A Surprise Gender Birth

This is the story of Baby Grant, told by her mama Kassie who birthed him so graciously with the support of her Doula Tiff DeLancy and the Midwives of the Beach Cities Birth Center in Long Beach.

Mom discovers she has just birthed a baby boy. Picture by ArtShaped

When I found out I was pregnant for the second time my first thought was, “I want a different birth”. My first had been mildly successful, a typical hospital and ob delivery besides being un-medicated. But that was because of how hard I had to fight to achieve my first birth, with this one I knew I wanted a midwife and birth center.
My pregnancy was quite easy, although I had gestation diabetes, as I did with my first. It was easily controlled with diet and exercise. I took comfort in how my midwives handled the diagnosis, very differently than my OB. The entire experience with midwives was relaxing, easy, uncomplicated. Exactly how I envisioned.
Now, I never quite knew my exact due date, I didn’t want to. Due dates to me loom with anxiety, panic, and dread. So, “early May” was my due date and I loosely kept track of my estimated weeks of pregnancy. When week 39{ish} came I didn’t think much of it, I was tired and my belly heavy but I had gone over 40 weeks with my first so I figured I’d be pregnant forever. On Wednesday of that week I had a chiropractor appointment and the first thing she said to me was, I don’t think you’ll make it much longer. Well, she was correct. The next morning I woke up to a severe leg cramp and when I jumped out of bed a contraction hit. I had been having tons of uncomfortable Braxton Hicks for days but this one felt different. I casually mentioned to my husband that maybe a baby would come today. Luckily for me my husband is a total rockstar, he filled up my water jug and made me a carb heavy breakfast to make sure I had the fuel needed. After a walk, shower, and bouncing on my yoga ball I knew it was the real deal around 7:30 AM. I actually said to my husband, “maybe we’ll have a baby and be home for dinner?”. I’m not actually sure when he called the Birth center, our doula, or Diana but we were headed to the birth center around 9/9:30. Once there our midwife (Vickie Alston, magical midwife!) confirmed I was 5 cm and 100% effaced. I labored on the bed while the birth assistant and midwife filled the tub for me. Somewhere in that time my doula and Diana arrived. I got into the tub and it was instant relief. My contractions with my second baby were much different than with my first; more spread out but much more intense. My doula kept up with counter pressure and hip squeezes plus whiffs of peppermint oil to help with the nausea. My husband was right there with my water and to hold my hand when the pain seemed unbearable. I constantly reminded myself to give into the waves as they came, I was able to relax my body as they peaked which was difficult but the best thing for my body. I lost my mucus plug shortly after getting into the tub then my water broke right around the time my body started to bear down. With my first it took 2 hours to push her out, this baby it took only 25 minutes. Making me firmly believe environment and positioning are two of the most important aspects of birthing.
Surprisingly my labor was short, after arriving at the birth center around 9:30 AM our baby was delivered earthside at 11:56 AM. Our gender surprise, a gorgeous baby boy. It still amazes me how peaceful my birthing environment was; quiet, dim, calm. All things my hospital birth was not. Not only was I able to feel in control about my labor, I felt an incredible feeling of empowerment — I am feeling I still ride 4 weeks later!
And we were home in time for dinner!
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