The Free Birth of the Tiny Sycamore Claire
It was not the kind of birth we had been expecting. It came to early. We have recently been planning the unassisted home birth or free birth of our newest addition. We just didn't expect it to turn out the way it did. I will tell the whole story. The experience had a profound impact on our lives, but my life especially.
We planned the pregnancy so the baby would be born in the star sign cancer. I am an earth sign, my man is an air sign, and our sun is a fire sign, so we wanted a water sign. I got pregnant just fine in the perfect month for baby to be born a water sign. It was great. I was excited. We called a midwife around 6 weeks and had our first meeting with her around 8 weeks. I told her about the miscarriage we had before. She told me that a lot of miscarriages happen because the woman is not making enough progesterone. We decided to check my levels. She informed me later that yes my progesterone levels were pretty low and advised me to do progesterone suppositories. I felt fine and wasn't worried about miscarrying so we decided not to do the suppositories. My pregnancy continued. We even heard her heart beating. Around 3 ½ to 4 months of pregnancy was when we realized that we really didn't want to pay for a midwife.
I have been studying midwifery, which has given me a lot of confidence in my body's ability to birth a baby. We had enough confidence in ourselves that we decided to go at this birth alone. I have been studying birth, but the only birth I have ever been to is the birth of my first child. I was definitely expecting this birth to be much different since I would be at home alone instead of in a hospital with a bunch of nurses and a midwife that wasn't even there for most of the process. I was excited and ready for a blissful birth.
The last month or two of my pregnancy there were a few times when I questioned whether or not this pregnancy was real or one of those ones that you create with your mind. I thought that because I really didn't feel the baby moving around at all and it was time that I should have been feeling something. The last week of my pregnancy I noticed the size of my uterus was a little small for dates. These little signs didn't tell me much at the time because I was still pregnant, visibly pregnant at that. My breasts were larger, and leaking. I knew I was pregnant it just seemed a little weird.
Then it began. I saw just a little dark blood staining on the toilet paper after peeing. It can be normal for a little bit of blood to appear because of cervical changes. I thought that must be what was happening. Tiny bits of blood kept appearing all that day and into the next day, but it wasn't getting any worse. I still wasn't worried. The evening of the next day I was feeling a lot of cramping. Nothing to bad, but it wasn't feeling very good either. I went to bed early that night and took a shower to try and calm my body down. It really didn't make any since, I mean why would I be going into preterm labor. It didn't seem right, but the cramping continued. The bleeding worsened. I was definitely starting to worry now. I laid down and thought that maybe I would feel better in the morning. It didn't stop. A few hours of continuous contractions did not make me feel any better. I started to think the baby died. I still held onto a sliver of hope. My body just kept on going, until I knew something wasn't right.
I gave into the contractions. It was painful and I wanted to hold back. My body was not about to let me though. I wasn't expecting this. I wanted labor to be happy and exciting. This was terrible and confusing. I was starting to think we should call someone because if the baby was alive, at 28 weeks it still has a chance of survival. It was happening to quick at that point. My body was trying so hard to get the baby out. Diarrhea came and I felt like puking. A contraction came while I was on sitting on the toilet confused about what was happening inside me. I opened my legs and squeezed a little with the contraction. I felt the baby come out.
She was born still in her sack with the placenta attached to her. The fetus was about a 4 or 5 month old fetus that had died inside me. She was born dead on April 11, 2016. The same birthday as my first born. It happened similar to my first miscarriage. Starting slow and getting worse and worse. What happened to me was not preterm labor. It is called a missed abortion. The baby dies inside of you but it's like your body just doesn't catch on for awhile. It could have been that I didn't have enough progesterone to hold the pregnancy. It could have been that we moved while I was pregnant. It could have been my stressful job. It could have been my diet. I know it wasn't any of those things. Her little soul decided to move on and maybe just maybe we will meet again someday.
The days after this happened have been terribly sad. My body is going through changes. My abdominal muscles have to go back to normal, my breast are still producing milk, and there is no baby to show for it. My friend's and family's love does make me feel better though. If I would have continued with my midwife we would have known she was dead before the abortion happened. We would have listened for the heartbeat at every prenatal (I tried to find the heartbeat at home and blamed not finding one on my crappy device). I am very glad that was not the case. I wanted a free birth and that is what I got. I am positive she would have convinced me to go in and get the baby suctioned out or cut out. That is not what I wanted. I wanted to be at home alone with my man when our baby was born. I definitely didn't want it to be so terrible though. I wanted to say hello and instead we said goodbye.
This experience has made me different. Her presence in my life was not for nothing. She made a huge difference that I can not even put into words. I feel different and I am different. Her birth is something that I never thought would happen to me. It has given me something that I didn't think I needed. Freedom. Freedom from what I thought I would have. She has given me a new life. A new life and a new beginning for me. There is no longer a baby coming, the future of me and my family has changed forever. I really wanted a baby. I really wanted THIS baby. I will not be trying to have a baby for a very long time after this. I know this feeling will change eventually, but for now little Sycamore passed away and has given me a gift. My time and energy can be used elsewhere right now and there are a lot of things that can use my time and energy. I won't waste it little one, I promise. Thank you and rest in peace.