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Happy Birthday Zane; Zane’s Birth Story

After I shared Lillian’s birth story here on the blog, I decided to share each child’s birth story on their birthday.

Zane, my second, was born April 19, 2017, so tonight, I am sharing his birth story.

Part of it is written by me in an email to my mom and sisters, part is written by my lovely home birth doula.

Zane, age 3

Tuesday morning I started taking herbs. I was 8 days overdue. After three hours, I got tired of the bitter tasting cohosh and raspberry leaf and quit. I took a little walk that evening. At 3 AM the next morning, I woke up and decided to do some hip circles on the birth ball. Soon, I was having strong contractions. At 5 AM I felt my water break. I was pretty certain I was in—or going into— real labor.

Finally, I decided to call my doula. By the time she arrived 1 1/2 hrs later, I was so glad she was there. When a contraction came, I generally stood next to the changing table for support, sometimes swaying. Emma, my doula, would rub my back or put pressure on my hips to relieve my back.

“You called me around 9:15 in the morning and I got to the house around 10:45. You were already in it and doing very well by yourself. There was a lot going on when I got there, your mom and dad were trying to get Brent out of the house and that was very stressful for you and made it hard to focus on your labor. When they left you were able to settle down and find a decent rhythm. Contractions were a little over a minute long and 5-7 minutes apart. We did a lot of massages, back, hands, feet. You were starting to relax and managing well.”

After only a few hours, I started to get very tired. I sat down on the couch and she rubbed my feet. I took a shower or two and tried some different positions. Every time I tried to squat with the birth ball the contractions were extreme. (I only did that because I felt like it was a position that would help labor progress). I was getting even more tired, and the contractions were really intense. I needed a break, so I took another shower. I didn’t want to leave the shower. I tried a few squatting positions in the shower, then I just sat down. It felt so good to just lean back on the cold tub and let the contractions come. The water was still showering my legs.

“Around 12:15 you got nauseous and told me you felt “pale” so we called RuthAnn to give her an update. You kept contacting and managing well until one when you got a little panicked and went to have another shower. I am not sure what did it for you about the shower but when you got out half an hour later you were very different. Extremely calm.”

God really helped me to relax, and I even dosed most of the next 2 or 3 hours! It seemed I instinctively knew when a contraction was coming because I would start swaying and breathing before I could even feel it. Then as the contraction increased, I swayed wider and breathed faster, and as it decreased, I slowed, until I returned to my semi-conscience state. I asked my doula once if it was normal to feel semi conscience, and she asked if I had heard of hypnobirthing. I had heard of it. She said that that’s what I was doing and that most women go to months of classes to learn to do that. I think God was helping me when I needed it.

“You wanted to sit on the couch and you just did your thing. You sat very quietly, sort of rocking. When a contraction would come the rocking/swaying would increase and you would make quiet noises, and maybe grimace. I think Marty had a nap, I read some Grimm fairytales and at one point you snapped your head up, scaring me half to death, and asked, “Do you think I’m doing this right?!” I Smiled and you closed your eyes again, that’s all the encouragement you needed. You were doing excellent.”

Homebirth helped too because I was in an environment I was comfortable in, and with only two people, whom I was comfortable with. Even with that help, the contractions were starting to really get to me again. I started to moan with each contraction instead of just quietly breathing. Even if I tried to be quiet, I couldn’t. I started asking for Ruth Ann.

“At 3:15 you got up for a restroom break and we decided to call RuthAnn, she was already headed our way. She made it about an hour later. Stephany got there maybe 20 minutes after that. They started to set the bedroom up and their movement was distracting to you. So we turned some music on and you found your rhythm again.”

My midwife arrived that evening, and her assistant soon after. They were talking in the kitchen and it was a little distracting, so I asked Emma to turn on my CD player. It helped me focus again. After a while, I got off the couch and tried the ball again. Things were getting really intense. I started murmuring “baby…baby…baby” (it seems to be something I do when I go into transition). Marty was there supporting me, and I noticed his eyes were a little misty.

The next contraction had me scrambling to my feet, and soon I felt my body pushing, so I took a deep breath and joined in. This is when I got really noisy. I had been groaning through the contractions since Ruth Ann arrived, but now I was loud, and there was not much I could do to control that.

“The double hip squeeze became very important for you around 4:45 so Marty and I were helping you while Ruth and Steph were setting up. Lots of back pressure. You were leaning against Marty and you looked up at me and said, “I believe I feel like pushing.” “WHAT?!” was a pretty unanimous response.“

The third push, I felt the baby’s head create a lot of pressure and I said —rather loudly—”You guys! He’s crowning!” Ruth Ann looked up at me, then started throwing things out of her bag. The other two rushed to get towels and bed pads, and I struggled to get into position! I was crushing poor Marty with each push. He was kneeling on the floor, and I was supporting myself on his knee and shoulder!

“So, you leaned a little harder into Marty, I pushed a little harder on your hips and RuthAnn got the necessities, Steph ran around getting equipment in the right place. Marty later described this as a crazy cartoon, with towels and tools and people flying about. You started pushing pretty much after saying you needed to. 5-6 pushes standing, then to hands and knees, maybe 7 there. Then a huge gush of amniotic fluid and a head and face. Another big push and not enough result, RuthAnn worried over shoulder dystocia. Then we were flipping you over into McRobert’s, knees to chest, and you were pushing like a madwoman, all one big huge push. And he was out.”

I think it was two more contractions and Ruth Ann yelled the command to get me on the floor sitting down. She yelled, “legs up! Marty get her legs up!” My knees came up to my chest, and I felt the most intense feeling ever, and let out the most intense moan/growl ever. But, out came my baby! He was up on my chest the next second. And it seemed everyone was rubbing him down with towels all at once. His face was turning blue, so they tried to drain him, and get him to breath and cry.

“He was blue. And he had very little tone. He was on your chest and we were rubbing and scrubbing him dry. He needed a little blow-by oxygen. But after what seemed like minutes, but was no more than one or two, he cried and was breathing. We were very vigilant about any sort of decline. We kept up the stimulation and took his vitals multiple times. His breathing and heart rate were fine, but his tone stayed low and he remained a bluish color. I would say it was 15-20 minutes of active baby care.”

Eventually, they helped me to my room when things had calmed down. They were still trying to get him to turn pink and give a good cry. They gave him oxygen through a mask and drained more fluid. I was thankful when he was back on my chest, resting. I think he nursed soon after.

“When we felt he was stable, and you were too, we moved you into the bedroom. I think you rinsed off before getting into bed. Zane was very calm for all of this. Even when you all were tucked into bed Zane was just hanging out. He wasn’t very interested in eating at first, maybe two hours went by before he nursed. I got the impression he was tired. After he nursed he went to sleep and slept for quite a while. He was even calm through his newborn exam. You joined us for dinner while he slept. There was some story-telling and some hair-color comparison, your whole family all hanging out in the living room where you had just brought your second son into the world. It was a beautiful time.”

Zane (“God’s gracious gift”) Wesley Clevenger, born 5:02pm 4/19/17, 9lbs 13oz, 20.5 inches.

I was feeling kind of weak, maybe because of all the grape juice they kept offering me. Laying down on my bed for a while really helped. Momma was fixing supper for everyone even though everyone said they weren’t hungry. When it was ready and on the table, it was hard to resist. Even I got an appetite when I smelled the fried sausage and herb biscuits. It was fun to sit around the table with my birth team, laughing and talking about the funny moments of that day. I felt very blessed!

“You did an excellent job trusting your ability and quietly powering through contractions and labor. You really did a good job listening to what you needed. Marty did a good job too, helping when he could and being supportive when you really needed him. Congratulations on your new addition!“

And that is Zane’s story, different than my first and certainly different than my third! His birth was a testimony to me of how wonderful birth can be! God is good!

2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Zane; Zane’s Birth Story

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