The Birth Story of
Parents: Jessica and Paul Gerritson
Told by April Millar
I am having a hard time figuring out where to start and how to describe this incredible birth. I know what Jessica’s dilation was at what time, I know what positions she was in, I know how we pushed on her back and talked her through each surge. But I don’t know what was going on within her body and her mind. I don’t know how she tapped into her incredible strength; I don’t know where her pure and full trust in Paul, in me, in her nurse Stephanie, and mostly in herself came from. I don’t know how she was communicating with her body and her baby as she fought through 11 hours of labor and complete exhaustion. I am going to bet that most all of that can’t even be described in English, because Jessica’s birth was felt and experienced through emotions and sensations.
Thursday night May 9th. I received a phone call from Paul at about 10pm, Jessica was definitely in labor and had been working hard for the past couple of hours. They both weren’t sure when to go to the hospital or how far she had progressed, so we decided that I would come to their house with the birth pool so Jessica could try that out. About 30 minutes later Paul called back to say that they were headed to the hospital and I was to meet them there. 11:00pm we arrive at the hospital, Jessica was doing wonderful through each surge. Taking her time she breathed nice and slow and went into her birthing body. I could tell each surge was powerful and really working her body. Once through triage they determined she was 4cm and paper thin, wonderful progress and in the full throws of labor.
Jessica did a fantastic job changing positions regularly but she did find a few positions she definitely preferred. Any time she was on the toilet it was absolutely astounding how those surges she experienced while sitting there were so much stronger. Because she were able to release all her pelvic muscles each surge was harder and much more effective. Jessica also really enjoyed the bath, while in the tub she was able to relax more and calm her body. Jessica’s mom came at about 2am and was a wonderful help talking her through many of her surges. When not in the water Jess preferred being on her hands and knees, Paul and I tag teamed, he did the double hip squeeze while I added additional pressure on your back. Nurse Stephanie got in there too, she was fantastic with her physical and emotional help. (She was seriously one of the best nurses I have ever worked with). I was so amazed at how agile Jessica was the whole time while in labor, my favorite was when she was on her hands and knees she was complete and her baby was descending down almost to crowning when her doctor came in and wanted her to move to her back so he could check her. Jessica stood up on the bed with her hands still on the bed, with her rear-end high in the air and in a swift fluid motion she kicked her leg through and gracefully and gently ended up on her back. I swear if I didn’t know she had a baby head in between her legs I wouldn’t have believed it. It looked like she was just doing yoga, I was completely amazed!
As the night wore on she was working so hard and getting more and more exhausted, which was making it harder and harder for her body to want to work. Although she was progressing quickly, less than an hour per centimeter, which was wonderful! However, her confidence was cracking, all she wanted to do was sleep, she wasn’t sure if she could do it. One thing I do know, is that there were angels in that room helping her. I could feel them. I remember at one time I was pushing hard on her back and I was imagining that I was gathering all the energy from the earth and from heaven and surrounding Jessica and Lillian in a gorgeous white light when I had the thought that that white light wasn’t coming from very far away. I then felt some warmth on the back of my hands and the heat that came radiating through my palms was intense accompanied with a very strong pulse. I am sure there was much more help than I probably even realized.
Lillian actually descended very quickly and soon she was pushing. It was about 5 surges when little Lillian’s head popped out but with the cord wrapped twice around her tiny neck. With the swift action of your doctor he released the cord and in the next second Lillian was born and snuggling her mama at 5:54am the morning of May 10th.
With the cord being wrapped around her neck Lillian had a bowel movement out of trauma, not while she was in utero (because when Jessica’s waters released at about 8cm the fluid was clear but when she came out completely she was accompanied with meconium). Because of that they did take Lillian over to the newborn station to make sure she hadn’t swallowed anything. Daddy was right by her side the whole time touching her and talking to her, making sure she was all right.
Jessica did amazing, she needed a few stitches but not bad at all. Her entire attention was on her sweet baby asking every couple of minutes when she could hold her again. As soon as they brought Lillian back to Jessica it was the sweetest sight, oh my goodness did she know her mama!! She cuddled right up calmed right down and started to nurse like a pro! Honestly, I have seen some babies that nurse really well before but never have I seen a baby that new nurse the way she nursed! Her latch was perfect and she barely ever broke off, I was amazed.
Jessica said some pretty funny things throughout her labor, one of my favorites was when she was in the bathtub and the last time she had been checked she was at an 8, she was having the urge to push so Stephanie wanted to check you again. Jessica said to her, “Tell me I am done, but don’t lie to me.”
I have said it before and I will say it again, you were so strong and courageous, your birth was absolutely amazing and you have so many people who are so very proud of you! Congratulations! Lillian is perfect.