The following story was submitted by two moms, this is the birth of their second baby girl. When the mom submitted the story she titled it “a natural birth”, I thought it was a wonderful and fitting title, as it was so simple. Birth should be as such; simple. And the following is a testament to how wonderful, beautiful, and powerful this simplicity can be.
(If you would like to share your birth story please submit it to LouisianaNaturalBirth@gmail.com , any and all birth stories are welcome, regardless of setting, circumstance, etc.)
a natural birth
My labor began at ten pm Saturday night. I started having contractions five minutes apart. I decided to wait to see how it progressed before I called anyone. Throughout the night steady contractions at five minutes apart, then at 8 am they stopped cold turkey. I called the on call nurse who refused to call my dr and then I told her I was having contractions five minutes apart and she said don’t go to the hospital until they are five minutes apart and hung up. Seriously bitch did you even listen to me?
I called my doula she said it was perfectly normal for labor to stall. My body had just gotten her in position and then was resting before the big show. We called my sister to come pick up my daughter and spent the day resting and waiting to see what would happen. No contractions all day.
That night a couple of times I woke with contractions but I was able to fall back asleep so did not pay them much attention until 4 am when my water broke. It was a little bloody so I called my doula. She said that was most likely the bloody show and to keep her posted. At that point my contractions kicked into gear. They were coming about every four minutes and getting stronger. So, Erika and I played dominoes until they were too strong for me to be able to play anymore.
My dr had told me not to come in if my water broke as I was planning on doing most of my laboring at home. But, to call him so he would know I was coming in soon. I called his nurse who didn’t listen to me and said come in now. (yet another nurse who would not listen to me) At this point I was beyond fed up with the nurses and said screw it lets just go in. I called the doula and told her to meet us there.
You have to go in through assessment. This means they take you back to a room by yourself. They wouldn’t let my wife come with me, so they could ask me all those STD, abuse questions and hope for honest answers. All I had to say was I was keeping my clothes on and they knew I was a natural patient and started treating me differently. They said they had to strap me to the machines, but if I was admitted they would take them off and use a telemonitor. They stuck me with a q tip to test and see if my water did in fact break. 30 min later they let my wife come back and they finally called my actual dr, who of course said I could go home if I wanted. But, at that point I knew the baby was coming, so we decided to stay. They said I could sneak my doula back to my room (because you are only allowed one person with you in assessment) and then we waited an hour more for them to move me upstairs.
My nurses upstairs took my birth plan and seemed excited and positive. They put me on telemonitors and let me be. At first I spent most of my time walking the room, stopping only for a contraction. Each contractions visualizing the pain flowing down through my body and out my toes. At this point It was very easy to laugh and make conversation in between contractions. I was only at 1-2 cm, so the pain was very manageable. The nurses would come in and say they were amazed at how calm I was. I keep asking, isn’t everyone like this, I mean this is the easy part of labor. If they are freaking out now how do they make it to the end? They would laugh and say they don’t make it.
As the contractions progressed I sat on the ball for a while and swayed back and fourth through the contractions visualizing that I had turned into a bunch of long grass at the beach and was swaying in the wind. Even now thinking about those moments they seem so beautiful.
My dr came by on his lunch to chat and check in on me. He just sat down and had a nice conversation with all of us making me feel so calm and relaxed as his presence always does. He checked me and I was at four cm and fully effaced. This made me very happy. I could feel my body making progress and to get the confirmation made me even more confident.
I knew I was far enough along to get in the tub so I asked them to set it up for me. I had asked earlier, but the nurse thought the in room tub was good enough. I informed her it was not good enough, nor possible to labor in that stupid tub, build me the good tub. Ok I thought that and my doula just asked them to build it. Which took an hour to build and fill up.
While I waited I continued to sway on my ball visualizing my beach grass self swaying in the wind. When the tub was done it took me a few contractions to find a comfortable position. I tried all fours for a while and then leaning back against the tub. The most comfortable was hanging over the edge and letting my body hang in the water, but the tub would cut off circulation to my arms, so that did not work either. At this point contractions really picked up my doula had me making deep vocals to ease the pain and encourage the contractions. This helped greatly.
After about 45 min I was getting too warm and got out and my doula had me sit on the toilet for a few contractions. This was my least favorite place to have contractions as your body naturally relaxes and opens up on the toilet as you have spent years training it to do so. This meant the baby would drop much quicker during these contractions causing them to be very painful.
I went back to the ball and really felt the baby lowering. I looked up and said get the dr she is coming. My doula went to tell my nurse who did not believe us because I was not showing enough signs of pain, any signs of pain really and how could I be ready to push? Yet again the nurses not listening to me.
My dr was in a section and could not come for ten-twenty min. The nurse wanted to check me to make sure I was really ready to push before she called him out of a c section to run to me. I told her no, but then caved. My only mistake the whole time. I was not going to lay on my back for her and she did not know how to check me on all fours, so she kept poking me in the wrong holes. I screamed at her. This caused my uturus to shrink up. She went to get another nurse who checked me and said I was only 6-7. I lost it and started crying. I said I want back in the tub then. My mental strength was gone. I told them I could not do it and told them not to be disappointed. The nurse had my number though and said in order to get the epidural I had to be strapped in to the bed and get a whole bag of fluid in my before they could give me the epidural which would take 20-30 min. I gave her a look of horror and said no way. I will keep going. Looking back I think she said that to make me keep going. Which is good, since once I said that my body began to push the baby out. 6-7 cm my ass.
Luckily they had told my dr I was hitting the wall and he ran across the hospital to me. Because he is beyond awesome like that. By the time he got there I told him my body was pushing the baby out and the something had popped. He said that was the rest of my water bag and it was a good sign. He said do you want to have the baby in the tub? I said I did not know, but decided that I wanted to stand hoping it would make the pushing easier. He said ok, but lets push on the toilet first. If you can push there first it will get the baby here faster. It was very difficult to walk at this point, but we made our way to the toilet. As I began to push the pain from the contractions was gone and all I could feel and focus on was pushing. The breaks in between contractions came back and I was able to smile and talk in between them again, which was a much needed break. I had my doula behind me, a nurse in the tub next to me, my wife and dr kneeling in front of me and two nurses in the doorway while I pushed on the toilet.
I pushed until they could see the baby’s head and then asked if I could try standing up. I walked to the edge of the bed, which somehow was easy at this point and as my body beared down I yelled out oh this is worse I need to sit down again. I sat on the edge of bed leaned back on my arms and began to push again. Holding my breath with each push. The dr massaged my perineum and my wife was on the ready to catch the baby. They tell you it feels like a ring of fire when you push the baby out, I think it feels more life your vagina being ripped in half, but they also told me I was pushing too hard and needed to slow down. I could feel her head come out and told them to just pull her out. As I pushed those last few times and felt her slide right out, my body entered a state of euphoric bliss. I reached right to her and they handed her to me. I have never felt such a high in my life. There are no words to describe the euphoria of this experience.