Laughing My Way to 10cm!
Name: Brianna Demers (On Instagram @rose.and.sage)
Baby Name: Maera Sage
Weight: 7lbs 10 oz
DOB: May 20, 2018
Time of Birth: 2:56 PM
Location of Birth: home
We were down to our last few weeks of a pregnancy that was tough. I had never gotten that 2nd trimester energy boost. My oldest had just hit the 18 months old and our guess date was two weeks away. It also happened to be the day before my birthday. A few of my close friends and I had a spa day planned. I woke up feeling good, but was having mild contractions which I assumed were Braxton Hicks. I headed out to get some tea and breakfast for my husband and oldest before going to the spa. By the time I got to the coffee shop to pick up my order I knew this was it. Labor had started. Seeing as this wasn’t my first rodeo I knew I had some time and decided to not tell my husband, (I was NOT about to give up my spa day). I did, however shock the barista when he asked if I was ok. I said yes, I’m just in labor. His eyes about popped out of his head. I brought the food back home for my husband and casually mentioned that I felt it would be a good idea for him to tidy up the house and make sure we had everything we needed for the birth since it was getting close. He said ok and continued to play with our oldest as I left for my spa day. I didn’t tell my friends I was in labor at first either. I didn’t want anyone telling me I should go home. I needed this time away and wanted a moment for myself before things got serious.
After I got my pedicure, the surges started to grow in intensity and I told my friends what was going on, they laughed and said good for you for getting your pedi. We spent a lovely day pampering ourselves and enjoying each other’s company. By the time I got home, I needed to concentrate to get through the contractions. We had our 38 week appointment at 4:00 pm so I decided to rest until then. We went in to see our midwife, she asked me how I was and I said, “Well, I think I’m in labor. Both her and my husband’s faces looked a little shocked. She checked me and sure enough, I was 3cm and about 50% effaced. We were instructed to go home, get some good food in, set up our birthing tub and rest.
As the night carried on, things intensified. While sitting on the toilet to pee, I had an intense surge. My daughter chose that moment to climb up her step stool to get my attention. Obviously, I was a bit distracted and my husband was in another room so, of course, she slipped and fell off of her stool. I opened my eyes right as she was going down & caught her mid-air right before her head hit the ground, but just as her face and chest scraped the corner of the stool. She busted her lip and had a gnarly scrape on her chest. My husband made the mistake of asking why I wasn’t paying attention, which did not go over well.
After that my surges became erratic. My midwives came over around midnight to monitor me and told me that labor had stopped (probably in reaction to my daughter getting hurt). I needed to rest but was struggling to do so. With my oldest daughter’s labor I had “gotten stuck” at 3cm for 33 hours, resulting in a 43 hour labor in total. I was worried that was happening again. My midwife gave me some very unique and specific instructions to help me sleep and it worked like a charm. I woke up 5.5 hours later to intense contractions that shot me up in bed. My parents had come sometime in the night (driving from 3.5 hours away) to watch my oldest and my midwife who had stayed most of the night had headed home.
By 9:00 AM I told my husband to call the midwives back. They arrived and happily informed me that I was already about 6cm and fully effaced. This birth was really moving fast. I danced through surges with my husband, swaying and leaning into him when I felt like I couldn’t stand upright anymore. We moved from the bed, to the toilet, to the birthing ball to the floor and back again more times than I can count. I couldn’t be still in this labor. I HAD TO MOVE, staying still wasn’t an option. My husband was a rockstar through it all, always the right kind of supportive, keeping me hydrated and making sure I went to the bathroom and ate to keep my energy up. He held me up when I couldn’t stand and got down on the ground with me. He stroked my hair and told me I was beautiful. He was my rock, always reminding me that I had everything I needed to bring our baby into the world.
One of my midwives, Kayti, had on a shirt that I noticed for the first time right in the middle of transition. It was a picture of a goofy, wide-eyed baby and said, “ Midwives, helping bring out the kid in you.” I immediately went into hysterical laughter, unable to control myself. I laughed so hard and for so long that I actually peed myself. I yelled that I was peeing and couldn’t stop through tears of laughter & everyone tried to make me feel better by saying it was probably just my amniotic fluid… it was not but I was okay with that because it was the first good pee I’d had in months. So, I quite literally laughed my way to 10 cm. In those minutes of transition, I completely let go of any inhibition, worry or fear and allowed the labor process to wash over me like a waterfall. I gave in and surrendered.
I didn’t yet feel the urge to push but I did want to get into the birth tub. I was plugging along until I started needed to bear down to provide inner counter pressure to get through the contractions. This went on for about 5 minutes when all of a sudden I heard and felt a huge pop, and literally felt my daughter drop down inside of me. My water had finally broken. I yelled “tell my mom to bring Everly (my oldest daughter) into the room” (we had planned to include her in this part of the birth experience). The next thing I knew, I was crowning. We had planned to have our amazing midwives guide me through the process of catching my own baby. It took 5 contractions from the time my waters broke to the time my daughter was earthside. I felt immediate relief when her head was out. With one final surge and a gentle push my beautiful Maera Sage was in my arms. She had decided to come on MY birthday! It was the greatest moment of my life and the best gift I have ever gotten.
This experience really showed me the importance of having a caring, competent and respectful team around you during the transition into motherhood. It reminded me that I am stronger than I think and capable of accomplishing anything I put my mind to. Just as I had everything I needed to birth my daughters, I also have everything I need to be the mom that they need and deserve. As long as I continue to take care of myself, I will be able to take care of my family.