Our {natural} Birth Story: Part Two

Our Birth Story: Part Two

(This part is LONG, because I didn't want to leave anything out!)

... When we arrived around 9:15pm, we signed in (doing paperwork sure was interesting that far into labor) & went to triage so I could be checked to see how far I had progressed at home.

At that point, I was 5 centimeters dilated & 80%. I remember thinking, "only 5?" & feeling bummed because I have friends who stayed stuck at that point for a LONG time. I got over it quickly though & refocused on breathing through my surges & letting gravity work with my body.

They moved us to a room where I saw the midwife, got a hep-lock put in (no fluids though, just a port for safety) & they checked baby girl's heart rate. I shared my birth plan with the nurse & they decided to basically let us do our own thing, checking back periodically.

The midwife had decided, when she heard my timeline, that I must be progressing about a centimeter an hour & recommended we move to a room with a tub so I could labor more comfortably for the next, what she thought would be, several hours.

Once we moved rooms, I posted up on the bed.

We adjusted the back of the bed completely upright and I got onto my knees & held onto the side rails. From here, I would sink down onto my heels or rest my head on the back in between surges; and then I would sit back up on my knees during each surge. I was having some serious back & leg labor!!

Nate began filling up the tub & I decided to stand by the sink for a while, rocking back & forth. I drank water & apple juice to keep my energy up because the pressure was getting SO intense as she moved down that it felt like my legs would give out during surges. At this point, I also started having to fight the urge to puke - I knew from my reading that this was a sign of transition. The end was near.. I decided to be encouraged & somehow strengthened by it!
(PLUG to be educated on how your body works during labor so you know what to expect!!
SO SO helpful!)

About an hour & a half after my initial check/assessment, I told the nurse she should check me again because I was convinced I was progressing quickly. Sure enough, I was 8 centimeters. And they, the nurse & midwife, decided this was going to be a much quicker process than they anticipated!

I decided at that point to go ahead and try getting in the tub.

I labored there on my knees for a very short period of time. For some reason, the water made the pressure I was feeling MUCH more intense instead of easing things like the midwife thought it would. I got out & asked to be checked again because the pressure was feeling unbearable during the peaks of my surges - I was 9 centimeters & 90% thinned.

Back on the bed & on my knees, the nurse checked baby girl's heart rate. She noticed that it was dropping to a concerning level & the midwife suggested I try another position to see if it helped. She had me lay on my side, which helped with the heart rate issue, but was SO much less comfortable for me. I literally have no clue how women labor and birth laying down/on their backs! I told her the pressure was INTENSE and starting to change. I felt like I needed to start pushing. She said to do my thing & work with my surges to work her head down a little more. My midwife literally sat back in her chair with her arms crossed and watched me work. She completely trusted my body & let Nate continue to coach me.

After about 15 minutes of pushing, she said it was GO time & that the head was crowning. She had the nurse give me oxygen to maximize my surges & I gave it my ALL. Breathing & pushing like my life depended on it. Chin down, jaw open, grunting like a cave woman & fully giving into my body.

Nate kept saying how close I was & that our girl was about to be here. He was so encouraging!! About 15 minutes later, I gave a final push & she was HERE.

The midwife caught her & handed her to me right away. I'll never forget the utter disbelief of her being OURS. Seeing her the first time & feeling connected in a WHOLE new way!

Unfortunately, she wasn't responding like they needed her to with her breathing - she was born with the cord wrapped around her neck and body. This explained her heart rate dropped as she descended while I labored upright. They had Nate quickly cut the cord & took her to start stimulating her.

Before I knew it, the NICU team was in the room getting ready to transfer her, while the original nursing staff finished her APGAR testing.

They told me they would have to take her for the next several hours - no bonding, no skin to skin, no immediate nursing, no delayed cord clamping. Delivery had gone SO wonderfully, all of my wishes followed. But sadly, our immediate bonding time just couldn't happen, which was a little heart breaking. But in that moment, ALL I cared about though was making sure she was okay. So I sent Nate with her & started prepping to deliver the placenta.

My mom came back to keep me company while Nate was gone & I filled her in on the details of baby girl. Within minutes we got news that she was coming back! They regulated her breathing without the help of a machine so no additional monitoring was needed. PRAISE THE LORD. She was going to be in my arms again soon!

The midwife then informed me that the placenta wasn't budging - I wasn't contracting enough, probably in part because we hadn't been able to nurse yet. She gave me the option of a procedure to remove it or a pitocin drip. Although I did NOT want meds during my delivery, I opted for the drip so I could knock out the afterbirth process. Within a short time, it was out & baby girl arrived back in the room!!

They laid her on my chest for skin to skin & she latched onto my breast right away! Feeling her against my skin.. looking at her face.. watching her breathe.. gosh, that took my breath away.

I had a daughter.
She was safe in my arms.
Nate & I were parents.
My world was complete.

Thank you, Jesus!!

I want to wrap this up by saying how GRATEFUL I am that we were able to stick to our natural birth plan - it was the most incredible, HARD, empowering & rewarding experience of my life.

Even moreso, I want to offer HUGE praise to the Lord, who had his hands of protection over our sweet girl. Although we weren't able to have immediate skin to skin/nursing or delayed cord clamping, it was still perfect. Baby girl's birth was the experience of a lifetime & our sweet baby had arrived safely!!

Tuesday night, the 13th, into Wednesday morning, the 14th, was the hardest but most empowering experience I've EVER had. I'm so proud to have had the opportunity to go through every moment with Nate. He was my rock!!! Literally breathing with me, coaching me through each phase of labor, trusting my body & reminding me to stay focused on the end goal.

I could talk now about what helped me throughout the process & share some tips with some of my expecting friends, but I'm saving that for another time & another blog post (COMING SOON).

So thank you to everyone who prayed for us. Prayer is POWERFUL & I believe they truly made a difference in our delivery!

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