The entire medical team couldn’t stop screaming when they realized what this woman gave birth to with every positive pregnancy test. I’Ve been blessed with i’ve had the ah, it’s got to come out moment with my first pregnancy. I went into labor on my own at exactly 41 weeks.
The night before i was scheduled to be induced. My labor started around 4 pm that sunday i had back labor and welcomed the epidural once i finally got it through the following morning at the hospital at 5.
Am it was about 6 centimeters when checking that morning, although i was naturally listening to my body and wanting to stay upright and sway while home to cope with the pain once i got to the hospital. However, much to my surprise, i was quickly told i had to get in bed and stay there. I remember the nurse telling me i needed to breathe, but i didn’t know how i was hooked to a fetal monitor in iv fluids. I did little preparation for the birth as far as researching or classes were concerned. I sort of just tried not to think about it and figured they knew best.
She ended up being sunny-side up and did not descend as they desired and so off to a c-section. We rushed, and soon we were greeted with our daughter at about 4 p.m. That monday, unfortunately, i ended up back in the hospital about two weeks later with an abscess in my c-section. While i was ecstatic over the birth of my daughter, i couldn’t help but feel that the birth didn’t have to be the way i had experienced.
So when i found out, i was pregnant for the second time. I knew i wanted to avoid a c-section and stack as much in my favor for a vbac as possible, but both had risks, and i was scared. I knew a vaginal birth would be an easier recovery and i would be better able to care for my toddler. After the birth, i felt the epidural and inability to move freely was what led to my c-section. My second pregnancy ended in a miscarriage in about nine weeks.
We were devastated, but my faith grew stronger during that dark time, and i knew that, although it did not make sense to me that god had a plan. My third pregnancy was a total surprise. We weren’t actively trying to get pregnant since i was still not ready due to the miscarriage. Finally, the estimated date of conception was april fool’s day and the due date was exactly one year after the day, my miscarriage was confirmed. Just goes to show you how god can really show off.
He turned one of my darkest days into one of the happiest. I started praying over the birth and asking for god’s wisdom for my birth plan. I decided before my first doctor’s appointment that i wanted to try for a natural vbac. I wrote about scriptures for inspiration as well. I began researching and stumbled upon better birth stories and hypno birthing.
I took the online course and felt further empowered and enthusiastic for the birth. I read in a may gaskins guide to childbirth as well. I even practiced relaxation and breathing while taking a poo. I really liked how melanie broke down breathing to focus on the body. Instead of numbers, i educated my husband as well to the point where he could probably recite it in a sleep, i started seeing a chiropractor who specialized in prenatal care for adjustments to help as well.
I surrounded myself with positive birth stories and information and, most importantly, ignored negative information and reactions that i would get when i would tell people about wanting to go natural, and i got plenty of that from family members to physicians who did not agree with my birth Plan i followed most of the advice from the natural birth resources from eating dates and drinking raspberry, leaf tea to walking and exercise.
I looked at different birth positions and made a birth playlist. I shared my birth plan with every physician at my ob office to make sure hospital policy wouldn’t interfere with what i wanted and adjusted if it did as melanie suggested in the class. I added as much as possible to my buffet table to draw upon later once labor started but, most importantly, continue to pray. I was excited for the spiritual journey and knew that god would carry me through this birth.
I waited for labor to come naturally, but it didn’t so. I scheduled an induction with a fully ballooned catheter at 40 weeks and 6 days. After speaking with my physician, i had to go into the hospital at night for the balloon. Normally they place the balloon in the evening and in the morning they start pitikin. I didn’t want pitikin, since i’d heard from many in research that it could increase my need for an epidural due to the pain and also increased risk for uterine rupture, which i already had a risk for due to a vbac education is key.
I was about two centimeters dilated at my doctor’s appointment the day before and the balloon got me to four centimeters overnight. I still wasn’t having much labor pain at all, just mild, menstrual, cramps and no real rhythm or frequency in the morning. Instead of starting pitikan, we decided to wait and see if labor would progress. Naturally, we set the mood in the room, keeping the lights off. We had plenty of natural light and a white noise machine on the sound of the ocean waves and an essential oil diffuser with lavender and sage.
Needless to say, the nurses loved coming in the room for the relaxing atmosphere around 11am. We opted to have my water broken. I believe i was around five to six centimeters at this point, but still not much pain. I kept walking around the hospital room. My husband and i threw a tennis ball back and forth to pass the time the next time.
The nurse checked on me. I agreed to a trial of pitikan to see if it would expedite things. The nurse had been pushing pittecon all morning, so i finally gave in i said i would do it only as a slow rate of progression. We agreed on one unit increasing by one unit, every 30 minutes fyi. I still don’t know what to compare that rate to.
I believe my nurse said. Most women ended up on 8 to 10 units max, but please research, this right in hindsight, right before pitikin was started. I did notice a change in my contractions. They were starting to demand more of my attention. I listened to one of the relaxation tracks from the hypnobirth class, which helped me to relax my mind.
The contractions still felt similar to menstrual cramps, but a little stronger, completely different than the back labor i’d had with my daughter, pitikin made the contractions almost immediately stronger and closer together. I know there’s a proper place for pitikin in labor and delivery, but good grief. I tried laying in bed with the peanut ball to open my hips for a little break from walking and turned on my birth playlist full of inspiring christian music. Hillsong got me through a lot of my labor at home with my daughter, but the contractions felt more. Like a shock and music was not helping this time, so i turned it off.
I had to get up, but having the iv now connected, make movement a bit more difficult throughout the morning. I’D spent time on the toilet, since i’d read and learned that this was a great position for labor, i tried alternating sitting in the toilet and walking, i’m not usually one to cuss. Unless i mean serious business, i could feel my contractions getting more manageable. As the pitican cleared out of my body. They checked me and i was at seven centimeters.
The nurse and doctor agreed that as long as i progressed, i could stay off the pitakan around. That point i felt my body start to take over the pain of the contractions, didn’t get worse, just the frequency they were coming about every 45 seconds, with a break of about 15 to 30 seconds. I wasn’t keeping up with any of that, though, but my husband was, he could tell a definite change in me. All i could do was focus. It was probably about an hour and a half of transition.
Labor though the times seemed to move fast and slow at the same time, i remember noticing how the sun set during that time and for a while i thought i’d be stuck in contractions forever. Finally, i was persuaded by my husband and new nurse marquita due to shift change. This was another answer to her prayer, as we were old co-workers and i had questioned her all throughout my pregnancy about natural labor, so she knew my wishes to have my cervix checked when i was nine
to nine and a half centimeters which surprised me, because when I was told i was at seven centimeters, it didn’t really click that i was in transition and soon to be over the worse. I think i kept expecting for labor to get worse like what i had expected. While on pittakin, i got back up to walk and sway and soon the urge to push at some point around this time, i also threw up – which i remember telling my husband not to worry that i’d read.
That was normal. The urge to push felt like needing to poop, so i went to the bathroom. I spent a lot of time in the bathroom, nothing exited, so i stood back up and had the urge to push again so i did. I found it very hard to resist that urge, even when instructed marquita told me that i had to get in bed and i couldn’t push while standing, which looking back, makes me laugh because i really fought her on getting back in the bed. I was afraid my back would hurt, but surprisingly it didn’t.
She had me try to give three good pushes with each contraction. As i felt the urge. We tried several positions as she assessed that the baby was at station zero. Even this interesting tug of war with a bed sheet where she basically pulled me up to a squatting position, she’s amazing i pushed for about an hour total before it was at the point to call in the rest of the team because he was about to be Born a few more pushes – and he was on my chest – a 10 pound, 11 ounce and 22 and a half inch long, baby boy and what’s amazing to me – is pushing and delivery didn’t hurt. My husband said i had a smile during it.
It felt more like a relief. What i felt i wouldn’t describe as painful or a ring of fire, or anything like that. The sensation was more like a stretching i’d visualized during my walks when pregnant about how the same god that makes the flowers open up made. The vagina to come open for birth as well, the delivery of the placenta was barely noticeable like a huge glob of jello. I ended up with a stage two tear that needed stitching, for which the doctor gave a local anesthetic.
I had such a feeling of exhilaration immediately following the birth that rush of euphoria. I’Ve never experienced anything like it. I felt like i could have gotten off that bed and run a marathon. I kept saying girl power and that’s what vaginas were made for. The entire team said i’ll be a legend on the labor and delivery floor for years to come.
A natural birth without medication is totally possible. Pray, research, practice and pray thanks for reading.