Birthing Naturally's Birth Stories

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HockeyTownMom's picture
Joined: 05/20/02
Posts: 417
Birthing Naturally's Birth Stories

Please only post your birth stories. If you would like to comment on a birth story, please create a new thread or contact the author via PM. Thanks for your cooperation. Biggrin

HockeyTownMom's picture
Joined: 05/20/02
Posts: 417

Ayden's birth 12/18/01 EDD 12/28/01 or 1/1/02: (Induced, pitocin, demeral x2, epidural, episiotomy)

This is from my journal.

6:00am: Dr. Miller came in to break my water. By this time the contractions weren't extreamly bad, I was able to breath through them. But that was about to change.

12:00pm: Time for some demoral, the contractions were really painful by this time. It was still too early for the epidural, I was 4cm (I think). The demoral knocked me out, I needed to sleep anyway, I'd been up for over 24 hours.

2:00pm: Another shot of demoral, fell back to sleep, but woke up in the middle of a contraction about 45 minutes later.

4:00pm: FINALLY...time for the epidural!! It doesn't hurt as bad as I thought it would, you are thinking too much about the contractions.

8:00pm: The nurse wants to put in a urinary cathider (sp) in, I didn't want one at all! But, she decided she would check me before she did that. I hadn't been checked since right before the epidural. The words then came out of her mouth, the ones I'd been waiting to hear, "you're complete, it's time to push"!!!!! YAY, time to push and no cathider! Oh wait...I could feel my feet. My epidural was wearing off and she wouldn't give my anymore! I felt everything from then on. While I was pushing, I informed everyone that was standing around me, trying to help to push this child out, that I was extreamly hot. Noone had been watching my temperature. I had a high fever because of a possible infection from my water being broken so long. They noticed this about 2 hours into the pushing stage. Yes...2 hours. Dr. Miller was then very concerned. He wanted to get the baby out immediately. So he asked Jesse if he could do an episotomy. Jesse said yes of course, now both of us were in possible danger. If the episotomy didn't work, if I was still not able to deliver the baby, we would have been having an emergency C-section.

Tuesday December 18, 2001 10:35pm: 2 and a half hours of pushing, Ayden Nicholas Murray was born. Ayden weighed 9lbs 5.5oz and 21 inches long with strawberry blonde hair. He was born on my 22nd birthday.

Ayden was having trouble breathing and the possiblity of infection, he was taken down to the NICU for observation. I didn't get to hold him. But Jesse did get to cut the cord. I only saw him for a minute and then passed out from shear exhaustion. I woke up around 12:00am on the 19th. I was able to go to the NICU to see my little baby boy. He was doing great and he was going to be coming back to my room around 2:00am. So I went back to my room and sleep until she brought him in. I was so excited. She woke me up and asked me if I wanted to hold him. I said yes, and I held him for about an hour and just looked at him. It was the best!

Ayden weighed 9lbs 5.5ozs and is 21in long. He had strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes.

HockeyTownMom's picture
Joined: 05/20/02
Posts: 417

Kailey's Birth 7/1/03 EDD 7-4-03: (Augmented with pitocin- no pain meds)

Kailey arrived yesterday on July 1st at 10:56am after 5 hours of "real" labor (w/pit) and no drugs. I went in at 2:00am with the stupid contractions that I was having all day and I was 4cm, I was 3cm at 4:00 when my doula checked me. I walked for an hour and a half and then I was 5cm!!! So I was admitted! It was so wonderful when she told me 5cm. But the contractions weren't strong enough for my ob so she started the pit. Everything went so fast after that! My doula got there and the contractions were getting stronger and closer. She was so wonderful and kept me so relax! I highly recommend getting one! It was great! Then my ob started talking about breaking my water, I was okay with that, Kailey was still at -3 station. Ayden stayed at -3 until my water broke, I have alot water w/my pregnancies, so I knew that would bring her down and I was only 5-6cm. Well, my water was broken at 9:45am and Kailey came down immediately and I was then at 7cm. My contractions really started getting stronger and they were right on top of each other. Well, my body didn't need the pit anymore because Kailey was on my cervix now. So I was in ALOT of pain, still NO DRUGS! So my ob started turning down the pit, she has to do this twice. Then a few minutes later I was starting to feel the urge to push. But I was only 8-9cm, so my doula turned me on my side, oh that hurt so much more!!!! Kailey turned in the birth canal and I was really feeling the urge. So my ob came back into my room and checked me again and was able to get me to 9-10cm and she let me start pushing. 12 minutes later Kailey Faith was born at 10:56am weighing in at 9lbs 6oz (1/2 oz more than Ayden), 20 inches long with red hair. Ayden had red hair too but it turned blonde. Kailey hair is more burgandy (?sp).

I feel great!!! Absolutely wonderful! I'm moving around better than I did with Ayden, and just feel great! I just have a 1st degree tear, but it doesn't hurt which is the best part! Kailey is nursing wonderfully and she acts like she's been for awhile!

HockeyTownMom's picture
Joined: 05/20/02
Posts: 417

Ashlyn's birth: 6/11/05 EDD 6/16/05 (2 drips of pitocin, no pain meds)

Here's Ashlyn's birth story in a nutshell:

10:30 Friday: Contractions started getting stronger
1:00am Saturday: Head to hospital, checked 2cm, 20% (she had big chubby fingers) told to walk
4:30am: 3cm, 75% effaced, -3 station, still contracting regularly and admitted at 5am!
8:50am: Doc breaks my water, 3-4cm, 80% effaced, -2, contractions 4-5 minutes apart.
12:10pm: 4-5cm, 90% effaced -2 station and I chosed to start some pitocin to speed up the labor because I was getting tired. But as they were putting in the IV the contractions where getting stronger and I should have said nevermind. But I took some anyway. We turned it off after 3 contractions. lol
1:30pm: 7cm, starting to feel the urge to push with contractions but Ashlyn's head was turned facing my right leg. So they rolled me over and I literally felt her head turn into the birth canal, it was very weird!
2:00pm: Needed to push, was still 7-8cm, but after a minute or two was given the ok to push.
2:13pm: Ashlyn was born weighing 8lbs 10oz, 20 3/4 long! I pushed through 3 contractions. Her APGAR was 9/9!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I hadn't posted my first birth story on the original thread, but I will now. Biggrin

Willow Rae ~ Born 4-26-04 at 8:53 a.m.

Deborah (SIL) and Vicky (Cousin-in-law) had come to town for one specific reason… to see the baby! They had been here for an entire week asking me on a minute-to-minute basis how I was feeling and if I was feeling any different. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling any different until Sunday night (the 25th), the night before they were both scheduled to leave.

We had eaten dinner and watched a movie at Alicia’s (MIL) apartment that evening. Later that night, after getting home and resting on the couch until almost midnight, we went to bed. As I crawled into bed, I noticed that Kylie (my Yellow Lab) had settled on the floor at the foot of the bed. Normally she slept on her bed in the other bedroom. I mentioned it to Ray and said, “Maybe this is a sign and she knows something that I don’t know.” I was awoken suddenly by what felt like gas pains at 12:30 a.m. They felt really different than anything I had felt before. I got out of bed after feeling two or three pains and went to the bathroom. Using the bathroom did not relieve the pain. In fact, the pain worsened. That was when I decided I better wake Ray up to time them. As I felt the pain hitting me, I had to get out of bed and walk. I began to walk the floors from the bedroom to the living room, through the kitchen and back again, all the while Kylie was right by my side. We called L&D for their opinion. They suggested waiting an hour to see if the contractions lessened or increased. After seeing the way I was handling the contractions, Ray was positive this was the real thing and insisted that we go in to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at 2 a.m. (4-26) The nurse immediately checked my cervix for dilation. I was between 3 and 4 cm. I got hooked up to the monitors and was told to “hang out” until they could determine whether or not I was truly in labor. The nurse came back to check me an hour later and said that I was at 5 cm, so I could stay. Ray called Mary, our doula, to let her know we were at the hospital. I was already asking for drugs, but Mary told Ray to tell me to wait until she got there before I got any drugs. Mary took what seemed like forever to get there. It turned out that she thought we were at the other hospital. Nonetheless, she got there before I had any drugs. She immediately got me out of bed because it was so uncomfortable for me to lie there on my back. I sat in the rocking chair beside the bed leaning over a t.v. tray holding onto Ray’s hands. Mary had hot compresses that she was pushing against my back, which relaxed me. I stayed in the rocking chair for at least two hours, but it must have been more but I had no sense of time.

At 6:30 a.m. Dr. Schumacher arrived to check me. He checked my cervix and told me that I was at 9 cm! I was so relieved to hear that I had gone so far. I didn’t know how much more I could handle (transition). After being put back in bed to check me and broke my water, he told me my contractions were slowing down a bit, so they put me on a pitocin drip. I remember asking WHY I had to have pitocin if I was at 9cm, but no one was listening. My doula just continued to keep me focused. The contractions got really intense at that point. It took about 45 minutes for me to get to a full 10 cm and begin pushing. The baby’s head was still rather high up, so I started pushing with lots of coaching from Mary, Ray and the nurse. I pushed for about an hour. During this time, Vicky had to leave to catch her flight. She would later be told she missed the birth by 45 minutes.

Dr. Schumacher came back in as the baby was almost crowning. I pushed for another 15 minutes or so. He kept saying how the baby's head was big and that he was concerned. I, of course, blamed Ray! Dr. Schumacher insisted on an episiotomy. It only took one more push and I looked up at Ray and saw him crying. That’s when I realized that the baby’s head was out. I pushed one more time, hard, and with a gush of water came our beautiful, screaming baby girl, Willow Rae at 8:53 a.m. Mary announced to us that we had a little girl ~ that was the most exhilarating moment of my life. She was perfect and healthy and more beautiful than I could have ever hoped for.

ErikaArcher's picture
Joined: 09/06/04
Posts: 379

The Birth Story of Olivia Anne Archer (home waterbirth)

I awoke on Thursday May 6, 2005 with mild contractions 8-10 minutes apart and about 45 sec. long. but kind of irregular. I woke up, took my shower, dressed, went grocery shopping and spent the day pre-cooking some meals. I had spoken with my midwife to plan our 40 week appointment and we decided since I had hardly slept in 4 nights between all the illness and rib pain that I'd take an Ambien to help me sleep. Kyle, my husband came home from work and we left to go down to the house we are selling to water the new sod. (this has become a nightly adventure) We headed home (1/2 hour drive) and my contractions had picked up to 5 minutes apart and were demanding a bit of attention. Kyle dropped me at home to crawl into the tub and ran to Walgreens to pick up the prescriptions. He called me from the pharmacy and told me they weren't called in. I called my midwife back and she had fallen asleep with her daughter and forgot - oops! So, I gave her an update and she said she'd call them in. Kyle came home in the mean time as the pharmacy was swamped. My midwife rang me back at about 8:00 and wanted to come over and check me out before I took anything. So she came at 9:00. She watched me labor in the tub. I would get the strangest picture in my mind each time a contraction came. It was a 40's gangster-type man in an old 4 door car driving down a long driveway, pulling around and then driving away again. Weird! I got out of the tub. We listened to the baby through several contraction and babe was responding well. She checked me and I was 90% effaced and 2cm dilated. We decided it was going to be a long night and that the baby would probably come sometime over the weekend - but that to take the Ambien anyway and get some good rest. So I ate something, took the tablet and she left. Kyle and I crawled in bed and I was in excruciating pain in the water bed - so we huddled up on the love seat and slept the night away upright in the living room. I awoke at least ever hour peeing and in significant pain. At about 5:00 am I couldn't take the pain anymore. So we went into the front room where the tub was and I got naked and got in it and hung over the side. The water was such a great relief. Kyle put my music on and lit some candles and I tried to zone out. He rubbed my hands and the back of my neck through the contractions. By 6:15 the spacing was getting tighter together and that car image was gone (I guess the driveway got too short ) The pain was getting worse and I asked Kyle to phone our massage therapist and ask her to come and help - so he did. I started feeling really grunty and an uncontrollable urge to push. I reached down to kind of check myself and felt something soft and squishy. i was worried - definitely NOT head, hands, or feet....and I thought Oh my GOD CORD! I told Kyle to call Cossette (our midwife). he did and she was on her way. Margaret, our massage therapist, arrived and helped Kyle work with me - trying to ease the discomfort. It seemed like forever for Cossette to arrive. I don't remember her coming in. I had my hand inside myself the whole time "feeling" what was going on. She was there and hadn't had a chance to check me when I said. Oh MY... not cord....water bag. It popped in my hand as I was pushing through a contraction. From the point on I was in a zone. I kept my hand there, checking myself continuously. I was on 1 knee and squatting with the other leg, kind of hanging over the edge of the tub. My midwife's assistant arrived - but i don't remember much of it. I felt the baby's head and told everybody and I just tried to focus. I felt the head do the back and forth dance as she made her way down, as I had my hand there the whole time. ( My midwife never did check me.) Then I felt her suck WAY back in and I thought to myself " I've got to work her all the way back down again" I felt another pop and figured it was a second bag of waters. Finally the baby began to crown. When the head was half way out I remember saying "I'm on fire!" and I turned over into a crab kind of position. Kyle helped me float by holding me under my left arm and my massage therapist held me under my right. i don't remember anything said by anyone - just feeling like there were angels all around me. The head came out and I remember Cossette telling me to wait for my body to tell me when and how to push. Then I heard her say, "Erika, put your hands back down here and deliver your baby." There was one last push and I felt her shoulders come through and she slid into my hands. What a great feeling as she squishy out! I brought her up to my chest and her eyes were wide open and her face and body were real pink. I noticed her hair right away as I had been curious and thinking about that in early labor a lot. She had just a little hair that was very flat to her head. Cossette said she only had 3-4 inches of cord and she was concerned. They clamped the stump off and the two midwifes checked the baby real good. They were concerned she may be hemorrhaging from the cord and gave her some O2. ( but she was fine) Kyle went by the baby and stroked her and I talked to her from the tub. She was looking all around the whole time and tracking my voice. After she began breathing I asked Kyle..."so, is it a girl or a boy???" we still hadn't looked! He said "I don't know" I said, "well, look I can't see." He announced it was a girl and I immediately asked - "Does she look like an Olivia?" and he said "I think so!" Cossette asked me to check myself for any cord hanging. I felt around in the water and in me and could feel nothing and told her. They helped me out of the tub to the birthing stool. I delivered the placenta and got the shakes. We looked it over and it was all very healthy - but the total cord length was barely 12inches. (I guess the average cord length is 55cm) We figured it must have broken during the delivery and luckily both ends clotted up real well and neither one of us had any bleeding. I had one small stage 1 tear and she put in 2 stitches. I took a warm shower and crawled in bed to nurse the baby and we've been doing great since then! She was born at 8:10am My midwife was at the house till noon. She helped me with nursing and we did the baby exam. Olivia was 7lbs 12oz and 21 inches long. Her first apgar was a 7 and then the second one was a 9. She has no marks on her and started sucking her thumb right away. Cossette also did two loads of laundry before she left! Big yeah there! Kyle and I had lunch and I snoozled in bed with the baby. The tub guy came at 1:00 and cleaned the tub and took it away and the whole house was put back together by 2:00. Kyle had all this energy and he wanted to go cut our grass so he did that and I was calling people from bed. His family was here from out of state by dinner time and the rest is history. We lucked out. Olivia is a peach! She slept from 11:30 till 7:30 am the first night (I won't be able to get away with that once my milk comes) We've been nursing on demand or within 3 hours since then and my milk just came in today (day 4). We're working on positioning and my nipples are a bit sore - but no horrific problems yet! What an adventure. I'd do another homebirth in an instant. The idea of going to the hospital NEVER crossed my mind and I never asked for drugs. Although I would never do it without the deep tub or without all the mobility! The water was definitely my natural version of an epidural. I'll do it again in a heartbeat (but not just yet lol ))))

*6 weeks postpartum*

My MW and I sat down and compared my birth story to the notes she took. Since she never checked me...she wrote down my statements as we went along and since I remember me and not anybody else present we could pretty accurately establish a time line. In retrospect when i felt Olivia suck way in and then the second pop...that was not a second bag of waters like I had assumed. That was the point where we ran out of cord and broke it on that next push. So we figured out that she was without the ambilical cord for a MINIMUM of 5 minutes and up to 12. Cosette my MW calls Olivia her Miracle baby. She's growing awesome and was 10lbs 8oz at 6 weeks! I thank God each day for giving me the strength to ask questions and make choices. Had i chosen to alter our birth in even the tiniest way, (being at the hospital, drugs, position, people, ect.) I could have ended up with a horendous story to be sharing. I wish more women would just ask WHY? and trust their gut!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Here's my birth story from Samuel's birth, written in late October/03.

We had had a couple of false alarms… the most recent on the Sunday before with 6 hours of contractions 5 minutes apart that ultimately just stopped. On the Monday (Sept 29, our due date) I went in to the midwife’s office and the pretty much painless 6 hours had gotten us nearly completely effaced, so we were pretty sure it would be soon. The pressure was on because my mother had already spent 9 days of her 2 weeks with us, and we all really wanted her to be here for the birth.

Tuesday night (1 day “past due”), around 9:10pm, we were sitting watching “Bowling for Columbine” of all things and I felt an almost audible “pop” inside. After my mother’s precipitous labours (she delivered my brother in 12 contractions, me in 6, my sister in 5), we figured we’d better call the midwife even though I hadn’t had any contractions yet to speak of. Got up to discover I was leaking waters, although it was the “constant trickle” effect rather than the “mad gush gotta get the carpets steam cleaned now” kind of water breaking.

By the time I got our student midwife on the phone about 10 minutes later, contractions were starting… not too bad, definitely more intense than they had been on Sunday, but not painful, just, well, unavoidable, and I was having to concentrate and breathe through them. The midwives were to arrive around 10pm and just before 10:00 I decided to go upstairs and wait for them… not only can you not hear the doorbell from our basement TV room, but the TV noise was beginning to drive me crazy.

The midwives arrived as contractions were beginning to feel quite serious. I went upstairs to our bedroom and called my best friend Shawna to let her know that she might want to come on over, and we were planning to have her at the birth too. Cristine (our MW student) checked my dialation shortly after, and said we were at 2cm… that this wasn’t technically “active labour”… But by the time she told me this I’m pretty sure I was well into the active phase. She had checked me and then conferred with Anne Marie (our certified MW), then come to talk to me about what I’d like to do next. I think they were hoping I’d tell them to go home but I could feel that things were moving pretty fast and told her I was scared to for them to leave in case they didn’t make it back in time. She told me they wouldn’t desert me, not to worry about it. She offered to do a “stretch & sweep” but I used the excuse of another contraction to not answer the question, I really didn’t want to be interfered with but at the time was still worrying a bit about wasting other peoples’ time. I got over that very quickly.

That’s the last thing I remember really clearly, after that it’s just snippets. I remember Shawna arriving, and I remember spending most of my labour sitting backward on the toilet (leaning on the tank) with Stephen on one side of me and my mum on the other. I was singing vocal exercises through each contraction, I have to call my voice teacher and let her know that her exercises were a big part of what kept me calm and breathing and my jaw loose through labour. I think she’ll like that. Stephen figured out very quickly to take my robe off me during a contraction, and to put it back on, and a hot pack too, as soon as the contraction was over because I was shivering uncontrollably between contractions. I got in the shower briefly (for about 2 contractions) but I was so cold between contractions that I couldn’t stand to be wet so I got out. For a while I worked on hands & knees on our bed, and it’s around this time that they checked me again and were surprised to find I had hit 5cm. I’m kind of amused that they didn’t expect me to go so fast. I remember Shawna coming into the room around then and I was actually lucid enough to speak to her… “I hope you’re not terribly bored” I said, I kept thinking that this must seem so long to everybody else! She told me I was crazy, that she’d never been so excited in her life. I love that woman. J Shortly after that I was back on the toilet – it was a good place for me because of the constant fluid leak and I found it took all the pressure off my “working parts” and let me really relax with each out-breath. I found I needed to rock my hips a lot, and that really helped too. I remember thinking I must be hitting transition… I had to do a lot of “thought stopping” and kept saying out loud “one at a time, just this one” and “I can do this” over and over again. My family didn’t realize that what was going on was that I was fighting with myself – I’d catch myself wondering how much longer I could do this – which is when I started chanting “just this one,” or find myself doubting that I’d could handle any more – “I can do this.” Cristine checked me again around this time and although I didn’t hear her say it at the time, I had only a lip of cervix left. My hindwaters were still intact, and she told me that the baby just needed to turn slightly and that we could help that by breaking the waters, so despite that I had not intended to have my waters broken artificially it seemed like the right thing to do. The contraction that I went through lying on my back waiting for Cristine to break my waters made me understand why women find labour so painful. It was the only truly “painful” contraction I had – the rest of them were incredibly intense and overwhelming, but pain is the wrong word for them. Pain describes a broken arm or the surgery I had when I was 18, but doesn’t *really* define what I was going through – except for that one 3-peaked contraction I went through lying flat on my back. Man oh man that one was brutal and I was really glad to get upright again! It was back to the toilet with me to let the waters drain a bit, and I had about 3 or 4 more 3-peaked contractions and started feeling a little bit “pushy.” Cristine suggested I go back to all fours on the bed, and that did the trick – as soon as I was in that position there was nothing I could do except let my body do its work. I really feel like I was a bystander in the pushing stage, all I could do was keep supplying oxygen to my muscles and try not to interfere.

The baby crowned in 18 minutes and was out in 20. No tears at all (although for some reason I wasn’t expecting the “ring of fire” around the FRONT, somehow I thought that it would only be my perenium that felt that! Silly me), just a small scrape where he had his hand up next to his face (yup, I pushed out a hand along with the head). I reached down to touch his head as he was crowning and was so amazed to find that it was pointy – I mean, we all know that the head moulds but I think I didn’t really understand until that moment how perfectly engineered this whole process is. I gave everybody a good laugh though, they told me to stop pushing as he crowned and I said “he won’t go back?”… They all laughed and Anne Marie said no you can’t put him back. I couldn’t explain at the time that that’s not what I meant, I was just damned if I was going to lose ground and let him slip back upward again – I was fully prepared to hold him there!!! But anyway the next push came and his head was out. The cord was loosely around his neck, and I was laughing while the rest of his body was born through the loop – I’ve never felt such a physical “relief” in my life, it was incredible! The four seconds that it took for them to pass him to me was an eternity. And I was so thrilled to have him in my hands that Stephen had to ask me to check the gender (the cord was between his legs).

Shawna & Anne Marie had started a batch of muffins and some coffee as I started pushing, thinking it would be a while… Shawna says she had just got them into the oven when she heard her name called in a “serious” kinda way and she got sent to warm blankets in the dryer.

45 minutes later there were six of us on our bed eating hot apple-cinnamon muffins.

Our baby boy stayed nameless for about 4 days… somehow it just didn’t seem very important. He is now Samuel (because we love it) Stephen (for his dad) Guy (to honour my family) and will carry Stephen’s surname.

He’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

Joined: 08/04/05
Posts: 8

I just want to say how wonderful labour and birth can be. I know there are alot of 'horror stories' out there but I honestly loved both of my labours and births. I believe its such a magical and beautiful is the most powerful and wonderful experience of my life. It makes me so grateful and blessed that I am a woman....I know that sounds 'korney'....but I was really blown away after my first by the power and emotions that giving birth entails...I just want our first time mums to realize that it can be wonderful.

birth story for Niamh~~ EDD Aug 6th
Date of birth Aug 6th

On my dd I was very nervous. It was my first pregnancy and I had a threatened m/c in the first trimester. I had a show at about 36 weeks and then had another very bloody show on the morning before my due date. I went shopping with my mam and then dh came home and after dinner we went for a walk. Nothing was stirring so I went to bed. I woke at about 11 PM feeling uncomfortable. I told dh I thought we should go in to see what was happening.

I got to the hospital about 1/2 an hour later and I was 3cm dialated! I was told it could take a long time yet as it was my first so I decided to walk the corridors. I started feeling quite uncomfortable so I had a bath...the water really helped the pain. I got out and continued to walk and sway but the pressure was getting really bad and the M/W decided to examine me. This was agony as I was stuck flat on my back.....she did the examination and I was 8 cm. I was in alot of pain so I tried gas and air but it made me feel so sick so I just left it & continued on with my breathing. We went up to the delivery suite and as I was kinda kneeling on all fours. I remember telling her it felt like my arse was about to explode and she checked me again and said I was fully dialated...hooray! I did my first push and my waters was fast and furious after that...I was pushing for 17 minutes. My dd was born at 3:58 AM I had a tiny tear that required 2 stiches (which was bad...I took gas & air for that!) DD was 7lbs 15 oz and 21 inches long and beautiful! I did suffer from PPH...which`is severe bleeding after giving birth. It was quite scary but thanfully everything worked out ok.

Birth story for Aidan~~ EDD May 8th
Date of birth May 5th

For my DS I had a show at 35 weeks. It was very bloody so I thought I'd be going in early. But nothing happened and I was very impatient waiting!!!!

I had an appointment on May 4th and I was told it could happen anytime...that he was well engaged and very far down. She offered to do an internal & a sweep but I declined...I wanted to go spontaneously. I was booked in for a birthpool at the M/W clinic and seeing as my first birth was so fast I was told to go in with the first twinges.

After the appointment I just carried on as usual....when dh came home we went for a lovely walk with dd and went to bed. I woke with a start and felt strange. I remember looking at the clock and it was 3:43 AM.....I wasn't feeling pains but felt pressure...I woke dh and said I thought we should go in 'just in case'. We made arrangements and waited for my sister to come to stay with dd. I was suddenly feeling very uncomfortable. We left the house and I was on the back seat of the car kneeling and squatting...anything to stay off my back!

We got to the hospital and I (for some bizzare reason) refused the wheelchair....I didn't want to be sitting. I told the midwife...'sure we've loads of time' and started walking down the cooridor. She was taking me into the addmissions ward to be checked before we went up to the birthing suite with the birth pool. We were nearly at the ward when I felt I needed to stop. The m/w could tell by the sound I was making that I needed to push and I remember her yelling for help and a wheelchair to get me into a room. DS had other ideas.....m/w cut off my pants to see how far along I was and when she looked at her watch I knew he was coming there and then....... I started pushing at 4:40 AM and ds was born at 4:44 AM..born in the the cooridor . We were blessed...the cord was wrapped twice around his neck, over his chest, and 3 times around his leg. He was born on 05-05 2005 at 4:44AM! He was 22 inches long and 8lbs 5 oz. I had no tear which meant no stitches...hooray!!!!

I did have PPH after ds again too...which is why no homebirth for me I am down for a water birth again this time and am really hoping I get to do it! I am really worried about the speed on my deliveries...its a constant concern for me and dh.

Joined: 08/04/05
Posts: 8

Baby Aoibhe (still no middle name!) born Feb 28th at 34+1 weeks 4:47pm
5lbs 15 oz 20 inches

On Feb 27th (mon) I woke up and was feeling very unwell. I had a very bloody show and was getting pains so we went to L&D. I was given a cervical exam and was 3cm and fully effaced. I had been being monitored for 2 weeks previously as had started to dialate and baby had engaged at 32 in a way we were expecting this but it was still a shock. Both my other births were full term and to healthy 8lbs+ babies...this was the last thing I expected to happen!

I went home on that morning and felt very unwell. I was feeling alot of pressure in my bottom..which is very indicative of immenent labour so really thought I would be going into labour that night. But, nothing happened and we went to sleep.

Woke on the 28th and felt amazing...I felt great! Loads of energy and didn't feel as if labour was on the cards at all. I was still really trying to take it easy and myself and the kids were just reading in bed and watching tv all morning and afternoon. Around 3pm I got up to have a shower...I got out of the shower and felt a sharp pain and then some pressure. I layed down on the bed and told dh to look at the clock (3:17pm) and told him to start timing the pains. Little waves of pains started and dh told me they were about every 5 minutes...they were getting very strong with each contraction.

At 3:45 I rang my best friend..she lives locally. I also rang my sister Maire but knew I wouldn't risk waiting for Maire to arrive as she lives 40 min away. At this stage I could honestly say I was very uncomfortable..I was still talking but had to concentrate during contractions. My friend got here and we got into the car to head up to hospital. The exact times of things get very hazy after this!

We were about 10 minutes from teh hospital when my waters dh was disgusted! LOL..the car isn' t even a year!!! After the waters broke I was feeling really strong painful contractions...its actually the most painful labour I'd ever had and I know it was down to the fact that I couldn't relax and breath properly.

We entered the hospital and I went by wheelchair up to the addmissions..they knew we were coming and didn't bother to stop for admissions as I'd delivered Aidan outside the admissions trying to get to labour ward only 9 months ago! So..straight into the labour ward and they got me undressed...I was feeling alot of pressure. I had an injection for infection due to the fact that it was an early delivery and I also had to wear a fetal monitoring system. I told them the baby was coming and the midwife performed a cervical check..I was fully dialated and her head was crowning. I gave one small push and she was was 4:47 pm.

I heard very quickly 'its a girl' and she let out a lovely cry and then she was quickly taken away by the NICU nurses to be checked over. It was a very confusing time as the NICU staff were checking her over but I was also suffering from PPH and had a swarm of people seeing to me.

I was given an injection to try to halt the bleeding (which also meant the placenta didn't come away naturally) and was put on a drip. The midwives then checked me over...I didn't required stitches and the placenta had come away clean.

They let me hold Aoibhe for literally a few seconds and then she had to go up to NICU. DH went with her. My midwives brought me a cup of tea & some toast while the special care nurse explained to me what was going on with Aoibhe. She told me that at first they were worried about Aoibhe's was quite shallow and that thought it was indicative of transient tachypnea (I had to write that one down as I'd never heard of it!) but her breathing shortly had improved and she was breathing fully on her own. Her bilirubin levels were quite high (jaundice) so she had to undergo phototherapy light and she was showing a poor suck reflux which would make feeding more difficult.

But, she is a little diamond and is showing everyone wrong..they had estimated a week long stay in NICU after her birth but are now telling me she can go home tomorrow (so long as her blood test shows the bilirubin levels are low enough)! She is breastfeeding and bottle feeding at the moment.

I am completley in love with her! She is so lovely and I am so happy that she is coming through so well. She is a good size baby for a premie so I think that really helped her...her paediatrician said that she has the vitals of a baby born at 36 weeks.

So, if you managed to read all that well done! (anyone mention us Irish can talk ALOT???)

My one regret girls is that I didn't do enough belly last one was at 30 weeks (when I looked at it today I noticed how LOW the bump was!!!! No wonder she was early!) but I really regret that so I'd really say to anyone who hasn't been taking pics to do'll miss it when its all over.

Chimmy's picture
Joined: 08/03/01
Posts: 2776

It's very long!! But here ya go Smile

I was to get up at 6am that morning to call into the hospital to let them know that I was scheduled to be induced and what time would be good for me to come in, I slept surprisingly well that last night but admit that 6am came way to fast. The alarm went off at 5:55, I got up and turned it off and then laid in bed “5 more minutes I told myself” as I laid there I felt Seamus kick and enjoyed the last few minutes of quiet that I had with him while he was still inside me, such precious and sweet memories I have of those last few minutes with him, as I got up the clock said 6:00 on the dot, what timing I thought. I called the hospital and let them know I was coming in and was told to arrive at 7:15 am and to not eat or drink anything and to bring proof of ID and my insurance card. “Will do, wont do” I said and then hung up ~ I tried to get a bit of milk and a granola bar down before we left in hopes that the IV I was to get would be easier to put in with some food in me but I ended up throwing it up.

I woke up ger next and told him that we needed to be in by 7:15 and that we had to get up now to get ready, I wanted to take a shower and we had a few bits and pieces to get into the car, I also wanted to wake up the boys to say goodbye and to let Amy know what time we had to leave, that last hour went by very quickly I was at the hospital before I knew it ~ I was a ball of nerves and the sad part is I was almost more afraid of that stupid IV than I was of the contractions! When we arrived they had me sign a bunch of papers, I met the L&D nurses and was told to change into the gown that you wear at the hospital. Laura arrived shortly before this it was nice to see her we spoke a bit as she sat in a chair next to the bed ~ my mom showed up shortly after this as well so it seemed the show was on the road. Laura asked how I was feeling and I explained that I was nervous but that I was doing okay, really I don’t think I was doing so hot for awhile I was pretty scared and unsure how the nurses were going to be.

I noticed that the nurses were getting ready to set up my IV when it looked as though I wasn’t going to get the Hep Lock so I asked them if I could get a hep lock and they said something along the lines of them putting me on pitocin, this is when I mentioned that I thought Danielle was going to start me off with cytotec so they said that they would call her and clear things up, they were very nice about it which relieved me. Once they got a hold of her they came back in and said that I was right and that they were putting in an order for the cytotec and that it should arrive shortly. At some point during all of this Kay the nurse did an internal exam, it was a bit uncomfortable her fingers were short and she had to really reach up in so her knuckles kind of dug into me but it was over with quickly ~ I was 1 to 2 cm dilated I can’t remember how effaced I was although I know I was still quite thick and she said I was more anterior than she thought which was good.

The nurses puttered in and out of room for a bit doing what they needed to do, there was also a new nurse who was being mentored by Kay she wasn’t new to nursing though just the hospital so a lot of what she was doing was explaining to her where things were and how things were done there. Every now n’ again the blood pressure cuff would go off, I hated that thing it squeezes my arm so tight that I swear that alone gives me high bp, however soon after all of this they came in and tried to set up the IV I knew it probably wouldn’t be easy it seems anytime I need one I have to be poked several times b/c my veins are small, deep and they roll. I was poked once on my left wrist and then again on my forearm I wanna say on my right hand too but I can’t remember, they then called in another nuse, Pat, she was fantastic!! Very energetic and outgoing and funny which is what I think we needed at this point I remember feeling very scared and unsure and I didn’t want to be poked again if I didn’t have to be ~ she spoke to us for awhile and promised me that if she felt she couldn’t get it in she wouldn’t try, I was looking at my mom and talking when I felt her poke my hand but as she was doing so she was talking away, I remember the initial poke and then she was very slow in getting the needle in and then fast getting the actual IV in she was amazing, she had a real touch I think it was then that I started to calm down a bit.

Pat stayed around for a few minutes longer talking about St. Patrick’s Day and how her family celebrates it and how they have relatives and such in Ireland, they were from county Cork. We gave her some Irish candy that we’d bought the night before at the British Pantry and she went on her way ~ at this point I was feeling a lot better and the other nurse Kay shared with me that her daughter or daughter in law had also done hypnobirthing with her last baby and how neat it was, it was wonderful hearing this as I felt that b/c she understood how it went she would also be supportive of our choices.

Laura decided to do a hypnobabies script with me before things got going, my nerves were a bit on end and I was still feeling unsure of things and we thought this might help, we put on the Heart of Reiki music and she began reading, I also remember that at some point the lights were dimmed and the nurses began to whisper this was wonderful as things that I had asked to happen in my birth plan were being played out without me even having to ask, this meant so much to me! Laura’s voice is also very calming and easy to listen to and because of this I fell into a deep relaxation very quickly and very easily, I could hear the nurses coming and going quietly but nothing more. By the time she finished it was close to 10:30am and the order came in for my cytotec I was actually looking forward to the contractions at this point and welcomed them as I was anxious to have Seamus here, at 10:45 Kay put in the first dose, actually I believe it might have been her assistant, the one she was mentoring. We were on our way!

Shortly after this Danielle came in, I was so happy!! It was great to see her face, she gave me a big hug and asked how I was doing, we chit chatted for a bit and got an update as to what was going on, she then left to get some things done. I had to lay there for about an hour before I could get up which wasn’t so bad as I didn’t feel anything at this point, I could tell certain things were starting to happen but nothing big.

After the hour was up I decided to get out of bed to see if we could get things going, I walked the halls with Geremy and Laura and remember thinking how funny it was that *I* was walking the halls, I had always heard of women doing this to get things going or seeing it on tv shows about birth and here I was walking the halls myself! Why this caught my attention I’m not sure but it did ~ after doing that for a bit it became boring and nothing much was happening so we went back to the room where my mom and the nurses were, I sat on the birthing ball for a bit too and I did some hypnobabies. Before we knew it it was 2:30 and the 4 hours was up, it was time to place in another dose of the cytotec so I got hooked back up to the monitors and got back into bed, Danielle administered the 2nd dose and said that I was a bit more soft, still pretty thick and between a stretchy 2 and 3 cm dilated so things WERE happening they were just taking their sweet time.

Things began to pick up a bit more with the 2nd dose although nothing that was unbearable, I laid in bed for the hour and chit chatted with Laura, Danielle, Geremy and my mom, the nurses for the most part kept out of the room, Kay would come in every now n’ again to check the monitor paper and to see how my bp was doing, which of course my bp was wonderful the entire time! This was a saving grace though as it was a concern I had that might make me end up with an epidural but so far so good!! We also joked with Kay that I had to deliver by 3pm as that was when her shift ended, I was also secretly hoping that I’d deliver close to then as I was nervous that the next nurse might not be so nice ~ unfortunately 3pm rolled around and went and still no baby.

My birthing waves started to pick up a bit, I walked the halls again for awhile and sat on the birthing ball this time I propped myself up against the bed with pillows I decided to listen to my hypnobabies to see if I could get things going and to get myself into a more regular pattern with the waves and to get them a bit stronger ~ I listened first to the birthing day CD and noticed that it was really helping and quite quickly, I had my head propped up against the pillows and I tried to relax my body as best I could, I actually found the birthing ball to be very comfortable, I had a warm blanket over my back the IV was making me cold and the hospital gowns leave a lot to be desired for your backside.

After sitting on the birthing ball for awhile I decided to get up and move around for a bit, I took a sip here and there of the propel berry water that I’d brought to keep my sugars up, I had also been chewing on ice chips throughout the day ~ they have the BEST ice chips their very soft and easy to chew and I had been craving ice chips the entire pregnancy so it was great to have them. I remember bits and pieces of conversation between everyone, politics, birthing, birthing choices, home birth, midwives you name it. Danielle, Laura and my mom were able to keep quite busy with most of those conversations, at some point during all of this Geremy got me the rocking chair I think Laura thought it would be a good idea so we changed chairs around as my mom had been sitting on it. I found for some reason the rocking chair really got my birthing waves going! I’m not sure why but it worked really well, I also had Laura read me another hypnobirthing script this one was more about opening up, visualizing my birth and getting my body to start birthing ~ there was a part in it about facing any fears that I had and letting them go I found that to be very helpful as I was still feeling a bit uneasy about things although what exactly it was I was still having a hard time pin pointing.

I can’t remember exactly when Danielle came in with an orange but it was sometime around now, she asked if I was interested in a slice and I definitely was, so she cut it up and set it next to the counter where I was sitting ~ I don’t think she ate a single slice so I think she cut it for “her” incase anyone asked but had it there for anyone who was wanting some, it was a great thing to eat it helped fill my stomach but not so much that it would be a problem. Danielle also teased about the knife that she used as someone looked at her funny in the hall when she was carrying it “Now you know the REAL secret of midwives – this is how we get our moms to birth so quickly we show them the alternative” she said and we all laughed.

A few hours had passed and I became quite nauseas because my heartburn was so bad, I threw up a few times and felt really horrible, Danielle was so sweet she wiped my neck and forehead with a wet cloth as I tried to get myself to calm down, I felt really cared for when she did that. Laura was also there making sure I was okay and was able to get me a bucket to throw up in, when I first started throwing up I grabbed this large garbage can that was sitting next to me.

After throwing up a few times b/c my heartburn was so bad and the tums wasn’t touching it Danielle suggested I try this really sour lemon stuff that would help, it actually tasted good! They thought I was crazy but I shared with them that I love lemons and salt so this was great stuff! Much better than the tums too – it came in a little brown cup and I had to swig it really fast, not sure why I remember that but I do. It helped as well almost instantly it was nice not to have heartburn for awhile and to not throw up as that made it even worse. I began to contract a bit stronger at this point although they still weren’t regular, they seemed to piggy back and then go away – I also remember looking at the monitor and seeing that it almost never picked up the contractions but I knew I was having them and we kept it going b/c it kept the nurses calm and it also helps Danielle.

I spent some more time in the rocking chair listening to my hypnobabies, Laura also did another script for me as I’d asked her to and as we began a male doctor (GP) walked in curious as to what hypnobabies was, we all kind of looked at each other as we found it a bit odd but we got to talking to him to explain what it was, when Danielle came in she looked a bit confused too until she realized why he was there and she chimed in with her thoughts as well, I later realized what a great thing it was as hopefully we were able to educate him a bit more, I believe this was his first year at the hospital as an intern.

At 6:30 or there abouts it was time to put in another dose of the cytotec, Danielle had asked the doctor to step out and I was kind of glad for that as even though I felt it was great that we were able to teach him a bit about hypnobabies he also made me feel a bit uneasy. I couldn’t believe that the entire day had gone by I also remember thinking that it was taking A LOT longer than I had anticipated it taking, with the twins I arrived at 7am and had delivered by 1:30pm but they also started me out with pitocin and my cervix was more favorable. This time Danielle put her finger between the sac and my cervix to loosen things up a bit, that hurt quite a bit but I also knew that it would help, she kept saying sorry and tried to do it quickly. She mentioned at this point that I was between 3 and 4 cm dilated so improving but slowly, she also mentioned that Seamus still needed to turn his head a bit.

Danielle thought that perhaps we should start with the pitocin to get things more regular ~ we weren’t on a time schedule necessarily but we also didn’t want to get to the point where we had to be on one and it was a draw between vaginal and c-section so I agreed ~ although I admit that as she (Danielle) left the room to notify the nurse and get the bag for my IV I felt very nervous, I had had pit contractions with Garrett and they weren’t very pleasant, it also meant that my labor would progress a lot quicker so I had to really prepare myself for this. When the nurse came in she had to flush my IV to make sure it was still working, thank goodness it was! It stung a bit when she flushed the water through but nothing too bad ~ they started the pictocin off at 3 (not sure what 3 was but I remember seeing that on the monitor). Admittedly I was also ready for things to get going as we’d been there since 7am and I knew that everyone else was growing tired so the mention of pit was a good one.

Once I was hooked up I went and sat back on the rocking chair, at first it really wasn’t so bad ~ it was definitely giving me stronger and more regular contractions almost instantly, the other thing it started to do was it made the area where the IV was in sting I’m not sure why but I found it to be very distracting thankfully it went away after awhile.

I’m not sure how long it was after I received the pitocin but I found that rocking while in the chair made the birthing waves more intense so as one came I would rock ~ still they were easy for me to breath through, I remember one contraction that was stronger than the rest but it didn’t stay. I also spent some time in the bathroom contracting on the toilet I felt like the pressure from sitting there would help dilate me even more and every time I had a contraction I would visualize my cervix opening up, it was here that I noticed that I was beginning to lose my plug which excited me as it meant things were starting to move even more and I was ready for them to move along. Before leaving the bathroom I spent some time squatting while holding onto the metal bar that’s next to the toilet in hopes of opening up my hips and helping that cervix of mine along & to perhaps get more of the plug to come out.

Once I was back in the rocking chair I found that in most cases if I moved around other than sitting on the rocking chair the contractions would peter out or go away all together, so I spent most of my time rocking which I suppose isn’t a bad thing as it kept me close to the monitors which kept the nurses happy and probably Danielle too since it’s important to make sure that everything is going okay due to the induction. It was also kind of nice to be able to sit and relax while talking with everyone in the room, the lights were usually dim and I had heart of reiki playing in the background, I had also brought the sacred spirit music but for some reason that wasn’t doing it for me so I had the reiki music going almost the entire time, it got to the point where it became a comfort item and if it turned off I asked ger to put it back on almost immediately ~ I felt like I could go into hypnosis easier/quicker while it was playing.

While sitting in the chair it was suggested that I perhaps stand up and put a leg onto another chair and rock back n’ forth to encourage Seamus to turn, I was told that whatever leg felt more comfortable up to keep that one up so I stood there and rocked back n’ forth for awhile hoping that he’d turn that little head of his, I was a bit concerned that he’d not turn and that the delivery of his head might be a difficult one so I was willing to do whatever I needed in order to get him in the most favorable position for labor.

By 10:30pm Danielle suggested that it might help to brake my waters ~ I was excited by this and yet also quite nervous as I KNEW that once they were broken my contractions would be more intense, possibly very intense and so I had to prepare myself for this. What helped was that while I know Danielle wanted this she also left the decision up to me, so I said okay but also let her know that I had to think about it ~ so a few minutes later I said okay but that I needed to prepare myself, I sat in the rocking chair for a bit longer grabbing up the nerve and then I sat up and said “lets do it!’.

The actual process was easy ~ they set a bunch of towels and the plastic absorbent sheets down on the bed for me to sit on ~ I thought it would be painful but it wasn’t, a bit uncomfortable but that was only b/c she had a hand up in me and had to stretch enough to get the amni hook in too, once the waters broke I felt a warm gush of water a few times ~ “Nice and clear waters, that’s great” Danielle said. Once my waters were broke I went to sit back on the rocking chair, I had a few contractions almost immediately afterwards they weren’t anymore painful than they had been but they were definitely more regular and then they began to increase in strength within a few minutes ~ I would rock to get them to gain strength and as I did this, with each contraction I began to feel them more in my back and hips and things began to get uncomfortable, I think I sat there through another few contractions and then I had to get up because things were becoming too uncomfortable sitting there, as soon as I stood up another contraction came and I had to lean on Geremy, they seemed to come w/in a minute or so of one another at this point and it got to the point where I had to let out a low moan to get through them.

As I leaned on Geremy I had my right hand in his pocket using it as a handle when a contraction came on, I’d burry my head in his chest moving it back n’ forth ~ I also remember feeling the need to sorta squat as I was contracting I’m not sure now that I think of it if I was doing it subconsciously to get him to move down or if it felt better ~ if I were to guess now I’d have to say it was more than likely a mixture of both reasons. I stood there for awhile dealing with each birthing wave as it came, each time grabbing for Geremy and burying my head in his chest ~ after some time I remember saying as I stuck my head in Ger’s chest that I was scared, I think it was b/c I knew this was it and I had no control over it other than how I choose to deal with it. I remember Geremy and Laura both talking but I don’t’ remember what it was that they said, a lot of encouraging words I know that and Laura would say certain cue words from the hypnobabies to help me get through each birthing wave.

At one point I felt like I wanted to cry but I couldn’t, the emotions and waves were too strong to allow it ~ I remember Laura really close to me on my left hand side talking me through it, telling me to relax and saying certain cue words “low moans Julia, keep your face relaxed and your forehead smooth” and as I listened I was able to get through a wave w/out moaning or anything but it was soo much work!! By the time the next one came I didn’t have it in me and it seemed to really help to moan ~ thinking back now it truly is amazing what the training from the hypnobabies can do and the mental strength it can give one if they practice persistently throughout the pregnancy. I’m not sure of the time at this point I sort of went into my own little world only remembering bits and pieces, soon after this I mentioned how hot I was as I waved my face with my hand to get some wind going, next thing I know there is a cold cloth on the back of my neck and I believe someone was also putting one on my forehead, it felt GREAT to have the cold against me until I had a birthing wave then it really irritated me I think I got through 1 or 2 more waves and then I threw the cloth off, once the wave was over I wanted it back on and like NOW I remember thinking to myself how ridiculous I must look and yet my emotions were going nuts at this point ~ I also mentioned to Geremy how ornery I felt and then thought to myself “yes!! This must be transition, PLEASE let it be transition”.

The birthing waves continued on from here for awhile, I would rock my hips back n’ forth and sort of slow dance in place with Geremy as I dealt with the waves and then it felt good to just stand there and not move once the wave was gone, and then dance as the waves came ~ I threw the towel a few more times and then remember hearing Laura say “don’t throw the towel! Hand it to me” looking back now it makes me laugh the poor thing probably had to go get it every time I threw it b/c I’d want it back almost immediately after the wave was gone ~ I’m not sure why I threw it other than the minute the wave came I was become agitated and it felt good to throw it as it let out some of my ornery energy I had. The next time a wave came I can’t remember if I handed it to her or if she quickly grabbed it, I think it was the later.

After standing there laboring for awhile it was mentioned, I believe by Danielle that perhaps we head to the bathroom so that I could sit on the toilet as that might help to open up my hips ~ Laura also mentioned the shower and I thought that was a good idea but at the same time it wasn’t something I wanted to do either ~ either way I agreed and so we headed in there, at some point the monitors were unhooked from me and I also remember Danielle trying to get them on me I believe this was after my contractions were getting strong b/c I remember not caring whether they were on or not and found them to be a bit irritating, at one point I was standing next to the bed as she tried to get them back on but they kept popping out of the band that was holding them and falling to the floor so I believe at this point she gave in.

Once in the bathroom I sat on the toilet for awhile, the pressure of sitting on the toilet was definitely there so I sat down for awhile but it got to the point that the pressure was too much, I tried to visualize myself relaxing and having my cervix open up like a flower but the pressure was sooo intense that it was almost impossible not to tense up sometimes, it was here that I decided to stand up and lean against Geremy again ~ since the stronger waves began he hadn’t left my side, he was there constantly with me and for me he is so amazing. I asked Danielle to cut the monitor band off of me as it was digging into my back, she went and got some scissors and cut it off, that felt great! It was also at this point that I began to feel panicked and I know the others could tell, there’s no tip toeing around it these contractions hurt like hell and I was beginning to feel like I couldn’t take it anymore and if I did I was sure to lose my mind ~ I also feared that perhaps my body wasn’t working as it should and wasn’t dilating as it should as I felt like I should be feeling the urge to push ~ I had it in my head that when I began to feel ornery that I was in transition and that I’d be delivering soon. I kept saying this is more than I can handle, this is just too much and things like that ~ I know others were saying things to me and at the time I found them to be helpful but I don’t remember everything that was said.

Geremy was so wonderful though ~ he’d rub my head and whisper into my hear that I could do this, that we’d been practicing this since we were 10wks along in the pregnancy and that it would be okay ~ he also said other things but I just don’t remember what it was, I do remember everything he said was full of love and support he was just soo amazing throughout all of this. At some point I had a particularly strong contraction that made me fall/lean against the wall as I felt desperate to be done, to not feel the contractions anymore ~ once the wave was over I continued to lay against the bathroom wall, then another wave came right after the other ~ I tried to sit on the toilet and that was to painful so I tried to stand up again I just didn’t know what to do with myself sometimes other than do what I needed to get through each wave, they were extremely intense at this point and I know that they were still turning up the pitocin.

After standing there for awhile it was mentioned that I try out the birthing ball since the toilet wasn’t working and my legs were growing tired, I was also feeling somewhat weak at this point ~ the birthing ball sounded like such a great idea! They set it next to the shower in the room so I walked over and sat down on it, I think one of those plastic pad thingy’s was on it, I sat down and immediately had another birthing wave, it was here I remember feeling quite scared that my body wasn’t doing what it should, it just felt like I was birthing way to long and that perhaps something was wrong so I kept saying so, the waves were coming one after another with *maybe* a minute between them often times not even that, as I was going through one I’d rock back n’ forth on the ball and try to bare down even though I didn’t feel the need to bare down I wanted to in hopes that it would get things going and it did feel kind of good to do so it must not be a bad thing!

At one point while having a wave I began to thrust my hips forward as I rocked on the ball and as I did this a huge gush of waters came out of me and spilled all over the floor I believe this happened at least twice, the next wave I began to bare down quite strongly “Well that was different” I remember hearing Danielle say which excited me, I thought “great!! Perhaps were close” but then the next contraction was nothing like it! And I began to panic again, Laura was near me at this point I think to my left when she mentioned that perhaps Danielle check me and I thought that was a good idea too, I was hoping she would tell me that the head was there, occasionally since I’d been in the bathroom I’d reach down to feel if his head was there or if I could feel anything ~ much to my disappointment I felt nothing but myself which discouraged me, I had it in my head that I SHOULD be feeling something at this point! I don’t know why, my thinking wasn’t logical at this point just desperate ~ when this was mentioned Danielle said that she could but why was I wanting it “because I’m scared my body isn’t doing what it should” I said and I know Laura knew I was feeling scared as I remember her kind of backing me up, calmly Danielle said “Well I can check you but you wont get what you want, I wont be able to tell you what you want” she knew I was okay and she knew what I wanted her to tell me but she also knew that that’s not what she’d be telling me and what she would tell me would probably discourage me ~ I am glad she didn’t check me b/c she’s right unless the news was “There’s a head” I would of fallen apart.

During all of this I opened my eyes to look around Geremy was in front of me, Danielle and Laura were squatting down against the wall to my left and my mom was out in the hall, I think a nurse was there sometimes as well. For the most part though, once my birthing waves became strong my eyes were closed almost the entire time, having them open left me feeling too exposed and open so I kept them closed short of a few times here and there. I had a few more birthing waves that were extremely intense, I would rock back n’ forth on the ball as I leaned my head against the wall just praying that they would go away ~ they were soo intense! I also took a look at the monitor and the pitocin was up to a 13, significantly higher than the last time, I think the last time I took a peak it was at a 9.
It was here that I began to notice a change in my waves ~ I would have several minutes between a wave and then I’d have a very very intense contraction but it was also quite short, I’d then sit there and wait and wait for another one to come I almost feel as if this part was more torturous than the back to back waves as it felt soo good not to feel anything I’d go very quiet and just sit there and them bam! I’d have one ~ sometimes they even start slow so I knew what was coming and I’d tense up whilst also trying not to so that I could keep the discomfort down to a minimum “Go away!” I’d say sometimes, just wishing that they really would go away! I remember sitting there on the ball knowing everyone was looking at me and not really caring, I’d just stare at the floor exhausted waiting for the next contraction to come.

“Why don’t we move” Danielle said, “where” I asked “Oh I don’t know closer to the bed perhaps?” I sat there for a minute thinking “I dunno I’m kind of scared to move” I said ~ I think the reason I spent most of my time in the rocking chair or in the bathroom was because I wanted to stay away from the bed I was afraid of it and I didn’t want to deliver on it ~ but then the next thing I know I got up and started to head for the bed I remember Danielle saying “Wait up girl! Geeze one minute you’re sitting there then the next your 10 steps ahead of me” ending with a bit of a giggle ~ I had completely forgotten about the IV in me and the Pole so she was scrambling to get it and keep up with me.

Once I reached the bed another birthing wave hit me so I bent over the bed and as I did I began to bare down as hard as I could, I don’t remember feeling the need to bare down and yet I was! I didn’t even say anything to anyone it was like nature and instinct completely took over me and I was simply an observer of this incredible miracle ~ The 2nd time I bore down I could feel him moving down me and I began to get excited, I also don’t remember any pain at this point even though I know I was contracting really hard ~ I began to bare down again and I felt the ring of fire, in my head I thought “Oh my gosh!! This is the ring of fire!! He’s coming!!!! – oohh it hurts I thought!” I think I might of even said the last part out loud I can’t remember ~ the interesting thing is it didn’t hurt it was really a bizarre thing to feel and I couldn’t stop pushing “Julia slow down, slloww Julia Julia!! Slow down!!” I remember Danielle saying “I can’t! I said” “I can’t!” as I kept on pushing ~ next thing I know Laura is in front of me on my left hand side, close to my face saying “blow a thousand candles Julia blow a thousand candles!” as she said this I pictured a row of candles and I began to blow them, then I started to push again “slow Julia slow” and again I mentioned “I can’t!” blow a thousand candles Laura said again and as she said this my mom was on the other side of her next to my face, my eyes were closed but I remember feeling them next to me “blow a thousand candles Julia” so I’d blow and then I’d push and then I’d blow.

As I was doing this I could feel him coming out of me and I was trying to picture what part of him was coming out of me but I couldn’t tell, it just felt huge ~ but no pain! I might have been feeling it but I honestly don’t remember ANY pain at this point even the ring of fire wasn’t there ~ I kept on pushing and then he was out!! Oh my goodness he was out!!!! He squeaked a bit but didn’t cry like I thought he would ~ My entire body collapsed onto the bed and I just laid there breathing heavily and wanting to cry with relief and accomplishment, again like so many other times during my labor I had the emotion of crying and yet I couldn’t cry!

“I did it, I did it” I quietly said, my mom came up next to me crying and putting her face next to mine saying “yes you did, you did it!” Someone, I believe Danielle said do you want to see your baby?! But I just laid there I was soo exhausted “Let her rest a minute” someone else said I remember thinking for a minute that I didn’t care I just wanted to lay there for a minute to gather myself and yet I did care I think it was just exhaustion talking. After a few seconds I NEEDED to see him like right then so I stood up and tried to look behind me but couldn’t so Danielle said for him to be passed through my legs so I went to move and slipped on the floor as there was quite a mess, I think it was a nurse who was standing next to me she grabed my arm “careful” she said, I then opened my legs up and he was handed to me ~ all I remember was this mess of baby and blanket and couldn’t make out much of anything other than that! (laughs)

“Let go” I said as I grabbed onto him and pulled him up to me, I then laid down on the bed and put him to my chest, thanking the stars that it was over and that he was there and okay ~ I slipped my gown down and placed him against me they then handed me some warm towels and blankets to cover him. My mom came up to me, she was still crying she placed her head against mine “I’ve never experienced anything like that” she said as she cried ~ again I felt the emotion of wanting to cry but still couldn’t! I enjoyed having her near me though my mom is such an amazing person ~ she said a few other things but I can’t remember what it was at this point. I then noticed that Seamus’ leg was a bit tangled in the cord so I untangled him and put him into a more comfortable position. “It looks like the cord has stopped pulsating” Danielle said, she got the clamp and clamped the cord down “Who wants to cut it? Mom? Geremy?” I said as I wasn’t sure if he was wanting to cut it, looking back now it was a stupid question. Geremy came over and cut the cord and then we wrapped Seamus back up.

I was still contracting, nothing too hard but enough that it still hurt and I wanted them over with! I was wishing that the placenta would come out and NOW so that I’d stop contracting, I’d give a push every now n’ again to see if it’d come out, after about 20-25 minutes I think Danielle was thinking that she might need to give me some more pit to get it out which made me nervous, she then looked at the cord and pressed against my stomach “It’s normal for it take about 20 to 30 minutes to come out” I mentioned “yea it is but were getting close to that now” she said. Then with a few pushes here and there it came out!! It felt A LOT bigger than I had expected it to but it didn’t really hurt ~ just felt really big n’ mushy, we all took a look at it and Danielle held up the sac part “Here’s where his swimming pool was” she said, we all giggled a bit ~ I felt GREAT! Once it was out I wasn’t contracting anymore which was soo nice! She also mentioned that I didn’t even tear, not one little bit ~ just a skid mark is all. That was such a cool thing to hear as I was soo afraid that I’d tear and yet when I was delivering him that thought never came to me, thinking about that now I’m kinda surprised it didn’t w/ as much time as I spent thinking about it while pregnant.

Danielle noticed that some of the membrane was still in me and she needed to get it out, this was somewhat painful as she had to reach up in and I remember her snipping at a few things, I’m not sure what it was but it hurt, she kept apologizing but I said it was okay ~ not much she could do about it anyways and she was helping me, she then turned on this big ol’ light thing that came out of the ceiling so that she could see better ~ finally after reaching up in a few times, which was so NOT pleasant I was so sore ~ she was able to get it all out, what a relief!! I was beginning to feel a bit worried.

“Do you want any pain pills” the nurse asked “Yes I would love some I said, I’m ready to be a wimp now I’m done with pain for a bit!” I ate some crackers and this carbonated apple drink to get something in my tummy and then I took a few pain meds. I was feeling sooo good at this point, no pain, baby was out ~ I felt “empty” inside but a good empty ~ Danielle gathered up the placenta and placed it into a container so that we could take it home and then the room began to get cleaned up by everyone ~ I just sat there and held onto Seamus, looking at him in complete awe, it was here that Geremy said he was the one who caught him!! I was soo excited to hear this!!! Oh my gosh he did it! He’s spoken about it in the past but the closer we got the more unsure he became so I didn’t think he’d do it ~ he was on cloud 9 as well and what a reward it was to be able to catch him as I feel he labored just as hard as I did, he’s my hero he really is. “You caught him!!!” I said ~ I don’t remember much of what he said but his face was soo happy!

He explained to me that as he saw Seamus’ head come out Danielle took his hands and placed them on Seamus and basically handed the job over to him without really giving him a choice even though he had one, I think she knew him well enough at this point and knew that he just needed a little shove in the right direction and that he’d never regret doing it ~ I am soo grateful to her for doing this! She is an angel. (In speaking with her the next day she mentioned to me that when she saw his face as Seamus was coming out she couldn’t help but allow him to catch him ~ she said his face was soo precious looking as he witnessed this incredible miracle.)

The nurse then mentioned that she wanted to take him to be weighed, I asked for her to wait a bit as I didn’t want him taken from me just yet I was still getting to know my newest little son, Geremy was next to me as well on my right hand side ~ looking at him in awe ~ A few minutes later it looked as though Seamus was starting to root so I had had Geremy carry him over to be weighed so that I could get him back to nurse, he weighed in at 5lbs 15oz and was 18 ½ inches long. I was surprised to hear that he was in the 5lbs range as everyone was soo sure he’d be around 6lbs ~ my mom mentioned that as well, “he’s a little peanut!” I seem to hit the 14 or 15oz range, Garrett was 6lbs 14oz, Liam was 5lb 14oz, Braiden was 5lbs even and Seamus now almost right in line w/ Garrett and liam! No complaints from me though!

As Seamus was nursing I sat and spoke to Geremy and Laura for a bit, Danielle sat down and filled out a birth form stating how things went “They always tease me” she said “They say I write out a birth story instead of just putting the stats, but it IS a birth story” that made me smile “I agree!” I said ~ She gave Seamus a 9.9 on his apgars, very cool! “he came out wonderfully, nice and pink” she said. Once she finished that up she had to head out, she had other things that she needed to get done ~ in talking with her the next day I realized she had another birth to attend! Busy busy!

The Nurses were cleaning up the room, I remember mentioning a few times “Man we created quite a mess didn’t we!” (laughs) Looking at the floor I didn’t realize how much fluid and blood there was when it came to giving birth, it was all over the floor where I delivered him. When I had my others I was numb up to my gills and on my back so everything went “neatly” into a bucket ~ this was the first time I really saw and experienced natural childbirth. After about 2 hours or so they put Seamus over in the cot, Geremy followed, they then had me get up ~ as I tried to sit up for the first time my right leg started to Charlie horse in the calf so I had to pull my leg up ~ crazy as it sounds I apologized to the nurse! “sorry hold on one sec” (laughs) ~ once it was gone I stood up and was put into a wheel chair where I was taken to the bathroom to clean up ~ once cleaned I was put back into the wheel chair and we headed up to the post partum room where I was to stay.

I was ANYTHING but impressed, the “bed” which was really this weird reclining chair thingy that the dad was to sleep in was horrible looking and I’m sure just as uncomfortable, it annoyed me b/c I knew how tired he was, we labored together and I know it was exhausting on him I think they should of provided something a bit more nice especially since they LIKE for someone to stay the night ~ the room was also very very small but we made do! We sat in the room and spoke for a minute, Geremy was just beyond thrilled about the fact that he’d caught Seamus “It’s soo cool to know that I was the FIRST one to hold him” he said ~ I was soo proud of him, he really is my hero! I don’t think I would of labored as well as I did without him near me the entire time. He then headed out to the car to put some stuff in it so that we weren’t crowded in the room and to make less to carry out when we headed home.

We spent the next 3 days 2 nights there and then headed home Sunday Afternoon Smile

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

I wasn't going to share Caleb's birth story because I don't like sharing the "horror stories" of birth, but I think I need to share it so that you know where I'm coming from. So here are my first two birth stories:

Caleb's birth story:

March 24, 2000 (11 days before EDD) 9:45pm: I had just come home from a very long walk and was resting in my Lazy-Boy recliner when I noticed I was trickling amniotic fluid. When DH arrived home from work, I told him I thought my water broke. We packed up and headed to the hospital, very excited that the time had come.

I arrived at the hospital and they confirmed that it was amniotic fluid. They had me walk the halls for an hour. Nothing happened. Then they decided to start me on pit. The contractions weren't bad at all, but the nurse kept coming in and saying things like, "It's only going to get worse," and "You won't be able to make it without an epi," and "You might as well go ahead and get your epi now." So, even though I wasn't suffering from the contrax, I finally caved in and got it.

Most of the rest of the 14 hours of labor is a blur. I was so out of it by the time he was born. I do remember at one point he was in distress, and they gave me an oxygen mask and put a monitor on his scalp. That part was scary.

When it was finally time for me to push (I had no idea, so they had to tell me), my right leg was completely paralyzed. The labor nurse asked me to pull my legs up under my arms to push. DH had to lift my right leg for me. I pushed like that for 3 hours. Then the next dr. came on shift and came to check on me. She told him that the baby's head kept peeking out a bit then going back when I stopped pushing. He checked me out and said his head was hitting my tailbone.

At this point, I knew instinctively that if I could get upright, the problem would be solved. However, there was no doing that with a paralyzed leg. So, when the dr suggested using a forcep, I agreed to it, just wanting at that point to get the baby out. I didn't realize that using a forcep also involved a 4th degree episiotomy.

Anyway, when it was all over with, I was completely wiped out, and so was the baby. I tried to get up after they rolled him away to the nursery, but I nearly passed out. The recovery was the worst part. I was not able to sit up at all for 6 weeks and was in discomfort down there for 6 months, especially when DTD. In fact, we finally DTD for the first time around 5 months and found out we were pregnant shortly thereafter.

Patrick's birth story:

June 15, 2001: This birth could not have been more different from Caleb's. I woke up at 3:45am feeling like I had to move my bowel, which I did, but then the cramps came back 10 minutes later, so I realized it was labor. I woke up DH, and we dressed Caleb and called DH's brother to meet us at the hospital to pick up Caleb.

On the way to the hospital, my contrax were 5 minutes apart. We got to the hospital and did their whole routine. I knew I didn't want a repeat of last birth, so I said no epidural, but I would take narcotics. They told me I had to get blood drawn first. They did all of their routines. Soon, my BIL showed up to get Caleb, and DH went with him to take his stuff out to the car.

While DH was gone, I hit transition. Until that point, I hadn't really felt any pain. I don't know if I'd describe this as pain, but it was really uncomfortable. I found myself alone, so I began to moan loudly. (When I was little, whenever I was sick I would moan loud enough that my parents would be able to hear me in the next room so that they wouldn't forget I was there and uncomfortable.) A few minutes later, I felt the urge to bear down. I told the nurse, and she checked. I was 10 cm. I said, "I guess I won't be getting any drugs." She said, "I guess you won't."

So I called DH's pager, and he ran all the way back from the parking lot. Meanwhile, the nurse called the Dr. and asked me not to push while I waited. I didn't feel a strong urge to push yet, so that was fine. Dr. showed up a few minutes later, and things kicked into high gear. Baby was pretty much crowning by the time he got his gloves on. My bladder was ver full, so Dr. asked if he could straight cath me. I said okay. He did, then one push, and the head was out. On the second push, he asked me to stop mid-push b/c the cord was around baby's neck. It's pretty much impossible to stop mid-push, but I tried. (DH passed out at this point, due to running all the way back and not eating any breakfast.) When I got the okay to push again, I couldn't resist, and I kept pushing after the contrax stopped. At this point, I had some tearing, so the Dr. cut an episiotomy. On the third contrax, the rest of the body was delivered. At 5:08am, I had a healthy, alert, screaming little boy. He nursed perfectly right away. (Caleb had trouble from the beginning.)

This time, when they finally wheeled him away to the nursery, DH and I walked arm-in-arm down the hall to watch. I felt exhilarated. What a difference! I just hope that I make it to the birthing center this time. If not, at least I have a van!

Joined: 06/28/02
Posts: 39

On Wednesday, April 5th I had my 39 week appt. with my OB. He examined me and said that my cervix was beginning to move down and I was 50% effaced and a good 2 cm dilated. I had hoped for more but was excited that he didn't think I'd last another week. He went ahead and scheduled an induction for the following Wednesday, in case it should become necessary and we were on our way.

At about 4 pm in the afternoon, I had my first real contraction, though I did not really feel sure about it at the time. They started coming every half hour or so and were pretty mild. DH went to his class and I stayed home with my son. I did not even tell DH about the contractions before he left. A girlfriend of mine came over to visit after putting her girls to bed. She and I chatted and timed contractions. By the time DH came home at 8 pm, they were still 30 minutes apart, but consistent and getting a little stronger. GF and I went for a walk and that seemed to help things along.

At 10 pm, I decided to call my mother (who was going to watch DS for us). She was about 45 minutes away so I wanted to be sure she would get there in time. The contractions were about 20 minutes apart at this point.

At 11 pm I bid GF goodbye and decided to take a warm shower. While I did this, DH put our bags in the car. When my mom arrived at quarter after, the contractions were about 12 minutes apart. I took to my bed and had DH help me through the contractions. We had a tense moment right at first cause I felt like he really wasn't paying attention. I told him,"If I have to tell YOU what to do, I don't think I can get through this." After that, he seemed to really get the picture and took a more active role. It was trial and error with the breathing for a little bit until I found a rythm that I liked.

At 12:20 am the contractions were very strong and 6 minutes apart. For some reason I still felt like it was early on in the labor but decided to go to the hospital. By the time we arrived, went through triage, signed all the papers, and got hooked up to the IV and monitors it was 1 am.

When the nurse checked me, I was 6 cm dilated and the baby was fully engaged and very low. I asked for Stadol right away, as the contractions were very strong and I knew the Stadol would help me control my breathing. With the narcotic, the contractions were still painful, but very manageable. They gave me an oxygen mask to help my blood O2 levels, and it was the most annoying part of my whole labor. Breathing through the mask had some resistance and I felt claustrophobic with it on. Also, the strap did not want to stay on my head.

I labored this way for about two hours (which passed very quickly for me). At about 3 am, the contractions became much more intense and I started to feel a lot of vaginal pressure. I asked to be checked and was found to be 7.5 cm with my bag of waters intact. The nurse checked me during one of my contractions and I went to 9 cm while the contraction was happening. I was asking for more Stadol, mostly I think because I was afraid, and the nurse went to get it. In this time I felt a POP and the contractions suddenly started coming very close together and I felt the urge to push. I was begging to be allowed to push and I actually felt the baby turn in my pelvis. I felt like she was moving down the birth canal all on her own. Everything from this point on happened very fast.

3:20 am, the nurse came in with my Stadol and warned me that they might have to give the baby a shot to reverse the effects. I was unable to respond coherently due to the pain, even though in my head i understood what she was saying. She checked me and then told me I was completely dilated and drugs were no longer an option. I started panicking and the nurse and DH did a good job of calming me down. I asked to push and with the next contraction the nurse said, "Okay, lets see how you do."

3:30 am, I pushed for 2 second and the nurse ordered me to "Stop!!" She went to the door and yelled "Doctor, now!!" into the hallway. For the next two contractions I had to just breathe and not push while the doctor scrubbed, and the room was prepped. It was excrutiating.

3:45 am, the doctor came in and all was set. I remember it vividly and there is too much pain to describe. I only thank god that it was over so quickly. With the next contraction I pushed twice for ten second each. Her head came out and I had to stop pushing. The doctor eased her shoulders out and it felt like all of my insides had come out with it. I was utterly relieved and just kept saying, "Thank God" over and over again.

Time of birth: 3:56 am on Thursday, April 6th

They were going to take her to the warming table right away but I asked for her and they put her on my tummy. Right away, I thought that she looked a lot like her brother. I marveled that her head was perfectly round. Her eyes were closed but she had a good cry. They took her to the warming table to be weighed and examined. DH went with her and delivered the placenta in about 10 minutes. That part was painless. Then I was stitched up (2nd degree perineal tear) and they brought her back to me to nurse. She did well and then they took her to the nursery while I was transported back to the recovery room in the maternity ward.

Overall, it was a quick uncomplicated birth, and I am very grateful.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Sean Thomas
March 31, 2006 - 11:06 a.m.
7 lb. 8 oz. - 20 inches

Birth Story …

At 3:00 a.m. I woke up to a wave-like contraction and then a leaking feeling. I figured I just had an accident, but suspecting this might be the beginning trickle of my water breaking, I decided to get up and surf the net for info. With on the screen, I suddenly felt an enormous gush, jumped out of my computer chair, which was sadly already saturated, and yelled to Jonathan (who was sleeping) for a towel.

No question about it, my waters had broken! Within moments, I started having strong contractions every 2-3 minutes, so I knew that the “laboring at home” idea was definitely out the window and we needed to get to the hospital fast. I called L&D to let them know I was coming in, and of course they asked me a barrage of questions just to make sure it wasn’t a false alarm. I said, “If that wasn’t my water breaking, then there’s something seriously wrong with me, because that amount of fluid should not come out of a person otherwise.” Finally they gave me the go ahead to come in, and Jonathan and I spent another twenty minutes preparing the last items for the hospital bag.

Thankfully the hospital is a mere 3 minute drive from our house, so we arrived quickly. Once in the emergency reception area, I lumbered around for awhile waiting for someone to notice that I was in labor and finally I just barged into one of their offices and announced that they needed to check me in NOW!

They did. Once all the registration was taken care of, a nurse from L&D arrived with a wheelchair. I had to make her wait through a contraction, and finally off we went. We got settled into a room, and I started blowing through my contractions. Still I could tell the nurses didn’t think I was that far along, even questioning whether my water had broken or not. When they checked me, they were surprised to find that I was already 5 cm dilated! I spent the next hour or so answering more questions because they had lost my medical file from the military base, which—annoying as it was—served as some distraction from the labor.

After a few hours of laboring—giving Jonathan some serious hand squeezes—I was really beginning to feel the pain and started asking for my doctor so she could advise me about possible IV meds, having already decided against an epidural. The “stand-in” doctor checked me again, and as soon as I heard, “She’s at 8,” come out of his mouth, a huge smile came across my face. Progress! Everyone was so surprised how quickly I was progressing, and I knew that I wouldn’t need any meds from this point. Even though the worst was ahead I was so happy that I was that much closer to achieving my natural childbirth plan and having my baby!

They called my doctor again, and this time told her to hurry! Jonathan and I high-fived, and at this point, I think mentally I became more in control of my contractions and was able to absorb the pain with some serious concentration, in almost complete silence.

At 10:00 a.m. my doctor arrived, and I felt so relieved. When she checked me I was fully dilated so we decided to start pushing in sets of three. She, Jonathan and the attending nurse began coaching me through each set, and it was actually a great feeling to push through each contraction versus laying there and suffering through them. To my credit, I did not wimp out on any pushes, even when the pain and pressure was so intense. I continued following the doctor and nurse’s cues, pushing like hell through each contraction, sometimes past the 10 count when I could really feel the baby moving down.

The last half hour the room was a flurry of activity. All of a sudden there were a couple more nurses and the anesthesiologist kept peeking in on us, and my doctor kept shaking her head, as if to say, “Go away, we’re good.” My final sets of pushes were a blur. My once silent contractions gave way to some necessary moaning and groaning. Meanwhile Jonathan looked more and more like a deer in headlights as he saw the baby’s head crown, and my face turn increasingly purple and pained. I was still managing to smile and make jokes with the hospital staff between contractions though, much to everyone’s amusement. Lol

I was only a few pushes away when the anesthesiologist explained that I would tear so they could numb me beforehand. “Do it!” I yelled. And a moment later, my doctor said, “Okay, Fuchsia, baby’s heartbeat is dipping so I need you to push him out on this one.” I heaved a big breath and pushed with everything I had. His head popped out, and I collapsed back on the bed feeling completely spent and a little delusional. Then my doctor yelled, “Fuchsia, I need a shoulder, push push push!” Suddenly I had a flashback from all those Discovery Health special delivery shows, felt a rush of fear and somehow mustered the energy for one last push. At 11:06 a.m., Sean Thomas was born into the world. Watching the doctor clean him off and Jonathan cut the cord, I felt my chest heaving like I could cry, but was too tired for any tears. They laid him on my chest, and I was surprised how heavy he felt!

This was the beginning of feeling that the entire experience was so incredibly surreal. I just gave birth to my baby! All the nurses, and even the anesthesiologist, kept congratulating me on how well I handled the natural birth, and truly, I was beaming with pride.

While the doctor was stitching up my second degree tear, Jon and I were gazing intently at Sean while he was being tended to by the nurses. Of all our achievements, all the places we’d ever been, in a matter of moments, the birth of Sean Thomas had become the most meaningful experience of our lives.

gonnaB3's picture
Joined: 03/10/07
Posts: 18

Finally, I think I can write a birth story!

I guess it all started on Wednesday the 29th of March when I went to the ob for my 39 week appt. She checked me and I was 3 cm and 50% effaced. I was so excited because with the other 2 I have never been anything but closed up and the baby still high. So, she stripped my membranes and I was having contractions the rest of the day until I went to sleep, they stopped over night. The next day I was having a few contractions and lost started to lose my mucas plug. I really thought something would happen soon. My ob had talked to me about induction at the appt but, I did not want to be induced at all. Both her and the other ob at the office that I had to see at 38 weeks said the baby was big and I reall shouldn't go too much over my EDD. I didn't want to have the u/s to fine out how big he was at all, he had to come out and I just didn't want to know how big he was LOL
So, by friday when nothing happend except for the mild contractions I was having ever 15-30 minutes I called my ob and told her to go ahead and book me for Monday morning for the induction. I was bound and determine to try everything I could over the weekend to have him on my own. I tried walking a ton, sex, sitting on my excersise ball, and I even tried cator oil. OMG is that stuff nasty and it didn't even make me go #2 LOL That saturday I was so depressed because I wanted to have an April Fool's day baby and I just knew he wasn't coming that day. By Sunday I had given in to the fact that I was going to be induced and started to actually get excited about finally getting to meet my little guy. Plus, it worked out well with my mom and Jeremy taking days off from work and with my work too. On to the birth!
We get to the hospital at 6am and I get all dressed in my beautiful gown, they check me and I have progressed to 4 cm and 75% effaced but, the baby is still kinda high. I get the pitocin started at 7 am. I am getting a lower dose than usual which is good. They all knew I wanted to go natural and had a kinda bad experience with my last birth because of the pitocin and no drugs. I sittin pretty in the rocking chair having regular contractions and feeling pretty good. They didn't hurt that bad at all. My nurse then comes in at about 10:45ish and tells me she has some good news or some bad news, I said your breaking my water aren't you? yup, that is what it was. I knew that as soon as my water was broke it was going to get serious. (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that she checked me at 10:30 and I was 6 cm and still 75%. I actually said that it was kinda freaky that I wasn't hurting bad and I was already 6 cm). The nurse then breaks my water after I get up to go pee again, I was having to pee so much! When she did not very much came out and it was a weird color so she called the other nurse to look at it. I got kinda scared because I thought it was meconium and didn't want to have to deal with him getting suctioned and all that stuff but, it wasn't it was just old blood. I have a very sensitive cervix and I bleed when they check me so everything was cool. As soon as she boke my water she started to get the room set up for the delivery and I started to get some nasty contractions. Jeremy and my mom came back in the room just a few mintues after and tried to joke and talk to me like we were just before they left and I wasn't having any of it LOL I think my contractions started to get really bad about 11:15 and be 11:30 I was trying to push. I don't really remember too much because I was trying so hard to get him out. I remeber thinking what in the hell was taking so long! I only pushed a couple times with Morgan so I was getting a little irritated LOL I had 2 of the best nurses and the one stood at my side and coached me and Jeremy was on the other side. The one nurse was standing there holding the monitor on my belly because they kept on losing his h/b so she did that so I wouldn't have to get internal monitors on, she knew I didn't want those at all. I remeber asking for Stadol right in the beggining of pushing and she went to get it well, by the time it got there it was kinda too late but my ob (who got there sometime, I don't know when) said I could have half a dose. That didn't do much but, I think it may have helped me relax a little better between the contractions. I had to have the damn blood pressure monitor on my arm and it was killing me too BTW, also had to have the oxygen mask on so I was taking deap breaths of that between pushes because I was affraid of his hb going down. I remeber with the girls I would get so mad when they put that thing on my face but, with him I knew that it was better to get it. I was so much more calm this time because I knew what was happening. Like when I started to shake, I knew that I was in transition and he was on the way soon! Well, he was too, I finally got him out at 12:31 and he was so big! That all the one doctor kept saying is how big he was. He did feel heavy when they put him on me but I was still shocked when she said he was 9 pounds 11 ounces! The whole time I was pregnant I was in denial that I was having a big baby because they told me Morgan was going to be so much bigger than Mikiela and she was a whole pound smaller at 7 pounds 15 ounces. Well, I guess this time they were right LOL
After I had him I had to get stiched up and that hurt like heck too. One of my great nurses stood by my side and held my hand. She was telling me how great I did and how she couldn't believe I did it without an epi. Oh yeah, I forgot, my mom cut the cord! That is the first time in all of mine and my sisters births, this being the 7th, that she did it. Jeremy wont do it LOL
After I got cleaned up Mason was brought over and he was so cute! Looked just like the girls really but, different. He started to nurse like a champ right away, I was so glad
I really did have a great birth, I was so glad it went so well. I was terrified of having the pitocin again and being in agony. It wasn't really that bad when I think about it, it was only about 1.5 hours of hard labor.

Well, this ended up being longer than I thought! I hope it reads ok, I had to stop and start alot and I don't have time to proof read LOL

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

(xposted in my lodge)

Ok ladies, here's my very long birth story. Theres a summary/timeline towards the end if you just want that

I almost did it.

We got to the hospital at 6, they started monitoring and told me I needed antibiotics because I was strep b positive. I was actually showing contractions already on the monitor, but nothing strong enough to be labor. They started the IV, then started pitocin at 6:40am. I started having good contractions but was still able to talk through them just fine. The nurse came in occasionally and asked if I wanted to be checked, but as long as I could talk through the contractions I figured I wasn't progressing much and declined. I also kept getting different nurses because of shift changes and nurses who were on overtime and leaving at odd times. I was sitting up in bed and actually dozed off for a bit between contractions. Around 10am I was woken up by a popping feeling, then a contraction that was way more intense than what I'd been feeling. I thought maybe my water had broken but there wasn't a gush of fluid. I yelled out in suprise and in pain and startled my poor DH pretty bad. I decided it was time to move the birthing ball. I did pretty well when I was sitting on it, the contractions were getting worse and closer but my hypnosis cd helped. My DH was wonderful, he held my hands during contractions and steadied me, and told me I was doing great, etc. They came in and told me that at 10:30 (only a few minutes away) they were going to break my water to help things move faster, and that they were putting an internal monitor on so I would be stuck in the bed. I was fine with them breaking my water at this point because I wanted things to move faster now that I was really hurting, but not happy about being stuck in bed. They offered to check me again but I declined because I was in the middle of a contractiong when they offered. I actually did want to be checked but the nurse was gone by the time the contraction passed. I decided though that I needed to find a comfortable position I could be in, and had DH lay the bed completely flat (no idea why, was just the way I wanted it). I climbed up there and couldn't really find any way that felt good. I did notice a small gush of fluid though when I laid back. My DH said there was some red in it. I think my water had partially broken (my fore-waters or something like that?) before when I felt the pop, but the baby had been blocking any fluid from coming out. The contractions got worse and being in the bed was the absolute worse thing for it. I started begging for an epidural. The thought of how much worse things would be when my water broke terrified me. DH did exactly what I had asked him, he told me no, that I didn't want it, that I was doing great. But finally I looked him in the eye and told him that if I had to stay in this bed, I needed the epidural. He asked if I was sure and I said yes. He called the nurses station and they called the anesthetic guy (can never spell that!). At 10:50am, as he was walking in the room, along with the nurse and a baby care lady who was getting things ready for Abby afterwards, I felt a pop and then the most painful instense pressure in my bottom I had ever felt. I lost all control over myself at that point. I bolted out of the bed (I didn't even know someone 9 months pregnant could move like I did) baring my bum to the whole room as I went, and squatted on the floor. I sent my cd player flying (still haven't checked to see if it works anymore), tangled up my IV (would have ripped it out but there were about 10 pieces of tape holding it in) and my water had DEFINATELY broken. I have no way to put this delictaley, so sorry for the grossness, but I honestly thought I had to poop. I kept waiting to just go and get it over with because I figured it as gross as it was, it was going to happen. I never did though. Then the nurse came over fussing about my IV and made me get back in the bed. At this point, the contractions were one of top of the other, and I couldn't lay down in the bed, there was no way in hell. I sat on the edge and waited for the epidural guy. At this point, I still hadn't been checked, and I still thought I was going to poop. The nurse wanted to check me, and I growled some sort of answer at her that meant no because I couldn't lay down. I also was afraid I would be too far for the epidural, and I knew if I didn’t have it I could NOT lay down in that bed to deliver, and I knew I wouldn’t be allowed to deliver standing up. She wanted to take my temp, I growled out no to that too but she ignored me. At 10:57am the guy finally started to put in my epidural, he put it higher up in my back than with my previous 2 but I didn't think anything of it at the time. Once he had it in I waited for the instant relief I remembered with both Hannah and Andrew, but there wasn't any. I mentioned I was still feeling a lot, and they told me it would take 15 minutes to take effect, and that I would still feel pressure. What I was feeling wasn't pressure but I was in too much pain to argue. The epidural did take enough edge off the contraction that I could at least lay down now to be checked. As soon as she started I realized I was there, because she stopped when her fingers were barely in. She said oh, well you're 10cm! I'll call your dr and get her down here. Now I finally realized that the feeling I had that I needed to poop was the urge to push. Even though I'd been through labor twice already I didn't even recognize the urge to push. Now I was laying there just waiting for my dr to get in so I could go. At some point the nurse had returned the bed to a sitting position. I still had full control over my legs and still had full feeling "down there"and I realized that this epidural was not going to provide the pain relief I had been looking for. After awhile waiting I asked for another doctor, any doctor, to just come in and deliver this baby! Turns out the nurse told my dr to finish whatever she was doing, THEN come down. I wanted to scream WTF!? but couldn't get it out. While I continued to wait I considered pushing on my own, but I could feel that if I pushed I was going to tear badly. The nurse called to tell my dr that I needed her there NOW, but I think she was already on the way because my dr walked in a very short time later. I put my legs up in the stirrups and started pushing. I felt the ring of fire and again, seemed to lose complete control over myself. I pushed like a mad woman, it was one long push because I wanted the pain to stop. My dr finally told me that I needed to slow down and push WITH the contraction, I felt myself starting to tear (upward and not in the direction I'd prefer to tear in!) so I stopped. With the next contraction I started pushing again with all my might. I couldn't believe how bad it hurt! My epidural had worn off when I was delivering DS but I don't remember it feeling anything like this. With that second long push Abigail came out, at 11:37am. I had a minor tear that needed 2 stitches. My dr said one stitch at first but I felt her put in 2. She didn't give me a local for the stiches because she thought I would be numb from the epidural. Nope, felt that too, it made me yell out but was nothing compared to delivering the baby. They laid Abby on me immediately after she was born, then they weighed her and did her vitals (apgars were 8/9). After my dr was done stitching me up they handed her back to me. I was shaking badly for some reason and couldn't feed her right away. Maybe 20 or 30 minutes later I nursed her (she latched on great), and they moved me to my recovery room. I shocked everyone because I was able to get up and walk to my wheelchair and support my own weight. What part of "I'm not numb down there!" did they not get? All day long I got comments on how remarkable my movement was for someon with an epidural. Part of me wanders if that guy even gave me a damn epidural or if it was just mind over matter on finally settling down enough to lay in the bed (ok, I know he gave me an epidural but it sure wasn't much of one!)

So, a summary/timeline to this very long story:

6:40am- Pitocin started
10:am-Stronger contractions/partial water breaking?
10:30am-Asked for epidural
10:50am-Water broke (on it's own)
10:57am-Crappy epidural given
11:00am (ish) Checked for first time since arrival/10cm dilated
11:15am -Epidural supposedly going to kick in (yea, right)
11:30am (ish) Started pushing
11:37am-Out came Abigail

My theory is that when my water broke, Abigail dropped the rest of the way and was ready to come out then. And if the nurse hadn't made me get back into the bed, I probably would have delivered her on the floor. Part of me wishes I had. Also, I think the guy put the epidural too high, so it numbed from my armpits to lower stomach, instead of my stomach to my upper legs. I did feel strange and weak around my armpits afterwards, when I lifted my arms to hold Abby.

A part of me is disappointed that I didn’t go all the way, but I was so close, and in the end I did avoid having my water broken for me, which I kept saying I didn’t want. I will admit, chances are if I would have had a midwife, I wouldn’t have had the epidural, because I wouldn’t have been forced onto the bed. It just was not a natural place for me to be. I don’t know how any of you ladies that birthed naturally laying down did it!

So that’s my story

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

MIRIAM HANNAH’S BIRTH STORY - our "Gentle Birth Caesarean"

We knew Miriam was breech for months. Kept waiting for her to turn, but she didn’t. We tried everything – lying with my hips in the air, acupuncture, moxibustion, hypnosis, playing music to her, and an unheard-of 4 attempts at external cephalic version (ECV). Nothing had any effect and it became very clear that she was either going to turn of her own volition, or not at all.

So we started exploring options for delivering her breech – by necessity a hospital birth because breech delivery is considered “high risk” and outside our midwife’s area. She was in the “perfect” position and conditions for vaginal breech delivery – her feet up by her head, chin tucked, was a smaller baby than Samuel had been (although obviously we didn’t know by how much), I had delivered Samuel very quickly and easily. Unfortunately, with the help of our midwife, we only able to find two practitioners in the region would be willing to catch the baby, IF we were to go into labour when they were on call, AND we walked into the hospital ready to push. We figured our chances were about 50-50 that we’d get what we wanted. As it turned out, we went into labour on the wrong day.

It was funny – on Friday morning when we woke up, I looked at Stephen and said, “I don’t think I’m going into labour any time soon – I feel completely normal.” Famous last words. My waters broke gently around 8am – I wasn’t sure at first that it had happened, but then when the trickle didn’t stop, and started “gushing” when I changed position, it became pretty clear. But no contractions yet. I called Anne-Marie (our MW) and she started making phone calls. We knew we were on an “off” day but there was a possibility, if there was a different senior OB on call at one of our identified hospitals, that if we walked in about to push that like it or not, they’d catch the baby. Anne-Marie found out that there was “no chance” at our local hospital, she knew the OB who was on. She knew that once contractions started, I was likely to go very fast, so she advised us to meet her as soon as possible at the rural hospital because at least there, there was still a chance because we didn’t KNOW the OB wouldn’t do it. Stephen left to drop Samuel off at the sitter, and I continued to assemble things to leave the house. Anne Marie called back shortly after that, and let us know that she had talked to our “consult” OB from the rural hospital and his feeling was the OB on call wouldn’t be able to do it for us either. I started crying. Her advice was still to go to the hospital, that we might have more flexibility there than we would with the “big admin” local hospital, and suggested we get there asap, hopefully still before I started contractions, so that we could have a rational conversation with the OB who was “in.” I had a couple of very low-grade contractions in the car – nothing that felt any different from a braxton-hicks contraction.

We got to the hospital and the OB was in clinic. Since we still hadn’t “started” we went down to the cafeteria to have some lunch and wait for either her to arrive or for us to “need” her to arrive. I was feeling hopeful again at this point – once she looked me in the face, how could she not agree?

When she arrived though she told us point blank that she couldn’t offer anything other than “elective c-section.” She had trained after the Term Breech Trial and had only delivered about 12 in the course of her career. Here we were again, though, with that “elective” word that was just not an option. So I said, “What if I refuse a c-section?” I felt I was being so rude, but I had to push, and make sure she wasn’t bluffing. She said if th
at were the case she’d have to call the medical emergency service, which would proceed to search the entire province for an OB on call who would be willing to help us. Except that there was no way I could leave town to deliver this baby, not with Samuel at home, not with how fast labour was going to go once it started (risking Stephen having to deliver a breech baby in the car somewhere between cities), and we already knew that the service would find nobody in town, because we had already done that homework. I started to cry again. “I’m not in labour yet” I said “there’s still a chance she’ll turn, babies DO turn in labour sometimes, I don’t want to cut short the time she’s got to do it in” just feeling more and more desperate. “This isn’t an emergency, I’m not IN labour right now, I don’t believe we need to do this right now. How long do I have before this becomes a problem for you?” and she told me that 24 hours from ruptured membranes was as far as we “could go” (which we pretty much knew). Thing is, if the baby waited 24 hours, then it would be Saturday at 8am, and one of our identified OB’s would be on at the other hospital. We explained this to her and she was willing to give us this chance. If we went into labour before then, and the baby still didn’t turn, we would come back to this hospital for the surgery.

So they let us “out on a pass” and we went walking downtown. We went in and out of a couple of stores, and I quickly found I couldn’t bear to be looking at people who were having ordinary lives, and REALLY couldn’t bear their very friendly questions about my pregnancy, when I was due, and “Oh my goodness you’re having it TODAY? That’s so EXCITING!” We went and sat and watched the waterfall while I cried my heart out – my poor mother. Walked down to the other park by the river and I asked Stephen and my mum to leave me alone to meditate for a while. I sat in the sun for more than an hour and watched the water and cried and breathed and waited. I had one big contraction sitting there, and it happened after I was finally able to think PAST the inevitable and think about holding Miriam and nursing her.

Shortly after that my mum and Stephen came back to me and suggested we go find a bed & breakfast so that if evening came and we still hadn’t gotten started we’d have a place to lie down. So we went back to the main street and into the antique shop we’d been in before to ask for recommendations. Had another contraction. Went next door to the little department store to buy high-waist undies (I don’t normally own these) – had 2 more biggish contractions. We got in the car and headed for the B&B and signed in. It was about 5:30. I had 2 major contractions while we were there (within about 20 minutes). We were in the living room with the landlady and I looked at her from where I was on all-4's on her carpet and said, "I don't think I'm going to be here long." We decided we’d better head back up to the hospital.

We got to the hospital at 6pm and it was as if a switch turned on and suddenly I was in transition. The OB came into the room and actually sat down cross-legged on the floor so that she could talk to me at eye level, and went over the “risks of c-section” (as if I had a choice) and things I “should know.” I had about 8 contractions over the next hour, and at about 7pm alerted Anne-Marie that I was starting to feel pressure in back and that they had better check me. Karen (the OB) came back in to check me and just kinda stopped dead. “Where are we at?” I asked. “9 cm” she said. All I had left was a lip. I swear she almost let me go. Almost.

Then she got scared again I guess because all h*ll broke loose as they suddenly rushed to get me into the OR. They were paging people, had trouble finding the pediatrician, etc… I was pushing before they got me in there. The only reason Miriam didn’t just come out was because Anne-Marie got right in front of my face and I could look into her eyes and breathe with her – not pushing was the hardest thing I could’ve imagined. And my body was still doing it. Once they had the spinal in it slowed my body down but only just enough for them. I don’t think anybody in that room thought the right thing was happening. “Somebody is PUSHING” said the anaesthetist… I think she was trying to give Karen an excuse to stop.

Spinal anaesthetic is a WEIRD feeling. I thought I’d be completely numb but wasn’t – just no temperature and no pain; my legs felt fuzzy, like pins and needles, and I could still feel them touching me and all kinds of pulling, just no pain. Not what I expected.

They tried really hard to give us as close to a gentle birth as they could. They let Stephen and my mum and Anne-Marie all come in with me. They brought in the cd I’d been listening to. Anne-Marie told me what was going on as they went through the layers, and my mum described as Miriam came out. She says Karen used really really gentle hands on my daughter. Miriam came out proclaiming that she was breathing and didn’t need to be suctioned. My mum told me she was bright red, I don’t know her apgars but they must’ve been good with the amount of noise she was making. They laid her on my belly (couldn’t feel it, but Anne Marie told me when she was there), and let the cord stop pulsing before clamping and Stephen cut it. They let the placenta detach more-or-less on its own (Karen did some pretty heavy massage to help it but didn’t cut it away) before sewing me up.

Stephen and Anne-Marie went with Miriam to the warmer while they did their initial checks, and then Anne-Marie popped Miriam inside Stephen’s shirt as soon as she could get her hands on her. As soon as they could they brought her over and laid her beside my head – I couldn’t really see her but she was alert and touching my face and I sang to her while they closed the incisions. As soon as I was closed they put her on my chest and moved us into our room to “recover” – crazy word, that, as if it’s something that could happen overnight.

The staff was wonderful. They had EACH read our birthplan and were doing their damnedest to give us everything that they could, and it was as if each nurse was silently apologizing to me for what had happened. Nobody believed that it had been right – only that it had been the only choice, because Karen had never had the opportunity to get good enough at breech delivery to do it “safely.” Realistically, I would’ve had that little baby out in about 3 pushes and nothing would’ve gone wrong. And everybody knew it.

Karen came to talk to me before she went home, and said as much herself. “This doesn’t feel right,” she said. I know that if the opportunity arises for her to gain experience in delivering breeches she’ll jump at it – she clearly believes that especially with “low risk breeches” like ours the choice of how to deliver should belong to the family.

They let us go home the next night – unheard of for a c-section – because we had the midwifery care that includes home visits. We’re recovering “normally” for what we’ve been through.

Miriam is a wonderful baby. Very patient and gentle, cries very little. Her full name is Miriam Hannah Guy Lenser. At birth she was 6lbs 10oz, and 20” long. Wednesday last week she was already 7lbs 3oz – growing like her brother did! She was born with a head of dark hair that we think will probably fall out and come back blonde, but then probably darken again over time as mine did. We are lucky to have her and my love for her is undiminished by the tough birthing.

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

The birth story of Thomas Joseph, born June 1, 2006 at 37 weeks 2 days (okay, I know it’s long, but this was an eventful birth!):

Well, as you know, I had low amniotic fluid for the last week of my pregnancy. Threatened with possible induction, I was told to do what I could to bring on labor. (My cervix was 3-4 cm, and the baby scored 10 out of 10 on the biophysical profile.) So, on May 31, I did what I could. That night, I woke up about 1:50am with slightly stronger BH contractions. I knew they were not real labor, so I tried to sleep through them, but I couldn’t get back to sleep. Over the course of the morning, they got closer together, but not much stronger. When DH woke up at 5:30, they were 5 minutes apart. I told him I was going to go for a walk around the block, and if they turned into more labor-like contractions he wasn’t going to go to work. I walked around the block twice and went in to sit down. BINGO! At 6:00am, they were coming on strong at 10-minute intervals and lasting about a 45 seconds to 1 minute.

DH called our friend, T, and I called the midwife. I asked DH when he thought we would arrive, and he said 7:30. We went to pick up T and headed for the center. We pulled in front of the building at 7:29. Once we got in and settled, my contractions were probably about 7 minutes apart. The nice thing about the center was no clocks! The only other moment I was aware of the time was after transition, when I asked. The Labor Nurse (LN) monitored baby’s heartbeat, and he was reacting perfectly. After awhile, the mw came in. She checked my cervix and found it 5 cm, 75% and 0 station. We were well on our way! After she checked me, I stood through a few contractions with DH in front to hold onto and LN in back applying counter pressure to my lower back. It felt so good. I hadn’t put 2 and 2 together yet that this was back labor and the baby was probably posterior (though I’m sure LN did!) I then decided to get into the whirlpool tub. It was heavenly! The contractions were much more manageable, and soon, I was in transition. DH and the boys were all in the tub with me until transition, then we asked the boys to get out and watch a DVD.

Transition went very well, and was totally manageable in the water. I did request to turn off the jets in the tub, though, because they were over-stimulating at that point. I finally realized something wasn’t right when I had completed what I knew was transition and felt absolutely no urge to push. I did feel the urge to go to the bathroom, though, so I got out of the tub to pee. Then things started to get intense. I was standing now during contractions with one arm around DH and one around T. I started dripping blood with each contraction (the “show”). I was still able to breathe well, but the contractions were way intense and turning into pushing contractions. I asked the time and was told it was 10:30. When LN saw me trying to push near the end of the contractions, she got the mw. The mw checked me and said I was only at 8-9 cm and shouldn’t try to push because I might inflame the cervix. I stood through some more contractions, but it was very difficult to just breathe through them. Finally, mw suggested I get on the bed so that gravity would not make me want to push.

After awhile, she checked me again, and I was at 10, but with a lip of cervix. She told me that it was soft and she could hold it back for a couple of contractions until it opened up. We did this. At this point, I was in a semi-sitting position on the bed. She got the lip opened up and started prepping the birth kit. In the meantime, I had DH on one side and LN on the other. T was behind me acting as my back support, and one of my sons was at each side holding my hands.

I’m not sure about the time, but I think that I had another hour of pushing ahead. I’m sure it was at least 45 minutes. This was some of the hardest work I had ever done, and I was roaring like a lioness with each push. After what seemed like an eternity, he finally got close to crowning. After all the advocating I had done about birthing positions, here I was in the same semi-sitting position I had birthed my other babies in the hospital! But this is what I wanted. Not only did the pressure of my bum on the bed help the back labor, but I was completely surrounded on all sides by the 6 most important people in my life at that time.

So the baby’s head had to make it around the pubic arch, and the baby was facing the wrong way, so the mw told me to “wear my knees around my ears” for the next few pushes. With the help of DH and LN to support my legs, I was able to push him under the arch, and he was starting to crown. Then, as if it were possible, things got even more intense. The mw asked me not to push so that my birth canal could stretch. This is a lot easier said than done, but I did what I could to just breathe through the contractions while the mw applied lubricant, massage, hot compresses, etc. When I reached between my legs to feel his squished forehead, it gave me a burst of stamina. When his head was about halfway out, I felt some pain. This was apparently when his head rotated and according to the mw my body did some “creative opening.” At this point, I had my legs up in the air with a half of a head sticking out, trying not to push, and for the first time I though (and said) “I can’t do this!” LOL! The whole room said simultaneously, “Yes, you can! You’re almost there!” The mw told me to do “grunty” pushes, and I found that this came naturally and was very easy for me to do, and after a few pushes, he was out and DH caught him. He was born at 12:13pm, 6 hours 13 minutes after the onset of labor.

He was beautiful! Six pounds, 9 ounces, all covered with lanugo hair, vernix and blood with a splotchy purple color. He was a vision only a new mom & dad could love! And that’s the story of Thomas Joseph’s debut into the world.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

After two days of on and off contractions my water broke at 11:30 pm on Sunday June 4th. Right before it broke I had four very close but mild contractions. I was laying in bed trying to get to sleep after a very long day and I rolled from my right to left side, and suddenly I was all wet. I got up and told Luke what had happened and called my midwife to let her know,too, and went back to bed to try and get some sleep.
Luke and I changed the wet sheets and put on clean ones, then a plastic sheet and the sheets for birthing on top. I laid down, but sleep was not going to happen for me that night, though. Right after I laid down the contractions started coming in earnest. About 3-4 minutes apart and 60 seconds long, and getting stronger with each one.
I decided to get up and hang out with Luke and try and watch a movie and relax. We also called his parents to come and get the dog. We watched a DVD of the animated series Aeon Flux, which was very strange and hard to follow. My contractions were still getting more and more intense and were about 3 minutes apart and some as long as 90 seconds. I was having to focus to get through them. Eventually I couldn't handle watching the show anymore, and after his parents came and got the dog, I went back to bed to try and rest again. I rested, but couldn't get to sleep, the contractions were too much. Luke came to bed a little bit later and got about an hour of sleep before I woke him up again.
I was starting to feel nauseated and went to the bathroom where I puked a little. The contractions were getting very strong now and I thought we had better call the midwife. At about 4 am we called her and she and her two assistants arrived not long afterwards. They started to set things up and get out their tools and instruments. This is when I started to really get excited and think "I am really going to have this baby today!" the sky was just starting to get light and I knew the sun would be up soon. I labored kneeling on the ground and hanging over the ball while Luke rubbed my back for a couple hours. The contractions were very difficult and close at this point. They were not coming like waves, but hitting me with the most intense part first and then slowly letting up, and it was very hard to relax with them like this because the initial shock would tense me up every time. I remember my midwife telling me some time in this period that if I continued like this it "wouldn't be too much longer." I asked her if she thought it would be before noon and she said she thought so, that made me feel really excited and I felt a little bit better after that.
Some time mid morning I asked when I could get in the hot tub and she said any time I wanted, so we went right out after the next contraction. Luke got in with me and I faced him squatting in the center while he sat on the side and I looked at him and held his hands or legs through contractions. It felt really good to be in there and I liked it a lot, but the contractions were very close together and hard. We spent a while in there. The sun was pretty high up in the sky and it was shaping up to be a gorgeous day. A few high clouds and a very blue sky. It was already quite warm. After a little bit in tub I started to feel sick again, and had to lean over the side and puke into the gravel. When I did this the contractions got even stronger and I felt like I was going to die. It was pretty scary, but afterwards I felt better. The midwife and assistants generally left us alone at this point except to periodically check the heart tones with a doppler. After a little while I started to get really pruned up and wanted to get out, so I did and went back to kneeling with the ball inside.
I am not sure how long I did this, but I puked a few more times and started to feel really depressed and tired. It felt like it was never going to end. I though that this must be the self doubt part which means I am getting close, so I asked Nicole to check me. She waited for a break and then checked, and she was in there a long time and seemed very serious. When she was done she looked sort of disappointed and asked me if I really wanted to know. I said "just tell me, am I close?" she said she thought it would be a while longer and that my cervix was very thin, but not dilating the way it should because the baby's head was a little crooked and not putting pressure on it. I asked her how much longer and she said there was no way to know but it could be awhile and I should try to get some rest. This was very depressing news. (She would tell me later after the birth that at this point I was only between 2&3 cm dilated, only 1 cm progress in 12 hours! I am glad I didn't know the details at the time.) I had been in hard labor for about 12 hours at this point, and it didn't feel like it was going anywhere and I was getting very tired. I was also getting dehydrated and couldn't keep anything down. Nicole suggested that we try an enema to get some fluids in me since you absorb water pretty well through the colon. I was not excited about this idea but said I would try it and so Luke and I went onto the bathroom and did it. It worked alright, and I kept it in through one or two contractions, but felt pretty worked after that.
Then we went to bed and set up a system of pillows so I could be on modified hands and knees and we tried to sleep. Luke slept for about an hour maybe, and I dozed in between contractions, which got a bit lighter at this point. We were in bed for a couple hours maybe and I was feeling a lot better, but the contractions were getting stronger again so I woke Luke up and called Nicole in. Nicole suggested I get up and take a little walk around. It was really hard to get out of bed, but I felt much better. We went out and walked around the yard. We also walked the stairs sideways to try and get him to straighten out. At this point it started to get drawn out and tedious. I started puking again and the contractions were very strong and not before too long I was tired and feeling like it was never going to end again. Luke was great all through this part (and all of it) and telling me that I was doing great and how strong I was and how proud of me he was and letting me use him to lean on for support etc..I am so glad he was there.
We tried the hot tub again, but it had cooled down a bit and I didn't like it as much this time. While I was in there Nicole, Luke and I talked about my "options." She said that it could possibly go this way for awhile longer and that the hospital was an option at this point. I could go get an epidural to get some rest and it might help me get through it. Or I would try and get some rest here at home and keep going. I was feeling like maybe I wanted to get some pain relief and rest at this point, but really didn't want to have to go to the hospital. The car ride sounded no fun, and also I just really wanted to do it naturally and at home. I was bummed out and decided to try and rest a bit and then see where we were after that.
I ate half a fruit popsicle and went and laid down in bed again. At this point Luke told me that no matter what happened he was proud of me and I had done a great job. It was a really sweet moment and it made me feel a little bit better. We tried to sleep but the contractions were way too intense, but I relaxed a bit and we laid there for a long while just getting through it together. I didn't puke the popsicle up this time and that felt good, too. After awhile I couldn't lay there any longer and they were getting very strong! The most painful yet and I was having to really hold onto Luke to get through them, so I asked Nicole to check me so we could decide what to do, because if I still wasn't progressing I was ready to transport. So she checked me and I was at 7 and she thought his head was straight now! This was great news and I knew that he would be much faster from here, but also I knew that transition was just around the corner and I was exhausted and a little nervous.
We went out into the living room and I leaned over the ball again and Luke rubbed my back with contractions. The midwives started to get things ready for delivery and this felt good. It was finally going to happen. Well before too long the contractions were almost right on top of each other and not going away entirely in between and the hurt really bad. I was squeezing Luke's hands so hard and at one point I even bit him. My back was hurting tremendously and I was crying for hot compresses with each contraction. I knew this was transition and it wouldn't be much longer, but I was so difficult. I just tried to focus and breath, and that took all the strength I had. After what seemed like forever but was probably only an hour or less things started to feel different and I asked Nicole to check me again. She did and said I was complete, 10 cm and could push when I wanted. I said I felt like pushing and with the next contractions tried it laying on my side. Well that hurt a lot and I didn't like it at all so I got on hands and knees for the next one. The sun was setting at about this time, so it must have been 8 pm or so.
I pushed on hands a knees for a few contractions, but Nicole wanted me to be more upright to get his head under the pubic bone so I moved to the birthing stool. I really didn't want to move, but it did feel better after I was up there. Finally she said she could see the head and he started to crown. She kept saying just a couple more pushes and he would be out, but I kept pushing and pushing and it didn't feel like he was moving at all. I didn't believe her and asked Luke if he thought it looked like he was moving out at all, he told me he was just a little bit with each push. Finally after the crowned for about 20 minutes (which Nicole said was the longest she has ever seen) his head came out. That felt really great. I started pushing again for his body and she was saying "This baby needs to be born NOW push harder!" I guess he was in distress from crowning for so long and she was worried about him. This really scared me so I was pushing constantly even in between contractions. After a few pushes like this he started to come out completely and Luke helped Nicole catch him and she practically pulled him out and started making little sounds and they suctioned him because he had fluid in his nose and mouth.
I was so happy he was finally out and he looked so perfect. I was holding him and he started to make little noises and rooting around a little bit. Nicole said he was doing really well and I could lay down now, which sounded great to me! I laid down and Luke cut the cord when it got limp and I delivered the placenta. Luke held him for a bit and we felt like going to bed. We laid in bed looking at him and just relaxing for a bit while the midwives cleaned up and made us dinner. We ate and I nursed and it was just so nice to be home in my own bed with my family. I got to take a shower and we took off the birthing sheets and were al snug in the bed together. It was a great feeling.
Then Nicole came in and told me that I had torn a bit during the delivery and she wanted to check me out. I was not excited about this and but wanted to get it over with. She checked me and said I needed stitched and she couldn't do it, so another midwife came over and did it. 30-40 stitches and about an hour later they were finally done and we all ate birthday cake and they packed up and went home some time well after midnight.
We were all alone for the first time together as a family. I was so in love with Luke and Orion and feeling so great, exhausted and spent at the same time. We slept for a few hours and at about 4 am I started feeling really terrible, with cramping and strong contractions and a lot of blood was coming out. I got up to change my pads twice in an hour and was in a lot of pain so I woke up Luke and we decided to call Nicole. She came over and massaged my uterus and said that it was a lot bigger than when she left and something was definitely going on. She didn't like the amount of blood I was loosing, either. She said she would try a couple of things and if it didn't work she would have to take me to the hospital. I was bummed out to hear this but in a lot of pain. The last thing I wanted to do was leave the house now after he was already born and doing great. So she massaged uterus a bit more, which gave me really painful contractions so I was almost screaming and she gave me a pill (I can't remember the name) and a shot of pitocin to stop the bleeding. Then she had me stand up to see how much I was bleeding. I stood for a second and then al of a sudden I felt really strange and then a huge "thing" fell out of my and splatted on the ground and then another smaller one. It looked like the placenta but about half the size. I was totally freaked out and Luke looked like he was going to faint. nicole seemed happy to see it though, and said they were blood clots and it explained a lot and that I should start to feel much better. She cleaned me up a bit and got me new pads and put me back to bed. I was feeling a lot better already and finally she left and we went back to sleep.
Everything has been great since then. Orion is 2 weeks old now and growing like a weed. I am healing up very well and the only thing that still bothers me is my tailbone. Luke and I are adjusting to family life pretty well and Orion is a really good baby. I am so glad the birth is over. It was much more difficult that I ever imagined it would be and could have never done it without the support I got from Luke and the midwives. After going though it though I have a lot more confidence in myself and feel ready for all the challenges ahead.
Orion Nehemiah Sheridan
born 8:51 pm June 5th
8 lbs 3 oz
21 inches

michellemarbelle's picture
Joined: 10/30/03
Posts: 27

John Allen
Born July 2, 2006 (5 week early premie!)
Weight ~ 8lbs 9oz
Height ~ 19.5 inches
100% drug free and natural hypnobabies birth
labor lasted 4hrs 11 mins ~ he pushed himself out! OB did not make it in time Smile

Our special journey to conception ~

This was a very planned pregnancy, we had been trying to conceive for 15 long months dealing with poly cystic ovarian syndrome. Using ovulation predictor kits, a lot of prayer and with Basal Body Temperature charting we were able to know exactly when we did conceive which was November 6th, 2005. My due date was July 30, 2006.... it only changed later in my pregnancy because my ob used u/s to determine by the baby's size that the due date was July 21... however, the baby's true due date was July 30 and just happened to be a large baby. This pregnancy was extra special because it felt incredibly spiritual. I had been praying to St Therese and recieved many signs in the form of roses... and the day we confirmed our pregnancy someone had sent me a photo of a baby in a rose. The day I brought the news to Ron he had just had cancer surgery the day prior and what a joy to tell him that we finally got our 3rd baby!
Love is healing and there is no greater love than the love you experience with bringing new life into the world and rasing your children with your soulmate... we enjoyed every minute of our beautiful pregnancy and waited excitedly till the end to find out what our "Surprise package" was. Knowing we wanted a completely natural birth without any drugs or epidural we were very prepared this time for our birthing by taking classes. We studied the Hypnobabies program for using self hypnosis for pain management. We took 5 classes with our Hypno-doula Carole who was an absolute blessing and a very special person I feel very blessed to know, who taught us the how to have a beautiful completely natural birthing and lucky to have had her at my side to guide me through it so peacefully!

Prelude to a birthing (My 1st preterm labor halted)

It started when I went into preterm labor on June 19, 2006 at 33 weeks
I was feeling crampy and nauseas all weekend and monday at 6:45 I started having very painful regular contractions 3-5 mins apart starting in my back and radiating through the front... so I called my OB and he sent me to the hospital. I figured I'd get some terbutaline and I'd go home in 2-3 hours.... ( because the same thing happend with my son when I was 35 weeks and the terbutaline was enough to stop it.)

I got settled into my room and they took blood and had trouble getting the IV in, they had to call the anesthesiologist to do it. I was 2cm, 50% and -2.
So then they tried 2 rounds of terbitaline which did slow them down but after 20 mins the contractions were back up and actually stronger...still 3 mins apart but went from a level 1 of pain to a level 7 of pain for me. I was like oh man I forgot how painful it is lol. And so next they gave me 2 pills called procardia which did absolutely nothing but make me feel dizzy! A second internal was 2.5cm and I was feeling so out of it at around 12am and the next thing I know here comes the nurse with the IV bag of magnesium sulfate.... she warned me it will make me short of breath and spacey... so 5 mins later when I felt that way I didn't freak out but it was pretty scary feeling that way. The good news is that the magnesium stopped my contractions.. I was having 4 per hour only after that and very minimal. The bad part is that they put a cathedar in to pee because you're not allowed to get out of bed wth that medicine.

Then they started me on antibiotics - clyndomicin... I have so many drug allergies so it was hard for them to settle on one. I had a bad night, my contractions did slow down but they still were uncomfortable and with them prodding me and taking my blood pressure every 20 mins (because of the mag) I had no sleep.

Tuesday morning I saw my OB and he examined me and much to my surprise I was now closed. I didn't think that was possible but he said it is... that the contractions dialated me and now that the magnesium stopped the contractions my cervix closed back up. He sent over the high risk OB and he did an u/s and my baby measured 39 weeks!!! Over 7lbs... I was shocked but on the other hand I figured it was big because of how I look and feel lately. After he saw how large the baby was he immediately had them turn off my magnesium sulfate and said that if the contractions return I would have the baby.

I went about the next couple of weeks feeling good but very exhausted and as though I had no more room for the baby to grow any further.... and how could it if it was 7lbs at 32 weeks?!

My last dr appt was June 28th and for some odd reason my ob decided that the baby who had been head down since my 7th month was now breech and I would most likely need a c-section.
Frightened by that idea I took my doula's advice and did all sorts of positions to try to turn the baby. The final thing I did was do handstands in the swimming pool.... I hate to say it but I think my baby was not breech at all.... I think he was mistaken because I never felt the baby move out of position.

IT'S A BOY!!! Baby #3 John Allen's birth story ~

My beautiful birthing began on Monday morning July 2nd at exactly 5am I was awoken to a strong kick, a popping sound and a huge gush of water as my bag of waters had broken. All I could think was, "oh no, not today!" because I had been up all night feeling nauseas and I also had a lot to do at home... we needed to get new floor installed, Paul my older son needed to move to his big boy room, we haven't gotten our mini van yet, I needed to prepare the nursery for the new baby...... there was just so much left yet to do..... but no stopping baby now!!

I told my daughter Teresa to tell daddy the baby is going to be coming soon. He called my doula who suggested I go to the hospital to make sure the baby wasn't breech before she joined us incase I would have a c-section for a breech baby.
5 minutes after 5am my contractions began 3 minutes apart. I went downstairs and was lying on the floor just incase the cord was getting compressed since my water had broken. Ron was getting everything in the car and my mother was on her way over to our home. I remember how beautiful the sunrise was and while I waited I listened to my hypnobabies mp3 on my ipod.

We were finally ready to leave for the hospital at 6:15am. I rode in the backseat lying down, again, just in case the cord was getting compressed through the cervix...especially since my ob had thought the baby might be breech. The car ride was short as we live so close to the hospital... 5 minutes. Ron took special care of me, he got a wheelchair and propped me up with my 2 pillows and I used my hypnobabies programming to gently guiide me through each birthing wave (contraction).

By the time we were settled into the labor and delivery room it was 6:30am and I was still having moderate contractions every 3 minutes. After being checked I was now 3 cm, 75% effaced and still -2... the nurse wasn't certain if my water had broken... I find that very humorous now!
My ob confused me with another patient and actually ordered a shot of terbutaline... to my shock I refused it and said there was no way I was going through that again and besides, my water broke and I was in active labor -- there was no stopping the baby again!
An Ultrasound was performed and the results were such a relief.... baby was NOT breech and all was well -- yes!!! Now we can have our beautiful vaginal birth!

at 7:00am I started getting birthing waves that were lasting longer and definately getting stronger but I didn't appear to be in labor to the nurses who were basically ignoring me.
I have a high tolerance for pain and since I didn't show signs of discomfort they must have thought not much was going on despite my waves on the monitor.
I remember telling the nurse that I was dialating more and she said that there was no point in checking me.

At 7:30am my contractions were now 2 minutes apart and a painscale of 8...longer, stronger and now closer together. My sweet doula arrived around 8am and she instantly guided me through the hypnosis which helped to intensify the relaxation and greatly lessen the severity of my contractions....which I thought of as beautiful waves that brought me one step closer to seeing my baby with each wave.

At around 8:30am I was in a lot of pain... this was much more painful than my other contractions with my other children. Carole reasured me that this baby was coming fast and that is why it hurt more but all I needed to do was release with my self hypnosis, go to my special place and relax.... and that is what I did. When things got too overwhelming for me and I felt like I was losing control and couldn't do it Carole inspired me with her voice and encouragement that yes, I could do it and it was not going to hurt any more than it already did. Honestly I was more concerned about the pain of the baby coming out because I had never experienced that pain before having had epidurals at the end of my last 2 labors.

They checked me at around 8:45am and I was now 7 cm... so in they rolled the table with all the tools they need for the birthing. I was surprised to see that... I didn't expect things to go so quickly! At that time my contractions were one on top of the other - no break in between.

This was the hardest part but I knew I was going to get through it with my doula's help focusing on her hypnosis. At 9am they were still trying to get an IV in me.... I knew I didn't need it but I wanted it in there just in case I needed anything (I had an emergency last time with my son Paul and needed emergency medicine through the IV to save my life due to a severe drop in blood pressure)

So there I am lying on my side clutching the bed and holding my doula's hand as she guided me through each non stop wave. The pain was A LOT less when I released all my muscles and focused on the hypnosis. It's definately tolerable! And in the meantime they were working on getting my IV in place. Unfortunately the person administering my IV was the stupid anesthesiologistr that nearly killed me last time... that did not bring up happy memories but I basically ignored him and all I remember sensing was my dear husband and Carole my dear doula.
I heard voices from the 3 other nurses that were there but with my hypnosis and trigger words from Carole, I felt so peaceful and I was in that beautiful rose garden in my mind....even when my eyes were open.

So at 9am I started feeling pressure, that pressure I know and remember as the baby coming down the birth canal. I voiced this to the nurses but they ignored me.... my doula was telling them "she says her baby is coming". They did a quick internal and I was now 10cm.

9:05am I started getting these electrical impulse type pains that ran down my thighs...that's a new experience! My IV was all done and I felt the baby pushing down! It didn't hurt, it actually felt amazing because my baby was pushing ITSELF out! I told the nurses, "OK the baby is coming right now!" I remember hearing them say, "where's the doctor?!" "he's not here...quick get the hospital OB!" They wanted me to turn on my back but I was so comfy lying on my side I didn't want to move...and I didn't think I could because the baby felt as though it was about to fly out of me.
I finally did get on my back and the baby's head was about to crown... the nurse yelled for the other OB to get in there.... and I barely remember that ob's face... it was a woman with curly brown hair and that is all I remember. She was suiting up and my baby was pushing itself out... as the head came out I felt the "ring of fire" I had read about... but actually it was NOT painful AT ALL! I felt a burning sensation and then I felt nothing.... only my baby turning,wriggling and pushing out. The head came out by itself and the body followed with one small gentle push from me.

"It's a boy" 9:11am and the room was filled with the esquisite sound of his cries.... I felt so releived, so much love, such a deep spiritual feeling and a profound sense of acomplishment for what I had done all natural. This is the birthing I always dreamed of and with hypnosis, my awesome doula and loving husband it made it all possible. I didn't get my epesiotomy because there wasn't time.... however the tear and stitches I had healed so fast I am still shocked.
It was not painful and 5 days later I basically felt totally normal there.

epilogue - back to the hospital and back home again

He is a great nurser...and such a wonderful baby! After 3 days in the hospital we went home on Wednesday July 4th. We were sent home with bliliblankets because John had elevated billiruin levels and was jaundice. Both my other kids were jaundice but never enough to require phototherapy. This was a new experience... which turned concerning when on on july 5th the home health nurse said his labs were getting a lot higher.

His pediatrician admited him to the hospital on Wednesday July 5th and his billirubin levels were 18.9. He was under intensive phototherapy now with several lights and 1 bliliblanket light in an isolette. I was so glad I was allowed to room with him at the hospital because I couldn't part with him at all.
Over the course of the 5 days we stayed there I basically got very little sleep as I was working around his IV and all the other things he had attatched to him.... making sure his visor stayed on because he always managed to take it off... every 2 hours -pumping, feeding him, changing him around the clock. It was hard but it was a loving time we spent as he got well.

Saturday his "direct billirubin" had shot up for some reason and the doctors scared me but thank god the #s started coming down and Monday morning 7/10 after being off the phototherapy and IV for 12 hrs his billiruibin was 12 and direct billirubin was we were happily released and relieved!! He is going to his pedatrician for labs to follow up tomorrow just to double check it isn't on the rise again.

I still nurse him but it is mainly for his comfort... he does also enjoy a pacifier! To save time I pump my milk and bottlfeed...(15 mins vs 45-60mins) and boy did my milk come in! I make 6oz every 2-3 hours! He is still like he was in utero... he confuses day and night but he is the sweetest little guy and he smiles a lot in his sleep. We love to watch him while he is dreaming! He gets the hiccups very often just as he always used to during my pregnancy.
He tracks our faces when he is awake and already can roll to his sides... the nurses were amazed. Everyone kept saying the same thing "wow, that is one big premie!" One of the doctors that was treating him chose my son to take a photo with for a photo session he was doing that day for some medical publication.

John is such a sweet little bundle of charm and we feel so blessed to have him home again and more importantly well! I reflect a lot on the birthing and I am overwhelmed with joy each time... I can't wait to do this again!!

Photo albums

John Allen is born!

John 1 day old

First day home

Back to the hospital for 5 days- photo therapy, IV fluids

Back home again! 1 week old

John's first bath

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I'll keep mine short and sweet.

6:00pm - had my first contration

6:05pm - had my second contration

Called the hosptial, they told me to come in. Drove in (five minutes away). Contractions were 4 min apart when I arrived. The nurse did not believe I was in labour, she thought my kidney stone was acting up. NOPE!

Maternity was full, so they put me in the c-section recovery room. Contrations were almost on top of eachother.

7:00pm - 4 cm dialated

9:00pm - I had to push! :shock: Nurse checked and sure enough I was 10 cm.

11:00pm - Kaden James was born Biggrin

No tearing! Had PP hemorraging though. Lost 1 litre of blood. Dr told me I had the baby too fast thats why I hemmoraged.

The whole experience hurt like the dickens :evil: but I would do it again in a heartbeat! And I will in February!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Charlotte Willow
June 27th
9 lbs 0 oz - 22 inches

Labor was not as I had expected it would be. For 9 months, I prepared for the big day. I meditated, I visualized, I practiced positions, rocked on a birthing ball, did Tai Chi, prenatal yoga. Brett and I worked on pressure points and compression techniques, and of course, the ubiquitous breathing. All of these things were meant to take me to another place while I was in labor. To distract my mind and relax my body, so that I could journey through labor with as little focus on the actual event as possible.

The labor I prepared for was to be a cerebral experience. Mind over matter was what was going to carry me through labor. Or so I thought. Contrary to the experience I planned for, I found that labor required me to be fully present and focused. Each contraction demanded my undivided attention. I was completely incapable of focusing on anything other than the acute pain that was gripping my body. But as soon as the labor and delivery was through, I knew I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

All day Monday, June 26th, I was feeling like labor was on the way. I wasn’t getting any real contractions – just a lot of cramping – but I could just tell something different was happening with my body.

At 9 p.m. Monday night, I knew for sure that labor was starting. Brett and I sat down to watch Hell’s Kitchen. The contractions were strong enough that I had to breathe through them and couldn’t focus on the show. They hovered around 10 minutes apart. My plan at this point was to go to bed at 10 p.m. and get a little sleep before the contractions got stronger. Unfortunately, by 10:00 the contractions were strong enough that lying down was way too painful. I propped myself up on pillows in the bed and tried to relax as best I could.

Very quickly, the realization set in that labor was going to be harder than I had expected. I knew I was still in the early stage of labor, and the contractions were already extremely painful. I tried to think of them as pressure, or intensity, or waves, but each time one hit my brain just registered pain. I tried rocking on the birthing ball, but somehow it seemed to make things awkward and worse. I fell into a routine where I sat up in bed, reclining slightly on pillows. When I could feel a contraction coming, I leaned forward on top of a stack of pillows in a modified child’s pose and groaned.

About midnight, the contractions got stronger and jumped to 5 minutes apart. After a half an hour of steady 5-minute contractions, I started to freak out a little. I very much wanted a natural childbirth, but at this point I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get through labor even if I was doped to the gills. I decided to sit in the tub. The tub relaxed me a bit and helped me to feel like I could do something to pass what I was sure was going to be hours on end of labor.

At 1:10 a.m., I got out of the tub and called Ann, my midwife. I must have found my courage again, because I decided I would stay home to labor as long as possible. Ann instructed me to call her and come to the hospital when the contractions were 3 minutes apart.

The pain was getting more intense with each passing contraction so back in the tub I went. In less than a half an hour, the contractions jumped to 3 minutes apart. I got out of the tub and made my way to the bedroom. I was suddenly struck by the realization that I would now have to get dressed and endure a 15-minute car ride while doubled over every 3-minutes with contractions. At this time, I was seriously questioning the sanity of my decision to stay home as long as I did.

This part of the labor was harrowing. Since we didn’t expect that my labor would be moving along so quickly, Brett had not yet fully packed the truck. First, he helped me get dressed between contractions. When a contraction would hit, I would lean over the bed on my stomach until it passed. Then we would resume trying to get me dressed. When I was dressed, he ran downstairs to put our things in the truck. He ran back upstairs to check in with me, and then back down again to pack a few more things. At this point, I was again questioning my ability to endure labor.

We ventured off to the hospital at 2:20 AM. I was able to kneel down on the floor in the front seat and rest my body on the seat. I think if I hadn’t been able to fit this way, I would have been on all fours in the bed of the truck! Most of the ride to the hospital was a blur. I am so thankful that it was in the middle of the night and we didn’t need to stop for traffic!

We arrived at the hospital at 2:40 A.M. The ER was empty so they were able to put me in a wheelchair right away and wheel me off to the L&D. It was a very short ride (it’s a small hospital) but I had to stop the woman pushing the wheelchair so I could get out for a contraction. I hopped out of the chair, kneeled on the floor, and draped my body over the seat of the wheelchair. She wheeled me the rest of the way to the labor room. As soon as I got in the room, another contraction hit. I kneeled on the floor and laid my body over the end of the bed.

There were two labor nurses in attendance. Brett told me later that one of them was clearly in training. At the time, I was only conscious of the fact that they were very distracted. Fortunately, Ann was there in just a few minutes. She checked me and I was at 7 cm. I was so relieved! I remember saying that if she checked me and I was only at 4 cm I thought I would die.

I sat on a birthing ball and they hooked me up to the fetal monitor. The contractions were coming like crazy and I was a bit desperate wondering how much worse they would get. At this point Ann said, “The reason they are coming so quickly is you are in transition.” Hearing her say that was like music to my ears! I had only been in the hospital for 15 minutes or so and I was already in transition! I had told myself over and over again that when I was in transition, I was almost done.

They were still trying to get an initial read on the fetal monitor when I started feeling like I needed to push. About 3:10 A.M., the urge to push became overwhelming. I climbed up on the bed and leaned over the raised back of the bed. I pushed a few times from this position while they took the bottom of the bed off and set up the birthing bar. As soon as I started pushing from the birthing bar, I remember getting a surge of excitement because I realized that I was having the unmedicated childbirth I hoped for.

I spent the next hour and 40 minutes trying to push the baby out. I had trouble getting comfortable with the birthing bar. In hindsight, I should have tried pushing while on all fours, since this seemed to be the most natural position during my labor. At the time I didn’t think of it. The birthing bar, it turns out, is not designed for women of my height. The bar wouldn’t adjust upwards and the platform for my feet wouldn’t adjust down. Every attempt to push seemed close, but not quite right. After a very long time of unproductive pushing, Ann said she would need to do an episiotomy if I didn’t make progress in the next few pushes. At this point I was extremely exhausted from pushing for so long and also knew that my body needed some help to get the baby out. So she made the cut and in a flash little Charlotte was born.

When Ann put her on my chest and I saw she was a girl, I was so excited and surprised. I didn’t believe it at first and waited until Ann said “A girl!” before I looked at Brett and said, “Peanut’s a girl!” I laughed and cried and kept repeating “Peanut’s a girl” for the next few minutes. She was so warm and soft and LONG! Brett and I figured a child of ours would certainly be tall, but I still couldn’t get over how long she was. When she was finally weighed Brett and the nurses and I were all so surprised that she was 9 pounds. She laid there on my chest and the nurses covered us up with blankets.

Looking back, childbirth was much tougher than I had thought it would be. I think that if I had a notion beforehand of how intense and primal childbirth is, I never would have thought that I would have been able to endure it without medication. But having gone through it, I now feel a deeper sense of inner strength and a deeper connection to my body. Childbirth taught me a grand lesson. I learned that I didn’t need all the things I thought would help me or hide me from the pain. The music, the visualization, the yoga, etc, these all served to keep me serene during my pregnancy, but were useless to me during labor. When labor began, I prayed for endurance, and found my only needs were to listen and respond to my body, and to feel the steady support of my husband.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I couldn't remember if I've shared my one and only homebirth (so far) here yet, so I thought I'd post it here...and then add my next one in 6 months or so! Smile

We had planned on a hotel birth, but the baby had something else in mind!

Nolan’s Birth Story

I’d been having contractions for the last two months of my pregnancy and a month before I was due it was determined that I was 4 centimeters dilated and 40-50% effaced. The original due date was February 10, but the doctors moved the date up to January 31 after a few ultrasounds and baby measurements. However, once January 31 came and went, and still no sign of baby, we figured out that I must have been due closer towards my original due date.

On Thursday night, February 10, I came back from next door at Aunt Linda’s house, and decided to call my doula friend, Shanna. While I was on the phone with her, my sides started cramping pretty bad, and I remember telling her, “Man! I’m kinda hurtin’!” and her response was just, “Hmm….” as if to say “I wonder if this is the night?” That night, I went to bed around 11:00 and woke up around 1:00 AM - - still having those cramps and having to use the bathroom. I also noticed contractions that were a little more intense than normal, but figured it was still nothing since I was managing just fine…and decided to go back to bed and sleep. At 2:00 AM, contractions woke me up! They were even more powerful, and I was starting to feel them in my back. I shook Corey and woke him right away. “You’re going to have to start timing these things!! Oh - they HURT!” By this time, I was on my hands and knees, breathing through each one and trying to get some relief for the pain in my back. Corey timed several of them, and we found that they were only a minute apart. He called the midwife, and told her everything that was going on. I was on the toilet again, and right when my midwife was asking Corey if I had seen any blood yet, I was wiping and saw some! She told Corey that based on all she was hearing, that I definitely was not going to make it to the hotel. Corey relayed this info to me, and I started crying! I said, “We have to go to the hotel! Those were our plans! We can’t change our plans now!! What about being near the hospital?!? Oh my gosh!” I realized that I needed to quickly regain my composure…after all, I didn’t want to make the pain worse. My midwife and assistant were now on their way to our house (they both live over an hour away).

Next, Corey ran some very warm bath water for me and helped me in. Then he got back on the phone and began calling everyone on our birth team. Now this is the insane part: People have been calling and harassing me for the past entire MONTH wanting to know when I was going to go into labor….and once I finally DO go into labor and we call to let them know - - we can’t get anyone on the phone!! For instance, Corey called my doula friend, Shanna, 8 times! No answer! Then he kept calling my parents…and finally they picked up the phone. Could they please come right out?? Amber is asking for her mom….well, NO, my Dad says, because she’s got a contagious stomach virus and how horrible would that be if she gave it to Amber or the baby?!? So my Dad would not allow my Mom to come out here. Then Corey calls my sister to tell her, and HER husband wouldn’t let HER come out here, either!! The reason? He says that he didn’t think that she could handle the sight of childbirth. So he made her stay home. By the way, the whole time that Corey is calling up all these people, I am still in the bathtub and in TRANSITION stage of labor having hard contractions and with absolutely no help. This is not what I had envisioned my birth experience to be like - - but everything was happening so quickly and I was glad about that. I remember yelling for Corey to “Get in here!!” and then “heeeeelp me!!” at the start of an intense contraction. He was a panicky mess! He was having to do the job of 4 people all at once and it wasn’t working out that great! There was the birth kit and all the plastic liners that needed to be out and in place…so he had the phone on one ear, me yelling in his other, all the while running around ripping the sheets and comforter off the bed, laying down plastic everywhere and getting an entire birth scene ready.

That whole deal went on for about an hour, and then Corey helped me out of the tub and onto the bed. I remember when I stood up out of the tub, the contractions became really, really hard and all I wanted to do was to relax and lay down because I was afraid of birthing the baby right then and there. Next, he helped me onto the bed, and I laid on my right side breathing and quietly moaning through each contraction. The pain in my back was very strong at this point! I remember doing this for a while, and then was so relieved to look up and see my midwife standing beside me and I grabbed for her hand while I went through yet another contraction. Now I was applying pressure to my lower back through each contraction because it hurt so bad - - and I was glad to know that someone else was there to help with my back pain. Corey tried to help at one point, but he pushed too hard and that made it hurt worse, so I asked him to stop and let me do it again.

My water broke! It felt so heavy and thick, that I at first thought it was the baby coming right out! My midwife checked, and stated that there was meconium present in the fluid. She then checked me and got a look on her face. It wasn’t a bad look, it was just a serious one and I couldn’t figure her out. Then she told me in a very calm manner that what she just felt was a butt, and that the baby would be born breech. I came up off the bed, my eyes all bug-eyed, and said, “WHAT?!?! You have got to be KIDDING ME!!” Of course, she wasn’t, and calmly reassured me that everything would be okay, and that that was what they were here for. “We do this kind of work all the time and God is in control. Look to Him to ease your fears…” She prayed and talked and talked about God, and that made me calm and relaxed.

Next she said that she would like me to get on the birthing seat, so I did. That was not very comfortable, so then she had me lie down on the floor, kind of on my side with one leg up. Corey held up my right leg, and Shanna sat behind my head and offered good resistance and something to pull against. This whole time, there was meconium coming out of me – more and more (it looked like more than it actually was). Everyone was joking around that this baby definitely knew how to poop!

My midwife began with calm, clear instructions: “Push a little only when you feel the urge…” I did this a few times, and then she said, “Okay, now I need you to stop pushing, and blow through each contraction.” She made a horse noise through her mouth, and when my contractions came, that’s what I did, too. I wanted to push SO BADLY, and it hurt like mess to not be pushing. She said, “We have to let your uterus do the work for you, and try to stay opened up. After the baby has come down some more, then I’m going to have you stand up to finish pushing the baby out.” I kept on breathing through each contraction, and I could feel my body moving the baby down further and further, and I was starting to feel the ring of fire. They told me that it looked like a boy so far, but it was still kind of hard to tell. Finally, a good bit of the baby was out and I reached down to feel. Sure enough, everything was showing and it was definitely a boy! When his little “member” came out, it flopped over and peed right on Corey! All of this part happened in about 30 minutes. The next 30 minutes consisted of me voluntarily pushing the baby out. Once his butt was out, my midwife said, “Okay, now you need to stand up.” WHAT?!?! Stand up with a butt between your legs?!? Somehow, Corey and Shanna managed to get me up to a squatting position, and that felt so good! I said, “Oooooh….Let me push some right here!!” So I went for it. With each push, my midwife was squirting olive oil all around down there and massaging with her fingertips. This felt so good and really helped me to stretch nicely! In the squatting position, I pushed out one leg at a time, the body, and then one arm at a time. My midwife quickly said, “Okay, now you HAVE to stand up to birth the head!” They helped me to my feet, and everyone was squealing, “Push – push – push – PUSH!!!!” And I pushed his head out and they helped me back down on the floor on several pillows and on my back.

Corey and I were so happy! They handed me the baby, and I proudly announced his name as “Nolan Emmanuel”, and felt like I was laughing and crying all at once! He was just as alert and bright-eyed as he could be…not really crying and he came out looking around the room at everything and everyone. He lay in my arm beside me and the cord was still pulsating. After a few minutes, it stopped and Corey proudly cut the cord. We were bonding with him, and I was still having intense contractions, which helped deliver the placenta naturally and safely. Nolan was born at 4:59 AM on Friday, February 11, just about 3 hours after I awoke from sleeping! He was 7 pounds 6 oz. and 20 inches long.

My midwife checked me after I had a nice, long hot bath and found that I tore only a millimeter. I was surprisingly shocked! It makes sense, though, because she really helped me take things nice and slow through the pushing stage – and the olive oil and massaging definitely helped!

Ethan slept through it all, but later woke up around 6:00, and was introduced to his little brother. He was smiling from ear to ear, and you could tell that he was very proud of his new little sibling. He got in bed with me and Nolan, and said in a sweet manner that he wanted to share his (favorite) giraffe blankie with Nolan, and proceeded to cover him up with it. It was so cute!

Everything about my birth experience this time was absolutely perfect! I would not change a single thing - - not even the fact that Nolan was born frank breech. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I never ever saw myself birthing a baby at home, and now I can’t think of any other way that I could ever do it. It’s so amazing to me that it all happened right here, in the comfort and safety of our bedroom, and that right after it was over, I could crawl back into my own bed with the baby and Corey and go to sleep. How peaceful! I highly recommend it… Biggrin

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

The Birth of Sage Elizabeth ~ 8.9.2006

The two days before the birth I was feeling great. In fact, so great that I felt that I wasn’t going to go into labor for another month or so and was perfectly fine with that. My energy had returned, I no longer had the severe pain in my pelvis and I just felt good.

Tuesday night (8/8 ) and Wednesday morning (8/9) I was pretty restless. I woke once with a lot of pelvic pain. I fell back asleep for about an hour but was awoken by a pretty strong contraction. Since I had been having moderately strong contractions, especially at night, for weeks, I just figured it was my uterus practicing some more. I got up to use the bathroom and ended up having a soft bowel movement. I went out to the living room to try to get comfortable and while lying on the couch, the big full moon shone in on me. Just then another contraction hit; this one even stronger. I literally saw the moon coming for me and welcomed it. I had one or two more when I decided I should probably time them. I got online to use the contraction log. It was a great tool until I couldn’t seem to sit long enough to hit the start button or the stop button when a contraction would hit me. I went to the bedroom to let Ray know I was having some strong contractions. He asked me if I wanted him to get up or if I needed help and I told him no and to stay in bed. About a half hour later, I decided I couldn’t time them myself anymore, so I asked him to get up. He timed them at anywhere between 3 and 5 minutes lasting around 60 seconds each.

He was convinced we should call Diane (the midwife), but I wasn’t just yet. He called her anyway. She had just pulled up to the home of another woman in labor in Chilcoot, CA, about an hour away from Reno. She told Ray she was turning around and driving (speeding) to our house. She arrived at around 6:30am and Ray thanked her for being so fast. Meanwhile, I had called my mom who I knew would be getting ready for work. I just wanted to let her know I might be in labor, but told her to go ahead and continue getting ready for work and that I would let her know. I guess I was in a bit of denial or doubt at this point that I was actually in labor.

When Diane arrived, she just watched me for a few minutes and then told me she was going to go get her stuff set up. I said, “Well don’t you want to check me or anything?” She said, “Nope… you’re doing just fine.” I said, “So you think this is it?” She laughed and said, “Liz… you’re having a baby today!” That is when I decided to call my mom back and just let her know that I was still going and she should come on over.

I labored most of the time in the living room. I tried the exercise ball, but found it too difficult to stay seated with all the pressure I was feeling. I mainly leaned over the back of my couch burying my face into the cushions. After about 20 minutes of Diane and my mom arriving, Willow woke up. My niece had come with my mom and Willow had heard her voice. She ran out to the living room to see a house full of people and me moaning and groaning into the couch cushions. My mom and Ray explained what was happening and that everything was ok. I had talked to her a lot about the baby coming out and she seemed to understand that it was time. In between contractions, I called her over to giver her a reassuring hug and kiss. She patted my leg and said, “It’s ok momma, It’s ok!” She trotted off to go play with her cousin. The contractions were getting pretty intense at this point and I felt like I should move to the bedroom. I told Diane that I wanted to go to the bedroom, but the couch had become my home base and I couldn’t bear to leave it. We laughed and I said, “Can we take the couch with us?” She had a good suggestion to take the pillows from the couch to stack on the bed so I could use them for support. We stacked them at the end of the bed and I leaned into them during contractions, sometimes just gathering them up in my arms to squeeze. My mom held them firm to the bed so I wouldn’t lose my balance. It was then that I realized I was holding onto them for support while I squatted through contractions. I was squatting so deep I think my butt was nearly on the floor. After a few contractions like that, I felt something dripping down my leg. I was wearing a sarong and pulled it aside to find mucous and blood hanging between my legs. I decided to take the sarong off. It was then that Diane suggested she check me. I got up on the bed almost dreading to hear the number; NINE and the head was “right there.” YES! That is music to a laboring mother’s ears. I got up gain to stand at the side of the bed just as a contraction started. I squatted into it and almost immediately started grunting and pushing through it. I had maybe one more contraction like that when Diane suggested I get on the bed for the next one. I climbed onto the bed and tried to position myself over the chux pads she laid out and was pretty unsuccessful. Just as I got onto the bed, another contraction hit me. Ray was at my head by now and I was in hands and knees position. I started really bearing down while gripping Ray’s waist and burying my face into his chest. Since we had planned that Ray would catch the baby, Diane suggested he change positions and get behind me. He said no and that I needed him up there. I was so grateful! I continued to bear down and could feel the baby crowning – something I never felt with Willow because of the episiotomy. Diane was putting counter pressure on my perineum and told me to breathe instead of push to allow it to stretch. In theory, it’s a great idea, but in reality, it’s nearly impossible. I tried my best not to push, but couldn’t help it. I felt the baby’s head come out, which was a huge relief. With another push, the baby would be out. Ray’s hands were stretched out beneath me. With a grunt and a push, he pulled her forward and put her down on the bed below me, in between my legs. He said, “IT’S A BOY!” having seen the umbilical cord. I looked down and said, “NO IT’S NOT! IT’S A GIRL!!”

She hardly cried. She just looked all around. She looked so much like Willow to me, but just felt different. It’s hard to explain.

One of the best things about having your baby at home is the calmness in everything. There’s no rushing and never a sense of urgency. Everything moves at the pace set by mom and baby. Sage didn’t get weighed for about an hour. She was just cuddled and nursed for that first hour. She was never stressed, which I loved because then I wasn’t stressed. She didn’t have a bath because the vernix, which she had a lot of, is actually good for their skin. It was actually really neat to smell that distinct scent of birth for the first couple of days of her life. After I had a shower, Ray made me eggs and toast for breakfast. I spent the rest of the day in bed.

In the end, I tore right along my old episiotomy scar and had to have about 8 stitches.
Sage weighed 7lbs, 13 oz. and was 20.5 inches long.

Winky_the_HouseElf's picture
Joined: 02/10/02
Posts: 292

I started having birthing waves at around 9:40 in the morning on September 18th. At first I didn't think they really meant anything since I'd had birthing waves on and off for weeks. These felt a little different, though, and they kept coming throughout the morning. At 1 p.m. I decided to go listen to my Hypnobabies Fear Release cd. Eva lay down with me and fell asleep. I dozed lightly as I listened and the birthing waves stopped. I'd called Matt (my husband) earlier to ask him to come home. He came in at 2 and my birthing waves started coming again as soon as he walked in.

We decided to go to the grocery store to pick up a few last minute items and hoped the walking would encourage things to move along. We also stopped by the storage unit to get some things we'd need for the birth and the baby. On our way home we picked up take-out from my favorite restaurant.

We got home around 4:30. We ate and fed the kids before heading upstairs to rearrange the rooms to accommodate the birth. Since our new house wasn't finished yet we were still living with my parents. Matt and the girls cleared the room. Matt hung two paintings we'd purchased for the new house. One of them was the inspiration for my Special Place (a Tuscan garden) and the other was of a mother holding a sleeping baby. He also set up the birth tub.

At 6 I called my massage therapist doula friend, Olivia, to ask her to come work on my pressure points to see if that would help move things along. She arrived at around 7:30. Matt put the girls to bed. It took him a long time to settle Eva. My birthing waves were strong, but fairly spaced out. I tried not to be impatient and frustrated, but I wanted things to get going already.

After doing massage and walking stairs and doing the birth hula things did pick up and I got in the tub. I listened to my Birth Affirmations for awhile. I felt hot so I got out of the tub. At around 12:30 a.m. on September 19th I was feeling tired and decided to try sleeping. I put on my Hypnobabies Birth Guide and lay down on the bed. Matt and Olivia took naps, too. My birthing waves continued to come, but I did get some rest.

At 1:30 I had some heavy birth show, called my midwife, and got back in the tub with strong birthing waves. She got there at around 2 or so. I asked her to check me. I was 5.5 cm with a very posterior cervix. It seemed that was why it was taking so long. We got fairly chatty for awhile and the waves spaced out. At this time the newspaper reporter who'd contacted my midwife about doing a story on home birth and the assistant midwife had arrived. I was 7 cm.

My mw sent me and dh out for a walk. My parents live on a steep hill. We walked down the hill and that brought on some more birthing waves. At the bottom of the hill we decided it was too cold to walk around the block so we turned around and went back up. I told my mw I could probably try sleeping so she and everyone else except Matt went downstairs.

After another hour-long nap or so I woke up with stronger birthing waves. I called my midwife back upstairs and got back in the tub because they were too intense for me to want to do them out of the water. But again they spaced out. My mw had me sit on the birth stool while she tried holding my cervix (which was still very posterior at 8 cm) forward. Even doing that for a few birthing waves it still moved back if she let go. I was feeling tired and frustrated at this point. I'm not sure what time it was but the sun started coming up pretty soon after so it had to have been around 7 in the morning. I asked her to break my water, which she did. Then she cleared the room while I lay down again.

Things finally really picked up and I got back in the tub. It didn't seem like much time had gone by before the birthing waves got really strong and long. I'd had a lot of low pressure throughout the birth (maybe because of the posterior cervix) and that got very intense. I also felt more pressure in my lower back. At one point it kind of felt better to push a bit so I asked my mw to check me. My cervix had moved forward, but wasn't completely gone yet so I worked through another few birthing waves.

I was about ready to get out thinking I needed to go to the bathroom when I pushed really hard. My mw asked me if I could feel the baby's head. I didn't know if she meant could I feel it moving down or could I feel it with my hand. I reached down and Holy Cow, there was her head! I provided my own perineal support as I gently pushed her head out. I had to push again for her shoulders before the rest of her slid out and I pulled her to my chest.

She was born at 9:24 a.m. after nearly 24 hours of labor and only 1 min. of pushing. She has short dark hair and a darker complexion with facial features like Audrey (who also has dark hair and a darker complexion). I pushed the placenta out about 5 minutes later (I think--it seemed really quick). It was the largest placenta my midwife had ever seen--it seemed to be as large as a dinner plate. No wonder my belly felt so crowded.

After nursing in the tub for awhile I got out, passed the baby off to Matt, and took a quick shower. When I came back into the room they were finishing the baby exam and Audrey helped to dress her. We've named the baby Leah Virginia (Virginia is after Matt's mom). She weighed 7 lbs. 11 oz. and was 20" long. She's a very sweet baby and we're so glad to have her here.

Here's a photo slide show of Leah's pregnancy and birth:

kmaypottery's picture
Joined: 12/06/04
Posts: 36

Katherine May
7 pounds, 9 ounces, 19 inches long
September 15th @ 10:46 p.m.

On Wednesday, September 13th Jay and I went to the doctors for our 41 week, two days check up. At this point I was two days overdue and decided to have a membrane swept to see if we could get labor started. I instantly started having cramps and got really excited. We went home that night and slept very well. The next day I was still having some light cramping while we had lunch at Nonna Emilia’s with some of Jay’s co-workers to celebrate his 30th birthday. After lunch, we headed home and I took a two hour nap. I woke up with contractions at about 3:30 p.m. The contractions weren’t really strong but they were definitely different from the Braxton Hicks I had been experiencing in the previous weeks. We decided it would be fine to go to dinner at Outback Steakhouse with my mom for another birthday dinner. During dinner, my contractions were getting much stronger but were very manageable. I told Jay that we should go to the hospital and get checked just incase I was dilated and they wanted to admit me. So we went home and got the bag packed and ready to go.

We then drove to the Willamette Falls Hospital in Oregon City which is about 25 minutes from our home in Beaverton. We were really excited and a little bit flustered. We even forgot some things and needed to turn around about a mile from home to pick them up. When we got to the hospital, they put us in an exam room and checked my effacement and dilation. I was two centimeters dilated and 80 percent effaced. I needed to be three to four centimeters to be admitted so we were told to walk the hospital for two hours to see if it would help get me to that point. After two hours of walking, I was checked again and still only two centimeters and 80 percent. We were then sent home. We were so tired and a little bummed out that it wasn’t time but I continued to contract throughout the night and didn’t get any sleep. I tried to take a bath at 4:30 a.m. to see if it would help relax me but it didn’t help very much so I decided to sit on the couch and practice my meditative method which served to help me quite a bit when I was in active labor. I’m glad I practiced!

Jay woke up at 6:00 a.m. and I was feeling pretty anxious. I told him that I think we need to go back to the hospital but we didn’t want to get sent home again so we decided to stay home for a few more hours. Both of us felt confused because we weren’t sure how bad they were suppose to get before going in. I was unable to walk and talk through them but I was that way the night before too and we still got sent home so I called Dr. Gulick at 10:30 a.m. and explained how I was feeling, I told her my contractions were four to five minutes apart and were lasting one to one and a half minutes long. She suggested that I stay home a little bit longer and call her back. When I told Jay, he could sense that I really felt that I needed to go to the hospital so he called the doctor back and explained that I was in pain and that we wanted to be admitted to the hospital. He basically told her that when we go, we aren’t leaving without a baby. It made me so happy that he said what I couldn’t. I didn’t want to be too pushy so I was really happy that Jay could me my advocate. We jumped in the car and arrived at the hospital at about 11:30. The nurse checked me and I was almost three centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. My contractions were off the charts on the monitor but they weren’t very close together. I would have a strong, two minute contraction but since they weren’t close together, I was progressing very slowly. Jay and I went and had some lunch in the hospital cafeteria and then I had a small break from the contractions which provided me with 20 minutes of much needed sleep. At this point I had been up for over 24 hours so I was started to feel exhausted. Dr. Gulick arrived at the hospital at about 4:30 and checked me. She said I was almost four centimeters dilated and that we could be admitted!! We talked about potentially breaking my bag of waters but Jay and I decided that I would sit in the Jacuzzi tub to see if it would help me along.

At 5:00 p.m. we were officially admitted and brought to birth suite nine. It was so exciting! The nurse started the bath for me and Jay put our Barry White Greatest Hits CD on. Then I just hung out in the tub for the next two hours. We talked about how exciting it was to finally be in the room and I started to cry because I was so happy to share this with Jay. Both of us were all teary eyed and shared a beautiful kiss; it was just awesome. My contractions started getting stronger and stronger but they were very manageable in the water. Each one started in my back and radiated out to my hips then my stomach would contract and the tightness ran down to my knees. I positioned the jets so they would hit my hips and that helped a lot! All of a sudden it felt like my bag of waters was coming out so I asked Jay to call the nurse so she could check me. I got on the bed and she checked my, I was six centimeters dilated! I decided to throw my pajamas pants and a t-shirt on and at about 30 minutes later at 7:50 I heard a POP and felt a trickle of water. I was instantly frozen and told Jay that my water had broke and to call the nurse. The nurse came in and I finally moved and a huge gush of water came out. It was such a relief! We were so happy that my water had broke on its own.

I started transition which was more than intense! It’s pretty unexplainable. I was moaning so loud! I know all of the people in the rooms around me could hear it all. I honestly didn’t care. Jay said he had no idea I had such strong lungs because my moans were so long. He thought they were going to stop and I would just keep going and going. It felt right to moan, that was the only thing I could do. The nurse came in and said that even though we have it in own birth plan to not offer and meds or an epidural she thought that she should. Jay gave her a nasty look and said “No thank you. We are fine.” She then left and a couple minutes later I had a contraction that scared me so much. I built and built and right when I thought it was suppose to be over, it just got so strong. I just started saying “Babe, it’s not stopping, it’s not stopping.” Jay could tell it scared me and then a new nurse walked in and I looked at her and said “it’s not stopping, make it stop please.” It was like a six minute contraction. The nurse, Heather, ended up being my one on one nurse. The previous nurse didn’t really know how to deal with a woman having natural childbirth so she had Heather come help me. Heather got me off of the bed and we tried the tub again but as the tub was filling up, I had a contraction and I just had to get out of there. They pulled me out and I looked in the mirror and there was a little woman in the room. I instantly got really upset and said “What is she doing in here! Get her out NOW!”, Heather ran out and asked what she needed as she was guiding her out and she said she was there to administer an epidural. Heather said “No, wrong room. Please leave now.” As Heather was taking care of that lady. I told Jay that I couldn’t do it anymore and that I felt like I needed relief. I told him I wasn’t a super hero and that I didn’t have to prove myself to anyone. He was so great! He reminded me of why we wanted to go matural and that I was almost done. He said that I’ve been in labor for so many hours and that I can handle a couple of more. He said he was so proud of me and loved me and it kept me going. I couldn’t have done it without those words of encouragement.

Then we moved me over to birthing ball. I started thowing up after each contraction but it felt SO good! Jay was awesome! He had such a great system. I would throw up, he would wipe my mouth and feed me some water, then the next one would start and we would do it all over again. Heather and Jay were taking turns putting pressure on my lower back. Jay was blow away because he was literally pushing as hard as he could on my lower back and I was telling him I wanted more pressure. He was getting tired from all of the pushing on my back. I had Heather check me and I was eight centimeters dilated. I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom really bad so we all moved to the bathroom and I sat backwards on the toilet for about 20 mins. The contractions were so strong! I was still throwing up and rocking back and forth while swaying my head in circles and moaning and groaning through each contraction. Jay said that at one point the nurse was verbally coaching me and I just said “I just have to work through this one.” She and Jay looked at each other and she gave him a look like-she has got this under control. I thought that was really cool that she recognized how hard it was and was willing to ride it out with us. Heather then went to grab some lotion so she could really rub my back and I told Jay that I felt like pushing. When she got back she rubbed my back and it felt so good. I told her to check me and I was 10 centimeters!!! Jay started saying “You did it! We’re there!” I went from eight to 10 in 15 minutes! I jumped off the toilet and onto the bed and Heather kept saying to push when I felt like it and that she was going to call the doctor and let her know to come down to the hospital. I was pushing and pushing. It was the weirdest feeling. I felt good to finally be at that point. Jay was really cute, he went behind the bed to coach me through pushing but gradually made his way around and watched the whole thing! When Heather got back, she walked in and said “Whoa! You are a pushing monster!”, I asked when the Dr would be there and she said she was on her way and not to worry. I trusted her and felt very safe. So I just kept pushing. The Dr walked in and was there for seven minutes before Katherine made her arrival at 10:46 p.m. I pushed for 30 minutes. I screamed so loud when she was coming out. I don’t think I have ever screamed so loud in my life nor do I think I could recreate that scream but it felt so good at the same time. I could feel every part of my daughters head, ears, nose and the rest of her body come out. She was placed on my chest and instantly started crying, they didn’t need to suction her and her Apgar scores were nine and 10. She was so adorable with a full head of hair just like her mom and her looks just like her daddy. We were both so happy all we could do was smile. Right after she came out, I looked up at Jay and said “WE DID IT BABE! WE DID IT!!” It was all so overwhelming and exciting!

The doctor said that she thought she was going to walk in and hang out for a few hours. She didn’t even have time to change. She said it had been years since she had to deliver a baby in her street clothes. The happiness is indescribable! We started talking about the day we met and told the Dr and nurses our story, it was really a cool time. Then everyone left and we were with our Little Love, Katherine May. We were so full of excitement that we couldn’t even fall asleep until 4:00 a.m.

Thank for reading about our experience if you made it this far.

thicket's picture
Joined: 08/20/02
Posts: 52

I want to write this before I forget I will add more to it later and fix any mistakes.

About 11:30am I went to the bathroom and noticed some blood. I decided to give Owen a bath before his nap and while he was in the tub my contractions started. I got him out and while I was reading to him before his nap they started getting stronger. I got him down and then called Hieka (MW). I told her they were about 3 mins apart but still irregular and I could walk and talk through them. She told me to have Pete come home and then call her when he got here. I called Pete and he left right away. I changed the sheets on the bed and vacuumed the bedroom then hopped in the shower. i was having to stop what I was doing during a contraction at this point. I got out and Pete called to see how I was, I said fine and to grab some food (in hindsight that was pointless). When he got home we started timing them and they were on top of each other (about a min apart) I called Hieka and she said get over there NOW. So we woke Owen up and loaded the car (or I should say Pete did, because I was about worthless at this point) Then we were on our way. It was a very LOOOONG painful car ride, I felt every bump. We got there at 2:45pm and they put us in our 2nd choice room, I was bummed but whatever. Then I heard commotion in the hall and Grace (receptionist) came in and said we could have our 1st choice after all Smile I was happy. So they got it set up and we moved, bath was running, candles was awesome. Hieka told Pete to hop in the shower (he is a mechanic and was pretty dirty) and then she took Owen to hang with Grace and change herself. The student MW got me in the tub and I was having a hard time getting comfy in there. I started on my knees leaning over the side and imediately wanted to start pushing and they let me, what a relief that was. I sort of stood a bit to maneuver and felt that pop sensation when your water breaks but then something weird happened, I had this crazy sensation of a balloon coming out of me, I asked the student MW what it was, that she needed to check it out and all hell broke loose, she felt it and screamed for me to get out of the tub and on the floor on my knees with my shoulders on the ground (she had thought it was a prolapsed cord) I was asking what was going on and she just bolted and I heard her yell Hieka NOW! Hieka went straight to Pete banged on the door and said out now! they all ran in and the piece had seperated from me. It was a false alarm. It was actually a portion of the sac that had come out and then twisted, there was meconium so it had turned the twisted portion a funky color and they thought it was the I was freaked!!! but it was nothing thankfully. So back into the tub I went. Pete was dripping wet and still dressing, poor guy about had a heart attack. So Hieka got us all calm and centered again and had me lean back in the tub....ahhh heaven! It felt so good I can't even describe. So I was really needing to push now, she had the doppler on me and he sounded great. I was holding on to Pete's neck and Hieka had her hands on my perinium litterally holding me together to avoid a nasty tear along my scar from Owen. I was screaming/grunting through my pushing, it was totally intense...I was cursing like a sailor and appologizing, they were laughing and told me not to worry about it. I started to feel the "ring of fire" omg wow, I had forgotten how that that saying could not be more accurate. I was saying that I couldn't do this anymore and everyone rooted around me and I got right on through it. His head was part way out and Pete and I felt it, then another big push and his head was out. Another push and the rest of him slid on out at 3:19pm (less than and hour from when we arrived). It was such an amazing relief. Hieka brought him up and I tried to hold him out of the water since I asked for it a bit cool. She couldn't believe how short and fat the cord was, what is funny is Owen's was too. She checked for the cord pulse and determined it had stopped and Pete cut it. Pete went to get Owen and she suctioned his mouth and that was all, he had a tiny cry but it was amazing. he barely cried at all. He started breathing right away. He was born at 3:19pm, less than hour after we got to the birth center. Owen was too cute, he was pointing at him and saying "baby, baby" They got me out of the tub then onto to the placenta birth stool, it took one push and it came out entact, then I was off and into the bed. He latched on right away and passed all his vital scores (9 on the apgar) respiration good, it was all good. After he nursed for a bit I needed to rearrange and get more comfortable so they weighed him, 9lbs 11oz! I couldn't believe how big he was/is They gave him back and gave us some family time. He did not inhale any meconium thankfully, and Hieka told me if I was in a hospital it wouldn't matter...he would be in NICU just for observation...I am so thankful I had the choice to not step foot in a hospital. Pete took him for a bit so they could take all my vitals and look to see if I needed stitches, my vitals were great and she looked me over down under and I only have 3 superficial tears NO STITCHES!!!! OMG I already can tell a HUGE difference from Owen's birth where I had a 4th degree thanks to the epi the OB gave me! I could not have asked for a better birth, water birth is simply amazing. It was absolutely amazing and exhileratting. It was such a supportive environment. So the whole oredeal started at 11:30am-ish and he was out by 3:19pm and we were home by 6:50pm...all in a days work Wink

Name: August Keath ---
born: August 31, 2006 at 3:19pm in water
Weight: 9lbs 11oz
Length: 23"
Head circum: 38 cm
Chest circum: 37.5 cm
Beautiful 70 degree day
Half moon

here are just a few pics, they aren't great we needed the flash, I will have more soon...oh and in a couple of them you can sort of see the tub I gave birth in, in the background:

Joined: 01/02/06
Posts: 104

Well I guess it’s time I sat down and wrote out Brody’s birth story.

Let’s start at the beginning shall we? I met my husband Rob over 12 years ago. We grew very close as friends and went through many ups and downs together before we started dating. We had many mutual friends and were always hanging out together. After being friends for a couple of years he asked me out and we started dating. At first it was strange because we were best friends and didn’t want our relationship to change. Eventually we moved in together. It was just about 6 years before we got engaged to be married and another 4 before we actually tied the knot (very long story that one Wink ) We got married in a quiet garden wedding in August 2005.

Rob has always wanted children and is the oldest of five kids. I wasn’t so sure for the longest time if I wanted kids at all. It just wasn’t something that I really thought about. There were a few things that needed to be taken care of first before I would even consider having children anyways. First of all I needed to have my back fixed in order to carry a pregnancy. A childhood injury was aggravated in 2001 and the symptoms were becoming unbearable. So in the summer of 2004 I had complex back surgery after waiting almost 3 years to work my way through all of the tests. Specialists and wait lists. It took much more out of me than I had ever expected and the recovery was difficult and delayed due to infection and me just overdoing things.

Once I had had my surgery I started thinking a bit more seriously about having a child. The second thing I had to get done was get married. Rob’s family took care of that and helped us plan and finance our wedding. We didn’t start trying for a baby until the following December. We stopped using condoms in late October but didn’t really try to conceive. I had some pregnancy symptoms in November but ended up getting my period. That was when I sat down with a calendar and worked out the timing for my cycle. It just happened that I should be ovulating around my birthday. Works for me!! Very Happy We DTD two days before my b-day, on my b-day and two days after. That did the trick and we found out I was pregnant just after new years on January third.

For the most part my pregnancy was uneventful. I had some morning sickness and was quite tired during the first trimester. With this being my first baby I horded all of the information I could get my hands on. I bought books, talked to other women, looked for info online and joined this website. About halfway through my pregnancy I started retaining water and that in turn pushed up my blood pressure. I had planned on working as a R&D and production horticulturist until July at the very least but hadn’t really made any concrete plans regarding leave. I was disappointed after my doctor told me I had to stop working at the end of May. I gave two weeks notice, despite being allowed to stop working immediately, in a state of denial. Because it was a pregnancy complication I qualified for sickness benefits and didn’t have to draw down my maternity or parental leave.

Over the next few months my blood pressure bounced up and down but thankfully never developed into preeclampsia. I ended up putting on just over 60 pounds by the time my due date was rolling around due to the water retention. To say the least I was not impressed! I was thankful however that the baby was healthy.

My due date was August 25th and by then I was ready to have this baby and start our new family and get my body back too. Rob’s cousin swears by having sex to bring on labour so we gave it a try and celebrated our anniversary testing her theory. That was on the 21st. I was in early labour by late Tuesday evening the following day. I woke up Wednesday in labour still and lost the majority of my plug. I was surprised and a little apprehensive, a bit excited to that soon I would be having my baby.

I had my regular weekly checkup at the maternity clinic and my doctor was happy to hear about the contractions. Everything looked good and he was confident I would have my baby by the time the weekend rolled around. By Wednesday night my contractions were 5 minutes apart and we went to the hospital since we were in the area and it is about a 40 minute drive from our house. They took a urine sample and did a NST. My contractions were very low in my abdomen but regular. Despite feeling them they weren’t showing up on the monitor. The nurse did an internal and told me I was fingertip dialated. There were some white blood cells in my urine so they figured it was a bladder infection triggering the contractions not actual labour. They gave me a shot of Gravol to help me sleep and sent me home. I was in a lot of pain by the time we got home but it lessened when I stood up and walked around. I took an extra strength Tylenol and went to bed.

Thursday the 24th I woke up still in labour and lost more of my plug. The contractions were still 5 minutes apart and very low. My hubby asked if I was going to have the baby today before we decided it would probably be okay for him to go to work. By 11 am my contractions were 4 minutes apart and getting more intense. I was having a hard time concentrating during them and decided to call my hubby. We stll weren’t sure if this was it and he suggested calling the maternity ward and talk to them. When I called they checked my chart form the previous night and told me it was a bladder infection not labour. I asked them if a bladder infection would trigger contractions every 4 minutes and be quite painful. The nurse then said it probably was labour and, since it was my first baby, to come in when the contractions were 3 minutes apart or if I couldn’t handle the pain. I called my hubby back and told him he could stay at work for a while yet if he wanted too. It was super busy there so he stayed. About an hour and a half later I called him back and told him to come home.

I wanted to stay home and labour as long as possible in an effort to avoid interventions and the dreaded “failure to progress” slippery slope. We took our time packing some snacks and loading up the car. I had already put the car seat and my bag in the car from the previous night while trying to keep myself busy. I had a hot shower which helped with the labour pains and got dressed. As we drove to the hospital my contractions were getting more and more intense and were 3 minutes apart and getting slowly closer together. I had to concentrate during them and knew for sure this was the real thing. We checked into the hospital and were shown to our LDR room. Despite having rooms with tubs for some reason I didn’t ask for one of them even though both of them were available. At 1:15 the nurse did another internal at my request and told me I was 4 cm dilated at and at -1 station. I was happy to hear that I was 4 cm since that is the earliest I wanted to arrive at the hospital. The doctor broke my water to help move things along.

I sat in a rocking chair for a while and walked around to help pass the time. DH was in shock that we were finally going to have the baby and was very quiet. He watched me as I had contractions and asked me how I was feeling and if there was anything he could do. After a while I decided to get into the shower and Rob went to the kitchen to heat up a gel pack we had brought for my back and abdomen. I’m not sure how long I stayed in the shower before transition really hit me. My labour pains had moved more into my back and I was struggling through the contractions. I let the water pound my lower back while I leaned forward against the wall. I felt the need to sit so I sat down on the bench in the shower for a while with my legs apart to help the baby move down. I knew I was in transition and it was confirmed when I puked all over the shower. I was trying to decide if I should take the nurse up on her offer of pain killers when a really strong contraction hit my back again. By now I wasn’t feeling anything in my abdomen, it was 100% back labour. This was what I was most worried about before labour and it scared me. I got sick one more time and was getting really anxious as the pain continued to worsen. I knew it would only get so painful and then reach a peak, the change I was anticipating was the contractions getting closer with less of a break in between.

I asked Rob to tell the nurse I would take some pain control and to tell her I had been sick. He came back and assures me the vomiting was normal and nothing to worry about and that the nurse would be in in a minute. It took me another 30 minutes or so to get myself out of the shower… I was really torn about having painkillers but finally reached the point where I wanted something. She told me morphine worked it’s way out of my system and the bay’s system the fastest and suggested I get that. I wasn’t sure about her choice but ended up getting her to give me a small dose. It wasn’t long after that I decided to get an epidural. The back labour I was experiencing was much more intense than I had ever anticipated it would be. I knew it was the baby turning from the right side to the left as he dropped farther down but that didn’t help the pain. I started feeling depressed at this point. Here I had 2 internals, had my water broken, a shot of morphine and now I was asking for an epidural… What had happened to my plans on a NCB?! The anaesthesiologist arrived at 3:35 and gave me the epi. It was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be, he was great. Because I had an epi they put in a heplock “just in case”. I was 6 cm dilated at this point. Now I was stuck in bed with a monitor, IV and epidural. I had told them to give me a small dose of epidural and was shocked when I couldn’t feel my contractions anymore. Annoyed, I told the nurse to lower the dose. She told me “No, you’ll want it for later”. I looked at her in shock and told her I wanted it lowered immediately since I couldn’t feel my contractions anymore. She looked at me like I had sprouted horns and told me she would have to consult the doctor first. My contractions were barely showing up on the monitor either and they spent quite a while moving everything around trying to get them to register. I told them I had been feeling them down low and despite that they kept trying to find them at the top of my uterus. To this day I don’t know why they weren’t registering properly.

After calling the doctor the nurse agreed to lower the epi dose from 12 to 10. I told her I wanted it at 8 or lower. She refused once again. After getting frustrated that she couldn’t find my contractions with the monitor she told me that I should get pitocin to help them strengthen. I refused because I knew I was having them and didn’t want any more chemicals and hormones flowing through my system than I already had. She was furious. I told her again to lower the epi dose and she called the doctor again. I told her I was concerned that since my contractions weren’t showing up on the monitor and I couldn’t feel them I wouldn’t know when to push. While standing just outside the door she told the doctor I was being difficult and was refusing treatments. My husband and I were in shock with her behaviour and weren’t feeling very good with how things were going. She came back in, didn’t say anything and turned my epi down to 8. I could finally feel the contractions again and was regaining some of my composure and confidence. At 5:45 she did another internal and I was 10 cm dilated. On her way to phone the doctor she told me to do some “practice pushes” with the med student that was staying with me (I consented to one and she was wonderful) I told her I wanted to wait until I felt the urge to push before starting and was concerned the doctor wasn’t here yet. That pissed her off even more and she complained about me on the phone again to the doctor. I waited over 30 minutes at 10cm and never did get the urge to push. The doctor was there and I felt better about pushing so we started at 6:15. Brody’s heart rate was fluctuating and there was concern that he was stressed before I even started. The nurse from hell went home after her shift ended… let me tell you I was never so happy to see the back of someone’s head in my life! My new nurse was an older Scottish lady that I loved from the first moment she walked in the room. She explained everything and was much more supportive. We were all watching Brody’s heart rate during the contractions and in fact that was the only way they could identify when I was having them on the monitor. They were concerned it was more than head compression and made me stop pushing for a few contractions to give him a break. When we started pushing again his HB was swinging from 70 up to 180 and then back down again. It was too much and they started calling in other nurses and doctors. Soon I had three nurses, two doctors, a paediatrician and my student doctor in the room with us.

Now I was scared. I thought my nightmare of ending up with a c-section was about to come true and started crying. The doctors were all talking to each other and I couldn’t hear what they were saying. Rob held my hand and stroked my hair. He told the Scottish nurse that I needed to know what was going on in order to feel calmer about the situation and relax somewhat. She told me they were very worried about Brody and that he couldn’t handle the labour anymore. I watched the doctor as he pased (sp?)the floor at the foot of the delivery bed looking very concerned. They decided to try a vacuum to help me deliver my baby. He told me they would have to give me an episiotomy as a result. I grew more depressed when he told me this and continued to cry. After giving me the episiotomy they placed the vacuum. That was unbelievably uncomfortable and by then I was desperate to deliver my baby. They had me push continually through two contractions and between them too. I felt Brody moving down and through the birth canal. When he crowned I knew he was almost here. More people came into them room and everyone was encouraging me to push. I had quite the cheering squad at the end.

Rob watched as Brody’s head was emerging but focused on me for the rest of the delivery. I felt his head come out and then waited while they delivered his shoulders. The rest of him came out quickly and I was happy to hear him cry after they suctioned his nose and mouth. The pedi took him to the table right beside the bed to make sure he was okay. We were told it was a baby boy! His scores were 9, 10 and 10 and he was fine despite the difficulty he had during the labour and delivery. I was so happy he was here, healthy and that it was over at last. They gave him back to me a few minutes later after his scores and tests were done and they were sure he was okay. I started nursing him right away while they stitched up the episiotomy and small tear. (I was only the third or fourth woman to get an episiotomy at that hospital that year, they don’t take them lightly at all)

Brody was born at 8:06 pm on Thursday the 24th of August. He weighed 6 pounds 10 ounces, was 19 ¾ inches long and had a 33 cm head.

I am disappointed with myself for allowing all of the interventions and asking for painkillers and the epidural. It was not what I had planned at all. There are several things that I would have done differently if I had the chance to do it over again, but in the end all that matters is that he is here now and is a healthy baby. I would do it all again for him in a heartbeat, it was worth it.

Sorry this is so long, I had to get it out. The whole thing has been stewing in my brain for a while now and it feels better to get it written out at last.

Joined: 01/22/06
Posts: 126

Claire Helen P.’s Birth Story
Born healthy, happy, and beautiful on Thursday, October 5, 2006
6:03 am
19.9 inches long
7 lbs. 7.2 oz.

Friday, 9/29/06
Awakened by a contraction at 2:30am. Awoke DH at about 4:30am to help me time them because they were getting closer and closer together. At about 6:30am the contractions tapered off to being 10 to 20 minutes apart and so we went back to bed. Slept a couple hours with a few minor contractions. After getting up continued with contractions throughout the day, but they kept going from 5 minutes apart to 20 minutes apart and didn’t maintain any sort of pattern or regularity. Spoke to midwife friend and she said that I was in early labor and reminded me about all the things I could do to breathe through the contractions. Midwife informed me that her mother was very ill and she may have to go out of town and be unavailable for the birth. I confirmed with the doula that she could be at the birth if the midwife was unable to attend. Fitful sleep Friday night as contractions came and went. DH stayed home from work Friday night.

Saturday, 9/30/06 and Sunday, 10/1/06
Contractions continued intermittently and, in retrospect after actual labor and delivery, were fairly mild. DH stayed home from work again Saturday night because I was now exhausted from the constant, but irregular contractions. He went out for groceries and to run a couple errands in the early evening and while he was gone the contractions went to 5 minutes apart for an hour and a half. I called him on his cell phone and told him to come home so we could go to the hospital. By the time he got home, I was having heavy bloody show, very liquidy and had called the midwife. The midwife said to go to the hospital immediately and call her after we were settled in. The Dr. examined me at the hospital and said that I was 1 cm. dilated and 80% effaced. He was very, very concerned about the amount and type of blood. NST for 20 minutes showed that the baby was fine and my blood pressure, temp, etc. was also good. Dr. left DH and I to labor for the night (while he was asleep in the room next door) and had the nurse monitor the blood and the baby. DH and I continued to walk, squat, hands and knees, tub, etc. through the contractions until 5am. The nurse was amazingly helpful and supportive. The Dr. checked me at 5am and there was no change in effacement or dilation, but the blood flow had tapered off. He took a sample of the blood to be certain that it didn’t have fetal tissue in it. He returned at 7am to confirm that the blood was not fetal and said he was concerned at my state of exhaustion from the now 48 hours of “false” or prodromal labor. He offered pitocin to either start labor or morphine to sleep. I asked him his opinion of what we should do and he said that he preferred having me sleep because he was afraid that with how exhausted I was that the pitocin would get me started on something I couldn’t finish and further interventions would be needed. DH and I discussed it and decided to try to the morphine. I had some breakfast so that the drugs would not hit my empty stomach. I slept on the morphine from about 8:30am to 2:30pm only mildly feeling the contractions occasionally. When I awoke I immediately started vomiting from the morphine, but had no contractions. Once the vomiting subsided, they sent me home to monitor my contractions from there. DH and I slept from 4:30pm to 11:30pm (contraction free), got up, showered, ate a little, and went back to bed about 12:30am Monday morning.

Monday, 10/2/06
I was awakened by the return of the contractions at 4:30am. Still no pattern or consistency. DH had to go to the airport in the afternoon to pick up his mother, so the doula came to spend the evening with me. She was amazing. We walked, sat in the tub, hands and knees, and squatted, etc. everything through the erratic contractions. She gave me a hot foot soak and pedicure and that helped me relax some. About ½ hour before DH returned, the doula said that she would like me to consider returning to the hospital since I had been laboring for almost another 24 hours and she wanted the baby checked and also my cervix. When DH got home, the 3 of us returned to the hospital. NST was fine and so were my vitals. The nurse checked me and I was still 80% effaced and had gone from 1cm to about 1.5 cm dilated. She talked to the other Dr. from my practice and he said given this I could either opt for morphine again or go home and continue to labor. I didn’t want to take more drugs so we headed home once again. I was exhausted and devastated. DH and I spent the entire night going from the bed to the couch to the loveseat to the tub in an effort to ease my pain. It was absolutely the worst night of my life as I constantly felt like I was being split in half. I had been in prodromal labor for four days.

Tuesday, 10/3/06
I had a scheduled 41 week appointment with my Dr. in the afternoon, but we went to the hospital late morning instead to see him there since he was attending other births. NST looked good, all my vitals were good, did an ultrasound and there was plenty of amniotic fluid and we watched the baby squeezing the umbilical cord with her little hand. Still 80% effaced and now maybe 2cm dilated. The Dr. said that he knew I was tired and overwhelmed and in pain but he preferred to let mother nature run her course because he was concerned that if they artificially started labor and my body wasn’t ready greater and greater interventions would be needed. I sobbed and sobbed. He suggested that I go home for the afternoon and come back in the evening to sleep at the hospital again. MIL stayed home with me for the day and DH tried to get a few hours in at work. I went to sleep with the morphine again at the hospital at about 9pm and DH came in to hold my hand and talk with me on his way home from work. I cried and cried at what I believed was my failure to have a natural birth and cursed my body for not doing what it was supposed to be doing.

Wednesday, 10/4/06
I slept until 5:30am, still feeling the contractions but not as intensely. DH took me home at about 8:30am. Unlike the last time I slept on the morphine, the contractions continued as soon as I was awake. I continued to labor at home under the watchful eye of mother-in-law. DH went to try to get in a few more hours at work. At about 3pm, the contractions were once again 5 minutes apart and I passed a very small piece of plug. I called to tell the doula this and she said she would come over and stay with me until the contractions were 3 minutes apart and then we would go to the hospital. I also called DH and told him the news; he said to keep him posted and he would meet us at the hospital. During the first contractions after getting off the phone with DH, I felt a warm gush and immediately went to check my party-liner (worrying that the bleeding had returned). There was no more blood and the liquid was warm and clear. This warm gush of liquid continued with the next 4 contractions at which point I told MIL and we headed off to the hospital after paging the doula and calling DH. When MIL wheeled me into L&D all the nurses were so excited! They hadn’t cleaned my room since I left that morning because they said they “had a feeling I’d be back today”. It was so wonderful to have such positive vibes from the staff. A quick test to the pad I had been wearing confirmed amniotic fluid and the nurse called the Dr. to tell him “guess who’s back and she’s sprung a leak”. The nurse said the Dr. said a big “hooray!”. The doula and DH arrived at the hospital about 20 minutes after MIL and me. NST and all my vitals looked good. They started the antibiotic drip since I was GBS positive and checked me…no change 80% effaced and about 2 cm. dilated. I labored until midnight in every possible position…walking slow and fast, squatting, hands and knees, birth ball, lying on my side, sitting in the bathtub, crouching in the bathtub with the doula and DH taking turns spraying my lower back, buttocks, and vagina with warm water…however, the contractions continued to go from 3 minutes apart to as much as 12 minutes apart without ever remaining consistent. I asked to be checked again at midnight.

Thursday, 10/5/06
As of midnight I was 80% effaced and 4-5 cm dilated. I was disappointed and tired, but determined. The Dr., nurse, doula, DH, and I had a big conversation about timing because I was now 9 hours into the 24 hour clock since my water broke. After much discussion, we decided to go ahead with the smallest possible dosage of a pitocin drip. Within minutes, my contractions steadied into a rhythm of 3 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds to a minute. I never imagined such pain and it took every ounce of resignation along with will power to continue with each contraction. I begged to know when it would be over, I told DH several times that there “won’t be a 2nd baby”, and continued to ask the doula how in the “he** she did this 3 times?!”. At 4am I asked to be checked again. There had been absolutely no progress…80% effaced and 4-5 cm. dilated. The Dr. said “let’s go like this for another hour or so and then talk about what we could do next”. If I could have gotten off my hands and knees at that point, I would have walked across the room and done some serious bodily harm to him! DH saw my response and said “let’s talk about those options now” and the Doula said gently and quietly “Carla, you’ve been in labor for close to a week now and you are the strongest woman I have ever worked with, but I am afraid we’ve gone beyond pain with a purpose and now you are experiencing pain without purpose”. I said that I didn’t want “wimp out” or put the baby in any danger and that I wanted a natural childbirth. Everyone in the room acknowledged my desire and said that I was not a wimp, but that I did have options if I wanted to listen to them. The Dr. suggested the smallest dosage of Nubaine, a muscle relaxant, to help me relax between the contractions, but said that I would still “feel” everything. I chose this option and do not, to this day, regret it (ETA 12/3/06: I do now have regrets and what ifs and find myself wishing, at times, that I would have (could I have?) persevered without any medication). From 4am to 5am, I labored on my side in the bed, falling asleep between contractions (from the Nubaine), and waking up to feel the full force of each contraction and getting up on my hands and knees to rock through them. At 5am, I said “I need to push, I need to push”. I vividly remember the Dr. walking in wearing jeans and a t-shirt and carrying a cup of coffee. He put on his glove, checked me, and said “you’re 10cm, no lip of the cervix, let’s have a baby…but let me go get my work clothes on first”. I was so thrilled! In one hour, I went from 80% effaced and 4-5 cm. dilated to 100% effaced and 10cm dilated! The Dr. was back in moments and I got onto my hands and knees again and started pushing with each contraction. It felt so good!!! After a couple contractions, the Dr. said “knowing what I know about your uterus and cervix, I would like to suggest another position for pushing”. So, with many hands of help, I got into a squatting position, holding onto the birthing bar, and tried that for a couple contractions. It just didn’t feel right. The doula suggested lying slightly reclined (a position I never would have considered), with my feet up on the birthing bar, and my hands holding onto handles that came up from the side of the bed. This was it. During each contraction, I pushed with my legs on the birthing bar and pulled on the handles. I reached down to feel the head crowning and was amazed by the feeling of that little piece of our baby’s head. During the next contraction, I pushed 3-4 times while the Dr. applied mineral oil and put his fingers where he wanted me to push. I said “it burns” and the doula quietly said in my ear “that’s the ring of fire we talked about”. At the end of the contraction, I said I don’t have any more pushes in me for this contraction and the Dr. said “if you give me one more push, the baby’s head will be out”. I pushed one more time without the aid of a contraction and felt instant relief. I looked at DH’s face and he kept looking from my face to between my legs with complete and utter awe. When the next contraction came, the Dr. said “reach down and catch your baby” and I reached down, felt the rest of her slip from my body, pulled her onto my chest and burst out laughing. The rest of the room burst into laughter, too. I heard the nurse say “6:03 am”. I had pushed for one hour. Then the Dr. said, “move her down onto your belly, the umbilical cord is a little short”. The nurse said “well, Daddy, is it a boy or a girl?” and I realized at that moment that I really didn’t care. DH looked, paused for a few seconds, and said it’s a girl and I started crying. A few seconds later, I felt the placenta slip out and the Dr. said “you are officially no longer pregnant”. They covered our little girl in towels and I held her on my chest for at least 15 minutes (in one of the pictures you can see the wall clock in the background and she is still on my chest) and the doula helped me bring the baby to my breast where she latched and sucked for a few minutes.

mommys's picture
Joined: 05/08/06
Posts: 6264


Labor began at 11pm on 10/21. I had no noticable prelabor signs and contractions started at only 8 minutes apart. Dave and I decided to try and take a nap. We went to bed but I was unable to sleep. Eventually the contractions were strong enough that I couldn't lay still enough to stay in bed. I got up and went to the bathroom. Immediately the contractions changed to 3 minutes apart. I woke Dave up and he called the nurse. She told us to head to the hospital. It was now 2 am.

At the hospital, they put me on the monitor and checked me. At 3:30 am, I was fully effaced, 2 cm dilated. The MW warned me that they would check again in an hour and if I was not progressing they would send me home. While monitoring my contractions, the nurse noticed I was having "tails" on my contractions. In other words, each contraction would peak then start to tail off but it wouldn't end, instead it would peak again before finally relaxing. I told her I was concerned that the baby was posterior and she confirmed that this type of contraction is often seen with posterior babies.

We spent the next hour walking the hallways and mostly stayed on my feet or knees for laboring. I attempted hip rocks, etc to try and turn her from posterior. At 4:30, instead of checking me again, they announced they would give me another hour to progess. (Can you tell they didn't think I would?) Finally, the MW came back in. She commented that my contractions seemed to be intense (they were still thinking I wasn't going to be progressing). She checked me and I was already 5cm. Contractions were obviously doing their work and she congratulated me on doing well in laboring. It took a long time to get a fetal heartrate. I wasn't concerned at all, she was moving around like crazy and doing a great job of hiding from the monitor.

Kim was my nurse. She was great. She had already read my birth plan and was encouraging. She never offered meds, as requested, and gave helpful advice. She ran me a bath in the jacuzzi and encouraged me to sit back and relax. My first inclination was to continue trying to turn the baby, but she told me take a break and find a comfortable position instead. The jacuzzi was great, the jet felt great on my back. Contractions were getting stronger. Again, Kim had to try and get a fetal heartrate, but our little girl would not cooperate. Kim tried for 40 minutes and finally I had to get out of the tub so that we could get one. My contractions were getting intense and it took a while to get back to bed. I chose a side position. It still took a long time to get the heartrate.

By this time I started moving into transition. Dave was great at staying at my side. During each contraction I would grab his hand and sqeeze. I had some trouble with the breathing exercises, but I kept up with them. Dave helped and Kim was great as well. Transition was so intense that I refused to move from my sidelaying position.

My water broke while I was laboring on my side. There was meconium (sp?) in the fluid, so they attempted to explain the procedure. I was so far into transition though that all I understood was I would have to stop pushing when her head came out so they could suction her.

I felt the urge to push and the MW said I could start trying to push. Her original attitude that I would not deliver quickly was still in place though because she actually left the room and told me later that she was in another woman's room who she thought would deliver before me. Hello! (I will never understand why they didn't catch on that I was moving much faster than their expectations.)

I turned to my knees on the bed for pushing. The bed was tilted up and I held on to the top. At first the pushing felt a little strange, but soon I could feel like I was doing it correctly. I could feel the pressure of her head. Dave and I went through the pushing stage with no help. I have no idea how long it took, but I felt her head crown and yelled at the nurse. Talk about freaking everyone out! She went flying out the door telling me to stop pushing. The MW came running in telling me not to push because they weren't ready (remember, they were concerned about the meconium). It took so long that her head actually slipped back in! Eventually they said to go ahead. I pushed her head back out in one push, then another push to push it through. The suctioned her then told me to push again. One more push and she was out completely. She cried as expected and I remember the relief of knowing she was okay. It took them a moment to get me turned around so I could hold her.

She was all white with vernix but healthy and beautiful. She was born posterior (!) and has two large bumps on her head to prove it. I ended up needing a lot of stitches, but they helped to start breastfeeding even while they were sewing. I felt so much relief and pride. Her weight was 7lb8ounces. She was 20 1/4 inches.

Andrea started breastfeeding immediately. They tell me she is doing great and that her strong latch totally took care of any problem with inverted nipples, Yeah!

We came home after 24 hours. Dave and I are overwhelmed with love for this little bundle.

Lots-o-Tots's picture
Joined: 01/29/06
Posts: 574

Lilah’s Birth Story

Lilah Peggy Morguess
October 3, 2006
2:24 p.m.
7 lbs. 10 oz.
19 ½ inches

Sunday, September 24
Baby’s due date

Monday, September 25
Appt. with midwife . . . cervix 80% effaced and dilated to maybe 1 cm. First membrane sweep.

Tuesday, September 26
Began losing mucus plug. By that night, the beginning of prodromal labor. Was up a good part of the night with painful contractions that went from about 10 min. apart eventually to about 6 min. apart. After being up for a couple of hours, felt exhausted and went back to bed. Fell asleep, and by the time I woke up a couple hours later, contractions had stopped. Feeling very discouraged at this point.

Wednesday, September 27
Michael stayed home from work because I was so exhausted and feeling low. I continued to have erratic contractions all day. MW came by in the evening to check on me (with a surprise to lift my spirits - a beautiful henna tattoo on her leg with Baby’s name!). Cervix now dilated to 2 - 3 cm. Second membrane sweep. Decided to stop answering the phone today unless it’s Susan (mw). Sick of people calling and asking “Where’s the baby?” and “When are you going to the hospital to get induced?”

Thursday, September 28
Not much going on. Continued to lose mucus and have cramping and contrax.

Friday, September 29
In very poor spirits. Feeling completely dumbfounded that this baby has not come yet since all my others came before their due dates. Feeling a complete loss of faith in my body’s ability to do what it’s supposed to do.
Decided that staying sequestered at home just waiting for real labor to start is taking a toll on me emotionally, so made plans to get together with a girlfriend on Saturday for lunch and a pedicure.

Saturday, September 30
Woke up around 3:30 a.m. with pretty intense contrax, about 8 - 10 min. apart. They felt different somehow. Managed to get back to sleep for a while and woke up around 6 a.m. to contrax about 5 min. apart and lots of bloody show.

Called Susan, and she came over and checked me: almost 100% effaced and dilated to 3 cm. Contrax continued to be about 5 min. apart for several hours. Michael got the pool blown up and we made up the bed, went for a long walk while Susan hung out with the kids. She left for a couple hours and I napped while the girls napped and Michael took the boys to the park. We couldn't get a hold of Alycia (babysitter) this morning!! Finally able to reach her early in the afternoon. Susan came back around 3:00, checked me again, dilated to 4. Michael and I decided to go for another walk, and the contrax really picked up then.

I hadn't eaten much so Alycia came over around 5:00 to stay with the kids, and Michael, Susan and I went to grab something to eat. It really turned out to be a fun day. Everything was so laid back and we laughed a lot. At the restaurant, my contrax were really intense and close together, but at one point outside the restaurant, Susan and I were laughing so hard we were crying (over what? Nothing much, just Michael trying to get the camera to work - I think we were all feeling a little punchy by then).

By the time we left the restaurant, my contrax were so intense and close together that we rushed home to get the birth pool filled. The birth seemed imminent and everyone was very excited. We called Mireille, our doula, on the way back to the house and she headed over.

Then we got home and . . . my contrax stopped!!! Seriously, the whole thing completely stalled out. Susan checked me and I was completely effaced and dilated to 4 - 5 cm!!! But the whole thing just crapped out. After 3 labors that were long, I fully expected this one to be long, but I never expected it to just STOP midway through. I was devastated. All that work my body had done all day long, and the emotional buildup, and NOTHING to show for it.

Susan, Mireille, and Alycia all went home after it became clear that labor had stalled. I think Susan expected that I would be calling her back in the middle of the night when things picked up again, but they never did. Michael and I were completely drained and we went to bed around 9:30 and slept fitfully until about 5:30 Sunday morning. I only had a few contrax during the night, some pretty painful but mostly pretty mild.

Sunday, October 1
Contrax coming probably every 15 - 20 min. Still lots of bloody show and fluidy stuff, but things did not appear to be progressing.

Feeling very discouraged and frustrated and wondering how much more of this I can handle. I felt bad that we had wasted Susan’s entire day yesterday (she even cancelled appt.’s with other clients), but she kept telling me how much fun she had with our family. She said that this was just a lesson in letting go for me, and that Lilah had her own agenda, and we were just invited to her birthday party.

She talked to a senior midwife about me and they came up with a theory that a couple of things may be holding things up - the fact that I have major separation in my abdominal muscles from carrying the twins, so there's nothing holding the baby in a true vertical position, and also the fact that I appear to have a lot of fluid which may be causing the baby to float instead of settling down onto my cervix to help it dilate. So at Susan’s suggestion, we bound up my belly with ace bandages to push the baby in and down - this was very uncomfortable - and we took the kids and headed for the nature trails for a long walk.

The walk is about an hour from our front door and back. Once we were headed back up our street, I suddenly felt a warm gush and my pants were all wet in a few seconds. My water broke! I was suddenly overcome with emotion and just started crying - weird, I know. It was a couple blocks to get home still, so there we are walking up the street with me in wet pants and crying. This was about 2:00 p.m.

I had expected the contrax to pick up pretty quickly after I felt that gush, but like everything else with this labor, nothing was going according to my expectations. Susan came over that evening to listen to the baby’s heartbeat, etc. Everything seemed fine. She didn’t want to do another VE since it appeared that my water had broken. She did a litmus test on the pad I was wearing and the pants I had been wearing when I felt the gush earlier, just to confirm that it was amniotic fluid - and they both tested negative! I was flabbergasted. I refused to believe I had just peed my pants - honestly, it just didn’t feel like that at all. Anyhow, Susan said there were several factors that could lead to a negative result and she really felt that it was inconclusive - maybe it was amnio fluid, and maybe it wasn’’t. Because I had declined GBS screening and my GBS status was therefore unknown, she said there was some concern about having prolonged rupture of membranes with no labor, so if things hadn’t picked up by the following morning, she wanted to talk about getting labor going with black and blue cohosh and/or castor oil. I was not thrilled with either option, but kind of felt like I was running out of options.

Monday, October 2
Woke up again to contrax about 10 min apart. Talked to Susan on the phone and she suggested we bind my belly up again and go walking. She said to call her if the contrax got to be 5 min. apart. I was so sick of walking by this time! I was just tired of the whole thing. But we did it anyway, and while we were walking the contrax picked up. They became very painful and closer together. By the time we got home they were about 5 min. apart and hurting pretty badly. We called Susan and she said she would head over.

A little while later, Susan called. She wanted to know how my contrax were - how close together and how long in duration. I told her they were still about 5 min. apart and I guessed they were lasting about 45 seconds. Then she told me that she had another client in active labor!! Circumstances were such that she had to head over to her house, but she promised she would head to my house the minute I needed her. When I got off the phone, I lost it. I just started crying and ranting. I have to admit I felt abandoned. And guess what - my contractions STOPPED again. I really felt like I was at the end of my rope. Nothing was going the way it was supposed to. I was completely drained and devastated. I felt like if she had only come over, my labor would have continued. I know it’s probably not true, but I wasn’’t feeling very rational at the time. I went into the bedroom and threw myself on the bed and just bawled.

A little while later, Mireille, my doula, showed up. Apparently Susan had been worried about my emotional state and called Mireille herself and asked her to come to my house to sit with me and make sure I was okay. Honestly, I just wanted to be left alone. I didn’t want to talk to anyone or have someone watch over me. I think Mireille was kind of at a loss as to what to do for me. She sat with me in the bedroom for a while and then said maybe a change of scenery would do me some good and suggested we go shopping. Was she kidding?! I was busy having a pity party - shopping was the last thing I was interested in. I was supposed to be having a baby today for God’s sake, not shopping!! I didn’t have the heart to tell her I just wanted to be left alone, so I finally figured I might as well go along with her or be stuck in my bedroom with her babysitting me. I suggested we go get pedicures instead, so we headed out. It ended up being okay - we got pedicures and went to lunch. At least it was a way to pass the afternoon. She left shortly after we got back home.

I was still in pretty low spirits - really just feeling kind of angry and frustrated at how things were unfolding over the last several days. I had talked to Susan earlier and she said her other client had had her baby and she was going to stop by our house that evening just to check on me. By this time, however, I figured what was the point? I decided to call her and tell her to skip it, and I was going to tell Michael to go ahead and go to work in the morning. I felt like a pot of water being watched to see when it would boil, and the pressure was really taking a toll on me.
When I called Susan, she said she was already on her way over to our house. When she got here, she listened to the baby, took my bp, tested my urine - everything looked fine. She asked if it was okay with me if she did a sterile VE, and I said okay. So she checked me and determined that I was dilated to 5 cm, but during a contraction I would dilate to 7 cm. It was just so completely bizarre how far I managed to progress without ever really going into and staying in active labor. She did the litmus test on the fluid in my vagina for amnio fluid and it came up positive! Very strange. I think she tried to sweep my membranes again, but there wasn’t much left to sweep. She hung around for a while, and my contrax started up again, about every 10 min. After a while, she went home and said to call her if they got to be less than 5 min. apart. This was about 9:30 p.m.

Michael and I went to bed, I think around 10:00. My contrax continued, and by 11:00 they were again about 5 minutes apart and painful. We called Susan and she headed back over, this time with her assistant, Katie, and our doula Mireille.

So by 11:30 we had 5 adults in our bedroom, including me and Michael. It was a little crowded, and honestly I felt stressed by all the people watching me and waiting for something to happen. I got into the birth pool, and of course my contrax slowed down. The whole thing was so utterly frustrating. I felt like I was letting everyone down, as if I just wasn’t doing it right. Finally after a couple hours, I said I wanted to just lay down. I figured I would take a little nap and would wake up in a short while to “better” contractions. Susan talked to us about starting black and blue cohosh in the morning, and then she, Katie, and Mireille went and crashed in the living room. Michael and I went to bed. I slept fitfully, as my contrax continued through the night, too painful to sleep through, but still 10 - 15 min. apart. I honestly was feeling like this baby was never going to come out on her own, and I was again feeling bad for dragging all these people away from their families to come to my house for nothing.

Tuesday, October 3
Everyone was up by around 6:00 a.m. It was a school day for the boys, but we decided to keep Joey home since school was only half day for him and it would be too much hassle to deal with the drop off and pick up. Michael took Kevin to school, and our neighbor would bring him home as usual. I really didn’t know what was going to unfold on this day, but I remember Susan saying something to the effect that we would be having a baby today. Mireille had class in the morning, and she and Katie both left our house a little after 8:00. In truth, I was relieved to have less people around.

I can’t remember what time I started taking the cohosh, but I alternated blue and black every half hour. I was still having contrax, but they were still only about 10 min. apart. Susan had me promise to take castor oil if the cohosh hadn’t made labor progress after 5 hours. At about 9:00 a.m. I asked her about breaking my water. She agreed to check me again and then we’’d decide. When she checked me she felt a bulging bag of water and I was dilated to 7 cm even without a contraction. So she went ahead and broke my water.

Now, this part she didn’t tell me until later. Apparently, when she broke my water, my cervix closed back up to 4 cm!! It was the bulging bag of water pressing down causing the dilation, and after she broke my water, the baby’s head didn’t descend as far as it should have, so my cervix closed back up partially. Something was hanging the baby up in there and preventing her from coming down like she should, and Susan started worrying at this point, because now my water was clearly broken and my GBS status was unknown. She didn’t tell me any of this until later, and I’m glad because I’m sure it would have just upset and scared me.

The contrax continued all morning and they were very painful. I spent a lot of time walking around the house, and even up and down the stairs, trying to keep things going and hopefully to move it to the next phase. I was squatting and moaning through contrax by this time. The closest together they got was 9 min. apart. It was very discouraging and exhausting. We had already decided that I was not going to be able to labor in the pool because being in the water slowed the contrax down. I wouldn’t be able to get in the water until I was ready to push.

Michael called Alycia around 11:00 and she came over to take care of the girls and Joey, as I really needed him to give me his attention.

I guess around noon Susan made me sit down and eat some lunch and sent Michael to the store for some castor oil. I was not looking forward to that, but it was the next logical step and Susan assured me that she had had a lot of success with the combination of cohosh and castor oil. Michael got home with the castor oil and Susan made a smoothie with it - castor oil, orange juice concentrate, vanilla ice cream and vodka - yes, vodka. It was pretty nasty. My contrax were still about 9 min. apart and she checked me again. I was dilated to 9 cm!! She kept saying that there was no way the baby was going to be born without the contrax getting closer together - but there I was dilated to 9 cm and still only having contractions every 9 min. This labor seemed to be breaking every rule of nature.

After I ate some lunch and had the castor oil smoothie, I just wanted to lay down. I guess it was a little after 1:00 by this time. Susan and I went into the bedroom. I don’t know where Michael was at this point - maybe trying to put the girls down for a nap while Alycia looked after Joey? I laid down on the bed and actually managed to doze between contractions, but every time a contraction hit, I had to breathe and moan through it. Susan was a big comfort during this time, stroking my hair and arm when a contraction came and telling me I was doing good. Her presence was very soothing.

Suddenly, around 1:45 the contrax started coming closer together and I got the shakes. I was finally in transition! Michael was in the bedroom with us by this time. I had exactly THREE contractions that were 5 minutes apart, followed by another doozy two minutes later. Susan had left the room for something and suddenly I shot up on the bed with my hand between my legs and yelling for Susan that I had to push! Oh my God, it was such a shock, to go from contrax basically 10 min. apart all day long to this sudden feeling that something huge was pushing its way out of my body. I was suddenly very frightened. Susan and Michael got me into the birth pool at about 2:00 and the contrax slowed a bit but were still coming at decent intervals and were very powerful. I fought the urge to push because it frightened me so much. With each contraction, I breathed deep in and out breaths and moaned. Susan told me to push whenever I felt like it and I kept telling her that I was scared and that it hurt, it hurt. Michael was behind me outside the pool supporting me in a semi squat position, and Susan kept asking me if I wanted him in the pool with me. No, no. I couldn’t deal with any sort of change at that point. Finally the urge to push became so powerful that I could no longer fight it and I began pushing . . . and oh my God, it felt like a train barreling its way out of my body. It felt like I was being ripped in half - seriously, I felt myself tearing down there, above and below my vagina. I began screaming at this point and Susan tried to calm me and told me to lower the scream to a grunt because it would help get the baby out. So I tried, I really tried, to grunt and pant, but I know I was still screaming too. I felt her head come out, and I thought the hardest part was over, that her shoulders and the rest of her body would just slide out with little effort on my part, but her shoulders seemed to be stuck. I was crying and saying “Help me! Please, help!” over and over. Susan reached down into the water and felt around the baby’s head to make sure there was no cord holding her up. Finally, I pushed with everything I had and out came her shoulders and the rest of her body. The pain immediately dissipated. Susan got the baby out of the water and up onto my chest. I was still crying uncontrollably - I was just overwhelmed by the whole thing. But looking at my perfect little baby girl for the first time made the whole thing worth every minute and I was struck, once again, as I had been with the birth of each of my other children, by how incredible it was that I grew this perfect little human being inside my body and brought her into the world. Michael and I both felt the umbilical cord pulsing, and that was new. I had never felt a cord before, or even seen one close up.

I was still in the pool, and Susan said I was bleeding. I remember thinking “Okay, so what? Doesn’t everyone bleed after they push a baby out?” It was only when I saw the look on her face that I felt a little scared. She told me I needed to get out of the pool. She gave me a shot of Pitocin in my thigh and I yelled “Oww!” and then almost had to laugh - I had just pushed a baby out of my body and I was going to complain about a little shot now? She clamped the cord and had Michael cut it and then they helped me out of the pool and up onto the bed. Susan was examining me, trying to determine where I was bleeding from, but by this time the bleeding had stopped. I had no tears - this absolutely boggled my mind. When I was pushing, I had the distinct sensation that I was tearing from here to kingdom come - but in reality, I had not a single tear anywhere. Holy cow. I shifted on the bed and felt something huge come out of me and thought it was the placenta, but it was two blood clots the size of my fist. The placenta actually took quite a while to come out. We gave the baby to Michael and Susan took me into the bathroom and put me on the toilet, as being upright would help the placenta deliver. I again was fighting pushing it out - after the ordeal of pushing the baby out, I could hardly bear the thought of pushing anything else out. I sat on the toilet and managed to pee, and then finally, out came the placenta.

Here’s some stuff Susan told me later: she never did figure out where the bleeding was coming from after the baby was born. It didn’’t really matter since it stopped almost immediately when she gave me the pitocin. But what she told me later was that while I was still in the pool after the baby was born, the blood was pouring out of me - she said it reminded her of an underwater volcano.

Another thing she told me later was that she thinks Lilah had her hand or arm up by her head, which was preventing her from descending properly. She said that when her head came out, she was face down, which is typical. Then she rotated, so that her shoulders would come out vertically - which is also typical. But then she apparently rotated back to face down, which meant that her shoulders were now horizontal in the birth canal! So when Susan reached down in the water to check for cord after the baby’s head came out, what she was really doing was trying to turn the baby without freaking me out. If her arm really was up by her head even while I labored, that would go far in explaining the completely dysfunctional labor I had. She didn’t descend down onto my cervix enough to dilate it and make the contractions progress, so I ended up with this wacky, erratic labor that progressed very slowly. The end result was a beautiful, healthy baby girl, but boy, that was some work bringing her into the world. So far, Lilah is relatively peaceful (knock on wood!). My last three babies were pretty high maintenance, so I’ve been telling God for a while that I think I’m due for an easier baby this time. She’s a good sleeper and nursing beautifully. So far she really doesn’’t fuss or cry a whole lot. We still haven’t figured out who she looks like. With the other kids, it was so clear even at birth whom in the family they resembled, but Lilah is a bit of a mystery. I think she has the same nose as Kevin, but other than that, I don’t know. The other kids have taken to her really well already, although poor Joey was a little scared of her after she was born and for the rest of that day. He apparently heard me crying and screaming (although Alycia took him outside - so I’m sure the neighbors heard me as well), and decided that the baby must have hurt me so he was afraid of her at first, which made me sad. But by the next day, he was kissing her and rubbing her head. The girls, who I was so worried about how they would react to a new baby, are completely enthralled with her. And Kevin, of course, ever the loving big brother.

Susan did one, two, and three-day postpartum visits to check on me and the baby, and everything looked good. On day three Lilah weighed 7 lbs. 6 oz. She was 7-10 at birth, so that’s pretty good. She was a little jaundiced for the first couple of days, but my milk came in by day two, so the jaundice started clearing up pretty quickly. When Susan left on day three, I found myself crying. I’ve become quite attached to her and will truly miss her and the care I got from her.

I’ve spent a lot of time reliving the labor and birth in my head, analyzing it and trying to process it. Michael asked me a few hours after she was born if I would do it again if I had the opportunity. I actually hesitated, and that has bothered me. I think he asked me too soon, but the truth at that moment was that I didn’t know if I could do it again. Of course, within a few days I felt like, yes, of course I would and could do it again, but I don’t think I’ll ever have that choice to make again, as Lilah is our last baby (I think . . .).

I’m trying to come to terms with parts of it still. I have no regrets, but of course I wish my labor hadn’t been so long and erratic, although it was certainly a test of strength and endurance and I learned a lot about myself and what I’m capable of. I wish I had better prepared myself for the reality of an unmedicated birth. I feel like I was either very arrogant about the whole thing, or ill-informed, or maybe both. I feel disappointed in myself that I freaked out during pushing - even a little ashamed I guess, however silly that might sound. The realization that I’ve come to is that for whatever reason, I had the belief that the worst pain I would feel would be the most intense contractions, and I had faith in myself that I could handle that. I had heard over and over that pushing is a relief, so I really believed that while pushing would certainly be work, pain-wise, it would be easy compared to the contractions. So I was completely shocked and unprepared for how pushing really felt, and it was terrifying for me. I had envisioned this fairly quiet water birth, where I would breathe and grunt my baby out, catch her myself, and pull her up onto my chest, and feel like Mother Earth herself. In reality, I screamed my baby out, and was too freaked out to reach down and catch her. I am utterly humbled by the whole experience.

All in all, it was an amazing experience, and the fulfillment of a dream I’ve had for a very long time. I am so thankful that I had a wonderful, caring midwife through my pregnancy and birth, that I have a loving and supportive husband, and that I was able to have my baby in the comfort of my own home without unnecessary interference or interventions, or needless policies to adhere to. I feel even more strongly that pregnancy and birth are normal, natural processes. I can’t imagine ever being pregnant and under the care of an OB again. OB’s are doctors, and doctors are for sick people. Pregnancy is not an illness or a condition that needs to be treated or cured - it is a beautiful process that should be observed and honored, and my midwife and Michael respected that.

In spite of what my perception was, Lilah seems to have experienced a peaceful birth. When Susan put her on my chest, she looked up at me and coughed a couple times and then just lay there peacefully looking at me. I kept asking if there was something wrong with her because she wasn’t crying, she was just so serene.

So here I am, now the mother of five! Who ever woulda thought? It was such a short time ago that I was a miserable pregnant woman, and had anyone asked me then, I would have said I am gladly done with all this pregnancy and birth business. But of course now I am already missing it, and trying to rationalize just one more.

lconrad's picture
Joined: 05/01/05
Posts: 63

"lconrad" wrote:

3/6/2006 am
My blood pressure is above 90 for the bottom number so we're inducing labor at the birthing center with cytotec (I think that's how it's spelled.) It may take a few days as this is my first baby. I had the first dose this morning, and they let me leave. I go back this afternoon for my second dose.

No change this morning, but I got another dose this time 25mg. (It was 50mg yesterday morning). I go back again around 2:00 for another dose. And they may send me home with one for in the am or pm or both depending on what's going on. I've been having some contractions since the dose, but not very strong, but I think stronger than yesterday. I'm feeling them a little more in front. when I went back yesterday afternoon they monitored everything, and my little boy looks great! But I was having contractions about every two minutes apart (only felt them slightly in my back), but they were too close together to give me another dose.

I'm suppose to go back today (this morning) for another dose. I tried as best I could to sleep last night, but I kept coughing.

Also, I really recommend those therma care heat packs it feels great on my back when I do feel the contractions.

I'm not upset at all about this type of induction as it's what's best for mom and baby at this point.

I'm just glad I don't have to go to the hospital for it. I still get to have the baby at the birthing center provided we don't run into any other complications.

3/7/2006 pm
After my afternoon dose (another 25mg) I'm getting some more contractions. Not really been timing them, but it seems like it's every few minutes. They sent me home with 2 pills (100mg) so I can take one orally tonight after talking with the midwife, and another for the morning. Also, she took some more blood, and is having me do another 24 hour urine collection. She says this is to make sure she does my post natal care for me the best. I'm not happy about more tests, but I guess I've figured out how to pee in the container without getting it every where. I just hoping the baby comes before they run too many more tests. At 7pm (about another hour) I call her to see if I should take the next pill.

Rob and I had dinner after we got out of there at salt grass.

I called her to see if I should take a dose at 7pm. She asked about the frequency of the contractions I have been having, and they weren't very regular. She had me time the contractions and call her back in 45 minutes. They varied from 13-2 minutes apart, but I couldn't get an accurate length because I didn't notice when the "ended". So she didn't have me take the pill, but did tell me to call the birth center in the morning to make sure they weren't there with other people in labor, and if no one answered to take the next pill at 6am.

So at 6am on 3/8/2006 I took the 100mg orally. Then we got up and went into the birth center. They checked me I was still a 1cm, but 80% effaced. They gave me the next dose and had me lay down for the hour. Then they sent me over to the doctors they work with for a sonogram to check the fluid levels. Then we went to jack in the box for lunch, and back to the birth center around 2:30 3pm. The sono showed with in range fluid levels, and the doctor at the women to women was really nice and showed us the different things they look at on the sonogram. She said the placenta was beginning to look old also, but wasn't horrible yet.

Back at the birth center we discussed things and decided that the blood work they'd had done the day before was with-in range, and with the fluid also being fine that we would wait till Monday to do further induction because the doctors said I could go antoher week. Rob was suppose to go out of town the next day, and this would allow him to get his business trip in before we had the baby. We would get the urine back first thing in the morning, and this would for sure give him the go-ahead. She checks me again before we go, and I'm still a 1cm, so my body must just not be ready. So we headed home, and I was to be on strict bed rest till Monday morning. We called my sister to come help me out by fixing my meals and such, and she was suppose to come the next evening. She even had to make arrangements to have her son watched by someone else to help me out.

So that evening I'm lying in bed and I ask Rob to snuggle with me. I break down in tears having what I think is just and emotional melt down, because I want to meet my baby, and it's been a roller coaster with the induction. Robs been calling his family telling they any time now and the calling them to tell them it's all off we're waiting till Monday to progress further. I tell him I really didn't want him to go on the trip, and he asks me if I'm serious, I tell him I think I'm just emotional, but I'm not sure. So he just holds me for a while, and then I ask Kati, my house guest if she'll make me tapioca pudding because I really wanted some, and I can't be out of bed to make it.

So then I lay in bed watching TV and wondering if I should get some work in because if we're waiting till Monday I'm likely going to have to take PTO for all the time we've been back and forth to the birth center this week. I also have a phone conversation with my chiropractor about the lab results from the birth center, discussing how it appears that everything is moving in the good direction instead of the bad direction. While I'm talking with her I have to go to the bathroom so I set the phone down for a few minutes and go, and notice I've lost my mucus plug. So now I'm starting to get really worried, and I get off the phone with her and decide to call the midwife that's not on call (Cherie) because she was the last one to examine me, to ask her about the mucus plug. She doesn't answer her phone so I don't leave a message since she's not the midwife on call.

About this time Kati brings me some of the Tapioca that's finished and cooled now, and chats with me while I eat it. She's about needing to leave to speak at my parents church, but didn't realize that it was so close so she's ready, but doesn't quite need to leave yet.
While we're chatting I hear/feel a POP, but no gush of water, and also have a contraction. Time stamp it's about 6:15 So I ask her to leave the room because I'm just not comfortable. So she leaves the room and I make a mad dash for the toilet, and just make it before the water gushes to soak my panties and pad and in the toilet too. So now I go to get my phone to call the midwife that is on call, and my phone rings, and it's Cherie, I tell her that I was calling to ask about the plug, but it's a mute point now because my water just broke, and I'm about to call Lisa the Midwife on call to let her know.

So I hang up the phone with Cherie, and punch in Lisa's number, but decided I need to tell Rob that my water broke. So I tell him, and I start having another contraction about 5 minutes later. These contractions stop me dead in my tracks and require all of my concentration. I'm going back and forth between the bed and the living room and places trying to get things together, but can't really because the contractions don't let me do much.

I tell rob between contractions that I was trying to call Lisa, and her number is punched into my phone, but I can't get a second to call her, so he calls her and tells her my waters broke and the contractions are about 5 minutes apart. Time stamp it's now about 6:30. She tells rob to tell me to get in the shower and to call back in 30 minutes. So I get in the shower, and love the hot water on my back, but after about 10 minutes (3-4 contractions) I turn it off between contractions because I'm concerned with not having any hot water. I go back and forth between the toilet and the shower during this time and the contractions keep getting longer and closer so I tell Rob to call Lisa back (about 6:50 now). He calls her back and she tells us to meet her at the birth center in about an hour. Rob tells me to get dressed and ready. Rob's also been rushing to get the bags in the car and the car loaded up. Also he puts towels and a trash bag over my seat. Then comes back to the bathroom to get me, and I haven't even been able to get dressed. I can barely dry off before another contraction hits and and I lay with my face on the floor in the bathroom on the nice cool tile. So I dry off and Rob gets me one of his T-Shirts and my underwear to put on. I get that on and pause to worship the tile floor again, then rob peals me off the floor and we make a dash to the car. (about 7:15 then) We get in the car and head to the birth center.

We have to go from Spring Creek Pkwy in Plano on 75 to Downtown Dallas where the birth center is (about a 30 minute drive). Rob calls his parents as we're driving and lets them know he'll call them when we get to the birth center. He also calls my sister, and while he's leaving a message for my sister he sees one of my contractions and says in the message that that's the first one I've looked angry for...(sign of transition). We're at Spring Creek and 75 we stop at the 7-11 to get situated, and then head down the freeway. I have one contraction as we are pulling on the entrance ramp. Then I have another one at (Campbell Rd). Then another one about 635, another one about NWHWY, and another one as we are pulling off the freeway in down town. All of these contractions are very intense and last a long time.

As we started to exit the freeway I started to get nauseous. I begged Rob to run the two lights there were between the freeway exit and the birth center, but being the careful driver he was he wouldn't.

As soon as we got to the birth center I told him to roll down the window and proceeded to vomit right out the window. I asked Rob to call Lisa and find out how much farther she was away as I was feeling some urgency at that point. (Timestamp 7:45) He called and told me just a couple minutes away traffic was bad. He told me not to push so at this point I rolled over on all fours crossed my legs and pushed anyways, which was my best attempt at not pushing.

A few contractions later he told me Lisa was there so I got out of the car (stepping over the vomit (bare footed wearing only underwear and a t-shirt) and proceeded to enter the birthing center. (Timestamp 8:00pm) Lisa said it looked like labor as we climbed the steps to go into the birth center.

The first place I went was the bathroom to lay on the floor which was the last place I had any comfort at home. But the linoleum floor was not as cold as the tile floor at home especially in a pier and beam 100 year old house. So I'm lying on the floor in the bathroom, and Lisa tells me she needs to check me and I need to get up on the bed. I tell her "NO" because right then I have another contraction. Then I need a second to recover and then I made my way to the bed.

She checked me and I was a 10, now it was just her, my husband, and me, none of the attendants were there yet. They had me shift to the top of the bed, and begin pushing. Also, several times they had me lift up so the could slide stuff to catch all the fluid underneath me. I pushed through the contractions for as long as I could caught another breath and pushed some more. It felt like a bowel movement, so I was a little timid to push as hard as I needed to, and to keep from pushing so much some times I would scream, or release some of the "pressure" vocally. I wasn't quite about it.

Also one or two contractions they had me squat on the bed. They said I made real progress while I was squatting, but it was hard for me to do that and hurt my tail bone. I think close to 8:30 some of the attendants arrived. Rob asked me several time if I wanted to go to the tub, but I really couldn't answer him I think at one point I told him no. Closer to deliver the heart tones started dropping with the contractions, so I heard the midwife concerned about a cord around the neck, so she called the other midwife in. Cherie was there rather quickly. And encouraged me to push some more, and to push between contractions too. I really didn't want to push between because I enjoyed the break. But
I did as I was told. When his head was crowning they put oil on my perineum, and they also offered me the mirror, but I was too busy pushing to look, and didn't want the mirror. His head was delivered, and they checked for a cord, and there was no cord, and then Rob delivered him up onto my belly, he was a little blue, and they were wiping him off, he was covered in vernix. LOTS OF VERNIX!! I told them to not wipe the vernix off, but they said they had to dry him off so he didn’t get cold.

I cuddled him close and just held him close. Rob cut the cord, and they were a little concerned with his breathing, but he scored 9 and 10 on his apgars. They took him to the table after lots of coxing to get me to let go of him, and tried to get me to squat to get the placenta to come out. It took almost an hour for the placenta to come, and when it did I hemorrhaged and had blood immediately out to my heals on the bed. They quickly gave me a shot of pitocin in my leg, and tried to start an IV. She messed up a little the first time with the IV, but did start one. When she checked me out afterwards I had a small tear that needed some repair. It was very tender while she was repairing, but she gave me litocain, and that helped.

I drank all the OJ we brought with us. In addition to my IV, and tried to get up to go to the bathroom, but couldn't get up, so they brought a bed pan to the bed, and I filled it up and half of another one. I stayed in the bed with the baby, and kept trying to latch him on, it hurt to sit up because my tail bone was REALLY SORE, but he wouldn't latch. They cleaned me up and the bed (just wiped down), and covered me up with a blanket and Rob's family came in to see the baby. Then they left shortly after. Rob left to get food, and I snuggled with Tommy. At another point I got up to use the bathroom again, ate most of my food (ham and egg omelet from cafe brazil.) I then tried to go to sleep, and sleep till morning, but couldn't fall asleep, so we left about 2:30 and were home by 3am. We sent out email with some pictures and wend to bed about 4am.

Here's my email:
3/9/2006 4:45am
Quick story more details later:

water broke at 6:15 and had the baby at 8:50pm 3/8/2006. Then we got home at 3am. He's absolutely perfect. I almost forgot. He's 7lbs 4 oz 20 inches long. We love him to death already.

I'll post pictures after I get some sleep.

Post Partum:

Five days post partum I'm up and moving around (since 3 days). I feel great, but my little Tommy isn't doing so good. He's 3 weeks early and is having lots of trouble learning to nurse. I'm able to get him to the breast a few times/minutes each feeding, but today he even to tired to try that. I've been pumping so he's only getting mama's milk. I'm getting about 8oz a pumping because of engorgement, and he's only drinking about an ounce, so I'm working on a freezer full. He's got some Jaundice, and I'm hoping I don't have to take him back to the dr again. We've been doing our sun bathing, and that helps. I'm a little worried about him as today I've been having to force feed him, pry his little mouth open and squeeze the droppers down his through. I call him my little bird because my husband's dad feeds baby birds that same way. I'll work on writing my birth story and posting that soon.

ErikaArcher's picture
Joined: 09/06/04
Posts: 379

(Homebirth, Waterbirth)

The Birth Story of Olivia Anne Archer

I awoke on Thursday May 6, 2005 with mild contractions 8-10 minutes apart and about 45 sec. long. but kind of irregular. I woke up, took my shower, dressed, went grocery shopping and spent the day pre-cooking some meals. I had spoken with my midwife to plan our 40 week appointment and we decided since I had hardly slept in 4 nights between all the illness and rib pain that I'd take an Ambien to help me sleep. Kyle, my husband came home from work and we left to go down to the house we are selling to water the new sod. (this has become a nightly adventure) We headed home (1/2 hour drive) and my contractions had picked up to 5 minutes apart and were demanding a bit of attention. Kyle dropped me at home to crawl into the tub and ran to Walgreens to pick up the prescriptions. He called me from the pharmacy and told me they weren't called in. I called my midwife back and she had fallen asleep with her daughter and forgot - oops! So, I gave her an update and she said she'd call them in. Kyle came home in the mean time as the pharmacy was swamped. My midwife rang me back at about 8:00 and wanted to come over and check me out before I took anything. So she came at 9:00. She watched me labor in the tub. I would get the strangest picture in my mind each time a contraction came. It was a 40's gangster-type man in an old 4 door car driving down a long driveway, pulling around and then driving away again. Weird! I got out of the tub. We listened to the baby through several contractions and babe was responding well. She checked me and I was 90% effaced and 2cm dilated. We decided it was going to be a long night and that the baby would probably come sometime over the weekend - but that to take the Ambien anyway and get some good rest. So I ate something, took the tablet and she left. Kyle and I crawled in bed and I was in excruciating pain in the water bed - so we huddled up on the love seat and slept the night away upright in the living room. I awoke at least ever hour peeing and in significant pain. At about 5:00 am I couldn't take the pain anymore. So we went into the front room where the tub was and I got naked and got in it and hung over the side. The water was such a great relief. Kyle put my music on and lit some candles and I tried to zone out. He rubbed my hands and the back of my neck through the contractions. By 6:15 the spacing was getting tighter together and that car image was gone (I guess the driveway got too short Smile ) The pain was getting worse and I asked Kyle to phone our massage therapist and ask her to come and help - so he did. I started feeling really grunty and an uncontrollable urge to push. I reached down to kind of check myself and felt something soft and squishy. I was worried - definitely NOT head, hands, or feet....and I thought Oh my GOD CORD! I told Kyle to call Cossette (our midwife). He did and she was on her way. Margaret, our massage therapist, arrived and helped Kyle work with me - trying to ease the discomfort. It seemed like forever for Cossette to arrive. I don't remember her coming in. I had my hand inside myself the whole time "feeling" what was going on. She was there and hadn't had a chance to check me when I said. Oh MY... not cord....water bag. It popped in my hand as I was pushing through a contraction. From the point on I was in a zone. Kyle would give me water with a straw and at some point coco-cola. I remember thinking “hey that’s coke! I haven’t had that in years!” I kept my hand there, checking myself continuously. I was on 1 knee and squatting with the other leg, with my upper body kind of hanging over the edge of the tub. My midwife's assistant arrived - but I don't remember much of it. It was about 6:45 at this point. I felt the baby's head and told everybody and I just tried to focus. I felt the head do the back and forth dance as she made her way down, as I had my hand there the whole time. ( My midwife never did check me.) I felt a second pop and thought it was a second bag of waters. On the next push, finally the baby began to crown. When the head was half way out I remember saying "I'm on fire!" and I turned over into a crab kind of position. Kyle helped me float by holding me under my left arm and my massage therapist held me under my right. I don't remember anything said by anyone - just feeling like there were angels all around me. The head came out and I remember Cossette telling me to wait for my body to tell me when and how to push. Then I heard her say, "Erika, put your hands back down here and deliver your baby." There was one last push and I felt her shoulders come through and she slid into my hands. What a great feeling as she squished out! I brought her up to my chest and her eyes were wide open and her face and body were real pink. I noticed her hair right away as I had been curious and thinking about that in early labor a lot. She had just a little hair that was very flat to her head. Cossette said she only had 3-4 inches of cord and she was concerned. They clamped the stump off and the two midwifes checked the baby real good. They were concerned she may be hemorrhaging from the cord and gave her some O2. ( but she was fine) Kyle went by the baby and stroked her and I talked to her from the tub. She was looking all around the whole time and tracking my voice. After she began breathing I asked Kyle..."so, is it a girl or a boy???" we still hadn't looked! He said "I don't know" I said, "well, look I can't see." He announced it was a girl and I immediately asked - "Does she look like an Olivia?" and he said "I think so!" Cossette asked me to check myself for any cord hanging. I felt around in the water and in me and could feel nothing and told her. They helped me out of the tub to the birthing stool. I delivered the placenta and got the shakes. We looked it over and it was all very healthy - but the total cord length was barely 12inches. (I guess the average cord length is 55cm) We figured it must have broken during the delivery and luckily both ends clotted up real well and neither one of us had any bleeding. In retrospect, the second pop was not a second bag of waters, but rather the cord breaking. I had one small stage 1 tear and Cosette put in some stitches. I took a warm shower and crawled in bed to nurse the baby and we've been doing great since then! She was born at 8:10am My midwife was at the house till noon. She helped me with nursing and we did the baby exam. Olivia was 7lbs 12oz and 21 inches long. Her first Apgar was 4/5 (but our midwife said she was a 7 by the time they picked her from the water and placed her in a towel but they had to score it that way because of the cord breaking) then 7 (after 1 minute) and then the third (after 5 minutes) was a 9. She has no marks on her and started sucking her thumb right away. Cossette also did two loads of laundry before she left! Big yeah there! Kyle and I had lunch and I snoozed in bed with the baby. The tub guy came at 1:00 and cleaned the tub and took it away and the whole house was back to normal. Kyle had so much energy he wanted to go out and cut the grass. Family began arriving around 6:00p.m. to meet our new arrival.

What an adventure. I'd do another homebirth in an instant. The idea of going to the hospital or drugs NEVER crossed my mind. Although I LOVED the deep tub and all the mobility! The water was definitely my natural version of an epidural. I'd do it again in a heartbeat and it is my single biggest accomplishment on this planet.

ErikaArcher's picture
Joined: 09/06/04
Posts: 379

(Homebirth, Twins, Waterbirth)

The Birth of Miriam and Chloe

Sunday January 7th a day of wonder and curiosity.

I had the dates of the 7th and the 9th in my brain for weeks. Kyle would ask me; "So which is it?" And I would reply; "well, I'm not sure I just know something is happening around those dates." The morning of the 7th my girlfriend Jessica came over and did a belly cast with me. The plaster felt good and cooling on my body and the cast came out perfectly. We joked as she arranged the strips that she would probably have to drive all the way back down to my house that evening to have the babies. Self prophecy? Kyle made arrangement earlier in the week to attend a business dinner being hosted at a new Bonefish restaurant. It was VIP night before opening to the public the next day. The plan was to get a nap in (as I only slept 73 minutes the night before), do a prenatal visit in the afternoon, and then attend a fabulous dinner. So, that's exactly what we did. The prenatal went well. My blood pressure was 102/78, no protein in the urine, no swelling concerns, fundus was measuring 48 weeks and I was dilated to 3+ and 70% effaced. We went upstairs and dressed up and headed out for a great dinner. The restaurant was about 40 minutes away and by the time we arrived I was feeling contractions every 10-15 minutes. Dinner was marvelous. Kyle was invited by a rep. from work and another fellow and his wife (who was 35 wks pregnant) were in our dinner party as well. We joked all night as Kyle kept checking his watch to time contractions that we were going to have a great meal and go home and have the babies. Of course I was looking WAY preggo and the restaurant staff was asking questions and making jokes as well. At the end of the meal I was having a lot of trouble sitting still. Our hosts invited us out afterwards for dessert and coffee, but I told Kyle I thought we should head home as things were really moving along. The people we were with were shocked. They thought we had been joking all night about having the babies that night! We drove home.

Once home we told Gail things were rolling along. We took a few pictures before we changed clothes. Gail came upstairs and checked me, I was 5+ and we listened to the girls' heartbeats. They were perfect 146 and 153. Things were moving along. Gail called Diana and told her to take her time - but to head out. She had a 2 hour drive from Fairfield. I called Jessica, Betsy, Jessica F. and Cossette to tell them things were happening and to be ready for a call later, but not to jump in the car yet. The contractions were coming 5 minutes and less apart and lasting 45+sec but I was getting a headache. (probably from the glass of wine I had through dinner) I wandered around the kitchen on the phone and checked my email. It felt better to keep busy and moving. We were joking in the kitchen about the woman on TV that are yelling "give me the epidural" at 5 cm. Then I was feeling like I needed a task and Kyle got this crazy idea to make homemade cinnamon rolls. HA! So we went upstairs to put some real clothes on and we were going to run to the store to get buttermilk. Doesn't every pregnant woman in labor go to the store to come home and bake? Well, I got clothes on and then the tub started calling to me. I decided I was in the mood to eat cinnamon rolls but not clean up the kitchen. So I stripped down and crawled in the tub for awhile. I was feeling really good and zoning out but my head was really starting to pound. Gail came in to take heart tones and chart and I was finding it very intrusive. She kept flicking on the lights and making too much chit chat about it all. I was getting irritated with it. Diana arrived and I could hear them talking down stairs. I was glad she arrived and hoped she would balance out Gail's energy with some peaceful calmness. At the next charting time they both came up. Gail flicked on all the lights and I asked her to turn them off. Her reply was, "well then I can't see my chart." I replied, "I don't care about your chart." I mean really it's just two heart rates to remember! At 1:30 I had them check me again and I was 7+ I was starting to feel like I was in labor-land. My headache had progressed to a migraine at this point and I was getting tired feeling. I hadn't slept more than an hour and a half the night before. Jessica and Cossette arrived sometime while I was still in the tub. I had to go to the bathroom, so when I was done I decided to try side lying on the edge of the bed. The contractions were more intense but I was able to work through them nicely and the warm blanket felt really good. Kyle sat in front of me on the birthing ball and helped me work things through as needed. My mind was wandering a lot in between contractions. I was irritated with the charting and still struggling with people interrupting my space. I didn't like hearing them whisper talk around me, and I kept getting this sinking feeling that I shouldn't be on my side. I was feeling very negative and I knew I needed to change the energy, but I was busy dealing with a migraine and contractions. Kyle was awesome. He kept giving me liquids to drink, got me ice packs for my head, and rubbed my hands and back as needed. He tells me after the fact that he felt very unsupported b/c nobody else was helping him with me, even when he asked for assistance. I kept asking him, "Is it Ok for me to be on my side?" I think I asked him at least 4 times and I also asked Diana and Gail when they came to check on me. Everyone reassured me that it was fine and that lots of woman birth on their sides. But I continued to have a bad feeling about it and thoughts of hospital transfer kept coming into my mind. I kept shoving the thoughts aside and trying to trust in my body and "set my mind free" I labored on my side from about 2:30 till about 5. Sometime around 5:30 I heard Olivia rustle and start to wake. I had Kyle call my friend Jessica F. and she came to the house in case Olivia was to awaken. Then we decided to try a change of position. I got on the birth ball and Kyle sat in front of me to hold me up. The contractions were intense and very painful through my back. With my belly being so huge, Kyle couldn't reach my back and I wasn't coherent enough to not have someone in front of me. (the bed and tub were both the wrong height and we couldn't get anything else to work) Nobody helped Kyle with me. He went over and asked for help several times. (The other three MW's were asleep on the floor) Finally Cossette came and sat behind me to rub my back and it felt sooooo good. We talked about this later. Cossette felt very awkward b/c technically she wasn't "really" there and it should have been one of the other three birth attendants helping Kyle. She told me after the birth she felt we were very abandoned during the labor process. Regardless, I am thankful she stepped in to help. We labored like this for 2 hours. I was exhausted and a crying mess - my head was still pounding and I continued to have a very uneasy feeling about things. I was having contractions about every 1-3 minutes and lasting about a minute, but I wasn't getting the increasing downward pressure feeling I had remembered with Olivia. I took a break to go and sit on the toilet. It was now about 7am. Jessica and Cossette had gone downstairs. I was back sitting on the birthing ball in our sitting room and I remember feeling like things had slowed down. Kyle left me to go check on everything downstairs and find out what was up with Jessica and Cossette. This is when Gail and Diana came over and approached me with "two choices." I remember feeling kind of hazy and thinking to myself that it was awkward that they would come and talk with me and ask me to make a decision without Kyle there....and even more so that they waited till everyone left. They told me they thought I had two choices: 1. try a manual dilation 2. Break the bag of water on the first baby. For some reason this all didn’t sit well with me. i had a lot of distrust that either of these were a good choice. I could feel the slippery slope and sensed that breaking the bag of water might send us on a spiral towards the hospital or maybe even worse. I was very uncomfortable that they waited till everyone left. Kyle came back upstairs. He told me that Cossette though I should get in the tub. This seemed to make sense. I had tried all these other things and still hadn't done what always feels right to me (squatting in the tub and relaxing to my music). So I stripped back down and got in. The water felt soooooooo good. I was whispering so Gail and Diana couldn’t hear me to tell Kyle the "choices" they had just presented me with. Kyle said, "What are you going to do?" and I replied, "I don’t know that I trust either." I asked me to go back downstairs and talk with Cossette and Jessica about this and see what they think. He left and I sunk into the tub and thought to myself. "darn it...I'm stalling out" my contractions were fizzling out.

Kyle came back up and I told him I was slowing down. He helped me out of the tub. I dressed up warm and went downstairs. Kyle and I bundled up and went outside for some fresh air. We tried to take a walk - but it was very cold and my ears, feet and hands were going numb. I did ballet squats with the contractions and they picked up - but still no intense pressure. We turned around and came back inside and everyone took a break to eat breakfast. I was trying to gather facts from all the people, still harboring a lot of distrust in the choices I was given. We all sat together and at 8:00 decided we'd go upstairs do a vaginal check, see where I was, where the babies were and probably break the water on the first baby. Olivia was starting to wake and I wanted to get back upstairs and out of site before she saw Kyle or me. Up the stairs we went. I lied down on the floor between the tub and the fish tank, on my back. Kyle was to my right. Gail did the exam and said I was still 7+/8 and my heart sank - I KNEW all the side lying wasn't a good thing for me at that time and that my gut was right, things weren't going good. This next chunk is hard for me to write. Much of it I didn't understand until after the birth. Gail didn't give me anymore information. She kept her hand inside of me and was moving a lot. It was terribly painful. I tried to zone out and focus on my music. I did well with it for awhile but then it started to seem like a long time. I started to loose it and was not coping well with the pain. I kept asking to get off my back, She did break the water and I asked if it was clear - it was. (She didn't break the water until about 10 minutes into this, the baby was -2 and we expected a bulging bag...but no bulge was there) I kept asking for a break, to get off my back, to get in the water. I wasn't getting answers. Kyle was holding my hand to my right and Cossette got down and took my hand to my left. I was sure I was breaking their hands. My mind was wandering into some very dark places. I didn't understand what was happening or what was taking so long, or how much longer. The room was spinning and I was being told to push - but had no urge to push. I remember thinking "Am I even doing this right?" "Am I even pushing?" I remember hands all over my belly and so much pain. I was screaming in pain and begging to get off my back. I heard Kyle telling me I was doing well, that I was amazing. He tried to comfort me and reassure me. The pain was awful and my mind drifted to stories from WWII that my grandfather used to tell me of torture techniques that the Japanese used. My mind was racing and grasping at something to hold onto. This went on for a long time. I remember Kyle, Cossette and Jessica offering ideas and suggestions to Gail - but she just kept deflecting them all. Finally Cossette got her to let me try a squat on the outside of the tub. I was hanging over the tub looking into the water I soooooo wanted to be in. I was trying to bite Kyle's arm and Cossette fashioned a rag for me to bite down on. I felt like I was going to pass out from the pain. All this time Gail still had at least one hand inside of me the ENTIRE time. Finally there was a pause and I felt pressure. Someone asked Gail if I could get in the tub and she said "I don’t think she can even stand up." I heard Jessica, in a harsh tone say to me. "Erika stand up and get in the water NOW." Kyle and Cossette grabbed me and I remember sinking into the water and it feeling so absolutely wonderful. I told Gail not to touch me and put my own hand inside myself. I couldn’t feel the baby’s head right away and I asked Cossette, "Where is she...I can't feel her." Cossette told me to wait. To feel the push and that she was there and she was going to come. After several pushes I felt her slimy soft head and that is when I felt the power transition back to me. I was at peace amongst the extreme pain. I was in control. I felt her head come down and tried to push gently. The crowning felt so much tighter than I remembered with Olivia. Kyle said, "Oh my God you are so amazing Erika." and kissed me." (With Olivia's birth he was behind me and never saw my body open to pass the baby with a full out view) She came out and I caught her. My mind immediately said DAMN short cord. I couldn't lift her head out of the water. I went into complete momma bear mode. I flipped my legs over the side of the tub and told Kyle to hold my pelvis up while Cossette grabbed me under the arms. Gail offered to have Kyle cut the cord but it was very awkward and he said to just do it. I caught a glimpse of my daughter who looked very pale to me, and not crying and not really crying as she was pulled out of the water. After the commotion I remember thinking...."ahhhh now I get a break." I put my legs down and seconds later I felt this horrendous urge to push and said aloud "Oh My God here she comes!" Chloe had no intention of waiting around. She came barreling down the birth canal crowned and 1 push later she was out. Her cord was also short, although about 1 inch longer and I could get her head above the water. Kyle got to cut his first cord. I remember Chloe was bright pink from head to toe, screaming like a banshee, and covered in a lot of vernix. They got all the cords clamped and babies wrapped and then helped me out of the tub. The contractions waiting for the placenta were very intense and seemed a lot worse than with Olivia. I pushed and this giant thing came out. I said "placenta?" and Gail said "No, that's a huge blood clot." A few contractions later the placenta came. They gave me a shot of pitocin to make certain I didn't bleed too much. I originally didn't want it unless necessary - but since I was in the water they a hard time assessing blood loss. After the placenta came I sat up and was in a blur. Everyone seemed have left me and was attending to the babies. (although they really didn't) I remember sitting without a baby, confused, shell shocked almost and feeling very disconnected from everything that just had happened. They brought the babies to me and I nursed them both. Gail gave me a sponge bath on the floor and it took 3 people to help lift me from the floor and get me into bed. I was wiped out. Later she checked me and I had one small skid mark on the outside, but no tearing. It was a challenging birth.

Miriam Elizabeth was born at 39 weeks on 1-8-07 at 9:35 am weighing 7lbs 6oz and 22”

Chloe Lyla was born 3 minutes later at 9:38 am weighing 7lbs 4oz and 20.25”

Now to go back to the time on the floor.

I have been very upset with this portion. I have done a lot of processing. I feel like I was not given enough information along the way. Cossette and I talked and agreed that Gail did a poor job of communicating with me. Cossette said technically speaking, things had progressed past "normal" birth and that something needed to be done or we would have transferred. But instead of giving me all the facts and putting the choices in my hands, I felt over run by Gail. I tried to process with Gail and her reply was "well, it was only an hour." Ok.....well it was THE worst hour of my life. She did explain in detail the technique she used. She called it a false pelvic floor. Basically I was a 7/8. Miriam was at -2 station (so she was not engaged against the cervix, which is why we weren't getting more dilation) When she broke the bag of water it trickled instead of gushed. She had hoped that there was a bulging bag and that if it was broken the head would descend - but that didn't happen, Miriam remained very high. Chloe was pinning her in. So she put her fist through my cervix and opened like you would to hold an apple in your fingertips (palm up). This made Miriam think she was hitting bone and she began to turn (she was also posterior) Meanwhile Gail took her other hands and was shoving Chloe over. Diana took both her hands and was shoving Miriam's body (from the outside) into a more vertical position. The hour of HELL was just to get Miriam to a 0 station. Then Gail had to manually stretch the cervix from an 8 to a 10 and get Miriam’s head to stay put (this is what was happening when I was squatting on the outside of the tub). Once the head was remaining through the cervix she let them all get me into the water. The girls' heart rates were perfect through all of this. I harbor some anger with this. If she had checked me and told me ALL the facts and said to me "Erika we can either try this and it is really going to suck and it may take a long time...or we can go to the hospital and try pitocin to get things stronger." I would have chosen to do this at home first - but then it would have been MY choice and instead of feeling forced on my back being tortured and begging for relief. I would have been focused on birthing these babies and giving it my all. This has taken some time b/c initially I felt very violated and very much post traumatic stress kind of a thing. I have come to some peace about it all. I know Gail has excellent clinical skills and I don’t doubt that the technique was used appropriately. I knew when we hired her, that her style wasn’t my ideal. I had hoped the others would balance her out and frankly, I didn’t have many choices. I am sad that she didn't communicate better given there was no concern for the babies or my own health at anytime. I am frustrated that the Diana I knew during prenatal care, didn't come to our birth. She instead became a third limb and deferred everything to Gail instead of balancing out her energy. Cossette was awesome and I am so thankful she decided to come despite the licensure issues. Jessica is another story. I am angry with her for putting my babies at risk (like I said, it's another story) and basically doing absolutely NOTHING during my entire birth except watching. But ultimately I have decided that I just have to trust that everything happened the way it did for a reason. Right now I need my full energy to care for all my girls, my husband and myself. Kyle was AWESOME. He was my strength and at my side every step of the way and I know from the talking we have done that this experience changed our relationship forever.

9 months later: As I continue to process this birth i have gained the vision of how lucky I was to have been at home. No doctor would have given me the time to maneuver the babies. I question if they would have even had the skills. I would have been section hours before they had even tried to manipulate the positioning of the babies. I am thankful for Gail's skills and I feel she was the right MW for the circumstance. Miriam was floating very high and there was a risk of cord prolapse. I needed to be on the floor - no question. Gail should have processed this birth with me more effectively when I tried to talk with her. I think she missed the opportunity to help me see (amongst the exhaustion and hormones) how much strength I had to get through this birth. Oddly enough, the final piece of healing came after I saw the movie "The Business of Being Born." I can claim victory of this birth as my own and I'd do it all again.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I would love to hear your comments when you're done reading!

Korben’s Birth Story

Born Tuesday October 24, 2006
20 inches

People involved…

Jon – my baby Daddy Smile
Krystn – our midwife, CPM for 22 years
Liz – Krystn’s apprentice and assistant
Mom – my Mom, OB nurse for 20ish years
Stephanie – my sister
Deb – my stepmom
Rhonda – my MIL
Jenn – my SIL (Delaney is her 6mo daughter)
Jimmy – my little brother in the Marines
Dad – my Dad, was supposed to be at the birth
Mary – my best friend, was supposed to be at the birth

Sunday night, I started losing really pink, stringy globs of mucus. It seemed like there were gallons, and I showed Jon. Having seen cows give birth before, he said that the mucus looked exactly like what cows go through before they go into labor. This was odd, but very exciting to me! I also started getting contractions again when we went to bed around midnight. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, because I had been getting these “false alarms” on and off for at least a week. I would get contractions when I went to bed, but they would stop after an hour or so. These contractions were different – they were more regular and didn’t let up. I would fall asleep between them and then wake up and look at the clock. I started timing them around 2AM when they were about 7 minute apart. Now I started to get excited, and I couldn’t get back to sleep. During one pretty intense contraction, I punched Jon in the arm and was like “How can you sleep through this?” Around 6AM, the contractions slowed down and eventually stopped around the time Jon had to go to school. He asked me if I thought he should go, and I told him that I would feel better if he would stay home with me today. I was really discouraged at this point. I knew that it had been another false alarm, and I was really frustrated that they kept me up all night. Didn’t my body know that I needed to sleep? I was exhausted! I called Krystn for some words of wisdom, but I was secretly hoping that she would give me some magic way to instantaneously start my labor. Smile She was super sweet and very encouraging. She told me that my body was doing an incredible job because dilating to 5cm is usually the hardest part, and I was already there. She reminded me that every contraction I was having now was just one more that I wouldn’t have to go though when the “real” labor started. She told me that I needed to reset my attitude and stop thinking of these contractions as “fake labor” and start appreciating them. Those ideas renewed my faith in my body, and I felt like a whole new woman after talking to her. Jon and I both skipped our classes that day and slept peacefully until 2PM (I never would have thought that would be the last decent sleep I would be getting for a long time!).

Per Krystn’s advice, I pretty much rested all day. I kept losing huge chunks of my mucus plug, and I also had a lot of diarrhea. I should have realized that these were signs of imminent labor, but I totally ignored them since I had been overanalyzing every potential labor sign for the past 3 weeks. I reached the point where I was done searching for labor, and I was going to wait patiently until it came to me. This was a huge roadblock for me to overcome. Looking back on it, I know that my body knew what it was doing. I think that it was just waiting for me to acknowledge this.

Around 7:00 that night, I started getting contractions again. I didn’t pay any attention to them because I didn’t want to be disappointed yet again. Jon and I were in our office, and I was trying to catch up on all of our photo albums. The contractions were short but intense, and they were coming pretty frequently. Krystn said that “real” labor contractions would come regularly every 5-6 minutes and last at least a minute. Although I disagreed, Jon decided that these contractions were different, and he started timing them (on an Excel spreadsheet of course Biggrin ). I would tell him when they would start and stop, and he would tell me how long they were. I was really surprised that most of them were over a minute long. They weren’t painful, so I guess they were just easy to ignore.

After getting some stuff done at home, we decided to go get something to eat and do some grocery shopping. I had zero appetite, so I let Jon decide. We went to the Outback. I got French onion soup and cheese fries. I’m not sure why I remember that so vividly, but I do. I kept getting contractions throughout dinner. They were getting a little more intense. I actually had to pay attention to them. When one would start, I would stare at something on the wall and tap my foot on Jon’s foot. I don’t know why this was a good coping method; it’s just what I felt like I should be doing at the time. At one point, I went to the bathroom and had a huge amount of bloody show. It was different than the previous mucus chunks I lost – it was streaky and bright red. After that, the contractions picked up even more. They were coming about every 5 minutes and lasting at least a minute each. Still, they weren’t painful. They were just intense bursts of energy that I had to concentrate on. During one particularly powerful contraction, our waitress decided that she needed to tell me all about her 3 birth experiences. Jon said I looked like I was going to stab her in the throat with my steak knife.

Jon wanted to go home after dinner because he thought I was in real labor. I “knew” that I wasn’t (just like I “knew” we were having a girl), and I still wanted to get the grocery shopping done. I called my mom, and asked her about the new bloody show. She said that it was normal. I got a contraction while I was on the phone with her, and I had to breathe through it rather than talk. She said that “sounded promising” and she figured that I would be calling her around 11PM to tell her I was in labor. I just laughed because everybody thought I was in labor but me! We got all of our shopping done, and did some extra laps around the grocery store per mom’s advice. The contractions continued, and I started timing them on my cell phone “just for fun”. We got stocked up on food for the birth team and bought stuff to make Korben a birthday cake. Having that done made me feel even more ready for labor to start. Little did I know!

After we were done at the grocery store, we stopped over at my Dad’s house to visit Jimmy before he left for the Marines. His plane was taking off around 9AM the next morning, and we wanted to see his baby’s ultrasound pictures before he left. Jon and I stayed over there for about half an hour, and my contractions continued the whole time. I was hoping that I wasn’t in labor because Mary was really sick, and she wouldn’t be able to come to the birth if it was soon. When we got home and started putting the groceries away, my contractions stopped for a half hour or so. I told Jon that he was wrong, and I was right – I wasn’t in labor. About 2 seconds after I said that, they started again. Now they were 2-3 minutes apart and still lasting at least a minute. They felt a lot different now also. When I got one, I would have to stop moving and talking, lean against something, and sway back and forth. It only took about 3 of these to get my attention. It was 12:40AM when I told Jon to call Mom. She said that she would be over to check me in about 20 minutes and then we would call Krystn. While we were waiting for Mom to show up, the contractions continued at the same frequency and intensity, so Jon called Krystn anyways since her drive was long.

My Mom arrived around 1:10, and I was 5cm and 90% effaced. Between contractions, I would pace around the house. But when a contraction hit, I had to stop moving immediately and lean on somebody. They weren’t giving me much time to prepare – they hit like a train and didn’t let up until they were gone. After an hour of walking around, my legs were tired and shaky so I decided to lie down in our bed. Earlier that day, Jon and I bought a “sleep CD” that a friend recommended. He started playing this, but I made him turn it off. It wasn’t relaxing at all, and it really irritated me. I wanted to listen to the humidifier instead. My legs felt so good while I was lying down, but I just didn’t feel right. The contractions were somewhat harder to deal with, and I couldn’t relax as well. Jon was sitting beside the bed, helping me breathe through contractions. Then he decided that he wanted to lie beside me in the position that we had been using to practice our Bradley relaxation techniques. He made the mistake of doing this in the middle of one of my contractions, and when he shook the bed I “kindly” asked him to not to do that again. He maintains that I snapped at him, but I think I was as civil as a laboring woman could have been. I started to shake and get nauseated around this time. Jon asked Mom why I was shaking, and she said that it was just the phase of labor I was in. I remember hearing of the “fully dilated shakes” and I was hoping that I wasn’t 10cm yet. I was enjoying labor and didn’t want it to end so quickly! But, luckily, I wasn’t that far. The shakes and nausea marked the start of my 6 hours of transition labor. I always feared transition because women say it’s the hardest part. But I didn’t even know I was in it. Maybe because my labor was so intense the entire time, transition was what I got used to. But I know that if somebody would have told me I was in transition, I would have gotten nervous – I’m very glad that they didn’t label it for me.

Sometime during the lying down phase, Liz arrived and asked if she could check the baby’s heart. I remember thinking it was funny that she asked permission to check his heart tones. Of course she could, she didn’t need my permission! After about an hour of lying down, I decided that it was time to get up. Although I felt a little uneasy during that time, I’m glad that I did rest. I felt like a new woman when I stood back up. Deb and Steph had arrived, and they were waiting in the living room when I went back out there.

I went back to my routine of pacing between contractions and dancing during them. I think it’s funny that I wore my heels the entire time – I’m just so used to them, I can’t stand being flat footed. But the idea of a laboring woman in heels is so obscure! The swaying worked perfectly for Jon and me. I tried a few contractions using Krystn and Steph, but they were too short. He was the perfect height for me to just grab onto and dance, and his smell was familiar and calming. I remember I had a flashback of our first slow dance together, in 9th grade; who would have thought that 7 years later we would be in the same exact position, only with me getting ready to deliver our baby Smile

I don’t know why, but I decided that I wanted to try other ways of working through the contractions. Next time, I’m taking the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach. I squatted for one, and Krystn told me that that would make the baby come faster. But I really wasn’t comfortable squatting, so I didn’t do that again. Steph suggested that I sit on the edge of the couch and lean on Jon, so I tried that too. That was the second worst contraction of my entire labor. It was the only contraction that I actually moved during because I just HAD to get up. I was so unbelievably uncomfortable sitting down. I tried leaning on the couch with Jon behind me. This worked for awhile, but only if Jon’s feet were touching mine – they grounded me and gave me a new perception of where I was, if that makes any sense! During contractions, Jon would work with me to help me relax, and the one time he told me to relax my arms. Talking in the middle of a contraction was difficult, but I managed to hiss at him “I can’t relax my arms, they’re supporting me.” That was the second time that I was mean during labor.

Krystn suggested that I get in our garden tub. At first I didn’t feel like leaving the living room, but I decided to try it anyways. I knew that some women’s labors stalled out if they got in the water too early, and I asked her if she thought this would happen to me. She just laughed and said “no, your labor isn’t going to stall out.” The water felt divine. Liz had made it nice and warm, and she lit some candles that I had placed around the tub on the ledges. The environment was perfect: warm water, flickering candles, steamy air, peaceful quiet, just Jon and I. I was in a relaxed squatting position, and I would rest my head on Jon’s folded arms during a contraction. Shortly into the tub phase, I started getting contractions on top of one another and many with double peaks. They were lasting forever. It was exhausting because I had no time to rest between them. The only thing that kept me sane was Jon telling me when to breathe, when to slow down, and when to relax. He was so in tune with what I needed, even more so than I was at times. All I could do was concentrate on my heavy breathing, but I was really starting to feel worn out. The heat started to get to me, and I decided that I wanted out of the water. Between the contractions, I would try to work up the energy to stand up and get out, but there wasn’t enough time. I started to feel like I was never going to make it out of the water. It was then that I said “I think I’m actually in labor.” Apparently this was funny. Krystn came in around this time and wanted to know if I could stand up so she could listen to the baby. This motivated me, and I was able to stand and climb out.

She wanted to check me, and I was curious, so I laid on the edge of the bed. Lying down, flat on my back, was absolutely horrible. It was the only time that I remember the contractions actually hurting, and I felt like I had lost control over my labor. But when Krystn told me I was 9cm, I was glad that I let her check me. It gave me a burst of energy and I knew that I would be meeting Embie soon enough. Since I was naked, and all of our labor participants had arrived, I wore a robe out to the living room. I remember thinking that I didn’t really want the robe, but I wore it anyways. I didn’t want to shock everybody by walking out butt naked – that modesty lasted for about 30 seconds once I actually got out there Smile I walked around for a little bit while I got accustomed to the new environment. Mom made a comment that “you don’t see women in the hospital walking around like that when they’re 9cm dilated.”

Liz had set up the birthing stool and lots of blue pads in front of the couch, and I sat there to labor away my last centimeter. It was a fun atmosphere. In a semi-circle around me sat Krystn, Liz, Steph, Deb, Mom, Rhonda, and Jenn. Jon sat behind me on the couch and I leaned back on him. Between contractions, we talked, laughed, made jokes, and basically acted like it was a normal day! I kept burping loudly, and Krystn told me that that wasn’t very princess-like, but that I was allowed to do anything I wanted during labor. I decided that I needed to pee, and Krystn said that it would probably be hard for me to pee in front of all these people, so they could help me to the bathroom instead. I DID NOT want to move, so I made up my mind that I would just pee when I wanted. I did this, and felt the need to announce it to everybody as well. They all laughed, and Krystn said that I should pee a little during every contraction so that my urethra didn’t swell up. I didn’t want a catheter after birth, so I complied.

Sometime during this, I “checked out” of reality. I was well aware of everything going on around me, but I no longer participated in the conversations. I needed to focus all of my attention on getting through the contractions, which were now coming every 1-2 minutes. Then came the worst contraction of my entire labor: It was about 6AM, and Delaney had woken up so Jenn had to go up to her house to feed her. Everybody thought I was really close to delivering, so Jenn decided to just bring her to our house so that she wouldn’t miss the birth. Well, Delaney started screaming right in the middle of a contraction, and I totally lost my focus. I was brought back to reality in a millisecond, and the intensity of the contraction hit me like a lightening bolt. I couldn’t take it; I totally lost it. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move, and I couldn’t get my focus back. I screamed “get her out of here now!” Afterwards, I felt so horrible about saying that! I just couldn’t control myself. That was the third and final time that I was mean during labor.

Every time I needed something, I was very polite about it. I almost always said please and thank you. Crushed up ice cubes tasted great, but I would have to spit them out when a contraction hit because I was afraid I was going to choke. A few times, Steph hit my one front tooth with the ice-cold spoon, and I could have killed her! That hurt worse than the contractions. A mixture of Recharge and ginger ale tasted great too. It helped my nausea a lot. The one time, I needed a refill, and I know that Krystn told them to make it straight Recharge. I heard them whispering and I knew that’s what they were talking about, but I really didn’t care. I drank it anyways, even though I was slightly irritated.

While I was sitting on the birth stool, still in my own realm of reality, my Mom made the comment “well if being fully dilated doesn’t make her break a sweat, I wonder what does.” Jon came back with “I make her sweat.” Everybody cracked up. Inside my head I was laughing, but I couldn’t manage to actually say anything. This was the last moment that I remember feeling the relaxed, joking atmosphere of my labor. After I started pushing, the fun came to an abrupt end.

Krystn checked me while I was sitting on the birth stool, and said that I just had a little lip of cervix left. During the next contraction, she pushed it out of the way and told me that I would probably start feeling the urge to push soon. I waited for it, but it never came. After awhile, I got impatient and just started to push anyways. I was fully dilated and getting anxious to meet this little man. I don’t know how long I had been pushing before Krystn offered to break my water. She thought that it was holding up the process, and I figured she was probably right. I was feeling like I had made zero progress. I remember thinking about women telling me how, after their water broke, the contractions got a lot more intense and painful. This was the only time during labor that I was actually afraid of feeling pain. Up until now, I had been thinking “Labor is really easy; I wonder when it’s going to get hard.” I knew that I was doing well at this point, but I was afraid of having more than I could handle. I decided to just go for it, and told her to go ahead and break it. I’m really glad that I did, because, even though it was bulging, it took her a good 5 minutes to rupture the sac. No wonder it wasn’t breaking on its own – it was really thick and tough.

After she broke my water, Krystn checked the baby’s heart tones again and told us that she thought he had the cord wrapped around his neck. Also, there was meconium in the water and his heart rate was decelerating during contractions, down to the 80’s at times. She said that it wasn’t a serious problem since it bounced back up quickly, but I heard a sense of urgency in her voice. I thought “oh shit, we’re going to end up getting transferred to the hospital.” She made the statement that I could keep easing this baby out gently, or I could make up my mind to really start pushing and get him out faster. But I never said it; for fear that I would jinx myself. I decided that I just wanted to get him out, especially with the potential cord around the neck, and I started giving every push my all.

Pushing was HARD! I never got even the slightest urge to push and I was pretty annoyed by that actually. I think it would have made the process a lot easier. With each contraction, I would push three times. At this point, Jon had switched places with my Mom, and she was coaching me. She did a great job of motivating me and telling me when to push. At the end of each one, when she could sense that I was about to stop, she would say “extra push” and I would give a few more seconds. After pushing for awhile, I started to feel like I was going to pass out. I think my blood sugar was just too low, and the physical straining put my already worn out body over the edge. When I would start to push, I would black out for a second and I wasn’t able to talk or move. It was horrible. I honestly thought that I was going to die. The birth team quickly went into action, and I was downing spoonfuls of honey, chunks of banana, and drinking Recharge like my life depended on it (I really think it did, actually). After pushing for awhile on the birthing stool, Krystn suggested we change positions. I didn’t have any feelings or urges about particular pushing positions, so I just went with the flow. I squatted for a bit. She told me that I needed to squat during the contractions then stand up in between them. I honestly didn’t think I could do that much moving. I was beyond exhausted, and I just wanted to stay squatting. Then she pulled out the “it’s best for the baby” card, and I was practically jumping up after my contractions were over. You can talk a laboring woman into anything with that line. Squatting wasn’t doing anything magical, and it was even more tiring, so I moved onto my hands and knees. That was horribly uncomfortable. Jenn suggested that I rest my head on a pillow and the birth stool. I tried that, but I still wasn’t able to effectively push in the hands/knees position. Back to the birth stool we went!

I finally started to figure out how to push once I got back on the birth stool. Krystn made the comment “You’re going to have this baby out of your butt. The sooner you realize that, the sooner he’ll be here.” That really made sense to me, and I started to find my groove. During the contractions, Jon and Jenn would help me pull and hold my legs on the birth stool and I would give it all I had. Tilting my hips up towards the ceiling really helped also. My legs were so tired and uncomfortable that I started getting the worst cramps I’ve ever felt. I swear they were worse than the contractions. In between pushing, it felt good to straighten them out, but I literally couldn’t bring them back onto the birth stool when another contraction hit. So after awhile I just kept them folded up, even though it was incredibly tight. I pushed for 3 hours, and I had no idea how exhausting it would be! During some contractions, I would pretend I wasn’t having one, just so I wouldn’t have to push anymore. Maybe if I would have had the urge, it would have been easier. Who knows!

After pushing FORVER, my hips started to hurt. I could feel them spreading, and I knew we were finally getting somewhere. Mom told me to feel my belly – it was like mush! I couldn’t even feel the baby anymore! And FINALLY he started to crown. Jon was a great coach. He kept saying “You got this, you’re almost there” and “I can see his head, just a few more contractions.” I had no idea how excited he was going to be, and I didn’t know if he would watch or not. But he watched everything. When I would look at him, the excited expression on his face gave me the energy I needed for the next pushes. Krystn was giving me a lot of perineal support with warm washcloths and massaging me with oil. The washcloths felt heavenly. The “massage” was anything but, but I know it helped me stay intact. When he really started crowning, Krystn asked me if I wanted to feel his head. I always thought that I would want to, but I honestly couldn’t move. My hands were holding my legs back, and I didn’t have enough strength to re-adjust. After a few more pushes, I experienced my only real “pain” of childbirth. I could feel the sides of my labia tearing, and I actually screamed a little. I could feel every fiber of tissue ripping, and I can still feel it now when I think about it. Everybody told me to “push through it” and I did. Looking around the room, I could see all the tears running down their faces, and finally, his head popped out! It was such a surreal sight – staring in the mirror in front of me, I could see my body with a huge baby head just sitting between my legs. It was incredible, but very dreamlike. The next contraction hit, and he came flying out. Krystn handed him to me, and I was surprised. I forgot that I got to hold him first! He was totally limp, not making any effort to cry, and his eyes were glazed over. I was scared out of my mind, but his color and heart rate were great, so that gave me some comfort. I could hear his chest rattling as he tried to breath, but I just wanted to hear him cry. My Mom started suctioning him with the bulb syringe, but he still wasn’t crying. Krystn kept reassuring me that he was fine. She took him back and started stimulating him with some rough rubbing. His cord was pretty short, so Jon cut it so she had more room to work. After almost 5 minutes, my little man finally let out his first cries. It was such a relief! Because my sugar was low, his was also. I gave him some sugar on my finger – he had quite the suck! He didn’t want to breastfeed, though. He was more interested in just licking my nipple instead. I remember just sitting there, staring at this little image of perfection. He was born with his right arm up by his head, and he actually had an indentation in his skull where his fist had been firmly implanted during the birth.

Overall, I am so incredibly happy with how his birth went. I am surprised that I did so well during labor. I kept thinking how easy it was and how much fun I was having. I never imagined that I would enjoy labor. Pushing was a different story. I think I would have been scared if I wasn’t so tired – maybe that was for the best. I loved being in my own house. I was so comfortable. I got to move when and where I wanted. I got to call the shots. I am so happy that we decided to have a homebirth. Because of his heart rate dips, the meconium, and his compound arm causing a prolonged pushing stage, I honestly believe that I would have ended up having a c-section if we would have been at the hospital. It was an amazing experience, and I will definitely choose a homebirth the next time also.

Joined: 07/29/03
Posts: 147
Colyer's birth story (induction, EFM, IV, Epidural)

After a happy although sometimes harrowing pregnancy, and multiple bouts of preterm labor, I had reached 34 weeks. Collectively, my family, friends and medical professionals let out a profound sigh of relief. "Technically, you aren't quite full-term yet," my obstetrician informed me, "but you've reached the third trimester no-man's land. If you go into labor now, we won't give you any medications to stop it, just a fluid iv and then wait and see. But," she added, "if you start to stall out, we won't do anything either." This had seemed like an impossible goal after repeated hospitalizations, the first one at only 20 weeks and two days. Slowly, as I hit each milestone, my doctor would give me another goal, and praise my patience. At this point, and due to my frenzied research, I felt I knew as much about my pregnancy as anyone else did. "I'd still like to see you cook that little boy for another month or so, think you can do that?"

"Sure," I responded with a smile. I liked being pregnant. I loved my tight, round belly. I loved feeling my son kick and stretch and thump at me. The changes in my body filled me with awe. At the same time, I'd been on a razor's edge over every little twinge and ache for months and was getting rather impatient to meet this kid.

The 35 week mark passed by uneventfully, but the very next day, I felt the return of the all-too-familiar contractions. Remembering what my doctor had told me, I did something that still surprises everyone that knows me: I kept my mouth shut. Every so often, I could feel the contraction wrap around me. I'd relax and keep my breathing even and it would fade out. It wasn't even painful, I was surprised, and somewhat doubtful- while my previous labors hadn't been all that intense, they'd definitely hurt. Maybe this wasn't even labor.

Things stayed pretty much the same all that day and the next. I ran errands and did my best to keep myself distracted enough that no one noticed what was happening. Besides, my mother was paying to get my car all fixed up on Saturday, and if I had the baby I just knew she'd forget all about it. The car was in sad, sad shape. In fact, on day three of my maybe-labor, the car sounded very much like a Harley as I drove myself and my boyfriend to my mother's.

Offhandedly, I asked my boyfriend if he had a watch. I'd noticed that morning that things seemed to be picking up. To the point that I now needed to really breath deep when one hit, and I had several in the less than fifteen minute drive to my mom's place. He didn't and when I explained why, I actually had to pull over and calm him down. Back on the road, we got to my mother's without further incident and he promptly went in search of my younger brother the athlete for some type of timing mechanism.

I almost made it out the door to follow my mother to the garage without her noticing. Unfortunately, my luck didn't quite hold out. She cornered me and questioned my strange pacing, I tried to brush it off as 'no big deal, just some cramps' but she didn't buy it. She made me wait while she timed four contractions. "Less than four minutes apart! Why didn't you say something earlier?!? How long have you been having these?"

"Uhhh... a couple of days..."


With that, I was carried off to the hospital, plucked neatly into a wheelchair, and brought up to the oh, so familiar assessment unit. My mother took care of the paperwork while the nurses called in someone to give me an iv, hooked me up to the fetal monitors and generally fussed around me. Soon the comforting whoosh, whoosh of the baby's heart rate filled the room and everyone stared, rapt as the paper tracings drew out the sharp hills that marked my steady, strong contractions... every three minutes.

"Well," said Lorraine, my mother's first cousin and one of the L&D nurses, "I would have said you were too calm to be in labor. Do you need anything for the pain?"

"Pain?" I asked, "oh these don't hurt... just feel tight, like I need to stretch."

"Well, hun," she said with a laugh, "I'd keep that to myself if I were you."

I chatted with my mother until she had to leave (to bring my car to the garage with the help of my aunt- yay!) and my boyfriend until he headed home to fill his parents in and get something to eat. I was making progress, but very slowly and still wasn't in any pain, so I was pretty much just shooing everyone out the door. I'd had enough of being watched like a pot about to boil over, when I knew in my gut, I was barely simmering.

Eight hours or so went by and I buzzed my nurse, "since nothing urgent seems to be going on, can I either go home, or get some food?"

"Lemme check with the Doctor, I'll be right back," she tore off the several feet of monitor tracings and bustled out the door. I went right back to staring at the monitor, since there was nothing else for me to do. A few moments later, an unfamiliar doctor came in and introduced himself. In exceedingly calm and reassuring tones, he told me that my baby's heart rate was dropping more than he'd like to see unless I was being monitored and that I was being admitted. "Don't worry," he said as he patted my hand, "I'll sneak you in some food, and you'll have this baby by dawn."

Well, my contractions stayed the same, my iv stayed in place, as did the monitors, and my dilation. Morning came, along with dry rice crispies and warm apple juice, and went. In fact, Sunday passed in a slow creep of sporadically dwindling beeps and overly concerned medical staff. Monday brought yet more contractions, and 'decels' of my baby's heart rate, and the lovely adventure of a biophysical profile, or 'super ultrasound' as my boyfriend dubbed it. This involved a great deal of pressure on my full to bursting bladder as they attempted to see if the baby was compressing the cord, or possibly had some previously unspotted heart defect. Unfortunately, he was so low, and turned in such a way that there was no new information, even after a full hour.

The poor Dr's were in a quandry. My labor was talking it's slow sweet time, have only gained me an additional centimeter and another 30% effacement since being admitted despite the 'textbook' patterns of my contractions. At 35 and a half weeks, they couldn't do anything to speed it up without real evidence that the baby 'needed out'. Gently, they mentioned a c-section. I asked a barrage of questions about the risks of the surgery versus the other options and they let it go, saying that there was nothing urgent at that point, but stressing that I should accept that every time his little heart slowed down and didn't recover properly, the changes of the OR increased.

The 'watch and wait' crowd won out for Tuesday and I spent the entire day in bed and hooked up to the monitors and iv's. I'd never been so well hydrated in my life. Wednesday arrived with the pronouncement that I was to have a amniocentesis to test for lung maturity. The nurse whisked my breakfast away (brave woman, snatching food literally from the hands of a pregnant lady) and informed me that I could be wheeled up at any minute and since the procedure increased my chances of my waters breaking I couldn't eat until afterwards... 'just in case.'

Grumbling, I smiled and nodded and hoped that they didn't take long. At one pm, after watching my roommates eat their chicken nuggets and salad, I sweet-talked a nursing student into bringing me jello and juice. Once again, I had the spoon poised and ready when the nurse walked in with a wheelchair and snatched it away! She unplugged me from the monitors, hooked my iv bag to the chair and wheeled me upstairs, my poor boy rushing along behind her. I got to watch my little boy one the screen as they collected the fluid. He created quite the stir when he kicked and pounded on the syringe. "Looks like he doesn't want us poking around his room," one doctor joked. Even with my son's spirited protests, it didn't take long and I was returned to my room with strict orders to lie on my left side and not move for three hours. I checked the time, two pm... three hours meant that if all went well, I'd be able to eat my supper. Frankly, at that point, I was so hungry I was counting the minutes until I could eat.

Supper was late. In fact, the (now-hated, food depriving) nurse arrived just moments before the food trays were delivered to my roomies. "Good news," she said.

"I get a steak?" I asked hopefully. She shot me a quelling look.

"No dear, the amnio says the baby's lungs are mature. You're getting induced tonight!"

"Great!" I replied, "I'll eat my dinner and then whenever you guys are ready..."

"No dear, you can't eat if you are getting induced."

"But, I haven't eaten since yesterday."

"Oh don't worry about that, you have an iv."


"No buts dear, you are barely managing to avoid a c-section as it is... if your baby doesn't react well to the medications, they need to be able to get him out fast."

I stopped my protests. I remembered this argument all too well. It had taken all I could come up with to convince 'the team' to let me have a 'labor trial'. We'd worked out a compromise. They'd let me try to give birth vaginally, IF and only if, I agreed to have a heavy-duty epidural in place just in case the heart rate issues got worse, which was a real concern.

I had also agreed to participate in a study, testing a possible new technique for induction. A blood pressure pill that had the 'side effect' of triggering contractions during it's testing was being evaluated on it's usefulness for induction. There were a few different groups you could end up in for the study and I lucked into being part of the 'oral test group'. Yippee. Every few hours the nurses would come in, check my progress and make me take a little pill. Then, they'd note the ever-present monitor tracings and bustle out of the room. By morning, after four doses, I'd dilated a whole two extra centimeters, and completely thinned out. Finally.

This time, the on-call doctor checked me, made his notes and asked permission to break my water. "Sure," I said, just wanting to get the ball rolling after dealing with my slow but steady labor for a full week at this point, most of which had been in the hospital. Ten minutes after he'd left and I'd twisted and scooted and turned every which way trying to find a position that let me feel even a tiny bit dry, a frantic nurse rushed in. She informed me that the monitors had 'lost' my baby. Visions of scary surgeries and tiny coffins filled my mind. My boyfriend valiantly tried to get her to explain. No luck. She was busy fussing with machinery. Then, we heard it. The blessed whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of my little boy's heart. No one had tightened the belts on the monitors after breaking my water, so they were slack and not able to pick anything up. Baby was fine. We let out a huge sigh of relief.

My contractions were pretty much the same, although they were now just strong enough to be unpleasant. Had I been able to move around, I was sure I could cope, but I couldn't due to the heart rate concerns. I chatted with my boyfriend and my mother showed up after an hour or so. She'd dropped the kids at school and headed in to keep me company. We played cards and I read off and on for a few hours. The nurse marveled at how well I was coping, and my boyfriend felt brave enough to joke that I should rub his back. Everyone laughed but me. I reminded my nurses that I was supposed to have an epidural. One went to check on that while the other gave me a shot of (unneeded) painkillers. Hospital policy said that the narcotic HAD to be administered before an epidural could be given in a labor situation. Oh well, I didn't mind. However, I reacted badly, and although I wasn't in pain, I spent the next couple of hours paranoid, dizzy and nauseous.

Finally, the "epi-man" (whose name I was never given) arrived. The nurses checked me, then told him to hurry as I was nine centimeters! I curled up on my side, clutching my little emesis basin while he pricked and poked at my back. The nurses cooed and helped me breath through two decidedly uncomfortable contractions. He was just taping my back when I felt it. "Ummm... something just moved," I said to the nurse.

"That's just the numbing starting to kick in," she explained.

I was doubtful, "no, I don't think so... I definitely felt something move. Like a lot. Could you check me please?" The other nurse, 'epi-man', and my boyfriend were rolling me back into a reclining position and fussing with a variety of straps and tubes.

"Your water has been broken for hours, we can't check you so soon... the risk of infection-"

"Ummm... maybe you should check her," the other nurse interrupted. She had her hand on my belly and later told me she'd noticed it was smaller.

"Fine," said the first one, impatiently snapping back the sheet, "I'm telling you, she's only nin- we're crowning! Call the doctor!"

People burst into action. A Neonatal team appeared out of nowhere, my bed was transformed, my mother whisked away. Someone grabbed my boyfriend and stuffed him into scrubs and a mask and a surgical kit was laid out, 'just in case'.

Luckily, I got the hang of pushing quickly. After only a few minutes, the younger nurse was setting up a mirror so I could see. "The Doctor is in the elevator, she'll be here any minute." I was too distracted by the back to back contractions to pay much attention to what was going on, but I caught that much. Push, collapse and breath, then do it again. It was an easy rhythm to follow, and I still wasn't in any real pain. It didn't feel GOOD, but it was far from the worst pain I'd ever felt.

"You should have told me who it was," I heard my wonderful doctor joke, glancing up to see her getting tucked into a gown, "you can all go home. Just give her a catcher's mitt and show her where the clamps are. She can do this herself. Can't you?" she added with a wink.

"Of course," I panted, "but I'd rather not have to deal with the mess, so they can stay."

"Good girl, way to make us feel important," then she settled onto the stool and gently coaxed me to push 'just a little longer' or 'give a good one, this time.'

All in all I pushed for nineteen minutes, six of which were spent negotiating not getting an episiotomy. I ended up with no tearing and a perfectly healthy, six pound, four ounce, 36 week baby boy, who'd had his cord coiled around his neck four times- hence the heart rate issues. The epidural took affect ten minutes after I was all done with the birth, about halfway to the bathroom to get cleaned up, sending me sprawling to the floor. The nurse helped me back into bed and gave me a quick sponge bath, and my doctor came back loaded down with food for me to eat while my son was being evaluated in the NICU under the watchful eyes of his father.

We went home two days later, a full week after being admitted.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

Here's a birth story-- and some pictures.

My MIL arrived on Thursday, Miles' due date. I jokingly said when she arrived, okay big guy-- you can come anytime now. My contractions started around 5p or so. They were noticable, but not painful at all and continued all evening. Finally during Grey's Anatomy, I decided to just count how many I had during the show (easier than timing :wink:) I had 7. Still not painful, but persistent. I mentioned it to Trey and we went about our evening routine and went to bed. I had contrax all night-- but was mostly able to sleep thru them. They were waking me up a bit more often than the usual pregnancy discomforts, but I mostly slept. Around 6a I woke up with some really strong contrax, and when I sat up I felt a small gush. I went to the bathroom and had a good amount of bloody show...and contrax were about 7 minutes apart and strong. Instantly, as with the girls, I had diarhhea. Finally around 630a I was able to leave the bathroom, and woke Trey to call my parents (who would be coming from 3 hrs away.)

I went back to bed and just rested through some strong contrax. About 8a they were 5 minutes apart and getting really uncomfy, so I phoned my MW and told her today was the day. She said to call back when they were 4 minutes apart. I'm really terrible at timing contax, b/c when I'm laboring I'm in my own world. I don't want Trey around, I just want silence and darkness and to be in my own space. I tried to eat some toast and get some fluids in me, but I didn't really feel hungry, just thought I should eat. The girls were up and I visited with them a bit, before I wanted to be totally alone, and headed back up to our bedroom around 830a. I labored on my ball in our room and rested in our bed for a while before I was really uncomfy. My contrax were quite strong, but manageable, but I was having round ligament pain which I'd never had during labor before. I labored on the toilet for a while and did some squats, told Trey to call my MW and tell her we were getting closer and decided to take a shower.

At this point, Trey was getting things together like making our "birth bed" (shower curtain under the sheets and old sheets on the bed, the birth pool was already blown up, but he was putting the tarp under it and getting it ready to be filled, etc.) Bringing the birth kit into our bedroom etc. I labored in our bath tub and was having really strong contrax and I could tell they were close together, but again, not timing them.

My MW and team arrived, I think, around 1045a or so. She and her team got things together and I got out of the tub so she could do one round of vitals on me and baby. Baby's HB was good, as was my BP and pulse, etc. She then checked me, and told me I was a good 6, stretchy 7cm with a bulging bag. Baby was still high, but she said, as soon as your water breaks you're going to have a baby. Better hurry and fill that pool!

My parents arrived around 11a--and everyone hurried to fill the pool....but got it only halfway full before I was feeling lots of pressure and just wanted to get in. So I got in, I had about 2 really strong contrax, one more contrax and I felt my water break. It was the MOST incredible relief for about a minute. I had had so much pressure from the bag of waters-- but after the next contrax the head was right there. My MW checked baby to make sure he had done well after the water breaking (as he was still -1 before the break) She felt the head, and told me to. I turned over, put my hands down and he was right there. I didn't get the *ring of fire* at all, just incredible pressure in my bottom. I'm not sure how many, but a couple of contrax later he was out. Trey was there, as was my mom and Taya. My dad, Callie and MIL all missed it b/c he came so fast....but were there in the moments afterward.

Taya was in awe. And right after he came out said "where is the placenta?" (can you tell we'd been reading books?)

I couldn't get him up to my chest, as I had short cord. So he was confined to my belly for a while. We waited for the placenta to detach-- but it was taking a while, so we did cut the cord before the placenta was out. He was so calm and peaceful, only cried a wee bit and instantly his sisters were in love. He had apgars of 9 and 9.

We hung out in the water for a while and then delivered the placenta. I got out, snuggled and nursed Miles for a bit, and then the MW's had me get into an herbal bath with Miles. It was all so relaxed. About 2 hours after birth they did the full newborn assessment and checked me-- no tears or anything and Miles is just perfect and healthy.

Here are some pics. Some kind of graphic...but nothing too terrible.

This is in our bedroom. I was watching Callie and my dad on the swingset between contractions. It was a beautiful day-- 70 and sunny.

Feeling his head

He is out!


Meeting his sisters

I love this picture-- b/c once we were out of the water-- he was chilled. So Taya went and got him her princess blanket....which she insisted go on him. So his first pics are him in a princess blanket-- this poor kid!

Our herbal bath together (that is what is floating in the water!)

Weighing baby

Family pics

Taya and Miles

Miles all alone

tanismom's picture
Joined: 11/07/06
Posts: 717

Birth Story of Odeliya Schwell 3/8/07

Wednesday, February 28th, I started having light contractions in the afternoon. Wed night I slept without waking up once, but all of Thursday, my ctrx were more noticeable and pretty frequent. Thursday night I asked Olivia to come check me, since I had labored all day but the intensity was not increasing. I was 70% efface, fully engaged and about 2 cm dilated. All in all, a productive day of early labor. I was ready to find out what we could do to speed things up, albeit being only 37 weeks, but thankfully, Olivia doesn’t believe in that, she truly believes in letting babies come when they are good and ready. She told us, instead of trying to figure out how we could make this baby come now, to think about why this baby wasn’t coming yet. She urged me to relax and to meditate on anything that might be holding up the labor.

So I relaxed. Over the next week (not quite as long as Taryl, sorry honey!) I had an hour or two of ctrx every day, but inevitably they would stop at night and I would be able to sleep.

Wednesday morning, March 7th, I had some ctrx in the morning. And I kept having them all day. Around 8:30pm, I decided to call Olivia, b/c they were frequent and they were strong enough to be nagging. She told me to have Yoram time them for ½ hour and call her back. They were coming erratically, but not more than 5 minutes apart. So Olivia’s assessment was that my body was still getting in gear. We were all pretty sure this was the real thing, but we had some time. She told me to get in the pool, relax with a glass of red wine, and get intimate with Yoram. She told me that my body was most likely going to find it’s pattern when I was relaxed and really sensual. So we lit some candles and enjoyed the pool together and some good red wine.

At around 11, we emptied the pool, deciding that I wanted fresh water for the birth, and went to bed. My ctrx seemed to have slowed down a bit and the wine took the edge off, so I tried to sleep. At 2:30am they started waking me up. I slept in btwn until 3 and then woke up Yoram and started making calls. Olivia and Kim (my doula) were first on the list, then my sister who was going to be in charge of Netanel, and then my parents. The ctrx were 5 minutes apart and getting intense.

Olivia and Kim pulled up at the same time, around 4am, Yoram was already filling the pool. Olivia set up and checked me at 4:30, baby sounded great, I was 4 cm. We figured we had time. Apparently that wasn’t Odeliya’s plan! I got in the pool right after my little exam and stayed there for most of my labor. It was awesome!! The heat and the water felt soooo good. My ctrx had gotten so intense that at some point I realized that I wasn’t using my break in btwn to relax, I was spending those precious minutes dreading the next contraction! So I made a conscious decision to relax btwn ctrx and enjoy the time.

I got out of the pool for a little (not sure how long, I was mostly unaware of what was going on around me, I became hyperfocused inward) b/c I was hot and wanted to lie down btwn ctrx, but I didn’t want to leave the comfort of the water. Olivia checked heart tones and asked if she could check me, uncharacteristically of me, I said no. Kim kept trying to bring me oatmeal, tea and water, and I kept trying to eat, but I wasn’t getting much down. It just seemed too “external” to eat. My body didn’t want to do anything but labor. I got back in the pool and was moaning through every contraction. It really helped to make those low guttural sounds and keep my mouth loose.

Netanel woke up at 6:15 and my sister hadn’t arrived yet. I decided to be more conscious btwn ctrx so I could communicate w/ Tani. Yoram had gotten in the pool behind me b/c I felt I wanted that support. Kim was great! Yoram and she worked wonderfully together to help me through the ctrx, and to make me feel comfortable. Olivia and Kim were talking to Netanel, I couldn’t make eye contact w/ anyone, I was barely opening my eyes at all. But I told Netanel that this was it, they baby was coming soon, and then I had a ctrx and started my moaning. Ok, now I have to backtrack a minute, b/c this was really funny. We had been watching some birthing videos to prepare Tani for the birth. Some of the women were really intense and quiet during their labors and some were noisy. I had asked Netanel if he thought I was going to be quiet or noisy and he decided I was going to be like the quiet mommies. So here I was moaning and he started getting nervous. Olivia was talking to him and he says to her, “But I thought she was going to be quiet!” I heard, and registered this conversation, and even laughed! After I explained to him that making noise helped me get the baby out, he was ok, and he moaned with me – which was sooo cute!

My sis finally arrived at around 6:45 and my parents were on their way. She took over w/ Tani and he was doing well. They I hit transition. The crazy thing is, no one knew that that’s what it was b/c I hadn’t been checked since 4:30 and it was only 2 ½ hours later! So all of a sudden my ctrx got unbearable, I started screaming and the pressure was building in my birth canal. Yoram asked Olivia if she thought this might be transition, and Olivia said she didn’t think so (I’m not sure why, I want to ask her). Somewhere I registered that Netanel asked my sister to take him out of the room (soo mature of him!)
Olivia gave me a dose of Valerian root to help give me a break b/c I felt like my energy was dwindling, but a break was not on the agenda! About five minutes later my next contraction hit and I felt like I was pushing, which I expressed quite loudly to my birth team. Olivia told me to go ahead and push if I felt like it and she came and leaned over the side of the pool to check where we were at. Fully dilated and head descending. The coolest thing in the world was feeling my water break with one of the pushes! Then her head descended and she was crowning and I thought my body was going to break apart. I vaguely registered that Kim and Olivia were closer to me now. They were telling me that I was doing great, that I was amazing and that my baby’s head was coming. I heard myself repeating at the top of my lungs whatever they were saying (“I’m doing great, I’m amazing, It’s my baby’s head!!”)

I think I got a little break before the next push and Olivia somehow broke through my intense inner focus and engaged my attention. I felt a really intense connection when I looked into her eyes and I felt like I had to lock that gaze to get through the rest of the labor. (Afterwards, Olivia told me that it was really intense for her too and that she was afraid to look away from me to see what was happening w/ the baby!_ She told me that I needed to listen to her and she was going to walk me through the rest of the pushing so that I wouldn’t tear and it was going to be really easy. Then I got really quiet. I pushed when she told me to and breathed when she told me not to push. My body felt like it was listening to her also, b/c I didn’t find it hard to stop pushing when I had to. Olivia applied counter pressure against my perineum and I felt my baby’s head pass through the birth canal and the relief of birthing her head. Her body came out in one easy push and I was still so intent on Olivia that she had to tell me to pick up my baby! And there she was. This beautiful little girl with black black hair and dark eyes, looking at me – really looking at me. She was amazing! I said to her, “I saw you! I knew you looked exactly like this!” It was 7:30. Exactly 3 hours since Olivia first checked me.

Her cord was a bit short and she had not cried yet or started breathing on her own, but her color was perfect – bright pink from her core to her fingers and toes. But she wasn’t breathing, so Olivia got to work. Kim told me to rub her feet while Olivia suctioned her – quite a few time. In the moment, I remember feeling a sense of urgency from Olivia, but also being confident that everything was ok, and that she had whatever it was under control. Finally we got a little cry out of her, but she still wasn’t doing much. Olivia asked me to get onto the bed where it would be easier for her to work, since the placenta hadn’t come yet and the cord was short. After a few more minutes, she started breathing, never really gave a big cry, but got going and then needed help with her sucking reflex b/c of the overstimulation from the suctioning. Olivia stimulated her palette until she got a good suck and then we latched her on. At which point she took to nursing like an old pro!

Once I birthed the placenta someone asked when we were going to cut the cord (it might have been my mom, who had arrived about a minute after the birth! Apparently, it was my mom’s fault they left so late and my dad was really pissed at having missed the birth). Olivia told us that she leaves the cord intact for at least 3 hours to maximize the amount of blood that the baby gets from her placenta. So we put the placenta in a big Ziploc, wrapped it in towels and tucked it next to me. Then she directed everyone out of the room so Yoram and I could have some time alone w/ the baby. I looked at my beautiful little daughter and asked her what her name was. We had settled on one of two names, but neither of them were right when I looked at her. And then this name that we had seen, and liked, but decided to dismiss came back to me. And when I thought about it, Odeliya, “I will give thanks to God”, it was exactly what I wanted to do. For everything. For this baby, for the experience of the birth, for the quick labor – and as it turned out, there was more to be thankful for that I didn’t even know yet. So I asked Yoram if we could revisit that name and he liked it.

I tried to nap but I couldn’t, so I decided to take a shower – in my own shower!! Kim stayed in the bathroom with me in case I got dizzy, I was fine. Then I got into my own clothes, in my own clean bed and nursed my baby, everyone came in and was smiling – and omg! As I’m writing this, I realize that it’s exactly how I had envisioned it when I was trying to decide where to have the birth! Wow, it was awesome!

When Olivia came back on Friday (she couldn’t come until the evening so she ended up joining us for our Shabbat dinner, which was so cool!) I asked her to go over the birth with me from her perspective, b/c I felt there was so much that I missed. She told me that she had started getting nervous b/c she was hearing late deceleration in the heart tones – which is a reason to transport. The weird thing was that it wasn’t happening consistently, some contractions where fine. That’s why she got nervous when I hit transition, she felt that things were happening too fast and too intense and she didn’t know what the baby could handle. But then before she had to make a final decision, I was pushing. She said that usually a mother gets a break after transition before pushing starts. Sometimes it can even be an hour or more. That’s why she gave me the Valerian, b/c she wanted me to really be able to rest so I’d have the energy to push. But my baby and my body knew better. It was time to come out, she wasn’t handling the labor well anymore. So that is the other reason that I have to be thankful. My baby is healthy and beautiful and she wanted to be born at home!

Joined: 04/23/07
Posts: 624

Jasmine was born on May 5, 2007 at 2:16pm. She weighed 7 lbs 7.5 oz and qas 19 1/2 inches long.

We were at DH graduation on Friday afternoon, May 4th, when I started having contractions about 30 minutes apart. Not too bad, I wasn't worried.

But that night, the contractions woke me up and were 8-10 minutes apart from 12:30am for the whole rest of the night and the next morning. Around 11am-12noon on Saturday they started getting much more painful even though they were further apart. Around 12:30pm-12:45pm, they all of a sudden jumped to only being 2-3 minutes apart with no warning.

I was laying down on the bed with so much pain, I knew something had changed. Olivier jumped in the shower, and woke up Jordan from his nap. We were supposed to take him to my sisters house before going to the hospital, but I knew that we had no time. I was on the phone trying to figure out what to do with him, all the while in tons of pain, since they were already so close together.

Finally, we just had to go and decided to bring Jordan with us to the hospital and my sister would meet us there to bring him home with her. We got to the hospital at 1:30pm, and they quickly had me change and checked me for dialation. The nurse said I was already 9 1/2 centimeters and fully effaced!

They quickly called my CNM, and luckily she was in her office doing some work, otherwise she wouldn't have made it there in time. It was even raining outside! So my CNM showed up a few minutes later, and they knew that I was going to have to start pushing very quickly. So there were tons of hospital staff rushing all of the equipment and stuff in there to get everything ready. Its a good thing I was going to do it all natural, cause they said I wouldn't have even had time for an epidural, even if I wanted one.

At 2pm, only 30 minutes after we checked into the hospital, they told me I was completely dialated and that I could start pushing. It took me 16 minutes to push her out. It was so hard, but cool that it didn't take me too long. My sister showed up and ended up staying cause Jordan was being really quiet and sitting there watching everything wide eyed. So he saw his sister being born. He was so good and well-behaved.

I did it all natural without any IV's or anything. It was so hard and painful, but I am so glad that I didn't need pitocin this time around. I was also so happy and proud of myself for being able to push her out on my own without an episiotomy. I had one with Jordan, and was able to do it all on my own with Jasmine, and she was even bigger than Jordan was.

When the baby finally came out at 2:16 pm, I asked if it was a girl...cause I wanted to be sure, and they said that it was. She weighed in at 7 lbs 7.5 oz. and was 19 1/2 inches long, with a full head of long black hair. She weighed a whole pound more than I thought she was going to weigh. She is so cute.

Her name is Jasmine Rae Lisanza. Rae is after my dad, and Lisanza is a word in my husbands tribal language in Africa. So she has two middle names and Jasmine is what we will call her.

Here are some pictures of her. Enjoy!

Proud big brother in the car before taking them both home.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Marshall's birth story. Due June 13, 2007, born on June 12, 2007.

Marshall was fairly still for about three days. For the first time I laid down to do kick counts. He'd have about a half hour/day of active time which was quite unusual for him. I figured he was just getting too big in there to do too much.

On Monday I lost a bit more of my mucous plug a few times throughout the day.

On Monday afternoon I watched my best friends 11 month old for an hour and a half while she had a massage. While she crawled around the house she swept the dirt off of her hands. I had been vacuuming and mopping at least weekly for a long time but the week or more before I had just been too tired to keep up on house work. That evening I suddenly wanted everything to be very clean so I vaccuumed the entire first floor, dusted etc. swept any corner cobwebs and I just knew that it was time to make sure the toilet and tub were cleaned because if I started to get nauseaus when labour finally started, I was not looking forward to staring into THAT bowl.

Jeff was outside in the garage puttering around but I really wanted him to come in and clean the bathroom for me because he said he would and after vacuuming I knew my back couldn't handle the job. He came into the house around 9pm but wanted to go to bed. I wanted to stay up until midnight cleaning house but decided to join him instead.

On Tuesday morning around 2:25am I woke up feeling a little damp so went to go pee figuring I was losing a little more mucous again. When I laid back down in bed I had achey pain in my back and lower abdomen. I checked the time and tried to fall back to sleep. About 7 minutes later it happened again. After the third one I woke up Jeff and told him what I was feeling. He was going to stay in bed a bit longer incase he ended up having to go to work that day afterall. While I moved around upright I started having more contractions which were now 3-4 minutes apart. Jeff got up with me and made himself an egg sandwich. The contractions were getting stronger so I walked around the kitchen while he ate. During the next hour Jeff cleaned the toilet and tub as promised.

Around 5am we decided to call the midwife and let her know what was happening. The contractions were pretty intense and I let her know that I think we skipped a big part of the labour process since the contractions started out so close together. We called mom, my sister, MIL and SIL. It wasn't long before everyone arrived and we moved upstairs to Marshall's room.

I lost concept of time around this point. A short time later the mw suggested we check my dilation so we could get an idea of where we started so we could watch progression and then we could keep checks to a minimum if I wanted so I agreed. I was already 100% effaced and dilated to 5 cm with bulging membranes. I tried different positions throughout labour. The most comfortable positions for me were when I was upright. Leaning forward at all caused the contractions to really hurt in the front. Leaning back caused really bad back pains. Laying on my side slowed contractions to 5 minutes apart but gave me a little bit of a break. Being in the tub wasn't comfortable for me because our tub is a claw foot that leans back too far so I got out of there pretty quick.

Jeff was amazing. I think he left me alone for two contractions during the whole process so he could have something to eat. I really missed him when he wasn't there.

My body was extremely relaxed throughout labour. It wasn't difficult for me to remember to focus on my breathing, to keep my shoulders, neck, mouth etc. relaxed. I had some trouble relaxing my lower body.

Because another mama had gone into labour at the same time that I did I had a midwife and a doula attend my birth instead of two midwives. I'm really glad it turned out this way because they played completely different roles during labour. The doula always made sure that I was drinking water, apple juice, gingerale and kept feeding me spoonfuls of honey to keep my energy up. She also made sure to tell me how well I was doing. The midwife was totally confident and continuously checked my blood pressure, Marshall's heartrate etc. She helped me by suggesting positions to try and always kept me informed and let me make the decisions about labour.

I barely talked during labour except to say what I needed, my eyes were closed most of the time. I thought I was really loud during contractions but everyone now tells me that it wasn't so bad. I moaned through most of them and for the few that caught me in a bad position I often said "Owwwwwwww" through them. Labour was harder, more intense and painful, and more primal than I had imagined.

I stayed at 9 cms with bulging membranes for a long time. My body started to push during some contractions and I could feel my body trying to get that sac to break so the baby would finally drop down the rest of the way. The midwife talked about breaking my waters to get labour to speed up but she said the contractions would become more intense. I was a little afraid of more intense - I didn't know if I could handle more. I also wanted to avoid as much intervention as possible. About an hour later after feeling my body push some more and feeling myself getting tired quickly I asked the midwife to break the membranes. I laid on my side and the gush of warmth was soothing. The waters were clear. Contractions did become a little more intense - a lot more according to anyone else in the room but I don't remember noticing a huge difference. My body was pushing more and more. I still had a small lip of a cervix so I laid on my left side for a couple of contractions and then rolled to my right side for a couple of contractions to help the lip to dilate completely. While laying on my big papasan cushion on the floor Jeff sat on the edge of the bed beside me. During an especially intense contraction I was squeezing his calf. After the contraction I looked up at him from the floor and he was crying. I started comforting him, telling him it was okay. Now that I was fully dilated I went back to the birthing stool with Jeff sitting behind me. My body was really pushing now so I pushed along with it. The pushing sensation was so weird - so automatic. My body would push so I would start to push and gave it so much more power. I pulled back on the stool with my hands as my body pushed the baby down. The midwife was checking my blood pressure and Marshall's heart rate throughout labour. My blood pressure never rose over 108/72. Marshall's heartrate stayed around 120 until this point when it dropped into the 90's. I was oblivious but apparently everyone else in the room knew that something was up by the body language of our birth attendants. They asked me to get back onto the cushion on the floor so I did. I saw the doula preparing a needle that the midwife said she would need if she had to do an episiotomy.

Everyone started urgently telling me to push, to hold in my sounds and breath during the pushes. I was reluctant at first to do it their way because I didn't want to purple push but they insisted. My mom was sitting at my head, Jeff at my side. Mom was begging me to push. I had short breaks between pushing contractions to get my breath and energy. I pushed with more than everything that I had. I started to feel him, he was close and it started to really burn. It was really hard to push when it was causing me so much pain. It was hard to hold him there between contractions - it stung pretty bad. At one point I said no to pushing but they told me I had to so I listened and then his head was out. The midwife pulled the cord out and forced it back around his head so I could push him out the rest of the way. He passed meconium during delivery. They immediately put him onto my chest and I felt his little bum in my hand. He was so squishy. He was so dark. He was darker than blue but he was crying so I knew he would be okay so I just held him and talked to him. My mom, sister, MIL and Jeff were all crying. MIL reached over to me crying and said thank you. The midwife and doula were checking his heartrate and rubbing him to stimulate his circulation and get his colour back. He was still crying and crying and it was the best sound I had ever heard. My sister cut his cord and the attendants took him to the dresser top where they continued rubbing him and they put a little tiny oxygen mask on him. He started grunting while he cried, trying to get the mucous and fluids out of his lungs.

The midwife helped me to deliver the placenta. I tore on the inside in a couple of places. The midwife later apologized saying she hated asking me to push without giving me time to stretch but I told her not to be silly, that I trusted her to get Marshall out safely. She couldn't stitch one of my tears because it was too close to my "button" - explains the extreme pain I was feeling. She couldn't even get the anesthetic in there to do the stitches.

Marshall was placed back onto my chest with his little oxygen mask which he kept trying to take off of his face. He nursed for a little bit but he continued to grunt. We were almost at the point of taking him to the hospital to see a pediatrician for the grunting when his cries became clear. Jeff had left to go and have a cigarette and was back now after pulling himself back together and he took Marshall. My mom helped me to the bath and cleaned me off. I could barely sit and I could not stand up straight because I was so sore. I wasn't allowed out of the tub until I peed - that took a while. The doula made my bed up for me but I wanted to be downstairs with my family. I held a now pink little Marshall who was awake and alert checking us all out, nursing like a champ. He was born at 12:44pm weighing 7 lbs, 12 oz. His apgar was 6 at 1minute, 9 at 5 minutes.

I couldn't sleep that afternoon, Marshall barely slept as well. Other than the pain down below I felt wonderful. I wasn't sure I ever wanted to go through labour again but emotionally I felt really good.

Marshall continued to nurse really well. The midwife was really great at showing us how to latch properly. Marshall lost 6 oz's in 3 days. By day 5 Marshall weighed 7 lbs, 13 oz! Yesterday at 9 days old Marshall weighed 8 lbs. He really likes his mamas milk.

I love him so much that it brings tears to my eyes. He is the cutest baby this mama has ever seen and now I know I would do it all over again and I am so glad I had a homebirth. My recovery was extremely fast. The day after I was hanging clothes on the line and doing dishes. I've had lots of help but have felt so well. I can't imagine doing it any other way.

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462


On Sunday June 17 (Father’s Day!), I woke up at 1:15am feeling wet. I was surprised because my due date is July 3, but not overly surprised because for some reason even though I knew that first births are generally 41wk3d, and that my mom’s two kids were born at 42 and 41wks, I felt that this birth was going to be early.

Anyway, since I woke up feeling wet, I automatically thought – hey, my water broke! I got up carefully wondering if I was just imagining it, and if I was going to get the whole bed soaked – and I hadn’t even got a mattress pad and the mattress is only a couple months old! So I noticed that I dribbled slightly on the bed (not much), and a bit down my leg as I went to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet for a little while, wondering if I would leak more, and wondering if it could possibly be my water since I had no contractions. After about 5 minutes of sitting there staring at the wall wondering, I got back into bed, poked Wayne and said “um… I just wet the bed, I think my water just broke.” He opened one eye and half-heartedly said, “No it didn’t.” Next thing I knew, he was snoring again!

I lay in bed for about 20 minutes before I got a contraction. It was just the same as any of the others I felt in the previous week and not enough for me to even notice if I was actually doing something. I kept an eye on the clock and counted the time between contractions until 3am. They averaged 7-15 minutes apart, but none of them seemed serious – none of them even hurt as much as any period cramps, and they didn’t last very long (30s-1min).

At 3am I was bored. I nudged Wayne and told him that I thought that I was actually in early labour. I got a snore in response. I figured one of us might as well sleep and if it wasn’t me, it might as well be him! I got up and ate some crumpets with butter and jam, and did a load of dishes in the dishwasher. I then went back to bed and watched the clock on and off until about 5am when I fell asleep for a couple hours. At some point I contemplated calling my parents (2 hours different in Ontario), but decided that many people can be in this type of labour for several days so I’d wait until a more reasonable hour. Since I didn’t feel birth was close, I decided to wait until 8am to call the midwife, unless contractions changed dramatically.

At 7am, I woke up again. Wayne and I talked some. He decided that he was cancelling his work trip he was supposed to be gone for from Monday – Friday. We got up, then I called the MW to tell her where things were at. I was told at that point by Geri (MW) to go lie down and take it easy, and to sleep. She’d told me to call at the first signs of labour because at my last appointment I’d told her that when I’d checked myself a few days earlier and that I could feel the head only 2 knuckles in (but no cervix), and my mom had a very fast 1st labor. I then called my parents to tell them that baby was probably not going to wait until June 25th their planned arrival time. Instead of going back to bed, I decided to eat breakfast since it could be a long time before labor would be over, and if I had no energy that wouldn’t be a good idea.

As I was just about to sit down and eat breakfast, the doorbell rang so answered it in my bathrobe. It was Wayne’s ex-wife showing up with SS, because their agreement has SS with Wayne on father’s day. I’d forgotten SS (and his mom) were coming. Furthermore, SS showed up with his buddy who had slept over at his mom’s house the previous night. I wasn’t expecting to see Wayne’s ex-wife, and while I was talking to her I was a little worried my water would break in the front hall! Meanwhile, Wayne called our friends who were to be our support group for the birth if my parents couldn’t make it. Jack and Connie are great friends of ours, and have been just as excited as we are, if not moreso, about the baby! Connie refused to believe that I was in labour, after all, my due date was still 2wk2d away. Also, she knows that Wayne is always joking and Connie wasn’t sure if he was telling the truth. I assured her that there was no lying, and if they didn’t have other important plans for the day that they should keep their phone lines open for us!

Wayne told me again that I should go lie down for a while. I ignored him.

Before I could lie down, I went and posted on, then started a loaf of bread in the breadmaker, and then gave Wayne instructions on how to make cream of chicken soup for a post birth meal (even though it was on the can!). He decided that if he cooked up some chicken and added it to the soup that it would taste way better.

At 9:30am, I decided to start timing contractions again. They varied from 3 minutes to 15 minutes apart, and .5 to 1.5min in length but still didn’t feel like anything serious. I could talk through them (I’d had 3 while talking to my parents on the phone), and they were inconsistent in timing. The kids were running around yelling and screaming. Wayne told them to be quiet. I told him that the next kid who was too loud I would kill. He laughed.

At around 10:30am I went to take a nap. Geri called to see how things were going and I talked to her for a few minutes. She asked if Wayne wanted to go pick up a birthing pool on the other side of town (her husband was out of town and she had her 10yo son that she was trying place somewhere so she could come at a moment’s notice). We decided not to get the birthing pool and to use our hot tub instead. It was already set up and had just had the water changed ‘in case’ it was needed. Geri told us to check that the temperature was right - at 100f. I passed on the message to Wayne then fell asleep and woke up around 12:30pm to kids screaming. I lay in bed debating which kid I was going to tell off, and how I would do it. (So cranky Wink ). I debated hanging the, by their toe nails but decided it would require too much energy now and explaining later. I timed my contraction and again they were about 15 minutes apart. Deciding it would be a long day, and I didn’t want to be dehydrated, I decided to get up and eat some lunch, and find Wayne to tell off the kids.

He then found some instant vermicelli soup (did I mention I was thirsty?) for us to eat which I thought would be good because it was mostly liquid and I didn’t feel like chewing. As I sat waiting for the noodles to soften, the kids were again yelling, and I got one of the strongest contractions that I’d had so far. Wayne went downstairs to tell the kids to be quiet (yet again). Within the time it took for the soup to finish hydrating the noodles, and taking about 3 bites, I had a couple contractions that were 3-4 minutes apart and serious enough that I had to breathe through them while leaning on the counter and rocking my hips. I couldn’t stay sitting on the stools. All of a sudden I had no interest in food whatsoever.

Wayne convinced me to go back to bed and try to rest. I went upstairs and lay down.

Lying down was the most painful thing I had done to date. As soon as I lay down, I got a really intense contraction that practically paralyzed me. There was no relief or way for me to consciously put myself in any position to try to alleviate the pain. I just writhed on the bed for a minute until it subsided enough for me to think. I tried to stand up and rock/circle my hips a bit but the contraction was subsiding fast enough that I had no idea whether it helped or not. I decided I’d try the same thing for the next contraction, but if it didn’t help I’d try going on all fours on the bed. The next contraction came quickly and nothing helped. I felt I needed to pee so I went and sat on the on-suite toilet. As soon as I sat down, another contraction hit. Sitting and leaning forward was worse than lying down!

Now, although the contractions were painful and preventing me from thinking, I was fine in between. Recovery time between contractions, however, was becoming significantly shorter. I had no idea how far apart contractions were, because I could no longer remember time, even when I remembered to check the clock in the bedroom – and once I was in the bathroom, I had no access to the clock. I remember having a couple long bowel movements – but they weren’t exactly the diarrhoea that people had described. I figured I still had a long ways to go.

After 3 painful contractions, I discovered that if I leaned back on the toilet and braced one hand on the wall to my right, and the other on the counter to my left, that I felt like the contraction was actually doing something other than causing pain (I wouldn’t say it was comfortable!). After a couple contractions like this I realized that I should contact the midwife (Geri). I called to Wayne (who I knew was busy cleaning up the house, making sure supplies were organized, dealing with SS and friend, making SS and friend lunch, cooking chicken, and making cream of chicken soup – all at once). He didn’t hear me (surprised?) for several contractions. I finally decided that I had to find him and waddled to the top of the steps where I told him to call Geri and then come find me. He called.

I remember sitting on the toilet for a while noticing that sometimes a contraction started before the previous one ever completely finished. Also, I started feeling extremely light-headed – like I would pass out from heat. Other times I’ve felt like that I would jump in a cold shower and I would instantly feel better, but I didn’t think I could make it to the shower let alone stand in it for any length of time. I cold see why people would opt for pain medication even when they had the strongest views against it.

Wayne, knowing that he should be listening for me, came when I called him. I asked for a cold wet washcloth to cool off my shoulders. He gave me one and sat with me (on his knees because the on suite bathroom is tiny!) through the next contraction. He wiped my shoulders and face with the washcloth periodically and it felt SO MUCH better. I didn’t feel as much like I was going to pass out, and the coolness helped me recover faster. Once the contraction was over, he ran to the kitchen to check on the soup, kids, their pasta lunch, then ran back. I don’t know how he did it, but he did that for the next 3-4 contractions. He missed one and felt bad. I was more worried that he would pop out his knee (he’s got a bad knee) while he kneeled on the floor next to me, holding my left hand (or more like me squeezing the blood out of it), and wiping my forehead and shoulders with his left.

At some point I decided that I wanted to go over to the hot tub in the back yard to see if that would help the pain, but didn’t know if I could make it there between contractions. I also wanted Wayne to have some warning so he could tell off the kids, turn off the stove, call Jack and Connie to get their buts over and help out. Plus, I had this fear that if someone wasn’t with me while I was in the hot tub (and I wanted it to be Wayne) I might get a mouthful of water and choke, so I didn’t want to be there alone. And why the heck was SS’s friend still here? Oh yeah, his mom was moving today and she was on her way from across town to pick him up. (They were moving 7 houses down from us and it would, of course, be easier for them if he wasn’t underfoot.)

After 2 more contractions, and Wayne running around like a madman, I decided I was ready to journey to the hot tub. It’s really not that far away, but it sure seemed like it that day! Just as I got to the tub, another contraction hit (looking back on it, walking definitely sped things up for me – not that I needed it!). I checked the time as I walked through the kitchen but can’t remember the time (1:47pm? 1:57pm? Wayne called Geri at 1:37pm according to her notes).

I got in the tub and remember thinking that all the hype about water easing pain etc.. was definitely overrated. I wanted to be able to hold/brace myself yet float and there was no way to do that. I also wanted a pillow on which to rest my head and there was no way to do that at all. After floating and writhing through a couple contractions (Wayne running in and out of the house and watching through the kitchen window while he was in the house finishing feeding the kids) I found I could rest my head on one of the drink/coasters which alleviated my fear of choking and drowning while in the midst of a contraction. For the first time, and many times after, I was so glad to be free of any wires/IVs. They would surely have come tangled and come off while I was moving around, and I would have had to really focus on something else instead of just letting labour progress.

Connie and Jack arrived soon after and told the screaming kids to be quiet and go play out front/down the street. They cleaned up the kitchen (we’re still locating some stuff they “put away”!). Jack asked Wayne if there was anything they could do and Wayne asked him to turn on one of the back yard fountains and the music. Of all the things to worry about, I only cared that the music was OFF. I wanted the birds and fountain and that was ALL! Then, Jack took one look at Wayne (kneeling outside the hot tub and holding my hands/arms) and asked if he wanted a chair. It hadn’t occurred to him until then! I don’t know how long I stayed in the ‘supported float’. I remember at one point that I asked Wayne if Geri has arrived yet and she hadn’t. She lives 45minutes away - in good traffic.

At some point I realized I was lying/floating on my side on some of the seats with my head still on the drink holder. It was much more comfortable. I then realized that since I had been in the hot tub I hadn’t felt overheated to the point of passing out and wondered how that worked since it was significantly warmer in the hot tub than the bathroom/bedroom! Wayne was still next to me holding an arm, or just being with me.

I remember how grateful I was that he was there. Not only would he stop me from drowning, but he would periodically hold my arms and breathe deeply and slowly on my face to remind me to breathe through some of the particularly long and painful contractions. I remember thinking how it would have been useless and annoying for him to tell me to breathe, but this way it not only helped keep my face cool but also made me feel we were going through it together.

Geri got there at some point and I vaguely understood that she was bustling around getting Jack and Connie to warm blankets in the oven, make ginger compresses, make the bed in the sun room (covered deck), and myriad other things. She then came over to get a pulse on the baby, blood pressure on me, and my temperature. They had a hard time getting a pulse on the baby, and ended up getting a cord pulse that was 12? I think. Good enough. They tried to get a temperature on me but couldn’t because my contractions were too close together to hold a thermometer in my mouth. I just wanted them to leave me alone and wondered if I could deal with any pokings and proddings if I had been in a hospital. I think someone might have lost a head if I had been in a hospital. How do people deal with that? The only reason I let them is because I knew that Geri was supposed to have them, but I didn’t even cooperate very well then!

Soon after that, I asked Wayne to get in the water with me. Between contractions, he raced to the sunroom and got his bathing suite on (didn’t have time to take his shirt off), and then climbed in. I don’t know quite what position we were in, but I somehow rested my head on his shoulder, and I think we were loosely hugging each other while I was semi-squatting.

Soon after that I remember feeling of bearing down. Geri was in the sunroom preparing things. At first it wasn’t strong enough to react to, so I didn’t. Then I remember being amazed that anyone would have to tell anyone to push, or even if they did if it would help. It just happened. I remember Wayne telling me not to push and I was completely confused. I was not doing it voluntarily. His asking me not to push was like asking me to stop my heart beating. My reaction was “How?”. Geri then told him not to tell me that (Fewf!!). A few contraction later, I felt the head was crowning, but when I stopped, it would go right back up. Along with the crowning came the pain that felt like I was on the verge of tearing – probably my biggest fear of the whole pregnancy. I felt the head, and I told Wayne to reach down and feel it, but I don’t know if he could (reach from his position that is). At about that point Geri said that she could see the head. She got Wayne to move me so that I was leaning backwards against him so she could access the baby coming out. She pulled her pants off and jumped in the tub. On the next push, the head came out. Geri told me to push on the next contraction, but I didn’t get one for about a minute! She was getting a bit worried, I could tell, but I couldn’t figure out how to push on my own. I finally got a small contraction and managed to push the rest of the baby out. He was laid instantly on my chest, underwater except for his head, which was wrapped in a wet towel (warm from the hot tub). We just lay there, baby on top of me, on top of Wayne for a while. Neither Wayne nor I was concerned that baby wasn’t breathing because his umbilical cord was still attached.

Geri, it seems, was concerned. She tugged slightly on the cord to see if the placenta was still attached. No action there. She then used a bulb to try to stimulate breathing. No luck. Baby was perfectly happy to lie on my chest looking at the world. It was almost as if he didn’t realize he wasn’t in utero anymore! After 2 minutes Geri gave baby a breath (artificial respiration style). At that moment, the second midwife showed up, was told he was born 2 minutes ago and hadn’t breathed yet, and gave him another breath. He started breathing then, and they gave him some oxygen for very brief time (30 seconds?). I’m told he turned pink instantly, though I never noticed his colour myself. He was then returned to my chest. All that took about 1 minute, I think. We also found out it was a boy – a big surprise because I was certain it was a girl. I also realized that Jack and Connie’s 10yo son Dax had been there for the whole birth.

Somewhere in the time between the birth and baby’s first breath, SS showed up, put his bathing suit on, and got in the tub with us. We stayed there together for about ½ hour, all of us mesmerized by the new baby. After about 15 minutes, we decided to cut the cord. Wayne couldn’t reach from his position, SS was terrified he’d hurt me and his new baby brother, so I cut it. It never occurred to me until a couple days later that I could have moved to let Wayne cut the cord. He probably would have liked that.

The placenta took its time to come out. Geri told me to push it out with the next contraction, but I didn’t get any contractions for about 20 minutes. Then, with some slight tugging from Geri and a weak contraction from me, it came out – intact.

Half an hour after the birth, Jack and Connie left (right on time for a meeting they had). MW#2 left shortly after. I had one very small tear that wasn’t hardly worth mentioning let alone stitching.

Baby Johnston (we had no names picked out for a boy – we still had 2 weeks!) weighed 6lb 0oz, was 49cm long, and had Apgars of 6, 10, and 10. His name is Reed Aslan Johnston.
My water broke at 1:15am, active labour started about 1:30pm, and Reed was born at 3:52pm, in our backyard hot tub to the sound of birds and a fountain. The pushing phase lasted 7 minutes.

Unfortunately Gardenbug and my father didn’t make it out in time for the birth. Sad

Gardenbug made it to our house at 10:30pm that evening, and my father the following evening at the same time.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Okay, now that she's 5 days old - I finally feel like I have time to write this birth story!

Well on Friday I started feeling kinda wet - and I was worried my water was getting a slow leak - but I finally came to the conclusion that it was just increased CM.... and it continued through till labor started. By Saturday I had began to spot pink, and so I knew something was happening, but figured it would still be quite a while since I still felt totally normal and no contractions, etc.... This continued on till Sunday. Then Sunday DH and I decided to run some errands because my sister was coming to stay with us for a week or two and we wanted to go get some groceries so she could help me cook some casseroles while we waited for baby to arrive. I truely believed I'd go overdue (but she was born at exactly 39 weeks).

Sunday mornign I was still spotting, DH and I started making the shopping list and he made a pot of coffee. But the coffee pot decided to not work anymore - and so we also wrote on our list to go to the kitchen/bath shop to get another because we were having a homebirth and figured the MW's might want some coffee...... I called the MW's just to let them know I'd been spotting for a couple days (because just Tuesday when i had seen them, I had no signs of labor at all) but neither of them answered and I decided it wasn't a big deal and I didn't leave a message.
So we went to the store - they didn't have the kind of cofee pot we wanted, and then we went to the grocery store. We got all our groceries and while we were in the check-out line, I felt a little gush of fluid - not much really - so I assumed it was just more CM.... then I got another gush - bigger this time and I began to worry that it was my water that had broken and I knew by how it felt that my pantiliner was now full. But it still wasn't so much fluid that it was dripping or anything and I wasn't totally convinced that it was my water. (this was 3:30pm on Sunday).... So we checked out our groceries - and walked to the parking lot. Dh loaded the groceries in the trunk and I went to sit down in the car, this time another small gush - so I was pretty sure it was my water.... I was wearing a dress and a pair of shorts underneath and by now i could tell some of my shorts were damp. So before we left the parking lot - i called my MW's - but niether of them answered their phones - and I didn't leave messages yet, wanted to see if things would pick up....

So we drove the 30 minutes home - without a coffee pot and DH started noticing I was rubbing my tummy - I told him it was feeling crampy off and on and that I think my water broke a little bit.... so he timed me everytime I held my tummy. I was having contractions every 9-12 minutes and they were lasting about 40 seconds.

So we got home and i just timed my contractions every once and a while. I called my MW back and she answered - I told her that I think my water had broken and the contractions were still spoardic. She told me to call back when they got into a good pattern and were 5 minutes apart. Plus - I never got the GBS test run because I decided I'd want antibiotics regardless at 18-24 hours if my water broke early - positive or not..... which meant I had a time-limit. So the contractions got to about 8 minutes apart and lasting 45-60 seconds. They were annoying - but not painful.

At 8pm, my MW called me back to check on me. She was kinda disappointed to learn that my contractions weren't getting stronger, and sent me out to get some castor oil (because at this point I had to get baby out by 10am Monday - or else my homebirth would have to transfer to hospital...... So DH and I went back out and I sent him in to get the oil, and some rootbeer to make a float with to drink the oil - but the pharmacy didn't have any rootbeer, either did the gas station - so we ended up going back to the grocery store. By now my contractions were 7-8 minutes, but still not strong.

I got home, made myself a rootbeer/castor oil float and just as I finished it, my MW's called back - still not much going on, so they told me to call them in the middle of the night or whenever I needed them to come over for the birth. They also wanted me to try some nipple stimulation to get things going stronger - I tried it, but it didn't help - so I used my electric pump for about 45 minutes - that did nothing either, so around 10pm I went to bed. I slept through my contractions till around 11:45 when I was woken up by cramping and a stronger contraction that lasted almost a minute. I decided it was just gas pain from the castor oil and drifted off back to sleep - but was woken back up with another about 7 minutes later. So I laid there for a third one and finally decided to get out of bed to help things along.

I let DH sleep. At around 2am my contractions started coming every 4 minutes - lasting about 45 seconds - not quite strong enough to need the MW's, but I thought I should call them since they live about an hour from my house... The MW told me to call back when they were painful enough to breathe through them. So I went back to laboring on my ball in the living room and pacing around the house trying to keep the contractions going. DH woke up around 3:30 and checked on me. The MW's called back around 4 and said they were coming over even though they thought it would still be a while. By now I started having several loose stools, which meant the castor oil was working. Just about 4:30 I got sick and threw up - and It made my contractions start coming a bit stronger, but not much. The MW's arrived at 5am. and checked me. I was 3cm and 0 station, and she easily stretched me to 4cm.

The MW's drank tea - and coffee DH made by tea-bag method by tying a coffee filter shut. DH and I walked for a while, I tried more nipple stim in the shower, sat on the birth ball, etc. but nothing seemed to make the contractions much stronger. I did finally get to the point where I had to breathe through them - but still not too bad. All the pain was in my tummy and it felt good to lean forward on DH.

By 9am,. the MW's wanted to go on a walk with us down our 1/4 mile long dirt road. I only had an hour left to get the baby born before being transfered to the hospital. At the end of our walk we talked about what to do - they agreed to let me stay home till 11 if I wanted, just to see, but that it may not be enough time - depending on how my cervix was doing - and the fact that my contractions were still only 4-5 minutes apart. So I decided that they could check me now and if I was not close - I'd go to the hospital to get antibiotics. We thought that if a good doc was on call - that they may just give the antibioitics and I could come back home - but the OB on-call was not willing to do that. So they checked me at 10, and I was 5cm and kinda stretchy, so they figured I would probably be a 6 soon - but that an 11:00 baby didn't look very likely. So we packed up some stuff and the MW drove us to the hospital.

I didn't have a single contraction during the entire 30 minute drive. One of my MW's is actually also a labor and delivery nurse at my hospital - and was due to work her shift that night from 3-11...... so I was lucky that she got to be my "nurse" as well.

Once I got to the hospital, I still had no contractions - and so the MW's went to the cafeteria to get some lunch while I got my antibiotics and was hooked to the monitor for 20 minutes. I took a little cat-nap and finally around 2 my contractions started back up - much stronger now.

The MW'S came back and noticed right away something was different. So they sat with me and DH while I labored. It was so nice having them all there. At 3 one of my MW's (Debbi) left to get her nurse clothes on and sign-in to work. She came back as my nurse and my other MW was still there (Marla) - sorta being my doula (since niether have delievery privleges at the hospital due to policy problems in VA)....

Ever since my contractions started back up at the hospital - It hurt in my tailbone and back a LOT.... and so DH was with me- letting me lean on him, and my MW Marla was putting pressure on my tailbone. It helped - but not much.

At 4pm (24 hour after my water broke) the OB came in. She was not my doctor - but I'd met her before and she was really good (she delivered 2 of my doula clients babies). She checked me and said I was at 7cm.

When she left - I labored by leaning on the birthball that was on the bed and Debbi filled the tub. I got in the tub and tried all sorts of positions to ge comfortable - but the tail-bone labor was too intense, nothing was making it feel better - not even the pressure Marla was doing was helping at all anymore. I was on my hands and knees in the tub for about an hour and then decided to sit - that kinda helped - but by then my contractions were coming with only about 30 seconds between them. They were very intense - and I thought for sure my tailbone was going to break off.....

Debbi came back in and checked me at 5. I was 9cm - almost 10. and I started feeling pushy....So she told me not to push if I could help it.... but by the 3rd contraction I couldn't help the MW checked again and said I was fully dilated - but had a lip of cervix and so she held it back on my next contraction and it went away.

I had about 6 more contractions while in the tub and Marla and DH were rubbing my back and helping me stay focused. The pushing got so strong that I couldn't do anything but push - and it made me push REALLY long (like 30 second long pushes). It was so intense I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep it up. Plus my tailbone was SOOO painful by now! Debbi said that she paged the OB (who had to catch the baby even though I would rather have had Marla or Debbie do it).... and I planned to get out of the tub and be on my hands and knees for pushing, or maybe squatting.... because I knew from research/doula-ing that being on your back/tailbone makes you more likely to tear......

But when I got out of the tub- the only way I could be with those strong pushing contractions was sitting on my tailbone. any other position was terrible. I think it was the counterpressure that made sitting tolerable. The OB came in and watched me push through one contraction - she said I was a great pusher and couldn't believe that I was pushing that hard for 40 seconds or more without taking a break. She kept trying to tell me to do 3-4 pushes per contraction - but I could only ever get 1 or 2 pushes in because they were just SOOOOOOO long and SOOOOO strong that I couldn't have stopped them if I tried.

My sister had been driving all day to VA from GA to be there for us - and she arrived at 5:50pm - and Rosalie was born at 6:04.

I ended up having a 2nd degree tear partially because of my position, and partially because I couldn't ease up on my pushing at all when she was crowning and coming too fast and hard because of how I was pushing - but I couldn't stop when they told me to slow down my pushing.....

Rosalie's apgars were 9 and 9 and she took several tries to start nursing, but now she is really good at it. I think everything went really well! I was so happy to have my 2 MW's, DH and my sister there. And though I was SOOO hoping for a HB etc., I know that I did the best thing because I would have been a worry-wart these first few days if I would not have gotten the antibiotics since my water was broken for so long. I'm really happy about how everything turned out Biggrin

If you read all this - you deserve a medal! That was long!!!!!

-Jodi :giveflower:

AveriAndEmmaRMyJoy's picture
Joined: 01/01/07
Posts: 95

Well, as most of you know. I had my 36 week appointment and it did not go as I had planned. My doc said Averi was only 4lbs 11oz and that I did not have much fluid in there. So then I saw a specialist and yadda yadda yadda... long story short for those of you who don't know. They said my placenta was not feeding her enough and that she needed to come out. They scheduled an induction for Aug 7, 2007.

So Aug 6th I went out on a date with DH and saw a movie, had dinner, he bought me a slushy at the movies Smile and we had a great night. Then Aug 7th I went to work early got off at 3 and I was not allowed to eat anything after lunch Sad ... DH had scheduled a hair appointment for me. He is so sweet! So I chopped off my hair to my shoulders and got it highlighted!! I love it...anyway...then we head to the hospital where my mother had already been waiting for us...

They got me registered and situated in a room and told me I could not eat just in case I needed a c-section.... this was aggrivating since Averi's heart rate had always been great... but oh well.

They hooked me up to monitor her heart rate and contrax... i was having mild contrax that I could not even feel and when the nurse checked me I was at 2cm ...yeye...

Then a nurse came in to start an IV, she stuck me once and it was no good...ouch...she stuck me twice and it was no good...ouch again so she gave up and a second nurse came in to start an IV, she stuck me once and got it but she blew it... needless to say that was a big ouch and I have huge bruise to show for it...then the third nurse came in...she stuck me once and got...Thank God!!!

Then they left me for a while...I have no idea why the cervidil had not be inserted yet...I was feeling cramps in my back (I always feel cramps in my back when I am laying on it ever since the 2nd tri)... so I rolled over to my side...then I sneezed and a bunch of fluid came out of me...the nurse came in and told me to get off my side (she did not tell me why) but I got back onto my back and told her that when I sneezed I felt a lot of fluid come out and I don't know if it is pee or my water. So she checked me and she said the test came up negative for fluids... okay...

Then she does an ultrasound and measures my fluids...they were at 2cm...yikes, she told me the safe amt is 10cm.... and since the test came back negative that my water had broken, it meant my placenta wasn't working enough to replenish the amt of fluids... then they have the on call doc come in... (my doc was scheduled to be there in the morning when I was supposed to start the pitocin) The on call doc starts talking about how much stress the baby is in because her heart rate drops every time I move and he showed me the chart... it was dropping dramatically Sad , he told me that with her showing signs of stress and my fluids being so low he did not want me to have any large contrax. He said that the fluid is what helps cushion the baby during labor till it breaks and that in the current situation it would be easy for her cord to wrap round her neck or for her to pinch her cord by laying on or what not... I am probably not explaining it very well but the point is her heart rate was dropping with my movement and my fluid was low so the on call doc said the only option was c-section and I agreed...

At this point it was "get my baby out and make sure she is healthy" its all I cared about...

So then they start talking to me about drugs Sad
Do I want the epi where only one person can be in the room with me or do I want to be knocked out where no one can be in the room with me...they also described to me the dangers of being knocked out and having a complacent baby...risks I already knew about because that's why I never wanted a drugged birth .... Sad

Then they start talking to me about what they were going to do to me...and I freaked...I literally freaked out...I started crying and I was so scared, I even said and I quote "I can't do this, I can't do this, just knock me out I can't do this"
The nurse grabbed my hand and reminded me that we don't want to be knocked out for the safety of the baby...and I was still crying...then DH stepped in and I will forever love him (if not for anything else) for this one thing he did for me!

He put his forehead to mine and looked me dead in the eyes and said, Stephanie calm down, God has it all under control, you are going to be fine and Averi is going to be fine, and then we prayed... I calmed down a lot. I was still nervous and still crying but I knew I could do it and I knew it had to be done.

So then they roll me out to get my epi leaving my DH behind...WHAT??? ... I didn't want to be without him but they said he couldn't be back there while they put the epi in. My super nurse (the same one that got my IV in the first try) held me against her chest and talked to me and rubbed my back, then the epi guy said a sting... and it was over... my legs started going numb and they had to place me on the bed, they had my arms out like a T ... and they raised a blue curtain. Then DH came in and sat by my side I told him to just keep talking to me...he kept me very distracted from what was going on... I felt a lot of tugs and pulls but no pain.

DH was right there the whole time...God I love this man so much more just from this experience... then I felt them push on my stomach really hard and I heard her first cry!! She was born 08/07/07 at 9:57pm weighing 5lbs 7.7oz and 17.75 inches long! DH got to see her and he took some pix, I got to hold her for the first time, then they handed her to DH and he was told to leave as they stitched me back up. They had previously warned me that if she was as small as they thought she would have to be in the NICU...but with her birth weight...Thank God, she could go to the nursery!!!

The recovery room was a nightmare, they could not put me on morphine because I am allergic to it so I had some other drug on a push as needed thing... they brought Averi to me and she had some issues latching on but seemed to get it after a few tries. Then they said they had to take her away due to checking her sugar and all that because of her size and I didn't see her again for a few hours... it made me sad. The nurse came back and said Averi's sugar level was 37 (very low) and that they wanted to supplement with formula to get it up... and I agreed...

The rest is a bit of a blur, the drug they had me on made me loopy. I would talk to people and in mid sentence pass out then pop back awake and try to finish my made everyone laugh!

I got to breast feed finally cause Averi started passing all her sugar tests! And I have to use a breast shield on my right nipple cause in mid-suckle it likes to flatten out. But other than that the breast feeding is going super smoothly. We are home now. Have been since Friday but I just have not had time to post yet.

Averi is doing great!!! She is so healthy and steadily getting bigger and stronger. She likes to push her head off my chest, and sometimes while she is laying down she tries to roll over so I know she is getting stronger and stronger each day. She is perfect! I am sooo in love and its so great to see how much DH loves her too! Her cord fell off last night... and I cleaned it up this morning and that's where we are as of today!!

Both happy, both healthy, I do feel a little sad I didn't get to birth her naturally or vaginally... but I am confident the right decision was made...

Sorry this is soooo long...

Here is a pic of her today!

and here are just a few more pix

Okay I will stop, If you want to view all the pix I have of her thus far.. (a lot) you can go to

AmberC727's picture
Joined: 06/05/06
Posts: 226

Evan’s Birth Story
10/3/07 11:28am
9lb 12oz
21 inches long

On Tuesday, October 2, 2007, Mike and I went to bed at about 10pm. We had eaten dinner, and watched a recorded episode of Heroes. After turning out the lights, my stomach started hurting, kind of like it does when you have a stomach virus of some sort. I did start to notice though that the “achiness” would come and go, and I could time it. I really thought I was sick from dinner, so I went downstairs where I noticed that I had left a candle burning in the bathroom. I bent forward to blow it out, and felt a little trickle of fluid. I thought I just peed on myself, so I changed my undies, and sat down to update my pregnancy journal. I felt another trickle, and after two more underwear changes, I decided that I was not peeing on myself, my water had broken (this was about 11:30pm). I went upstairs and woke Mike up, who was pretty much out of it, and seemed confused. It didn’t take him long to realize what was going on though. I guess the stomach ache I had was the beginning of the contractions. We went to the grocery store to pick up snacks and juice for the birth center, and not long after we came home, my contractions started. This was about 1:00am. They started at 4 minutes apart, and only got closer together, never were they further apart than that. They were pretty uncomfortable from the beginning, there was no talking through them, no walking through them, I had to concentrate on every one of them from the first one, with Mike at my side helping me relax and breathe through them. Eventually I got in the tub, which felt wonderful, and my contractions only got closer together. I think it was at about 2:30 when Mike called the Birth Center to let them know what was going on and find out when we should go in since I was GBS positive. They wanted us to wait until they got to be 3 minutes apart (I didn’t think one minute difference was that big of a deal). We didn’t end up leaving for the birth center until about 6:30 or so and my contractions were about every 2-3 minutes in the car, and the pain was much much worse. I had to pray through every one of them, and I began to question if my body really could get me through this.
Upon arrival at the Birth Center, I was checked by Sarah one of the midwives, and much to my surprise, I was 5cm dilated, 100% effaced and +1 station. I was really concerned that I would get there and still be 0 because I was worried about the possibility of having scar tissue on my cervix from cryosurgery that was done last year. She said if I did have scar tissue there, I had busted right through it. What a relief to know that I was half way there, I was truly amazed, and that did give me some confidence (for about 5 minutes) that I could get through it. I had an episode of vomiting after that which I found to be absolutely miserable. Having been an L&D nurse though, I knew that this often happened and was usually a good sign that labor was progressing. I got my IV started, got some fluids and a dose of penicillin for the GBS. After that, Ellen (the nurse) capped off my IV and I got in the tub. That was heaven for about an hour or so, I kind of lost track of time. My contractions spaced out and seemed to get a bit shorter, so I was able rest between contractions, almost falling asleep. At some point, Sarah came back in and said that since the contractions had slowed down, she wanted to check me to make sure I was still progressing. If I was, I could stay there, but if not, I needed to get out and try something else. I was 8cm then, so she said I could stay, but I opted to get out and try the shower. The tub had become hot since they re-ran the water, and it seemed as if I just couldn’t get back in the zone that I had been in.
Mike accompanied me to the shower in his swim trunks. I started out sitting on a labor ball, and for about one contraction it felt good. After that, I asked Mike to get in with me, and he sat on a stool facing me. It seemed as if the contractions suddenly intensified, and I lost all focus. I couldn’t breathe properly, I couldn’t relax anything. I don’t know what made me do it, but I found myself staring intently into Mike’s eyes, and I would not move my gaze until the contraction subsided. This helped tremendously! Mike and I have a very close relationship, but NEVER have I shared that sort of gaze with my husband. I believe our relationship changed, and grew so much closer at that moment. I don’t know how long we sat in the shower working through contractions, but it finally got to the point where I told Mike, “I can’t do this, I don’t want to do this, I want to go home!” That must have been transition right there. We got out of the shower (Maureen, the midwife who delivered me when I was born) was there by then. Once I was able to lie down on the bed (which I hated Hated HATED by the way), she checked me and said there was only a tiny rim of cervix left, and I needed to lie on my left side to get it to go away. I thought that doing that was the hardest most difficult thing in the world, and that asking me to lie on my left side was some sort of torture! By this time, absolutely NOTHING was comfortable because Evan’s head was so low in my birth canal that the pressure was intense beyond words. They helped me to get into a “good” position though. Within a few minutes, she told me that she was able to push the rim over his head, and that I could push on the next contraction.
“PUSH”…that is a word I have said hundreds of times to women…but the thought of me pushing was the most insane thing in the world. I had prepared myself for months for a natural childbirth, but when the labor started, the whole thing terrified me. I was supposed to push this baby out of my vagina and be ok with it. “Ok” I thought, “I’ll do whatever she tells me.” Maureen said that when the next contraction started, to take two deep breaths, and push on the third. That would give the contraction time to build and I could work with its force. (I wonder how I remember all of this considering the state of mind I was in?) Anyway, I did that. At that moment, it didn’t matter to me if I had a bowel movement the size of a horse there in the bed, I wanted that baby out, and I knew how to push. They were impressed at my pushing from the very first one. I could feel everything, I could feel him move, and I knew how to do it. It took a while, and I got frustrated because of that. I think my exact pushing time was about 45 minutes or so, I’m not really sure.
Sometime during all of this, Maureen had to go upstairs and see a patient, and Sarah came back in to work with me. I kept pushing all the time on my left side, or toward my left side. My left leg was on the bed and bent, and I was pulling back on my right leg, which Mike was helping support. When we started, they had me push twice with each contraction, but I finally figured out that if I didn’t push all the way through the contraction until it ended, that I was miserable afterward, and the pain/pressure was horrible. I pushed with more determination that anything I’ve ever done in my life. Maureen had me reach inside to feel his head, and the first time I was a little disappointed because even though I could feel it, it wasn’t close enough to being out for my liking. The next time, I was impressed how much closer he was. While she was gone, I decided that I was going to get this baby out…and it was going to be sooner than later. I was tired, and I was tired of the pressure I was feeling. It was time this little boy come into the world, and I was the only one who could make it happen. That’s about when I got mad. I remember when that contraction started up that I thought, “GET OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and I pushed like there was no tomorrow. I can’t explain the feeling I had, because I could literally feel his head moving down there, and the tone of Mike’s voice got so excited. I pushed and pushed like this, and the next thing I knew, I could hear Sarah, or I think it was Sarah, calling upstairs telling Maureen to come on down, it was time to have a baby. I vaguely remember hearing Maureen say that she almost tripped and fell down the steps on her way down. Someone asked me if I wanted to see, and I said yes. They brought the mirror, and it did a wonderful thing for my heart, and my confidence, to see my baby’s head sitting there, and not moving back in when the contraction was over. I thought it would hurt, but it did not. It was pressure, but almost a relief from what I had been feeling for the past few hours.
Also, at this time, I told them that my sister’s friend Shannon could come in and take pictures of the delivery. She had arrived as a stand-in for my sister Ellen a while earlier, but I had asked that she wait in the waiting room because I was so uncomfortable. When he was starting to crown though, I realized that I may want to see pictures of all of this, so I let her come in.
We had to wait, what seemed like forever, for that last contraction so that I could push again. I asked them to leave the mirror there because I wanted to see what was going on. This really surprised me because I won’t even watch someone drawing my blood with a butterfly needle. I watched as I started to push, and when it got to the point that the biggest part of his head was coming out, I felt the most intense pain that I felt the whole time. It only lasted a few short seconds, but I let out a scream from the pit of my stomach. I wanted someone’s hand to squeeze, but Mike was down with Maureen prepared to help catch Evan. Shannon was taking pictures, so I was grabbing the air. Thankfully, it was over quickly. The next thing that happened was a few nurses pushing both of my knees back, and I knew they were worried about his shoulders getting stuck. I thought to myself, “This is NOT going to happen, he is NOT getting stuck!” I pushed with everything that was left inside of me, and the next thing I knew, I had a warm, wet, screaming baby laying on my chest. I’m not exactly sure how he got there, meaning I don’t know for sure who put him there, I think Mike helped though. At that very instant, all of the pain and discomfort were gone, and relief washed over me as I looked into my little baby’s eyes! I couldn’t believe that my son, who I had just birthed, was lying on my chest. What an absolute miracle! His eyes were open right away, and he screamed for what seemed to me like a good 20 minutes. There was no wondering whether or not he got his lungs cleared out! He was a beautiful shade of pink, and absolutely perfect in every way imaginable.
Maureen assessed to find out if any damage had been done, and found I had only tore a small amount. I received three stitches for that. I also had a little more bleeding than they felt comfortable with, so I got a shot of pitocin in my leg, and then a dose of cytotec in my rectum (not pleasant). The cord was clamped somewhere in all this, and Mike cut it, and Maureen asked me to push to deliver the placenta. I couldn’t really figure out how to do that after giving birth to Evan, but whatever I did must have worked because out the placenta came. It wasn’t too long after that, I told them it really felt like I had to pee, so they helped me up to the bathroom, but I couldn’t find the right muscle group to use to actually make myself pee. I tried all sorts of tricks, but after about 10 minutes or so, they said I could try again later. It took me three tries to be able to pee.
The remainder of that day was just amazing. We had very few people coming in and out, so we got a lot of privacy, and it was nice not having someone trying to take my blood pressure every 15 minutes! Mike fell asleep in the bed (we had a full size bed in the room) because he had been up over 24 hours. I was tired, but on a high of sorts and couldn’t go to sleep until later in the afternoon when we all napped together. Evan breastfed pretty much right away without any difficulty, which amazed me. I didn’t have any reason to think we would have a problem, but it seemed like he knew exactly what he was doing…despite how clumsy I felt!
My sister Ellen finally arrived with lunch for Mike and I (Arby’s sandwiches, Yum!). Shannon and Ellen held the baby for a little while so we could eat, and after they left was when the three of us napped together. They came back with dinner for us later in the evening. That night, Maureen came down and did the full assessment on Evan, and washed his hair for us. We ended up going home at about 10:00pm that night.

GarlicBreath's picture
Joined: 09/12/06
Posts: 488

Here is Olivia's birth story...sorry it's so long! Smile

On the evening of December 22, I started to have contractions about 10 minutes apart. Kyle and I were wrapping Christmas presents, and I had to stop to breathe and relax. I had been having contractions for weeks, so I decided to ignore them and go to bed. I had a few more in the night that woke me up. I had one at 5:15, and one at 5:40 that got my attention. I walked around the house for a little while. Aden woke up at 6 am (which is unusual), so I rocked with him for a little while and got him some breakfast. By 6:15, they were coming more frequently, and I realized I couldn't take care of Aden by myself. So I woke up DH and asked him to help me.

It was really hard to relax with Aden running around, so I called my mom at 7:15. She picked him up around 7:45. Then I ate a sandwich and we headed off to the hospital. My contractions slowed down, and I started worrying that this was just another false alarm. By 9 am, we checked in and I was 4-5 cm dialated.

For the next couple hours, I just tried different ways of laboring. My contractions were still irregular. When I was up and moving, they would be every 3-5 minutes apart, but when I sat or laid down, they would space out. I felt better when I was moving, so I walked laps around the L&D floor for a long time. I was really looking forward to laboring in the tub, but wanted to wait until my contractions were more regular. The hospital does intermittant monitoring, so I had to lay in bed a couple times. That was NOT fun.

At about 12:45, the midwife mentioned the possibility of breaking my water to get things going. I was hesitant because of my experience with Aden. She suggested that she check my cervix and then I could decide after that. I was 6 cm dialated, so I decided to do it. She broke my water, and I was surprised to find that the contractions weren't much different.

The worst part of the experience was after my water was broken and I got back on the monitor. The contractions were really uncomfortable when I was laying down. Dh was rubbing pressure points in my hand. After about 15 minutes, the nurse came in worrying about decelerations in Olivia's heartrate. She wanted to place an IV and give me some O2. I suggested that I change positions, and her heartrate improved. She still wanted to place an IV, so I asked for a hep lock instead.

At this point, I started really questioning myself. I told DH I didn't want to do this, I thought natural childbirth was dumb, I started breaking a sweat with every contraction, and I didn't want him touching me anymore. He was great! He kept reminding me why we were doing this, that this is what I wanted, etc. I was so mad that I was still on the monitor! It was supposed to be 20 minutes, and it turned into 45. I started singing descending pitches through contractions, and buzzing my lips. The lip buzzing really helped because I had to relax my mouth and breathe--I think I could feel her head slip down everytime I buzzed.

Finally, I could get off the monitor!!! I went straight into the tub. It felt great!!! I buzzed my lips through a couple more contractions and felt like I had to push. I started panicking because it was so intense. Then I started worrying that I didn't really have to push, but I just thought I did. (Afterwards, DH said I was whining.) DH was so awesome--he talked to me firmly and got me out of the tub. I thought I was going to have Olivia walking across the room to the!

The midwife didn't even check me becuase she could tell I was complete. I had dialated from 6-10 in less than an hour, so I guess breaking my water was a good idea! I told her DH wanted to catch, so she showed him how to apply counterpressure and how to guide her head out. Olivia's head was born in one push, and her body was born in a second. DH caught her, and put her on my belly until the cord stopped pulsing. It was so awesome!!! I only had a small tear, and I was walking around and feeling "normal" almost immediately.

DH and I have just been giddy about it--I am so proud of him. He was wonderful. That was the best part of the whole thing. We just look at each other and say, "We can make people!" Olivia is beautiful. She's nursing well, and is a laid-back newborn (so far).

So that's our story. Smile


Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852
Birthing Maryn

Maryn’s Birth Story

Warning to Hypnobabies/Hynobirthing Mamas: pain mentioned, but I still consider this a positive natural childbirth story.

Saturday, January 5, I had irregular and non-painful pressure waves all day long. By about 4 pm they were 4-12 minutes apart. When they stayed that way through to bedtime, I figured probably something would happen that night. So I went ahead a baked a *****in’ batch of brownies for the L&D nurses. If you want the recipe, let me know, because, Lord, they were GOOD! Anyway, about 10 pm, Steve and I went to bed. As I’d had these types of surges the last 2 nights and they pretty much resolved during the day, I knew they were irritating and crampy in nature when lying down. So I propped myself up on pillows into a semi-reclined position and tried to snooze that way.

At 11:30 pm, during one of those non-painful surges, my eyes flew open when I felt and heard, a “pop-pop!” What a strange sensation. I wasn’t quite sure the sound actually came from me! But then a few moments later, I felt a warm trickle. I said, “Oh! Steve! I think my water just broke!” And I got up and went to the bathroom to make sure it was clear. It was, so I went to lie down again. I told Steve to go back to sleep and we’ll just see if something doesn’t kick in soon. Within 10 minutes, I knew things were truly starting to kick in. I got up and called my doula, Ginny, and let her know the situation, then situated myself over my birthing ball in the living room and put on one of my Hypnobabies scripts. After a few surges this way, Steve came into the living room and said he was going to get up and get things ready – he couldn’t sleep. I started to get a little uncomfortable, and wondered if sitting on the ball and leaning against my bed would be better. So I moved back into my bedroom with the ball and tried that. Not much better, but I started using my light switch and going to off with each pressure wave. That helped. I still wasn’t terribly uncomfortable at all at any rate. Ginny arrived at about 12:30 am. I reviewed the peace, release and deepening cues with her and she jumped right in without hesitation. Soon, I started draping myself over the ball again and that was nicer. We moved back out to the living room for more space. Steve said my surges were 1-2 minutes in length, but they seemed much shorter. By this time, I’d listened to the Birthing Day Affirmations and the Easy 1st Stage scripts and didn’t feel like hearing them again. So I put on the music I’d complied – mostly some quiet Christmas music.

We worked through surges this way until about 1:30 am. Then they started changing in nature. They were coming in groups of 3s, were short and started to get strong. I started needing to vocalize and chose, “AHHHHHHH!!!!” I also noticed that I liked leaning on the couch arm or the dining table and having Ginny put pressure on my back. Then I started to notice my legs were shaking as I worked through each surge. So at that point, I thought, “Hmmmmm….could this really be transformation already? Damn! I wish I knew how far along I was! Maybe we’d better get to the hospital and see.” I was started to get worried about a very uncomfortable car ride, really! So I let Ginny and Steve know that maybe we should go. I put on the Birthing Affirmations script again and away we went. I had about 3 surges in the car and said the peace and release cues to myself. It went much better than I thought it would.

We arrived at the ER entrance. They tried to get me into a wheelchair to transport me up to L&D, but I refused to sit down. I couldn’t imagine working through a surge in the sitting position! The RN who took us up to L&D was named Steven. He was very nervous I was going to give birth on the long walk to L&D! We had to stop about 5 times on the way up and work through some surges. They were good, strong pressure waves, but I was doing great with them and cracking jokes in between.

Checking in at triage took entirely too long in my opinion. We were finally taken back but I was only allowed one support person with me. I left Ginny in the waiting room – a mistake, in retrospect, but I couldn’t imagine Steve not being with me. The surges were getting very strong now, but I had my script on and was working through them. I trotted down to the bathroom and gave them their blessed urine specimen, working through a surge in the restroom on my own. When I got back to the bed, I had a whopper of a surge and got my hands and knees for it. As I was turning around to let them check me and put on monitors, I said, “If I’m only 2 centimeters……..!” They laughed and said, “You won’t be!” The RN, Shannon, checked me and said, “You’re 2!” I said, “What??” She said, “No, you’re 7!” I couldn’t believe it! As the surges were VERY strong now, I was very thankful to be 7. Sometime in all this the baby’s heartbeat dropped down to the 80’s, but soon recovered. The RN, Bethany, was concerned. I knew she was OK though.

But now I was starting to loose control. They let Ginny in, but it was too late. I walked as fast as I could between surges to the labor room. As I walked into it, I had a surge and immediately went onto hand and knees on the floor beside the bed. When that resolved, I tried to get up into the bed as fast as I could. I had another surge right away and I was on hands and knees on the bed. This was VERY intense and I cried to , “I’m scared! I’m scared!” She reassured me all was OK, I was fine and baby was fine. There was an intense pressure/pain in my back, butt, sacrum. The monitors went on and I went for a semi-reclined position on my right side. Since Dr. B was still on his way in, the resident doctor standing by checked me when I lay down. I was 9 or 10, I don’t remember. But I started needing to bear down, I guess, so I did.

BethanyBethany it was up to me now. They were there for me but they were not going to coach me. I should do what I felt I needed to do. I was later on so impressed with how well she perceived what I wanted in my birthing and ensured I got it. We hadn’t had time to present our birth preferences.

The pain was no longer in the uterus, but deep and low in my pelvis/sacrum. Bearing down felt like the right thing to do but it didn’t really feel better, if that makes sense. Another resident doctor came into the room. The first was the intern, the 2nd was the supervising 3rd year. I knew her from my hospital. She’s a very good resident and I was glad to see her. I didn’t say anything to her but at one point, she told the intern to just leave me be – she’d been applying perineal pressure. I liked that idea! I’d been too preoccupied to say that that was annoying. The baby’s heartbeat dove with each contraction, but I was not too concerned – baby would be here soon, somehow! And I knew the R3 was keeping a close watch.

Dr. B arrived and I kept bearing down. I’d bear down to a certain point where I felt the baby’s head press against some pelvic structure toward the back. I knew if I dared to bear down longer and harder that there would be even more pain. Finally, I got up the nerve and bore down harder and longer. And I was right, the pain was even more. Then there was the ring of fire! That pain was unbelievable! Even in that pain, I organized my thoughts and committed to bearing down hard and long in order to get this over with. Then Maryn’s head came out. The fire was still there! Then her body spilled out (the oddest sensation ever) and the pain was immediately gone! Dr. B had her cord cut in no time flat and she was on my belly. I cried, “Oh, oh, oh! Oh, I love you!” and I kissed her and dried her and loved her. Steve was to my right and we loved her together and laughed. It was absolutely a beautiful moment. The moments of my children’s births were the best moments in my life. I doubt they will be topped.

Dr. B took plenty of time collecting blood for the cord blood storage kit. That was fine since I felt absolutely wonderful. When he was done with that, he gave a little tug on the cord and ouch, the placenta delivered. He was worried about the bleeding I was having, so besides the 20 units of pitocin I had injected in my thigh, , also a trauma nurse, had an IV in my right wrist lightening fast and I had 10 more units by IV. Dr. B then stitched up a small 2nd degree perineal laceration. That took maybe 2 minutes. Then he massaged my uterus and cleared out some clots. That sucked a little. Then I was all done! From 7 cm to completely dilated in about 10 minutes. I pushed for about 9 minutes. I’d had my natural child birth and I was so very, very satisfied and I felt so very wonderful.

Sometime during the cord blood collection/placenta delivery, etc, Maryn went to the warmer and got cleaned up a little. Then put her on the scale and she was pronounced to be 9 pounds 11 ounces. I said, “No way! Weigh her again!” But it was true. Maryn was a very large baby. I’d had no idea she’d be bigger than Kai was. Both my belly and I were smaller this pregnancy, so I thought.

Maryn Ann was born 1/6/08 at 3:14am, weighing 9# 11oz, Apgars 9 and 9, 19 inches long. She had a 14 inch head.

Maryn is named for Steve’s Oma, Mary. But we also just like the name too. In Latin, it means “of the sea.” Coincidentally, Kai means “ocean” in the Polynesian languages. Ann is for Steve’s sister, Ann.

My postpartum recovery has been a breeze. I feel so very much better than I did after Kai’s birth. I don’t have perineal swelling or hemorroids. My bottom doesn’t bother me at all. My tummy in involuting rapidly and I feel just great! And all that pelvic discomfort I had antepartum has disappeared. There is some public bone soreness still, but no where near as bad as before the birth.

Maryn is a big eater. That’s the only postpartum complaint I have really. Not that she eats to much and so often, but that my nipples are so sore. When she first latches, I just want to faint. My toes curl, my eyes widen and I suck in my breath. Well, I’m also quite sleep deprived because of all this nursing. I’m hoping she will work it all out to a more manageable “schedule” soon.

Kai thinks having a baby at home is pretty neat, most of the time. I can tell that sometimes he’s feeling put aside at times. This morning he was crying and wanted me to put the baby to bed and be with him. I felt so very sad for him. It broke my heart. So I unlatched Maryn and put her down for a little while. She did alright. And Kai felt better.

The evening after Maryn’s birth, I was walking the hospital hallways, stretching my legs and missed a visit from our L&D nurse, Bethany. She told Steve, who was in the room and watching over Maryn, that she and the other L&D nurses wished they had a video of my birthing so show other moms. They thought it was a perfect, natural birthing. “The way it should be,” she said. I’m so, so proud of that.

Dese's picture
Joined: 05/27/07
Posts: 139

I finally got it finished 3 weeks after giving birth! It's rather long but hopefully you can make it through it.

Present at birth: Myself (Amy), Matt (husband), Emily (sister) and midwifes Janet & Kelly

In the early hours of Monday December 16th 2007 I had five hours of contractions. I had been having 3-10 hours worth of contractions at a time since about 36 weeks but this was the first time I really felt like I needed a little support. I got up out of bed and went into the living room where Matt was. He was great. He rubbed my back while I hang over my birth ball and he let me hang off of him when I wanted to. The contractions tapered off enough that I was able to go back to sleep but I was happy in knowing what a great support I had in him for when the real labour began. In the morning I was feeling very tired and a bit frustrated with the stop/start contractions. I called my Mum and let her know I wasn’t up for shopping and needed to rest because of the night before. She said ‘You’re not well’ to which I insisted ‘I am not sick, I’m pregnant.’ One of the attitudes I took with the pregnancy was that pregnancy is not an illness and should not be treated as one.

Thursday December 20th was my next midwife appointment, at 39 weeks 5 days. I decided that I would get an internal (my first for the pregnancy) even though I did have a preference of as little intervention as possible. I wanted to find out that if anything was happening with all the contractions I had been having, but I was prepared to go to 42 weeks if that was what the baby wanted. So I requested an internal and was happy to hear the results! Janet said ‘holy mackerel!’ and I laughed to which she said that the baby’s head came right down so I should keep laughing and watch lots of funny movies to get the baby down further. That worked as you’ll read later! She then said that I was doing great. Sitting at 1cm dilated and could stretch 2-3cm and my cervix was 50% effaced, anterior (facing forward, the right way for the baby to come out) and soft. We went on to discuss a couple of different things and I found out that not only was one of the midwifes in the practice completely off work due to pregnancy complications, but the one other midwife was about to go on vacation. So that meant there was only my midwife available, and for her to attend my birth at home she would have to find a back up midwife from another practice in the city as there must be two attendings at a birth. Add to that the stress of finding out that because my BMI had just hit over 40 I would have to go in to the hospital to get an anaesthesiologist consult (just in case). I got so stressed out, not a happy pregnant woman! My BP was taken after that and surprise surprise it was high at 128/70. So I put that down to all the stress of hearing all the previous that indicated I may not be able to have my homebirth, as well as some stress I was feeling from family stuff. Before Janet left she suggested that I get my birth pool inflated, saying that sometimes just getting those last few things complete can help a woman relax enough to go into labour.

That night I passed a very large glob of mucous discharge which I thought was quite possibly my mucous plug. The next morning there was more. First thing in the morning (Friday December 21st) I got a call from my midwife telling me to call the hospital about the anaesthesiologist consult. I called and they said they had to get me in straight away as I was due the next day and they would be closed over Christmas for appointments until the 27th. So Matt and I headed off to the hospital. We parked a fair ways away and my hair froze on the walk to the hospital because I had had a shower just beforehand. I thought that was pretty funny! The weather warning for the day predicted 10-15cm of snow which was more stress as I knew I probably couldn’t give birth at home if I went into labour during a snowstorm.

At the hospital I registered then we had to go pay the bill since I don’t have Permanent Residence yet ($295, boo!) before we went up to the anaesthesiologist. Got in to see her and the appointment was very brief and mostly fine. All she did was ask me a bunch of questions about my medical history, have a look at my spine to see how difficult it might be to get a needle in (said it was fine), took my BP twice because the reading was high (I was extremely stressed out by all this!) and then weighed me. My BP was up to 136/87 at the first reading… basically they like to admit you once it reaches 140/90 because of the risk of seizures. The second reading was 137/76 which she said was much better. I was really upset on the car ride home from the hospital and started bawling. I kept thinking that everything was spiralling towards my not being able to have the homebirth that I’d been working towards throughout the entire pregnancy. Matt told me everything would be ok. He said that I would have the baby after Christmas and that Janet would be able to find a second attending so we could have the homebirth.

That afternoon we went out to see a movie (Eastern Promises) with my sister and also checked out the new big pet store that had opened by the cinema. Afterwards we headed over to Matt’s Mum’s place so Matt could hang out with his brothers for a few hours, one of which had just flown in from Ontario for Christmas. Emily and I watched tv upstairs and I napped a bit on the couch until it got close to six, then we headed out to go to a family friends place for the traditional get together and Christmas dinner. Every year on the Friday right before Christmas, Matt’s family gets together with theirs for Christmas dinner. It this point it was snowing quite a lot but the flakes were really small, it was more like rain. We drove down their street to show Em one of their neighbours houses with an extreme collection of Christmas lights, then we went to our friends house. Dinner was absolutely delicious, turkey and the works, and I drank a copious amount of cranberry pop (that I somewhat regretted later!). I skipped dessert and went to sit by myself in the living while everyone ate. I was just feeling a bit achey from sitting on the chair for so long, but not really having contractions, I just sort of felt like I needed to be resting. Ended up hanging out and talking with various people for awhile (it’s all a blur now!) then we decided to watch slides from when Matt and his brothers, and the kids from this family were all young. They got that all set up and we all squeezed in to the living room. It was very funny to see everyone when they were so little. I think we probably spent about half an hour laughing at all the pictures and laughing harder and harder at each slide. And that’s when it happened! I felt a gush. I sat there for probably about twenty seconds, wondering whether I should loudly announce to the room that ‘My water broke!’, if I was imaging things or what… then I felt another gush. At that point I leaned over to Matt and said to him quietly ‘I think my water just broke’. He said ‘What do you want to do?’ to which I replied ‘I better go check!’ I was pretty worried about soaking through my clothes and wrecking their furniture, so I got up (trying to be as discreet as possible) while everyone kept watching the slides and I went in to the bathroom.

It was around 9pm at this point. In the bathroom I discovered that my underwear was completely soaked with clear liquid and there was a large amount of mucous discharge on my panty liner. So the underwear had to come off. I wasn’t really gushing or trickling any more water so I am pretty sure the baby’s head was low enough to block it from being a significant continuous flow. I left the bathroom and went to stand in the doorway of the living room while everyone kept watching slides. After a few minutes Matt got up and came to check on me and we started discussing what we should do. I think everyone finished watching the slides because my sister came up to us not too long after and I told her that my water had broken. She was very excited! I got a bit choked up at that point (the ‘this is actually happening’ moment), also feeling very worried about the unfavourable to homebirth weather conditions. I decided I had better call my midwife and let her know my water had broken, and also see what she thought we should do. Janet said that I could stay there as long as I was comfortable, but to keep in mind the road conditions as far as travel time to get back home. She also said that because it was snowing so much there was a big chance that we would have to head to the hospital for the delivery and that I should prepare for that. I decided I wanted to stay for awhile because I’d been looking forward to playing card games with everyone. At that point I headed back into the living room and made the big announcement to everyone that my water had broken. (Interestingly enough, the month before at my baby shower I had said that I thought my water would break on that night while we were at their place, and it did!) It was quite funny the different reactions. Everyone was freaking out where as I was basically pretty calm. I said that the labour was going to happen whether I was ready or not and that I wasn’t stressed about it. And I really wasn’t.

So we ended up playing about two rounds of a card game (Scum or Asshole as it’s known in some less polite circles). I actually managed to win the second best position in the first round, which was neat! The contractions were getting stronger, not to the point where I wanted to make any noise but I just ended up feeling that I would be more comfortable in my own environment without everyone staring at me like I was ticking time bomb... which really got to be a little disconcerting! I think they couldn’t believe that I was playing cards while I was going into labour. I told Matt I was ready to head home and we got our stuff together and headed out. The ride home was interesting. I tried to time my contractions and they were somewhere between 3-5 minutes apart, but I was still not entirely feeling like I was in labour.

When we got home I got changed into my nightgown and was thinking about attempting to get some sleep since I knew I would need as much energy as possible. The midwife called at about 11pm not long after we got home and said that she wanted to come check on me, even though I wasn’t feeling intense labour yet. She said she wanted to take a shower and I told her to take her time, I was doing fine. I sent Matt to bed to sleep as he had been up since 2:30am in the morning. Matt was still adjusting back to sleeping nights and being up days as his holidays only started two days before and he had been working the nightshift.

I ended up on my knees hanging over my birthball in the middle of the living room. I had a ball of amethyst that I kept in my right hand and squeezed and played with while I rocked over the birth ball. I think Janet arrived at about 12:30. I had my eyes closed and I didn’t move or really pay attention to her, just kept focused on being relaxed and working through the contractions. They were getting stronger. I ended up talking to myself saying ‘Relax, relax, relax’ and throwing the occasional ‘Just breathe’ in there. One of the affirmations I had found that really resonated with me was a combination of ‘My job is simply to relax, my body will do the rest’ and ‘all I need to do is relax and breathe – nothing more’. So relax relax relax became my mantra! I drank water and at some point asked Emily to fetch me a banana which I then ate.

Janet just sat their quietly observing me, then after awhile she asked if I could let her know when the contractions started and ended so she could time them. At 01:20 she asked if she could do an internal to access where I was at, so she could figure out how soon she needed to try and find a second attending. At some point we discussed the weather and she basically said she needed to let me know that in these weather conditions it could take longer either for us to get to the hospital or for an ambulance to get out to us in the event of an emergency. She asked if she could check the weather online and found that the storm warning had been lowered, so we could relax a little bit. She asked if I was comfortable with knowing there could be that time delay and I said ‘This is what I want’. So I consented to the internal. She was very impressed and said ‘Amy you’re amazing’. I was at 4-5cm at that point (also 80% effaced and baby’s head at -1, although she didn’t tell me that until a few days after the birth when I asked to see her notes from the birth). Somewhere around this time Janet started calling around to try and find the second attending. She had one midwife who had said she would be willing, so she called her and let her know what point I was at, and basically got her opinion on the storm situation and said she would keep her posted so she could come when I was closer to actually giving birth.

I ended up having to get up and go to the bathroom a few times because my bladder was so full from all that cranberry pop I drank at dinner time. I had a little bit of loose bowel movement but I think I was honestly pretty empty because my body had been clearing out over the past few days. When I came back into the living room I decided I wasn’t comfortable on my knees anymore, so I got my pillow and leaned over the back of the couch with my head resting on it. I had my eyes closed pretty much the whole time, just blocked out the world and focused on being relaxed. Janet would come and check the baby’s heartbeat with the Doppler once in awhile, monitoring any changes during contractions. Baby stayed fine. It was during the time I was hanging over the couch that I really felt like I needed more support than I was getting. I wanted Matt to be there with me, but I knew that he needed as much sleep as possible so he could better support me in later labour. But I did feel alone or awhile there, but capable of dealing with it. I don’t know how much noise I was making at that point but Janet eventually said she wanted to get the pool set up. I tried to help out but basically just told her and Emily where they could move stuff and where everything they needed was. They got the table out of the corner, put down the waterproof sheets and got the pool set up on top of them. Janet tried to hook the hose up to the kitchen faucet but was having problems, so I said they could go in and wake up Matt. I think that was around about 3am. He got up and helped Janet get the hose plugged in and the pool started filling up, then he came and helped me work through the labour. I was having a lot of lower back pain so he started rubbing my back. I think I was a little snappy (‘Lower!, Harder, softer!’) until he was rubbing my back in the right places with the right amount of pressure, then it was great. I started feeling nauseous and while I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to be sick I got Matt to grab the bucket anyway, and then I was sick. Janet said that was a great sign that I was going into transition and I knew that also. I found it a bit embarrassing because I was heaving and couldn’t control my bladder while trying to deal with that and the contractions, so I was peeing all over the place. Janet said ‘I see all kinds of bodily fluids in this job, don’t worry, don’t be embarrassed about it’ She ended up applying pressure to some point on my wrist to try stop the nausea and it did work. I was still able to drink water from a bottle but that ended up being too much effort before too long.

Janet wanted to do another internal and I had to sort of work towards being up for it. The contractions were getting much stronger and I didn’t really want to move from where I was labouring somewhat comfortably. But I ended up laying down on the floor so she could examine me. That was the one point in the labour I really felt out of control because the pain became so unbearable having contractions laying down on my back. She checked me and when she was done I somehow managed to pull myself up off the floor and move in the middle of a contraction. The pain was SO intense I just had to get out of that position and back to my leaning. It was awful. I was like that’s it! No more internals! I wasn’t lying down again for anything. I remember thinking how in the world can anyone labour on their back, it’s agony. I was 6-7cm (still 80% effaced and baby at -1, also didn’t find that out until a few days later) and had a bloody show.

Not long after that I was able to get into the birthpool. My sister was very busily boiling pot after pot of water on the stove as the hot water tank had run out of water, so the pool wasn’t as high as it eventually ended up but it was absolute heaven when I got in. I remember warning my sister that ’I am going to get naked now’ and so I did! I can’t imagine giving birth with clothes on and I really didn’t care who saw me or have any inhibitions. After I got into the pool my contractions were very mild for about the next 2-3 contractions. I was on my knees at first as Matt and I were trying to figure out what the best position was, whether I could hang over the pool or lean back on it or what. I ended up leaning back on it. Matt sat on a chair behind me and I put my hands up over my shoulders and held onto his hands. They started making sure I was drinking water very regularly. I had a lot of frustration with the straw length, we only had really long slurpee straws, not the bendable ones that were recommended we get (forgot about them!). So it was really hard to drink the water sometimes and I was really parched. Note to self: Buy bendy straws for next time. Occasionally Matt would pull one of his hands away and I would feel panic rising and demand he return his hand. I felt I could only really focus and get through things calmly if I had both of his hands to hold. I experimented with the noises I was making during the contractions until I found what really worked, which was basically humming/singing ‘haa/hoo’ noises at different pitches depending on what I was feeling. It worked so well.

At some point I ended up going into that slightly delirious state I had heard about and seen in some births on tv. I think it was a combination of being semi-asleep between contractions and that I already have a tendency to talk in my sleep sometimes. I said a few weird things to Matt. I remember telling him to send away people that weren’t at the birth, and something about sandwiches, I have no idea! I was still talking myself through the contractions, and when they ended up pretty intense I begged/demanded that Matt tell me I could do it. I just needed him to encourage me because knowing he had faith in me gave me faith in myself. From that point onward he talked me through every single contraction. When I would start saying ‘it’ll pass’ or something similar to remind myself that contractions were not endless, he would take my lead and talk me through it also, and that really helped me.

At some point I remember silently and briefly considering what it would like to transfer to a hospital and get the epidural, and I thought I very likely would not be able to handle being in the car. Just another sign of being in transition, thinking I couldn’t handle what was happening.

Around 6am after being in the tub for two hours I first got the urge to push. With one of the contractions I felt intense pressure in my butt, I couldn’t help but push, and the pushing made me arch out of the water. Around then Janet called the second midwife she had spoken with earlier and told her she had better come on over. Janet came and spoke to me and asked if she could do an internal to assess where I was at. I said ‘I don’t think I could handle it’, and she asked if I didn’t think I could handle the labour, or if I didn’t think I could handle the internal. I said the internal, and actually thought that was a silly question, I didn’t doubt my ability to give birth at all. I just remembered how intense the pain was in the previous internal and now, having the urge to push and the contractions being that more intense, there was no way I was taking another one. She asked that I do my best to breathe through contractions and not push until the back-up midwife arrived. With each contraction I had the urge to push right at the end and really couldn’t help push a little, and I was still arching out of the water with most. I remember how strange I thought it was that I was feeling all the pressure in my butt. I had read that was what would happen, but it was just very weird to experience it and not really feel any pain or pressure in my vagina. At first I felt like I was just going to have a bowel movement but I soon realised that it was normal and got over the fear of pooping in the tub! And that didn’t happen.

The back-up midwife arrived about half an hour later at around 6:30. I remember reaching down and finding that I could feel the baby’s head, it was very soft and squishy. I told Matt then told him to tell Janet. After pushing during contractions leaning back on the tub for awhile Janet suggested that I move onto my knees. I somehow managed to do that and I had my arms around Matt’s neck at that point, or my hands on his shoulders. The contractions and pushing became much more intense, and it only seemed like 5 minutes from that point until the birth to me but it was really more like 15. Janet had sent my sister to bed to get some rest a few hours earlier, and she got up and saw the birth (she was woken up by my screaming, her words!). Baby started crowning and the pain became very intense. I remember hearing myself screaming and almost feeling outside of myself. I felt like I was tearing, and I thought ‘I am tearing’ (I wasn’t!). I hadn’t expected to feel the pain all the way around. I had gone into the labour not wanting to make a lot of noise, and up until that point I had laboured almost silently, or in the midwifes words I just sang my way through labour. I remember saying how much it hurt, that it was stinging and burning, and Janet talked me through it, explaining what I already knew… baby was crowning, I was feeling the ‘ring of fire’. I ended up hyperventilating because I wasn’t able to breathe with all the screaming I was doing, and Janet told me to breathe. She reminded me of the baby and told me to breathe for the baby. That calmed me down straight away and I was able to take in some nice deep breathes. I was really digging into Matt’s shoulders with my fingers and hands, I felt like I was clinging on to him for dear life! Then baby’s head was out! That was an incredible feeling and I could relate to reading about other women’s finding that an orgasmic release. It was a HUGE relief and an incredible feeling. I gasped and really fell against Matt, it was like WOAH! About ten seconds later baby was born with the next push at 6:58am. I was briefly a bit disorientated because it was a lot to process. I think Janet encouraged me to pick up the baby and she assisted me in doing so. Baby took a breath and slipped back under the water, and we think took in a mouthful as a result of which baby had a lot of spit-up in the first 24 hours. Then I had the baby in my arms. Very wet and slippery and wriggly. Baby didn’t cry at all, just looked around with big eyes and eventually let out a bit of a cry after having chest rubbed. I was kind of shocked. Obviously I’d been pregnant for 40 weeks, I knew I was in labour and about to give birth but all of a sudden there was a baby in my arms! I talked to the baby and asked ‘what are you? A boy or a girl?’… Janet got Matt to check and he just looked sort of baffled, he had no idea what baby bits look like and didn’t want to get it wrong. Then Janet accidentally told us by saying something like ‘She’s cold’. She quickly apologised to which I said it was ok, and I double checked, it was indeed a girl! I said ‘I knew you were a girl!!!’ but I was still quite surprised. Towards the end I had become hesitant to trust in it being a girl in case it was a boy, and I didn’t want to be disappointed either way. She was beautiful. Eyes were a very dark color, black with a slight blue tinge to them. She had a full head of dark hair, just as expected.

Janet commented on Matt crying and he said it was from hearing me scream so much, I felt bad that it had been so hard on him but so appreciative that he was there for me, he really got me through it all. I felt incredibly alert and energetic and I think I said ‘That was easy!’. I had absolutely no grasp on the passage of time so I had no idea what time it was or how long the labour had been, and I hadn’t cared about the time while was in labour. Later discovered that I was only in labour for 10 hours, 5 of which were active labour and just 1 hour from first pushing urge until birth, all of which were amazing for a first time Mum.

Baby and I got out of the pool about 1 minute after the birth. The midwifes had set up a birthing stool at the edge. I had wanted to deliver the placenta outside of the water and was fine with moving. I said hello to the back-up midwife Kelly as that was the first time I had seen her-my back had been to the room where she was sitting. The water in the pool was very red with blood and I was gushing blood (midwifes words-‘like a tap’) though unaware of it, I was focused on the baby. I was given a precautionary shot of oxytocin in my right thigh. I remember noticing my stomach and being amused by how squishy and empty it was. I also remember having the feeling of wishing someone would take the baby away because I didn’t know what to do with it. 12 minutes after baby was born the placenta was delivered. I found it very easy to push it out, I’m not sure why some women compare that to giving birth a second time. At some point Matt cut the cord but I’m not sure if that happened before or after the placenta was delivered. He hadn’t wanted to throughout the entire pregnancy, but we kind of bullied him into it!

We moved to the bedroom after placenta was delivered. Baby stayed with Matt and Emily in the living room while the midwifes assessed me. Janet examined me for tears and explained everything she was doing. I didn’t tear even though I thought I had, there were just abrasions on both sides. Both midwifes kept telling me how amazing I was, how I had had the perfect birth, that I’d birthed like it was my third baby not my first. I thought it was funny but was happy to be praised and very pleased! I was still bleeding quite a lot, soaked all the way through the first pad, my underwear, and the blue undersheet on the bed. Janet wasn’t too concerned but said that I was bleeding more than she typically expected from most white women, so she stayed beside me and monitored me for longer than she would normally. Desana was born at 6:58am and I think Janet stayed until 11am.

Desana was brought into the room and had her assessment done. Weighed and measured, everything checked. Everything was perfect, only unusual thing was that she had a non-problematic sacral dimple (dimple in the back, right above the bum). Matt said that one of his brothers had one too. I don’t know if it’s genetic, but maybe! She weighed 7lbs10oz and was 20 inches long. Janet helped me get started with breastfeeding. I had baby skin-to-skin with me and while I was feeding her she did her first poop, lovely meconium all over my arm, down my side and over the bedsheets. Naughty little baby! After everything I was so wide awake I had trouble getting any sleep at all for the first 48 hours or so, even though I was exhausted.

Overall it was an amazing experience. I am very proud of it and very grateful that my husband is such an amazing man and that he helped me birth our baby. I am very lucky to have achieved the exact birth experience I hoped and planned for. Now I hope to be an advocate for homebirth and doing it naturally, or at least be able to offer a different perspective on what the birthing experience can be to my friends and family. I do not think my birth was a fluke or that I just got lucky. I very much believe it went so smoothly because I believed in my ability to birth the baby naturally, and I trusted in my body and in the process. My midwife said I could have done it on my own. After many months of preparation there was a wonderful outcome, my beautiful baby girl!

Water broke at 9pm December 21st
Internal at 01:20am: 4-5cm, 80% effaced, baby at -1
03:35 vomiting-sign of transition
Internal at 03:50am: 6-7 cm, 80% effaced, baby at -1
04:00 contractions noted by midwife as strong in intensity, moved to birth pool
05:55am grunting sound during contraction, indicating pushing urge
06:58 baby delivered, Apgars 8 and 9
Contractions stayed at 2-3 minutes apart the entire labour, each 60-90 seconds long
10 hours total labour time

Baby Girl: Desana Rose
12/22/07 - 6:58am (CST)
7 pounds 10 ounces
20" long (51 cm), head 14" (35cm)
Born at 40 weeks even, on her duedate

I only have a few regrets but I think they are important to acknowledge. I'm only posting these here on the Birthing Naturally board.


Not having bendy straws. Seriously! It is hard to relay what you need when in labour and struggling to drink the water was a real pain.
Not having taken pictures or video of the labour/delivery. Totally the last thing on my mind when in the process, but now I would like to have that extra visual record of the experience. I especially regret having no picture of me with the baby right after giving birth. I still dont have a picture of us together, I'm always behind the camera! Sad
Not having Matt’s support in early labour. I coped ok and I knew that he needed rest so he could be there for me later, but I really felt somewhat alone for the first couple of hours. Alone but capable of dealing with it on my own.
I don’t know if I exactly regret having that second internal, but I think at the next birth I will trust more in the symptoms my body is displaying as indicators of the progress, and hopefully the midwifes will trust in that too. I really never felt the need to know where I was at during labour, but I think my midwife did. Discussing the birth with my midwife, she said she regretted the second internal. I didn’t feel violated I just couldn’t handle the pain of having moved from the position I was comfortably labouring in.
I'm still undecided about whether I really regret not having my Mum at the birth or if I just feel guilty about it. Part of me wishes she was there so she could have experienced it as she never went into labour and had c-sections both times. But part of me thinks I would have been inhibited and not had such a great experience. Who knows.

EssBee's picture
Joined: 02/13/07
Posts: 32

Here's my short little birth story, xp from my Lodge:

My due date, of which I was completely certain, was Feb 3. Mom arrived Feb 2 and stayed through Sunday the 10th; all that week we eagerly awaited labor but it never happened, despite a lot of Braxton-Hicks contractions and, toward the end of the week, even some uncomfortable ones. I dropped Mom off at the airport at 5 am on the 10th, and as soon as I got back home and went back to bed, I started having regular, painful contractions. They dropped off as the day went on, though, and I wondered by lunchtime if I would ever go into labor! That night, after J put Henry to bed, things started up again. I called the midwife to let her know what was happening, but didn't want to "call it" for fear of bringing her all the way out to the house for nothing! She told me to call her back in half an hour and let her know how I felt. When I did that, intending to tell her to just wait a while until we could see if it was really going to happen, her husband told me she had "had a feeling" about the birth and had already left her house!

The midwife and the doula arrived shortly before 11 pm. I got a little performance anxiety while we set up and then just sort of sat around, and my contractions petered out for a while. I decided to lie down and try to get some sleep. I spent about 15 minutes in bed before I had to get up to go to the bathroom--while I was there I had super intense contractions and had some bloody show. This was it. It was midnight, and I climbed into the birth tub--it felt sooo much better! I had regular contractions there, and got out once to go to the bathroom and vowed never to leave again! It was so hard to walk back to the tub. I threw up twice, which was unpleasant but I did feel better afterwards. I don't know exactly how long I pushed, but I would guess maybe 30 minutes altogether. It was very intense--I remember thinking I wouldn't be able to do it; that the baby would get stuck because I was too afraid to push her out. But, bit by bit, it happened. It was so scary! It was also very painful, and I distinctly had the thought, "This was a BAD idea!" ... but before I knew it, the birth was coming like a freight train and I wouldn't have been able to stop it if I tried. Her head was out, and just a half second later I pushed out her shoulders. I couldn't believe it! I could not believe that it actually worked; that we actually did it!

The only sad part was that Henry, who was sleeping downstairs, was awakened by all the noise, and J had to go down and comfort him, and J missed the birth. But we sort of thought that might happen, and all things considered we only wish we had managed to get more video of the labor! There's only one little bit, and it's during a hard contraction so I don't think we'll be breaking it out on home-movie night anytime soon.

This was most definitely the hardest thing I have ever done ... well, J asked me if it was really harder than boot camp, and I told him I'd have to think about it. My throat is sore from all the roaring I did, and of course my tummy is sore too and I am tired, but I feel a million times better now than I did after Henry's birth. And June was bigger than her brother! She weighed in at 8 lb, 6 oz, and 22 inches long, with a 13.5 inch head. She was born at 2:09am on Feb 11, at 41w1d. She started nursing right away, and was so alert! It was amazing. We both went into the bathroom and cleaned up in the tub, then settled in for the rest of the night. She has been nursing and sleeping ever since. I feel so blessed!

I've added some pics. There are some truly amazing ones but there is nudity, lol. It's too bad, because I love these pictures and would have liked to share!

Here's the pool when I inflated it:

Mere seconds after the birth:

Henry sees her for the first time:

Daddy and his children:

In the herbal bath cleaning up after the birth:

Settling in for the remainder of the night:

About 5 hours old:

The morning of the birth--she's about 7 hours old here:

Such a beautiful feeling!

Amber_daisy's picture
Joined: 10/17/06
Posts: 567

Jesse Liam's Birth Story

Jesse certainly took his time getting ready for his grand entrance into the world. I had been contracting fairly regularly for weeks, but my little man wanted to keep everyone in suspense. At 41 weeks I was placed on the induction list. At 41 weeks 3 days I was called by the case room staff and offered an induction but declined. That day I also saw my doctor, Dr. D, and her resident, Dr. W. We discussed induction and decided to continue to wait. I also requested a membrane sweep…something I had been against for the longest time, but decided that it would likely be the lesser of the two evils (membrane sweep vs. induction). My cervix was really posterior, so she had a hard time even finding it. She found it and told me I was 2 cm dilated and about 40% effaced (kinda funny since I was 2-3 cm/50% with bulging membranes 4 days before that). Then she started the membrane sweep. Honest to God, if I had to choose between labor and a membrane sweep, I’d choose labor! It was excruciating. She only got half way around before I couldn’t stand it anymore and yelled at her to stop. But she might have stirred some stuff up. I lost part of my mucous plug the next night, at 41 weeks, 4 days. I was so excited that I had to get Steve to come check it out! At that point my contractions were about 10 minutes apart and fairly regular. I was hoping that it was the beginning of labor, but nope! Some contractions woke me up overnight, but they petered off in the morning.

I continued to go to the case room daily for my NSTs. They were all reactive, and my kick counts were all fabulous. The baby was always moving up a storm in there. The pressure to induce from the OB staff was intense and I was starting to really question myself, but deep down I just *knew* that it wasn’t the right decision for me and my baby. I started trying natural methods of induction, like nipple stimulation. That only made me really sore! I even tried sex, which was SO not appealing to me at the time! On Tuesday, at 42 weeks I had another BPP and NST. They were both top notch. I met Dr. D at the case room and she checked my cervix again. This time I was still 2 cm, but 60% effaced. My cervix was really soft and baby was at -2 station. My Bishop’s score was a 6. So, had we decided on induction, at least my cervix was favorable. But she didn’t push induction at all. She fully swept my membranes though! It still hurt, but not nearly as much as the first time. That evening I lost more of my mucous plug and my contraction were stronger and more consistent. I went to bed early, around 10 PM, thinking that this was really it this time. I contracted all night, and they woke me up a few times. But I slept really well!

I woke up on the morning of January 9, 2008, at 42 weeks 1 day almost certain that it would be “the day.” I was right. I was having lots of blood streaked mucous, and the contraction became quite regular. I thought the baby might be in a slightly posterior position, so I spent some time on the birthing ball, resting my upper body on my bed. I spent most of my time though puttering around the house trying to get everything ready to go. I got a shower and finished packing my hospital bags. I don’t think Steve really caught on that I was actually in labor, because he was really “takin’ it easy” all morning. Around lunch time he decided it was time to chuck the Christmas tree! I got after him to get a shower and get ready. I think he knew then that I meant business! At that point my contractions were coming about every 3-5 minutes and were getting stronger. I called Dr. D’s office, but she was on her lunch break and not in the office. I was thinking I could go in to the clinic and she could check my cervix there before I decided to go to the hospital. I really didn’t want to head straight to the hospital only to find out I was still at 2 cm. It was around then that I called my Aunt Cathy at her school. My mom and dad had already gone home to Stephenville 3 days prior, and my other 2 back up people (Steve’s sister Shelley, and my friend Wendy’s Mom) were unavailable. Since Aunt Cathy had offered to come in with me, she was it! I talked to her, and she said she’d be here in a couple of hours (she lives 1 ½ hours outside of town). Dr. W then returned my call, and suggested that I head on in to the case room.

I kinda took my time though. I got something to eat and took my final belly pics. I wanted to make sure I had pictures of my belly the day I went into labor. I think my belly was pretty spectacular. Anywho, we loaded up the car and drove to the hospital. When I buzzed the caseroom (it’s a locked unit) I told them who I was and said I was there for my NST. They let me in, and when I got to the desk, I mentioned to the nurses that I *might* be in labor. The triage nurse that day was Robin. I recognized her from when I was a student. She’s also a British-trained midwife. She hooked me up to the monitor and told me she’d only leave me on it for 20 minutes because she didn’t want me lying down much, since I was starting to get pretty uncomfortable. I lied down on the bed and listened to my hypnobabies CD for a bit. After 20 minutes she came back and checked the strip. My contrax were actually every 2-3 minutes at that point. But I only had 2 acels, and Robin said she wanted to get one more acel on the strip so that the other nurses and the docs wouldn’t hassel me. After a few minutes, we got the acel, and she unhooked me from the monitor. Then she checked my cervix. She said that I was 3-4 cm, and about 70 % effaced. It was midway between anterior and posterior. I was a bit disappointed, but she reassured me that I was progressing really well. She called Dr. D, and came back and told me that Dr. D said I could be admitted at that point, or I could go and walk around the hospital for a little while and come back and get checked again. I always said I didn’t want to be admitted too early, but my contractions were coming so quickly and were getting so much stronger, I decided to be admitted. I asked for Birth Room #1, because that was the one with the Jacuzzi. At that point Robin leaned in to me and whispered to me. She said that I should get in the Jacuzzi on my hands and knees as soon as I got my room. She told me that since I was so overdue, the staff would probably try to put me on continuous EFM, but since the baby was slightly posterior, that would be a really bad idea. She said I need to be mobile and use positions that would get the baby into the best position. That was my plan anyways, but it was good to hear someone, especially a midwife say it.

Room #1 wasn’t quite ready for me, so I had to wait about a half an hour to actually get my room. Aunt Cathy showed up in that time. That was a bit of a relief. I wanted people I knew around me. I had to get up and walk around. Sitting or lying down was just not cutting it. I finally got my room around 4 PM. My nurse was Dawn. She asked if I had a birth plan, so I got a copy and handed it to her. Then I got in the Jacuzzi. They put a stool in the tub for me to lean forward on. I was getting more uncomfortable though. I wanted to get my MP3 player, but I was afraid of dropping it in the tub. Steve stayed with me. The nurse popped in and out every new and then. She came in once or twice with the Doppler to check the baby’s heartrate, which was always fine.

After about 40 minutes or an hour (I completely lost track of time), I had to get out of the tub. I just could not get comfortable at all. My knees were hurting, and I just needed to move. So I got out and toweled off and put on a hospital gown. It was a big bathroom, so I just walked around a bit. I started feeling a lot of pressure in my bum, like I was really constipated. The nurse told me that it was probably just the baby, but if I did need to move my bowels, that could be causing some of it as well. She said that I might get some relief with an enema. So she gave me two of them, and I ran to the bathroom. I DEFINITELY got some relief. At least then I KNEW that what I was feeling was the baby. Things really picked up after that. I walked around moaning and breathing through my contractions and I’d sit on the toilet between them. I only had seconds though between my contractions. They were coming so fast. I tried to use my birth ball, but it was just too uncomfortable. I couldn’t sit on the bed either. The toilet was the only place I could get comfortable. That was a bit hard for me to take, because in order to use the Hypnobabies, I needed to first get into a fully supported position…even if it was just for a minute. But I only had 20 seconds, at the most between contractions. So I had to make-do. I remembered reading in the Sears’ Birth Book about how Martha Sears coped better with her contractions when she relaxed her belly, so that she’d look 11 months pregnant, instead of tensing up and looking only 7 months pregnant. I gave it a try and it really did help some. It gave me something to focus on…just sticking my belly out as far as I could during a contraction.

With the contractions being so intense, the nurse asked me if I wanted to be checked, and I did. At that point I was about 6 cm and pretty close to fully effaced. I got back up quickly because I couldn’t stand lying down. After that, my nurse went to break, and Robin, the triage nurse relieved her. I will be forever grateful to her for that. She really helped me through the rest of my labor. Steve was pretty much a by-stander for the most part. Which was fine. I was in my own world, just going with it. And Aunt Cathy was designated the official photographer. She’d had c-sections with both of her children, so I think she was at a bit of a loss as to what to do. But that was OK with me. I just wanted her there. I think that, more than anything, I wanted witnesses to the birth. But Robin was amazing. The contractions got so intense. And yeah, they were painful. I don’t remember the pain now though, but I do remember the intensity. It was really overwhelming. Robin really helped me through them. She talked to me and held my hands. She was so calming. It was at this point that I was really starting to doubt myself. I kept saying “I can’t do it.” I remember thinking “this is why people get the epidural.” Robin assured me I was doing fantastic. I didn’t ask for pain meds. I really felt like I couldn’t take much more, but I knew that with all my soul I didn’t want any pain meds. I didn’t want Demerol. I didn’t want an epidural. I knew that I wouldn’t be OK with that decision after all was said and done. Robin really helped me through that time.

It was around then that I started getting really pushy with my contractions as well. At the height of each contraction, I could feel my body involuntarily pushing and I would grunt and try to breathe. Robin asked me if I was feeling pushy, and I told her I was. She told me she wanted to check me because it seemed to her that I was progressing really fast. I guess they wanted to make sure they called Dr. D soon enough for her to actually make it there! I told her that I couldn’t lie down, it would hurt too bad. I NEEDED to move. She assured me she would be super quick. She waited until a contraction was ending, and I literally jumped on the bed and assumed the position as quickly as I could, so that I could get back up before the next one came. At that point I was about 8 cm. She told me that the baby’s position was OT (occiput transverse) which was not a great thing. She wanted me to get into extreme left lateral position to try to get the baby to turn anterior. I told her I couldn’t do it. A contraction came and it was HORRIBLE lying there. My body was pushing during the contractions and it was like a freight train was coming…there was no stopping it. I NEEDED to get up so badly. But we all knew that pushing at that point was a bad thing. My cervix wasn’t fully dilated. I knew that she was right though. It was then that Robin mentioned to someone (not sure who) that I try the nitrous oxide gas. I heard her say it and I told her I’d agree to it. I had actually been thinking about asking for it at that exact point. My plan was to go without pain meds completely, but I always knew that if I DID need something, I’d use the nitrous oxide. It’s VERY safe and wears off very quickly. They set it up and I was using it with the next contraction. The exact time on the birth record was 1910h, so 7:10 PM. I breathed it in and at first I didn’t think it was doing anything. The nurses kept telling me to breathe, because I started pushing. When I was pushing, I wasn’t breathing, and vice versa. Focusing on breathing in the nitrous oxide helped me to stop my body from pushing a little. Dawn checked me after a bit and all that was left was a lip of cervix on one side. She pushed it back during my next contraction and the baby’s head came down a bit.

According to my birth record, the second stage started at 1940h, or 7:40 PM. They got me over on my right side for some reason. I kept breathing in the nitrous oxide during the contractions, but my body was pushing even harder. My water broke while I was pushing. I remember feeling the warm fluid coming out. It didn’t all come at once though. More came out with every contraction. It was so strong and so intense. Probably the best word to describe the pushing part is “primal.” It was so animal-like. And the noises I was making were pretty animal-like too! I really didn’t care though. I remember feeling Jesse descending. It felt like he was coming out my bum. It really does. I’d heard people say that before, but I never realized just how much it feels like being really constipated. At some point my Aunt Cathy asked if I wanted pictures of Jesse being born. I said I did. I do actually have a pic of him crowning, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to look at it yet. I remember Dr. D and Dr. W getting there. They were all gowned and gloved up. I remember Dr. D asking Dr. W if she’d ever done a side-lying delivery, and she said “no.” Things went so quickly. I could feel Jesse’s head moving down with each contraction. I was still using the nitrous oxide a bit and was a bit loopy in between the contractions, when the gas would really hit me, but they were coming so quickly. I remember the sensation of when Jesse was crowning, except that I don’t remember it being painful. I do remember that I wanted it to be over! I remembered reading in Hypnobabies that the best way is to push the baby out between contractions…there’s less tearing that way. Well, that didn’t quite work out! I pushed with all my might! Steve told me later that both Dr. D and Dr. W were trying to hold him back! They were trying to guard my perineum. But he barreled on out! Steve told me later that it was really weird, seeing me with a head at both ends. I remember feeling Dr. D then reach up for his shoulder. After the shoulder came out the rest of his body slid on out.

Though he didn’t get his name right away, Jesse Liam Snow was born at 8:11 PM. Dr. D had to peel back the membranes, which covered his face. Then she placed him right up on my chest. I was pretty loopy at that point, from the nitrous oxide and the endorphins, and I felt completely dumbfounded. I had been so concentrated on the pregnancy and the birth for so long. The fact that I had a baby and that he was here and lying on my chest was sort of a foreign concept to me. I still didn’t know if the baby was a he or a she at that point, and Steve was looking at the two of us in wonder. Dr. D nudged Steve and said, “Alright Daddy, do your job!” Steve clued in and exclaimed, “It’s a boy!” I was totally confused at this point, what with there being a baby on my chest, AND the fact that I had been so sure it was a girl. I looked at Steve and said, “Are you sure?” Everyone in the room cracked up laughing. Steve laughed and said, “Oh, yeah, I’m sure!” I was in complete awe and wonder, looking at my little baby.

At some point I became aware of the cord. I felt it on my lower belly. Dr. D waited for it to stop pulsating, and then she clamped it and got Steve to cut it. She waited for the placenta to detach and applied gentle traction and I gave a little push and out it came. After a couple minutes of cuddling with the baby, Dr. D told me she had to check me out. I think she suspected the damage was pretty bad. She had the OB, come in with her. A nurse took the baby so that they could check him out. Then Dr. D told me to use the nitrous oxide again for the pain. After they checked me Dr. D spoke with the OB about what to do and then she came to talk to me. She said that the baby did a lot of damage on the way out and told me that the best option was for me to get a spinal so that they could do the repair. I would need to go to the OR. I asked if Steve and the baby could come too. Of course they couldn’t, but I wasn’t completely comprehending everything at that point. I guess the endorphins were starting to wear off, and I was starting to feel the pain. I was also starting to shake really badly. So they wheeled me off to the OR.

Someone started an IV in my left hand and then it took about a half hour for the anesthesiologist to get the spinal started. I remember him mentioning something about my tattoo, and it was a bit of an issue, but he got it done. It was the weirdest feeling in the world. My legs were all pins and needles. I couldn’t wiggle my toes. I tried, but I couldn’t. They put my legs up in the stirrups and the OB did the repair. Dr. D and Dr. W were there for part of it. Dr. D talked to me through a lot of it. She told me how perfect the baby was, and how healthy the placenta was. No one believed that he was overdue. I got back to the birth room at around 11 PM. Steve was there, with Aunt Cathy and the baby, and my brother was there too. I was still shaking really badly. They put this blanket on me that fills up with warm air. I didn’t feel cold, but I was cold. My temp was pretty low. Steve came over to me holding the baby. We tried to figure out what to call him. But I was flat on my back and couldn’t get a good look at him to decide if he was a Liam or a Jack (the two names we had picked out). They couldn’t raise the head of my bed because it might drop my blood pressure. After I stopped shaking enough, one of the nurses helped me nurse the baby for the first time. Dr. D then gave him his first dose of oral vitamin K.

We got up to my room on the obstetrics ward around midnight. The baby went to the nursery to get checked out and cleaned up while I got settled away. I was just starting to get my legs back, so I needed a bit of help transferring from the stretcher to the hospital bed. After about a half hour one of the nurses brought the baby to me in the bassinette. I got to really look at him for the first time. I still couldn’t believe he was a boy! And it was then that I decided that he didn’t look like a Liam or a Jack. We came up with Jesse the next afternoon.

Anywho, the long and short of it is, I’m completely happy with Jesse’s birth. Sure, it would have been nice to not have ended up with a 3rd degree tear, but I gave birth to my son on my terms and I know I made the right decisions. He was born alert and very healthy, which was always priority number one.

Birth Stats:
Jan 9, 2008 @ 8:11 PM
8 lbs 11.8 oz
20.75 inches

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852
the rough story, sorry so long

The story of Amelia Brooke….

Actually starts Jan 28, 2008. I had a night of frequent bathroom trips and bh. Just before 7 am a pattern was starting with my contractions. Then my nephew arrived, whining as usually and my body shut down. After several minutes of moping in bed I got up for the day and went about my daily routine. I felt tired and irritable as I had the day before I had Jere. Convinced I was fooled by my own body because I had yet to pass my mucous plug, a sign I had had with all 3 previous pg that my pg was ending. I mean I had seen some mucousy discharge, but it was only about the size of a dime, with my other children it looked like a cup of apple jelly.

At the end of the day my sister retrieved her son and I was able to relax once again. I had random strong contractions from the time he left. These contractions reminded me of the day before I had Jeremiah, but I didn’t want to put too much hope into a night of prodromal labor. I thought that night for sure I would at least lose my plug. I must have not shown how much those contractions irritated me, because neither my hubby nor my mother asked if there was anything wrong that night. I went to target to pick up a game and some trivial items and many times found myself biting my bottom lip to get through those random contractions. Hubby and I stayed up together until about 12, and then we headed to bed.

Some time after 3, but before 4, I started my nightly bathroom runs. After emptying my bladder I returned to bed and was met with a long hard contraction. I groaned lightly through it, and made an attempt to not wake my son or hubby. After what seemed like no time another contraction hit, and my reaction this time was to make a low “oh” sound to get through the intensity and focus on being as quiet as possible, so that I didn’t disturb the others that slept in my room. By 430 I was up and down many times, trying to find a position that made the contractions more tolerable and so I could be quiet through them.

Between 4 and 5 while I was up and down, in and out of bed, I started my computer. I opened a browser to a contraction log page, but never managed to be at my computer at the start or end of any contraction… but by this time I had put on my glasses an could note my contractions were at least 1.5-2 min long and an interval of 1-1.5 min from end to start. I made a quick post over several contractions to the bulletin board, and then sent a link to Augustfading over instant messenger.

Between this time and 7 am my kids started waking for the day. Unable to fulfill their demands I insisted hubby wake and help me. It was shortly after this time that things got very difficult for me. The kids were in the room, making demands. They wanted computer games, food, etc. I just wanted to be alone. I decided I would try to relax in the tub for a few moments, because the kids normally leave me alone for my bathtime. As I walked into the bathroom, hubby asked if I thought it was real labor or false, and I snapped at him that I wasn’t in the mood to judge right then. His response was “I think it is real.”

I was unable to get comfortable at all in the tub so relaxing there was not going to be an option. About this time My “Oh’s” got to be a low growl with raspberries at the end as the contractions wore down followed by me attempting to take deep breathes. I think while I was in the tub my water may have broken, but I don’t know for sure. I got out of the tub and attempted to dry off. As I left the bathroom, I brought some chux pads to set under me incase my water were to break on the bed. I came back to the bedroom. I decided to lie down on my side to try to relax. It must have worked because I felt as though I was lightly dozing between contractions, but I had to struggle through several more contractions. I know that Gwen and Jeremiah were in the room watching me with curiosity. For some reason, it did not register to me that Prissy was the only family member not staring at me. Around this time my memory of what was happening gets hazy. I know with contractions I was trying my best to “Oh” and follow with raspberries, especially when breathing seemed difficult. More details will have to be recounted to me from hubby (or I’ll just have to have him write his side of the story)

Eventually hubby said something that concerned me.. I think it was about the color of something. I reached down and had some bloody fluid. It wasn’t entirely blood so I assumed it was bloody show, which I had never witnessed in my previous births. Shortly after this I started feeling pushy. My contractions were full on bear growls. After about 4-6 contractions of light, fought back pushes, I had growing concern about my water breaking and the baby being malpositioned. I had been sleeping on my right side when I had first woken, and previous nights that had allowed the baby to slip into a transverse position from what I could feel. So now I added to my list of anxieties. Somewhere in here I’m sure I told Lee I was happy I was never going to birth again. Then I vomited into a trash can. I could tell hubby was doing his best to be supportive and tell me everything was going ok. But he had NEVER witnessed birth before. So he had concern in his face as my vocalizations changed.

This is probably the part of the birth story I regret the most. We were doing well on our own. I probably was progressing slowly because I had a lot of birth anxieties about birthing in this environment. There had been many recent disagreements with my mom about what was needed for the birth and what was not. One of the things I was adamant about was that my baby would not be first touched by any one but Lee AND that my baby would not need to be touched by gloves because whoever touched her would need to thoroughly wash their hands first. I had strong feeling before inviting her into our room that she wouldn’t respect either of those things. Lee was handling things fine. But I worried he would be overwhelmed and I invited someone that had not expressed complete confidence in my desires and wants into our private birthing space.

I knew that the fore water would have made the birth canal more lubricated and easier for the baby to glide down. I told hubby to go ahead and bring mom into the room so that he had additional support for me. He asked if I was sure because it may have involved my nephew joining in the room, which he knew I truly did not want. Mom was concerned when she learned how long I had been laboring, as it was longer than my first labor, and expressed her concerns ~ yes she brought her fears and gave them to me, a big mistake to do to a laboring mother. She had no knowledge of my anxieties, and I highly doubt she would understand how anxieties could hinder labor.

They attempted to reposition me. They wanted me to flip onto my hands and knees. But I barked out that changing positions at this time was NOT going to happen. I struggled my way back to the bed. I attempt to get comfortable on my side, but it’s not happening. As I attempt to roll to my other side, I grabbed a leg and pushed through the contraction, fully expecting a huge gush of fore waters. Instead, I felt head moving into the birth canal. The contraction felt like it took forever. My mom told me I was pushing too long and I needed to stop, I think I grumbled back that my body wouldn’t let me stop yet. At the end of the contraction, I was left panting. It seemed as though no time passed before my body was bearing down in another push contraction. It was another long contraction, which resulted in her head crowning. I could feel pulling on my perineum in many directions. I wouldn’t say it felt like fire.. but I know how too small a shirt feels as it is stretched over a head *chuckles*

Again I panted, maybe had 2 breathes in before I pushed again, as much as I wanted a break from this. I felt her head exit, and as it did fluid started gushing out from behind it. The warm water was a welcomed sensation. She screamed as her head made its forced entry into the world. What a loud scream! Jere told her to be quiet. It relaxed my mind a great deal to feel the fluids and hear her scream, but not my body. Two more hard contractions forced the rest of her body out.

Mom and Lee discussed she was a girl and offered her up to me. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing, which wasn’t very long. I suggested waiting until after the placenta passed before cutting the cord. But the cord looked white and like twisted twine or an old phone cord. So I gave lee the ok to cut the cord thinking the tight twisting was preventing her from benefiting from delayed cutting. It did not appear to have a pulse to it like I remember Jeremiah’s cord and it did not seem to bleed as though we had cut through a pulsing object.

I attempted to nurse her, which lasted maybe 2 minutes. Then decide d I needed to change positions for the placenta to pass. I moved into a tailor sit as I had done after my last birth, and felt as though the placenta had most likely passed, but could still feel cord between my legs. I shifted positions and in place of the placenta were 3 very large clots. I decided to lie back down and see if the different position allowed it to pass. I hadn’t started bleeding yet, just the passing of clots. So I was uncomfortable, but not uncomfortable enough to go to the hospital. I didn’t feel like I was ever going to pass out, but the passing of large clots continued randomly. After about 30 minutes of being in the bed, not having her nurse, passing clots, and the placenta not passing I decided to go stand in the shower and see if I could have any standing positions in the shower that would allow the placenta to detach.

I walked like there as a bowling ball between my knees, looking down at the blood dribbling out of the cut cord from it hanging downward. My thought process was to vacant to think of grabbing the loose end and holding it up. I walked slowly, waiting and anticipating the placenta falling out at any moment before I actually stepped into the bathroom. As soon as I could turn on the shower, I did, then I stepped into the cold running water in hopes it would quickly warm up. Shortly after the warm water hit my back, the placenta fell to the tub with a thud. Yells from the bedroom, where blood was being wiped from the floor and linens were being changed, asked if I was ok. I let them know it was the placenta hitting the tub they had heard and not me. Then one of them came in to the shower and grabbed up the placenta into a ziplock bag. After that I took a long refreshing shower. I came back to the bed and she was ready to nurse.

My after birth rant:

It was after the birth my mom started barking orders at Lee. She wasn’t about to let him it and marvel at the only birth he had ever witnessed. I learned later that he felt gypped out of the experience. He wanted the time to sit back and marvel in the experience. He wanted to spend time in awe of his new baby, and me. It was probably 2 days after the birth that he disclosed that mom wouldn’t let him touch Amelia immediately. She wanted the glory of saying she delivered my baby, which is what she says about Jere. I often find myself saying that she caught my baby, but I delivered him right after she makes such a comment. In addition to that, shortly after the birth I found my mom had tried to hide some neoprene gloves in the trash can. As I thought back upon it I never heard her wash her hands (not that she didn’t, I’m no going to ask we had enough difficulties in communication right now) but either which way I had expressed no gloves at birth and she had them anyways ~ I did not buy them, they were not a part of my birth kit! AND she denied my hubby the experience of catching his last child just so she could be a glory hound. I find this infuriating to no end. I try to make my request of everyone very simple and straightforward. Why my request should be discarded even by my mother at my last birth is just frustrating beyond belief.

Joined: 07/30/06
Posts: 66

I posted my birth story on my blog!
Comments always welcome on the blog Smile

Monkeymoo's picture
Joined: 08/15/04
Posts: 173

So I was pretty depressed Sunday night, it was my EDD and I had never reached an EDD without a baby before. So I had a moan to G and fell asleep. I woke a few times during the night and felt very mucousy, I didn't let myself get excited though. I thought I had some contrax but thought I may have dreamed it as well. I woke at 6am with a few very irregular but painful contrax. I got up and wandered around, not being surprised when they stopped. I went to lay beside G in bed and had a big one as soon as I lay down. I lay there feeling as though the pain never really went away and 5mins later had another. It was mid-contrax that my waters broke (another first for me!!) and I jumped out of bed to stand on a conveniently placed bit of plastic and said 'shit, shit, towels!!'.......
G leapt out of bed and grabbed me some, not before gazing blankly at me for 30secs!! I was wearing pj's and he couldn't tell my waters had gone, and in a big way!
I grabbed the phone beside the bed and called my Mum (it was 6:50am and she was supposed to work that day) and asked her to come around. She said 'are you sure this is it?' and I said 'well, my waters just broke.....' and she laughed and said she'd be straight around.
I got into the shower and felt a little disappointed that my contrax weren't getting harder, stronger or more frequent. In fact, they seemed to get better!! I didn't worry too much though because I knew I'd have a fight on my hands to go past 24hrs (not that I wanted to) so figured I'd be having the baby that day, regardless of what my body did.
G called the doula, Sally, and my BFF, Bek. I was over the moon that it happened that day because her DH wasn't working and could look after the kids, so I got the people I wanted after all!!
I washed the towels I had 'watered' and G came into the laundry and said 'WHAT are you doing?!'. I still felt really good so I pottered around the house, made some porridge and pecked at it, got Zoe ready for school etc.
It wasn't until about 8am that my Mum made the comment about peak hour traffic. My worst fears had been realised!! I had gone into labour at a time it would take me 3 times as long to get to the hospital!!! At that point I was having very mild contrax and the occasional 'big' one. I made the decision to wait for Bek to arrive and then we'd head off. I didn't have to get admitted, just being there would give me the peace of mind I needed that I wouldn't birth on the way or be forced to endure painful contrax on the way.
I was incredibly lucky and only had 2-3 big contrax that I needed to breathe through before we got there. I simply sat quietly, talking to G occasionally, and thinking 'this is it'. I still felt so good that I walked from the carpark with Bek and G!!
Getting admitted was fuss-free, I filled out the paperwork, had a large contrax which reassured me I was doing the right thing by going in and then we went into our room. That's when the fun started, literally. We were left alone for awhile and we just laughed and joked, it was really quite amazing.
Sally turned up and it felt so great to have all three of them with their hands helping me through contrax. Sally massaging my lower back and belly, Bek at my shoulders and G holding my hands. I had some beautitful moments with G, 'dancing' through contrax, that I will never forget. He was strong and comforting, my head fits neatly into his chest and nothing else mattered but us for that moment.
We laughed our way to about 11am and then I wanted to retreat for a little while. I asked for my headphones (instead of having my ipod play through the speakers) and I lay on my tummy over a beanbag and let everyone massage me. I couldn't believe how achey my lower back was, and I felt so much better when someone was rubbing it.
I really ought to mention my MW at this point. She came in while I was on the birthball, facing away from the door. Bek leaned over and said 'she looks really nice, young, blonde'.... She apologised we'd had to wait so long but that they had kept us for her and she had been busy. She told us that she did most of the natural births and her speciality was birth plans!! She looked over ours and was happy with everything we had requested. We talked about the times that it may not go according to plan and then said 'let's not focus on the negative though, let's have a baby!'. She was very hands off and let my team help me through the contrax, only occasionally listening to bubs. She never offered an IE but was happy to give me one when I said I wanted one at 12pm, she checked to make sure it was what i really wanted first. She let me take control of the situation and lay down when I wanted to and was very quick and gentle. She told me that I was 8cm and that I would be meeting my baby soon. When she checked contrax for strength and length I remember her saying to me 'I'm just a hand, just forget about me'. It honestly as if she wasn't there for a lot of the birth but at the same time we created a relationship of trust.

It was soon after 12pm that I started to get vocal through my contrax. The MW, Lauren, came over and asked what felt different about that contrax and I said I think he's moving down. I took back more control of the contrax's after that but as the need to push grew, so did my fear. This felt very different to my last birth, pushing hurt - it didn't make the pain better as everyone kept telling me it should. At one point my pubic bone felt like it would split in two and I knew he was trying so hard to come out.
Bek encouraged me to get onto all fours as I'd expressed in my birth plan and it was then that I lost control over my fear. Pushing wasn't working, it hurt and instead of the powerful, productive pain I'd been experiencing previously, I felt as though I was fighting against something too big for me.
I ended up in a kneeling squat on the bed during contrax and lay limp over the beanbag between. Lauren came over and spoke calmly to me, explaining that I had reached the point that I had pushed for so long that it was becoming clear that I needed some help. (At this point I was drenched with sweat from working so hard and had asked them to pour the ice over me, which they did). I had started asking for pain relief, saying that I couldn't do this. The feeling that I was working so hard for nothing was overwhelming and I desperately wanted a break. Everyone was wonderful, telling me I *could* do this, that I didn't really want the drugs, I was so close.... I still chuckle when I remember saying 'no, you don't understand.....' Such a typical labouring woman thing to say, but I was trying to vocalise that this wasn't working.
I flipped back over to a side/back position and Lauren said 'Vicki, I can see your baby'. That quick change of position had done the trick and suddenly I was pushing with a purpose.

Lauren put up a mirror and for the first time, I saw my baby. I thought it would bother me to the baby come out, but it gave me so much incentive. I remember Lauren saying 'see how much energy you have now that you can see him?'. She was right, I went from exhausted to pushing with power.
I still held fear about tearing as bubs crowned and I think it wasn't until I really let go of that fear that I became my most effective. Everyone was watching him coming down and I could hear the awe in their voices.
"Look at him, Vicki. That's our boy!"
"Oh my God, look at him come. You're so amazing!"
It was the voices and the positivity that made me close my eyes and just push with all my might. Lauren said, this is going to sting and burn, but it didn't as much as I thought it would. She said in hindsight that it was my controlled (read - scared!) pushing that stopped me tearing. I stopped when she wanted me to and gave little pushes when she asked for them. I totally trusted in her and let her guide me. I do believe that it was Gabe's size that made it that easy, he wasn't coming without the effort so I could stop if I needed to. Whereas Sasha came barrelling out like a greased piglet!
I had a vague comprehension that the head was out when Lauren said 'ok guys, we're going to need to use those techniques we practiced, his shoulders are stuck" (*remind me to mention this later if I forget). She told me to push and said, 'give me a nose, I need his nose, Vicki'. I pushed so hard and then she told me to stop. Everyone rolled me more to my back and grabbed my legs and pulled them back to my ears (McRoberts manoeuver) while Lauren helped turn Gabe. Another MW applied suprapubic pressure and they pulled him out. It was incredibly painful and it was at this point I screamed at Lauren to get him out. She said 'he's out' and placed him across my tummy. He was grey and still but they left the cord intact and gave him some oxygen where he was. After a thorough rub he pinked up and had apgars of 8, 9, 10.
Lauren talked to me about his size and said that even though I had wanted a physiological third stage, due to the size of Gabe, she recommended I get the injection. I agreed and don't regret it, nor the Vit K I agreed to have administered to Gabe. We were treated with so much respect when things didn't go according to 'plan' and everything made perfect sense.

It was at this point I should have been listening to my body, but I was very tired and excused it all away.
I was having after pains which put my contrax to shame, but I knew they get worse with each pregnancy so put it down to that. I also asked Lauren to take Gabe to weigh him after 10mins which went against everything I had wanted. I was too tired to hold him and felt a little distanced from him. All of these things pointed to something more sinister yet I thought I was simply too tired.
Bek and Sally left to go home and the Dr came to stitch me up. I loved the Dr, she suited my funny-bone down to the ground. This is an indication of the brief connection we made:-
'Ok Vicki, you suck on the gas while I have a quick look to see if you've torn'
After some long breaths.....and some spaced out pain.....
'you've done really well, there's only very minor tearing, almost nothing worth stitching. I want to make really sure though so I'll just put the local in and have a better look'
'couldn't you have just done that in the first place?'
'oh, the local causes the flesh to swell which makes it a bit harder to see the extent of the tearing'
'convenient excuse for being a b.itch'
Laughing 'I'm not as bad as the midwives!'

It was after she had left that G and I were left with a snack, Lauren went to have her belated lunch as well. I had just finished a crumpet when I felt incredibly thirsty. I practically ordered G to get me my drink and drank the whole lot. He was walking the room with Gabe in his arms when I said 'I'm not feeling good'. He looked at me and I said it again and then told him to get Lauren. It took him seconds to press the buzzer but in that time I closed my eyes and let the flashing lights and dizziness take me away.
Apparently Lauren was in the room within a minute and then the room was full of people. I woke to this bustle but couldn't fully come to. I could see G sat near the bed with Gabe with a rather blank expression on his face. I felt terrible for scaring him so, but could only tell him I loved him with my eyes.

Lauren came close to me and explained that they thought I had retained some placenta and that I had two options. I could take some gas and they could check me there and then and hopefully remove it or I could go to theatre and undergo surgery. She told me I was a trooper when I said do it here. I didn't want to be taken from my son and husband - I would go through any amount of pain to avoid that, and I knew how much this was going to hurt.
I kept enough of my sense of humour to say 'oh, you're the b.itch' when my original Dr came in and held my hand. She joked that I could hold it as hard as I liked because she'd hurt me before. It was that hand I focused on through the pain, I wish she could know how much it meant that she did that for me.
The MW announced that I would need surgery, she couldn't get to the clots. I started sobbing, huge gut-wrenching cries from my soul. I had just had my baby, my huge baby, without any meds, it was the most amazing experience of my life and now this was happening. I covered my face with my hands and cried as if my heart was breaking.
Lauren came over and talked to me about how I could be so proud of what I had done, and that this was the best thing for me. She was replaced by the anethesiologist who again was reassuring me that this was going to make everything better and there was nothing to be scared of. He went through the required questions and they began to prep me.
I was still sucking the gas due to the pain I was in, and I couldn't stop shivering, my teeth were chattering. I looked to G again, he was still sat holding his son, beside my bed but out of the way. I whispered 'I'm sorry. I love you. I love you.'

The rest of the experience was quietly terrifying in it's own medically managed way. Once professionals get down to business they stop being empathetic, and this was no exception. I couldn't wait to sink into the oblivion of the general, just to get away from how I felt. When oblivion finally arrived, I fell into it dreamlessly.
I woke up to G's voice and immediately opened my eyes. I had been floating for awhile but it was him who pulled me like a magnet from my musings. The recovery nurse came in and said 'oh, you're awake. That was your husband but I've told him you weren't ready to see him yet'. I desperately wanted to see him so I forced myself to keep my eyes open and wake up properly. I watched another nurse come and plead G's case to be allowed in but they decided to bring Gabe in instead. Lauren brought him in and lay him beside me, she told me 'G didn't let him out of his sight for a minute. I'll go get him in a minute'. Though as it turned out another nurse had been the b.itch from hell and fought to keep him out (for no good reason) and G had decided to go get something to eat with my sister. I had told G to call her to come and be there for him, thinking he might need someone to help stave off the fear. It wasn't until I was being moved to the ward that I saw G. For some reason it wasn't until then that everything was all right. I had my son, my baby boy who we'd waited so long for - and I had my man, my comfort, my shelter, my home.

I guess my birth story ends where my life with Gabe begins.....