Meredith's Birth: A Natural Hospital Birth
Meredith was my first baby, born in a small town hospital in a rural California town. My husband and I had taken a 12 week childbirth education class, which helped us plan for and feel comfortable with our choice to have a natural birth. We went in feeling prepared and able to make educated decisions. When everyone around me was being a naysayer, our instructor and classmates kept my outlook positive. I've always said I couldn't have had the amazing birth I did without investing so much time into preparing ourselves for the birth! Meredith's was the birth that led me to becoming a childbirth educator myself.
I was due Sunday, August 20th and I really didn't think I'd go overdue since everyone in my family had their babies on or before their EDD. So right before I went to bed on Monday night (my husband had already bet me I was going to go into labor that night) I got up from the couch and realized my SPD pain had almost totally dissapeared. I had been dealing with this pain for MONTHS so it was very strange, and I definately thought it could be a good sign. Went to bed around 11pm and started getting kind of crampy right away but was able to sleep through it for an hour or so. I decided to get up and walk around to see if it was false labor- so got up, walked around the house, went to the bathroom, had some food... and ctx started being real instead of just crampy. They were only 15-30 seconds long, but coming every 3 minutes on the dot! My husband got up since I wasn't in bed but I told him I was still feeling ok and wasn't sure it wasn't false labor... so he went back to bed.
He got up again at 6am and my ctx were pretty much the same, maybe a little stronger, but still short with really short intervals. We sat and talked for a little while and I decided to take a shower since we were almost sure it was real labor. The shower really got things going and when I got out I layed down on the bed and started getting much stronger ctx. My husband started timing them and they were getting longer with longer intervals (1min long, 5-7min intervals) but getting a lot stronger. He started making the phone calls to his family and the hospital. We wanted to stay home as long as possible, but since my ctx had started so close together it was hard for us to gauge where in the process I was. At about 9am we decided to at least go in and check since there were some ctx I was actually sweating through. And they were lasting a long time... they'd go down but not go away all the way and were lasting a few minutes long with one big one during that time and a couple small ones. We got checked in right around 9:30am and they checked me... I was at a 5-6 already!! Brian & I were THRILLED but I was already contracting pretty hard and they were coming every 2 minutes or so. My doc came in to check on us and said he'd see us later. The anesthesiologist came in and we told him we weren't interested! So.... just kept contracting every 2 min or so... they were pretty strong but not unbearable. I was just breathing through them and slightly groaning with the contractions but not too bad. I started feeling the need to push so we called the nurses in and I was at a 7. Next time they checked I was at an 8 and was in the full throes of transition. They were right on top of each other and SO strong. The nurse came in and got me to stand up and lean over the bed and that's when my water broke. I was in transition for about 2 hours and groaning really loudly with each breath. I was having urges to push, but since I was still at 8 they told me if I needed to push just to kind of grunt through it (yeah right). Oh yeah, and when I was standing the nurse figured out baby was sunny side up so she made me get back into bed and lay on my side/belly to help the baby turn a little. It finally got so bad that we made them check me again and sure enough, I was at 10 and baby's head was right there. They called my doc but he was in a hysterectomy since he didn't think I was going to progress THAT quickly. He said to call the on call doc, so they called him and told me not to push. They had started me pushing and I had 2 pushes where I could feel her crown then slip back under my pubic bone. They realized how strong my pushes were and so told me to try not to push while we waited for the on call doc. But I couldn't not push. I got a huge push in (no one was even helping hold my legs up!) and the nurse at my feet was telling me to try to hold off and literally pushing on the baby's head to keep her from coming out!!!! I couldn't stop pushing.... my body was basically just doing it for me and they couldn't keep her in! I got another push in and out she came.... head, one push, shoulders another, and the rest of her another. I literally only pushed like 6 times and only SEVEN minutes after they told me I was at 10cm, our little girl was born!!!! I was in absolute shock that it happened so fast. Neither doctor had a chance to make it there so she was delivered by the nursing staff! They put her right on my belly and I was just in total disbelief that it had happened SO quickly! The on call dr finally made it and he delivered the placenta and stitched me up. I had a small tear since she came so fast and also her hand was up behind her head. They took her and cleaned her up in the room... she didn't leave our sight the entire time we were in the hospital. They brought her back and she nursed for an hour and a half straight!!!! I am just thrilled I had a quick labor, VERY quick delivery, and was able to do it all without drugs the way I wanted. I couldn't have done it without the 12 weeks of Bradley classes we took... and my wonderful husband who was an amazing coach!!!
August 22, 12:57pm 8lb 8.2oz, 20.5 inches long