(by Kristen Coblentz, about the birth of Shane Michael Dillon, born 3.24.09)
On March 23rd I woke up because Noelle was saying her window was loud. She got up about 3 times and I kept putting her back in bed. She finally fell back asleep and so I got back into bed. As I got in bed I realized I was having contractions. They weren’t too painful and there was no pattern to them so I just went to sleep.
I got up to get ready for work at about 7:00am, and the contractions were still coming. They were about 19 minutes apart. Derek said that I should call Tami just to let her know and to see what she thought. I dropped Noelle off at day care and then called Tami. I told her what was going on and she said it could be early labor or just Braxton Hicks but to keep an eye on the contractions.
I had kept in touch with Derek and Tami all day through email, letting them know how far apart the contractions were. Tami was with the midwife (Alina) all day so they both knew what was going on. At 4:30pm we were leaving work and a co-worker asked me if I would be in the next day. I said of course I would be. He asked if I was sure and I told him that I would let him know otherwise, but I planned on coming in.
On my way home, the contractions were getting a little stronger but they were still all over the place. I started to think, "If I am in labor I need to do laundry, the baby’s clothes and blankets need washed and we need clean towels!" So I got home and started to do the laundry. By the time Derek got home with Noelle I was just finishing folding it. It was about 7:00pm and the Bright House guy was there to hook up our home phone, and when he was looking at my face he looked a bit nervous. Derek started cooking dinner for us and I was sitting on my birthing ball. The contractions were getting stronger but there was no pattern yet.
We ate dinner, and while Derek was getting Noelle ready for bed I took a shower. The shower didn’t really help. It was about 9:40pm and Derek said, "Maybe we should just go to bed in case you are in labor, that way you get some rest." I agreed. I called Tami and told her I was still having the contractions and they were somewhat stronger but we were going to bed to try to get some rest. She said that was a good idea (she told me later, when she got off the phone she thought I would be having a baby that night).
We laid in bed for about 15 minutes and it was like a bomb went off. All of a sudden the contractions were incredibly strong and they were about 5 to 6 minutes apart. We stayed in bed about an hour to see if they stayed in a pattern, and they did. At 11:00pm I called Tami and she said she was on her way over and I needed to call Alina. I called Alina and she said I was in labor, and it would take her about an hour to get to our house. I then called my grandma and my friend Darlin (my grandma was a support person and Darlin was taking pictures).
Tami arrived first. She watched me for a little bit to time the contractions and then she started to get the birth kit together. My grandma got there second and immediately started to help Derek support me. Darlin came next and started taking pictures right away. Alina came last. She started to help Tami and then monitored the baby’s heartbeat to make sure he was doing okay. All was good.
I was okay in between contractions, but I wasn’t so quiet while having them. I don’t know how Noelle slept through it all, but she didn’t wake up the whole time. Derek went and filled our tub up and Tami made sure the temperature was okay. I am not too sure of the time I actually got in the tub, but after a while of having contractions I just wanted to be in there.
I got in the tub and after a few contractions I was able to just breathe through them. Alina then checked to see how far I was, 7 cm. I felt so relaxed and comfortable in the tub I ended up falling asleep with my head on the side of the tub in between them.After a little while I wasn’t able to just breathe through the contractions; they were to the peak and I knew I had to push. I was so much more aware of what was happening with my body, I knew I had to take my time pushing because I didn’t want to tear. I pushed for a little while, trying not to push too hard (I was screaming at this point). I finally felt his head come out. I could hear my grandma saying “Kristen his head is out!” (she was so excited). I pushed a little bit more and his shoulders and body came out. Tami caught him and broke the bag of water off of him--my water had never broken--and put him right on my chest.
He never cried, he just looked up at me with his tongue out. He was so beautiful. Tami got a baby hat and put it on his head to keep his head warm (that’s when he started crying) and then a receiving blanket on his body with the warm water from the tub. After a little while I gave him to Derek because I had to deliver the placenta. I then got cleaned up and got into bed next to Derek and Shane. Alina checked Shane out and then me to make sure we were both okay, and then we went to sleep.
This was such a rewarding experience. I would never want to give birth any other way than this.