The Beautiful Birth Story of Phoebe Lucille Fair
According to the “dates” I was due on July 26th, 2009..but Phoebe had her own ideas and decided to make her big debut almost three weeks later on August 16th. I went to bed around 1 am after staying up and talking to my Mom who had been staying with us for two weeks waiting for baby to come. Around 2:30 am I felt a “POP!” and jumped out of bed with water running down my legs. I woke up my husband and told him my water had broken and I was getting in the shower and that I would wake him up when things got started. I showered and shaved and packed up a few things, started a wash load of diapers so Nathan’s Dad (who was also staying with us) didn’t have to deal with stinky laundry while we were away and then I went back to bed. Contractions started around 4 am and were coming pretty consistently around 10 to 12 minutes apart. Nathan called our doctor and he said we needed to go ahead and come in since we had an hours drive ahead of us. I couldn’t believe it was already time to go! I woke up my Mom and told her it was time to leave, gave some last minute instructions to Nathan’s Dad about caring for the boys and we headed to Guadalajara. When we got there, doctor Jose Luis and my doula Joni were there to welcome us. I loved it, Jose Luis was wearing shorts and a t-shirt..just another reminder that this birth was going to be an entirely different experience than my other three.
We settled in to our room and Jose Luis listened to the baby’s heartbeat and sat and visited with us for a while. He said that since my labor was mild at this point that we were free to run around town, go eat, go shopping and walk around and get things going. Wow! I didn’t have to have an IV, didn’t have to get in bed and wait it out while being pumped full of pitocin..this was wonderful!! We sat and visited with Joni for a while and then decided to go get some food and walk around. We hit Burger King (I know, healthy) and then went to Wal Mart to walk around. Mom bought Nathan some shirts and I got some school supplies for Ben. All this time I was having to stop every 8 to 10 minutes to breathe through a contraction. We left Wal Mart and went to Starbucks so Mom could get her fix and then went to a tack store (you know, saddles, horsey stuff, etc.) so Mom could check out Mexican tack. After that I was ready to head back and get some rest. We went back to the birth center and went to bed early around 8 pm. Around 9:30 pm my contractions were more intense and frequent so I got up and walked around and then woke up Mom and Nathan. Mom started timing the contractions and they were coming 3 minutes apart pretty consistently. I decided I wanted to get in the birth tub so we called Joni and got instructions for filling it and asked her to go ahead and come to the center. I changed into my little sports top and waited for the water to be ready while I breathed through contractions.
Getting in to that hot water was AMAZING..it was such a relief and helped me to relax. My sweet husband had gotten all of the candles out and lit them and the room was just beautiful. There was piano music playing in the background and the atmosphere was just lovely. And then, the Mexican marching band started playing right outside the birth center. Oh me. They were celebrating a Catholic holiday called “The Assumption of Mary” and there were about 6,000 people crowding the streets. So, I labored to Mexican marching band music and fireworks until about 3 am! We were all cracking up between contractions, it’s something I’ll never forget.
About this time, I start to lose track of time because labor is getting really intense. Apparently I “sing” my babies out, as I was “woooooo” ing through each contraction. Guess one never knows what they’ll do until they’re in the moment! It was getting pretty crazy inside those contractions and at one point I begged for an epidural. I later realized this was transition as just a few minutes later I felt the baby move into the birth canal and felt pushy for the first time. Once I could feel the pushy sensation I didn’t feel the need for an epidural anymore because I knew the end was in sight.
I was in my own world at this point and would often be surprised to hear people in the room talking. My “woooo’s” were turning into loud groans and my whole body was shaking. A couple of times I fought tears knowing that crying would only make me lose my focus and I needed to focus to stay on top of things. Suddenly I had to “use the john” so I got out of the water and went to the toilet. While I was going, I was suddenly overcome with severe back pain. It was hard for me to move and I was crying out that something was wrong. Joni and Nathan got me off the toilet and Jose Luis got a flashlight and checked me to see what was going on. They didn’t tell me at the time, but the baby had turned posterior and I was in back labor. (This explains my sudden need to poop as the baby’s head was pushing against my intestine) This is where Joni really came into play. She had me put one leg on a stool and asked me to squat. It was the hardest thing I have ever done because everything in me wanted to curl up and fight the pain. They put my leg up and I squatted but it was unbearable, so I stood up and she had me bend my other knee and sway my hips. I have never felt so much pain. I just kept saying “my back, my back, my back!” And then I heard Jose Luis tell Nathan “we should give her an epidural, back labor is very excruciating for a woman.”
Nathan said he started praying and crying and asking God to turn the baby. It was such an intense moment. Suddenly the pain was gone and I HAD to push. I started grunting and they hurried me back into the birthing tub. I got on my knees and leaned over the edge of the tub and pushed. I felt her head emerge and Nathan was right behind me. He said “I have the baby’s head! The head is out!” That was all I needed to hear and I gave a good long push and felt the shoulders emerge and then the rest of the body. She came out at 6:37 am. Nathan was crying and I felt total relief. I lifted my leg over the umbilical cord and turned around and sat down and they handed me the baby. I heard my Mom say “boy” so I didn’t even look to see the sex of the baby, I just assumed it was another boy. We all sat there and talked and laughed and cried for about five minutes and then Joni said “have you checked to see what the baby is yet?” So, knowing it was a boy already, I lifted up the by’s leg and IT WAS A GIRL!!! I said “We have a GIRL!” and then we all started boo hoo’ing all over again..even dr. Jose Luis and Joni. It was a beautiful moment!
We sat there in the water admiring her for a little while and then I felt my uterus contracting to push the placenta out. Jose Luis told me to hold the cord and gently push when I felt a contraction. Two little contractions and the placenta came out. Jose Luis showed it to us and explained how it was inside of me and showed us where Phoebe was. God is so amazing to create a whole other organ just for the time a woman is pregnant! After that, Joni came and rinsed us off and drained the water from the tub. Dr. Frankie the pediatrician, came and evaluated Phoebe and weighed her. She weighed 7 lbs. 12 oz and was 20 inches long. Everyone helped me to our room and into bed and then they brought our sweet girl to me. She latched on right away and went to sleep.
I had a small tear from the quick delivery and Jose Luis gave me two stitches. After that, we all visited for a little while longer and then they all left. Mom, Nathan, Phoebe and I all went to sleep and woke around 1pm to pack up and head home. Jose Luis came by around 3:30 pm, checked me, and expressed some blood clots from my uterus which was not painful in the least..just a strange feeling. After that, we were free to go! I gave birth that morning, and we were leaving that afternoon! Incredible! I am left with so many wonderful feelings from this birth that I haven’t really had time to express or process yet..but I am so thankful that God led me to Jose Luis and Joni. I have always been told that my body just doesn’t “go into real labor on it’s own” and I actually believed that lie. Jose and Joni taught me to believe in the process, to believe that God had created my body for this very thing! Even waiting for those extra weeks was an excersize in trust. The American medical model would have c-sectioned me and had me thinking it was dangerous to wait for Phoebe. I have learned so much about trust, patience, not walking in fear, and trusting my body to do what God created it to do..the WAY He created it to work. My water ALWAYS breaks first. I ALWAYS labor slowly. God did not set a 24 hour time limit on having my water broken..the American medical birth model did that. I will never believe their jargon again. Now I know better. I CAN labor without pitocin. I CAN birth! I CAN VBAC! But best of all, I have this precious baby girl and the fondest memories to accompany her entrance into this world! I will never forget this life-changing experience!