 5:35 pm on Leap Day 2008. Samantha lifted him straight up to my chest, where he cried a few gurgling cries to clear his airway and calmly looked around, comfortable on my chest and in the 99 degree water.

We sat together in the water while I birthed the placenta. I was stroking him, rubbing in the vernix, just totally in love and saying how much he looked like my first son when he was a newborn.

I gave him over to Samantha while the Leslie helped me out of the water and onto the bed. My baby was immediately given back to me and Samantha checked to see if I had any tears. I had two tiny ones that didn't need repair, fortunately. That's the power of water birth! My husband and I laid on the bed with our new son, taking him in, and the staff came in with a small cake and sparkling apple cider to sing happy birthday to our baby.

zakary04Zakary nursed great from the start, and still does. He latched on and sucked on and off for half an hour, and then took the other breast about 45 minutes later. The staff then examined him and took his measurements, and we turned down everything from the eye ointment to the vitamin K, without any hassle at all (and that was much appreciated!)

We stayed the minimum four hour postpartum stay and were back home by 10:30 pm. On the way home, my husband and I talked about what a wonderful experience the entire birth process was, and how the birth center runs circles around any hospital. If we were going to have another, we would do a water birth all again in a heartbeat!

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