DawningLife Midwifery

Experienced homebirth midwives serving Metro-Atlanta and North Georgia families for over 35 years!

Ocean Vega Homebirth

ocean553
On Saturday March 15 I woke up around 9am with some mild cramps. I went to the bathroom and quickly realized I had the “bloody show” that initiates going into labor. I told Carlos and we then called our midwife Claudia to confirm what we thought. We decided to call our cramps or contractions “waves” as it seemed a softer and friendlier word. Our midwife had instructed us to keep calm and try to go about a regular day..maybe do some walking. From then on we would talk with her at regular intervals by phone to keep her up to date on our progress. So we went to the mall and to look at strollers that day. The waves were about 10 to 15 minutes apart, but were pretty random and mild.

ocean553
On Saturday March 15 I woke up around 9am with some mild cramps. I went to the bathroom and quickly realized I had the “bloody show” that initiates going into labor. I told Carlos and we then called our midwife Claudia to confirm what we thought. We decided to call our cramps or contractions “waves” as it seemed a softer and friendlier word. Our midwife had instructed us to keep calm and try to go about a regular day..maybe do some walking. From then on we would talk with her at regular intervals by phone to keep her up to date on our progress. So we went to the mall and to look at strollers that day. The waves were about 10 to 15 minutes apart, but were pretty random and mild.

The waves progressed but still had a ways to go, so I would try to get as much rest as I could that night and save my energy for when I was in active labor. I took a nice warm shower and drank a glass of red wine with Carlos. Tried to go to sleep…it was difficult because the waves were getting stronger..but we tried.

Sunday- the waves were getting stronger and closer together, but still not close or strong enough. Claudia and Nicole (her assistant) came over to check on me. I was dilated 4cm and fully effaced- very good signs of progress. Adriana, our friend and neighbor came over and agreed to take pictures and film of the birth.

We went for a walk on the trails..by this time I was feeling the waves stronger and we would stop and hug each other when they were. Walking was good because it helped give my body way to opening up. We would try to do circular motions with my hips…so we sometimes looked like we were slow dancing…swaying and embracing each other at the same time. We developed code words so that Carlos could time my waves. “Ola” for when it started and “Adios” for when it receded. That night we would again try to sleep…but I didn’t get much at waves 2 to 8 minutes apart.

On Monday afternoon Claudia came by. She checked my cervix which was now dilated 6cm. But our progress was slow and I was tired. We decided to take herbs to help with the wave progress, walk more and have sex, which also helps. If none of those things worked we would then take castor oil. But they worked…and by nightfall we were in full swing with our waves. I had made a power point presentation with images of mandalas, open flowers, fertility goddesses and affirmations to help me through labor. I would look at this while I breathed through a wave. Adriana arrived and was ready to take pictures or film. The room was full of beeswax candles that Carlos had made from scratch for the occasion. We played classical music and also ambient calm music. We made an awesome team!! Carlos and I would embrace each other and ride the wave while swaying in circular motions with our hips. The birth pool was set up in our bedroom at night. I got in the warm water and it felt good. Carlos kept giving me water or a form of natural “gatorade” to keep me hydrated. He was a great partner..always telling me I was doing great, I was a champion, that it would not be much longer, that he loved me…all in all, he kept cheering me on and was there with me, going through this with me in the most beautiful way a man can share this experience. I was and still am so grateful to have him there for support.

After about 3 or 4 hours of being in the pool…Claudia noticed that the progress had somewhat slowed down. She always explained everything to us and gave us our choices. At that moment we decided to break our waters, since they hadn’t on their own. We then discovered that the waters had meconium. This posed a threat of the baby inhaling once he took his first breath. Our options here were to transfer to the hospital or stay and have Claudia suction the meconium out of the baby’s mouth once the head was born. All throughout Claudia would monitor the baby’s vital signs with a doppler and the babies heartbeat was steady and strong, with no signs of distress. I knew my baby was healthy and strong. We decided to stay. We could also not use the pool any longer because of the meconium. So we used a birth stool and the pushing began. After a while we switched over to the bed in a semi-reclined position so that I could full rest between waves, as I was really tired and would doze off. Claudia coached me wonderfully, always explaining in a calm and knowing manner, and we fully surrendered our trust in her wisdom. She kept giving me word of encouragement and motivated me to keep on pushing and instructed me on how to do so.

I felt myself being the strongest I had ever been. I would close my eyes and imagine the baby’s head coming out of me. Finally I heard her say, “there it is, I can see the head..” It was such a relief to hear that!! It would not be much longer…and soon enough after a few pushes…Ocean head came out. Claudia suctioned the meconium out as she said she would. He had a nuchal arm (which is when his hand is near his ear. He also had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. But these were minor things that Claudia was fully prepared to deal with and they posed no threat. With the next wave I pushed the body out and he was immediately placed in my arms.

It was exactly 5:17am, of March 18, 2008. There are no word to describe here the joy that overtook us at that moment. I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking about it! Carlos and I both stroked and welcomed Ocean into our lives. We spoke softly to him, looking at his every detail and he looking at us. I tried best I could to have him latch on to my breast. He did a little bit he was very tired from his journey to this world.

The placenta was born minutes later with no effort. After that I lost a lot of blood, around 6 cups, and was given 2 Pitocin injections to stop the bleeding. Then after a couple of hours of Carlos and me bonding with Ocean, I was stitched up (I had a 2nd degree tear) and I took a shower. Claudia and Nicole then cleaned up, spoke to me a little about breastfeeding, and left me tucked in bed to enjoy my beautiful Ocean.

I can say that giving birth was a beautiful experience that needs to be felt. It is empowering, dignified and full of God. I would not have done it any other way. I am eternally grateful for the support system that helped me through it and every day that passes, more in love with Ocean and Carlos.

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Birth Summary
1st stage of Labor: 56 hours latent, 10 hours active
2nd stage of Labor: 2 hours 9 minutes
3rd stage of Labor: 9 minutes

For pictures of Ocean’s birth click here.