Mallory Anne's Birth Story
March 9, 2005
9lbs 5 oz, 21"
On March 8, 2005, my EDD, I felt my braxton hicks change. I’d been having them for upwards of two weeks. In the evenings they would come every 5 minutes for HOURS on end and then just stop in time for bed…what a tease! But, on my EDD, they changed…they got slightly more intense but farther apart; 30-45 minutes apart. I dealt with them all day…we went out for lunch and had a nice day.
At 3am on March 9, a contraction woke me up…and then another one 7 minutes later made me stop to think. I got out of bed and puttered around a bit. They came every 5-8 minutes for a couple hours and then slowed down to about 30 minutes between again. They didn’t hurt or require concentration at all. Sigh. So, I went on with my day. I packed up Nolan and got on the bus to my mom’s house. We had a nice lunch with her…the same easy contrax coming every 15-20 min or so. We hopped back onto the bus and came home around .
That’s when I got out my breast pump. With the help of the pump, I got them coming every 4 minutes…and STRONG. I called my sister, Jordan, and had her come over…I called Chris at work to warn him but told him to continue his work. As soon as I stopped the pump, the contrax eased up. They came every 7 minutes or so and weren’t as strong. We watched Dr. Phil at 5. Chris came home and
went back to mom’s house for a bit. lace>Jordanlace>
This is where it starts to get a bit hazy…Chris went to the store at some point to get juice, bread, milk and such just in case this was the real thing. I think it was before
went home. The contractions were still bearable at this point but I called the midwife anyway…she was nervous that I’d go fast. She told me to call back when the contractions last longer than 1 minute…they were only about 30 secs at this time and still easy. lace>Jordanlace>
Around , I called my mom’s house and told her that I thought we were going to have a baby tonight. She laughed…all the women in our family go ridiculously overdue…even Nolan was 2 weeks past. However, she said that we should walk the mall to get things going. She cancelled her hair appointments for that night and came over with
Jordan. They arrived around …that’s when things picked up into what I figure was active labour. I’d just lost my plug and decided against the mall. I needed to hold onto someone for a contraction…I couldn’t talk through them anymore. They were coming every 2-3 minutes but still only lasting 45 seconds so we didn’t call the midwife back yet…she only lived down the street anyway.
I started to get nervous…this is probably where I entered transition. I NEEDED to have someone by my side, standing, at all times so that I could hold them during a contraction.
lent her tiny body, my mom did too…and so did Chris. It felt great to have people so willing to let me hang my 180lbs frame off them…I knew it wasn’t easy…especially for Jordan who weighs barely 115lbs herself. I got nervous when Chris wandered off to set up my music and commanded mom or Jord to stand with me (even though they were only two feet away on the couch). Hahaha. lace>Jordanlace>
We got set to watch American Idol while I laboured…I moved over to the couch and that’s where I popped. It felt like a balloon popped inside me and then warm water ran down my legs. I was THRILLED!!! My water broke on it’s own!!! We headed to the bathroom to get a pad. I sat on the toilet and we checked my pants. My biggest fear had been cleared…the fluid was clear. No meconium. I was so excited that my water broke…I kept talking about it…and then it hit me: the contractions would get more intense now. Oi. LOL!
When I got off the toilet, there was some bloody show in there. YAY!
Chris called my midwife, who, in the couple hours since we talked to her, had gone to another birth. So, she sent her back-up: Carolyn. Carolyn arrived around . She offered to check me but I declined and kept labouring.
’s boyfriend, Greg, was sent to the store to get more juice and to pick up my other sister, Alison. lace>Jordanlace>
Around I felt the contractions change…I was getting pushy. I started grunting at the end of each contraction involuntarily. So, we moved to the bedroom. I crawled on the floor to the bedroom and remember thinking “I am NEVER doing this again! This is too intense!”
I knelt on the floor beside my bed. We joked that the baby would arrive before Greg got back with the juice…Greg has been known to take his time…but we love him. I started to really feel pushy. I stared at the eye on my fish-shaped hot water bottle during contractions and concentrated on not pushing until I couldn’t help it anymore. Apparently, I would look into the hallway at random times, smile at Chris and tell him that he was going to be okay…this was going to be okay. Hahaha…I was pushing out the baby but concerned for him. LOL!
At 9:30ish my primary care midwife arrived, Lisa. She brought her birthing stool so I sat on it. My mom held me up from behind and
donned some gloves in front of me to catch the baby. Greg and Alison arrived at this point although I don’t remember it happening. I started pushing involuntarily…I just couldn’t help it. I pushed when I wanted to and everyone cheered me on…no directions…just cheering. All of a sudden I felt a *POP*! The head had come down and was out now! I asked, “Is it out??? Is it out???”(meaning the head) and my midwife misunderstood, thought I meant the baby, and said, “No, not yet.” I was disappointed but doubled my efforts: I wanted that baby OUT!. She barely managed to slip the cord from around the baby’s head when I pushed out the rest of her body. It was too quick for even lace>Jordanlace> to catch her. I pushed for 2 contractions…5 minutes in total. Jordan
The baby was put onto my chest and I climbed onto my bed. I lay there with this child on my chest and she started crying. I’d never heard Nolan cry before he was taken to the NICU…this was incredible. They didn’t suction her…she didn’t need it. I just held onto her for 5 minutes before
said, “Well, WHAT IS IT???” So we checked…A GIRL! Born at . lace>Jordanlace>
Nolan came in to visit me with my mom…he’d woken up. He gave me a kiss then he went right back to bed. We had to wait for the placenta before stitching though…it seemed to take forever. I was bleeding too much so we decided against a physiological third stage. I cut the cord that held my daughter and I together…what a crazy thing. I nursed Mallory. 45 minutes later, and another trip to the birthing stool, and the placenta came out.
Once I was stitched up, my sisters helped me to the bathroom where I showered.
dried off my bottom. Hahaha! She thinks that’s funny. I put on the nursing nightie that my mom bought me. I climbed into bed with my little girl and we all hung out. lace>Jordanlace> brought me juice and muffins. Chris and Alison took pictures. Mom sat with us. It was great. lace>Jordanlace>
Just after they did her assessments. 9lbs 5oz. 21” long. 14.5” head circ. 9&9 on her apgars. Good respiratory noises, good heartrate. She was perfect!
We took a tour of the placenta…I sent it home with mom to store in her big freezer.
I finally went to bed around . Sigh…much needed sleep!
I think that covers everything. It was the best experience…I haven’t stopped smiling since. Everyone was perfect…respectful of my wishes: no vag exams, no directed pushing, no suctioning baby. It was fantastic.
No labour pics but lots afterwards.
30 seconds old:
First nursing session, waiting for placenta. My mom and sister Jordan.
First pic of DH and I with our new baby girl...30 minutes old?
Violet Gwendelyn's Birth Story
At 2:45am on Sunday April 13th, I felt a big gush of water while sleeping. Grabbing the towel I had been sleeping on, I wedged it between my legs and got up to the bathroom. It was soaking through the towel and was all clear. I was only 39 weeks, so I really wasn't expecting to be dealing with water breaking for a few weeks. But here it was and nothing could stop it. I stood in the tub and just waited. Not having felt any contractions yet I was planning on going back to bed to get some sleep since labour was imminent. Something told me not to. I woke Greg up gently at 3:10am, telling him he needed to call work and let them know he couldn't make it since my water broke and our baby was gearing up for the journey to land. He was all business after that, but certainly not freaking out at all. I was really grateful for that. He started setting up the birth pool.
Just about 10 minutes after I woke Greg up I started getting my first contractions. I swayed through them on my knees for awhile, leaning over the couch. I could still talk through them but I asked Greg to time them for a few minutes. They were coming every 3 minutes and lasting between 50 seconds and a minute long. I called Emily. No answer. I called my mom. I told her my water broke and that my contractions were coming quite close. She said she would get her things together and come over, but to call my midwife in the meantime. I paged Carolynn who said to keep doing what I'm doing and to call her back when they are more intense.
Greg was busy filling the pool and I felt like I had to have a bowel movement so I went upstairs to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet and noticed all sorts of bloody show. I heard my mom come through the door at about 3:40am. I was still on the toilet and had found a nice routine of pushing on the wall on one side and the counter top on the other side while swaying and singing birthing tones. Mum sat with me and said I was doing a great job. We were there for awhile. Well, just after that things changed. I suddenly had to vomit so, I stood up and just hurled into the sink. Three good heaves left me empty of the lovely red Gatorade I had been drinking. My mom laughed and said that probably wasn't the best colour Gatorade to be drinking. Mum cleaned it up as I sat back down for another contraction. Later she would tell me that my tones changed from a hum to more of a grumble song after that. That was when she told Greg (who witnessed the vomiting) to get back on with Carolynn to say we needed her *now*. Luckily she is only about 10 minutes away.
I definitely felt the contractions more after that. Swaying and moaning weren't doing as much as they had before. At 5:45am Carolynn showed up. She said I had some great bloody show with a smile on her face. At this point my contractions were 60 seconds long and 2 minutes apart. She asked if she could check me and I agreed. I hadn't initially wanted checks, but since I felt like things got furious fast, it would be best to know. She tried while I was on the toilet, but couldn't quite get a good feel. In between contractions I moved to the bed so she could check me. My mum later told me that she had her own fingers crossed that I was at least 4cm. After the check she said I was completely effaced and dilated. 10cm!! It now makes me wonder if I had done all 10cm in those 3 hours or, if I had been walking around dilating earlier in the week.
After the next one hit, I moved downstairs, since the tub was full enough for me to get in. It was warm, and really nice. I leaned over the back with my knees spread apart and my face on my arm, swaying through each contraction making fun noises that I didn't care who heard. Greg held my hand over the edge of the pool. I didn't want anyone else touching me. I didn't tell anyone that, but I remember thinking 'I hope no one tries to touch me, I don't want to have to tell them to stop'. My sister Alison arrived and sent her fiancé to grab my other sister Emily. About 6:20 my other midwife, Lisa, arrived. The baby's heart rate was a nice 136bpm in between each contraction. I could still feel kicking, which was so cute! The pushing contractions started and I really didn't like those ones. In between, Carolynn had me reach down to see if I could feel the baby's head. I could. It felt wrinkly.
Emily showed up at about 20 minutes to 7am. I had been trying to get through the pushing contractions on my hands and knees and Carolynn suggested I move positions to see if that would help get the baby down faster. (I remember so vividly, Carolynn's brown eyes while she was talking to me. They were so warm and calm. It made me feel really good to have her right there) I turned over into a sort of reclined squat, holding the bars of the pool. I could definitely feel a difference in how the baby was moving down after that. The 'ring of fire' that I had heard of, was constant. I felt the head in between contractions, and during pushing I'd reach down to see how much more I had to go. At 7:20am, it was apparent this baby was going to be out within a few pushes, so Carolynn mentioned to Greg if he wanted to catch, he'd need to get into the pool. He jumped in fully clothed. At 7:22am I pushed out the baby's head. The burn subsided for the most part. Carolynn suggested I reach down and touch my baby's head. I didn't want to, but realized I might regret it later. So I did. It was so amazing! At 7:24am, I had another contraction and pushed out the rest of my little baby. Greg grabbed the baby by the shoulders and put the little one on my chest. I leaned back and cradled my baby.
With wide open eyes, this little one looked around at its new world and the people who were there to witness the arrival. Someone asked if we had a boy or a girl. I pulled the legs apart and had Greg look. He said, "It's a girl!". Just like I knew. The little girl from my dreams. She had dark hair and her daddy's dimpled chin. She looked around for awhile before deciding to take her first breath. I rubbed her back real good and when she was ready she breathed. No crying though. Just looking around, blinking in the light that came in through the patio doors onto the birth tub that beautiful sunny Sunday morning. She was covered in thick pasty vernix that was floating all over the pool. It greased my hands and my chest. I put her to my breast to nuzzle, but she really just wanted to evaluate this new place. Emily clamped the cord and Greg cut the cord at 7:50am.
I passed her off to her proud daddy so I could birth her placenta and be evaluated. In my records, it states, no tears, only minor labial splits. It was written that I only lost 105cc of blood, however, Carolynn said she was being very generous in that assessment. Lisa mentioned in all her water birth experience, mine was the second clearest water she had ever witnessed. My placenta came out easilly, although, pushing again wasn't so fun. The cord was very long! And a great sized placenta too. It's in my freezer right now waiting for a decision on its future. I got out, dried off, and took my baby back to nurse. She latched on and we stayed like that for a good long while.
Sunday April 13th
19.5 inches long
Perfect in every way!
All in all, this birth was incredible. I wouldn't change a thing. It hit me like a freight train, but I got through and it was the most amazing experience of my life. My body knew just what to do, and I followed its cues. I can't wait to rave about it to every person on the street. A perfect home water birth. The tub we rented was brand new. I hope this christening birth will bring all of its new mothers as wonderful a birth as my baby and I had.
6 lbs. 10 oz., 21.5"
Born at home at 11:57 pm on June 27, 2008
Tons of dark hair
I may add more once I get a better time line from my doula.
My guess date was July 13th, 2008, but I just had a feeling my baby would come on June 27th. My babies tend to come early. Originally I was thinking my baby would come at the beginning of July, but after a Hypnobabies script one day I felt strongly that it would be June 27th.
I slipped on the ice in February, landed on my back, and broke my elbow. I didn’t realize until the middle of June that my pelvis must have been injured during my fall. My baby was presenting posterior and the positioning exercises I was doing weren’t working to rotate her. I went to an excellent chiropractor who determined exactly what was off in my pelvis. We began treatment. After two visits my baby turned around to an anterior position, which was heartening. She turned back posterior, however, the Wednesday before she was born. I had another chiropractic appointment that day and hoped it would work to help her move again.
I had pressure waves on an off starting the morning of Thursday, June 26th. My husband, Matt, decided to work from home in case things picked up. I took a nap in the morning. We realized there were a few more things we needed for the birth so I went shopping for those things. When I came home things had pretty much stopped. I was a little disappointed, but figured I’d just rest some more.
At five the waves started again and were more intense, but irregular. I wondered what position my baby was in, but was confused about what I was feeling. I called my doula and midwife who arrived around 8 pm. My birthing waves were 3-5 minutes apart lasting about a minute.
I was feeling back pressure so I got in the birthing tub, which helped. Time is very fuzzy, but I ended up getting out after awhile to walk around and use positions that would help my baby rotate and descend since none of us could figure out what position she was in. I walked up and down the stairs and up and down my upstairs hallway. I stopped and leaned over the railing during my pressure waves, focusing on releasing my belly. It felt good to sway back and forth. My doula was very helpful in giving me lots of affirmations and hypnosis suggestions. I used my Hypnobabies Peace cue a lot, which released anesthesia to where I needed it in my body. My waves were very intense and I remember commenting to her something like “I don’t know why anyone would choose to do this without hypnosis.”
I got back in the tub and out again a few more times. I don’t really know how many. At 11 pm I decided that I could probably sleep, so everybody went downstairs while I rested. I dozed for an hour or so and then got up to be more active again. I listened to my Hypnobabies Fear Release script while I rested. It might have been at this point that we did the stair walking, I really don’t remember.
At 4 am I felt like I could sleep again so I lay down. I woke up with the sun streaming in through the window. I remember feeling pretty annoyed and frustrated that it was morning and my baby still wasn’t here. My pressure waves had stopped while I slept and I felt a lot of baby movement. The waves started again once I woke up. My midwife felt my belly and it seemed that my baby had gone all the way from what we thought was LOT or LOA (back near my left side) to ROP (back near my right side). That was discouraging, too. My chiropractor had given me her cell phone number so I called her. She told my doula some specific exercises for me to do to help my pelvis and my baby’s rotation. My midwife went home. My doula stayed for another hour or so while we did the exercises. At around 8:30 the waves stopped all together, even though I was 6 cm open. My doula tucked me in and told me that she was leaving but that she wanted me to call her as soon as anything changed.
At 11:30 or so I woke up. I took a shower and decided that I was hungry and wanted to go eat at my favorite restaurant. I felt like I needed a change of scene and a distraction from the total lack of anything happening. My husband’s brother and his wife had stayed the night to be with our other kids, which was very helpful, and they stayed all day Friday to help out, too. During lunch Matt and I talked about how if we were having a hospital birth I’d very likely be on pitocin or have my water broken or a c-section for “failure to progress”. I was very glad that wasn’t happening, even though I was not exactly happy about being stalled at 6 cm.
I rested in the afternoon and had a good cry to release my frustrations. At 6 my waves started again in earnest. I felt my belly and was happily surprised to find a solid little back lying along my left side. I called my doula and my midwife. Since I was feeling a bit like a watched pot we decided to have them leave their homes at 7:30 so I wouldn’t have to think about calling them again.
I was feeling a lot of back pressure even though my baby was now in a good position. I think this was due to my pelvic injury. The tub helped so much. I alternated between listening to my Hypnobabies Birth Guide, Birthing Day Affirmations, and a playlist I created with songs by artists such as the Beatles, Cat Stevens, Eva Cassidy, and Simon and Garfunkel.
I don’t know what time it was, but my midwife checked me and I was 7 cm, which was encouraging. My cervix was posterior, though, so I got out and did more of the exercises my chiropractor recommended with the hopes that my cervix would move forward. After awhile things started to slow down and space out again.
My midwife, doula, husband, and I had a conversation about the benefits and risks of breaking my water. I knew there was a reasonable chance that breaking my water would get things moving again, which was quite an appealing thought since I was more than ready to meet my baby. I was also worried that my baby would again turn back into a posterior position, which I really didn’t want her to do, and that it would be less likely for her to move positions once the water was gone. I knew there was a chance that it would do nothing, which could potentially lead us to the hospital for pitocin. I knew that breaking my water increased the chance of infection and opened a very small potential for a cord prolapse, but since my baby was quite low I wasn’t concerned about this. I mulled things over for awhile and then decided that I wanted to try it.
I knew that my waves would probably be more intense after my midwife broke my water, so I listened to my Hypnobabies Deepening CD first. After it was over I sat on the birth stool with Matt behind me and used my Peace cue while my midwife broke my water. It was clear and I got back in the tub. I waited there and kind of bounced around in various positions. Nothing was happening. I got out and swayed my hips around. I had a good pressure wave standing in my bathroom. I felt my baby move down a bit, which was encouraging. I decided that I needed to walk around, so I walked up and down the stairs. I had a few pressure waves, but I could tell they weren’t exactly what I needed in order to finish dilating.
I sat on the birth stool again with my husband behind me so my midwife could hold my cervix forward. After a few minutes of this I felt dizzy and wanted to lie down. I might have gotten dizzy because I was breathing a little quickly due to saying my Peace cue so many times. I lay down on the bed and took deep breaths. That’s when I had a very long and very strong pressure wave. That was good news. I got back in the tub.
My waves were much more intense now and I was feeling pretty much constant pressure in my back. I had Matt press on my back, which felt so much better. Occasionally he would remove his hands because they got tired and I would immediately call for him to put them back. After the birth he said that it was very tiring, but that he figured I was exerting much more effort than he was.
I mainly alternated between a squat and kneeling/frog position and I was really helpful to be in the water since I could change positions so easily. I felt pressure as my baby moved down more. I experimented with pushing to see if that felt better. I wasn’t sure. I reached inside and felt that there was still some cervix in the way. After a few more waves with it not moving, I asked my midwife to hold it forward while I pushed through. She did and this was probably the most difficult part of the birth for me. I breathed as much anesthesia as I could there to my cervix while I pushed. I felt my baby’s head slip through my cervix and it was a relief.
I pushed in a squat for a bit but my legs felt like they were about to cramp so I switched back to a frog position. I felt my baby’s head move down my birth path and I reached down to touch it with my hand. I was confused by the texture, but didn’t open my eyes to look. I provided my own perineal support as I pushed her head out. With previous babies, once the head was out the body pretty much followed immediately. With this baby, I actually had to push her body out. Clara Helen was born at 11:57 pm on June 27th, 2008.
Once she was out, my midwife passed her between my legs and I pulled her to my chest. She was wrapped up pretty well in her cord and my midwife helped untangle her. I held her on my chest and talked to her. She was pretty quiet and a bit blue so my midwife had us get out of the tub so she could work on the baby and help get her breathing better. After a few minutes she pinked up and was breathing much better. She stayed right by me the entire time, which I thought was great. I talked to her and touched her while my midwife worked on her. I remember with my first baby, who was born in a hospital, that they took her to the other side of the room where I couldn’t even see her. I much prefer my babies to stay right with me.
Matt got a turn holding Clara while I took a shower. Afterward I lay down in bed and nursed Clara for awhile before we did the newborn exam and found out how much she weighed. She was 6 lbs. 10 oz., 21.5” long. She has very thick, dark hair that was so coated in vernix that it felt somewhat spiky. That was the strange texture I was feeling previously.
I feel very grateful for the wonderful support I had throughout this rather long and unusual birthing time. My older two daughters (8 and 6) also helped out by putting cool wash cloths on my face and neck, bringing me water and food, and placing their hands on my shoulder (a Hypnobabies deepening technique).
My oldest three all wanted to be woken up for the actual birth. My oldest woke up and stayed awake for awhile after the birth. My second oldest blearily watched the birth and then said she was going back to bed. My third oldest (3) came in, told me she was tired, and then went back to bed. She doesn’t remember it at all.
My fourth daughter (21.5 months) didn’t meet her new sister until the next morning. She has been ahhing over and kissing and hugging Clara ever since. She doesn’t get upset about me not holding her. She gets upset that I’m not letting her hold the baby. I suppose that’s better than sibling rivalry although I am a bit nervous about how much and how rough the love is that she’s wanting to give.
Overall things went well and we are happy to have her here!
My birth story...copied and pasted from my BB
I woke up on October 31, 2003 at 7am having contractions that were coming regularly (10 min apart if I remember correctly) and they continued that way for about 3 hours and suddenly stopped. The rest of the day went on like always but I never did go to sleep that night. I felt kind of on edge and anxious. I watched TV/went online/tried to sleep but nothing worked. The contractions started again sometime in the middle of the night and became regular but not painful. Between 4:30-5am they were getting closer together and more uncomfortable. I knew I didn't want to go to the hospital too soon so I just chilled at home for a while. I ate, took a shower, etc. By 8am I was starting to have to concentrate to get through them but I thought it was really cool! They weren't painful, just strong. I was so excited to know that I was going to have the baby soon. Around 9:30am my then DH wanted us to go to the hospital so I agreed (for his sake). When we got there they checked my cervix and I was already 5cm dilated. Right away a nurse started talking about an epidural but I told her no thanks. I don't think she was expecting to hear that. She told me that it was going to get a lot worse and that I couldn't be in the delivery room screaming (WTF?). I politely declined again and she seemed a bit annoyed. I spent the next couple of hours walking around my room (not so easy with all the crap they had attached to me) and trying out different positions to help with the contractions. I was up to 8 cm by noon or so. Between contractions I was talking to DH and smiling and the nurses told me they were so surprised about that! Okay...the time between then and DD's birth is pretty fuzzy. I remember around 1pm I was 9cm and they wanted to break my water and I told them I wanted to wait some more. About 2 hours later I was still 9cm and all I wanted to do was sleep! I let them break my water and that really got things going! The contractions between 9 and 10cm were so intense. I remember thinking, "Holy crap...I can't believe my uterus is this strong!" Seriously, I felt as if my body was being lifted into the air. There were a few moments where I felt like I wasn't on top of things but I'm pretty sure it was because I was so incredibly exhausted...after all I had been awake for over 30 hours straight. I also fell asleep between every contraction! When it was time to push there was no mistaking it...I HAD to push. I wanted to push in the "all-fours" position (to prevent/minimize tearing) and take my time but the OB had other ideas. He absolutely REFUSED to let me do that. When I asked him for a reason he said, "I wouldn't know how to catch the baby that way." I kid you not. Had I not been so freaking tired I would have argued but I just let him have his way. I was in the lithotomy position (not conducive to pushing...it's only the best position for the OB ) and pushed her out in maybe 20 minutes...probably less. For me pushing was absolutely painless. I also tore but I didn't feel a thing. DD was born at 4:06pm and was totally perfect!
This took me 7 hours to write. DH and I cried, and you may too, but know all turned out well in the end.....
Delilah Rose’s Birth Story
She was due Aug 26th, or 28th, or September 1st, depending on who you asked. Delilah did not come on any of those dates. An induction that would never come was scheduled for Monday September 8th 2008.
Saturday morning, September 6th, I went for acupuncture. By early afternoon contractions were 8 to 10 minutes apart. Our support person arrived but the contractions were not progressing. The acupuncturist came late that afternoon and while she was about to place the first needle, I felt dizzy and asked for my blood pressure to be checked. Given my previous blood pressure checks on Thurs and Fri, which were high at 130/90, it was disappointing, not surprising, and scary to find that it was 140/104. A call to my doula who spoke with my doctor sent us straight to the hospital. I had pregnancy induced hypertension. I had lost my homebirth a month before, and now there would be no laboring at home at all.
But before we left the acupuncturist gave us a beautiful send off gift of a song, she sang about the health and safety of mother and baby, a beautiful blessing to take with us. We would need every note, as it turned out.
We arrived at Sutter at 8pm on Saturday and I was checked in to triage. At this point my blood pressure was back down to a high but healthy level and an internal exam revealed that I was 2cm dilated and 50% effaced. The contractions had gotten closer together and were coming every 5 to 8 minutes apart. I was then shown into the room I would labor in for the next 29 ½ hours. We set about putting out my small kwan yin statue to focus on, three small posters: one of elephants because they are strong, beautiful and when birthing labor in community, one of geese because they never let each other falter and trade off support and leader positions, and one with phrases I would read over and over like a mantra:
“There is Only Now”
“Our little girl is on her way.”
The doula arrived and told me that if she, as a midwife, had a patient only that far progressed, she would send them home. This really hurt my feelings. Not because of the lack of progress, but because I was both relieved to finally be in labor and irritated because it was not my choice to be there this early in labor in the first place.
We waited. I couldn’t sleep, regardless of the instruction of my doula to do so. This was no surprise, since I had had insomnia and hadn’t slept in months. She kept telling me to sleep. It was getting very frustrating and I felt like I had paid her all this money to take her advice and couldn’t. I was sure I was letting her down. I couldn’t sleep.
By around noon Sunday, I was fully effaced and only 3cm. I consented to have my waters broken and they gushed out in warm pulses. There was meconium, a bad sign that Delilah had already had her first bowel movement in utero and may have ingested it. They added an internal fetal monitor and thank goodness her heartbeat remained strong. I was told, “Your baby will be born today.” It was so sunny out, and I wanted to believe them. Time passed.
Suddenly, Delilah was at +2 and I was only 4 cm. The urge to push was unbearable, and Delilah stayed at +2 and 4cm for hours. My support person, who was a good friend of mine, and I became as one. She stared into my eyes that were filled with fear and pain and helped me keep my tones low, to smooth the strain from my face, to breathe and blow when all I wanted in the world to do was push to relieve the excruciating pressure. I am forever in her debt and feel the closeness that resulted between us as friends is now immeasurable. She saw me through it all. My doula, husband, and support person took turns repeating “breathe in, breathe out” for the entire time, taking breaks to eat, sleep, use the bathroom. I did none of these things except use the bathroom, which I dreaded because contractions outside the tub were much harder not to push through. After three hours in the tub with no progress, I could no longer get out to pee. They said I could pee in the tub. I cried and did not want to, but lost bladder control. The conversation came up for pitocin and an epidural.
Previously, my doula and I had revisited my birth plan for no intervention and reconsidered, given the hypertension and the multiple illnesses that had plagued me from the beginning of the pregnancy. From the hyperemesis and the PUPPP to the insomnia, I hadn’t slept for more than 3 hours a night since April and labor was no exception. I was tiring quickly. The conversation about c-section was brought up and held off without my knowing it, because the doctor had faith in me. My doctor is the one that every midwife in town trusts first for the least intervention, and the number of times interventions came up and were held off is an incredible testament to her faith in the birthing power of women. Any other doctor and any other hospital would have sectioned me on multiple occasions during this process. She managed to wait out every complication and I got through them.
The doula told me pitocin, at this point, since I was already in labor, counted as augmentation, not induction. I said okay. The pain increased and I was 5, then 6 centimeters. I had to rest. The doula kept telling me to sleep and I still couldn’t. I felt like I was failing her and failing my daughter to be born and that I would go out of my mind soon. Choosing that epidural, which finally let me rest, probably helped to save both my and my baby’s lives, as it would turn out.
The next contraction came and I blessedly could not feel it. I told the anesthesiologist it made him very attractive. We laughed. I fell asleep. They turned up the pitocin to get me through contractions which intensified dilation as soon as I slept. I would find out later my blood pressure had sky rocketed and baby wasn’t handling the contractions well. Her heart beat had decelerated. The placenta would turn out to have been very old, highly calcified, and pressing on her. Again, the conversation about c-section was brought up and held off without my knowing it, because the doctor had faith in me. They had to turn the pit down and start it again at a lower dose. My husband went outside and cried, came back in, played cards with our support person and tried to breathe. I woke to be told I was 9 ¾ cm dilated. I had slept through transition! There was just a small lip of cervix left. I was so happy about that--having no idea about the other complications. I joked to my husband and support person that I just wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t give everybody “at least a little lip.” They laughed. I eventually had pain in my low back on the left hand side. It intensified, surprising me. I thought the epidural was wearing off and that frightened me. I didn’t want to feel that pain again. I was finally complete around 10:30pm. Again they said, you will have your baby today.
We didn’t know I would actively push for the next 3 hours. Baby had retreated to -1, and now I had the task of pushing through what was left of the epidural. I wanted to change positions. I’d forgotten what the doctor had to remind me of in that moment: that when you have an epidural, you lose the options of changing positions and you have to labor on your back. It took so much not to let that defeat me. They added an internal contraction monitor.
I came to realize I now had: a blood pressure cuff, IV, Epidural, oxygen monitor, oxygen mask, internal fetal monitor, internal contraction monitor, and urethral catheter to contend with during pushing. Almost every contraction brought beeping and blood pressure cuff constriction, which blew all my concentration and drove me insane. I had no idea why I was being so closely monitored. I pushed with everything I had. My doula was constantly, sternly demanding “Push. Harder. Push. Harder. Push. Harder.” As if I wasn’t. It wasn’t working. Not knowing the complications and why she was being so forceful, I got really angry. They told me use the anger to push.
I couldn’t get enough breath behind the pushes. Tucking my chin as I was instructed wasn’t helping. It would turn out later that the chin tucking instruction is given to help women tuck their pelvis upwards. Being a Middle Eastern dancer, I can isolate my body and that motion never carried to my pelvis, just made it impossible for me to properly draw breath, but they didn’t know that. I finally managed to ask what they needed, and tucked my pelvis. They finally stopped telling me to tuck my chin.
But I still couldn’t catch enough breath to push right and the doula continued demanding “Push. Harder. Push. Harder. Push. Harder.” I finally screamed at her and told them I needed encouragement, not forceful language. The doula went quiet. My support person said I was doing it, pushing out my baby. Thank Goodness. The wires and tubes kept bothering me. “Push that wire out!” chanted the doula. I finally told her I didn’t give a f*** about the wire just the baby and relief and to shut up about the wire. The longer I couldn’t breathe the more I panicked. I smacked away the oxygen mask my husband held over my face. I threw the oxygen measuring finger tip thing and tried to rip off the blood pressure cuff. I threw up. I was losing it.
They said when I threw up that it was helping. OK. I forced myself to continue to gag. I knew I could not stay on my back. I demanded they help me to a side lying position (apparently the doctor didn’t think I was capable of doing this). I lay on my left side, with my support person locking her knees against the bed and her elbows at her sides to support the dead weight of my right leg bent in the air for those hours of pushing.
The position change helped, and the epidural began to wear off. I could finally feel where to push but still couldn’t breathe. No one mentioned the word c-section to me, but it came up among the professionals again and was again warded off.
A nurse came to my side like an angel and somehow I could receive her instructions on how to catch a breath and when to breathe. It worked, and Delilah began her descent toward the vaginal opening. When she got there, my doula and doctor worked together to keep me from tearing. The doula massaged the opening and my doctor, who was a tiny woman, sat cross legged on the bed under my leg to direct Delilah’s crowning. She told me rapid-fire to “Push! Blow! Push! Blow! Push! Blow!” It was intense. I would have to say if you asked me to tell a part of labor I liked, it would be Delilah’s crowning, since I could feel it and control was so precise and finally possible. My husband was still holding the oxygen mask and throw-up basin for me. He said “I can see our baby’s head!” They told me to reach down but the angle was wrong and I couldn’t.
She crowned, not breathing. I am glad I could not see that her skin was so purple it was nearly black. My husband told me later the look on the doctor’s face was as if we had lost our little girl. The doctor told me she wasn’t breathing and I had to push her out NOW. I had come too far to lose her. I screamed and pushed. Her shoulder was stuck and the doctor couldn’t turn her. I screamed and pushed. One shoulder popped into view, but Delilah never turned to come out sideways and I pushed her straight out. And out she slid. They put her on my skin for just a moment and then the team of attendants I didn’t know were there split. The pediatric group rushed Delilah over the table prepped for her (still in our room) and my husband went with the baby. My support person and doula stayed with me. My doctor repaired a second degree tear and Delilah got the meconium suctioned from her lungs and tummy, was given oxygen, and cried and breathed. My husband tried to call out what was happening to her as it occurred, but I couldn’t follow it. I caught a glimpse of pink skin. I heard her start hollering. All the agony of pregnancy and labor and delivery finally went still, and I could begin to open my mind to the idea of family with my husband and a baby. Being present to the moment was, for the first time in ten months, not a burden or a trial, but a gift. Everyone remarked on how big she was, with a 14 inch head and 14 inch chest, 9 lbs and 20.25 inches long. Delilah was born at 1:40am, Monday morning.
My doctor sat calmly sewing me and said we wouldn’t know for five minutes if little Delilah was ok. I kept asking anyway. The sewing hurt. She also removed a very large collection of cysts that had grown on my inner labia during pregnancy.
Delilah’s apgars were 8/9. My husband was the very first thing she saw when she opened her eyes to the world. She was brought to me and we just stared at each other. Then she pooped all over Daddy and peed all over Mommy. We felt fully initiated into parenthood.
She and I are both healthy. I am mending. Delilah is beautiful. She only cries if something is bothering her, sleeps and breastfeeds well, though learning to breastfeed has been a highly emotional saga and I recommend any first time mom get help. My husband is so proud and a wonderful partner to me in taking care of her these first incredibly tough few weeks. We are all learning each other.
Also posted in my birth lodge....
Finally settled down and have time to do a birth story. I apologize in advance for the length. I don’t know how to write “short”.
In the early hours of Sept 11, four days after my 9/7 due date, I started feeling contractions. They started out about 40 minutes apart and then within a few hours were 20 minutes then got down to 8 minutes apart very quickly. I got excited thinking, ‘Today is the day!!’. DH wanted to get up and shower but I told him we should try to sleep a little more to rest up. We got up an hour later, both called in to work but by then my contractions were 20 minutes apart again and then eventually gone. Just a pre-labor incident, I guess. We spent the day relaxing, took a long walk and just waited really…
I started feeling contractions again later that night and we started timing them. By 3am they were about 4 minutes apart so we got organized, finished packing and started off for the hospital. It is usually a hectic drive, but leaving at 4am, we got there in 10 minutes. Our hospital is a pretty major urban one that caters to all walks of life so we were hoping they were as amenable to NCB as they say they are. We checked in and met Sarah, our first nurse. She looked at our birth plan and said it all looked great. She said they would not make me have an IV unless anything was wrong and said she’d just do a 20 minute fetal monitoring and, again, unless anything was wrong we would not need continuous monitoring. The monitoring was fine so she checked my cervix which was 3cm. She gave me a choice of going home for a bit or staying in triage and waiting as it was a very quiet time at the hospital. Since we didn’t want to risk going home then coming back into the city during morning rush hour, we stayed in triage. We got settled, I changed and we started walking the halls – contractions were still very manageable. Things were all going well and they checked me a few hours later and I was up to 5 cm. My OBGYN stopped by on her way to the office to check in because she heard we were in labor. She said that I was moving along nicely and wished us luck, saying we were doing such a great job. She unfortunately was not on call that day but an associate of hers was who I had met before and liked.
We were doing great. We kept walking the halls, using the birth ball, visualizing/relaxing through contractions… I felt really good. Only drawback is that my cervix was moving really slowly. They checked it a few hours later and it was still only at 5cms again, then went to “almost 6cm” a few hours later and then “about the same” which was discouraging as hours had passed by this point. By then Sarah the good nurse’s shift was over and we had this dopey young nurse who said things like “your contractions are going to get much worse, you know” when I was having a conversation with DH about how the pain was (gee, thanks, I did not know that) …. Or she asked how the pain was on a scale of 1 to 10 and I said “6” and she said, “only 6???”. She got the clue she was annoying us and eventually left us alone.
By then I had been in active labor for nearly 7 hours and was “almost 7cms” but things were really slow still having moved less than 2cms in 7 hours. I was getting discouraged so I let them break my water in the hopes that it would make things progress more. This is unfortunately when things got tough…. I had meconium in my fluid, a drawback of being overdue. The sight of meconium turned my low-key and in-control birth immediately into a “hospital vibe”. People buzzing around, the OB expressing concern, etc. They said I would need monitoring and steered me back into bed which was excruciating and ruined much of the rhythm I had. When they left the room DH and I moved with the monitor cords onto the birth ball which we put right next to the monitor. The annoying nurse came in and shooed me back into bed saying that my moving was interfering with the monitoring. I know I could have refused this, but at this point I was getting tired and frankly worried too as I had been laboring for quite awhile.
Just then a guardian angel arrived… the annoying nurse’s shift was over and Nurse Sheila was assigned. She herself had two NCB births herself and taught NCB classes and was so happy she got us. She immediately had me out of bed, doing different breathing exercises and trying different positions while she held the monitor cables to my belly herself. After another cervical check my heart broke as I was again barely 7cms. I just had this vibe from the questions I was being asked that the OB and residents were starting to think c-section which I absolutely did not want. We all talked and DH and I decided on a small amount of Pitocin as I was feeling like my stubbornness was going to work me right into a c-section. They put in an IV then the Pitocin then my contractions really started.
After a bit when the doctors had left the room, Sheila took one of my legs and had DH take the other and suggested that I start pushing to try to get the baby into a good station – she too knew they were thinking of suggesting a section and was trying to get me to a better point. The three of us pushed for about 45 minutes then she suggested they get the OB. The OB was shocked I had progressed so far and said I could start pushing for her. After about another 30 minutes of pushing they could see her head (and everyone kept saying, “what a head of hair!!!!”) then about 15 minute later I pushed her out. I was exhausted but elated! She was so cute and so strange seeing her… she was this whole brand new person but she looked so familiar. DH cut the cord and my placenta passed easily. They handed her to me and it was just unreal. DH got all teary… it was all really amazing.
I really was happy with 80% of the birth. DH and I did great for the first 10 hours or so and the part when we were pushing was good because it was almost a relief as I feel like I was getting so close. My big triumph was that I had no epidural and was mobile for the most part the whole time. I really, really was dead set against the epidural so the fact I did not need it felt wonderful . Until the merconium-related drama, the hospital was great and really consented to all our wishes. The merconium-related drama was a little disappointing (as it required Pitocin, I had almost dodged the IV bullet and the extra fetal monitoring was painful) but I would not let that ruin the experience. I honestly think that if I didn’t get the Pitocin they would have tried to steer me towards a c-section – Sheila even told me after the birth that one of the residents was asking, “isn’t her c-section scheduled yet?” when I was stuck at 7cms. But I just ignore that bad 20%.
Vivienne is just a joy. She’s happy and fun and we just love having her in our life. We got home on Sunday.
If you made it reading this far, you are amazing.
Lisa - sonicbaby
DD Vivienne born 9/12/08!!!
Former member of Sept '08 board
Irene Charlotte’s Birth Story
I had a midwife appointment on Friday, September 5, at 1:00 pm. During the internal, Sue found I was 100% effaced, 2 cm dilated, and Irene was at -1 station. She massaged my cervix to try to soften it, since I have some scar tissue from a cone biopsy and cervical freeze I had done when I was 19. My doula later told me that was pretty much the same as sweeping my membranes, so I figure that’s probably what jump started labor. I had a lot of energy the rest of the day, Dave and I went shopping and bought a glider for Irene’s room. Putting the glider together later Friday night, I had my first contractions. They were a dull backache, but were not too frequent or painful, and I went to bed. I woke up at about 2 am to much stronger contractions, still all in my back, and was not able to sleep. I went downstairs by myself and endured the contractions on the couch. At around 4 I woke Dave up to time them, but they were pretty erratic (between 13 and 6 minutes apart). At 9am, we called our doula, Tisha. She told us to continue timing and call her back when I entered a consistent pattern about 6 minutes apart. I continued to have contractions all day, still painful and all in my back. I couldn’t really sit, I had to be laying forward over pillows or the arm of the couch, and sitting on the toilet was agony and always produced at least one really bad contraction. I took to hovering over the seat when I had to go.
Laboring at home:
My contractions seemed to find a pattern of 6-7 minutes apart on Saturday evening. Tisha came over and stayed with us for a few hours, allowing Dave to get some sleep. She helped me find a position where I could doze in between contractions, and she rubbed my feet to help me sleep. She left at about midnight since my contractions spaced out again. Sunday morning, my contractions had gotten closer together (2 – 3 minutes apart) and more painful, and we called our other doula, Grace (Tisha is a childbirth educator at one of the local hospitals, and had a day long birthing class on Sunday). She came over and we went to the hospital. They did an internal and found that I was still 100% effaced, 2 cm dilated, and Irene was at -1 station. I opted to go home rather than stay in the hospital. Grace went home to get some sleep. My contractions continued to be in my back, very erratic, and very painful for the rest of Sunday. Sunday night at about 9:30 pm my water broke (not a big puddle, but I was soaking pads rather quickly). I called Grace, and she didn’t see any point in letting my midwife know, since that would put me on the hospital’s clock and we knew I was Strep negative. At around midnight, I just knew I was getting close to active labor, and I had Dave call Grace and tell her I needed her. Grace got to our house soon after, and at 3 am we decided I needed to get to the hospital before I entered transition. The car ride was torture. I couldn’t sit, so I knelt backwards in the front passenger seat hugging the backrest and moaning.
At the hospital, the internal showed I was 4 cm dilated, so they admitted me. I asked for the one tub room in the hospital, and luckily it was open and I met the criteria for the room (at least 4 cm dilated and committed to a natural birth). The room was AWESOME. It was huge, and a little bit away from the regular maternity ward, so it was very quiet.
The hospital room:
The first nurse I had sat back reading a book and using the Doppler every ten minutes or so. I got right into the tub, which helped the back labor tremendously. Dave and Grace massaged my back and made sure I stayed hydrated, since I didn’t have an IV. I remember thinking that I was crazy for wanting to do this naturally, but I wasn’t going to ask for drugs because I had put so much time in naturally already, I wasn’t about to cave then. The nurse was really good about getting the Doppler readings without making me move.
Laboring in the tub the first time (with my doula, Grace):
At 7 am, the shift changed, and I got two new nurses, Linda and Sandy. Sandy had birthed her baby naturally four months ago in the very room I was in, and Linda had been a maternity ward nurse for 32 years and a strong believer in natural birth. They were both much more hands on than the other nurse, massaging, suggesting new positions, and just generally being super supportive. I got to a point where I needed to get out of the tub, and I labored for a while kneeling on the bed. At around 10 am, I started getting pushy and I went into the shower, which was awful, and so I got back into the tub. I pushed in the tub until 11:15 am, when I guess I started making the ‘pushing in earnest’ noises and I had to get out, since my practice won’t deliver in the tub. They called the midwife in. I pushed for 3 hours; they had me try so many different positions. It took forever to get Irene past the pubic bone, and at that point I was exhausted. Her heart rate started dropping with every contraction, and my pushing was not nearly as powerful. I hadn’t slept since Friday night (only lightly dozed) and my back was killing me, since Irene never turned from OP and all of my labor was back labor. I started doubting my ability to get her out. The midwife called the OB, Ted, in. She felt I needed an episiotomy and suction to get the baby out, and Ted agreed. I agreed to the intervention, Ted applied the lydocane shot to my perineum, performed a small episiotomy, and applied the lime to Irene’s head and pulled while I pushed. He was trying to stretch the skin down there, and was pushing on my clitoris, and I freaked out and lunged at him, swatting his hand away and screaming, “That’s my clit!” My husband found this hilarious, but it really hurt, much more than even the pushing! It still took a lot of pushes (probably about 20) to get her out. I was starting to lose hope and thinking they were going to do a section at any minute. She finally came out, still OP, and they put her on my belly, dried her off, Dave cut the cord, and then they put her in the warming tray to monitor her since her heart rate had been dropping. I delivered the placenta without even knowing it and the midwife stitched me up, three stitches inside, three outside. I got her back after about 20 minutes, and Grace helped me get her latched. Nursing was a little bit of a challenge at first, because I have flat nipples, but by the time we got home, she was nursing like a champ. My milk came in Thursday.
Being monitored right after birth, with nurse Sandy and DH Dave:
It was not the birth I imagined, it was so much harder and more painful than I thought it would be, but I wouldn’t change a thing (except maybe the episiotomy, though I really feel that those interventions allowed me to avoid a section). My birthing team was amazing, I couldn’t have asked for better nurses, they were so welcoming of Grace and willing to include her in their team, even the OB was great (he thanked Grace for being there) and understanding of my desire to have a natural birth. Everyone read my birth plan, and Linda joyfully told me that she was so happy this was her first birth of the week, because she loves when women are so committed to a natural birth. I used some of the relaxation techniques from Hypnobirthing, but I didn’t use the program as a whole. My labor was just too long for me to keep it up for the entire time. The one thing I totally didn’t anticipate was how sore my upper body was for the next few days. With each push, I was pulling on my husband with my arms. It was a three hour long upper body workout, and I paid for it for about four days!
Samantha Lynn's Birth Story
Sept 7th, 2008 9 lbs 14.5 oz 21 inches
Anyhow, Sept 6th John and I sat down for dinner around 7:30ish. Up until dinner time I didn't feel even the slightest braxton hick contraction so I figured it would be another uneventful night. Although, I told my doctors if she made it past their 32 week timeline, she was coming Sept 7th--- not sure why, but she was... no doubt about it in my mind. When I talked to my sister she ran down the list of everything you can do to include labor naturally. I wasn't telling anyone this---they were pushing for an induction as soon as Monday and mommy didn't want that! So I tried everything... spicy food, tons of sex, walking, mac n' cheese with A1 sauce... you name it. Then my sister suggested acupressure... so I googled a site, found exactly which points, and had John do it. It said it could work in 15 minutes or 48 hours. This was about 6 PMish.
Anyhow, John made a great steak, potatoes, and a huge salad... about mid-meal I felt a contraction strong enough to make me drop my fork. Figuring it was more false stuff, we finished dinner and cleaned up. Contractions were starting to hit about 10-12 minutes apart by this point and much more noticeable then ever before. Although I didn't have any of the pre-labor symptoms I had a feeling it was the real deal. Around 11 PMish, I went to the bathroom and noticed bright red pink blood. My doctor warned me that because of her size, I was at risk for early placenta detachment which is why she was pushing for such an early induction. Needless to say, I was told if my bleeding turned bright pink I was to go in without question.
We got to Landstuhl around 12:15 ish. First internal check they did I was 4 cm's and about 80% effaced. The blood was the start of bloody show. The staff was great and suggested I walk around the hospital for 2 hours to help progression before I was "officially" admitted. John and I began our journey. Made it to the next color hallway, got drinks from the vending machine and I HAD to go to the bathroom. On the way there, my feet hit a wet spot in the floor and my feet flew out from under me. My bottle of water went flying and I landed right on my stomach. A hospital worker, who I later was introduced to as the Anathesiologist, watched it happen and helped John get me back to L&D. At this point, I was admitted.
Around 4 AMish they decided to check me and I was a good 6-7 cm's. Getting from 4-6 cm's I truly thought was the worst. My contractions were reading constantly in the 100+ range, but I used breathing and John to get through them. Right before the nurse change shift, so 6 AMish, they decided to check me again and I was at 8 cm's. At this point, my water still had no broken. All of the nurses kept telling me I was doing great since I wasn't screaming, cursing, or threatening to kill my husband. I about shocked my new nurse when she came in, I was calmly sitting on the edge of the bed, breathing through a rather intense contractions, as John set up to watch the new Batman movie. Note to self; they SCREWED that movie up! LOL So apparently to those nurses standards, I was doing really well since I had no pain meds.
By 8 AM I was keeping up messenger conversations with about 4 people, including my mom and sister, Cara. Cara inquired as to how I was and when I asked "fine" her response was "Mom says that is impossible". John handed me my cell phone and in the most normal voice ever asked "What is impossible" upon her picking up the phone. Needless to say, both my mom and sister called me a b*tch multiple times!!!
They checked me again around 9 AM and said I was 10 cm's, but there was a small lip on the front of my cervix that needed to go... so we were gonna wait. At the 10 AM check, I was back to 8 cm's and they decided to break my water. I don't remember getting back to 10 cm's because I slept through it.
I woke up around 12:15 to 12:30 and HAD to push. So pushing we started! The night doctor estimated her weight to be around 8 lbs just from feeling my stomach, but I let them know what Dr. Sewell was predicting via ultrasound... so they were prepared. At the first sight of her head they realized Dr. Sewell was right and it was going to take a lot to get her past my pelvic bone. 2 hours of constant pushing before her head was past my pelvic bone... poor Sammie! They even used baby shampoo to grease her up and they told me as I pushed, she would wiggle to try and help ease through. Now, I was warned when you feel like you're going to be ripped in two she's crowning. Well, I skipped that... they didn't quite tell me how close to her getting around my pelvic bone they were so they had me push, then push again, and she was out within 3 seconds of getting past my pelvic bone. I don't remember much, just seeing her. And after all my paranoia, she is definitely a girl!
Samantha Lynn was born at 2:45 PM, on Sept 7th, weighing in at 9 lbs and 14.5 oz & 21 inches long. And only 1 very small tear.
My L&D room was awesome, Mother/Baby Unit room is awful! They don't have individual bathrooms, so every time I went to the bathroom yesterday a new nurse told me they couldn't believe I pushed out such a big baby and was walking... what am I suppose to do? Sit in bed all day---um no thanks!
Kelly, wifey to John, mommy to Sammie Lynn & Allison Marie + 5 Angels in Heaven
Gabriel's Birth Story (a VBAC!)
On Friday September 19th, I was a day over 41 weeks pregnant and hoping a membrane sweep at my doctor’s appointment would get things moving. I had agreed to schedule an induction for Monday, the 22nd and wanted to avoid that appointment if possible. Alas, my cervix was still positioned very high and was closed. My doctor said he doubted I would begin labour on my own over the weekend and that we would start with cervidil on Monday. I was very disappointed when I left the office. A sweep had started things when I was pregnant with Ella and I was untrusting in my body’s ability to start things on its own.
Over the weekend I had some promising signs of labour. I lost bits of mucous plug on both Saturday and Sunday and I was getting occasional contractions, but they never seemed to increase in intensity or frequency until Sunday afternoon.
I went for two long walks on Sunday (well, they seemed long for my huge pregnant self!). It felt like the baby was lower and the sporadic contractions were more noticeable. I also had the urge to cook a big meal. We had chicken with mashed potatoes, turnip, baby carrots, cranberries and stuffing. If I needed to be induced the next day, I was making my last real meal a good one!
At 11pm I decided to go to bed and get some rest. I fell asleep quickly and was woke up by my husband crawling into bed around 1:30am (Monday). We chatted a bit about what time we would leave for the appointment, it was scheduled for 9am and we had a two hour drive ahead of us to the hospital. I had two mild contractions while we were spooning and he said, “Those ones were different than before. I recognize how your belly stays firm in between… like when you went into labour with Ella.” I thought he was crazy. They didn’t feel any different than all the other ones I had over the weekend. He talked me into leaving for the hospital and if nothing progressed during the trip then we’d stay at his parent’s house for a few hours before the induction appointment. I cried because I didn’t want to leave Ella, but we packed things up and my mom came to stay the rest of the night at our place. We left at 2:39am.
During the car ride labour started to pick up a little. Contractions every 6 minutes or so for the first 45 minutes, but that didn’t stop us from getting some MacDonald’s! I had a chocolate milkshake and a small fries, and Rob asked the drive through attendant about how many women she had served while they were in labour. Around the same time I felt a couple of tiny leaks and I thought it might be my water breaking, I just hoped there wasn’t a full gush onto the seat of the car (we kept meaning to pack some garbage bags for this purpose, but didn’t get around to it!). Finally at 4:30am we arrived at the hospital. The rest of the drive had brought contractions approximately 4 minutes apart and I was needing to concentrate to get through them. I really needed to pee when we arrived and when I found a bathroom and sat down there was quite a gush of fluid. I thought it was likely my water breaking, but thought it was odd that it waited until I sat on a toilet!
We registered and went upstairs to the early labour assessment unit. The nurse monitored the baby for about 20 minutes, and the heart rate and variability was great. I had a few contractions during this time but they were quite mild and spaced apart. She checked me so we could decide our plan of action (staying or leaving to return for my induction appointment at 9). I was 4cm dilated, completely effaced and she predicted I was likely more during a contraction. I was so excited that labour had truly started on it’s own and this was the real deal! She asked about my last birth experience and if I had brought a birth plan. My husband was right on top of finding it and handing it over. We decided she would keep me as an observation patient, especially since I had a doula (who I called around this time). Being in observation meant I was given a birthing room without being admitted and before the end of her shift at 7am, she only needed to check in on me once to have a listen to the baby with the doppler.
While in observation I was able to relax and let labour really take over. I moved between sitting on and leaning over the birth ball, sitting backwards on the toilet and the standing/walking between the two. I did meet my MacDonald’s milkshake again, but this was the only time I threw up (I threw up constantly while in labour with my daughter, likely due to the pain medication). I got through the contractions with some great lower back counter pressure from Stef (our doula), cold and warm compresses on my back and I held smooth stones in the pressure points of my palms.
The observation nurse checked in before shift change at 6:45am. She said she was talking to Dr. A and he said to just let me carry on as I was doing, and that she would be admitting me and assigning a nurse for 7am just so baby and I could have some closer monitoring. Shortly after, we met our nurse named Sandy. She introduced herself, checked my blood pressure and temperature and I sat in a reclining rocking chair so she could check the baby with the doppler. From the last check, the baby’s heartbeat was found much lower in my abdomen which meant progress was happening! I also had my blood drawn. At this point however, contractions were getting intense. The pressure over the front of my pubic bone was incredible and I was using low moans to get through. It was an odd feeling, but even though I was tired and wanted to doze between contractions earlier, this was the time that my body decided it actually needed some sleep. Between 3 or 4 contractions I drifted off, but then I heard myself saying, “I can’t do this. I don’t think I can do this.” and felt my legs shivering a bit. In the back of my mind I thought about transition and recognized the signs, but refused to let myself believe I was beyond 5cm. I then moved back to sitting backwards on the toilet, and during the contraction on the way I felt myself give a little push. The next contraction on the toilet, I was definitely pushing through it, and it felt wonderful to have something to do during the wave!
During this time I called out to Sandy that I felt “pushy”. Rob asked if she would be checking me and she said something like, “I would, but given the birth plan it’s hard to do my job.” I then asked Stef (who was doing counter pressure on my back with her knee and letting me rest against her between contractions) if the nurse was mad about my birth plan. However, in the back of my mind I didn’t really care, things were going exactly as I had hoped. I was pushing, had only one cervical check when I first arrived, no IV, intermittent fetal monitoring, I was drinking and moving around as I pleased (I could have ate, but didn’t feel like it), I wasn’t even wearing a hospital gown.
Eventually Sandy came around and started to relax a little and get involved. Rob talked with her a little about my past birth experience and when she saw Dr. A joking and being laid back with us, she started to as well. Later, after the birth she would tell us that she’s glad we weren’t as “straight laced” as she expected.
After pushing for a little while on the toilet, I decided to return to the bed so Sandy could check to make sure I wasn’t pushing against some remaining cervix. This was at approximately 8am. She found that I was complete, possibly a tiny lip of cervix left, but it moved away easily during contractions and pushing. Sandy started to set up the room for a baby and I continued with pushing.
The contractions were coming fast and furious (and would remain that way until the end) and with each one I’d give two pushes, one long one with a gasp of air halfway through and then a smaller one at the end of the contraction. I moved from a semi-sitting/semi-side-laying position in the bed, we tried the squat bar and then back to the toilet. Shortly after Dr. A arrived, he asked if he could check fetal position and to see if the baby had moved down since Sandy’s check. At this point I had been in the pushing phase for a little over an hour and they felt that the baby really hadn’t moved down. At this point, my doctor, who is a GP, had to consult with the on-call OB and the resident working under him because of my previous section.
Dr. A and Sandy spoke with me about trying some directed pushing to see if we could make some progress, I was more than happy at this point to have some coaching. I wanted so badly for the baby to move down some before the obstetricians arrived with their “suggestions“. Around this time, someone also set up a mirror so I could focus on where I needed to push. Before the birth I didn’t think I’d be keen on seeing everything happen down there, but I really did enjoy having it there.
When the resident arrived she checked the baby’s position, which from what I heard, was slightly transverse to posterior. Before the exam she asked, “So your epi is working well for you?” Someone said, “No epi, no drugs.” And she got a shocked look on her face and looked for the IV pole behind me. (haha) I remember being surprised about what a gentle touch she had during the exam, she even helped the baby turn to a better position during a contraction. Before she left she said, “I’ll come back in about an half an hour to see if the baby has come down some. At that point we’ll look at the possibility of forceps or a c-section.” Within a few contractions of her leaving, we started to see some progress and before the half hour was out, I could see the top of the head with each push. However, for a long time I’d push, see the head, and then baby would slide right back in. I knew in the back of my mind that this is normal and eventually the head would stay put. However, after pushing for close to 2 and a half hours and having the threat of metal or surgery dangled over my head, it was a little frustrating. I was tired.
When the resident returned, the obstetrician came with her. The OB was still talking forceps saying, “I think we should be able to deliver you from below, but you may need some help.” I just kept pushing and decided that this man did not deserve my attention. I acted like I couldn’t hear him and I don’t think I answered a single question he asked. I’ll give him a little credit for the fact that he didn’t do anything until I specifically told someone “yes.”, but man was he annoying! At one point he wanted someone to give me some gas and Dr. A said, “She’s doing it without drugs. She doesn’t need them.” Yeah Dr. A!
Baby’s head was so close to coming out at this point (about 10:45am) and I remember Stef saying, “You’re getting your VBAC!”. That was some great motivation. I was so happy that it was almost over and I wasn’t going for surgery! Mr. OB had to disrupt the moment again by wanting to cut me because I “had a tight band” holding the baby back. I kept pushing and tore. He said, “O.K. O.K., you tore!” (lol!) My tear was straight toward my rectum, so I did allow a small cut to redirect from that area. In a very short time, the head and shoulders were out and I reached down and pulled my baby to my chest. I immediately started sobbing and said, “We have a baby!” I was staring at him and Stef reminded me to check the gender, it was a beautiful baby boy!
Born September 22nd, 2008 at 10:53am
8lbs 9oz, 21 ¾ inches long
My husband, who had been snoozing soundly in the recliner, was woke up just in time to see me catch Gabriel and he was able to meet his son. Gabe was taking some time to clear the fluid from his mouth, so he didn’t get delayed cord clamping. They took him away for a minute to get him breathing well, meanwhile at 10:55, the placenta released and I gave a small push to help things along. As soon as Gabe gave a cry I asked to have him back and he didn’t leave my arms for the next hour or so (until I ate a hamburger!). It was so awesome to have him close and to stare at my brand new baby.
I must admit that even though I had local freezing for the suturing, that part was far worse than pushing out a head (which I don‘t remember being painful at all). I had a second degree tear that needed about 6 stitches, but the nerve endings were firing like crazy and when they touched me it felt like needles. At this point I also agreed to the IM shot of Pitocin, not because I was bleeding but because the stinking OB wouldn’t shut up about it! He left after I got the shot, so maybe it really was worth it.
They finished their repairs and Ella got to meet her baby brother. Gabe also latched on and started nursing like a little pro. Eventually, I allowed them to weigh the baby and give him the vitamin K shot (he had a huge bruise on the top of his head).
This birth experience was the most empowering and awesome experience of my life. The only thing I wish was different was the attitude of the OB. He was just so untrusting of birth’s natural process. The next day when he came to do his rounds he said he was positive I wouldn’t be able to deliver vaginally. So at least I got to prove him wrong!
DD - Nov/06, DS - Sept/08, DS - Mar/11
I'm new on this board, but thought I would share my last NCB experience...xp from my BB
Born May 18th, 2008 (my 23rd bday)
At my 36 week appt (may 11th) I was dilated to almost 4cm and my Ob said ''We'll have a baby this weekend." I started having contractions the following wed. At 37wk appt (that Friday) I was dilated to almost 4cm, 75% effaced and was still having contractions. I opted to have him strip my membranes. He did and wished me luck. I walked around with DS and DH at the mall, ate some lunch and went home. Once home I was having contractions but they weren't any closer than about 8 mins apart and weren't painful at all so I decided that I would mow the grass. (BTW We have a push mower and it was 88 degrees out) That did it! They started coming on pretty strong, I had to definitely pause during them. By 4:00 they were 4-7min apart and getting more intense so we headed to the hosptial.
4:11pm- Checked into hospital. Was a good 4cm dilated, 80 effaced but cervix was posterior. Cntx were registering 6 mins apart. Nurse was trying to get ahold of my OB to see what we were going to do. Around 5ish my OB shows up, he's on-call for the night and checks me. I'm 6cm dilated almost 100% effaced so he went ahead and broke my water. (it never broke with DS1). I wanted to walk for awhile. Walked for a little over an hour, snacked some and drank gatorade.
7:00pm- Cntxs about 4mins apart, starting to get a little painful. I loved not being on monitors...I could walk, sway, etc. Nurse checks me and I'm a little over 6cm but not quite 7cm. I stay this way until 8:15. When my OB decided that mother nature might need a little help, we discuss starting a pitocin drip. I said okay but only if we did VERY little. I really wanted to do this naturally, and I knew what pit can do and was afraid I wouldn't be able to handle the pain of having the pitocin. At the same time, I was equally afraid of having a long labor. He agrees and starts me at 2 (not sure what 2 of...ml maybe??).
8:30ish- Really feeling the contractions. They're about 2 mins apart and 1min 15sec long and I'm starting to have trouble focusing through them. I had my music, DH was rubbing my back and I decided to use the birth ball. My mom was a huge help too; telling me how strong I was, giving me ice chips and water, etc. By 9:15 I couldn't do the birth ball anymore. I was so uncomfortable and really questioning the whole epidural thing. I decided to get up on the bed on all fours (facing the recline/head of the bed). I just kept rocking through the contractions while DH applied pressure to my lower back. A lot of counter pressure. This was the best thing I did, I could literally feel Logan moving down. I started to feel the need to push.
9:36pm- By this time I had starting moaning and probably kinda yelling...I know I was loud. LOL. I felt the need to push and had naturally started to bare down (I was still on all 4s facing the bed). OB checked me, I was completely dilated and ready to have baby, but he wasn't coming this way. He couldn't turn. I needed to lay/recline the right way in the bed. During a small break between contractions I flipped over. They broke down the bed and got me the hand bars so I could bare down and push better. He had me do a practice push while he stretched me some. While I knew he was trying to help me from tearing, I couldn't take it. I had to push for real.
I started to push down and could feel Logan moving down farther and farther. He started to crown and I felt like I couldn't push anymore. It burned to holy hell. I thought for sure I was tearing. I felt him slip back in and honestly, that pissed me off. During the next contraction I pushed and his head emerged. I bared down and pushed again and out came his body. It was the most surreal feeling to actually feel everything!
9:42pm- Logan David was born. He came out screaming! Eyes wide open and hollering. OB waited for cord to quit pulsating, DH cut the cord and he was placed on my belly. I got to help dry him off, which was really cool! Shortly after I delivered the placenta. One little push, and there it was. Looked good and healthy.
I could not believe how well I felt immediately after wards. I felt like superwoman I was on such an adrenaline rush! They weighed him and assessed him, Apgars were 8 and 9. He weighed 6lbs 5oz, 19in long. He had dark brown curly hair and wanted to eat immediately. So far, he breastfeeds like a champ.