Esti's Birth Story

BH this is baby #5. That comes with the blessing of knowing my body *can* birth a baby but also the knowledge and experience of exactly how hard it is. I struggled emotionally a lot during the beginning of this pregnancy. I had an ectopic in August 2013 and it ruptured. I am "lucky" to be alive. This would PG be my 2nd hb in Israel. I had 3 brths in South Africa at wonderful birthing units after looking into it, knew that hospital wasn't the place for me.

I set out to choose my caregivers with care. Janice Cohen my doula, is someone I've known for too many years to count. She was recommended by a few people, and I liked the idea of using someone I know. Barbara Ben Ami was also recommended to me and was definitely the right choice for me.

I had an uneventful pregancy TG, but as the time grew closer I really started to get nervous. I always go past my due date, usually not by much, but after one memorable "late" baby, I learned to post-date my edd to everyone except my mw, doula and dh! Yes, including my mom, mil and and best friend.

Baby was due on Monday. I saw Janice on Thursday morning. Emotionally I was all over the place. She helped calm me down and centre me. Obviously it really worked bec I started having contractions on Thurs afternoon! No pattern and not long but definitely painful. They went on for hours. I even called Barbara and Janice and told them something may be going on. Eventually I fell asleep, but not before baking my challot at 12.30 am.

I rested on Friday bec I figured out that I had contractions when I stood. Contractions came and went, but had virtually stopped. We went out for lunch on Shabbat and I even napped in the afternoon. I smsed Barbara after Shabbat that things were still happenig but in no pattern so it could still be days.

I took a bath around 9 and that didn't slow things down, so I thought maybe? the contractions *never* established any kind of pattern. sometimes they were every 2 min and sometimes 10 min apart. Its true that every birth is different. I woke Tamir at 10 (he'd fallen asleep putting kids to bed). He helped me time the contractions. We called Barbara, who was out with friends. I told her something *may* be happening and that we'd call again in half an hour. At 11 we called Barbara and Janice and told asked them to amke their way to us. I told them not to rush bec I was sure I still had plenty of time.

I laboured a bit on the bed and then on the toilet. It felt comfortable (?!) I had a few strong contractions, but really mostly not that strong. I was sure there was still a long way to go. Tamir started filling up the pool. Barbara go to me around 11.40. I threw up and felt my waters break. She checked and said I was 7cm! I was so surprised. i was thinking 3 and hoping 5! Janice arrived and I got into the water at 12. It was so wonderful to see her. tHe water was warm and soothing. I had a few contractions. Janice was great. I turned onto my knees, leaning my arms on the side of the pool, and squeezed janice's hands. Barbara aske me if I could feel baby. I reached down and he was about a finger's length away. She remindeed me to keep my bum down in the water. i gave about 1 1/2 pushes and he was out! Born at 12.18 am. The pushing/crowning is usually my hardest time. This time he just slipped out. And at 3.7 he was my biggest baby by a lot. And I think I missed transition too.

Seriously, this was an amazing birth. It felt calm and manageable and not a big deal. Easily my best one. And geetting in to my own bed afterwards is so nice. but so nice. I had a shower about an hour later and felt like myself again. No shaking or exhaustion etc.

We had a lovely bris at home. His name is Nehorai Shalom. Nehorai we just liked. and Shalom expressed our wish for (as my mom puts it) Immediate and Everlasting Peace.

Now, we just have to raise him....