Barely Made It {Military Hospital}

I was never one of those people that originally thought I wanted to have an all-natural birth. In fact I remember saying why would you go through all that pain when you can get an epidural? Would you want your leg broken without pain medication?! How dumb was I? LOL Anyways I went through with that mentality with the pregnancy and birth of my first son, was kind of talked into an induction, but willingly accepted an epidural before I even had my first “real” contraction. I had been at 5 cm dilated and about 80% effaced for about a month, and was 4 days “overdue”.

Quick birth, only about 3 1/2 hours start to finish with an hour of coached pushing because I certainly couldn’t feel what I was doing, couldn’t even hold my legs up AT ALL no matter how hard I tried in my head they just flopped around and felt like they weighed about 200 lbs! He was healthy 8lbs 12oz, I was healthy, but I thought to myself, that is NOT how I would want the next one born. It’s funny how you think of all these things that you would like to do or don’t want to do before you become a parent and then everything is sooo different once they are here. I never ONCE thought about being a more natural parent, I thought cloth diapering was disgusting and epidurals and inductions go hand and hand and that is how it was done. That all went out the window, after I lived through the experience. Now I talk anyone I can into cloth diapering and natural birth!

Fast forward a little over a year, I find out I’m pregnant again. A few weeks later my husband deployed for Afghanistan. So for the next few months just me, my son, and my ever growing belly! The whole time I kept telling my husband how badly I wanted to have a natural birth, so I began reading all I could, joined some blogs, this one being one, and asked some friends how their natural births were (Jill Mills). Everyone who had done it told me to just trust myself, that’s what I was meant to do. One friend told me it would be like my body would take over and I would be co-pilot (Ashley Blocker) Oh how true that was!

So my husband was scheduled to return to the states about 3 weeks after my due date, GREAT! But thankfully he worked super hard to be able to come home on an advanced party, and I will be forever grateful to him and his commanding officer who helped him get home in time. He came home when I was 38 weeks 2 days, on a Friday. Exactly 2 weeks later I went in labor.

2012-07-06 11.53.35

I was getting down to my last ob appointments at which point induction was brought up. I simply told them no thank you I’ll be waiting this one out and he can come when he’s ready. They set up a non-stress test for the week after my due date and sent me home.

Friday morning around 2:30 am I woke up with mild cramps, I didn’t think much of it since I had been having them occasionally and Braxton-Hicks contractions. They were very pesky and wouldn’t stop so I got up and went in the living room to sit on my exercise ball. Around 3:30 they were pretty regular but not painful, I walked in the bedroom and told my husband I think I might be in labor LOL because I was having contractions that were regular and that he needed to get up and start timing. So after asking him to get up 3 or 4 more times he finally does, and starts timing them. They were about 3-4 mins apart and 45 seconds long. I called the hospital and told them what was going on, they assured me if they didn’t hurt then to wait at least another hour.

Thankfully I had enough sense to know to go ahead and call my friend Cara. We had already planned that she would watch our son while we went to the hospital and in the middle of the night I knew she might need a little time to get to the house. About 45 mins later she showed up. At this point I’m swaying and doing squats during contractions, I don’t know why, but that is what I did to cope!

We left our house around 5 am and headed to the hospital which is a 20 minute drive. My husband drives a lifted truck, it’s difficult for a full term pregnant lady in labor to get into, and also not the smoothest drive in the world, but it was parked behind my vehicle and easiest to access at the time. When he got on the freeway it seemed like he was speeding so I fussed at him, later I told him it wasn’t because I was worried about getting the ticket; I was worried about the amount of time it would take to get pulled over!

We finally make it to the base and thank the Lord they were not checking I.D.’s and we were waved on through. My husband decided to point out to me a deer on the side of the road mid-contraction!! “I don’t care about the deer!!!!” I say as calmly as possible! We pull into the parking place and I kind of jumped out of the truck and stood there and told him wait till one more (contraction) goes then we can walk in. So it comes and goes and we start the hike up to labor and delivery. I walk into the ER not really knowing where I was and asked the ladies at the desk mid-contraction again if this was L & D they said no, just walk down this hall take a right then a left then go all the way to the end of that hall take the elevators. Thanks for the help lol, I’m so glad we didn’t get lost.

So we make it to L & D and the man at that desk tells me I need to fill out some paperwork (what is the point in pre-admission??!!) So I told my husband to start that because I thought I needed to pee. I walk down the hall and try to pee. I came back and started to sign some papers totally without reading anything. I signed one paper and knelt down to my knees and said “I need to push NOW!!” All the sudden it turned in to a whirlwind. A nurse came from nowhere and said “did you just say you needed to push?? DON’T DO THAT!” She helped me into a triage room and stripped my yoga pants off. Before I knew it there were about 5 people in there and she checked “yes, she is fully dilated and baby is on its way! DON’T PUSH” The most ridiculous thing you can say to a person that is in that situation. YOU JUST CAN’T HELP IT! LOL

We went flying down the hall on a stretcher and I don’t know why I felt the need to crack a joke and ask if there was time for an epidural?! She said, “Oh honey that’s funny!” Once we got into the room people came from everywhere, utensils were flying, people were putting on gloves. I saw my husband come in and sit down quietly in the corner, I yelled, “You just gonna sit over there? Get up here!” So he quickly called my parents and told them we were about to have a baby. They live 5 hours away and were ‘hoping’ to make it! He came by my side and this time no one told me how to do anything I knew exactly when to push, for how long.

A nurse unsuccessfully tried to get an IV in my arm which blew my vein. The midwife and doctor told her to forget it, he was almost here. I pushed a few times and here he was at 5:30 am ( yes we left our house at 5am) I told the doc I didn’t want to cut the cord till it was done pulsating, which made things a little difficult because he had a very short umbilical cord, he was barely on my lower stomach. But he stayed right there for about 10-15 minutes. Then my husband cut the cord and I could finally pull him up where I could see his face! Such a relief! He was relatively small compared to his older brother. He weighed 7lbs 4 oz. and was only 19 in long, but had a head full of dark hair (down his back) just like his brother. He wanted to nurse immediately so we did. My husband called my parents back to let them know he was here; they had barely made it out of the driveway! It was soo intense and crazy but absolutely AMAZING.

2012-07-19 23.56.15

Now I know why when women have a natural birth they call it a “high” and want to do it again and again. I told my husband I definitely want to have the next at home and wish I would have done these 2 at home. He definitely agreed. If there was ever a time to believe God works things out at the right times, this was it. From my husband getting home from Afghanistan just in time, to my sitter getting to the house just in time, to us making it to the hospital just in time. It all happened right on time.



{Professional photography compliments of Heartlove Photography}


    • Jessica

      I did give birth at Naval hospital Camp Lejeune and actually thought about hiring a doula, but am thankful I didn’t now, there would have be no time!

  • Heather

    Congrats!! He is adorable! All 3 of my children were quick arrivals. I was only in labor for 3 hours with all 3 combined. My last was similar to yours. I pushed the whole way to the hospital and made it with 5 minutes to spare. My first I used IV pain meds. My second an epidural and with this last one I couldn’t have anything and I’m telling you it was the most amazing feeling!!

  • Dee Still

    I read your story when I googled “how to achieve natural childbirth at a military hospital”. I am a navy wife and we are stationed overseas in Guam. Guam is a very small island in the middle of nowhere Pacific Ocean and only has a population of 140,00 people. There is 1 military hospital here. There is a hospital out in town but not recommended for anything (it’s not like a standard us hospital at all). The Navy hospital policies are very strict and I feel against natural birth. No walking during labor, mandatory IV, the only position you can be in is laying on that hospital bed in the stirrups. I want to labor at home and show up just in the nic of time like you did, but this will be my first child. I want delayed cord clamping and 1 hour of skin to skin contact before my child is whisked away. It is also about a 20 minute drive for us to the hospital. There are no home midwives or doulas on the island so unfortunately that is not an option. Unless I have an unassisted home birth then my only real option is the Navy Hospital. I’m crushed that my dream at home water birth won’t be possible on Guam but insistent on a natural delivery at the notorious epidural giving hospital. Any advice you have for me would be greatly appreciated.

    A scared first time mom to be

    • Jessica

      oh wow!! Make sure there are no home midwives, if not I would stay at home as long as possible and try to enforce exactly what you want. It does matter! you matter and your birth…good luck mama!!

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