The past few weeks we have been sharing the inspirational photo essay from OBirth alumns, Piper and Chaz. Today we are going to share a little background on what you have been seeing. How long did you imagine Piper had been in labor before photos were snapped? Preparing comforts and preparing to take time makes it look easy! Find out how Piper did it and how long it lasted.
Submitted by Piper Lovemore
I always do this thing when I’m birthing where I suspend my belief about actually being in labor until the last minute. It defies logic (I mean what else would my body be doing?), and all of my midwifely reasoning, and yet it seems to happen every time. I observe changes in my body that I note as interesting, but because they are not actually painful, I just sort of keep going about my day, with a slightly different awareness. Its almost as if labor steals me away right under my own nose and deposits me back when its time to push.
By the time we summoned our birth photographer, my labor had been underway for around 27 hours!
I first noticed some powerful twinges on the morning before my due date as I was hanging with a girlfriend rolling burritos for my freezer stash. I made note of the difference in the new sensation and the milder Braxton Hicks I’d been having over the previous several weeks, but I didn’t dwell on it. I checked in with myself and decided to welcome labor if it was truly getting underway; I gave baby the green light. From there I took my kids to class, we grabbed lunch after; I picked up Chaz from work, and mentioned that I was feeling more activity. He smiled but we didn’t dwell on the idea. We took the kids for a swim in the ocean. We came home, prepared and ate dinner and bathed.
It wasn’t until bedtime that I decided to see if I could identify a pattern in timing. As I lay beckoning sleep, I determined that my surges were spaced at about 10 min apart. They stayed that way deep into the night, but by the time Chaz woke for work, I’d been sleeping for hours and thought the waves of labor must’ve ebbed. Wisely, Chaz opted to stay home from work that day anyway, and we enjoyed a leisurely morning with our keiki, celebrating our due date. I had a long chat with my brother on the phone. I sent a text to my psychic support team, Deb, Liz and Cherrie asking them to ready their candles. I decided to check in with my friend whom we’d invited to attend the birth to let her know that things were changing, baby may not come that day but soon, and I asked her to phone our photographer friend. Apparently Chaz called her back and told them to head over to our place if they wanted to make it in time! He’s been down this road with me enough times before to recognize my signs I suppose. Sure enough, they arrived about 30 minutes before the birth!
The photos you see in our photo essays: Early Labor: Piper and Chaz Prepare for Birth and Birth: Piper and Chaz’s Home Waterbirth in Hawaii document the last stages of our baby’s arrival, once I finally decided it was probably time…
Join us next week to soak up postpartum time with Baby Tide in the final photo essay of this series! Be sure to sign-up to view Debra’s 3 Pain to Power Videos as Piper and Chaz are featured in the Pain to Power program!