3rd baby – 1st Natural Birth in Hospital

I am excited to share this birth story! This is by one of my students. She had induced and medicated births with her first two babies. She was referred to me by a mutual friend because she was wanting to do something different this time. Her last epidural hadn’t worked really well and she felt like if she had been better prepared, the experience would have been better for her. Her and her husband were fun to have in class. They both liked to laugh, but she really took researching her options seriously. They also decided early on to hire a doula as they both felt that having a doula there would leave dad free to focus on loving his wife instead of remembering helpful positions and things of that nature. They interviewed several doulas and found a very experienced one who “fit.”

Mom also had a lot of emotional work and healing to do during this pregnancy and labor because they had lost a baby to an eptopic pregnancy before trying and waiting (for what seemed like forever) for this rainbow baby. (A “rainbow baby” is a special name given to a baby who is born after a loss – after a storm)

This was a VERY rapid labor. I am pretty certain mom was close to transition when she realized she was in labor. Sometimes it’s really hard to stay on top and in control of contractions during precipitous birth such as this – which is one reason I stress practicing relaxation several times a week during pregnancy. I think the whole birth team did a great job of encouraging mom, supporting her, and being able to get her over that hump at transition.

1st Natural Birth in Hospital

Noah had a plan of his own from the very beginning.  To preface, he was our little surprise, our miracle! I think I had been in labor for 2-3 weeks prior to actually going into active labor. We would attempt long walks and “homework” throughout the weeks but since I wasn’t being checked at my OB appointments I had no idea what progression I was making.The contractions would start and last a couple of hours and then they would go away. Some would stop me in my tracks, others I could keep doing my daily tasks.

August 24th, D-Day, came and went and still no baby.  That following Monday I went into the chiropractor to be adjusted, figuring anything at this point would help. I had an OB appointment on Thursday afternoon; they did an ultrasound to check my fluids and she wanted to check me, to which I found out I was 4-5cm dilated. My OB had really honored my wishes of attempting a natural birth, no checks, etc the whole pregnancy, even if she wasn’t entirely keen with all of our methods.

All that day, well really most of that week, I just hadn’t felt great, I was achy and nauseous. I woke up Friday morning at 2am from sharp stabbing waves of pain. At first I tried to just readjust in bed and get comfortable but that didn’t help. I felt like I had the chills too. After walking around for a bit and taking a hot shower I realized that the contractions weren’t going away. They weren’t necessarily getting stronger but they were definitely getting closer.

I texted our doula Pamala to get her opinion. After timing some of the contractions and sending them to her she agreed that we should go to the hospital. Our plan was to labor more at home but I was afraid that if I was as far along as they said I was at my OB appointment that I might process too quickly and not get the entire antibiotic dose (for group B strep) I needed. I finally woke my husband up around 3am (an hour after I had awoke) and we contacted our neighbor to come over to watch the kids. I had never gone into labor by myself (my previous two kids were induced) so I was nervous and excited.

We got to the hospital around 4am and went into triage on the maternity floor. After about 30 minutes there, a dose of antibiotic and some stronger contractions, we were moved to our L & D room. I made a box of goodies for the nurses; I thought it would help them “agree” to our birth plan. I was surprised; everyone was so great with all of our wishes. We didn’t want any vaccines and I wanted to keep the placenta so I could encapsulate it. We filled out a few forms and that was it.

Things started to pick up. I changed and got on the birthing ball right away. Sitting on it and rocking wasn’t comfortable so up on the bed I went to lay on the ball and rock back and fourth. It felt great but my legs just felt weak and although I had my iPod in with relaxing music, it just wasn’t cutting it. I wished at this point I had actually practiced more relaxation haha. I was hot then cold, I wanted to be touched and then not. Counter pressure made my hips feel like they would explode. My husband was amazing and Pamala sat back and let him comfort me and assisted him in what to do.

Dad helping mom work through contractions

After the contractions really ramped up I thought it would be nice to get in the tub. Boy was I wrong! Lying back hurt, my belly couldn’t get completely submerged; trying to go on all fours didn’t work. Basically it threw me off my concentration, if you call it that. The tub was short lived and I think I started to go into transition because once I changed and was back to the bed, I lost my mind. I didn’t want to move, even though Pamala knew it would help progress my labor faster. I just lay on my side and basically yelled.

Both my husband and Pamala tried to console me and I just felt like my hips were going to explode anytime I moved. I think I was afraid at that point too which made it more painful.Things became very real and I knew I was going to finally have this baby. A million emotions went through my mind. I just remember thinking that although I couldn’t verbalize it I knew exactly where I was in labor based on my reactions and what I had read in our Birth Boot Camp class.

Pamala remained so calm and basically offered me two options, since at that point I was in panic mode – I just couldn’t get my brain to send the signal to my body to relax. My two options were: to get checked and if I was an 8 or higher then I was almost there and baby would come soon; if I was any less then maybe I could get something. That poor nurse that came in got an ear full from me; I was yelling at that point that I wanted the drugs, anything, Motrin, something to just dull the pain. I even tried an ice pack on my abdomen. I felt like the contractions I was having were non stop, they just stayed peaking and there was no break.

Pamala finally got in my face to calm me down. I think they were going to give me some oxygen but they couldn’t get it out in time. I had intermittent checks throughout, I think maybe they put the monitors on me twice, I’m not sure.  At that point I didn’t want the nurse to do a vaginal exam but she just went right in there and said I had a bulging bag and was at an 8. I closed my eyes and turned over and felt an immediate urge to push. I could hear them setting up but I didn’t want to look.

Pamala and my husband kept telling me just to breathe and wait for the doctor to come. I had the urge to poop and push – and push I did! I must have bore down hard enough because my water broke. Finally 🙂 Must have been all that protein I ate throughout the pregnancy. I looked at my husband and said calmly, “We’re having a baby!”

I felt a lot of relief but then I could feel baby’s head crowning. I pushed again and I think his head came out. I also think they grabbed whatever doctor was out in the hallway because this baby wasn’t waiting for my OB to come and I wasn’t either.

One more strong push and baby was out. 7:40am. My husband announced the sex but I didn’t hear him at all. I just felt so much better.

“I did it!”

They delayed the cord clamping as much as they could but the doctor thought maybe the cord had a cut in it and was bleeding so they clamped it.

Cutting the cord
Cutting the cord

We denied the erythromycin in his eyes, the vitamin K and Hep B shot. After they quickly checked him, since there had been some meconium when my water broke, they put baby immediately on my chest.

Skin-to-skin
Skin-to-skin

It was at that point that I looked and finally realized we had a BOY, Noah Jacob!! I had never done skin to skin with my previous two kids but it was the most amazing feeling! He was so calm and hardly cried at all. He was so alert and after a few minutes he definitely did the breast crawl and immediately latched on. It was amazing!

Pure love
Pure love

At that time they delivered my placenta, which was not the best feeling in the world, and finally gave me the Motrin I so desperately desired. I had a 2nd degree tear that they fixed (I tore in the same spot that I had with my previous labors). Once he was finished nursing, they did all of his vitals and got his weight, etc. He was 7lbs 12oz and 21.5 inches long.

I got cleaned up and off we went to our recovery room. I felt great, sore but great! By the next day I showered and was up moving around. We had to spend two nights in the hospital because I hadn’t received my second dose of antibiotic and they wanted to observe Noah. He breastfed great but we didn’t get much sleep while we were there because of all the vital checks and what not throughout the day. It was a nice break for my husband and I, an extended date if you will 🙂

I could not have done it with out my amazing husband, our Birth Boot Camp teacher Dani and our doula Pamala. I was so blessed to have a supportive team. We worked really hard to achieve the pregnancy and labor we so desired, we just wanted to give our little guy the best head start possible and I really feel like we achieved that.

Proud, happy parents with their new bundle of joy
Proud, happy parents with their new bundle of joy
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