Cohen is my third baby. This is the first time I've written a birth story! I have considered many times trying to write about Gavin's and Cara's births, but I've waited far too long and the details are fuzzy. I don't think I could if I tried. It feels so wonderful to be able to write this down, so that with this birth I won't forget. It was the amazing experience that I wish all mothers could have.

Cohen Grey was born on October 1, 2012 at 1:26 am, safely (and quickly) at home, weighing 8 lb 6 oz, he was 20.5 inches long.

I had been having contractions on and off for around two weeks. I had once called Jo (my midwife) and her assistants, only to have them spend the night and travel home again the next morning. I was very worried about this happening again. If I knew anything, it was that I didn't want another false alarm. They were around three hours away and I knew how difficult it was for them to travel and lose sleep for no real reason. I was also worried that they may not make it on time if I didn't call, as was Jo, so that's what I did.

One day past my due date, which was September 29th, I began having a few contractions. This was nothing unusual and I wasn't convinced that birth was imminent. It was around 6 pm. I waited for a few hours and by 8 pm I thought it would be a good idea to at least let Jo know what was going on. They were around 5 to 7 minutes apart, so she decided it would be a good idea for them to come. I still wasn't convinced, and again I was very worried that they would be making the trip for no reason. About an hour into their drive, my contractions stopped again. I was extremely frustrated at this point, so much so that I was in tears as I called to let her know. We talked for a few minutes about what I was feeling and decided that it would be best for her to go ahead and continue on her way. It was raining out and it would take her a little longer to get there than it would any other day. I very distinctly remember her saying to me, "Stop worrying so much and just have your baby." I believe that her telling me that helped immensely with the progession of my labor. I also believe that my contractions stopped for those few hours because my body was waiting on her to arrive.

She did so at around 11 pm. I had been having a few contractions here and there for around an hour or so before she showed up. At that point, I still wasn't at all conviced I would have my little bundle that night. I was sitting on my ball as they walked in, hoping that it would help anything at all. I moved to the recliner and we all talked for a while. I honestly don't remember much of what we talked about. I remember Jo sending Nick (my husband) to sleep. I remember texting Carolina (my labor support and very close friend) that she should get some rest, I wouldn't need her anytime soon. I don't remember at what point I was no longer a part of the conversation, but I do recall being in my own little laborsome world, breathing and praying, still unconvinced - when my water broke. I knew that it broke before it did, if that makes any sense at all. I yelled, "Oh my God, my water just broke!" Everyone stopped talking and looked at me, and man did it break. Two seconds after saying so, it gushed EVERYWHERE.

I won't lie. I was a little nervous. I knew that my contractions would become much stronger now, and I was considering that I was 3 or 4 cm at that time. Haylea (Jo's apprentice) woke Nick and I jumped up and headed to the shower immediately. I wasn't in the soothing water for long when I realized that I wasn't able to stand. Nick helped me to my bed. I wanted to lay, to rest. I told him that I just knew that I coudn't do this. He reminded me that I was already doing this, and I heard Jo ask Sandra (Jo's assitant) to please turn the air off - which meant she thought my baby would be here soon. I asked her to check me. I needed to know how much longer I might feel this way. I was 9 cm! Already! The relief I felt was unexplainable. I was also shocked. I told Jo that I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom. She said, "Do you wanna have your baby in the toilet?" and I answered, "I don't care, I have to use the bathroom!" She reminded me how small my bathroom was, that she couldn't fit in there with me and she said, "That isn't poop. It's your baby." Somehow in the last 17 months since I had my daughter, I forgot what this felt like. And then I needed to push.

I was lying on my back and suddenly very uncomfortable in that position. I moved to my hands and knees and pushed for what seemed like an eternity. When his little head was finally out, Jo asked me to push as hard as I could. We needed to get the baby out and it couldn't wait. I didn't know at the time, but he had a nuchal arm (which was why I thought at the time that it hurt so much more than when Cara was born). I have no concept of how long any of this took, I just know that it wasn't long before he was earthside and in my arms. He was very quiet, but perfectly healthy and I was so thankful to just have him there with me - no cutting the cord, no taking him away to have this and that done. He was just there, and I was in love.

Carolina arrived less than 5 minutes after he was born. I had forgotten all about her! It all happened so fast, I was thankful my husband remembered to text her. I wanted her there during my labor so badly. Maybe next time I'll be conviced a little sooner.

Very shortly after his cord was clamped and cut, I really wanted to shower. I still hadn't delivered the placenta, and I felt pretty gross at that point. I handed Cohen to Nick and stood beside my bed to deliver the placenta and once again, it was straight to the shower. I recalled my first showers after Gavin and Cara. I felt weak and light headed those times, but not now. It felt great to be in my own home with my family, surrounded only by those I knew and loved.

After my shower, we all settled into the living room. I snuggled my baby and tried to nurse him. He wasn't hungry just yet. After a while, Jo checked him over and weighed him. When she announced that he was 8 lb 6 oz, we were all shocked. My others only weighed just over 6 lbs. My husband proclaimed that I had "made a real baby this time".. This day was full of laughter.
Then, it was time to check if I needed stitches. Nick was cuddled up to our little guy in the recliner, our others sleeping soundly in the next room, completely unaware of what had just happened. I couldn't wait for them to meet their new brother. I had minimal tearing and needed stitches. Yay. Thanks previous episiotomies and Cohen's arm.

Jo is an excellent midwife, but hadn't had to do a lot of repairs (which is actually a great thing!) so it took a while to fix me up. At one point during the stitches, my cat jumped through the open window and landed directly behind her head. Everyone laughed hysterically while rushing to put her back outside. 

After all was said and done, I attempted for the second time to nurse my sweet baby. We had some trouble at first, that
lasted for a few weeks. I later discovered that Cohen has a bit of a lip tie. We worked with it, and now I sit here typing this, nursing this 12 lb 2 month old who has stolen all of our hearts in the short time he's been here. I am so thankful for this experience. Our family has grown and grown closer together with his birth. I wouldn't change anything about it and I can't thank my birth team enough for supporting me in every way I needed and for giving me such positive memories that I will cherish forever.


Dara Hart Riley
01/27/2013 2:32pm

Earth shattering! So beautiful! Thank your for sharing this!!!!!


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