We welcomed Asher Lee Farnsworth on October 22, 2015 at 8:29 pm, weighing 8.2 pounds and 19 inches long.
Each of my births was unique and my third proved to be my most challenging. I expected to feel some thread of familiarity because, well damnit I’ve done it twice before! My first birth was 6 hrs 45 minutes, my second a rocking 2 hrs, and my third 12 hours. Each baby truly does have their own plans and needs.
I woke up and had bloody show at 8 am (this was a first for me). I called my birth team and had my first wave at 8:30 am. I was able to eat breakfast and shower. Slowly over the morning my birth team arrived and Ian set up the birth pool. I put on my necklace made during my Mother Blessing and tried to listen to my Hypnobabies deepening track. As the waves picked up I found myself crying ugly snotty tears. My Doula and Birth Attendant were my cheerleaders and foundation of calm. I could not have done it without their words and calm presence. All I heard was “you got this, what you are feeling is normal, your baby is so smart and knows how to be born.”
I could feel him move during waves which did not feel good. I knew he was working on getting into a good birth position so I talked to him during waves to encourage him and keep myself calm. This birth proved to be a mental and physical work out for me. I had to choose to surrender to each wave, release, relax and let go. Each and every time. Just remembering to breathe was challenging and it helped so much when my Doula and Birth Attendant would breathe with me. Each wave I found myself feeling broken apart, crumbling, only to discover that when the wave was over I was still whole… until the next one came. I was so in my head and honestly a bit pissy that I was still in my birthing time and he wasn’t here!
No position felt good, but some felt a bit more manageable. I would be on my knees and lean onto my bed or birth ball. During one wave I was in a semi squat with my butt against the wall and leaning over onto my bed. In between waves I could talk and walk and be fully present. I enjoyed everyone’s presence, even my two big kids. My oldest child kept asking me when I thought the baby would be here, to which I kept saying “I’m not sure but soon.”
I continued to eat and drink throughout the morning and use the bathroom as I needed too. Then the waves went from every 5-10 minutes, to 15-20 minutes. I laid down. It was a beautiful fall day and I loved looking at the trees outside my window. I could look at my birth altar and remember I wasn’t alone, I could do this. My birth team took care of themselves getting lunch and resting and cleaning. Ian took our big kids and dog for a walk. I loved that when everything spaced out everyone just kept telling me to listen to my body and do what felt right. I slept so deep I drooled.
When I woke up the waves slowly started to pick up. Around 5:30/6 pm things got really intense. I felt hungry but not able to eat so I asked for juice mixed with coconut water. I drank deeply in between waves and kept telling everyone thank you. I started to get hot and shaky which is when I found a cold washcloth pressed on my forehead and neck felt divine! We had the lights out in the hall where the birth pool was and I found this helped me feel like I had more privacy. The birth pool, a La Bassine Maxi from Natural Creation, stayed warm all day and I loved the handles inside and on top of the pool. I felt so much love, support, and respect from everyone. I really did not want to be alone like I had originally expected. The support I had also included my amazing Birth Photographer who was also pregnant with her third. Capturing the memories of my third and last pregnancy and birth were very important to me!
I was very loud during the last few hours. I felt so much with each wave that brought baby closer to birth. When I felt hot stabbing pain in my back as baby slowly descended into my pelvis I started screaming… “Ow, owie, my back, no, fuck, GET THE FUCK OUT” in varying tones. My two big kids were in the playroom right off the hall where I was in the birth pool. My 3.5 year old would come out to check on me covering his ears, then go back. Later, my 6.5 year old told me I was “as loud as a lion roaring and thunder clapping all rolled into one.”
Everything about my birth was directed and guided by me, including pushing. Which is why I was not pleased that I ended up pushing for awhile. My legs started to cramp, but I found no other position bearable. I was on my knees leaning over the birth pool, holding desperately onto Ian during waves. In between waves my Doula and Birth Attendant rubbed my legs which really helped. I remember my Birth Attendant telling me to let my body do the work, that the baby was coming down beautifully. I couldn’t help but add some bearing down because I really wanted him out and to be done! I instinctively brought my hand down to feel him as he began to crown. It felt like it took forever to get his head out, then I had to wait for another wave to come before pushing more of him out. The pause in between waves was close to unbearable, then the next one came and his body was out!
Asher came out into the water for a second while I moved my leg around him and picked him up and brought him to my chest. He was pink and perfect! I was still very uncomfortable and asked to move to my bed to birth the placenta. Asher latched for the first time on his own about 30 minutes after he was born, right before I birthed the placenta. We decided to leave the cord attached overnight so the big kids could help burn the cord in the morning. Ian went to get them in bed as it was a super late night for them. My birth team cleaned up and got food.
It was not the birth I expected, and exactly the birth Asher and I needed. I am so grateful I hired my birth team as they were the exact support we needed to have a peaceful, loving, home water birth.