Saturday, May 18, 2013

Home Birth of Lemma Maria

All day on Wednesday May 15th I was feeling really crampy and having quite a few contractions but honestly I'd been having that for a month.  It felt a little different to me but I wasn't getting my hopes up or anything.  I had already decided that I wasn't going to be upset about being "overdue" and even at my prenatal that day with all the talk of overdue-ness, I had decided to just relax be happy and let my baby come whenever she wanted to come.  Around 3 in the morning the next day, I had a nightmare dream about the birth and woke up and realized that I was having really strong contractions.  Of course this had been happening for weeks so I just tried to go back to sleep.  I fell asleep in between contractions every so often but by 4 am I really could NOT stay in bed any longer.  I was having a lot of pain in my back and really needed to go to the bathroom so I just went and sat on the toilet for a while.  I had told Burgess that I was having contractions, couldn't sleep and couldn't stay in bed any more so after a while he came in and checked on me.  We sat in the bathroom timing contractions for a while and then retreated to the living room where I tried the birth ball, hands and knees, the rocking chair, "dancing"...etc. Nothing really helped relieve the pain in my back very well and contractions were consistently 2 1/2 minutes apart and only getting stronger.  I was still so anxious about calling anyone to come because I was afraid it would be another false alarm but at the same time when I was in labor with Henrik and contractions were about the same I was already 7 cm and given that her head was so low I decided to call my mom and mother-in-law and when they got here my mom was pretty sure we should call my midwife.

We called Heather and told her the situation.  She decided that she should come but she said she wasn't going to rush out the door.  About an hour later she came and I just wanted to be checked.  I thought for sure I'd be at LEAST a 6.  I was a 3.  I couldn't believe it!  I was so devastated.  I was already so tired and couldn't help the pain in my back for anything.  Heather was positive it was labor because I was almost completely effaced but we were all pretty surprised that this baby's head could be so low and only be a 3.  I think we all expected things to move pretty quickly from this point on.  Even though I was only 3 cm I still wanted to get in the birth pool so we got everything set up and filled up the tub and getting in felt really good but the labor picked up again shortly after getting in and soon I was not very comfortable in the birth pool either.

I started feeling really anxious and felt like I couldn't go on much longer.  I started crying and saying I couldn't keep going on and I'm just so tired.  I got really nauseous.  All signs of transition.  Then I start feeling a lot of pressure and a little pushy so my midwife checks me again.  We are all thinking I'll be about there.....I'm about a 6.  Once again DEVESTATION.  HOW CAN THAT BE?  Heather said, "No wonder you feel so much pressure and pushy, her head is halfway out.  It's at least an inch lower than it was a couple of hours ago."  We decided to get out of the pool and do some toilet sitting in hopes that would help move things along.  I walked into the bathroom and right before I can go to sit on the toilet my water broke.  Only a tiny bit of water came out, obviously because her head was so so low.  It was really uncomfortable to be on the toilet but Janelle (the other midwife) was rubbing my back and Burgess was with me.  I felt like I needed to at least try this because I couldn't last too much longer.  I was just so tired.  Finally I just couldn't sit on the pot any longer (my legs kept going numb) so I decided to get back into the birth pool.   I finally asked to be checked again because at this point I felt like I had been in transition for a couple of hours.  She checked me and I was like a 7.  NO WAY.  This is just taking too long.  I'm too tired.  I'm feeling so pushy and so much pressure and each contraction is sucking the life out of me.  I finally just decide I'm going to push on the next contraction and it felt SOOOOO GOOD!  I told me midwife, "Oh that felt so good!  I'm doing that again!"  She had just checked my cervix and knew it wasn't stuck on anything so she gave me the go ahead.  I pushed with each contraction and even though I was really getting tired from pushing it just felt so so good to push.  I even had a few moments of orgasmic pleasure.  Somewhere along the line I was getting really tired from the pushing and just feeling more and more pressure and knew that I couldn't go on much longer.  I told Burgess to pray and while he prayed I looked at the clock and told God "please be with me" and that I could NOT go on past noon.  I HAD to have this baby before 12pm.  After that prayer while I was pushing I rather instinctively reached into my vagina while pushing and realized that I could feel her head.  But I could also feel my cervix still in the way.  So the next contraction, I reached in again felt for my cervix and pulled it out of the way while I pushed.  It hurt but I knew I had to get her out.  She slid back in and I waited for the next contraction and then did it again and again and again.  Finally her head came through and once again, just like with Henrik, I lost complete control.  My body started pushing and there was no stopping it.  I could not stop pushing for the life of me.  The first contraction lasted forever and I just pushed and pushed, it felt like I couldn't even take a breath.  Oh my goodness.  PAIN.  Then it was like a 5 second break between contractions and I was pushing again and it was the same, felt like the longest contraction of my life and I just pushed and pushed.  I couldn't stop to save my life.  I was literally screaming bloody murder.  It hurt really bad but then all of the sudden her head was out!  I was shocked!  We never had to do any of the sliding back in thing.  I was so grateful!  I screamed, "OH THANK GOD! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU LORD!"  I knew that one more contraction and she would be out.  And she was.  One more uncontrollable push with a scream at the top of my lungs and there she was.  Born at 11:37am.  I pushed for all of 5 minutes.  It was really intense (hence all the screaming).  I thought I was tearing really bad (although there was nothing I could do about it) but in the end I only had a tiny superficial little tear - it was really nothing, my midwife actually gave me the choice of stitching it up or just letting it heal on it's own.

As soon as she was born she opened her eyes right up and was very alert but had a tiny bit of trouble getting her first breaths.  The pushing part must have been really intense for her too because she pooped on the way out and had a tiny bit of fluid in her lungs.  It didn't take long for that to clear and for her to give us her first few little cries though.  I actually didn't even know there was a problem at all until I heard my midwife say, "Oh yeah, her lungs are totally clear now."  I did notice that they were monitoring her much more than they did with Henrik but they were just so calm I just didn't worry about it.  My placenta came not too long after she did and so we moved into the bedroom where we could get more comfortable.

My midwife wanted to be extra careful since I hemorrhaged after my last birth so she had me eat and drink something, take a hemorrhage medication and she held my uterus tight for about 15 minutes while I nursed.  I'm really grateful to have such a loving, caring and thoughtful midwife.  She is so in tune.  Even though I was showing no signs of hemorrhage at any point she just felt like she should take care of me like I was and after the fact when all the blood was measured I had just tipped the scales BARELY into the hemorrhage category.  Had she waited to start treating me there would have been a lot more, but guess what, there wasn't and I'm fine.  A great midwife is just so priceless.  I trust her with my life.

Lemma Maria Coffield
Born at home on May 16, 2013
(two days past her due date)
7 lbs 12 oz 20.5 inches long

Our little Lemma Maria is amazing.  She is such a sweet little baby.  People kept asking me what her name would be and even though we had really liked and felt like we would name her Lemma I just couldn't commit to the name.  I just felt like I needed to spend some time alone with her first.  After the birth, we showered, got instructions from my midwives and then got into bed for a nap.  Before I fell asleep I said a prayer of thanks and asked Heavenly Father to help me to know what her name should be.  When I woke up to nurse her I looked into her eyes and just knew that was her name.  I definitely felt it confirmed by Heavenly Father.  Then I just spent some quite minutes alone with her and felt her spirit so strongly.  I felt how special she is and felt overwhelmed by her wisdom.  I knew in those moments that she is already so much smarter than me and felt so grateful to have her with me to teach me through out my life.  I feel so blessed to be chosen to be her mother.  I can't wait to get to know her more and more every single day.  I can't get enough of her and just want to hold her and talk to her all the time.


  1. Holy cow. Amy, you are a warrior woman. What an incredibly long and painful process you went through - especially since it lasted weeks prior to the actual birth. Little Lemma is beautiful and I'm so glad she arrived safely and in good hands!

  2. Speechless. Amazing. Glad you are both well. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. These pictures are priceless, absolutely amazing! Love your story, I can't wait to hear more & ask more in person! Honestly it makes me want to give birth again, so empowering & incredible! You are amazing, thanks for sharing!