Shira Leba
Born on April 16, 2008 at 5:02 pm
Weighing 9 pounds and measuring 21 inches.

9:30am I started having some cramping. Nothing big. Being that I had already had this cramping a few times in the past month, I thought nothing of it. I figured it would stay for a few hours and go away. That is what happened the last few times anyway.

I was sitting at the computer with these “cramps” thinking that they couldn’t be anything but Braxton Hicks. I went to a contraction timing website and timed them for around 45 minutes. They were irregular as I guessed they would be. I called up my sister-in-law Chani and told her I was cramping and that it felt somehow different then the other cramps. She told me it was great. I should drink tons of water and to just relax.

Well, as it is was almost Passover, both my kids were home from school. They started to drive me nuts and there was only so much Dora that I could handle. So I called up my friend Golda and asked her if she wanted to get together for lunch with my kids and I. She was all for it.

I drove to Kingston Avenue where I met her. We walked up the Avenue to Sweet Expressions and got some treats for the kids and a yummy Caramel coffee smoothy thing for me. We walked back to the car slowly as I was still having these cramps. They seemed to be regular at this point coming in every 3-5 minutes. They hurt, but not enough for me to really think too much. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath, but they still weren’t anything to write home about. I was still having tons of pressure, but I had been having that for a month now.

We drove to Esther’s Deli where my kids had hotdogs and French fries and I had a huge salad. My friend and babysitter Esther met up with us as we were having dessert.

When we were finished I drove Golda home and Esther came home with me to help me out for the rest of the day.

We parked and as I was getting Esti out of the car I felt a pop from inside my body pretty low down. I looked at Esther and said, “oh crap.” She asked if I was ok. I told her that the last time I felt something like that was when my water broke with Dovi. I told her I felt no water though. So it was really weird. I stepped to the right to finish getting Esti out of the car and a huge gush of water came out. My water had officially broken. I looked at Esther and she looked at me. She asked if she should call Chaya(my best friend who was going to be helping me out with my kids while I was in labor). I told her yes. I got on the phone right away with my sister-in-law Chani to tell her that my water had broken. She asked if I needed her to come right away. I told her no. We agreed that I would call her when I needed her.

Since Esther was with me, she took the kids over to Chaya’s house and they played with Chaya’s kids. Chaya came over to keep me company.

I called Yankie and a few of my friends to let them know I was in labor.

Yankie started getting ready to leave work.

About a half hour later things started to get going. I started having to concentrate and breath through the contractions. I told Chaya to call Yankie and I called Chani to tell her I needed her. By the time Chani arrived I was crying form the pain. She went right into Doula mode and helped me so much.

A few minutes later Yankie arrived. We continued trying to get a hold of my Midwife. I think she was really busy. At some point Chani got ahold of her and told me that she was going home to get her stuff and would be at my house right away.

The contractions started getting closer together and much more intense. Chani suggested that I try getting into the shower. I agreed. I took off my clothes and got into the shower. Man did that hot water beating down on me feel amazing. Within 5 minutes of being in the shower my contractions got more intense and even more painful. A few minutes later my Midwife Miriam arrived. I had all the people I needed, thank God.

The contractions kept intensifying and getting more and more painful. It got to the point where I gave up. I gave into the pain and begged them to take me to the hospital. I claimed I couldn’t do it anymore. At that point I needed to get out of the shower. I got out and had a towel wrapped around me. I tried to go on my bed to rest a bit. The second I got on the bed and a contraction started I hopped off. It hurt way too much. Probably because the bed was so unstable.

I decided that squatting on the floor worked the best. I rocked my hips back and forth with each contraction. At some point during all my rocking I felt extreme pressure. I felt like I needed to push. The feeling of pressure started getting even more intense. I told whoever was listening that I needed to push. My midwife told me to push when I felt I needed to.

A few minutes later I started pushing. I just kept pushing and pushing. Then I felt as if all of my contractions went away and I felt that ring of fire everyone talks about. My baby’s head was crowning. I heard my midwife tell me that my baby’s head was crowning and I should put my hand down to feel. I put my hand down and oh my gosh. It was the coolest thing ever. Her head was right there. That gave me the motivation to just keep going. I pushed so many times and so hard that I started sweating. My midwife and my sister-in-law kept telling me I had to breath. My midwife told me to push with each contraction. Problem was I didn’t feel any contractions. I only felt extreme pressure and the urge to push. I just kept pushing. My midwife kept telling me everything that was going on which helped soo much. She was so wonderful because she got so excited at everything. And she had been doing this for 19 years!

I suddenly felt a massive urge to push as hard as I could. As I did her head came out. That felt insane because she felt so big. I asked if I should push more and harder. I was told to push however I felt I needed to. As I pushed again, her shoulders came out. My midwife told me to put my hand down and push one more time. I did and the rest of her body followed. I half caught her with my midwife as she came the rest of the way out. My midwife yelled, it’s a girl and my face, I swear I must have looked so shocked. I could not believe it. I said, “no way. Is it really?” My midwife said to look for myself. I did. And sure enough, she was a girl. After she was completely out, my midwife and sister-in-law helped me get up and go on my bed. I laid down with my new little girl on my chest. It felt so right. It felt perfect. I could not believe I had just done it and at home!

I was so proud of myself. My sister-in-law kept telling me how proud she was of me.

Yankie immediately got on the phone and called family and friends. Everyone was so excited.

As I was laying on my bed my midwife massaged my belly and I felt a small contraction. With that contraction, my placenta was born.

Yankie came over and cut the cord. My baby was officially on her own.

A little while later my midwife took my little girl and weighed her, measured her and took the circumference of her head. When she said 9 pounds, I almost choaked. I had just delivered a 9 pound baby! Go me! I asked my midwife if I had torn much. She checked and told me I had. She looked a bit more and told me it wasn’t even enough to stitch up. I was so happy about that.

After all was checked and was good, my midwife wrapped my little girl up and handed her to Yankie..

I got out of bed with help and very slowly and went to take a proper shower. I couldn’t really stand because my legs were so weak from squatting for so long, so I sat down. My midwife and I talked for about a half hour while I just soaked in the shower with the hot water and got cleaned off.

I got dressed in clean clothes and laid down in my bed to nurse. It hurt, but felt wonderful. We all talked some more and Chaya came in with my kids. They were so happy that their little sister was finally here!!! Esti could not stop looking at her and Dovi kept saying baby over and over. It was so amazing for my whole family to be together right after the birth. It was amazing to have whoever I wanted there.

Then slowly everyone left and it was just us. It all felt so good and so right.

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