When people say every one of their children’s births was very different, I didn’t really understand what they meant, until now. Our son, Dillon Thomson Green was born at 3:23 am Friday, February 16th, 2018. I have had many people ask to share my birth story, so here it is.
First I have to explain something amazing.
Both my children were born on the exact day I asked them. Yup – that makes me sound insane but its 100% true. Lyla was born the Friday of the May long weekend and Dillon was born the Friday of the February Family Day weekend. I had many conversations with both of them. I would tell them that they can choose when they are ready, but it would really help Mommy and Daddy if they were born on those Fridays since then we wouldn’t have to reschedule so many people at the office because Monday was already a holiday. I asked and the universe delivered. It is incredible that the power of connection and intention can create such a situation. Maybe it is just an incredible coincidence but I believe it happened for a reason.
On Thursday, February 15th at 3am my water broke and continued to slowly release all day. Because everyone says the second birth is much quicker than the first, we decided to keep Thom home from work instead of having to potentially rush him out of the office when our baby decided it was time.
Thursday was a great day- I rested, spent time with Thom, Lyla and my mom and just had mild cramping all day. We ate, laughed and I felt relaxed. Our midwife came twice to see how I was doing, but we all knew it wasn’t time yet.
And then it began…
At 7pm, I put Lyla down to sleep and decided I should try to go to bed early because I had a feeling that labour would start soon. And did it ever! By 9 pm, I was having active contractions every 2 minutes. I mostly laboured on my hands and knees while I waited for Thom to get the birthing pool ready.
Lyla sensed my energy and woke up. She really wanted me to be with her but thankfully my mom kept her in bed and cuddled her. After 2 hours, she finally stopped crying but she obviously was very aware that something in our house was different. By 10pm, I was in the pool and our midwife team from Countryside Midwives arrived. They were were amazing!
Our team created a very calm and nurturing environment.
I stayed in the pool 95% of the time, only getting out to go to the washroom. I would go on my hands and knees for every contraction while Heather (our one midwife) or Thom held my hips. If they did that, every contraction was manageable and I could breath through it. Without them, I felt like my body was falling apart and it was excruciating pain – therefore, it was a must to have them hold me.
I finally understood what it meant to work WITH a contraction.
Every contraction I told myself how my baby was coming (even though a few of them I questioned how I was ever going to get this baby out and wondered if I was going to be doing this for 20 more hours….) (See my blog about Lyla’s birth and you will understand why I wondered this..)
Our midwives were so calm and trusting of my body and so incredibly good at being supportive throughout. They helped me through all those doubts and kept me focused on meeting our baby.
After 5 hours, it was slowly getting more and more difficult. Heather said to me, “Sarah, I think you are getting ready to start pushing.” But I never consciously pushed…I let my body do what it needed to and with the next contraction I relaxed into it and Dillon came smoothly out of me. I caught him myself in the tub, pulled him to my chest and stared in amazement into his beautiful blue eyes. One push, that wasn’t even a push, to meet our baby boy.
Thom checked Dillon’s upper neck while I held him to my chest and gave a very small adjustment to his Atlas (C1) on the right. We stayed in the tub for another 30 minutes while I delivered my placenta and then the three of us went to our bed. We enjoyed skin-to-skin time for an uninterrupted hour and loved on each other. Thom and I were in such awe and amazement that we barely spoke.
Dillon latched right away and received milk since I was still breastfeeding Lyla (no supply issues here). It is great because our team didn’t take him for measurements or an examination and just let us connect. I then had a quick shower and we spent the next while in bed together while our team cleaned everything up and headed out.
Before we knew it, it was 5:30am and Lyla was up early. I chose to let Thom cuddle our sweet boy while I connected with Lyla as I was missing her like crazy. It is amazing how your life can change in a moment and your love can expand so much, so quickly.
Recovery and The Postpartum Period
The recovery and postpartum period has looked very different this time around. (Here is the comparison blog from my birth with Lyla – http://elmirafc.com/postpartum-pain/ if your interested).
First off, breastfeeding is going much better. Instead of mom and baby learning, I am more experienced and know how things should feel and look. Dillon barely lost any weight and feeds very well. No tongue-tie issues either!
The worst part was for 48 hours I had really bad engorgement when my milk came in and the pain peaked at Day 3 and 4. It was brutal! Thankfully, after 2 days, lots of cabbage and ice, things levelled off. Also, I had very minor tearing, so minor there was no point of stitches.
Mentally, I am so much calmer.
I trust Dillon is fine and that we are all doing our best. The huge hormonal swings haven’t been an issue this time. Mostly, I cry because of joy instead of sadness or worry. Also, I am not pushing myself to get back to the gym this time and just trusting the healing process.
Six weeks already?
I have been back to my pelvic floor physiotherapist and she is really happy with my physical healing. I know the time will come when I can train again. For now, receiving regular adjustments, baby wearing, walking and breathing exercises are great ways for me to focus on my physical body.
Another big difference during this postpartum period is the commitment I have made to myself to accept help that is offered and to stop pretending I can do it all myself. I have also commited to say no to anything that was not a necessity.
Thom has stepped up so much and we have had so many loving family members, friends and people in our community offer to support us in this transition by dropping off meals and gifts, watching Lyla or just being an ear. It has been incredible and I feel like we have a tribe this time instead of feeling so incredibly alone, like I did at times following Lyla’s birth.
I am super proud to have carried and birthed these two incredible children.
Overall, two perfect babies.
Two completely different births.
Two life-changing experiences.