A Thanksgiving Day Unmedicated Hospital Birth

I have to preface this story by saying that I’m a wuss. Before labor started, I thought to myself, “I hope labor isn’t as painful as stubbing my toe.”

We woke up on Thanksgiving, both feeling really rested from a full night of sleep and watched some of the Thanksgiving day parade on T.V..  I told your Poppa that I was feeling crampy, but that I didn’t want to jump to conclusions.  I was craving a big breakfast, but because it was Thanksgiving and the parade had all of the local streets closed off, we settled for a breakfast sandwich from Tim Horton’s.  Boy, am I glad I stuffed my face that morning, for it was the last substantial thing I ate before your arrival.

As the day progressed, the cramps started coming closer together and became more intense.  Although your Poppa continually made himself available and checked in on me, I had the need to sequester myself in our bedroom, while rolling around on the birth ball and distracting myself by trashy television shows in between contractions.  We were supposed to head over to my aunts for Thanksgiving dinner, but I called your Uncle Pete at around 1pm to come pick up Barnabas (our dog) and bring him over Grammy’s because I thought I was in labor. I finally called Grammy to tell her that I may be in labor- but that she should proceed with her day because I was handling contractions well at home and had no imminent plan to head to the hospital any time soon. She was so excited. You are her first grandbaby and she asked me 10x/day if you we’re ready to make an appearance.

Between 1pm and 4:30pm I got in and out of the shower twice. The first time, my contractions slowed down a bit. During this time your Poppa decided it would be a good idea to bake some brownies for our potential nurses and midwives- we wanted them to like us 🙂 The second time I got into the shower, the contractions continued to increase in intensity.  I felt most comfortable sitting on the toilet and it was obvious to Poppa that things were speeding up, so he called the midwife.  Because it was Thanksgiving, she suggested we start heading in to avoid any potential traffic because the hospital is about 35 minutes away.

We arrived at the hospital around 6pm. Grammy was waiting for us and had us all checked in.  Luckily, they were really slow that night, so I got checked in triage and immediately admitted to Room 2.  I decided I didn’t want to know how far along I was, but the nurse told Poppa and Grammy.

The nurses and midwives were amazing. They had the tub ready for me as soon as I got changed. Ooo man, did that warm water feel amazing.  We had all of the lights out with battery-operated flames flickering and my music playing in the background. It was so peaceful.  Your Poppa stayed by my side and coached me through each contraction– he also kept me hydrated, massaged my feet and fed me some small snacks to keep my energy level up. Grammy stood in the background and at some point Ashley came, though I didn’t have energy to acknowledge her. Labor was getting intense!

I headed to the toilet, which was a great spot, except that the toilet was high and so my toes hardly touched the floor.  I was so grateful when your Poppa came to support me and allowed me to rest my feet on his through each contraction.  While on the toilet, I was starting to feel exhausted and blatantly asked for an epidural several times.  Praise God, Poppa, Ashley and Grammy just kept coaching me through each contraction and told me that I was too far along.  Too far along?!  I needed drugs! Poppa eventually blurts out,  “You were 6 inches when they admitted you!”. 6 inches?! It made me laugh, and really encouraged me to keep going without the drugs.  I was worried because my water hasn’t broken yet, so the midwife suggested she check my progress.

As I slowly waddled to the bed and laid down, the midwife said I was now 7cm with a bulging bag.  Still discouraged my water hadn’t broken, I stood up and WHOOSH! My water broke all over the floor.  Everyone clapped and I knew that labor was about to get much more intense. I headed back to the toilet with Poppa supporting me. The contractions felt as though they were coming on top of each other. I couldn’t stay ahead of the pain with the relaxation techniques we practiced and used during early labor.  Suddenly, my uterus started pushing.  The nurse came and asked me to wait to voluntarily push—HAH! Wait!? I wasn’t even voluntarily pushing!

I left the toilet and headed to the squat bars on the end of the bed. The midwife arrived and instructed me to push as I felt needed. After about 15 minutes on the squat bars, I felt like I needed to lay down. The midwife asked me to lay on my side. Your Poppa stayed by my head, pulling my hand for resistance while Grammy held up my leg.  (It was so amazing having Grammy there when you came out. What a precious moment!) Once I laid down, I used my hand and felt your sweet little head. You were coming! Grammy instantly started to cry. I screamed very loud for the next few pushes.  The midwife instructed me to catch you, but I couldn’t even think about doing something other than getting you out! So, Poppa caught you. You immediately cried and came to my chest.  The first words that came out of my mouth were, “my baby!”.


I had some pretty serious hemorrhaging after birth, but gratefully it eventually stopped. I think the hemorrhaging and stitches were by far the worst part of labor and delivery.  I couldn’t hold you for long because the OB had to come in and go back into my uterus to pull out some clots and find the source of bleeding. When they couldn’t find the source, and it was obvious that I was in some serious discomfort, they wanted to take me to the OR to figure out what was going on. I told them I wanted to wait, texted some friends to pray, and the bleeding stopped! Praise the Lord!

Theo bear, you made me a momma. I am so grateful for you.

Laura's Thanksgiving Day hospital birth

Laura's unmedicated hospital birth




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