The Birth of Trinity Faith Ritenburg
This birth story begins with the celebration of my other daughter’s birth. We had thrown a huge 4th birthday party for our daughter and arrived home around 4pm. It was November 30th and my due date wasn’t until December 24th. When we got home, I went to the bathroom and discovered that my mucous plug had come out. I had read that even if the plug comes out, it could still be weeks before the baby is born, so I didn’t make a big deal about it. I did however suggest to my hubby that we put a plastic sheet on our bed just in case- and thank God we did! I was having contractions that evening while we watched a movie, and later while we were in bed. They were getting stronger and I decided to do some visualizing. I kept imagining my baby moving lower and my cervix opening, I kept telling myself that I was getting huge. After a couple hours of that, I felt something come out- I figured it must be more mucous and I went to the bathroom to investigate. It was water, but I didn’t really think my water broke, so I was going to change my underwear and when I pulled them off- I had a gush of water. Then I knew that it was indeed my water breaking. So, I woke up my hubby and told him what was happening, it was 1am. He wanted to know what I wanted to do. I called the midwife and let her know what was happening, we had an appointment already scheduled for December 1st at 12 noon, so she said that I should just call her when I thought I would be needing her. I also called my best friend/doula Rebecca, and my mom, they were surprised but delighted as well. I decided we’d need our rest, so we should just go back to bed and try and get sleep. The contractions kept coming and were requiring me to breathe through them, so I asked Peter, my hubby, if he would set up some relaxing music for me. That helped, but eventually it was just keeping me awake, so I shut it off. I really couldn’t sleep because I was so uncomfortable so I went down to the couch where I could be more upright and that helped. I fell asleep for an hour or so, and then woke up in a puddle that spilled over the side of the couch. By this time I was on my 3rd pair of underwear in a couple of hours and since it was 6am and Peter had had some sleep I woke him up to set up the pool for me- so I would stop soaking everything I came near. He filled the pool and it felt good to get in, but it also slowed everything down to nothing. No more contractions. We went on with our day, Peter made french toast for Hailey and I, and we just waited around for things to get rolling again. I called the midwife to see if she wanted to just wait for things to get going more, or if she still wanted to come at noon, she said she would be there at 1pm. I got sick of waiting for labor, and wanted to go to the grocery store to get some healthy snacks for later. I started having contractions again in the store, but not consistent. After shopping, we stopped by our friend, Amanda’s house who had agreed to video tape the birth. She was surprised to hear that I was in labor- and was at her house! We left there to get home to see the midwife was already there- it was 12:30pm. She had just arrived. We let her know things were really slow and so I had a normal checkup, baby’s heart rate was great, blood pressure was great, everything was perfect, baby just wasn’t ready yet. Even though the water had broken, the head was acting as a cork and keeping the rest of the water in, and my body was making more fluid every 3 hours- such a miracle pregnancy and birth are! We all ate lunch and I decided to take a walk outside. It was so bitter cold and windy that I didn’t make it far at all. But at least I had some time alone, and got out of the house. When I got back home I was tired so I had a little cat nap on the couch. I had a few contractions that were pretty rough, but they were very sporadic. I told Peter that I thought that if we got out and did something that things would really get going. So we decided to go the mall to walk around and then take Hailey to see Madagascar 2. I called the midwife before we left to let her know that things were still slow and we were going out- she said “enjoy yourselves”. On the way to the mall, the contractions started coming 10 mins apart and I had to have Hailey and Peter quiet so I could concentrate on breathing though them- so they were pretty strong. In the mall they continued being 10 mins apart and then were coming 5 mins apart. I went to the bathroom 3 times in the mall and we were only there about an hour- each time I went, there was a little bloody mucous in the toilet, so I knew things were going to happen that night. On the way home, we stopped at Timmy Ho’s and Peter and Hailey each got a doughnut and I got the potato soup I’ve been craving since they came out with it. It’s so yummy! They were still 5 mins apart the whole way home except the last one before we got in the house was 4 mins. Once we were inside, I had Peter put some more hot water in the pool and while it filled I breathed through some really tough ones- I think by this time they were about 3 mins apart. Peter called the midwife who said she would be on her way, and also called his mother- who would be playing with Hailey while I labored. I called Rebecca and Amanda, then got in the pool. It was about 6:30pm by this time. When Amanda arrived about 10 mins later the contractions were 2-3 mins apart and were lasting about a minute each. My mother-in-law arrived next and then Rebecca shortly after. The midwife came about 10 mins after Rebecca got there. I was definitely in full force labor and it was intense! I was not comfortable in the pool at all because it was only at 94 degrees and I was freezing which was making me tense and I couldn’t relax. One thing that really helped me though while I was in the pool was my husband had his hands on my shoulders and I was holding his hands and he was squeezing my hands. Feeling the power and the warmth from his hands actually gave me strength- I took strength from him. Also, Rebecca was rubbing my lower back which really helped to ease some of the tension. Eventually though, about 20-30 mins of being in the pool, I told everyone that I wanted to get out and go up to my bed, so I would be warmer. Once upstairs, Peter and I got in bed together and I warmed up. The contractions were so low in my sacrum and it felt like I was being disemboweled. It was so painful, and my breathing turned into low groans and moans- little did I know that her head was crowning. I felt as if I were being split in half, there was so much pressure and it was really hard to breathe through them now, I really felt like I needed to push. After a few minutes of laying there with the covers on, my midwife took a peek and discovered that she was crowning and poured some olive oil on me to help me stretch. I told them I wanted to squat on the floor next to the bed. It was then that Hailey and my mother-in-law were called up so they could witness this miracle. Once in this position, it did hurt more because gravity was pulling her down, but I knew it would go faster this way and I would open up more. I gave one push in this position and then needed more leverage so I got help to get up on my feet and squatted a little on my feet and after 2 pushed my little girl was out. Her daddy got to catch her and discovered that she was a girl, we had not known until that moment. I was so relieved that she was out, but I had anticipated that I would be able to pull her up to my breast while the cord was pulsating and that I would be able to nurse her. This plan didn’t work too well since her cord ended up being really short and I had to stay on all fours with my baby girl in between my legs until we could get situated. I was able to lay down and they put her on my lower stomach and we waited for the placenta to be born before we cut the cord. This was hard because I wasn’t having any more contractions to get the afterbirth out since I wasn’t nursing. Eventually it came out and Hailey was able to cut the cord- what a gift to watch her so involved in her sister’s birth- she has to be the most proud big sister ever! I was surprised how much it still hurt in my vaginal area after the birth. The midwife put some witch hazel on me and that helped. I had lost a lot of blood 400 cc’s I think she said, and she was getting a little concerned that I was going to hemorrhage- so she was getting the pitocin ready- but I ended up not needing it. The midwife and Rebecca got my bed all cleaned up and me too- I was a mess. I wanted to take a shower but because of the stairs, and the amount of blood I had lost, the midwife didn’t think it was a good idea. So I just got back into bed and nursed my sweetie. It was so nice to be with my family in my bedroom and have shared such an intimate experience with all of them. There is absolutely nothing about this birth that I would change and I would do it all over again. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done, but it was so worth it and I know I gave my baby the best entry into this world that she could have. I am so thankful for a supportive and loving husband and best friend. Praise God that everything was orchestrated perfectly because He is in control of all. I never doubted that His strength was enough for me. Trinity Faith was weighed by her father and was 7lb. 8 oz. Daddy also measured her and she was 18 ½ in. This was all done on my bed right next to me. Our baby never left our side, and she was given the best care because the people holding and touching her were loved her. She was born with light brown hair, and she looked just like her older sister looked when she was born, except that big sissy was much chubbier than her. I share such an amazing bond with Trinity and I am enjoying her fully! God’s timing was perfect and I get to enjoy a beautiful healthy little baby girl for Christmas this year. Talk about the perfect present! Thanks God!