Alma mama Christina Sommerville has generously shared her birth story with us!
On Wednesday, August 5th I started to feel a little something during an afternoon walk.
Because I had never done this before, I just wasn’t sure. Whatever feeling it was, it stayed weak and inconsistent. That night we went to dinner to celebrate what likely would be our last dinner out as a childless couple. We decided to just go to sleep that night and see how I felt the next morning.
On Thursday morning, August 6th, the pains I felt the night before had subsided. I just decided to proceed with my regular daily routine. I didn’t want to overthink it. That evening my husband and I went for a walk and the contractions started up again. The spacing was more consistent but not intense. We both knew the process was probably starting to happen. That evening I decided to try to get some sleep knowing if the contractions got stronger I would wake up.
Getting rest when you can in advance of labor was the best advice my midwives gave me.
By Friday morning, we knew we were getting closer but had no idea what that meant. It could be within hours or within days. We made a point not to think too much about it. Instead, we just relaxed and went about our day spending time together. Again, in mid-morning we took a long mile and a half walk. Along the way, I could feel the contractions start again and quickly get stronger. It was difficult to keep walking so we turned back. We realized then that this was likely the beginning of the real thing.
By two o’clock our doula came over. She saw that my labor was progressing.
We also called our Alma midwives who came to see me. Within an hour of being at the house, they all concluded that the labor was progressing consistently. The pains were getting stronger and longer. We all decided it was time to go the the birth center.
The drive over to the birth center was surreal knowing what was about to happen. On the drive over I said to my husband, “We’re actually doing this!” We got to the birth center around 4pm.
Immediately I got in the tub and labored there for the next four and half hours.
As the sun was setting, the midwives lit candles around the tub. The setting was beautiful and very peaceful.
While I was in my own world towards the end, I knew there was a special feeling in the room.
The discomfort of labor was intense but predictable. That is how I managed through. Knowing it was a temporary pain (in the moment and in the long run) and there were breaks in between. By the time I was ready to push, the midwives came in to join me, my husband, and my doula. The sensation to push was intense. All throughout the labor but at especially this point, I just decided to surrender to the process and let my body do what it naturally knew how to do. The midwives encouraged me to just go with what my body was telling me. At some point (you really do lose track of time), everyone was cheering, “Keep going, you’re almost there! We can see the head!”.
There was a great energy of celebration in the room. At 8:40pm, our daughter Sage Ellis was born!
She came out with the cord wrapped around her neck twice. But it was untangled immediately and all was fine. She appeared purplish at first but then pinked up quickly following her first cry.
Immediately they handed her to me and I laid her on my chest. The feeling of pride and joy were overwhelming. There are not too many experiences in life that allow you to feel this way so deeply. I could never have imagined having this kind of experience which was so emotional and spiritual in a hospital setting. I was so grateful for my Alma team for helping us have this truly memorable birth experience.