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BIET'S BIRTH STORY

Posted on: Friday


Our daughter, Biet Luna Savransky, was born Monday May 16th, at home. She weighed 7lb 11 oz and was 19 inches long. We are so in awe of our little baby. She was born in the water at 6:59 pm after a short, extremely intense labor.

I began having contractions on our due date, Sunday May 15th, in the afternoon. They were painless and extremely irregular, but we were thrilled. I had continued to wait tables until 39 weeks, and when I left for maternity leave my boss invited us to come have one last dinner as a childless twosome, on the house. Realizing that this might be our last chance to take her up on that offer (and in fact it was) we decided to dress up and go out for a four course meal. By the end of the night, my contractions were steadily 10 min apart and getting slightly uncomfortable. Our midwife, Karen, was going to come the next afternoon. We took the dog for a long walk and went to bed.

I knew that labor could take many hours or days, and was determined to sleep that night to make sure I had energy for when the "real labor" began. Gaby told me the next day that he watched me going through contractions all night in my sleep. The next morning we awoke, made a big breakfast and fresh juice, and super-cleaned the apartment. We moved all the furniture and set up the birthing tub in the kitchen, and covered the couch and chairs and bed in shower curtain-liners. Karen arrived at 2:45 to assess my labor. We had kept track of all the contractions on the iPad App and anxiously showed her the last hours of records. She looked but said she would rather just watch me go through a couple contractions and then do a cervical check. They were about 6 min apart, and uncomfortable enough to make me sit or lean, but I could still speak normally, and felt that these were pretty mild. As I was getting up to move to the bedroom for the cervical check, my water broke. I was pretty disappointed that because the bag of waters had ruptured I couldn't find out how dilated I was, if at all. So I assumed that I was most likely one or two centimeters, and convinced myself that the baby probably wasn't going to be born until the next day. After all, everyone had told me that first babies are very long labors.

Karen had a very hard time deciding whether to stay, or go home and check back in a couple hours. I told her to go, that I was fine, and could bear through the many hours of these contractions on my own. Gaby was not so comfortable with the idea. In the end she decided it was safe for her to drive back to Brooklyn. We called my friend Summer (acting as doula) to have another person with us, and called the dog-sitter to come pick up our pitbull. Karen instructed us to call her right away if: 1.The contractions quickly became longer and much closer together in a short period of time 2. I could no longer speak through them 3. I felt a shift in weight of the baby's head moving down in my pelvis. She left around 3:45. Literally, as soon as she walked out the door, the first two happened.

I fell into a contraction and began moaning, was unable to speak, & finally felt what I considered was real pain. It was unlike all of the other contractions I had felt. The next one came 3 min later. Gaby told me he was going to run out and stop Karen before she drove away but I ordered him not to. I was envisioning these type of contractions coming until the wee hours of the morning, and saw no reason to have Karen sitting there with us as I moaned through them. I felt more comfortable getting the brunt of the work done alone, as a couple. I tried to take a shower but found myself unable to stand, and fearful of sitting because Karen had said no bath with your water broken. Gaby helped me out and I didn't even bother to get dressed again. Looking back I see that this was the "loss of modesty" stage. The contractions moved to 2 minutes apart. Summer arrived and she and Gaby decided, against my wishes, to call Karen. She told them to fill up the pool, she was on her way back over the Brooklyn Bridge.

Through each and every contraction, Gaby walked me across the apartment, held me up when I couldn't walk, rubbed my back when I fell over a chair or couch or table. I kept trying to move to new pieces of furniture as the pain became seemingly unbearable. Karen arrived back just before 5pm with her wonderful assistant Chanti. She told me to get in the tub, that this baby was definitely coming soon. I thought to myself that "soon" must mean at least 7 or 8 more hours, since this WAS my first baby. The weightlessness in the tub helped immediately, as I felt I could finally relax the rest of my body now like we learned in our Bradley classes. However, soon the contractions seemed to coming on top of one other, with maybe 10 second breaks, and I found myself turning and twisting in the water, trying to find a position that hurt "less" to no avail. I had become, to my surprise, very vocal. I heard sound coming from my mouth that seemed more fitting for a farm animal, but I had truly surrendered to my body at that point. Every now and again my voice would become too high pitched, and Gaby would join in in his lowest voice. I don't remember doing it, but he said I would immediately go back to a low toned voice.

Just before 6pm, after nearly an hour in the tub, Karen said she wanted to do a cervical check. I agreed, and as soon as the next contraction ended she hurriedly checked before the next one began. I prepared myself mentally to hear "4 centimeters" or something close. She was just finishing when I started having the next contraction, and I heard her, through the intense pain, say "9 1/2 centimeters." I screamed out "really?" Two contractions later, my low-toned vocal expressions ended with grunting. Karen told me I had just pushed. Everything changed to bearing down and animalistic grunting. The contractions spaced out a bit, giving me breaks during which I would fall asleep for a few moments at a time. I was so exhausted that when Karen asked me to move into a squat, I couldn't. Gaby immediately got in the water and held me under my arms in a supported squat. I could feel her moving down, and when Karen held the mirror up I could see her dark hair. After an hour of pushing, she was born into the water. I didn't catch her. I was leaning on Gaby with my eyes closed when I heard him start speaking in spanish & crying, & I knew she was finally out. I opened my eyes and she was in front of me.

Our Bradley Method teacher, Mary Esther, said once that shorter labors sometimes need more time to really sink in. It is true. I had so well prepared myself for a long labor that when the whole thing was over in less than 4 hours, I was a bit in shock. I stayed in a business-like frame of mind for many hours afterwards, concerned with what I needed to do next. I didn't get to an emotional mindset until the next day. And now Gaby and I have been falling more in love with her each day. She is all we ever dreamt of, Biet Luna Savransky.



56 COMMENTS:

  1. just read your guest post over at mylittleloves. what a great story! I relate to your experience as I had my son Noah naturally as well and had been preparing myself for a long labor when this one was fairly short - then again, this was my third! Thank you for sharing. Natural childbirth is a woman's RIGHT and such a beautiful and empowering experience. :)
    brooke
    fromunderhisfeathers.blogspot.com

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    1. It is a woman's right! Your blog is beautiful and your posts are so inspiring! I'm your newest fan!

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  2. I also read your post over at mylittleloves. My daughter was born March 12, 2010, on her due date-at home, after a 4 hour hard labor! I had a very similiar experience. I think my midwife was only there for an hour before I started pushing and by the time she checked my dialation I was 8 cm. If I could go back, I'd do it all the same exact way.

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    1. Wow! I would love to read your birth story! Do you have a blog? How is your little one doing?

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  3. hopped over from my little loves. what a beautiful birth story! i'm so glad you guys had such a wonderful experience.

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  4. also here from My Little Loves- This is spot on with how I felt. My labor was much longer(but I had told myslef to expect up to a 20 hour labor, so i was perfectly prepared for the fourteen or so I got), but I still didn't quite get into an emotional state until a day or so after Hazel was born. As soon as she was out, it was all business-"what do I need to do now?" I was up and going literally like an hour afterwards, and my tummy felt funny, but other than that I just felt wonderful! My girl was only born a few days after yours, the 21st of May! To think we experienced these things just days apart, what a wonder.

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    1. How is your daughter doing? It amazes me to think that experiences like ours are probably more common than we think! If only more women shared about how a natural birth can be, our society would be more familiar with the concept. I hope that my story helped other expectant Mothers. I would love to read your birth story!

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  5. I also found your blog through My Little Loves. Me and my husband are trying to get pregnant now and I love reading birth stories about women who are brave enough to do home births. You story was absolutely beautiful and encouraging. It makes me really consider doing the same when we eventually get pregnant.

    [sweet life of a southern wife]

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  6. One of the many who read your story on My Little Loves and then hopped over here to read your birth story. Absolutely lovely and very encouraging! My husband and I are expecting our first in December, and we also are planning on a home birth. Been a super tough pregnancy for me, but reading stories like yours just excites me for both baby and birth - SO encouraging, thank you!

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    1. I am so happy to inspire you! I read SO MANY birth stories before she was born. I am eager to hear about your experience. Do you keep a blog?

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  7. Also My Little Loves! Your daughter is beautiful and her birth is basically the dream birth that I would love to have. Cheers to you for knowing that the way you were treated is not right, and for doing something about it.

    heykerianne.blogspot.com

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  8. lovely, thank you for sharing!

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  9. I love this, I am def a victim of blindly trusting doctors during the labor of my first born. I am thrilled you trusted your instincts and had an amazing experience. Following your blog now!

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    1. Thank you! I know there are some amazing doctors out there who help many women, but I just knew that a midwife was for me. It was amazing, and so surreal to look back upon.

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  10. Belle, you are very brave.What I don't understand from the story, is if Gaby fainted or went thru the whole thing as a brave soldier...
    Also, you are an excellent writer. I was googling for Gaby's mail and I came thru this amazing blog.
    Kisses to all of you: Biet, Gaby and Nico.

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    1. Gaby went through it all, no fainting involved! He held me up in the water and witnessed Biet's birth from over my shoulder. I was the one with my eyes closed when she finally emerged. When I opened them, I saw her little red face under the water. Then she was lifted up and took her first breath.

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  11. This is such a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. My labor was 29 hours... I'm so jealous... we can cross our fingers for next time though. newest follower!

    http://www.ayoungwifestale.com/

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    1. Labor varies so much from woman to woman, its amazing! I've been reading your blog- your daughter is a such a beauty!

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  12. Your story is incredible and beautiful. I love the role Gaby played and I love the "loss of modesty" reference! It is so true and so necessary. Thank you for taking the time to give the details of your experience and responses to birthing. With Max I tried to do a natural birth and ended up asking for an epidural just 1 hour before he was born. I regretted it later because had no idea how close we were to the finish line-- like you I thought I had at least 7 hours to go! So reading your story confirmed my idea for this baby which is when things get rough stick it out because that 's there's an end in sight!

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    1. I am so touched that you enjoyed this! I felt I had to write it all down soon after she was born, to preserve these feelings. I am sending you warmth and strength for your next birth. It will be beautiful, I am sure, as all births are. I am very interested in hypnobirthing for the next baby (no plans for that yet!), and am looking forward to reading about your experience. I adore your blog!!

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  13. I had a water birth too! Isn't it the best?! WE MUST CHAT!

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    1. It was wonderful! I think I will always try for water births in the future should more babies come along one day!

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  14. I also went to a Bradley class and had a doula at home. Made it to the hospital just in time for L to be borne 20 minutes later. I wish he was born at home :).

    My labor was also too short - only 9 hours. I was expecting it to be longer and had such a wonderful natural birth experience, I kind of wish it had lasted longer :)

    Dagmar
    Dagmar's momsense

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    1. I love to hear about other women's birth experiences! Aren't the Bradley classes amazing? I learned so much from them (and connected to some great women too). Your family is so cute and your blog has such a wealth of AP information!

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  15. Oh, birth stories make me feel like soaring! Yours is no exception. It is so true that short labors take a while to sink in. I actually had a bit of a rough time postpartum with processing my own four-hour labor. I was fully expecting to have time to adjust to the idea that my baby was coming before I reached active labor, but it just didn't happen! Nonetheless, I fully believe that birth stories have positive power among women and that we all ought to share our stories with other women! Thanks for yours!

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    1. It is truly my pleasure to share this, thank you for reading! I too believe that birth stories have a positive power among women and hope that my voice might inspire another Mother to share her experience. I hope that one day birth will be a natural and common topic to speak of amongst everyone.

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  16. My little Bastian Wilde is now a whopping 15 months old (nearly) and I still indulge in a good birth story now and again - thank you for this. I love the part where your eyes are closed and your partner started crying and speaking in Spanish and you knew she was here. Beautiful.

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    1. Thank you Morgan! Bastian is a truly lovely name!

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  17. What an amazing story! I also had a very fast homebirth (in a tiny Brooklyn apartment) and talking about being in a business mindset afterwards is SO SPOT ON. As soon as George was born I wanted to take a shower, eat a sandwich, put on makeup, whatever. It wasn't until many hours later that I started to gush. Thanks so much for sharing.

    http://LaurenLouAnn.blogspot.com

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    1. I haven't really heard of anyone else experience the same thing! Thanks for sharing!

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  18. Just came here from My Little Loves. I love reading birth stories and I was superexcited to find that we had the same Bradley Method instructor. I just love Mary Esther. She was also my doula, with my first. So many parallels between your story here and the birth story of my second one. I didn't have a homebirth but I progressed superfast while in denial that a baby was coming anytime soon and when I was finally checked, I was at 9. LOL. (You can read the birth story here: http://www.sehacecamino.com/vbac-warrior/ (The rest of my site is private, sorry, but if you register, I'll let you in.)

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    1. Wow! I adore Mary Esther! Some of us ladies just have quick births I guess. Yay motherhood!

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  19. this is a beautiful birth story. i had my daughter for about 3.5 hours of labor and i was anticipating a longer labor since my sister and sil's had longer labor but i guess not all are the same. one thing the same for sure is the intense pain.

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  20. What a beautiful birth story. I feel inspired :) Thanks for sharing!

    Ashley @ http://www.thestorkandthebeanstalk.com

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    1. thank you! Best of luck with your upcoming home birth!

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  21. long time reader but just now reading biet's birth story. like other readers, it seems so similar to my experience of a birth at home with my first, ramona. bravo, mama. and thank you for sharing. i love reading your honest glimpses of love, life, and family.

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  22. Cigar 506:12:00 PM

    I love these moments! They are so special and exciting, celebrate the ones you love with custom cigars.

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  23. I've stumbled upon your blog today and it is just lovely! ps - are you russian by any chance? The last name has me thrown.

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  24. What a beautiful birth story!! I delivered at Roosevelt's Birthing Center and had envisioned laboring peacefully in their jacuzzi. It took me 1 contraction in the water to realize I just could NOT handle being buoyant!! haha!! My baby's birth was wonderful but labor was 50 hours, so I find hope for the next one in reading stories like yours ^_^ Thank you for sharing!

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