Baby Harp Sisu: My Birth Story

Our little lady showed up 1/21 at 9:11pm and brought a blizzard in her wake!

I've typed up a bulleted "quick and dirty" version of our birth story that I shared with the members of a class we took during my pregnancy. I've had a few people on social media ask if I'd be posting it online, so I've done so below, if you're so inclined. We had our baby at home with two midwives and a doula.

SIDENOTE: There's been some talk about "over-sharing" on social media pertaining to my tweets and IG posts. For example, I posted a black and white of my placenta on my Instagram feed and there was a sentiment that it was "too far". The whole "don't you want to keep something for yourself?" types can do what they like with their own pregnancy and birth experiences. Posting photos of me laboring doesn't mean I have nothing for myself. I surely do--my baby girl--and I'm with her every second of every day now. She is the best thing to happen to me in this lifetime. The reasoning behind my posts is that I feel what's missing are real conversations around the experiences of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. The lack of honest dialogue is isolating for women, dangerous to their health and the health of their children, blatantly rooted in sexism and highly fucking oppressive. Period. So I'm going to do me and hope that it helps other women, because I know that reading chatboards, watching youtube videos and other methods of "over-sharing" online gave me valuable intel and perspective on my life as a new mom. I am thankful for all of the women who post their content online in an effort to both educate others and validate their experiences. It is sorely needed in a world that closets the process and encourages us to have abs three days after delivering an entire human child.

*Wednesday, 1/20, contractions started around 3am with loss of the mucous plug that lasted all day, with bits of the plug/blood every time I went to pee. Contractions about 20 minutes apart. Slept in between them.

*Finally called our doula in around noon on Thursday, 1/21, as contractions were then five to seven minutes apart and we were in need of additional support. 

*Midwives showed up in the 2pm hour on Thursday and told me after over 30 hours of early labor that I was only one centimeter dilated.  I was so sad. She gave me some herbs to take and we sent her and the doula home, thinking it was going to be awhile.

*About an hour after everyone left, things got aggressive. Heavy contractions, less than five minutes apart. Began releasing some blood type clots while laboring in the tub. Called the doula back.

*Doula arrived and it was clear I was in active labor and transitioning. Started releasing some dark red blood when I got out of the tub. Called the midwives back. It had only been a few hours since they were there, but something was up. 

*Midwives arrived and realized I had dilated in those few hours from one centimeter to 10 centimeters! Her head was literally RIGHT THERE! I was ready to get this kiddo out immediately.

*Started's heart rate dropped a little and there was some worry until I switched positions and relieved the pressure on the cord (at least that's what we think was causing the issue). I was a bit scared, but luckily it turned around fast.

*Not long after, little Harp Sisu was born! 7 lbs 9 oz and 20 3/4 inches long.

*Actual pushing was 45 minutes.

*Labor was a total of 42 hours. 

*I have no idea when my water broke...maybe in the bath? Maybe a slow leak I didn't notice? Still a mystery.

*Home birth was an amazing experience and I am going to write more in depth about that soon.