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A VBAC Story

A VBAC Story

Rita shares the story of her daughter’s birth – a healing VBAC.

My first baby was born via cesarean section. Like many women, I never imagined that I would need a C-section; I never thought that would happen to me. Imagine my surprise when after 24 hours of labor, my midwife announced to me that since my baby was in distress and I had not progressed past 8 cm in three hours, the next step would be a cesarean. I pulled my bed sheet over my head and cried out loud like a baby. I wasn’t physically, emotionally or spiritually prepared for this.

The C-section was due to failure to progress and non-reassuring fetal heart rate. I personally think (my non-medical opinion) that the cesarean was the result of all of the drugs that were administered to me during labor (with my consent) and the artificial rupturing of my membrane when the baby was still high up in the uterus in the occiput posterior position. Those drugs included Fentanyl, Epidural and Pitocin. I felt like my baby was drugged (again, my non-medical opinion). I also think that it was due to my ignorance. I didn’t educate myself about childbirth. I did not educate myself about the different pain medications that were available to me and their pros and cons. Heck, I didn’t even take a childbirth class. I was one of those patients who just let the nurses and doctors do whatever they felt necessary. I did not have a plan or even know what I wanted. The cesarean was definitely a wake-up call for me.

When my baby was about 6 months old, I learned I was pregnant with my second baby. The pregnancy was more than a surprise; it knocked the wind out of me. Eight weeks after my first baby was born, I had an IUD inserted to prevent another pregnancy until I was prepared for it, which would have been about 18 months after my first baby was born. I was told that this type of IUD usually lasts for 10yrs and that there is a .08% chance of getting pregnant while on it. I guess I was a part of the .08. I was very upset with the provider who inserted the IUD. I had so many questions that she couldn’t answer. Yes, I even thought about suing her… but that’s a whole other story.

After a few weeks of crying my eyes out and being frustrated, I decided to get with the program. This baby wasn’t going anywhere. I needed to take care of myself physically and emotionally in order to be able to care for my unborn child. Once I came to terms with the pregnancy, I made a promise to myself: the birth of this baby was going to be completely different from the birth of the first child—I was going to have a vaginal birth—and I was going to do everything I could to increase my chances of having one.

The first order of business was to find a VBAC-friendly hospital. All of my research led to one of the big hospitals in my hometown of Tacoma, WA; so I contacted the hospital’s midwifery department.

My first appointment was great. The midwife told me that since my last cesarean wasn’t due to any major medical reason, I should be able to at least try for a VBAC. After my first C-section, the doctor told me that because of the way she had sewed and positioned my uterus, I would have a greater chance of having a vaginal birth the next time around. She sewed my uterus twice. Also, since I was able to go into labor on my own and progressed to 8cm, this would work in my favor.

After finding the VBAC-friendly hospital, the second order of business was to find a doula. While on, I found two doulas in my area. One of them, surprisingly, had been my high school music teacher. If I had known that she was a doula, I would have used her for my first baby. I interviewed both of them, and ended up choosing my high school music teacher. There were so many reasons why I chose her. She had a C-section with her first baby and went on to have four vaginal births. She had 15+ years of doula experience. She had a very gentle and calm spirit, which I felt was important. She’s also a birth instructor for one of the big hospitals in our area. My husband and I took a birthing class with her, and she was great! She really knew a lot about birthing babies. During the class, we had to do an exercise that required partnership. One of the girls there did not have a partner. The instructor volunteered to be her partner. After the exercise, the girl said to her, “Wow that was great! You have a gentle, motherly touch.” That statement confirmed even more that she was the right doula for me. I needed that gentle, motherly touch during my labor and delivery.

As my pregnancy progressed, I decided to educate myself more on childbirth. I read two books and watched endless YouTube videos on natural childbirth and successful VBACs. I read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin, and Birthing From Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz. I watched all episodes of the British TV show One Born Every Minute. I watched a movie called All My Babies: A Midwife’s Own Story. I must have watched this movie about a thousand times. It is also on YouTube. Of course, I watched the documentary The Business of Being Born.

I became a member of our local ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) on Facebook. I also became a member of a Facebook group designated for all cesarean moms who are looking to have VBAC (a very supportive group). I followed Birth Without Fear, improving Ob/Gyn & midwife associates, and many other childbirths groups on Facebook. My Facebook feed was 90% natural childbirth/VBAC related. Every day of my pregnancy, I read or watched something positive about natural childbirth or successful VBAC. I read almost all of the birthing stories posted on Birth Without Fear’s Facebook page. If others could do it, I could definitely do it, too. I was really encouraged by other women. I made up my mind that I wasn’t just going to try for a VBAC, I was going to have a VBAC. I asked Jesus every day to give me my heart’s desire.

During my second trimester, I started reading a lot about red raspberry leaf tea, which has many benefits. One major benefit is that it helps strengthen the uterus, which helps in preventing uterine rupture. Uterine rupture is a major concern when having a VBAC. I posted a question on our mamas’ group Facebook page; I asked if anyone had experience with drinking red raspberry leaf tea during their pregnancy, and I had a lot of good responses. Some women said that it helped them go into labor. I was a little nervous about that, as I was still early in my pregnancy. I spoke with my midwife regarding this. She said it was ok to drink two cups of red raspberry leaf tea a day, and three cups starting at about 34 or 36 weeks. I was 28 weeks pregnant at that time, so I started drinking two cups a day. I drank red raspberry leaf tea religiously until the day I was in labor. I also started seeing a chiropractor for weekly adjustments from 28 weeks until the week before my baby was born.

My pregnancy was going very well until I went in for my 35-week checkup. While examining my stomach, the midwife seemed a little concerned. She couldn’t tell if my baby’s head was down or not (I had a very large fibroid.) At the beginning of the exam, she thought the baby’s head was down, but by the end she thought that the baby had moved into a breech position. She recommended that I have an ultrasound done to be 100% sure that the baby’s head was down. I started to get very nervous.

I had an ultrasound done that week, and thank goodness, baby’s head was down. I was very happy and relieved. My first baby was breech throughout my whole pregnancy. My OB turned her around through external cephalic version. My 36- through 38-week checkups were fine. My midwife was sure that my baby’s head was down. At my 37-week checkup, I told my midwife that I was getting nervous about having a VBAC. I was afraid something terrible might happen—something worse than a repeat cesarean. She said if anything happened, they would do the best they could to help my baby and me. “However,” she said, “You have to trust yourself, your decision and your body. You had a cesarean. Your body is not broken. Your body is more than capable of birthing your baby.” That stuck with me. I repeated it about a hundred times a day. My body is not broken; my body is not broken. My body is more than capable of birthing my baby.

Things took a turn at 39 weeks! I went in for my 39-week checkup. While examining my stomach, my midwife seemed very concerned again. I remembered that look on her face from previous weeks. I asked, “What’s wrong?” She said, “I am 90% sure this baby is breech. “No way!” I exclaimed. “Please make an appointment to do an ultrasound as soon as possible, probably before the end of this week,” she said. This was on Monday, January 18th. My baby was due on Sunday, January 24th. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The rest of the appointment went downhill from there. I went to the receptionist’s desk and asked her to schedule me for the earliest ultrasound. She scheduled me for 8:00 a.m. the next morning (Monday, January 19th). I was very sad. Worry kept me awake that night. To be totally honest, from the movement of the baby, I knew something wasn’t right.

I went in for my ultrasound the next morning; and lo and behold, my baby was in a frank breech position. Head up, bottom down. I started crying. The ultrasound tech asked if I was okay. I said “No. I can’t believe my baby is breech this late in the pregnancy. Now they are not going to allow me to try for a VBAC.” I was very frustrated. She recommended that I meet with the midwife that same day. She asked me to go wait for her by the receptionist. As I sat by the front office, I really could not contain my sadness any longer. I started crying. The office worker and other pregnant women who were coming in for their appointments probably thought something was wrong with me or my baby. Lucky for me, the midwife was available that morning.

I don’t remember much of my meeting with the midwife that morning. I was just too sad and upset. She asked me to come in later that day at 3 p.m. The OB was available to perform an external cephalic version if I was interested in it; and of course I was. I made the appointment to go in later that day. When I left the midwife’s office, I got into my car and cried/prayed for about 10 minutes. I called my husband and told him the news. He assured me that everything would be ok. He later told me that he felt very sad because I sounded so sad over the phone. I called my doula and left her a message. She sent me a text saying, “Got your message and will be praying. Let me know if you want me to come with you.”

Before I continue with the rest of the story, I want to take a moment to acknowledge a woman in my life; I will refer to her as a birthing goddess. This woman has given birth to seven children. Five of them were probably homebirths. One was via cesarean, and the other was a VBAC. We were pregnant at the same time twice. She was pregnant with her last two kids and I was pregnant with my first two kids. She is very inspiring in lots of ways, but especially when it comes to birthing and raising kids. She has a gift! Now back to the story.

On my way home from my ultrasound/midwife visit, I felt like I needed to talk to someone; someone who would understand what I was going through. I decided to head over to this birthing goddess’s house. She had just had a successful, unmedicated and fast VBAC – just what I was hoping and praying for. As I pulled up into her driveway, I saw her through the window reading what looked like a Bible or a devotional book. My mind was somewhere else. I couldn’t tell. She swiftly came to the door and let me in with a hug. She knew something was wrong just by looking at my face. I told her what was going on. After I was done, she asked me, “Can I pray for you?” “Yes please,” I responded. She sat very close to me on the couch, put her arms around me, and prayed for me. After that prayer, I felt like a burden was lifted off of me. I had hope, trust and peace again.

We went to the hospital for my 3 o’clock visit. I was very nervous. The nurse was very nice. The OB and midwife came in to perform the EVC. You have to sign an agreement agreeing that if your baby becomes distressed after this procedure, an emergency cesarean would be performed. After all the talking/paperwork signing, the OB said to the midwife, “You grab the baby’s bottom, I will grab the head, and we will slowly turn her around!” It was very painful and uncomfortable, but I was very happy that it was successful after the first try. After this, I asked the midwife to sweep my membranes. That was also very uncomfortable, but I was going to do everything I could possibly do to prevent another cesarean. Per the midwife, I was 1 cm dilated.

I went in for my 39-week checkup on Thursday, January 21st at 4:30 p.m. The appointment went very well. My baby was still head-down. I asked my midwife to sweep my membrane again. She did, and I was still 1 cm dilated. I know everyone has different opinions about membrane sweeping, but this was my choice. On my way out of the midwife’s office, a gentleman walked up to me and said, “Ma’am you are very beautiful.” I said, “Aw thank you” with a smile. I thought he was just being nice. Then he said, “Do you have a husband or boyfriend?” “I have a husband,” I responded. “Oh, okay. Have a nice day,” he said, and walked away. I couldn’t believe he was asking me this. How did he think I got to be 39 weeks pregnant and wobbling to my car? That made my day, though.

The text messages between my doula and me explain what happened the next day….

January 22

8:34 a.m. me: good morning. I had my membrane swept yesterday. I have been up all night with something that feels like cramping and it is very uncomfortable. I am unable to tell if it is actual contractions. Sometimes it feels like it and sometimes it doesn’t. And very painful too

9:09 a.m. doula: comes and goes? Can you feel if your belly gets tight?

9:10 a.m. me: yes, comes and goes. Belly does get tight a little bit.

9:11 a.m. doula: keep drinking water. It could just be irritable but it could turn into something as well. Time how often you feel it. Sorry you were up.

9:13 a.m. me: I have been trying to time it but very irregular

9:14 a.m. doula: ok that’s alright. Just gives you an idea of what was and then you can compare if things change.

9:14 a.m. me: ok, will do.

9:15 a.m. doula: keep breathing slowly and keep me posted. Are you working today?

9:16 a.m. me: no, I called out today.

9:16 a.m. doula: smart. You should alternate rest with walking.

9:22 a.m. me: ok.

When my husband and I took our then-15-month-old daughter to her 15-month checkup, I was still having “contractions.”

5:10 p.m. doula: how did you do today? Did it settle down?

5:13 p.m. me: I was just about to text you. It has gotten worse. Starting to get a little more regular. Every 5 to 10 minutes between 30 and 45 seconds long.

5:20 p.m. doula: oh ok that’s good. Yes? Have you gotten some rest? And are you handling it ok?

5:23 p.m. me: it is good. Haven’t been able to nap yet. I am handling it ok so far.

5:27 p.m. doula: good, try to get some rest! You may be up again if you are going into labor! (Boy, was she right!)

8:35 p.m. doula: so any idea yet if tonight is the night???!

8:36 p.m. me: I think tonight is the night!! Just got out of the bathtub. Contractions are still coming.

8:38 p.m. doula: alright! What is your progress? Any changes from earlier? And that’s a good sign with the bath, because that will usually slow pre labor stuff.

8:42 p.m. me: (sent her a picture of what seems like a mucus plug) sorry if this is gross but I am also starting to poop a lot.

8:43 p.m. doula: oh yeah change is happening. Good hormones on board causing all that. How long are you wanting to wait at home with contractions? Your paperwork is in the car: as long as possible or more like 3-4 min apart?

8:47 p.m. me: probably 3 to 4 minutes. I am starting to need some help focusing.

8:55 p.m. doula: let me know whenever you want me to come – home first or when you go to the hospital.

8:56 p.m. me: ok.

9:31 p.m. me: contractions are pretty close together. Can you come to my house?

9:32 p.m. doula: sure. (Verified address, we had move into a new house). I am under half hour from it.

9:33 p.m. me: yes correct address

9:33 p.m. ok!

My doula got to my house about 15-20 minutes later. When she came in, I was leaning over the kitchen counter. At this time contractions were closer together, but still less than a minute long. When I had the next contraction, she asked me where I felt the pain. I pointed to my lower back, and she proceeded to give me a back massage. I said, “No, don’t touch, don’t touch!” She stopped massaging me. This was very weird because I love getting massages.

When my next contraction came, she very gently rubbed my back in a circular motion. That felt really good and calming. At this point my 15-month-old daughter knew something was wrong—mama was behaving very strangely. She followed me around the living room and even gave me a massage when I was on my hands and knees. My husband took a picture of her giving me a massage. She was very sweet.

An hour or so after my doula arrived at my house, I started having very intense contractions. They were very close together but still less than one minute long. My doula suggested that we head to the hospital before I got too uncomfortable to get in the car. We got in the car and headed for the hospital. I kept telling my husband not to hit any potholes. “I will try not to,” he responded.

We got to the hospital, which was 10 minutes from our house, at about 11 o’clock. We were in the emergency room for Lord knows how long. The receptionist was asking my husband all sorts of questions, while I was sitting in the wheelchair trying not to embarrass myself in front of everyone in the emergency room. I kept having very intense contractions, and my doula was there talking to me and rubbing my back.

On our way up to the triage, the nurse was pushing the wheelchair really quickly. I ask her to stop for a little bit because I had a very intense contraction. “I can’t,” she said,” because you could actually be having the baby right now.” Both my husband and doula said, “She’s not, just slow down please! She did not slow down. I was in too much pain to do or say anything.

The triage was very nice. It was a large room with a birthing tub. I asked if I could get into the birthing tub. The nurse said no because they don’t do VBAC water births. Plus, they needed to monitor my baby’s heart rate until she was out of the womb. At my previous midwife appointment, I asked her if I could get the mobile fetal monitor. “Yes,” she said, and added that to my file. I asked her to add to my file that no one should mention or suggest any pain medication while I was in labor. She said, “Yes, I will put that in big bold letters.”

For the first half-hour that I was in triage, I was attached to the bed monitor while the nurse went to find the mobile monitor. This tells me that not too many people request or uses the mobile monitor. I think we were admitted around 12:00 a.m. The nurse checked me and said, “You are about 1 to 2 cm dilated.” She said she was going to be back in an hour to check my cervix again. I was so disappointed I couldn’t believe that after all the pain I was in, I was still only 1 to 2 cm dilated. Labor was worse when I was lying in the bed. I kept asking for the mobile monitor so I could move around.

I finally got the mobile monitor, and started walking around the room. I sat on the toilet for a little bit, but was too uncomfortable to sit for too long. While I was in the bathroom, my doula found a little stool – probably what women used to climb into the tub for water births. She asked me to put one leg up on the stool and do squats when I got my next contraction. She said it would help open up the cervix, and would help make labor go faster. At this point I would have done anything to make labor go faster! I did some squats.

While doing squats, the nurse came in and said, “Your midwife wants me to wait for another hour before I check your cervix, so I will be back at 2:00 a.m.” I was in too much pain to comprehend anything. I heard my doula say, “That’s good; they’re giving us more time to labor alone.” I felt like labor got about a thousand times harder after doing those squats. I told my doula that I thought I would need an epidural. I was too tired; I hadn’t really slept in over 24 hours. “Okay,” she said; “Let’s see how far you have progressed. If you are at 4 or 5 cm dilated then we can talk about getting an epidural.” She would have talked me out of getting an epidural if I had been 5 cm dilated. She would have said, “You are halfway there. Let’s wait a few more hours to see how far you’ve progressed.

At 2:00 a.m. the nurse came in to check my cervix. I was in so much pain I did not want to be touched at all. I kept saying to my doula, “Just kill me now please. Just kill me now.” Labor was very, very intense at this point. I wanted it to be done. I wanted the pain to stop. Contractions felt like they were a minute apart and a minute long. Between contractions, the nurse checked my cervix. “Wow,” she said, “the cervix is completely gone and I can touch the bulging bag of water.” I was so out of it, I said, “What? Where did the cervix go? Don’t we need the cervix?” She said, “Let me go get the midwife.” At this point my husband had left the room to go get coffee. I wasn’t happy with him about that.

A few minutes later, the midwife came, checked my cervix, and said, “You are 10 cm dilated and I can feel your bag of water.” “Well, can I get an epidural now?” I asked her. “No,” she said, “You are already 10 cm dilated and about to push this baby out.” “Wait, what? I am about to push the baby out?” “Yes,” she said. As she was talking, I felt the bed start to move. I heard, “Let’s take her to room whatever.” As we got into the room, before they could get the bed attached to the wall and get everything situated, I got on my hands and knees. I felt a VERY intense contraction with an involuntary push and my water broke! As soon as that happened, I felt the baby’s head slide into the birth canal. I thought to myself, Oh crap. There is no going back now. I am about to actually birth a baby through my vajayjay!

There was meconium in the water, so my midwife called the NICU and two NICU nurses came in the room. I felt like the room was a little crowed with the two NICU nurses, my nurse, midwife, husband and doula, but I didn’t care. I wanted the baby out! I started pushing. The baby’s head would come out a little bit and then slide back in. I said, “Oh, the baby is going back in.” The midwife said, it’s ok, it will happen for a while.” Apparently, this was normal. I didn’t know. I only pushed with contractions. I was so tired; I had no energy or willpower to push without the intense force of the contraction. Every 1 to 2 minutes, I would say, “Here comes another one,” and would start screaming—I sounded like an animal! I was VERY vocal!

Anytime I would scream, my doula would come close to my ear and say, “Rita, put all the energy down in your bottom.” She would say this as she gently rubbed my back in a circular motion. Her touch was very comforting. At one point I heard the midwife saying, “Soon you are going to feel the ring of fire; just push through it.” Boy, did I feel the ring of fire, and It HURT like none other!!

I pushed on my hands and knees for a long time, then the nurse suggested I lie on my back. I lay on my back, and with maybe 3 VERY hard pushes, my baby girl was OUT!! My midwife said “YOU GOT YOUR PERFECT VBAC!” I kept saying, “I did it. I did it.” I couldn’t believe I had done it. My labor was not in vain. I really believed that I could, and I did it. The placenta followed shortly after. The baby wasn’t crying right away, so the NICU nurses took her to suction her up. This was surprising to me, because the baby was literally kicking on her way out. I could feel her legs still kicking as I was pushing her out. I pushed for 45 mintues. She was born at 2:45 a.m.

While they were suctioning up my baby, the midwife was giving me a few stiches. After they were done they put her on my chest. Oh, that feeling of having your baby placed on your chest is the best feeling in the whole world! She was and is the most beautiful baby ever (she and her sister!). After an hour of being on my chest, they took her off to weigh her. She weighed 7lbs 11.2 ounces and was 21inches long, with an APGAR score of 8/9. My first baby was 7lbs 9.2 ounces, and 21 inches long – almost the same birth weight. We were out of the hospital within 24 hours.

Why did I decide to right this birth story? I was inspired by the other women who wrote their successful VBAC stories. My goal is to encourage other women who are planning to have a VBAC; it is possible. I hope my story is an encouragement to you.

Caroline’s Birth Story

Caroline’s Birth Story

Jesse got home from work at around 5:15 p.m. I was feeling incredibly tired, so I asked if I could go lie down. He agreed to feed and get the girls to bed. I fell asleep at around 6 o’clock. I woke up at 10:30 feeling much better, and joined him in the living room. At about 10:45, I felt a strong contraction. Not anything terribly abnormal, but strong enough for me to take notice. I decided to text my doula to give them the heads up at 11 p.m. At this point, my contractions were completely bearable and irregular, but I decided it was best to call my mother-in-law, who lives an hour away, to come spend the night—just in case; my previous labors had been quick.

My mother-in-law arrived a little after midnight. Contractions were still bearable and not incredibly regular. By 12:30 a.m., I was certain this was the real deal. At 1 o’clock, we called our doulas to head our way. Between 12:45 and 1:15, my labor went from 0 to 60. As soon as the doulas walked in the door, it was time to go. Amber helped keep me calm for the last few contractions out the door. She knew I was beginning to panic. Michelle jumped in with Jesse and me, and Amber followed in her car.

The car ride got intense quickly. I was terrified we were about to have a car baby. Thank God I had Michelle with me, otherwise I’m not sure I would have stayed as calm. She called L&D to let them know we were on our way and that things were progressing quickly. None of us knew just how quick it was about to be.

We pull in to the ER and there was a wheelchair waiting. I got in, and whoever was pushing it didn’t move! I jumped out and exclaimed that I had to pee. Michelle followed me to the restroom. I got into a stall (with the door open), reached down, and there was a head, about an inch out. Michelle ran out to get a doctor. Jesse and Amber rushed in, followed closely by a gaggle of nurses and a doctor. The doctor looked at me and said, “Hi, ma’am. I am Dr. McMahon. I need you to come sit in this wheelchair.” I said, “No! This baby is coming now!” With one big contraction, Miss Caroline comes out, caught by the ungloved hands of myself and Dr. McMahon as Jesse held my other.

It was a little (okay, a lot) chaotic, but Caroline cried and was a beautiful pink color. The doctor helped me waddle over to the wheelchair, where we discovered she was a girl (Team Green for the pregnancy). The emotions were intense. We cut the cord and Jesse followed the nurse and Caroline up to L&D, followed shortly by myself, Amber and Michelle.

In L&D, the nurses and on-call OB joked with us as I delivered the placenta and got a few stitches. No one got a time of birth so we guesstimated it at 2:08am. Caroline was 6lbs 14oz and 19.25″ long.

The whole experience was, and still is, so surreal. I am forever grateful for my husband, our doula team and the medical staff.

We are now 3 days postpartum and still riding the hormonal high. I’m doing well recovery-wise, and Caroline is perfect. Postpartum, I am in a much better place than my last birth. Her birth is the perfect description of our new life: beautiful chaotic. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Photographs by M. Scarpello Photography

One Woman’s Successful Frank Breech Vaginal Hospital Birth

One Woman’s Successful Frank Breech Vaginal Hospital Birth

Let me rewind a little bit…At 37 weeks, we found out via ultrasound that Everett was frank breech. We tried everything we could to turn him. Everything was totally unsuccessful in turning him. He was stubborn and comfortable in his breech position.

Typically, a breech baby these days means a c-section. But I was being told by my midwives that I was THE perfect candidate to attempt a vaginal breech delivery…if I could find an experienced doctor willing to do it. Immediately after that 37 week ultrasound, I started calling every OB in our city (we live in a big city). After dozens of phone calls and lots of No’s, I found someone willing to meet with me to discuss it. We met and after a thorough health history discussion and an extensive examination, we all decided I was a good candidate and we’d do a trial of labor and see how things went.

However, delivering with an OB in a hospital setting meant having to compromise on some things that I wanted. In the mean time we tried everything we could to get him to flip. I saw a chiropractor who used the Webster technique. I saw an acupuncturist for moxibustion acupuncture. I did the spinning babies protocols at home. I shined a bright flash light on my lower belly multiple times a day. I took a homeopathic supplement that’s supposed to encourage flipping. I drank 100+ ounces of water a day to up my amniotic fluid levels, hoping to give him more room to move. And last of all, we tried an EVC (External Cephalic Version).

Then about 39 weeks, the priority went from turning him to encouraging labor to come on it’s own since inductions are not allowed with a breech. My doctor was scheduled to leave the country on September 3rd, so we had a scheduled c-section for September 1st. If he wasn’t here to deliver, I’d end up with a cesarean anyway. I had a deadline for getting this baby out naturally!I had contractions on and off starting around 38.5 weeks, but nothing stuck around (much like my pregnancy with #2). On Thursday September 28th at 39 weeks 3 days, I saw my doc and he did an internal exam to check for dilation. I was 3-4cm but not very effaced. Baby was engaged in my pelvis, but we think not having the pressure of his head on my cervix probably kept me from thinning out like I normally would.

I had some crampy contractions after the internal check (which was at 4pm), but I figured my cervix was just irritated, and they’d go away. We went for a long walk after my appointment to try to get things moving. By 7pm I was still feeling them and they were definitely painful. In the back of my mind I knew they were the real thing, but I didn’t want to jump the gun. I took a long shower after the kids went to bed, did some cleaning, and a little laundry.

By 11pm they were spacing out quite a bit to just a few an hour but still pretty painful. We decided to go to bed and get some sleep. I said a prayer and asked the little boy in my belly to allow me at least a few hours of sleep. But I kind of knew that wouldn’t happen. When had he cooperated up to that point?! I maybe slept 30 minutes before a hard contraction woke me up. Then maybe another 20 minutes and another 15 before I gave up and couldn’t stand to be laying down any longer.

I grabbed my phone and sat up in bed timing them and trying to distract myself from the slight anxiety that started to creep in. Around 2am I decided I was truly in labor with contractions 7ish minutes apart and it was time to pack the last minute stuff and wake up my husband, Corey. I let him know what was going on and decided to take another shower because I was having terrible back labor and the water on my back sounded nice.

I paged my midwife at 2:15am, and she thought it would be a good idea to come to the house and do an internal exam and see where I was at. We called Corey’s mom to come over and sleep on the couch until the girls woke up. I started to get a little nervous that it was a false alarm because my labor pattern was so weird and different from anything I’d experienced before (strong contractions further apart with multiple small ones in between). By the time both of them were here, my midwife determined I was 6cm and my water was bulging. And as soon as everyone arrived, my contractions were picking up in frequency and intensity, so we decided to head to the hospital since my labors move fast. By the time we got there and got into a room, it was almost 4am.

Despite my history of quickly progressing labors and the fact that I was once again GBS positive and needed antibiotics, the L&D nurse completely ignored me. She got me in a room, asked me for a urine sample, and left. We didn’t see her again for 45 minutes (she was too busy chatting with the ladies outside). And she only came into the room at that point because my water had broken and I still didn’t have an IV line inserted, and I was definitely going through transition.

I was incredulous when she told me I had to SIT in the bed while they monitored my and baby’s vitals for 20 straight minutes to make sure he was tolerating labor well before I could go ahead with a breech delivery. HELLO!! Why didn’t she tell me that and get that going the second I got in there?!?! Now I had to sit there for TWENTY a minutes while going through TRANSITION????? I was ready to scream and bite her head off and I made sure she knew I was pissed.

She then proceeded to try to get an IV going. The first time she couldn’t get the vein. The second spot she tried my vein blew and there was blood gushing and dripping down my arm. If I had not been in terrible labor pain and distracted as a result, I’d have definitely passed out. Then she stuck me a THIRD time and was only able to get the needle in half way, but it was enough to get stuff in me so she left it. She was very vocal about how long it took to get a vein since I refused to let her stab me during a contraction (which were coming every 90ish seconds at that point). It was clear early on that this lady and I were not going to get along. I was just SO glad my midwife was there to support me, help me stay sane, and be a mediator between me and this awful nurse.

By the time she had me hooked up, she said if they didn’t get me moved to a delivery room ASAP I might end up having the baby right there. But due to the intensity and frequency of my contractions, it took me 15ish minutes to even get out of the bed and into a wheel chair for her to move me. Which she was clearly annoyed by and also very vocal about. Once I got to a delivery room they were prepped and ready to go. My doc checked me and I was 10 cm, but had a lip on my cervix still and was told I could NOT push yet. Because he was bottom first, it was very important to be fully effaced so we didn’t risk head entrapment.

I had THE worst back labor I have ever had. The level of pain I was experiencing (I assume because of his position) was in another realm from what I’d experienced with either of my girls. I wasn’t able to labor in water because I was so close, and a water birth was out of the question this time around. I started to lose my cool in a way I’ve never done before in labor. And then I was involuntarily pushing and could not stop. They checked me again but I still had a lip and wasn’t supposed to be pushing.

It was at that point that I did something I never thought I’d do, I asked for an epidural. I got THE rudest most disapproving glare and shake of the head from that awful nurse. I was ready to bite her head off! I was in so much pain that I was actually starting to go crazy and I knew the only way I’d be able to not push was to not feel the contractions. I was feeling guilty, but my midwife assured me that it was TOTALLY reasonable to want an epidural this time around and at least I had made it almost the whole way without. She said I likely would not have the drugs in my system long enough for them to cross the placenta and affect the baby. It’s not standard practice to give a woman an epidural at 10 cm, but this was a special case.

There was a chance of needing an episiotomy to make room for baby’s head as well as the possibility that the doc would need to stick his hand up there to flex baby’s head or use forceps for the same reason if baby wasn’t flexing his head on his own. And I didn’t want to feel all that going on. They had an anesthesiologist on standby in the room in case I wanted it for these exact reasons, so as soon as I said the word, they got to work. He was pretty quick, but it was still agonizing to try and sit still through those contractions while he placed the catheter.

Let me just say, one of my biggest motivating factors for natural drug-free childbirth (outside from the whole idea of it’s better for baby to not be doped up) was my fear of needles and the idea of getting one put in my SPINE. Well…it wasn’t bad. AT ALL. I don’t even know why I was so scared (of course, in the moment, all I wanted was that needle in there to start the drugs flowing). And within 5-10 minutes of that being put in, I started to smile and sat back and said “so THIS is why people get these things!!” Hahahaha! It was SUCH a relief. They gave me a low enough dose to still feel the contractions a bit so I knew when to push, but enough to be totally numb in my lady regions. And because I was able to finally relax a little and take some deep breaths, that lip on my cervix was gone in minutes.

It was time to push.Throughout my laboring at the hospital, I’d had several nurses and doctors ask my permission to witness the birth (since a breech delivery is pretty rare). And I said ok to everyone who asked. I figured, it was a learning experience for all, and if it resulted in more women being able to do a vaginal breech delivery, than I was happy to pave the way and be the guinea pig. Corey was really tempted to take full-room selfie but wasn’t sure everyone would appreciate it (particularly that evil L&D nurse). I think it would’ve been pretty funny though!

So with an audience of four doctors, three midwives, and another four or five nurses plus my own midwife and husband, I pushed with all my might! It was pretty weird to feel/watch him coming out bottom first. Once his bottom and legs were out I kept pushing to his shoulder blade. He was just kind of sitting almost cross-legged on the bed waiting for his head to come out, moving a bit but not frantic or anything. Kind of strange and really cool all at the same time.

I think it was at that point that the doc gave me a very small episiotomy, but I can’t remember for sure. It might have been earlier. All I remember is that I was pushing this baby out like my life depended on it. Because his did. Once he was out to his head, I had 3 minutes to push his head out before he’d run out of oxygen since he cord was compressed. I remember the doctor telling someone to watch the clock and said out loud to me “ok Amber, we’ve got 3 minutes. Plenty of time. You’re doing great. Let’s just finish up the job.” He then used forceps to flex his head as he was not flexing on his own, and about 30 seconds later, he was out! I think I pushed a total of 5-10 minutes from start to finish. He had zero breathing problems and apgar scores of a 9 and 10. He was immediately placed on my chest while I delivered the placenta and got stitched up.

Everett 1-2

I’m not a crier. It was the only time I’ve ever cried at one of my childrens’ births. Not because I’m not emotional or ridiculously happy, I just don’t express my feelings with tears usually. But this time I was just SO relieved and happy that he was here safe and sound that I couldn’t help it.He was born at 6:25am. He was gorgeous. It was weird not seeing a cone-shaped head on him. He nursed almost immediately like a pro.We were somewhat like celebrities among the hospital staff during our stay but in a good way. “Oh!! YOU are the breech delivery????!! Congrats and way to go!!!” Recovery has been tougher with the episiotomy. I had one with my first baby, but I wasn’t chasing two toddlers around while trying to heal. But I wouldn’t trade the vaginal delivery for anything. Sooo glad we did it and so thankful we found a doc willing to do it!!I want my experience to help empower other ladies to have breech deliveries if they’re the right candidate for it!

by Amber Hansen

A Story Of Empowered Birthing

A Story Of Empowered Birthing

I have been following January and BWF for a few months now. Your Blog and Facebook page really helped me through the last part of my second pregnancy. I was diagnosed with GD and had to deal with switching insurance at 36 weeks to a non-supportive insurance. The second half of my second pregnancy was the start of fear, anxiety, and finally, empowerment.

I’m 26 years old and in that short time, I have been through quite a bit. I am a cancer survivor, a mother, a college graduate, a wife. I want to tell you my story of my road to birthing empowerment. feel so empowered, I can’t wait until I’m pregnant with my third!

It started back in 2008, when I was 19, a freshman in college, and I had just found out I was pregnant. My then boyfriend (now husband) James was completely supportive. I gained a good 55 to 60 pounds (I had always been rather small. Never really over 120) and at my 38 week appointment, my then doctor informed me my blood pressure was at a dangerous level and I needed to be sent to the hospital immediately to have tests done and to be induced.

At the time, my husband and I didn’t think much of induction. To us, all it meant was we were going to have our baby boy sooner than planned. All tests came back fine, no preeclampsia, no blood clots, but my doctor decided to induce me anyway.

It was July 7, 2008, a Monday. We thought the induction would start right away, at 12pm. Nope, a nurse came and said the doctor was waiting until midnight to start the Pitocin. I asked why and she was honest with me, she informed me that my doctor didn’t want to be woken up in the middle of the night to deliver a baby. (Quick fast forward to now, my own cousin works at the same hospital as a RN and she told me that was completely true, and still true of my then doctor, she also told me that this doctor and partner never let their patients go to 40 weeks. Even after the hospital put in place a very strongly recommended guideline that no one shall be induced before 41 weeks 3 days, unless medically necessary. )

Back to 2008, Pitocin started at midnight and by 1:30 my contractions started, by 3am my water broke as I was getting out of the hospital bed. By 5 I wanted an epidural. I thought it was heaven. I was wrong. The rest of the birth was uneventful, exactly what you would expect of an induction. My sweet little Johnny was born at 12:36pm on July 8th, 2008, weighing 8 pounds 3 ounces. I was exhausted. I took a while before I could get out of the bed myself. I didn’t have a problem with my first birth, until my second.

Now to 2010, the cancer diagnosis. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in June 2010 and I started chemo on Johnny’s second birthday, July 8th, 2010. After six months of Chemo and 17 rounds of radiation, in August 2011, I was in remission, but we were afraid we weren’t going to be able to have any more children.

In January 2013 we decided to find out if we could still have children. My OB ran some tests and assured us I was still fertile. We needed permission from my oncologist though. After more testing, just to make sure I was healthy enough, he gave us the green light to start trying. In April 2013 we started. In October, those two little pink lines showed up.

This was truly an amazing pregnancy. I was in my last term getting my Bachelors of Science in health education; I graduated when I was almost 30 weeks. We were pregnant with another little boy and this pregnancy was completely different. I had terribly severe morning sickness, I was keeping myself healthy, low to no stress. My new OB did an ultrasound at every appointment, and while some may see that as a bad thing, my husband and I enjoyed it. My husband hated going to appointments with my first because my OB was uninterested and uninvolved, but, my new OB was amazing, so involved and helpful.

In early April I was diagnosed with GD, which was hard for me because I am a carb-loving girl. But I managed it using the education I had just spent 4 years obtaining. I also had to switch from a PPO insurance to a HMO, meaning a very large insurance company. I had been told by my doctor that IF the baby was too large, he would induce me. I had no problem with this –  I wanted to give birth vaginally again and I didn’t mind the induction the first time around. My new insurance didn’t feel the same; in fact they felt the need to scare me into a C-section. I was petrified of the idea of a C-section.

At 33 weeks pregnant, while I was at the grocery store, I started having pain in my side. I was scared, so my husband and I dropped Johnny off with my mom and we went to the hospital. I called my RN cousin and she came to the hospital to be with us. I was in pre-term labor and they had to stop it. It took four days in the hospital but when we were finally released, I was still having mild contractions. While we were there my new insurance doctors told me the baby was already 7 pounds and that I didn’t have my GD under control. I left the hospital 3 cm dilated and 50% effaced.

Even though I had had my heart set on an induction, I liked the idea of going into labor on my own, laboring at home then going to the hospital to give birth. My wish came true.

It was a Friday, a very uneventful day. I was excited to get through the weekend because my doctor had said he would help my labor on Monday due to the swelling and pain if I did have him during the weekend.

My son was helping me out throughout the day because I couldn’t do much. My husband got off of work at the normal time, we had dinner, put our son to bed and started playing video games. It was about 10:15pm. I got up to go pee and as I sat there on the toilet I had a small contraction, like I had been the past 6 weeks. But with this one, in my head I begged “Please do something major to my cervix”. And POP, my water broke.

It was one of the most beautiful moments, I remember it so fondly. The rush of excitement through my body was uncontainable. I yelled to my husband “James, my water broke” and he said “Awesome, finally.” And just like that, as I was sitting there on the toilet, my next contraction was pretty strong.

James started getting things ready. I then called my mom, who was tasked with keeping our eldest. I told her I was in labor and she needed to come get Johnny. Then I called my aunt, who was going to be in the room with us while I gave birth. I then called my cousins who lived near the hospital, one being the RN who worked there. Luckily she was off of work that night and would get to enjoy the baby as family. After all of the calls, I walked into Johnny’s room and woke him up. I don’t think he realized what was going on.

At first I told James I wanted to take it slow and labor at home, but soon I realized my contractions were really close together, about 5 to 7 minutes, so we left as soon as my mom took our son. It was at most 10 minutes since my water had broken.  In the car, I labored to the music of Queen and other songs that helped me stay calm through my contractions. Thirty minutes from the hospital my contractions were only about a minute apart and I was squeezing my husband’s hand with each one. He was surprised how quickly they had progressed.

Ten minutes away from the hospital I told my husband I didn’t think we were going to make it. We did though, and James drove right up to the doors. He got me inside with a nurse then went to park the car. The nurse got me into a wheelchair and up to the Labor and Delivery floor where they made me stand. At this point, I felt like the baby was going to fall out. I had the urge to push and told the nurses. One asked me if I wanted to sit down and I told her “I can’t, he’s coming out I can feel him.” They weighed me, then tried to get me to walk down to the room they had ready for me but I told them I couldn’t make it so they took me to the closest room available, which was the C-section recovery room. I stripped down and lay down on the bed. They checked me and said I was at full crown.

I told them I had to push. They told me not to and called the doctor on call. The best thing about my insurance and their doctors was that they always had a doctor on call at my hospital.

The baby was pushing his way out and the nurses kept telling me not to push. I told them, “I’m not pushing, what do I do? What do I do?” The doctor arrived maybe 2 minutes after they called. Finally, relief as he told me I could push with my contractions. Oh boy did I push!

The ring of fire was excruciating but I was focused on my goal, getting my little man out safe and healthy. Three pushes and he was out. I asked if he was ok and my nurse said “He’s fine, he’s crying, hear him?” and I heard his beautiful little cry. They placed him in the warmer next to me and it was such an amazing feeling to see him. They told me there was meconium in the placenta so they were going to have to send it in but the baby was fine.

Everett was born at 11:35pm on June 27th, 2014, a little over an hour after my water broke and about 10 minutes after we arrived at the hospital.

I was immediately able to get up and use the restroom and I was so energized and empowered. No epidural, no Pitocin. It was truly the best birthing experience. I couldn’t have wished for a better one and I wish the same upon every woman, whether at home or a hospital, in a bed or a pool, a quick, pleasant, and happy birthing experience. I’m so lucky to have had the experience that I did!


About to start first nursing session

Daddy holding Everett while his vitals are checked

Johnny meeting Everett for the first time

My R.N. Cousin giving Everett his first bath

Our sweet little man came out so fast his head is pretty round for a vaginal birth baby

ten minutes old

Finally, Relief! {A Painful Pregnancy, Spinal Injury}

Finally, Relief! {A Painful Pregnancy, Spinal Injury}

This is Tammy’s story.

May 13, 2011 (Friday the 13th), I picked up my two children from school, (ages 7 and 4) and was a block away from my home when I was in a terrible accident.

I was rushed to the ER where they found I had a collapsed spine, and I underwent surgery. A few weeks later, I found out I was pregnant at the time of the accident. PREGNANT?? I thought I couldn’t be, as I had Mirena, but God had other plans. I was not far along- only about two weeks. So, they had done the emergency surgery without checking to see if I was pregnant.

I am strong because my entire pregnancy was a nightmare of pain. The surgery was unfortunately not a success, and I went through my entire pregnancy with a collapsing spine (as if our back doesn’t have enough pain with a normal pregnancy).

For seven of the nine months, I had to have trigger point injections into my spine  to try and help with the pain. These injections are usually done under x-ray and take only a few minutes. Since I was pregnant they used a sonogram machine, which made the procedure last over an hour. I had to lay on my stomach each procedure and the pain was unbearable.

Doctors told me I would need to have a c-section because of how badly damaged my spine was, but I was determined to have a vaginal delivery as my others were.

My doctors also prescribed me Vicodin my entire pregnancy, but I refused to take it.  Although the pain was unimaginable, my baby’s health was more important.


Finally on 2-21-2012, my perfect angel FINALLY arrived. I went into labor at 2am and was determined to have my vaginal delivery.  After just one push my 6lb angel was in my arms. I felt EVERYTHING and when it was finally over, I had never had so much relief in my life. This picture shows that. Out of 3 pregnancies, this was the worst; not only was I in pain, but I vomited the whole 9 months. But he was still perfect.

image 3

When he was 8 weeks old I had a fusion done to my spine, and it’s been a tough road but we survived, and I couldn’t be happier.

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Jyn’s 8th Baby {Hospital Waterbirth}

Jyn’s 8th Baby {Hospital Waterbirth}

I have been pregnant every year since 1998 with the exception of 2004. We lost 2 in that time, but I have effectively been either pregnant and/or nursing for the past 14 years.

Just because you have been pregnant and have birthed a lot does not mean the next one will be easier. Your body doesn’t stay stretched out. You have to do it all over again. You have to contract, you have to open, you have to efface and dilate.

My 7th birth was harder and needed way more intervention than my 6th, so when #8 came around, we really had no clue what to expect!

I was due July 14th, but was walking around in labor for 2 weeks prior to the 4th of July. I was dilated, stretchy, 4-6 centimeters and my bag of water was bulging- to my midwife’s amazement. I had bloody show, I passed the plug constantly (as it renews itself). My pubic bone was separated so I was super uncomfortable. I PRAYED for it to end, I had never felt so ‘done before!

Late on the 3rd of July, I noticed the contractions I had been enduring for the past 2 weeks were every 5 minutes, now. I started timing them at midnight and finally decided to call the midwife at 1am to discuss if I should come in. On one hand, the contractions were regular and, knowing I had Group B strep and needed the antibiotics, should get in sooner than later so I could get the full 2 recommended bags of IV fluids in before birth. On the other hand, I didnt want to be premature and drag everyone in only to have everything stop, like it had in the past.

By 2am after chatting with the midwife, she finally said, “Jyn… come in and have your baby!”

So I gathered my husband, woke one of my daughters and got any last thing we needed which felt like the equivalent of a backpack prepared for a week’s stay in the wilderness. I texted my mom to come stay with the rest of the kids, and we left.

We got to the hospital at about 2:30am fully expecting it to be busy because, after all, it was now the 4th of July. It wasn’t.

They had the birthing pool ready and hot- but I couldn’t get in yet. They had to monitor me first. I actually didn’t even get into the tub until 3:30am. Enduring contractions in the hospital bed was awful.

jyn meyer 01

As the contractions came closer and harder and he moved down more- the pain in my back got worse and worse. I attribute that, now, to my separated pubic bone which was probably pinching in the back. I was worried about a stretchy but not fully dilated cervix being dragged down with the baby’s head. This is what happened 2 years earlier with my 7th. So I was prepared with some Astroglide to help ease the baby’s head through the cervix and out with minimal scraping on the inside. With each contraction I eased the cervix around his head myself, but really- he felt more like he was going to come out the other end!

Finally, at 9 centimeters dilated my water burst with a sonic boom and he was coming and the contractions were harder.

With a primal roar, out came his head and shoulders at 6:17am on the 4th of July- and up to my bosom with a great big sigh of relief and “Ohhhhh!”

jyn meyer 02

The water was quite warm as I had insisted, and I started bleeding a little more than we wanted- so they had me get out to an awaiting bed. The whole ordeal, on video, looks so quiet and collected and calm- absolutely the farthest from how it felt! I felt, most of the time, like I was on the edge of insanity!

jyn meyer 03

Jude Elias was officially 7lbs, 9.5 oz and 19 inches long- beautiful and full of life! The placenta was huge, with 2 lobes (like a heart) and a very thick long umbilical cord that pulsated forever, it seemed!

We rejected the Vitamin K injection as well as the silver nitrate. He was my second child to not receive the Vitamin K injection and my second child to leave the hospital with absolutely no jaundice! It also took them 30 minutes to get a proper PKU sample because… his blood kept clotting.

{Story and photos submitted by Jyn Meyer.}

A Mother Will Overcome {I Am Strong}

A Mother Will Overcome {I Am Strong}

A short and sweet story of a teenage mother, or just a mother, this is Jada’s story:

I am strong because I found out I was pregnant at 17, two months into a relationship, and decided then to keep the baby.

I am strong because I decided to end the relationship, because I wasn’t happy anymore.

I am strong because during my pregnancy, I went through the worst depression in my life a month before my son was born.

I am strong because I had my mother and my aunt in the birthing center room to support me while I went through with my natural birth, which showed me just how strong I was.

I am strong because I pushed for an hour (which felt like only five minutes) and gave birth to a 8 lb. 8 oz. healthy boy and picked the name of my son when I met him for the first time.

I am strong because despite the criticism on bed-sharing, I am proud to say I have slept beside my son every night since he was born, and have no plan to stop.

I am strong because I overcame my fear of breastfeeding in public despite my overwhelming social anxiety, and plan on weaning when he is ready.

I am strong because I suffer from postpartum depression and am raising my son, alone, the way I feel is right for the both of us.

I am strong because I am going through with getting my high school diploma so my son and I can have a good future.

I am strong because now, at 19 years of age, I am where I want to be and have great plans that I see myself accomplishing in the future.


Overcoming Anxiety, Depression and Addiction {I Am Strong}

Overcoming Anxiety, Depression and Addiction {I Am Strong}

Hi my name is Bailey, I am 22 year old new mother. Here is my story:

I am strong because I have struggled with anxiety, depression and addiction since I was a teenager. I am strong because I can admit that.
I am strong because when I found out I was pregnant at 21 years old nothing else mattered. Every nasty habit, addiction and person in my life faded away.
I am strong because when my parents found out I was pregnant they told me I needed to put my baby up for adoption. I refused, I believed in myself when no one else did.
I am strong because I struggled through crippling morning sickness and heartburn everyday. I never missed a single day of work though, just to provide for my family to be. My fiance and I are strong because we made it through most of my pregnancy without the support or guidance of our families.
I am strong because when my Mother begged me to forgive her at the end of my pregnancy, after everything, I did. Without hesitation.
I am strong because I made it through 18 hours of natural labor only to have my labor stall. I am strong because when a doctor told me I had to have a cesarean due to my lack of progress; I listened to my instincts and told him no. I had gone to my birthing classes, I knew my options.
I am strong because I knew I needed an epidural to relax, and was able to make the best decision for me and my baby. Two hours and forty-eight minutes later I had my beautiful healthy baby boy in my arms. He weighed a whopping 8 pounds even and measured 21.5 inches long.
I am strong because the days after his birth I struggled with extreme cracked nipples and bleeding making it difficult to breastfeed. Even with people pushing supplements on me I never gave up. I am proud to say, he has never had anything but my breast milk.
I am strong because my anxiety, depression and addictions haven’t been a part of my life in almost a year. I am strong because I know I am a good mother, and I am proud of who I am for the first time in a long time.
i am strong birth without fear

Photo Credit: Blessed Beginnings Photography 

An RN’s Natural Hospital Birth {The Birth Story of Natalie Jadis}

An RN’s Natural Hospital Birth {The Birth Story of Natalie Jadis}

My estimated due date was Dec. 3, 2012.  That came and went.  My 3 year old son, “W” and I found lots of activities to keep us busy, since I was officially on maternity leave from work.  We played in the fresh foot of Wisconsin snow; we went swimming and even went sledding December 12th.  I was okay with being “overdue,” because I knew my daughter would come when she was good and ready.

December 13th I had a biophysical profile ultrasound in the morning with a visit to my doctor after.  During the ultrasound, the tech was looking for a few important things, which my baby girl wasn’t doing; practice breathing or moving, so she scored a 4 out of 8.  Also, she was measuring about 36 weeks in size.  When my doctor came in to my appointment I knew he was concerned.  My doctor assisted as I naturally delivered my son 3 years prior, and I trust him and respect him.  He is a very “midwife” minded family practice doctor and his wife is actually a midwife.  As we discussed the ultrasound, I told him that my daughter had been moving all night in my belly, but had stopped moving after a two hour run/boxing match at about 6am.  Also, I hadn’t gained weight for the past 3 weeks and my belly measurements were not increasing (measuring 36 inches at 41 w. 3 days) We decided that induction would be the best since there was a chance of placental growth retardation.

I went home to pack for the hospital and on the way I called my husband and started crying because I didn’t want to be induced and I was scared that something was wrong with our baby.  I also called my mom, because she would be watching my son while we were in the hospital.  I told my mom to start praying! (I guess she told a few other people to start praying too)

My husband and I arrived at the hospital at 2pm; I got hooked up to the monitor and found that my contractions (which had been random for the past 2 weeks) were regular about every 4 minutes.  I originally wasn’t planning on going to the hospital until my water broke (because my labor with my son was quick and straightforward once my water broke).  I had been ignoring the “random contractions” and hadn’t timed anything for the past week.

My doctor came by to talk to us at about 3 pm. He told the nurses to not start Pitocin and just see how my contractions played out.  So my husband and I walked the halls, chatted with the nurses (I’m also an RN) and ordered in spicy Mexican food.  During supper, my contractions were getting closer together and stronger so I bounced on the birthing ball, continuing to talk with everyone.  I called my mom at 5:15 to make sure everything with my son was okay, since she picked him up from daycare.

My doctor came by after clinic and checked me and I was 8cm dilated!  He broke my water at 5:45 and said he’d stay at the hospital until this baby girl came.  I continued to work through the contractions on the birthing ball, with my husband behind me.  He was wonderful and knew just what to do without either one of us speaking; cool rags on my forehead, counter pressure on my back, and moving my hips during contractions.


At 6:30 I started transitioning, and before I knew it, I was grunting and starting to push.  My husband struggled to find the call light while holding me up on the birthing ball.  He pressed it and my doctor and nurse came in (they said they were listening in the hall, and knew I was getting close)  They told me to get on the bed, I refused…so my dear husband picked me up and put me there!  My doctor didn’t get a chance to put on his gown because I was already crowning.  Two pushes later Natalie Jadis was born sunny side up.  At  6:47pm on December 13th I was officially a mother of two.

It all happened so fast. We waited until her cord stopped pulsating and my husband cut it.  I was so happy, she was perfect, APGARS of 8 and 9, my doctor checked her over while she laid on me.  Natalie went to my breast right away, so my nurse went to eat supper and when she came back I was walking around, dressed and ready to check her weight, height and give her a bath.  My nurse couldn’t believe that I was out of bed!  I felt amazing; I had just brought a beautiful baby girl into the world naturally, with a quick labor (under four hours) and no complications.  That night my husband went home to be with my son, and I snuggled my little “Natalie Bug” all night long.

birth story natalie jadis 2

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