Today’s birth story is from contributing writer Sara, of Your Thriving Family. Be sure to pay her site a visit! You can go back and read my first birth story here or about Jodi’s unplanned, unassisted homebirth here! Come link up your own on Friday!
By Sara of Your Thriving Family, Contributing Writer
It was the end of the second trimester when we started talking about the kind of birth we wanted. Yes, this is very late to begin this planning – but it was my first, so what did I know. Through speaking with my mom and a long-time friend who was a doula, we settled on planning for a natural birth.
It was too late to join the 12 week Bradley Method class – and my husband had no intention of going once a week to a three month class. The hospital birthing class was a joke for anyone wanting to have a natural birth. Over and over the instructor would share something, then say to my husband and me, “this doesn’t apply to you.” Needless to say, we did not return for the second portion of this class.
We ended up settling on some books and a sit-down with our doula. My husband is a HUGE reader, so he read much more than I. I did read and knew enough to know how things worked and a few ways to get through it, but still little enough to not be scared and full of the fear of pain. (I have to say the second and third time around I was WAY more apprehensive about the birth.)
Note from Erin: If you’re not able to attend a class outside the home (or don’t want to!), take the Mama Natural Birth Course, which is completely online. It’s also much cheaper than many in-person classes, and you can re-watch the videos as often as you like! You may also like Mama Natural’s FREE introductory video on 8 Keys to a Natural Childbirth.
The labor was a long period. Baby’s due date was Monday. Real contractions started Wednesday afternoon and waned off and on for the next few days. I spent Thursday walking back and forth from a little pond down the road from our home. Friday I made my husband stay home, as the night before things seems more serious.
Finally, it was lunchtime and nothing seemed to be progressing. So we ran a few work errands for my husband, while little contractions continued. It was a rainy day and Costco seemed a good place to stay dry while walking. I have to say, laboring in a public place – leaning, sitting and focused on breathing while people are giving you weird looks – was a little disconcerting as well as amusing. About halfway through the full circuit of the store I suddenly wanted to BE HOME!
One of the more memorable things about this birth was just after we called the doula to come over. I was sitting backwards on a chair in our living room, wrapped in a quilt. I needed to throw up. In VERY few words I communicated this to my husband. Very supportively he responded, “That’s okay.” Me, unable to say, “Um, NO! I would like help getting up – QUICKLY – so I can go do it in the bathroom, not all over the floor and blanket,” did just that. Our doula’s first duty when she arrived was cleaning up my mess.
Our doula, Charissa, was a long-time friend. She and my husband had many laughs, made jokes and played games. They continued to comment that I had no clue what they were doing or saying, but I knew – oh yes I heard it all. They are still surprised to hear the things I remember.
We labored at home for about six more hours before leaving for the hospital around eleven that night. I was just ready to be at the place my baby would join us. Once I was really in the throes of labor, I no longer felt the contractions. I had severe back pain. It seemed that no one could place enough pressure on the area that hurt. Despite the back labor, I had a very quiet, almost serene (from the outside) labor. My husband still calls that part a bit boring.
I was able to rest throughout the night between contractions – flicking my husband whenever a contraction started and I needed some counter pressure. They checked my progress around eight the next morning and then again shortly before noon. Between the two checks there had been no progress – Enter the “on call” doctor.
“I think we need to think about doing something,” he said in a very matter of fact, but not quite clear manner. Mine and my husband’s eyes shot to our doula, which she described as deer caught in headlights. She spoke up, “And what would that be?”
I don’t remember if the c-section was mentioned or not. But certainly pitocin was not the suggestion. I had been having STRONG, REGULAR contractions, for hours. They just didn’t seem to be doing anything.
Our doula again, “Well, her water hasn’t broken. Could we try that?” The doctor, who mind you seemed to be grudgingly responding to the doula, never looking at her, but straight at my husband and me, responded offhandedly, “We could try, but I doubt that it is going to do anything.”
My daughter arrived at 12:24pm that Saturday! Seriously, in less than a half an hour and three to four contractions she was out. A little hand tucked below her chin on the way out.
Apparently she had been “sunny-side up.” Her spine was lying along mine, hence the back pain. But as soon as that water was out of the way she flipped around and joined us.
As with most births I had reached the, “JUST GET THIS THING OUT OF ME PHASE.” I clearly remember thinking this before the last time they check my progress. I had been laboring, good hard labor, for more than twelve hours and had been at it for more than twice as long.
We had no clue what else to do next. Obviously as first time parents, though well educated, we hadn’t thought about my water still being intact. Even after being a doula myself and attending a bunch of births, with my next two there were things I knew, but in the midst of being the one birthing I forgot.
I am SO grateful for our doula – in a time when we had no brain or knowledge left, a small and wise suggestion saved me from major surgery.
Who helped play a part of your birth story?
*For more information on how to achieve a natural birth in a hospital setting, I recommend the eBook, Unbound Birth.*
Find our entire natural pregnancy and birthing series on the Series page!
Sara is a full-time mama a daughter and two sons, all about 3 years apart. She is a wife to a her husband of almost 8 years, who has an amazing heart for working with youth. She is also a homemaker, gardener, chicken-raiser, doula, adjunct and Theatre Tech at a Christian University. She writes about family, food, marriage, kids, miscarriage, pregnancy and God – trying to balance it all at Your Thriving Family.
Pushing her family to THRIVE not just strive to survive!
I’m linking up with: The Better Mom, Growing Home, Deep Roots at Home, Time-Warp Wife, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Fellowship Friday, Simple Lives Thursday, Your Green Resource, Fight Back Friday, Monday Mania
*I have included affiliate links in this post.
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