Sarah Fiore’s Birth Story

I don’t particularly consider myself a “writer.” However, I do feel as though I would be doing potential moms everywhere a disservice by not telling our story. After years of being told that I may never be able to have a baby, I’d all but given up on the idea. In November of 2012, my husband and I were thrilled to find out we were pregnant. Neither of us could fully believe it at first, but as you could imagine we were elated.   I had always known that to some degree hospitals weren’t necessary for all births. Don’t get me wrong; bless them for being there when people need them. But after witnessing my nephew’s birth in 2001, I couldn’t believe every baby needed to come into the world with Pitocin, epidurals, and fear. More than 10 years later, my opinion hadn’t changed. I knew other options had to exist, but where would I look?    I ended up meeting a lovely gal who introduced me to the idea of home birth for the first time. She explained how she had just made plans for her son to be born in water, which I thought sounded amazing. My curiosity sparked, I read book after book and watched as many documentaries as I could find on the subject of natural or home births. I was fascinated. I knew that someday, if I COULD have a baby, this is how I would do it.
When my time came, I Emailed and met with 3 midwives in the Las Vegas area before I found Marvelys. Her heartfelt response alone was enough to make me adore her, but I never expected the warmth I experienced when I met her for the first time. She was easily the most tender, non-biased and informative person I had come across in my journey. My husband and I knew instantly that this wonderful woman was going to be the one to bring our baby into this world.
Saturday, August 24 at 3:00AM I started having some simple contractions. I didn’t want to get too excited incase this wasn’t “it,” so I decided to take it easy, do some dishes, and even send my husband to the store. He returned at 3:30A.M. with something I had been craving, so I sat down and started to eat. Within two bites I started experiencing some stronger surges. My husband and I were trying to stay calm, but the excitement of meeting our baby soon got the better of us. We stayed up talking anxiously for a few hours before finally going to bed around 5A.M. I tried my best to get some rest, but the excitement and anticipation wouldn’t allow me to calm my brain. I got up and paced around for a while hoping that I would get tired enough to nap, but with no luck, I woke my husband around 11A.M., still having not slept.  My contractions were now around 35 seconds long and 15 minutes apart. We decided to make some breakfast and watch a little TV to keep my brain occupied. I sat on my birthing ball, paced laps around my house, and took a shower as things progressed. Around 9P.M. on Saturday with the contractions 5 minutes apart and over a minute long, we decided to call Marve.
It didn’t take long for her and Judith (her wonderful assistant who was also pregnant) to arrive. They came in and immediately tended to my every need. When I had a contraction, they would put pressure on my back and talk me through every surge. Wonderful smelling essential oils defused throughout my house, and my husband and our two cats were close and comforting. At this point, it was just a waiting game.
I was restless and had a strange energy even though I was tired. I remember drifting in and out of consciousness as everyone urged me to get some sleep. I would nap for a minute or two between contractions, but wake and immediately start looking for a familiar face. In the beginning, I remember saying please and thank you for everything, but it certainly didn’t stay that way! Marve was there every step of the way, patient as can be as she reminded me the importance of staying relaxed. I labored on the stool, the ball, the floor, in the tub, in the shower, in the birthing pool, and on my bed… I was fighting the good fight because I wanted the best for our baby. Eventually, I started to feel sluggish so I finally asked Marve to check me.
Sunday, August 25th. Early morning. Six centimeters. With this news, I finally agreed to attempt to rest some more. I napped on and off between contractions for a few hours as my husband made breakfast for everyone. During this time I was urged to rest to regain my strength for the rest of the process, but it was nearly impossible for me to sleep because of the intense surges. It was almost like time had no relevance and I went with the ebb and flow of my body as my baby moved closer and closer to this world.
When my husband woke me up, I did feel somewhat rejuvenated. I just remember wanting to walk around or slow-dance between contractions. My husband helped me shower and get dressed. I went down stairs to find Marve and Judith all geared up for a walk. My husband laughed as I walked down the stairs to the living room with ease, almost like I wasn’t even pregnant in the first place! I was excited to finally be up and moving because I knew every step would bring our baby closer to Earth. We made it half way down my driveway when it started raining, but that didn’t phase anyone. We continued walking and talking, stopping when we needed to so I could breathe through my surges. I remember smelling the rain, something my husband and I have always enjoyed together, and thinking about our son doing the same with us. When we got back to the house they urged me to eat something, but for some reason all I wanted was coconut water. Thinking back now, I feel awful for turning down everything. Now I’d love for someone to make me half of the yummy things they were offering!
A lot of the details are pretty hazy from this point on. I didn’t look at the clock again for many hours. On August 26th around 7A.M. the contractions started getting stronger. Marve suggested I labor while sitting on the toilet again. Earlier in my labor I found this to be comfortable, especially with all the pillows I had surrounding me so I could sit comfortably. But at this point, I didn’t like it anymore, but deep down that just meant it was working! I was progressing. Much of the day went on with me alternating between the bed, the toilet, the birthing tub and taking showers for comfort. I was exhausted. But I didn’t want anyone to know. After all, I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t slept. I had the most amazing, resilient and persistent birthing team at my side, and I had my baby, whom I was ready to meet. Around this time my sister in-law came over to help aid in the process, providing an uplifting energy to my birth team and me. She brought snacks and helped to wipe my forehead with a damp cloth, all the while snapping pictures of the adventure. I soon made up my mind at that moment that I was going to get through this no matter what it took. I wanted some reassurance so I asked Marve to check me again. I thought for sure it was time to push. Almost there! August 26th, 9pm. 9 centimeters.
I rested a little longer in the birthing tub, eating spoonfuls of raw honey for energy and drinking coconut water for fluids. I was nauseous, I was tired, and I wanted these surges to stop. I thought to myself, “can someone really stay pregnant forever?” I know how silly it sounds, but at the time it really felt like that was my fate. In my own mind, I gave in. I invested my entire being into the process, and accepted all the intensity that accompanied it. I gave up on my expectations, my idea of how things should be, and let myself fully work with my body and baby. Marve suggested I labor on the toilet some more and I all but begged her to reconsider. I knew it would be painful in this position, but I was ready and she said it would help.
The surges were stronger than ever, and just when I thought I couldn’t get through it, Marve told me it was time to push. Crunch time! I laid down on the bed to rest a moment while my husband added warm water to the birthing pool, but seconds later I finally felt the sensation to push. That REAL sensation that I had heard described in my hypnobirthing classes and what I had been waiting for so eagerly. I decided right then that I would be having him on my bed instead. I couldn’t wait any longer, and neither could my baby!
Pushing didn’t hurt at all. In fact, it was a relief. I suddenly felt like I could have pushed another day and a half. The endorphins were rushing big time! The waves washed over me… 4 contractions and my baby’s head was peeping out. My husband held my hands and helped me bear down with each push, each surge of my body. I could see the excitement on everyone’s’ faces, and I pushed harder than ever. Three, four more and the shoulders emerged too. He had arrived! My husband and I erupted in tears as we got our first glance at our precious baby boy.
Marve picked him up and there was a brief pause as our perfect little man took his first breath… Time truly had no relevance and that tiny sound was the single most beautiful thing I’ve heard in my entire life. My husband knelt over me and placed his cheek against mine, his tears joining with my own. He told me he loved me, and he thanked me for being so strong and for giving us this blessing. Marve placed our baby on my chest as he told us all about his 44 hour birth journey. I counted all of his fingers and toes because I just couldn’t believe he was finally here.
We allowed the umbilical cord to stop pulsating completely before my husband cut it. Moments later, the placenta was born (which we would save for encapsulation) and I was given my post-birth check. Everything went smoothly, so I was allowed to freshen up while my birthing team took my son’s vitals and weight. The strongest memory I have of my son’s birth (aside from his first breath) is the complete sense of euphoria I felt during that shower. I peeped around the curtain as my husband held him over the sink, his face beaming with pride as Marve helped him rinse his gorgeous tiny body. It was amazing to see his fragile figure squirming under the flow of the water. My husband smiled and joked it was the slipperiest thing he had ever held. It was a lot like I imagine flying would be… I felt weightless, I felt invincible. I’ll admit, I don’t remember a lot of the labor details as clearly as one might imagine. The endorphins and the brain’s natural reaction to the process of birth is stronger than any man made drug. But I do remember laying in our bed, holding a perfect baby boy in my arms. My husband whispered to me “you did it!” I looked at him and said, “we did it.” The happiest moment of my life.

 

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