For those of us who are La Leche League leaders, sharing birth stories is a frequent topic of discussion. Birth looms large when you are an expectant mother. Having given birth once, I knew that I would indeed survive and recover very nicely thank you. So, there were no vestiges of concern that “may” have accompanied my first birth. I was EXCITED and looking forward to this miraculous event. The year was 1980. My husband was in grad school at the University of New Hampshire. One evening I was changing the sheets of our water bed, which involved a fair amount of bending and exertion. When all of a sudden, “pop”, I heard/felt my water break.
I told my husband to call the folks who had agreed to watch our older child. Since my first birth was pretty fast, I didn’t want to waste much time. One of the books that had shaped my childbirth experience was called “Spiritual Midwifery“. In there I read many stories of birth. They tended to be very positive and even ecstatic. That was my mindset. For some reason it occurred to me to sing during this labor. As a kid, my Mom sang a lot in our household, and many of the songs that came to me were ones she had instilled. Daisy, Daisy, give Me Your Answer do, etc. My husband said he could tell how the contractions were doing by the tempo I sang at. I think singing help keep me loose and encouraged the dilating. Although my daughter had been planned to be a home birth, she arrived while my mid-wife was on vacation, just over 3 weeks early. So, we went to the hospital.
My husband had let me select a birth outfit for him. I chose a comfy plaid shirt and corduroys. It turned out the doc was a fellow who went to church with us. So it was all pretty relaxed and friendly. My daughter Piper was born at 1:04 in the morning. And in doctor speak (saw this in his notes!) I delivered over an “intact perineum”. This was in the days when they were not at all averse to giving women episiotomies. Yep, I was rightfully proud of my birthing prowess. Let’s just say, we rocked it!!! We went home pretty quickly and everything fell into place. Good nurser, proud big brother and a happy little family unit. Piper weighed 7# and was 20 inches long.
I just re-read her baby book. She grew amazingly fast on breast milk alone. It was a wonderful experience.