The Birth Story of
Avin Michael Webber
Parents: Adam & Cora Webber
Told by: April Millar, doula
I met Cora about halfway through her pregnancy with Avin. It was her desire, this being her fifth baby, to finally have a completely un-medicated delivery. She desired to use the HypnoBirthing method and just after the first class she felt the confidence in her body that she could make it happen. It was clear to me as I got to know Cora over the weeks that she is a very special woman and mother. I felt as though I connected with her on a deeper level than I do with most people. I feels to me that Cora has deep wisdom that I could sense more than I could identify. The five weeks of the class series too quickly came to an end and Cora and I parted ways.
Just a couple weeks before the due date of her baby Cora contacted me and asked me to attend her and her family in the birth of their newest baby brother. I was delighted! The only concern I had was that I was scheduled to be out of town for several days just before the estimated due date. The day I left town, Friday, Cora texted me to tell me she had had a Dr’s appointment and was 4cm dilated and 80% effaced, her Dr. expected she would go into labor before the weekend was done. We joked during the HypnoBirthing classes that Cora was going to be so relaxed throughout her labor that she was just going to sleep and wake up to a baby between her legs. Being 4cm and 80% and not even in labor sure seemed to feel like that was going to be a reality. The only problem with all that is that I wasn’t going to be back until Sunday night. I hoped with everything in me that that sweet baby would wait. All weekend I nervously checked my phone, breathing a sigh of relief when I didn’t have any new messages. No news was good news, I figured.
Sunday night we connected and Cora said she was experiencing lots of contractions but not any labor yet. Clearly anything could happen at any second. It was at 3:00AM I got a text:
Cora: “I am bleeding! Should I go to the hospital? I’m not having super regular contractions but the blood is kind of freaking me out. I never started labor with so much blood.”
April: “Is it like a blood flow? Or is it more of a discharge with lots of mucus? How regular are your contractions? Yes, if you are concerned about it lets get you to a hospital. Trust your intuition! Just a suggestion but if you haven’t already, have Adam give you a blessing.”
Cora: “My contractions are not regular at all. I was having them all day maybe 20/30 min apart. I just passed a big piece of mucus but the whole thing was blood, I think that’s what surprised me… I wasn’t expecting that much”
April: “mucus and blood are good signs, it means your body is progressing. Even though your waves aren’t very close together it sounds like they are still doing a good job. It’s normal but if this feels different and you are concerned about baby or yourself then it’s worth going to the hospital to get it all checked out.”
Cora: “I think I’ll wait around here for a bit. I really don’t want to labor for a long time at the hospital…Looks like this baby will not come as fast as the others J I’ll let ya know…”
By 8:30AM I still hadn’t heard much so I contacted Cora to see how the rest of the night went. She told me all was well but her contractions were still far apart except for a two hour time period of every 7-8 minutes. But even though her contractions had gone back to being every 30ish minutes they were still really strong and that she definitely had to focus through them. She said the pressure was so strong it made her feel that she needed to run to the bathroom, in a bowel movement way. I recommended if she was feeling the urge to push it was probably time to get to the hospital, but again to trust her intuition. She told me she wasn’t concerned or rushed to get to the hospital just yet. Although she was completely stunned that this was the way her labor was going, entirely different from every single one of her other four labors.
12:30PM Cora was tired and had a loss of appetite but she was anxious so she wasn’t able to nap and she had to force herself to eat, albeit little.
5:15PM Checking in with Cora she seemed bored and frustrated that labor was still far apart and slow. “What is going on? Is this normal to take this long?” She was still experiencing contractions every 15 to 30 minutes. “Each time I do have a contraction I think we should head out cause they hurt pretty bad” she told me, “but then it goes away and I decide to wait it out again.” Back and forth we texted for about 5 minutes when she said “You know what, I just had my third one since we started texting, they might be getting closer now.” A few minutes later; “We are headed to the hospital now.” That was 5:30PM… rush hour.
The day had started out beautiful warm and sunny, by afternoon massive thunderclouds rolled in and with it a downpour of torrential rain. And poor Cora was headed to the hospital with all her children in the car in the throws of labor. Bumper to bumper with wet roads traffic was moving s-l-o-w-l-y, as I was driving myself I kept looking on the sides of the road to see if she had maybe had a freeway baby. Luckily they arrived at the hospital at about 6:30PM, I got there at 6:45.
When I walked into the delivery room, all of Cora and Adam’s sweet children were there; reading, playing quietly, or observing the situation. I was amazed that they all seemed to understand on some level or another what was going to happen. Even Dieter who was sullen and grouchy seemed to perceive that his world was shifting.
Cora was changing into her delivery gown and soon came out of the bathroom. I could tell it had been a long day and even longer previous night and she was ready to have that baby. She still held with her the presence of quiet confidence and strength as her body started into a contraction. She softly closed her eyes and tuned out the world. I was amazed at her relaxation and focus. Adam commented, “Yeah I knew she was getting close and things were a lot harder when she stopped talking to me.” In came the nurse to ask all the questions and get all the answers, insisting Cora get on the bed. After a vaginal check the nurse determined Cora was at a 6+ and 100% effaced. Cora was visibly disappointed. “I thought I would be a lot further than that.” At this point Adam decided it would be a good time to take the kids for a walk to let Cora labor without the distractions. Her nurse was getting ready to give Cora an IV but Cora did not want it. She has a really hard time with needles and it seemed as though the IV was much more of a hard thing for her than any part of her actual labor. Cora was able to relax brilliantly to get the heplock placed then her nurse covered it up with bandages so Cora wouldn’t have to see it.
There was some quiet when everyone was out of the room except for Cora and me. I had the rebozo around Cora’s hips pulling on it to give her back some counter pressure, while she labored reclining in the bed.
It was almost 7:40PM Cora was deeply focused inward on her laboring body and baby when her eyes snapped wide open. She stared at me with a look of shock on her face “What was that?!?” “What was what?” I asked her. “I felt the baby move down and there was like a thud!” “Did your water break?” “I don’t think so, I don’t feel anything.” Then about 45 seconds later; “Oh, yeah I think my water broke, I feel some gushing, unless I peed myself.” “Ha! I am sure it was your water.”
At that moment Adam texted Cora, “Any Progress?” “My water broke.”
About 10 minutes later the nurse came back in to check on things and Adam and the kids, along with Cora’s mother made their way back to the room. We let the nurse know Cora’s membranes had released so she wanted to check her. Labor started to really get intense for Cora. “About an 8+ and fully effaced.”
The way Cora was moving her legs and body while experiencing a contraction made me think she was feeling pain radiating down her legs, when I asked, it was confirmed that indeed she was hurting lower than her pelvis. I suspected that when her water broke and the baby moved down with such force he wasn’t quite in the position he needed to be. I told Cora we needed to move her to her hands and knees to reposition the baby so the pain would stop going down her legs. She wasn’t too keen on the idea of moving but Adam and I helped her to her knees, that’s when everything shifted again. Up until this point Cora had managed her contractions in complete silence. Because of that I didn’t think she was as close to delivering as she really was. Once she was on her knees she expelled soft little moans as the sensations she was feeling were overwhelmingly intense and taking over her body. Because the children were in the room we made sure to keep her as covered as possible, the gown was completely covering her, that’s why we were all so shocked when a mere 5 minutes after she moved to her knees and only about 10 minutes from when the nurse checked her and determined she was dilated to 8 Cora declared “The baby’s head is coming out!”
The nurse ran over and swept up the hospital gown to reveal a baby’s head crowning. There was a flurry of movement as nurses and the resident dr. came whirling in. One contraction later sweet baby Avin was born. 8:11PM. Cora slumped down over her arms as they rested on the top of the bed. With her eyes closed she took some moments to breathe. I asked Cora later what she was thinking about at that moment, she said;
“I was thinking… I DID it, that hurt so bad; I don’t know if I want to do that again. Then I heard him cry and I felt relief that he was ok. Then I became aware of how hot and exhausted I was. Then I just wanted to hold him! That was incredible.”
It really was incredible. Baby Avin got to snuggle his mama for a good while, he even nursed like a pro. Then all his adoring sisters got to cuddle and love on him. Dad and grandma took their turns nestling him. Everyone determined he was So Cute! Save for Dieter, he was still standoffish and not interested in his new brother. However his attitude could have been a direct result of the late hour and his own desire to go to bed. I am sure it didn’t take long for him to warm up to his new best friend and brother, Avin.
It was so wonderful to see those girls witness the un-medicated birth of their baby brother. It was such a sacred and powerful experience, one I believe they will treasure forever. It was a piercing testament to the divinity of womanhood and motherhood; I am so impressed that Cora desired that for her daughters.
Congratulations Webber family!!