I found Darlene through a mutual friend of the family. She had directed me to her website only moments after I found out I was expecting. I immediately experienced a feeling of peace. I’ve always done things as naturally as my lifestyle allows, so for me childbirth would be no different. Reading Ina May’s book Guide to Childbirth during my first trimester affirmed my decision, and let me know that I wasn’t alone in wanting the best for myself and my child.
I loved having my check-ups in a comfortable home-like environment, away from the germs that come with hospitals and waiting rooms. I didn’t have to wait for an hour only to be seen 10 minutes as in most OB offices. I never waited more than 5 minutes and each check-up was about an hour long. My prenatal care was tailored to my own specific needs.I loved the idea of having supplements, diet changes, and vitamins and exercises recommended to me based on my specific needs. I looked forward to seeing Darlene each month and enjoyed the time she spent with me going over what to expect, all-the-while building my confidence in my ability to birth my baby. I have never regretted my decision and I couldn’t imagine giving birth anywhere other than the comfort of my own home, surrounded by only the people I love and everything familiar to me. Eden Marie came into this world in the most peaceful and nurturing manner possible, it brings me so much joy knowing that I gave her the best start to life that I could.
I was 15 days post-date and having lots of early contractions. I took a long bath when I got out and my mom made me eggs and peanut butter toast while Darlene checked me over. We sat around for an hour or two and timed my contractions…they were finally starting to hurt and at first I wasn’t sure if I was truly in labor. After Darlene timed a few I went upstairs and laid down for an hour or so. She had been checking my blood pressure and listening to baby’s heartbeat periodically and everything was going great, I was dilated to a 4 at that point.
I got out of bed around 5pm or so and we began picking up my room and getting things ready. I had some really nice contractions and we were planning on going to the whole foods market when Jamal got off at 7 to get some fruit and disposable diaper liners. I had my heart set on putting her in cloth diapers first thing. Just as Jamal got home however things picked up and I was having contractions that were really close together and I had to get on my hands and knees during each contraction. Being able to choose which position to labor in was very comforting. I couldn’t imagine having to lie in a bed for even two contractions.
I labored around my room for about an hour and a half before Darlene’s birth assistant Emily got there. It was nice to have her there because she is a Doula and knew right where to massage my back while I was having a contraction. I did a few standing, and a few hanging off of Jamal’s neck rocking from one foot to another. For the most part though hands and knees worked best. When they got bad I would breath in deep breaths and blow them out while saying “whoooo” in a low tone. Doing this was pretty much the only thing that got me through towards the end. I starting getting shaky around 10pm so Darlene checked me and I was a seven! Time to fill up the birth tub!
I got in and didn’t feel much relief but I knew the end was near so I asked someone to go downstairs and get my mom. I remember flipping over onto my hands and knees like usual and my body gave two huge pushes by itself. It was so intense, that’s when everyone got down to business and Jamal got in the tub with me. I was in transition so I was feeling cold on the parts of my body that weren’t in the water, Emily put a towel on my shoulders and offered to put my hair back for me but at that point I was too focused on the task at hand.
My water broke in Darlene’s hand as she was checking me at 10:30 or so. I was pushing on hands and knees and getting very vocal because it was just such an intense feeling. At one point her heart rate dropped to 110 so Darlene decided to coach me on how to get her out with the next contraction. I was squatting with my back against the tub wall and Jamal right across from me. Emily was behind me being encouraging in my ear and pulling my legs back for me. Darlene had two fingers on the muscle I was supposed to be pushing with. During the next contraction I got her head out and took a small break. I later learned that Darlene had to do some careful maneuvering to help me not tear because her right hand was stuck by her face. She wanted me to reach down and feel her coming out but I said “No, I can’t.” Darlene told me again to reach down and feel my baby being born but I said I couldn’t and that I just wanted her out! “Well get her out.” she said, and with the next push, I did!
I immediately said YES and she handed her to me. We stayed in the tub and took some pictures while I fell in love with this tiny little girl that just came out of me. Time stood still for those moments. They helped me onto the birth stool to deliver the placenta and Jamal cut her cord, Eden stayed in my arms the entire time. Emily got me cleaned up and semi-dressed while Darlene weighed and measured Eden and got her cleaned up and dressed. We crawled into bed and Jamal, the new daddy, got some skin-to-skin time with his new baby. It was beautiful…we just laid there and bonded with her while they got my room cleaned up. After a few hours of answering our questions and making sure we were both ok they left us to get some sleep. It was around 1:45am.
Overall I was in good active labor for 6 hours and pushed for 20 minutes. I got away with only a huge bruise on the inside and three tiny little scratches, NO tearing woooo! We had been listening to Bob Marley and the Beatles the whole time and I guess my iTunes was on for a while without me paying attention, because someone later told me that she was born to Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin…This made Daddy very happy. She was 7 and a half lbs. and 21 inches long. Born at 11:04 on July, 11th.
– Eden’s Mom
Darlene Dorries-Scrivner, Licensed Midwife
Member of Association of Texas Midwives