The story of a homebirth – Part 3: Dilation
I looked up towards the living room in one of those surges, and your Grammie was strolling through the kitchen. She was carrying a bundle of beautiful and freshly cut lavender.
I don’t know if that was an Irish tradition — when they tell you your grandkid is being born, you do an Irish jig in your garden, cut some lavender, then head to the birth.
I don’t know. I couldn’t ask. Your mom was having another surges.
Your Grammie passed by, and we exchanged a gentle nod of the heads to acknowledge each other presence in the same way that thugs do in drive-bys — in movies, I’ve never seen such an exchange in real life.
When your mom surges stopped, I went I talked to Grammie.
“Hey, what’s up with the Lavender?”
“I cut them from my garden.”
So here is how I imagine your grandma getting the text about your birth, “oh, my god, this is happening. This is urgent. I’m going to step into my garden and cut some lavender because that’s what I should be doing right now instead of heading to this birth. I’m sure the baby will wait.”
Behind your Grammie came in your Auntie B. I’m not sure if she was wearing a shirt that said spiritual gangster, but she is an OG-SG, so that’s just how I’m going to describe her as OSG.
Grammie lit up all the candles her and your mom had set up in the birthing room, and within minutes the house was a few degrees hotter. But it was beautiful. Plus,
Grammie came into the bathroom to say hello to your mom. I took the opportunity to keep on Tasmanian-ing. I opened all the shades, drank more coffee, closed the shades to the birthing room — previously known as the dining room.
Your mom was not meeting the 411 rule, but the surges were becoming stronger, so I decided it was time to call our midwife and tell her you were coming.
“Hi, Diane. Justine’s surges started at 2, her water just broke, and everything looked good. She is going into labor.”
This was met by an incredulous, “oh, is she now?” which was followed by an alarming, “who is this again?”
After I established my credentials again, she said she would head over.
The next time I snuck back into the bathroom, the lights were off, and a few candles were on. Your mom was hot, and I knew she had prepared for just this moment. Weeks before your birth, your mom bought a portable battery-powered dark purple fan with a reservoir of water built in it.
I brought the fan in, and Grammie and I took turns putting it in front of your mom’s face. The water reservoir was full, but it just seemed like a violation of your mom’s body to spray her with water in her face when she was going through surges.
I asked her if she wanted me to splash some water on her face, but she never answered because, by that time, she had already stopped talking. And I didn’t want to go down in history as the guy who sprayed his wife with water in the face when she didn’t want it. Your mom’s trance needed to be respected.
I hated that stupid fan. It kept toppling, because of its weird weight distribution, and making a raucous. Every time we would set it down by your mom’s face, the fan would find a way to stumble back towards the sink, and spill its batteries all over the place. Your mom was never bothered by the racket. She was hidden in the corner of her mind awaiting every surge.
Something you should know is that your mom and I are planners. So we got ready for you by making calendars and adding a whole array of events to our to-do-list manager apps, including training workshops and events to iCalendar. Part of the training we chose was to do hypnobirthing.
I didn’t pull a watch from my pocket to hypnotize your mom. No. We practiced relaxation techniques so she would be in a good state of mind while delivering you. I’m probably violating one of their cardinal rules by calling it delivery because they don’t want people to think of babies as packages… or maybe they have a beef with UPS and why adult men are allowed to wear shorts while delivering your mail.
I’m not sure as I believe receiving packages is a joyful event as packages are only sent by people who care about you. People that don’t like you rarely send you packages. Bad vibes and thoughts, they do ship, but not packages. You know there was a time that you had to wait for your packages for more than two days. Can you believe it?
We’ve come a long way. Anyways, where was I? Oh, yes, hypnobirthing.
So, hypnobirthing was part method, part advocacy for a more natural way of having birth. This part felt redundant as we had already decided that we were having a natural and knew of the advantages of having a natural birth before having a medical birth. But we went along with it. We would end each class with a video of a very calm birth.
We even saw one where a woman was having an orgasm; your mom and I didn’t know if to feel uncomfortable for the violation of the privacy of this woman’s orgasm or in awe for the magic of birth.
What we did feel was skepticism, “yeah, right?
And here is another lesson, just because you have some belief that might be anti-establishment doesn’t mean that you have to believe the entire thing. After all, you are supposed to be using your critical thinking regardless of your belief.
Auntie B came up to your mom, squatted next to her, and caressed her thigh. Your mom just shook her head and said: “guys, it doesn’t stop.” Auntie B had already had two kids of her own, so the “it doesn’t stop” comment didn’t inform Grammie and Auntie B of anything new. The only one who hadn’t birth a baby in that crowded bathroom was me, and I was unaware that the experience didn’t stop. It was revealing. “wow, it doesn’t stop.”
Your mom looked beautiful. Her hair looked great. So majestic sitting there transported with every surge, and she pooped so much.
It’s a birth story, and I’m trying to make it genuine. Shocker. Other women poop, too.
Okay, fine. I guess the myth that women don’t poop is true. Except for your mom. Sheeesh!!
But it was good because this way less poop ends up in the pool, which is also a terrible title for a homebirth video, “Poop in the Pool.”
Okay, enough potty talk. Moving on. Where was I? Okay, right!
Your mom looked so pretty, but she had abandoned us at that time. The surges had become so strong that she had been transported to a different location, like a Parnassus of sorts.
She was in the place where she was feeling your every movement, connecting with you and helping you join us, and we were just white noise in the background — moving faster than her perception of time passing.
This is the story of my first daughter’s home birth. If you are interested in reading the beginning of it, click below. And make sure to check back for the next and final installment.