Ricki Lake's Best Birth


I was eight days from my due date when my water broke early in the morning as I sat on the toilet. It happened to be the first day of Milo's very first summer day camp. It was so amazing to think that he was going off to camp and chances were pretty good that he would be coming back to meet his new brother. My doulas came to our apartment first and Miriam came around eleven o'clock. In the early stages of labor we played Scrabble. We sat on the floor and I would take breaks between contractions. We were about to choose letters to begin another round when I had to stop because my labor started to move pretty quickly. Just at the moment when I had picked a blank, the ultimate letter, I had to quit!

I got to know every corner of my apartment that day. I positioned myself in every room of my house: on the floor, in the bathroom, throughout the hallway. There were moments, many moments toward the end, when I thought I couldn't do it. The phase they call "transition," when I was going from seven to ten centimeters, was the most challenging time. That's when you're not f***king around anymore. You're dead serious and you're in pain. I remember specifically being at the sink in my kitchen, my chin resting on the waterspout, and thinking, "I cannot do this anymore." I heard an ambulance go by and I said, "There's my ride. Get me out of here."

Miriam looked me in the eye and reminded me of the reasons I chose to be at home in the first place. I needed someone to tell me I was right and this was right and exactly what Rob and I wanted. After that, I surrendered to it. When I did that 100 percent, things moved very quickly. Shortly after that, the head started coming out. Miriam said if I wanted to have my baby in the water like we had discussed, I had to get in the tub right away. In the tub, I pushed for thirteen minutes, three contractions. Then Miriam told me to reach down and touch my baby. I placed him on my chest and he stared right at me with his eyes wide open.

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