When I asked Sarah Nurit Popivker, the owner of Tambourine Ma’am Doula in Cleveland, Ohio, if she’d like to share a story from her pregnancy or birth, I knew it would be a good one. Sarah is small and spritely and has birthed 5 gorgeous little boys. She has an inner calm and strength that she can’t help but bring to her birth work and daily life. I love this story for its straightforward honesty. She knew what her body was capable of and she trusted the process.
Here is Sarah’s Week 38:
“What is this sudden back ache? I better go inside and rest a bit”, I thought as I gave the tiny kittens I was fostering in our garage some more food. I had been pretty busy with them, giving them medications, making sure they were clean and well fed…but being at week 38 of pregnancy, I knew I had to make sure I was not overexerting myself as well.
I sat on the rocking armchair, and tried to relax.
I think this is labor.
And that’s when I remembered: I had to get to June 1st to be able to have my water birth: change in policies at the hospital, all VBACS with uneventful pregnancies could try for a water birth.
It was May 31st.
As cramps and the first contractions came, I expressed my frustration to Alec, who encouraged me and with an absolute optimistic voice told me not to worry, that everything would be ok and I would get my water birth.
Just a couple of hours had passed, it was really dark outside, and I realized that I had to stay focused to be able to go through the intensity of my contractions. There was no more the concept of hunger, or thirst, or time. I was surrounded by Alec and my boys, and my cat Gingy, and while sitting on the coffee table, I felt as if I was about to expel a honeydew.
“Call my friend”, I said.
It was time to go.
We got lost while looking for the entrance to the hospital, and I thought several times that I was gonna give birth in the car. We entered the hospital, and I kept telling everybody I saw (including the police officers, some random people, the floor cleaner) “My name is Sarah Popivker and I want a water birth”.
I looked at the clock of the nurses office. I had made it to midnight. It was June First, and if all was well I could have my water birth, my dream.
“No time for any routine stuff” the Midwife said “She is complete!”
The next thing I remember is the warm caress of the pool water, and me holding Alec’s and my friend’s hands, feeling the channel my body had prepared for my baby. I declined the offer to break my waters, and with the next contraction and a couple of spontaneous pushes came the baby, with a gush of clear amniotic fluid.
He was perfect, alert and happy to have joined us.
We were all crying in the room.
It was a mystical experience.
My friend told me that i was almost completely silent throughout transition and birth, no screaming, no moaning, just very focused.
38 Weeks, and the best birth experience i could ask for.
Catch up on past stories from The 52 Weeks of Motherhood Project and submit your own! Contact me for more info.
From the 52 Weeks of Motherhood Project, by Nova Doula Services