Wolf’s Birth Story

Aeddon Wolf Valdimar
VBAC, 6th Baby
“How wonderful life is, now you’re in the world” 
Sunday, August 27, 2006

(This post is my first in a few years. What better way than to blog about Wolf’s birth on his TENTH birthday?!)

I was dreaming of a family friend fighting a lion. I awoke in a puddle of water. I rushed to turn on the light and woke my husband. But I could smell it was just pee, so I tossed a towel over it and went back to sleep.
I awoke again a few hours later to the sound of my teenage daughter, Tabitha, rushing around getting ready for work. I jumped up and drove to Muscatine with the dawn. I hung out at the coffee shop for a few minutes while Tabitha made me an Americano. I told her my hips felt “wonky” and maybe today would be the day. She said not to wait too long to get her if I was.
At home my husband Chris and I read the newspaper and had fun sex.
Mmmmm…
Being Sunday it was “clean the house day”. As I worked I noticed cramping- of course I had been cramping everyday, but these seemed more regular.
I was sweeping at 10 am when Chris said, “everything okay?” I confessed to contracting every 15 minutes but tried not to get too excited.
Chris cooked me two fried eggs with salt and maple syrup. Yummy!
At 12:30 I thought I’d see if a walk “in the wild wind” would be helpful. I went alone. My contractions were 6 minutes apart. I would stop and focus on butterflies. Sometimes I would pee myself. Guess the baby’s head was moving down! On my walk I saw a flock of geese and a beautiful heron. I took it as a sign of good luck. I walked one mile.
Back home I sat on the porch swing with Chris. We talked about setting up a birth tub in the dining room in case of heavy rain- it was very overcast. I told Chris I really wanted Tabitha to come home, even if this was a false alarm. But I had no cramps while we swung and he said we could wait until she got done at 3:30.
Chris cleaned and set up the birth tub. I folded the laundry. I got a few bigger contractions. On my walk I imagined wings unfurling from my hips, but now it was more like knives twisting. Chris finished the tub and left to pick up Tab.
My 13 year old son Rowan played with the other children while I lay down for a nap. I missed Chris. I remember enjoying a nap with him at our last birth. Contractions came every 7 minutes, but I did sleep between them.
Chris and Tab return around 4. I tried doing a few chores. Chris told me later he saw me pause to squat while hanging sheets to dry. I then sat in the outdoor hot tub for a few minutes but it seemed to slow things down. I decided to watch “Moulin Rouge” with the kids while Chris started making sushi.
Pearl (midwife 1) called on a hunch to see what was going on at my house. I told her I was contracting, but not regular enough, so we’d call later.
Chris checked my cervix. 8? 9? No head though.
I called K. (midwife 2) to check in. We spoke for 9 minutes during which I had 3 short contractions. Maybe she’d stop out after supper… By now I was singing pretty loud with Ewan and Nicole.
One more trip to the toilet (bloody show!) and I was off to the hot tub again.
The contractions were really strong now. I felt nauseous and asked for a bucket. I checked myself. Lip of cervix, bag, head. I told Chris he should give up on the sushi and call the midwives.
I floated sideways in the tub. It helped me to remember I didn’t need to hold onto the contraction. I could ‘let it go’. Then a calm. The contractions slowed. The pain lessened. Chris’ face was there. “The midwives won’t make it in time”. I closed my eyes.
I remember my friend Jenni once saying “you don’t have to push”. I said this to myself for many urges.
Then it felt better to give a little push. My water broke. My whole beautiful family was watching. Rowan had the video camera. The kids were all taking pictures.
I would change positions often. Hand and knees. Squatting. Kneeling. This baby sure was taking a long time to come out!
I could feel the head inside my labia. Chris leaned in and felt. Tabitha leaned in and felt. The water wet her white t-shirt and her pink bra showed through (like in Duece Bigelow the teens said.) It made me smile.
The baby kept kicking and wiggling inside me. “Let me do it, baby”, I said. The head would crown and go all the way back in. “Come on, monkey”. I always call my children monkeys. Crown again. In again.
The head finally came. So intense! What a big head! Wait for the next contraction. I leaned back and put some traction on the head. No rotation. The baby squeezed its own arms out. Stuck at the armpits?! Chris is in the tub now. I unwrap the cord from the baby’s neck. Push again. Finally born!!! 8:08 pm. Beautiful! “What is it?” I ask Morgan Finn (5). “A boy!” my children move in close to touch their brother. This is one of the most perfect moments of my life.
After a while it is dark. Rhiannon (10) cuts the cord. I get out while Archer (8) wraps the baby. I move into bed.
The midwives arrive. Archer, Morgan Finn and K. deliver my placenta. Pearl and the children make placenta prints. Tabitha cooks the placenta for me – delicious! We eat enchiladas and drink wine. We sing happy birthday and eat birthday cake with a zero candle.
The first scale says 11 pounds, 11 ounces. We try two more scales and settle on 11 – 8.
The midwives go home. The children spread sleeping bags in my room and I am tucked in with Wolf. Bliss.

Author: thewitchmama

Melanie Elizabeth Hexen is a midwife, regionally famous bellydancer, homeschooling mother and matriarch of the Many Hands House. She has been a witch for 25 years, and her belief system is currently based on the writings of Terry Pratchett and the teachings of Steven Posch. With her coven, the Prärie Hexen, she is creating the Hexen Tradition of Witchcraft.

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