Melody's birth: So much faster the second time!

Rachel & Melody getting to know each other after a gentle birth!

Birth Story of Melody Ann, 7 lbs, 14 oz, 21.5 inches

My labor officially began at 1:20PM on 5/31/08 when my water broke while I was nursing my 22 month old son to sleep for his nap! This was 1 day prior to my due date. Prior to the water breaking, I had a really strong contraction, and then it felt as if something had punctured the water bag, and that was it. Well, then I proceeded to call the students I had scheduled for music lessons that afternoon to cancel the lessons.

I started to have mild contractions spaced out every 10 to 15 minutes, but nothing I couldn’t function through. This continued until around 4 PM when the contractions began to intensify and become about 5 minutes apart. I did not think I was that far along in my labor because my first labor was a total of 48 hours. I kept Christy updated throughout the afternoon and by 6:30 she felt she should come over. Between 6:30-8 the contractions became increasingly stronger and closer together. I now needed to either squat or hold on to something to get through a contraction. I spent most of this time by myself, just concentrating on the labor process, praying and singing. Christy arrived around 8, and suggested that since my belly was hanging so low we could put my belly band on to give some support, and also suggested that I lay down. The contractions did not slow down or change at all from laying down, in fact they got more and more intense, and by 8:30 they were coming pretty much on top of each other, or no more than a minute apart. I started to feel shaky, nauseas and to feel some slight pressure. All of the sudden around 9PM I no longer felt comfortable laying down and wanted to get up. As I tried to get up, a contraction came on really strong and I started to push. This really surprised me because I had no idea I was that far along.

I got into the hands and knees position on my bed, and Christy was desperately trying to get my clothes off me as I was still wearing them! Two or 3 contractions later Christy said she could see the baby’s head! Again, I was shocked as I had expected a much longer birth process. (Note from Christy: Rachel has her first birth with Karen Webster and I two years earlier and had a very long labor and pushing stage, so this very fast progression was a big surprise to her!) It was only a few contractions more and the baby’s head was born and one hand/arm right behind it. I felt like I knew what to do this time, I remembered from the previous birth. The next contraction the baby’s body was born. What an amazing feeling. The whole birth was awesome, and there she was, my baby girl! She was born at 9:16PM. Christy’s support and timely suggestions during the labor and birth process was so reassuring.

Rachel with her midwives and her two homeborn children!