Thank you so much, to this amazing, strong, first time mama for sharing this beautiful birth story! It was such an honor to get to help welcome this sweet boy, and to get to know this lovely family.
My sweet little boy, you have brought such joy to our lives. Your due date was Tuesday, July 29. By that time I was more than ready to meet you because I had been super uncomfortable for the past week to week and a half by then. Being pregnant with you was wonderful, but I wanted to finally meet you. I couldn’t wait to hold your hand, kiss your cheeks and see if you had momma’s toes!
On Wednesday, July 30 I woke up at about 4:30 am to what felt like little twinges or mild menstrual cramps. I went downstairs to eat something and after using the restroom I realized I must have lost part of my mucus plug. I decided to call midwife Kate at around 5:15 am and just let her know what was going on. She said I could be starting the labor process but I should just go about my day as I normally would and let her know of any changes later on.
After going back to bed and sleeping until around 9-10 am (the last good nap for a while!!), your dad and I woke up and I started about my day as normal with breakfast and reading a book. I realized that my “cramps” were a little stronger than they were early in the morning and I had the feeling that this was it! I was finally in early labor!
Throughout the day your dad and I finished up some small chores around the house such as hanging pictures and doing laundry. We went on a walk around 1 pm because I knew it was going to be a while until I could get out of the house again. Our walk was about a mile or so long and when we returned to the house my contractions were more frequent, about every 8-10 minutes or so rather than every 15-20 minutes. We continued to just relax as much as possible the rest of the day.
Dad ordered a pizza for him and a French dip sandwich for me for dinner as I was in not in the mood for pizza, and not feeling well enough to cook at that point. We ate at around 6 pm, and afterward I told Dad that I should call our doula Brenda to come over because the contractions were becoming more and more uncomfortable. After the phone call I ran upstairs, and unfortunately lost everything I had just eaten.
When Brenda arrived around 7 pm I wanted to go on another walk to get outside. We walked around the block and had to stop 9 or 10 times for each contraction. When we got back home Brenda and I decided to call Kate and let her know that labor was progressing slowly but the contractions were closer together and a lot stronger than earlier in the day. We went downstairs and turned on the television so that I could hopefully be distracted through my contractions.
Grandma (Obachan) Chiaki came over around 7:30 and stayed until 9 pm when she could tell I was no longer paying attention to anything around me during my contractions. The from then until midnight my contractions became stronger and lasted a little longer to the point where I couldn’t concentrate on anything but the contractions each time I had one. I would close my eyes, put my hands on my knees if I was sitting down or on the back of the chair if I was sitting up and breathe deeply until it passed.
Brenda suggested at a little after midnight that because I was so tired, maybe I should try a hot bath and see if that might slow things down so I could take a quick nap. I got into the bathtub at 12:30 am and quickly realized through the next few contractions that the warm bath water was making the contractions feel much stronger and more painful. After trying to relax for about 30 minutes I couldn’t stand being in the water anymore with how painful and strong the contractions were. At that point I decided, “Okay, if you’re ready to come out and meet Mommy, I’m ready to meet you! Let’s do this!!”
Brenda helped me get dressed and go downstairs so that Dad could get more sleep. I labored standing up after that because it was very uncomfortable to sit down any longer. At around 2 am I had to run to the bathroom because I felt as if I were about to not only throw up but also have a bowel movement. That’s when I started feeling the small urge to push. I was so tired, but so excited that you were almost here!! Brenda realized this and called Kate right away. Kate asked to talk to me, but right as I was about to speak another very strong contraction came upon me. I lost what I believe was the rest of my mucus plug. Brenda told Kate that she probably should come now. I told Kate I wanted her to come also.
At this point I lost all concept of time. What felt to me like ten minutes because of the pain of labor and contractions actually ended up being almost 45 minutes that it took for Kate to arrive. She asked me if I wanted to have my baby on the toilet or if I wanted to go upstairs. Of course I didn’t want to deliver you on the porcelain throne! I remember thinking, “I do want to go upstairs, but I don’t know if I can make it.” I must have said something along those lines because I miraculously with the help of Brenda made it up to the bathroom in between contractions. Part of me wondered what this “in between contractions” was, but okay!
After a few more contractions on the toilet and pushing a little, they helped me into the bathtub. From that time until your birth I labored hard and pushed with each contraction. I could feel your head slowly moving down into the birth canal and remember thinking “Oh thank God he’s almost here.” I pushed your head out and was vaguely aware that your Dad was in the bathroom and saw your head coming out. Kate urged me to make a few more big pushes to birth the rest of your body. I was so tired and fatigued but I couldn’t wait to meet you. When you finally were out all the way and they put you on my chest I started crying. Here you were! My beautiful baby boy! I had waited so long to meet you and you were finally here, laying on my chest!
Kate waited until your cord stopped pulsing and Dad actually cut the cord. After a few more pushes the placenta was out and we were free to go to the bed and snuggle. I couldn’t wait to wrap my arms around you again and just feel you on top of my chest.
I am so proud of the birth I had with you and so proud to call myself your momma. You are so perfect and there really is nothing like the love I feel for you. I love you so incredibly much, my little man! We are very fortunate to have had such a great birth team. Midwife Kate was so wonderful; always encouraging, uplifting, full of praises for me which was incredibly helpful and inspiring when I was feeling so tired. Our doula Brenda was truly such an incredible help. I told her over and over I could not have done it without her gentle words and touch, encouragement and physical help during the tough parts of labor. Happy birth-day, Paul!