In honor of Cesarean Awareness Month 2010, we will be filling the blogosphere with stories from real women (and their families) who know first-hand the consequences of a 32% cesarean rate. Each day we will post at least one birth story submitted by these women. Prepare to be moved (hint: grab a box of Kleenex)!
This is my birth story; I had a non-medicated vaginal birth. I saw midwife for prenatal care and I labored at home. I did all of this because I did not want to have a C-section. “Big babies run in my family” (how I hate this phrase, but it is true) and I did not want anyone to tell me that I could not do this naturally. I knew that “big babies” are not allowed to go past due date, and that inductions many times end in C-sections. I did not want this to happen to me.
I had a beautiful birth experience! Although I began feeling contractions on Sat. and lost my mucous plug on Monday morning, I did not really recognize my labor as beginning until Tuesday morning when I work to rushes that were about ten min. apart. Not wanting to get too excited, I sent my husband to work, but called him home 20 min. after he left. He came home and we began to walk (it was a beautiful day and I was on summer break from teaching). We walked and walked timing both the duration and the time in between each rush. I was keeping on the phone with my doula and labored like this (walking, playing yatzee, eating lunch) until about 4.
The rushes were becoming a little more uncomfortable and were about 5 minuets apart and lasting 45 seconds. My midwife said to come to the office and she would check me there so that I could avoid triage if I decided that I wanted to go back home. I measured 2 to 3 cm and over 50% effaced. I really did not want to be admitted, so we went back home.
It was on the way home that my labor really started to pick back up. By the time we go close to home and began to walk again, I could not. My husband had to get the car to pick me up and drive me back home. I labored in my tub for another half and hour, tried to eat, and at around 6, I was really needed the relaxation that we were taught in class. After 20 min of this, I realized that I really needed to concentrate on each rush and was feeling nauseous, so we decided to head back to the hospital.
I began to cry on the way there- I began to cry. The rushes and emotions that I was feeling were so powerful I could not control myself. By the time I was admitted to triage, I was shaking and could not talk through rushes. I began to moan deeply through the rushes and when I was checked this time I was 8 cm! Ten min. later I began to have the urge to push and I was still in triage. My husband and doula were so supportive. I drew on their silent strength and my trust in my body to get me through transition. My rushes at this point were strong and fast- I had only 30 sec. or so in between each.
I was then toted off to an LDR and began to push at 8:30. (I was admitted at 7:30). I first began to push on my side-to try to slow things down a bit. When I needed to change positions, I began to squat and my baby’s heart beat became regular once again. Apparently this was the position that she liked most! I continued to push in this position, but the rushes were less than 2 min. apart and the effort to move from squatting to resting was too much so I moved into the classic sitting/squat position I learned in my Bradley classes. Pushing my daughter out was the most challenging, and awe-inspiring thing that I have ever done. Each rush, although powerfully painful, brought me closer to my daughter-my love. My doula would remind me that I should not back away from the pain, but take it and face it head on. My husband encouraged me with loving words that made me feel beautiful and powerful at the same time. The room was dark and quiet (except for the noises that I made). My midwife was wonderful and although I often said that I could not do it, her response was-but you already are.
My daughter, Lilly Grace, was born (what a wonderful surprise because we were all expecting a boy!) and would weigh in at 8 lb 13 oz. My midwife actually weighed her twice because she could not believe that I had given birth naturally to such a large baby. I am only 5’1, small framed, and pre-pregnancy weighed 115 lbs. My baby was handed directly to me and I held her to my bare chest and my husband and I cried tears of joy. No words can describe what I felt at that moment. It was pure bliss; it was love in its most natural and raw from. It was beautiful.